The DLS is truly a wondrous system

Phill Hooper

Much to everyone’s surprise, none more so than my own, I’m actually going pretty good at this year’s twilight golf competition at Tinwald.

I’m currently sitting second to the ‘hottest’ golfer in New Zealand at the moment, John Smitheram.

He is playing incredibly good golf but somehow everybody bar the handicapper sees it.

I’m not sure if John has somehow inserted his ‘Duckworth Lewis Smitheram’ system into the handicapper’s computer but something is going on.

The Duckworth Lewis Smitheram system or DLS for short, is along the same lines as the system used in one-day cricket internationals when there is rain about and a game is cut short.

That particular system is generally pretty fair, although the team batting second usually has an advantage.

The DLS is not at all fair and the team featuring the system’s creator, Smitheram, has a 97.9 per cent chance of victory.

The DLS is most used during the winter months when a group of lads continue a micro twilight competition.

Smitheram sets the format and the rules for these matches.

The DLS usually kicks in at the Tav when the prize money is being dished out.

I thought the official summer twilight competition would have been immune to the DLS as the format was set by the club, but clearly this is not the case.

We have a core group of us that has been playing in the twilight competition, pretty much since the daylight savings concept was first trialled.

To spice things up a little, for a number of years we have split the group into two teams – those who tee-off at 4pm and those who tee-off at 4.15pm, otherwise known as the team with John in it and the team who has no chance.

These two play against each other each week, team vs team and individual matches as well.

Strangely enough Smitheram hasn’t lost a match this year to date or, in fact, since 1987.

I had the misfortune of being drawn out as captain of the team that tees off early and John was drawn as the leader of the late team.

On paper, there is NO WAY my side can get beaten.

It’s like the All Blacks playing Tinwald, the Black Sticks playing Wakanui or Tech playing Star.

My side is full of natural athletes!

I have a rural postman, he always delivers right?

I have a salesman who occasionally makes a divot that big you could put a First National sign on it, but generally he just gets on with the job and flies under the radar (if you were as short as him, you’d fly under the radar as well).

I have a weight-loss guru, who has recently been on an alcohol cleanse and dropped that much weight that Jenny Craig wants to know his secrets.

I have a school leader – you’d think after dealing with snotty teenagers all day he’d look forward to smacking the crap out of something on a Thursday evening.

I have two meatworkers, one who loves long hikes, so you’d think he’ll be fit as a buck rat, unfortunately all the hiking is done in the hills and not between his golf shots.

The other one’s happy-go-lucky nature and easy-going temperament should be uplifting for the whole team.

This team can’t be beaten!

How can we go wrong?

We have been robbed I tell you!

To be fair, we haven’t played to our full potential and we have had some issues with attendance.

One poor team member had a heart transplant operation three weeks ago, while another member discovered he didn’t actually have a heart.

Surely we can play a sub when one of the team is away?

Cue the DLS system – NOPE!

I’m sure John and his band of merry men have trouble sleeping at night.

My lot sleep like babies, four of them wake up screaming and two crap themselves.

Till next week,

Hoo Roo


Phill Hooper,

Honest Golfer


Phill Hooper is the breakfast host of Ashburton’s Hokonui radio station. The views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect the opinion of his employer or the Ashburton Guardian.