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A heavy disc update to bring a smile to your face. Rollers and the cruelty of winter. Time to relocate?!
Want to improve your putting? Take it from one of the worst putters to putt (me) that Mark Ellis has a great program to fix you up right.
Lots of things are changing for me and DB Free Disc Golf; I need some help keeping up the momentum. A number of people have helped me get this started and keep it going so from one of my biggest supporters, contributors, and friends Armando Lopez Jr., El Capitan, #45792:
Change is sometimes difficult to deal with especially when it comes to any technical sport such as disc golf. It often disrupts your rhythm and flow. It can make you change your approach which can be awkward or uncomfortable. For example, the wind picks up so instead of your preferred anhyzer you must throw a really over-stable hyzer.
But sometimes change is needed when things are just not going your way. Your putting is not on mark so you change your stance. You keep flipping your driver so you move to something more stable. Yet, those are the little changes we can make easily. We are frequently prepared to make this type of change but what about changing every disc in your bag and starting over? Yeah that’s what I did. See the rest of Armando’s story here.
I played the Auburn Am recently and had a really good time. I scored the best round of golf so far at 9 under par. I had been 9 under once before at the same course but this was by far my strongest showing at an event. I did not perform as well for the rest of the event – I was surprised how well I did in the first round and tried a little too hard to match it. Time to have two really good rounds in one event.
I really like the events hosted by the Chain Zombies in Auburn, Ca. They almost always start on time. The players meetings are no nonsense and concise. They have well organized side events like CTP’s and mini-disc-golf – though I don’t personally play them. They almost always provide lunch and this year the sandwiches were delicious and exactly what I needed. They had a couple beer options for breaks – I had one but kind of wish I hadn’t as I lost some focus and energy.
The only complaint I have is that they allowed in too many players and had two ghost groups. I can’t recall the Zombies having this all too common problem before but it was a bit of a drag. My worst hole was 16, round three, when I hit the earliest tree, careened off another tree, and got buried in thorny brambles. I had to take an unplayable lie and re-tee. I had waited at least 20 minutes to tee. There were at least 15 golfers and their caddies watching my fumble. I’m not saying the wait caused the fumble but having an audience at that moment was unpleasant.
The wait did give me a few moments to think about the topic of this blog and the opportunity to ask some of my fellow competitors what they thought about having or being a caddie. I had been thinking about this since the Master’s Cup a few weeks prior, largely because of a comment my buddy Armando made, “I’ve decided I just can’t play with a caddie.” Here are Armando’s Pros and Cons of having a caddie from the Master’s Cup Amateur Weekend in Santa Cruz:
- You are less fatigued at the end of the day but this can also be remedied if you push a cart. In my case, I only carry 16 discs, which isn’t a lot, but my energy levels were much higher at the end of days 1 & 2. Caddies can provide words of encouragement, tips, suggestions, or even help you stay loose by talking about something else. This was evident with my Dad trying to cheer me up when things headed south. He urged me to be aggressive which cost me some strokes but also gained me some as well.
See the rest of Armando’s Pros and Cons with some further thought on having and being a caddie here.
I have participated in several different types of competitive sporting events from road races, triathlons, mountain bike races, ball golf tournaments, tennis tournaments, and finally in disc golf tournaments. In my experience, disc golf events have the highest range of success vs. failure. I have never been in a running event that was run as poorly as some of the worst tournaments I have attended. At the same rate, I have been in disc golf tournaments that have been run with the same professionalism as the San Francisco Marathon. PDGA is in great need of consistency and oversight of its events. The PDGA is trying to address these issues and the True Amateur Initiative is one very big step in the right direction.
The PDGA has several issues to address: Player conduct, event professionalism, and amateurism. I have never competed in any other event where amateurs compete for prizes. Amateurs should compete for trophies, strive for personal accomplishments, and participate for pure enjoyment. Testing oneself in a public arena against other athletes for the joy of personal success and defeating one’s opponent has been enough for me in every other endeavor. So why do I yearn for material gain in disc golf events?
See the rest of my discussion about the True Amateur Initiative and why it is so important for the growth of disc golf and the PDGA here.
My name is Justin Weilacher and I fell in love with disc golf about 5 years ago. I had just moved to Flagstaff, Az. for work. The job didn’t work out and I found myself unemployed for about a month. During that time, I played as much disc golf as I could. I had played a few times in Gainesville, Fl. while in college with some friends. The rounds were as much about beer and friends as they were about golf. I still have a soft spot for the course there, Northside Park, and play it every chance I get. Hopefully, I can compete in an event there someday.
