Spring? If you say so.

Calendar says it’s the first day of spring.  Conditions say otherwise.  Oddly though, unseasonably cold temperatures make for the most ideal course conditions right now.  The snow melts just enough from the sun during the day to freeze up really solid during the cold night.  So at 9am, you can walk on top of snow that still ranges from a few inches to a couple feet deep and not sink in an inch.

So I went out this morning with the mercury reading 15 degrees (and rising, fortunately) and played a couple rounds. The aforementioned frozen snow meant not only easier walking but no discs burying, so for the first time in a couple months, I was throwing ribbon free discs.

And being ribbon free, I finally got to test out a couple new molds released earlier this month by Westside Discs: the Bard (midrange) and the Seer (fairway driver).  The discs I was throwing are both Tournament plastic.  The Bard weighs in at 175 grams while the Seer is 167g.

The Bard is advertised as an overstable midrange.  The flight ratings indicate it has no high speed turn and I saw nothing to indicate that isn’t the case. With a hard flat release, the Bard carried a fair amount on a straight trajectory without a hint of turn before gradually fading to the ground.

The Seer is touted as a understable fairway driver with a good deal of high speed turn and some fade.  Again, that’s what I saw from it. I really liked the way I was able to throw it with a slight hyzer release, have it flip up to flat then continue to turn over with just a slight bit of fade at the end. With some more seasoning, this may be the reliable turnover fairway driver I’ve been searching for since the switch.

Both discs may find their way into my regular bag with a bit more work as they both potentially fill roles I’ve been unable to settle on a solution for to this point.

In other news from my rounds today, I managed to bag my second ever unwitnessed therefore doesn’t really count ace.  In all the years I’ve played, I’ve been fortunate to have had witnesses for 21 aces, and for a long time I prided myself on not having thrown one in when no one was there to see it.  That is, until last winter when I finally broke my streak with my first solo round ace.  Today I bagged #2 on hole 5.  My third time getting that hole and second in a row with the same Classic Soft Warden (first time was witnessed back in December).

Still a few weeks away from real tournament action but preparations are well under way.  Starting to get into a routine with my putting practice inside, and hopefully can start to transition to some outdoor putting practice soon. I mean, eventually the weather has to catch up with the calendar, right?

Winter Blues

Yikes, it’s been a long winter.  And it’s still not over.  There’s a good 2-3+ feet of snow still out on the course and it will be a while before it all disappears.  However, the worst appears to be over (fingers crossed).

The last 35 days or so has been unprecedented in my lifetime.  Seems like every 2-3 days, there’s been a fresh snowfall.  It started with a 2 foot dump of a storm, followed a few days later by another 8-10 inches.  From there, it’s been a few inches here, a dusting there, and bitter cold temps.  I’ve spent plenty of time on the course during that time, but all of it has been in an effort to keep the tee pads clear.  I’ve played exactly 54 holes of golf, 36 of which were yesterday, since the last week in January. An undesirable dry spell to say the least.

The first 18 holes I played in the snow was at the Frostbite Doubles.  The original date had to be re-scheduled because of a storm, and the new date resulted in only 3.5 teams showing up to play. Because of the half team, I decided to step in to play with the .5 to make two full groups of 4 and played one round before my team and the other (in a division of their own) decided 18 holes was enough.

Then it was three weeks of no play until yesterday at our next tournament, Ice Doubles.  I had no partner lined up and was fine with just playing TD for the day.  Only one pro team showed up (along with 8 amateur teams), so rather than have the pro team play against no one, I offered to play with them for fun. From there, we decided to make it a 3-man Open singles division and played for $5 a man instead. I finished second out of three and was just happy that I made it through two rounds without losing a disc or hurting myself.

And it was also enough to light the fuse again.  In March, the golf dry spell has to end regardless of what the weather does.  My first PDGA of the year is barely four weeks away, and I intend to be ready for it.

(Edit as of 3/2 at 9:30pm: Or not four weeks away. Tourney 54 postponed due the snow levels. Doesn’t change the plans to end the dry spell though.)

Step one has been to set up a basket in the basement, complete with backdrop to protect the walls. I’ve got enough space to putt 35-footers although I’ll probably stick to 15-20 footers primarily just to keep the damage to a minimum.  Time to put some time into my putting.

Step two, drag myself out into the snow and play a minimum of 72 holes a week. I like to advocate field work as part of a good practice routine, but all the fields are covered in deep snow. The course, at least, has clear tee pads and some well worn (provided we get no more big storms) and packed paths to walk on.  So field work is going to have to be exclusively course work for the time being.  Throwing is throwing after all.

Step three, believe it or not, is snowshoeing. It’s been the only way to get around the course to clear tees and make walking trails on the fairways, and all that walking has been paying dividends. If there’s anything I’m ahead of the curve on this winter, it’s getting my legs and cardio system in shape. It’s been a great side benefit of trying to get and keep the course moderately playable despite the snow cover.

So…putt, play, snowshoe…the cure for the winter blues.