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Permanent URL: https://mezzacotta.net/postcard/?comic=4044

Typed up from handwritten notes by: David Morgan-Mar

**The author writes:**

Lenny, Kristin, and Steve's brother-in-law Albert are using a slightly unusual method of scoring for their golf game: the Pontchester System.

You take your standard handicap and divide it as evenly as possible amongst the par 3 and 5 holes of the course, ignoring any par 4s, but then distributing any additional remainder amongst the par 4s sequentially, in order of the GPS longitude of the tee. Then for each hole played, take the number of strokes, *add* the portion of the handicap so distributed, index that many digits into the decimal expansion of *e*^{π}, and record the indexed digit below the line for that hole. The score above the line is then calculated by accumulating the below the line digits until it rolls over to the next multiple of 10, taking the modulo remainder in each case, applying the Ackermann function with each successive pair of digits as the arguments, subtracting the mass of the player in kilograms, and multiplying by a correction factor equal to the ratio of the euro/US dollar exchange rate and the barometric pressure in kilopascals measured at the altitude of the green.

The resulting sets of pairs of numbers for each each player for each hole are then partially sorted on the first value of each pair using a bubble sort algorithm, with a limited number of iterations given by the golf course hole index. Subtract the factorial of the hole number from the second value in the pair, giving your score for that hole. Drop the lowest two and highest one score, and take the root-mean-square value of the remaining fifteen scores.

The winner is the player who most rapidly completes the calculation using nothing but a Japanese abacus.