Category Archives: Tips From the Pro

Lana’i’s Manele Golf Course Names T.J. Orban 1st Assistant Golf Pro

TJ Orbin-Lanai ManeleT.J. Orban has been named first assistant golf professional at Four Seasons Resort Lāna‘i, where he will work under Scott Ashworth, director of golf, and head professional Kendric Kimizuka.

Orban will assist in overseeing the outside services staff and pro shop staff, as well as coordinating the golf cart, bag room, and course marshaling operations at Manele Golf Course.

“T.J. joins a staff dedicated to ensuring our guests are taken care of at the highest level from the moment they arrive on site,” Ashworth said. “Beyond our impeccable course conditions and superb amenities, we pride ourselves on the outstanding service we provide to guests, which will make good use of T.J.’s strengths.”

Orban comes to Manele Golf Course from The Coeur d’Alene (Idaho) Resort Golf Course where he served in the same capacity. Prior to that, the Pittsburgh, Pa. native worked as an assistant golf professional in his home state at clubs in Gettysburg and York. He earned a degree in Golf Course Management from YTI Career Institute in York, Pa.

Four Seasons Resort Lana‘i’s Manele Golf Course is a stunning Jack Nicklaus-

Maneles-"All Carry #12
Maneles-“All Carry” #12

designed layout where every hole offers majestic ocean views.  Having earned numerous awards since opening in 1993, the Manele Golf Course is the No. 2-ranked resort course among all Hawai’i golf destinations (Golfweek magazine) and No. 32 among all resort courses in the United States.

The newly reimagined Four Season Resort Lanai has been undergoing a lobby-to-roof transformation and reopens February 1, 2016.

Mr. X Answers A Question From “High Handicapper”

Golfer picking up ballIn his running advice column, Mr. X answers a question from “High Handicapper”.

Q: Dear Mr. X,

What is the deal with writing down a lower score according to your handicap? I played with a guy who picked up his ball and didn’t finish out the hole in a skins game. He was just off the green and laying 7. As far away as he was, he probably would have taken three more shots to finish out. When I asked him about it, he said that according to his handicap, he couldn’t take more than a 7 on a hole. What’s the deal?  Aren’t you supposed to count all strokes, and finish out the hole? I just joined a men’s club and I am an 18 handicap. Can I do that, too?


High Handicapper

A: High Handicapper,

What you witnessed (in incorrect fashion by the way) is called Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) under the USGA Handicap System. And yes, you can – and should – use ESC to manage your handicap.

However, it always surprises Mr. X how many golfers use and understand ESC, but don’t know the proper procedures of how to drop from a hazard, hit a provisional ball, or other common rules. The reason is simple though because ESC lowers your score after a round and the other examples add strokes to your score and so are not as advantageous to learn.

What you saw is common and take some comfort in knowing that most golfers incorrectly apply and use ESC. Most golfers do exactly what your competitor did; they stop and pick up their ball and say things like “that’s the highest I can get.” Also, take comfort in knowing a 7 (or higher) on a hole is probably not going to win a skin.

To fully answer your question, the actual application and procedures of Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) are covered under the USGA Handicap System Manual and also referenced in Section 4, Handicap FAQs (image).

Equitable Stroke Control (ESC), USGA Handicap System Manual
Equitable Stroke Control (ESC), USGA Handicap System Manual

So as you see, ESC is correctly applied AFTER the round … not during the round … not when you’re having a bad hole, etc. However, what you saw it in action, with your competitor picking up his ball, is much more common by golfers than the actual correct application of ESC.

Many times this is done by golfers due to a misunderstanding of how ESC is supposed to work. It’s also even fair to say that sometimes golf leagues have maximums as well (double bogey max, double par max) to save time. Check and see what the maximum score rules (if any) are of your new league. It’s great to hear you’ve joined a league for the first time and now since you understand ESC, you can correctly apply it to your handicap (after the round) and help others understand it as well.

Thank you for your question.

1429477010_portrait-16-256To Read More From Mr. X, Click Here

To ask Mr. X a question, please either leave your question/s in the comment section of the column, or email Mr. X at

If you prefer, questions can be asked anonymously through email. Just let Mr. X know you want to keep all names private to protect the innocent.