Monday, August 20, 2012

Ace Race 2012 Postview?? -- MRK Edition

The weekend is quickly coming to a close...figured I'd type out a recap of my 2012 Ace Race experience. There's a reason why Discraft states that this is the most fun tournament of the year it's because there's nothing like really trying hard to hit an ace and then doing it.  I had a blast out at the 1st Annual Robbin's Island DGC sponsored by Discraft and put on by the Great Willmar Area Disc Golf Association.  It's supposed to be a fun tournament full of whoops!!! Hollas!! and screams of METAL!!!!!! and ACE!!!!!

As mentioned earlier I was interested in this event for the discs...they in my initial opinion did not disappoint. The disc has the feel of a mid range disc but the length of a driver. Probably why the classify it as a "long range driver" I like the statement longer than a buzz but slower than a stalker. I took the mindset when throwing to throw it like I would throw my stalker. When you give this disc some gas it flies straight as an arrow.  The less speed you get the more hyzer occurs. I didn't really get it to S much...but the hole distances were 125-250 mostly at this course. I'm thinking if a person really could air one out it may S a bit...but think holds its line.  Next question for me is....Will it find a spot in my bag...the jury is still out on it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ace Race 2012 Preview--MRK Edition

It's that time of the year again.ACE RACE Season is open and sponsored by Discraft.  I first was exposed to this unique event last fall when I made a pilgrimage down to Omaha, NE to play with Diggs.  We really were walking into the event blind other than the fact that we knew the course.  However, the event is won or in our case lost by the new prototype disc that you get.  Sadly, last years disc was granted PDGA approval and let's just say the Zeppelin is awaiting its production fate with Discraft.  I was not a big fan of the disc but to each its own I guess.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Brown Deer Trials

     In an ambitious attempt to kick start my disc golf "career" after my approximately 4 year sudo hiatus, I have looked up some of the best courses in the Milwaukee area. Brown Deer DGC is proving to be one of my favorites ever. Last week I shot 9 over par and today I improved that to only 4 over par. Feeling pretty good about it right now.

     It is proving to be a very nicely laid out course with a wonderfull blend or styles. Some holes are tight and very technical, bending left or right. There are two holes that are 650plus that soar over open fields. Those are great holes to work your distance throws on. You can read more about the BD DGC in my review at the end of the post, and a link to the review on

     On another ambitious note. I am planning a camping/disc golf weekend for myself. I will be driving north to the Brillion, WI are and playing on the Rollin Ridge DGC and spending a day over by Manitowoc, WI playing at the Silver Creek Park DGC. I am looking forward to this personal challenge and a long weekend of Disc Golf.

Pros: Very nice technical course with a well planned flow, including a few holes 650+ft over fields to mix it up. Not one hole felt too easy or out of place. Very scenic and quiet park as well. Can't beat the cost (FREE). I will be making this one of my regular/favorite courses.

Cons: Looks like some course maintenance could be done but nothing that limits or diminishes the play. A sign proclaiming where the course starts would be appreciated, FYI-It's behind the tennis courts.

Other Thoughts: Also a great park to take the family to. Kids can play on many of the swing sets and playground areas and there are plenty of trails for walking and a good spot or two or six for picnicking. Great park. Also has a rather nice regular golf course in the park as well.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Cold Lampin' Weekend Pt 1: Homage to Barry

Much as last year, I hope to recount to all the experience of the disc weekend over the course of the next couple weeks by focusing on one day at a time.  First up is Thursday, arrival day.

Picking up El Cunado nearby the original home for the SCDGA (now Team Cold Lampin'), BroLo and I made our way up to the Cities in decent time, hitting up the hotel around suppertime.  Little were we aware that the excursion's festivities had already begun.  MRK and URBWes stuck their toes in the water earlier in the day by throwing a few holes.  "No worries," thought I.  "We'll play enough as it is."

Prophetic words, indeed.