I was lucky that I found disc golf in Flagstaff. There are 4 quality courses within a 20 mile radius: McPherson, Northern Arizona University, Thorpe, and Snowbowl. There is so much variety at these courses: long holes, shorter technical holes, holes with elevation change – everything you need to master most aspects of disc golf. No wonder the new Tour Events Manager was part of this community.
There is also one of the best disc golf communities I’ve seen. The Flagstaff Disc Golf Club, run by a great guy named Barley, was very inviting, ran good tournies, maintained regular weekly events and encouraged new players to learn and love the sport. Their website is well maintained, consistently posts weekly league scores, and encourages communication in a very inviting community There is a wide range of skill levels and all are welcome – unlike some of the communities in California that shun new players.
After two years playing Northern California disc golf, I was unhappy with the golf scene. Some local clubs were exclusive and resentful of poor players on their courses. I witnessed rudeness and douchebaggery on a level I had not imagined. I was at the Rocklin golf course when a weekly league started and all of a sudden there was a group of 5 on every hole with no regard for the folks already playing the course. They acted like we were trespassing. No signage, no offer to play through, just a stern “this is a weekly league and this is our tee-pad.” We would have never acted this way in Flagstaff.
Soon after, I met a golfer out of the San Jose area named Armando during a PDGA event. We discovered that we had played together in some Arizona events in the Show Low area and that we shared the same feelings about etiquette. We agreed that disc golf needed a new direction, a direction to make disc golf a mainstream sport that is respected.
Read the rest of my recently updated post – thanks to your feedback – about why I started DBFreeDiscGolf here. Happy golfing and good scoring everyone.
This was my first event in MA1. Despite my rating only being 914, I decided it was time for me to try an Advanced Division Event and what could be better than the best tournament I’ve ever played. The annual St. Patrick’s Classic is very well run with tee times and spotters. Information and scores are well communicated. There is always lunch on Saturday and Sunday. The lunch is always good: burritos and BBQ tri-tip this year. Pay-outs for Am is store credit so you can restock plastic you will actually use. I played in some really good groups. I met some good people. I learned a lot about myself and our sport of disc golf. I have been composing this blog in my head all weekend and it is time to share what I learned:
1. Drug use cannot be curtailed by our current methods. It never fails at a tournament. No matter how many posts there are online that say an event will be drug and alcohol free they are not. No matter how adamant they are at the players meeting, there is always that question at the beginning of a round: “Does anyone mind if I smoke pot/have a beer?” My standard response is: “Until they start stroking me for what you do I won’t tell but sooner or later this is going to have to change.” The officials at the St. Pat’s are serious about this but it still happens.
I had one guy in a group this weekend say that no one wants to be the guy to ruin it for everyone else. I would question his definition of everyone. I do agree that the pressure on the average golfer to maintain the status quo is enormous. I’m also not sure any one golfer could change the atmosphere of disc golf without getting everyone DQ-ed. I think there are two ways to address this problem in our events – proactive and reactive.
The reactive course is to stroke or DQ everyone who is aware of violations of the policy within their group. This course, if followed, would result in 3/4 of all competitors being disqualified. This puts all of the responsibility on the players. Maybe this is the way a gentleman’s game should be handled.
The proactive course is to protect players from themselves. Station representatives throughout the course, hopefully on each hole. Communicate through every single outlet that any violation will result in DQ. Communicate this online, on the flyer, at the players meeting. Require a signed form for the player to acknowledge the policy that their entry and pay-out will be forfeit.
We could kill two birds with one stone and recruit neighbors to participate in this effort. They could see the genuine value and enjoyment of the game and protect the neighborhoods they live in. This is the course I suggest. The goal is to get more people playing, not to alienate players. Give the players fair warning and follow through.
2. Sandbaggers are a huge problem in Northern California. Read the rest of the review of the St. Patrick’s Classic here.
I’ve been playing at Shady Oaks as much as I can lately getting ready for the St.Patrick’s Classic in just over a week. This morning I met new friends Colin and Garret for an early round. Waiting at hole one, we joined up with Brandon and his dog Tucker. We played the round as a foursome and had a blast. Brandon was playing some classic rock while we talked disc golf and the coming tournament. I wanted to tell this story because we had an incredibly casual round and we did it with complete responsibility.
