All posts by JC17393

A good weekend spoiled

Nothing like a stolen basket to ruin what was otherwise a great disc golf weekend.  People suck sometimes.

Anyway, before that, it was a great weekend playing the Crane Hill Open in Wilbraham MA.  It was the fourth year in a row that I’ve made that road trip with the same good friend, and one I hope we keep making because even when we play poorly it’s a good time.

Round one got off to a cold start with a bad drive and a pole-bounce-out on the first hole for a bogey, another bogey on the third hole of the round, sandwiched around a drop-in birdie.  After that, I settled in and started piling up the birdies the rest of the way…six to be exact…to finish the round with a respectable 51.  Respectable, but well off the lead, unfortunately.

The second round got off to a slow and steady start with five straight pars, then three birdies in the next four holes.  Toward the end of the round, I took a couple fives on holes that are listed as par 4s for which a five doesn’t really feel like a bogey, and those took some of the wind from my sails.  I finished with a 58, good for a tie for 13th place and some cash.

The ironic thing is that 51-58 is just one throw worse than my scores from last year’s event (50-58) in which I finished in a tie for fourth.  The competition this year was just that much better, and there’s not a whole lot that you can do about that.  I was happy with the way I played and glad to finish in the money.  It certainly made the three hour drive home easier.


Sunday started quiet and rainy, so I expected it would be more of a lazy day until the first players of the day finished their round and reported that there was no basket on hole 14.  I quickly ran out to confirm the bad news: the basket was gone without a trace.  So my “lazy” afternoon was spent dealing with the police and moving the practice basket out to replace the missing basket so we can have a complete course.  Not fun at all.

The rest of the week has been spent trying to get ahead work-wise because the next few weeks are busy busy busy with tournaments.  That starts this weekend with my third trip to the Newton Hill Open in Worcester, then the big road trip of the summer comes next weekend with the Eric C Yetter Champions Cup in Pennsylvania.  After that, it’s back to back weekends running tournaments at home.  No more having a month off between events, at least not for awhile.  I think I’m booked through Labor Day at least.  At least it’s all fun.

Dam good times

After a few weeks off to play TD at the DDGC, I was back in the tournament game this weekend with a trip south to play the David Stidham Memorial tournament at Buffumville Dam.  This is one that I’ve played each of the last three years and one I hope to continue to play in the future.

It’s also an anniversary of sorts as the Stidham Memorial two years ago was the first tournament I played after picking up Westside as a disc sponsor and turning my entire bag over to Westside, Latitude 64, and Dynamic Discs.  Shameless shill time…that tournament was also my first time playing the new(ish) monster 18-hole layout in under 60 throws, and I’ve yet, in about ten rounds since, to shoot worse than 60 on it while throwing Trilogy plastic…shameless shill time over. 🙂

The day started off nicely enough, both weather-wise and game-wise, with three birdies in my first seven holes before I came up to the dreaded hole 9: roughly 325 feet to carry OB riprap and lake, then another 350+ to a peninsula green.  It’s a victory for me just to get my drive in-bounds and I usually bank on taking a 5.  Wise decision since that’s exactly what I took when my drive was turned over by a fresh gust of wind, bounced off the rip-rap and into the lake.

Did a bit of scrambling on the next few holes before the rains came.  If I’m being honest, I had a couple lapses in concentration before I made any mistakes that I could remotely blame on the rain so I can’t really make excuses.  Suffice to say that I was glad to get back to the parking lot because the last few holes were not my best.  Finished soaking wet and with a 59 which placed me in a six-way tie right in the middle of the pack.

It kept raining all through lunch, which made for some fine contortionist fun trying to get out of my wet clothes and into dry ones while sitting in the front seat of my car.  I made a fortuitous decision before I left home to throw an extra empty golf bag into the car, so in addition to dry clothes, dry shoes and an umbrella, I pared down the disc lineup a bit and went with a lighter and drier bag for round 2.

The rain slowed down to almost nothing about three holes (16-17-18) into round 2, which was a relief as I got to put away the umbrella and take off the rain jacket just in time to go into the front nine of the course.  Four birdies in the next eight holes made the carbon copy 5 on hole 9 much more palatable, and also allowed me to quickly regain momentum with more birdies on holes 10, 12, and 13.  Two pars to finish left me with a satisfactory 55 that moved me out of the logjam of 59s and into 7th place, solidly above the cash line.

