Tuesday, September 26, 2006

On Etymological Misconceptions...

In the past, I have recieved a lot of flack for a pet peeve of mine involving the terminology of the sport. Let us make one thing clear... the name of the sport is "disc golf", not Frisbee golf. Granted, in the past I have almost been as the Spanish Inquisition about appropriate uses. More recently, I have loosened my Pharisaical plight to the more novice of people. Whereas before, I would correct anyone who would say frisbee (or the deplorable frolf) around me, now I only correct those for whom the adjustment is necessary to be taken seriously on the course.

First off, let us consider the argument against, a three-pronged attack from which there is no deniability:

1. Official terminology from within the sport always uses the term "disc", not "frisbee". For example, the leading body for the sport is the Professional Disc Golfing Association (PDGA). Hence, if the sport does not refer to itself in any relation to the word "frisbee", why should anyone.

2. The only reason the term frisbee ever even became associated with the sport is only a result of name-brand association. This exists elsewhere as well. You may hear tissues be called Kleenex or adhessive strips be called Band-Aids. So people also call all discs frisbees instead of the prescribed "disc" because this is the only term they know discs by, notwithstanding the fact that Innova or Discraft are the notable names within the disc golf community. Which brings me to my third point...

3. FRISBEE DOES NOT MAKE DISC GOLF DISCS! In fact, here is a link to Wham-O, the company that brought us the Frisbee: http://www.wham-o.com/default.cfm?page=ViewProducts&Category=2. I believe it would be reductio ad absurdum to demonstrate the futility in calling the sport by a brand name that has no actual association with the sport. Therefore, I will say no more on this.

That said, let me lighten up on those found in violation of using inappropriate terminology. I care no longer whether or not you call the sport frisbee golf. In the past, I considered myself a regulator of such things, but apathy has begun to win me over. So do not feel obligated to check your verbage when in conversation with me about the sport. Only those who declare a sort of devotion to the sport may receive a small nudge, but only for posterity's sake.

Just be aware that within the sport are people who consider frisbee to be the TRUE "f"-word. Such people often demonstrate this in their language.

Thank you Deb for reminding me of my past zealotry.

"Dr. Jekyll is wrestlin' Hide for my pride"


Friday, September 22, 2006

North Valley: A Love/Hate Relationship

First off, I'd like to say welcome to the new readership (if indeed they do actually read this stuff). Apparently I have friends outside of the disc golf community. And it seems as if these friends have discovered this blog, despite my unintentional attempt at exclusivity. To the new readers: if the subject matter does not suit your fancy, I would not be offended if you get terribly bored with this blog right quick and decide never to return. This is the nature of things. But if you do, indeed, have a fascination for all things disc, we wouldn't mind if you stuck around.

That said, let us continue...

In the Southeastern "burbs" of the Cities is a place called Inver Grove Heights. Whilst traversing Inver Grove Heights, you may happen upon a park, right off of I-494. Within this park is a disc golf course that goes by the name of the North Valley Park Disc Golfing Course (I understand this is an unnecessary build up, just bear with me).

One may surmise from the title of this piece that I both love and hate this course. I am still baffled as to how I can live in this paradox. Anyhow, MRKing and UrbWes and myself made the trek to this course last Saturday.

These are the reasons we went:
1) It was my birthday on Tuesday and I'll be buggered if I'm not going to disc the week of my birth. I didn't emerge from the placenta for nuthin'

2) Because it was my birthday (week), I got to choose where we went

3) I have an over-developed sense of accomplishment and I thought my recent level of play meant that I'd be able to perform up to par (and even hopefully below it)

4) I'm an idiot. I like the course. Read these as mutually exclusive, causitive or resultative

Here's the reasons we should not have gone:
1) I'm an idiot (see above)

2) The wind was like somthing out of the "Wizard of Oz"

3) I had been playing well lately, but my Karma just isn't that great

4) If I was going to have a bad day, I might as well have chosen Kaposia

Anyways, I had a rough time of it. MRKing lost a disc (though played well otherwise) and we met a new friend, Brian, a 23 year old computer graphics major from ------ College in downtown. In retrospect, the round really wasn't that horrible. I mean, let's be honest. I'm no Ken Climo.

But I included some pictures, taken from Pap's camera, for ya'll's enjoyment, including the first ever picture of our dear friend, URBWes!

