The official announcement was 3 days ago, and I learned today that many of you did not get the announcement until last night.  Not sure why, but hopefully going forward you will receive SMACK! communication on a timely basis.  The draw is already half full, so, as I encourage every year, please get in early so you don’t have to deal with watching from the sidelines with me.  I am not that fun to hang out with.  I am kind of a combination of Eric Arvold and John Harris.  I have a level of decorum but in the end I just say what I want.  Make sense?  I already had a few teams try and slip past me with, “Hey, buddy, how you feeling?….oh good….I heard you were dead…  Say, is it cool if me and this other guy who’s really good play in SMACK! together?….I have had a sore shoulder for like 15 minutes and my serve isn’t as good as it was… that cool…..buddy?” No.

So where is the cutoff for A’s and B’s?  Some clubs have a ladder system.  If you are on a ladder system and you are not a top 10 talent, then “in general” you would be considered a “B” level player for this tournament.  However, the committee still has a say on who is a true B vs. A due to their current ladder rank.  For instance, Mark Short is currently ranked just outside the top ten at TC.  Should he be allowed to pair up with Tom Bell?  The committee would say not.  If Shorty dropped down to 15 or so and his Statue of Liberty drop shot was no longer effective and he actually missed a forehand, it would be considered, but not yet.  He’s too good to play with another screaming “A”.  All clear?  Great.

An inverse example: Peter Drake of the Cedar Club and Town Club because he is so stuffed with cash:  Peter has always been considered an “A” level, seasoned player.  However, after his recent play, he is now only considered a seasoned player.  Therefore, he could have played with an “A” rated player, but chose to partner up with a player who has experienced the sweet taste of success in Steve Mayer (SMACK! Champion 2016…..just ask him….actually, you won’t have to ask him.  He will remind you even when you ask him not to).

I am pleased to announce that SMACK! has an official sponsor this year.  Many of you know Andy Siefkes of The Cedar Club.  If you don’t know Andy, he is easy to pick out of the crowd.  He is the one member at the club who no matter who you ask at the club would say, “Andy, oh he is the nicest guy at the club….”  It’s true. He is.  He’s like TC’s Peli.  Not a bad bone in the guy.  Anyway, Andy started his own life style brand called Get Busy Liv’n and has generously offered to help the SMACK! cause and sponsor this year’s favor. Thank you Andy!

An excerpt from his website is below:

The story behind Get Busy Liv’n

As far as we know, the phrase is something that’s been around for decades. Well, maybe the proper grammatical spelling at least… Our version, the way we spell and live this lifestyle brand, first came to life in 2009, when Founder Andy Siefkes and a crew all with Wisconsin roots gathered in the Aspen Valley to embark on the first of what is now an annual outdoor expedition. Each year since we have found ourselves expanding our boundaries, exploring new lands, and doing it with a group who continues to learn more about each other, and more importantly, ourselves.​

To commemorate this lifestyle, having only one life to live, so you might as well Get Busy Liv’n, we decided to promote this through wearables. We are starting with the basics. Hats, shirts, stickers, buttons, but plan to organically expand where the brand takes us. We are focused on a look that elicits one’s desire to Get Busy Liv’n. We’ve won, when we can someday see someone embracing the GBL’ brand, and not know who they are. Rather, they found us and our brand, and want to wear it as a reminder not only to themselves, but all who see it, to ​Get Busy Liv’n.

Thank you to all those who have already signed up and I look forward to the other half of the draw filling up quickly.  Keep in mind, many of the teams is this tournament are made of two “B” players.  In fact, two “B” players have won the event in the past!


— Nick Curren