Tag Archives: General

Calm Before the Storm

I did it again.  Neglected the blog while out doing other things. I’m only able to update it now because I accomplished something I’m not often good at…getting a bunch of stuff done earlier than necessary so as to clear the decks for what is ahead.

First to clean up a little bit of business since my last post.  Last I played a tournament was the Showdown at the Farm at CR Farm.  It was a fun day even if I didn’t play all that great in the first round.  I did throw  a little better in the second but still ended up outside the cash line.  Probably for the best as I wasn’t keen to play the safari final nine anyway.

Not to get too deep into it, but some courses are suited for safari play  and some aren’t.  Unfortunately, CR Farm isn’t one of those courses.  A final 9 playing select holes and skipping others would probably be more fun even if it isn’t necessarily more “challenging”.

On the plus side for the course, the re-design of holes 15-21 was really well done.  It kept intact a couple fun holes while creating new holes that I think are better and more interesting than the ones they replaced.

The only other highlight was more of a personal conquest.  On two of the more anti-lefty holes I’ve encountered (by which I mean tough for a lefty without an effective forehand game), I managed to go -3 for the day.  Sure, it took banging a couple putts from outside the circle, but I also managed to put my name on a CTP on one of them too (it didn’t hold).  Sometimes it’s the little things in life. 🙂


On to more current events…

I’ve been busting my butt the last couple weeks out on the course to get ahead of things mainly so I can take this week to concentrate on doing my part to make sure that the United States Women’s Championships go off without a hitch.

I’ve been thrown into things a bit last minute, but fortunately the bulk of what I’ve been asked to handle is almost second nature to me when it comes to running tournaments.  I’ve played in or attended majors and NT events a dozen times, but never before have I been on the other side of the event.  I’m anxious to see just how much different it might be and how much I can learn from it.

You’ll best see the fruits of my labor on the page linked above as I’ll be the man in charge of scoring, among other things.  If you’re not close enough to make it out to watch in person, follow the tournament on social media by searching for USWDGC on all the usual suspects.  Also, @PDGAlive on twitter should have updates from the lead cards all weekend.

After this weekend, I get to go back into player mode with tourneys on each of the next three weekends.  Busy busy October ahead.  Wouldn’t want it any other way.

Holy neglected blog, Batman

Guess you can only tell yourself “I’ll do it tomorrow” so many times before something gets put off for over a month.  Oops.  Oh well, guess I’ll do it all in one go right now.

When last I left off, I was preparing to make the trip south for the Yetter.  What a great weekend it was.  I was able to stop and play a new course on the way down (Page Park in Bristol CT) and then hit another new course on Friday morning when I had a little time to kill (Thompson Park in Jamesburg NJ).  Both fun stops that allowed me to tune up a bit without overplaying Tyler, which I’ve done in the past, and wearing myself out.

The Yetter went well, with my usual good start on the East course, a meh round on the West course, then a solid and best to date round on the 27-hole hybrid layout.  I played some holes very well and recorded some personal lows on some holes that have given me trouble in the past.  I only had two holes that gave me fits all weekend: hole 1 and hole 36.  If I simply par those both times I played them, I’d have been easily in the top 10.  12th place isn’t too shabby though, and definitely my best finish at the tournament.


The next couple weeks was swamped with work, not the least of which was the set-up and running of two staples in the Dragan Field calendar…the Greenhorn tournaments.   The singles tournament is run in combination with the Trilogy Challenge in order to get a good mix of experienced and novice tournament players as well as excellent players’ packages for everyone.  We had 30 players come out for that.  Then another 26 came out the following weekend for the doubles tournament.

Following that was another jam packed week catching up on mowing because the mower had been in the shop and getting my game back on track for the Vacationland Open at SMV in Turner ME.  Felt like I did a pretty good job on both, but SMV is one of those courses that has a few too many holes that are just out of my reach.  So even playing as well as I could, and save for a couple holes toward the end I felt pretty sharp, keeping up with the guys who can outdrive me by as little as 30-40 feet was a difficult task.

In the end, I only finished three throws off where I had hoped to be, but even had I been right on the number each round, I’d have barely made it into the cash.  Still a super fun and well run tournament despite the brutally hot/humid conditions.


With a week and a weekend with nothing on the agenda, you’d think I would be able to catch my breath and relax a bit, but no, my nose was right back to the grindstone.  I spent the week carving out two new greens and cleaning up a couple others that hadn’t been in use before shifting four pin placements and adding just over 300 feet to the course at Dragan Field.  This layout should remain in place through the Thorndike tournament in November, after which the course gets switched over to its winter configuration (which will have a couple new pins/fairways that I still need to create).

This week coming should be a reasonable one (hence the time to write this) in preparing for the Showdown at the Farm next Sunday.  It’s been a while since I’ve played a tournament at CR Farm and I’m really looking forward to it.