Unfortunately, our tale of the day's disc activity will be short a member as Harky and the fam were a bit behind the clock.  Turns out kids slow down long car rides.  Who knew?  But determined to get this business underway, the four folks in attendance took advantage of the remaining daylight to hit up Bryant Lake Park.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Fresh Reemergence:

It has been quite some time since I have played any serious disc. I threw a few rounds at the Village Park DGC in Sussex, WI last summer, but for the most part I have had many things sneak up on me just when I had planned to play more. Last year I was unable to attend Digg's bachelor party/Disc weekend to Highbridge in Wisconsin. What can I say, being a married father of, now two, children takes it's toll on your free time.

This years Disc Weekend has renewed my love of the game, and I surprised myself by not doing as badly as I thought I would have. I had a quite enjoyable time with my friends and was pushed physically during the weekend.

Things that I will take and remember from this weekend:
1- Digg's posting up for a beautiful ACE on hole 14 at the Blue Ribbon Pines DGC, and the free beers for everyone that ensued.
2- Keeping my scores relatively close to the group as well as my discs. ;)
3- Discovering the beauty of new discs such as the Vision by Latitude64, and the now lost Boss from Innova. I do plan on buying a new one seeing as how I threw around 350 ft with that disc and am hoping to get more out of it since that was only my first throw with it and I was a little timid.
4- I got a birdie on hole 23 at Blue Ribbon Pines (248ft) and two birdies at Acorn. It’s all about the little wins.
5- Last, but definitely not least, a rare sighting of the illusive BIRDMAN. Disc away birdman, be free.

I plan on posting and playing regularly from here on out. Expect disc reviews, course reviews and a few wish lists of discs and of courses from across the world.

Coming Up Next Week:  "It's In The Bag"
A comprehensive listing of current discs in my bag and my reviews on them, plus photos. And, how I intend to have my bag grow over the course of the rest of the season. 

Long Live Disc Golf

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cold Lampin' Weekend: BRP Prize

I am sure there will be a few more posts on this memorable weekend in which this Cold Lampin' Blogging community gathered for this past weekend (July 19-22).  I will simply share one aspect of it from my point of view. We have a tradition on these weekends that I have enjoyed these past few years and that is to put up one disc for grabs that will go to the winner of one round. The idea came while watching oddly enough golf... Tradition dictates that the previous years Masters tournament winner places the famous Green jacket on the new winner. Likewise, the previous year winner buys the disc for the following year.  These last two years they have been won while playing on what we would call the signature courses of the areas where we are playing.  This year a beautiful course nestled north of the Twin Cities in East Bethel, MN known as BRP or Blue Ribbon Pines. See My Course Review from a few years back here.

The disc this year is a special BRP edition SUPER color print (shown below) of the signature hole here at Blue Ribbon Pines. It's hole number 4 with beautiful pine trees stationed along the fairway.  In person it is a very intimidating hole. A 444 foot par 4 with OB on the left.  It takes in my opinion three great shots to give you a chance at a par.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Existential Resonance

The disc weekend has come and gone.

Such events hold high expectations for those in attendance.  Coming into it, we have certain hopes, certain dreams, and certain goals.  And the overriding concern is simply to have a good time.  While not a tournament atmosphere by any stretch, this also isn't your casual day at the park.  We hope to do well.  We hope to perform.  When you make grandiose plans, you understandably have grandiose expectations.

Expectations met. 

I dare say they were met unanimously.  Now, this does not mean that I was entirely satisfied with my play (as we shall see in future posts), but for whatever it was I was hoping out of the weekend, I received it.  We will get into some specifics later on, but as an initial introduction to the weekend, know that I come away extremely satisfied.

The reason for which I play found resonance within my being with the experience of the weekend.

And with deeply fulfilling experiences such as these, I find that the company reinforces such experiences.  Thank you, gentlemen, for sharing your weekend.  I hope we can do it again.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Cold Lampin' Weekend Countdown

Ladies and gentlemen...