Keep it Loose
Keep it Tight


Monday, September 18, 2006

A Day at Roy Lake

Hey disc dudes~
Here are some pics from my round on Saturday up in the wilderness of Northern South Dakota. I went up to Sisseton for my wife's grandma's 80th birthday party and researched to see if there were any courses close so that I could get a round in and experience a different setting for this beautiful game. The course was right near Roy Lake, and it was a wonderful backdrop for a great round on a beautiful course. Well maintained, well mowed...it was great! We played two rounds, one to get the lay of the land and I kept score the second time through. I had maybe my best round ever, six under and loving every minute of it. Even better, my wife's uncle and father came with me and loved playing the course. It was a great round on a great course and I would love to go back.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

More Seymore Pics

Seymore of Seymore Smith

Hello friends~
Last week, on Wednesday, I had to go to Omaha for a luncheon, and while I was down yonder in the south country I decided I had to sample the disc golf menu. I didn't know if the Links course had water hazards or not (which I am trying to avoid for as long as possible), so I chose Seymore Smith Park. I invited our friend Wade to join me, and he penciled me into his ever-busying schedule. I got there before him, and this dude Brandon showed me around, giving me a rundown of the course, which was absolutely necessary considering their twisted desire to insert multiple pads for added difficulty to each hole (see picture above...there are four different courses for each hole, making it nearly impossible for someone unfamiliar with the course to find their way. Thanks Brandon, we would have been as Lost as Merry if weren't for you. Anyway, the course was great...18 holes...par threes, fours, and fives...lots of trees with overhanging branches...it was a lot like Prentis Park in Vermillion, only bigger with longer and more difficult holes. Hole three's teebox points directly into a creek lined with brush and trees, and the only way is up over the trees...if you don't make it, you land in the cavernous depths of pit Seymore, as a couple of the pictures of Wade above demonstrate (I think he still made par which is sweet). I personally had a great round, using mostly forehand shots throughout the course. My drives using forehand shots have been flying farther than most of my backhand drives...my game has been improving quite a bit as of late. Enjoy the pics, and I will post my pics of Saturday's disc golfing experience tonight or tomorrow.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

PR does not only stand for "Public Relations"

Let me tell you why I am awesome...

Ok, so a combination of factors has really affected my return to Minnesota DG. One of them is the weather. God has sent down the atmospheric urine every bloody weekend I have been back up here. Classes seem to take up a majority of the other time, and I recently got a job that should prove to eat up a little more time. To boot, I have been sick since Thursday of last week. I have just presently began to feel the abatement of such, but still continues to hold on. Man, I wish I had an immune system that would do its stinking job! Stupid white blood cells need to make like Tonto and "jump on it!"

In short, these are the reasons that I have for playing poorly. Either by directly affecting me physically or by keeping me off the course, preventing me from improvement.

But the thing is... I haven't been playing poorly at all. The firstround back was a bit of a stretch-out-get-loose round in which Wes and I decided not to keep track of even before the round began. Good thing too. I believe I've already discussed my displeasure with that round in a previous post.

And if I remember correctly, the next round was also not scored, this time my partner being Pappy. Although, we really did not play terribly. I think we may have been at our previous average or just above it. Not bad after being forced into (essentially) a 3 month hiatus from the sport.

But its the last two rounds I'd like to focus on for a moment. I have been out twice this week. I did not really expect to perform well being sick, but I appreciated the break. But something happened that never happens, something that very rarely happens, and something that has only happened in limited spurts, often not lasting an entire round.

Firstly, my spurt-y putting has actually been on. I just seem to have the confidence in it now that has allowed me to settle down and actually make shots I need to make.

Secondly, the very rare occurence is that I have been driving well in conjunction with my spurty putting. Both Pappy and I have put quite a bit more distance on our drives recently. However, unlike Pappy, I've gotten lucky in some good kicks and bounces that has made a big difference in my second shots that have set me up well for birdie attempts. Poor Pap has had to suffer through some just crap luck affecting what would otherwise be beautiful drives. I'd like to say that my approaches have been on as well, but lets be honest. I never could approach to save my life. Not true. I was a surgeon back in the day with my wolf. Unfortunately, the wolf had to hit the retirement home and the disc doesn't suit my throwing style anymore.

Finally, the one thing that is happening that NEVER has happened before is that I am being consistent. Inconsistency has really been a plague on my whole existence. I have a natural inability to keep at a steady pace at anything. But that seems to have ceased, if only for a moment to allow me this slight streak where I can perform well.

The result is that I have posted two of my best scores ever within one week. The first round was a PR, even though I completely fell apart on hole 18 and doubled (Hey, the consistency thing isn't perfect). This last round of mine I missed an easy putt and an easy approach and still ended up shaving two strokes off of the PR I had tied just two days earlier.

All this to say... I am happy playing disc golf again!

Now we're cooking with gas!


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It Feels Good To Be Home!

Like the title says..."It Feels Good To Be Home!"
Yesterday, Diggs and myself along with my significant other made our way down 694 to our local disc golf course called ser----I mean Acorn. The course was practically dead except for a few locals who seemed to be racing through each hole. We enjoyed a casual game of disc. The rounds were pretty much normal except for a few exciting happenings.
1. My girlfriend Joslyn played her best disc golf round ever. I really taught her well. Just look at that form. mmhmm.
2. I had some of my best drives ever. My distance was huge and accuracy was top-notch.
3. But like every good golfer one part of their game always balances out the outstanding part. My putting fell apart like lincoln logs in a tornado.

I cannot complain one bit though. I loved my round...loved being with Digs and Jos...and cannot wait to play another round on my new home course.

As Always...

Listen for the Chains..