On the whole, it was a good day.  For the most part, I think the time off for the DDGC did a lot of good for my mechanics, which were noticeably out of whack by the end of my last event.  There is something to be said for putting the discs down and concentrating on something else for a little bit to erase bad tendencies before they become habit.  On the other hand, I also think mentally I wasn’t as sharp as I could be, particularly as the rounds ground to a halt either due to the rain or just the general slow play of a full tournament. That might also be attributable to the down time.

It will be another month before I play another tournament between family obligations, holidays and work.  On the plus side, unlike the last down period, this one will come with a lot more time to get some practice in.  That next event, Crane Hill, will kick of a really busy July and what is shaping to be a pretty busy August as well.


Can’t win them all

The magic is gone.  The spell is broken.  Coggshall finally got back at me.

I’d like to say I’ve taken a few days to get this post up because it’s taken me that long to recover and process what happened, but really it’s just that I’ve been straight out in DDGC prep mode all week.

So, I finally had a not-so-good day at Coggshall Park, but I can’t blame anyone but myself.  It was a combination of a couple physical errors, a couple mental errors, and maybe a touch of bad luck (but let’s face it, I was due for that).

First round started a bit rough with a bogey on the first hole (hole 2). I countered with a birdie on hole 4 and then fell into the familiar comfort zone of knowing that the birdies were there and all I had to do was play smart.  And that’s what I did for a while.  Birdie deuces on holes 8, 10, 11, and 12 really got me rolling, enough that back to back bad drives and resulting bogeys on 14 and 15 didn’t really faze me.  I managed to park 16 for another deuce and then card a clean 3 on the par 4 hole 17.

Then came disaster.  My drive on 18 turned a bit too much and ended up in the rough about 60 feet short.  No big deal, just an easy pitch out for par…except for that tiny little branch I should have seen and avoided but didn’t which left me 25 feet away instead of under the basket. Even that’s not a big deal because 25 feet is more than make-able…until it isn’t.  Chained it out weak-side then watched the disc get up and roll 40 feet down hill behind the basket into a new OB area.  Yay.  Pitched up from there and dropped in for a six.

Finished with a deuce on hole 1 but the damage was done.  53 was still good enough for lead card, just two throws out of the lead, but what could have been…

I found out what could have been in round 2, and what round 1 could have been was worse than it was.

I basically killed any chance of winning the tournament on hole 1 of the second round with another missed putt from ~25 feet that rolled 40 feet to the OB road.  Starting off the round with a double bogey 5 on a hole everyone else on the card birdied is not a recipe for success. I followed up with another bogey on hole 3 before a birdie on hole 4 stopped the bleeding temporarily.

What chance I had of catching the leader was gone, but a respectable “in the money” finish was still well within my grasp…until hole 6.  Recall that the last time I played a tournament here (last August), I managed to card a pair of birdie twos on this hole, which I’d never done before and would never count on doing again.

In this round, the hole karma-slapped me for that unusually good day.  My drive was a bit off line, caught a tree and caromed waaaaaay right, practically into the previous hole’s fairway.  I was buried in wet mountain laurel with little choice but to try to  throw back to the fairway.  Instead, I hit another tree and landed back in some laurel and directly behind a large maple.  I had no room for a backhand or a forehand, so I resorted to the overhand.  Smack. Another tree, another crap lie.  Anger then took over a bit and I threw another overhand in the general direction of the hole (it was still blind over a hill at this point).  Best shot of the hole thus far since now I could see the basket about 60 feet away, but it still took me three more to hole out for a wonderful 7.

Despite the horrible first third of the round, I actually started to relax because all the pressure was off.  The new goal was just to not finish the round in the 60s, and a string of pars with deuces on holes 8, 10 and 13 helped that cause.  Then I took a bogey five on hole 17 and, thanks to some bad mental math, made me think even that goal wasn’t going to be attainable.

So with that incorrect thought in my head, I decided to get a little crazy on 18, site of the first round disaster, and try a route I’d never attempted before.  Of course, it worked perfectly, putting me 10 feet away for an easy two, which gave me a 59 for the round. Surprise!

On a positive note, I had a front row seat to a great 18-hole battle for the win.  It came down to the last hole and a 50 foot birdie putt to win by one.  So it was a fun round with fun people in spite of the way I played.  Hard to be miserable when I did have a good time all day.

As alluded to earlier, I’m now in DDGC prep mode for the next three weeks.  Lots of digging, building, cutting, trimming, mowing, marking, and other work in my immediate future.  All to have the course looking its very best for the weekend of June 4.  Can’t wait.