Boys and girls...

The 2nd Annual Cold Lampin' Disc Weekend is upon us!  I am Diggs, your friendly Cold Lampin' tour guide, here to take you through all the ins and outs of the GREATEST DAMN WEEKEND OF YOUR LIFE!!!  It'll be challenging and exhausting and you will swear at innate objects at some point during the trip.  But it'll be worth it!  Oh... and it is in a week.

And now, some quick summaries of important details...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Not Snoozing at Slumberland: A Course Review

Ever have one of those days where you say to yourself, “Self, I am going to go play a new disc golf course today.” Today was one of those days for me. I decided that I knew I wanted to play a round of disc and since I live in a land where you HAVE to drive at least an hour in any direction in order to play. Well my adventure led me to take a jaunt west into the land of “Great Places, Great Faces, South Dakota,” Watertown, South Dakota to be exact.  A mere hour and a half drive straight west on Hwy 212 got me to my destination via a minor detour of road construction.

I get to the course not knowing much other than it is an 18 hole course with the front nine being very open and great for beginning to intermediate players and the back nine more advanced with some distance, elevation, and water hazard opportunities.

Pro # 1: Great Signage – Each hole had a clearly marked sign with where the basket was and distance and par giving those who have never played the course a since of direction. Never mind that most holes were pretty much straight ahead.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Majestic Doubles: Truck Confusion

Well, that could have gone better.

Good news, we didn't get last.  We didn't even get last in our grouping.  We actually won our grouping.  But to be any more positive beyond that would be a stretch.  The amateur doubles tourney matched all amateurs against one another and took place at the Hyland Ski Course.  Being my first time on the course, I wasn't sure what to expect.  Guess what... its on a big friggin' hill!  Up and down and up and down and across then up a bunch of hills!  Ugh, it makes a man tired!

As I look back on it all, the result was pretty predictable.  Not only had I never played the course before, MRK (my partner) had played the course a grand total of one time.  Experience with the course was greatly lacking.  Also, experience with that type of course is greatly lacking.  Not too many courses I have played come close to simulating the elevation change and the accompanying length.  Our inexperience with the course means our distancing was off, our shot evaluation was inaccurate, and I just flat didn't know how to throw uphill or downhill like that.  It was learning as we were playing... in a tournament.  No bueno.

Oh, and neither MRK nor myself had really played since our last tourney in May.  I will admit that especially early on I was a liability to the team.  We took nearly all of the King's shots because, well, he played much better than me. 

Doubles are supposed to represent an amalgamation of the two players.  It allows a team to utilize the strengths of the two and mitigate the weaknesses.  It allows two attempts at the same shot.  But when you rely more or less on one of the team, the team loses the bonus of having a teammate.  The end result was that for a good portion of the round, I required the King to work alone.  The end result was a poor scoring performance.  We lacked birdies.  That is all there is to it.

On a positive note, I threw a disc 700+ feet on the last hole.  Downhill but it happened.

It felt good.

Maybe more about Taco Bell and Lion's Park and wheel bearings and watching the pros later.  Right now I'm tired.

Diggs, out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pause for Station Identification

I know that our intent and expansive readership is eagerly awaiting a recap from last Thursday's tournament, but unfortunately, I am out of town sans the internet on a work-related trip.  Thus, instead of rushing out a post, I thought I'd hold off and throw one up later.  Though from three days before the tourney, let me tell you it was a great time!