Mid Range King

Saturday, September 09, 2006

No Joy in the Business

As maybe a couple of you are aware, I desired a position on staff at the acclaimed disc golf store, Fairway Flyerz (please note the "z"... that's for the kids). Unfortunately (for me), running a disc golf store is essentially a one man operation. Therefore, I am disheartened to inform you that my potential forray into the disc golf business has been called on account of rain - the rain being the tears falling from my eyes. So instead, I'll probably be stuck cleaning toilets. Oh well, I suppose I never did want to work for a company that removed the appropriate "s" in words, replacing it instead with a once-long-ago hip "z". Ah, thus is life.

Here's to Jimmy Eat World and those nights in my car,

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Attention my fellow disc golfing friends:

These pics are out of order, but I was wondering if you guys would take a look at my form and give me any pointers you can. I think I've improved dramatically over the last few weeks. My drives have increased to around 250-275 feet pretty consistently (You guys probably throw 350?), and I want to get some more distance on my drives. I've been throwing my weight forward, increasing my goofiness in stance at the end of my throws, increasing my distance and I've regained control after the dramatic form changes I've made in the last couple weeks. Please tell me what you think. Thanks and happy discing!


Return of the Acorn

Well, the return to the Cities has reawakened my appreciation for quality course play. No offense to the courses I played this summer nor those who prefer them, but I felt my continued exposure to them did little to improve my game and may have even hampered my affinity for the sport in general.

To be fair, I will admit my first round back in the fray did little to assuage my frustration. With Pappy unable to attend, Wes and I set out to reclaim Acorn Park as our own. Instead it owned us. Wes shanked his free but not so free duplicate Beast into the water hazard on #1. My start was not much more illustrious as I bogeyed 1 and doubled 2. 3 and 4 were a little more satisfactory and I even gained some hope as I parked my drive on 6.

But around this time the rains that had only temporarily abated resurged with a new vigor. Yet our firm resolve carried us on... on, that is until hole 9 when some spacial quirk in the universe gobbled my favorite disk. And this is not simply a case of mistaken placement, laziness in searching nor obstructed sightline to where it landed. We saw where it went, yet nowhere within the accepted laws of physics was my disc. In fact, I am a bit peaved at the scientific community for not coming up with a set of physical laws which can account for my poor orphaned disc.

So, with the rain only adding to the mockery, we drove 17 and called it a day.

The next day proved more successful... for me at least. This time, Wes was calling in sick and Pappy filling out the card. I didn't start off very well going +2 right quick, but throughout the round, was able to stablize and maintain a good performance, finishing the day at +5. Its not that I played particularly well. But Lady Luck showed up to give me the good kicks in most of my faulty throws. Its as if Karma had realized what a jerk she had been the day before and decided to even the keel.

Pappy (Oh my poor Pappy), was not quite as fortunate. He just couldn't catch a break and his game suffered accordingly. Don't worry, Pap. It was just a crap-tastic day.

Dance by yourself and think of me when you do,


Monday, September 04, 2006

Prentis Park, Vermillion, South Dakota

Hello my fellow disc golfing friends. This is the much-awaited, hot off the presses Prentis Park post. I traveled to the bluffs of Vermillion to see my in-laws, which is always fun, for they are some lovely people. I intended to find the Prentis Park course and play it, and I ended up taking my father-in-law along to expose him to the wonder that is disc golf. He played a few holes with me and had a great time. (I think he will brave Sertoma with me sometime in the near future...) Somewhere below is a pic of his mad forehand skills which, for someone foreign to the sport, I was quite impressed with it.
For those of you dying to know about Prentis Park: It is a great course, and a welcome change of pace from the wilderness of Mt. Sertoma. It is completely flat...no hills, no mountain, no throws affected by differing topography. It is a city park, and they take great care of it as it is in the middle of town. It has ten holes, most of which are significantly shorter (9 of the 10 holes are 300 ft. or shorter). It is a great place to work on accuracy, as there are many trees in the middle of the fairway with overhanging branches...and your score will suffer if you cannot control your drives. Probably the most fun thing about this course, however, is your score. I scored a 32 on this course on ten holes...a great score and a huge boost for my confidence.
A note about technique: Below I have a bunch of pictures of my drive. I have changed my form quite dramatically in the last couple rounds, and I think it is really helping my game, giving me some more distance and better accuracy (when I am under control) than my previous form. Much thanks to Diggs...I was watching him last time we played and I noticed a significant difference in his run-up and I am trying to adapt it to my own game. I coupled that with something I have noticed from all of the pictures and video of anyone who's good. On their release, their back foot is always up wicked high in the air and they all look goofy, as if they are going to fall on their face. By pulling my body through "the whip", focusing on throwing all of my weight forward, I think I am acomplishing this goofy position. It really seems to working, although I really need to practice a lot more to get better control of the disc. Please look at the pictures and feel free to comment on my form, giving advice and/or making fun of my amendments to my form...thanks bros and happy discing...

P.S. Having trouble posting the pics...I will try to repost just the pics...