After that, things start to get crazy again as I have been talked into being the co-TD of the first PDGA Major ever to be hosted in Maine, the US Women’s Championship at Sabattus Disc Golf.  As I’m late in joining the staff (the bid was awarded last summer), there has already been a ton of groundwork laid and planning done.  For now, my role is to bring my years of TD experience to the event and make sure things go off without a hitch.

The fun never stops on this train.

Inconsistent consistency

It’s fun when you do something multiple times, in different ways each time, and always seem end up with the same result.  That’s the Newton Hill Open for me.  Last weekend was the fourth annual for that event and my third consecutive year playing it.

Two years ago, I shot 55-49-25 for a total of 129 and second place.  Last year, I shot 54-50-25 for a total of 129 and third place.  I felt pretty sure I had the right number in mind to put myself in contention, then it was just a matter of doing it.

The first round started off solidly enough with a string of three straight birdies on holes 6, 7, and 8 then a few pars to follow.  It wasn’t until hole 14 that things went a little bit sideways after an errant drive led to a bogey 4.  On the long downhill hole 15, a fortuitous tree hit dropped my drive about 35 feet away and I hit the putt for a birdie.  A less fortuitous tree hit left my drive short on 16, and I shorted my par putt for another 4.  From there, birdies came on 18, 1, and 3 to finish with a 52 (-6), which was just good enough to make the lead card for round 2.

Round 2 began well enough with a drop-in birdie on hole 1.  Then the putting woes kicked in for a stretch.  I don’t want to call them the “yips” because I’ve had the yips and this wasn’t them.  It probably is better described as ‘lazy” putting but I wasn’t being lazy.  Every putt I missed either hit the front rim or was a little bit to the weak side and didn’t catch enough chains to stick.  They all needed just a little more oomph.

On the fortunate side, all of these missed putts were for birdie so it ultimately meant the difference between a good round and a great round.  I did bogey hole 5 due to a poor drive but it wasn’t until hole 8 that I carded another birdie thanks to a parked drive.  Another drop-in birdie on the par-4 hole 9 allowed me to finish the front nine in decent position.

I started the back nine off with a big birdie on hole 10.  The feature of this hole is the fairway that slopes down severely from left to right, with the basket set on that same slope making a very fast and treacherous green.  My drive was pin high but uphill of the basket by about 25 feet.  I threw a bit of caution to the wind and went for the putt despite the risk of a much longer return putt if I missed and went down the hill.  My thinking was that given the way I’d missed everything short to that point in the round, the worst that would happen is I’d front-rim it and hopefully have a drop-in for par.  Having the lower target paid off with a made putt.

After another low miss on hole 11, I birdied the par-4 hole 12.  Three more pars led to hole 16 and the turning point of my day.  I knew I was starting to fatigue from the heat and the hill and all the low putts, so I “disced up” for the last uphill drive of the round.  It was a wise decision because the drive came out low (shocking, I know) and clipped a low bush in front of the tee.  It didn’t take much out of it but just enough that it cut the dogleg corner short.  It had enough steam and luck to sneak through and find the green.  I made the putt…the only birdie putt of any length other than hole 10 all round.

Another birdie (drop-in variety) on hole 17 and a low miss on my birdie attempt on 18 gave me another 52 for the round and a 104 for the day.  104 was good enough to make the final safari 6 the previous two years and it was just good enough to make it again, this time as part of a massive tie for 4th place (top 4 plus ties made the final).

Whatever was ailing my putting game during the second round disappeared during the safari round.  Whether it was a second wind countering fatigue or just a stroke of luck that I avoided low/short putting for six holes, I don’t know.  I hit three straight putts from outside the circle and another tough line around a tree en route to a 24 for the round.  Good enough to break free of the tie for fourth as well as pass one of the players ahead of me to finish in third place for the second year in a row.

52-52-24 for a total of 128…one throw better than each of the previous two years.  I’ll just chalk that up to the changes made to the safari layout rather than deign to think I actually might have improved at all. 🙂

The day wasn’t quite over yet though, as there were no aces on the day so everyone got to participate in a CTP throw-off for the pot.  I’m not a big fan of these in general, but at least for this one, it was a real hole (18) rather than a random tee/target at an awkward distance or angle.  The pot was to be split evenly three ways, much to my chagrin as I nearly hit the ace and ended up with the closest drive to the pin.

Just my luck as I’ve had the closest shot in two of these ace throw-off contests in my career, both times the pot was split evenly rather than the closest player getting the biggest share (or the whole pot).   Oh well, at least the throw was caught on video (posted on my Twitter).

This week is my favorite weekend of the year: Yetter weekend.  Hopefully I can keep the momentum and my current cashing streak going and have some fun as well.