As it is, I wouldn't mind floating an idea by ya'll.  As it is, we have a few members of the Cold Lampin' family.  We've been playing together for years.  We enjoy each others company, rare though it is these days.  As I figure it, we are a fully legit club.  Would anyone be up for looking into club swag?  I got the idea after throwing together a custom disc for my wedding party.  I know MRK has done the same thing for his.  Why don't we have a custom disc of our own?  And if not a disc, a shirt or a towel or some other business.  You know... to remember the homies.  I don't know about pricing or anything, but if we're interested, I'm sure we can work something out that is affordable for all.  And if not this year, we can look into the future for options.  But the short and skinny of it is that I have always appreciated you folk.  When I think of disc golf, I often think of ya'll.  And I would like to have a memento as our hokey pokey cuz that's what its all a-bout.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tourney Week: Double the Fun

If you hadn't caught the pattern here, our tournament season is punctuated by events about every month or so.  We started at Doane and continued at Acorn.  The next couple events will be change ups to our regularly scheduled programming.  MRK and yours truly will be joining forces for the Minnesota Majestic's Amateur Doubles tourney this week before the 2nd Annual Cold Lampin' Disc Weekend in July.  Unfortunately, neither MRK or myself will be able to play the actual Majestic individual tournament.  Employment requirements preclude such joys for me.  It would have been nice to get in another A-Tier event on the calendar.  No matter, we roll doubles!

In complete honesty, this is probably the tourney that precipitated the beginning of our tourney careers.  I find a certain comfort and confidence in playing with the King.  I've known this kid's game since he rolled with ultimate discs on the course; I was there when he found his first disc the Panther (no joke, his first disc was a find); and we have continued to develop our games throughout the years.  I have a firm idea of his tendencies, his capacities and his mental game.

More after the jump...

Friday, June 15, 2012

I'm Still Here...

It has been a long time since I have posted and it’s not without an excuse. That is while bunking in with the inlaws they have decided that having internet access is more of a desire as opposed to a necessity in this day in age. I have been without the beloved internet for going on three plus weeks now.  I get buy but my inbox these days is constantly overflowing. Disc golf on the other hand sadly has almost taken a back seat to Amateur Baseball at the moment.( I hit a solo homerun last week by the way. It was my first homerun since 12 year old baseball. So after a 14 year drought…I was due you could say.) With a course being at least a 45 minute drive each way I really have to plan my trips wisely.  The plan was to meet up with URBWes at SMSU and play a round but the blessed Southern Minnesota Wind gods thought snapping trees sounded more fun.

I am looking forward to next week with the Minnesota Majestic coming to the Twin Cities. Diggs and I will be making our debut in the amateur doubles tournament that takes place on the Thursday before the tournament starts.  Playing in a doubles tournament is something that we have wanted to do for quite some time and now are finally making it happen.  The doubles tournament will take place at Hyland Hills Ski and Snowboard Area. It’s a wonderful course nestled in Bloomington, MN. Diggs be ready for lots of elevation changes. It’s a course that can be a bear cat if you let it.

I think this course will fit well to our playing styles with Diggs monster drives and my mid range game we will complement each other well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Throwin' in Mormon Country

The last week of May, the wife and I had the opportunity to go on vacation with her family.  Destination: Utah.  We flew into SLC before taking off for Moab, a touristy town to the southwest toward the Colorado boarder.  The area is renowned for the outdoor opportunities and beautiful vistas.  You can see the Moab area in movies such as Rio Grande, Forest Gump, and even Galaxy Quest.  We spent the week biking, hiking and rafting.  I even finagled a round of disc out of the trip.

The party consisted of my father-in-law, sister-in-law, and BroLo El Cunado who joined us for the disc weekend last year.  Packing limitations precluded bringing the full bag.  Knowing the folks I'd be playing with I stuck with putters and midrange discs.  To my chagrin, I neglected to pack even a fairway driver.  To double the chagrin, I realized that the fear of losing a vital disc from the arsenal caused me to pack discs that are not familiar in the slightest.  The only one I had thrown more than twice in the past year was an Aviar I have used for putt practice!  At least El Cunado remembered to bring some drivers.