In particular, Brandon was an excellent dog disc golfer. He made sure we were okay with the dog. He kept Tucker’s influence in the foursome. At one point, he saw an approaching dog from 50 yards away and leashed Tucker even though it seemed everything would be fine. He saw the potential for rudeness and prevented it rather than apologize for it. We played music and had a blast. We did not let the good times affect anyone else. We only took extra shots when it did not impede play. We kept the speed up when we needed to and kept the volume down when other golfers were near.
We were all there practicing for St. Pat’s. This will be Brandon’s first Open event, my first Advanced event, and Colin’s first intermediate event. I’m hoping Colin can convince Garrett to play – he’s played less than 10 rounds of golf. I met Colin last week when we had matching Penn Valley Ice Bowl shirts. We commiserated about the poor event, traded phone numbers, and planned to meet later. Before we left for the day, we walked through the nature park identifying where the temporary 10 holes would be. I took some photos and described some of the common lay-outs.
I love the temp holes. I’ve played this event twice before and the temp holes have always helped me out. They play tight and technical. They remind me of the golf I played in Flagstaff except instead of the brown of the high desert it is lush and green. Hole A plays off the tee pad for hole 14 but in the opposite direction into the nature park we are allowed to use for these two weeks only. There is a nature walk through the park with signs describing the variety of ecological habitats found in the park. There are several vernal pools that must be protected so of course we use them as out of bounds to make the holes more challenging.
My experience with these holes is exactly the opposite of most other golfers. I come into this section of the course looking to pick up some ground. Most golfers try to bank some shots so they have a few extra to drop. The safari holes play like an old fashioned object course – most of which I have never liked. These holes I love. A safari course with baskets. It’s green this time of year but not overgrown with the tall grass of the late summer. The first year there was standing water everywhere. The second had perfect conditions. I’m so stoked about this event I don’t care how bad the weather is.
Thanks again to Brandon for letting me take a photo of him and Tucker and for letting me write this post about our round. There is no reason we can’t all have our own kind of fun on the golf course. Just because I want to wear a polo, use my mini, and keep score every round doesn’t mean you have to. All I ask is that we respect the kind of golf others want to play and for us all to keep our good times in the foursome.
Check out the rest of DBFreeDiscGolf here. Please leave your opinions or suggestions for topics. Opposing opinions are welcome; we need to have an open dialog about how to best control the Evolution of Disc Golf.
Here is our latest blog entry. This is a fun course that is sometimes overlooked but brings some fun and challenge. Enjoy!!
So I’d seen this brilliantly named tourney listed on the local message board for the past month or so. A family farm has added brewing and the son plays disc so he (Matt) and his buddy Andrew had bought 18 temporary baskets and laid out a course around the farm. A lot of the locals were wound up about beer samples included in their entry fee, but since I don’t drink this Z tier wasn’t really on my radar. Besides most temp courses are some portable baskets in an open field with the basket tucked behind the lone tree. I was going to pass.
Then Matt emailed Greg at NutSac world headquarters recruiting me to show up. Greg forwarded the email to me. I was horrified. Greg as usual left it up to me, but since TD Matt took the effort to solicit my attendance I told Greg I would show up if he could work out the details of me performing i.e. high end call girls and food. Greg said he’d handle those negotiations with Matt.
Here is the latest blog about a great course just south of Lexington, KY.
We sat down and talked with Paul about his World Championship and much more!!
I’ve been contemplating playing the Scarboro Scorcher Association tourney later this month. I’ve played it a couple of times before, but I never play the course for practice. I tried to rally the troops to join me today.
Friday I text Dick and he replies: I have to work Saturday. Maybe Sunday.
This morning I text Jorge and Jerman.
Jorge replies as I’m just rolling out in the Civic: I just woke up. I’ve got thingsto do today. I don’t follow up on “things”. I had contemplated contacting some of the locals i.e. Jeff or Don, but was afraid they’d be overwhelmed at the thought of a practice round with YDGH. The glowing adulation could get embarrassing.
A bad round at Sillito Park DGC in Lexington, KY.
Dick’s drive kicked left. Seconds after he executes this recovery approach he starts screaming and thrashing about. It looked a little like the dancing Jerman had just been describing at a music festival he went to last weekend, but in actuality Dick’s drive had landed next to a yellow jacket nest and he just got stung on his right index finger. Jerman and I exchange knowing smirks. To his credit Dick soldiered on and never whined about the sting the rest of the day.