And I was apprehensive about losing a disc.  Having scouted out the course ahead of time, I noticed remarkable differences between Old City DGC and those courses with which I have experience.  I have played courses in the midwest, northeast and the dirty south, and all of them had a remarkable similarity between them.  Grass in the open, deciduous and pine trees in closed places.  The occasional bush or prairie grass patch for good measure to keep you honest.

This course was in the desert.  Not having been in many deserts before, the vegetation was completely foreign to me.  Instead of grass, the ground was primarily sandy with tufts of brush to help conceal your landing zone.  Trees, while sparse, still helped frame your lines.  But the biggest difference was in the bushes.  Most clumps were thorny and impassible.  This exaggerated the punishment for inaccurate shots.

All told, though, the course was very manageable.  With the KC Pro Roc I had just picked up at the Acorn Open, I was nearly par for the course (though I do admit that I lost El Cunado's Glo Nuke... sorry man, I'll make it up to you).  While perhaps not the most challenging of courses, I would be hard-pressed to think of many better landscapes in which to play.  The course was fairly well maintained, and the mountains in the background framed a wonderful afternoon of disc.

And now we can add another state to the list of those traversed by the Cold Lampin' Collective.


Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Mixing It Up @ the KCWO

This year was the 30th annual Kansas City Wide Open.  Please note that this tournament has been a tradition since before either of us reached the developmental stage of zygote.  That is a long time. 

The beauty of being a fan of the game these days is the commitment of those who support the sport.  Aside from the rare appearance on Conan or ESPN's former show Cold Pizza, the mainstream availability just isn't there.  In spite of this, options for viewing the sport at its elite levels is readily accessible on the internet (thank you!).  Meaning I get to see what the talented among us can really do.

I was doing exactly that, taking advantage of a replay of the Final 9 round of the Kansas City Wide Open.  The way these broadcasts typically role is a heavy focus on the lead card in the men's open division with occasional splashes of coverage from other notable male players and the women.  As expected, amateurs don't get any love during the broadcast.  The KCWO mixed it up in what I consider a very positive way.

Instead of focusing on the final men, the opened things up to include the women.  By that I don't mean that the coverage bounced between the two groups; I mean that the two lead open groups, men and women, played together.  We had the opportunity to watch Valerie Jenkins throw alongside David Feldberg, to see Paige Pierce putt next to Will Schusterick.

This seems to resonate with the recent focus to expand the scope of the sport to include more women (Women's Global Event, anyone?).  I appreciated this expanded look at our sport and the possibilities that lay within it.

There was also something strangely satisfying to watch Paul Ulibarri carry Catrina Allen's bag or Nate Doss carry Val Jenkins.

I was half hoping she'd turn to Nate after a bad throw and scream, "Damn it, Bobby!"


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Off the Course: Horsey History

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to reconnect with a friend of the blog as he brought his newly hatched heir back 'round these here parts so the in-laws could catch a glimpse of the lad.  After a round at Des Moines' Ewing Park DGC, we headed out for some smooth craft brew because (as we all know) that's how we roll.

We take a seat at the bar with our rounds and catch up.  This gentleman lives more than a hop, skip and a jump away after all.  As it turns out, the Kentucky Derby was gearing up as we were settling into our spots.  The Kentucky Derby as you likely know is the kick off event of the big three American horse races that constitute the Triple Crown.  It is akin to a major in golf.  As they parade the horses with their diminutive riders, we happened to look up just in time to catch the name of a particular horse, I'll Have Another.  And as we were a couple in by this point, we thought the moniker serendipitous considering, you know, we were at a bar.  Besides, with the odds they were giving him, we offered that the owner would likely want to have another after what could only promise to be a back-of-the-pack performance.

We were focused on Union Rags, one of the favorites throughout the first turn.  That is until we realized that at the back of the pack, he had no shot.  With nominal interest in the event, we watched the rest unfold.  It is horse racing after all.  Then, coming down the backstretch, here comes our man I'll Have Another storming up to take the derby.  The bar erupts in exuberant exaltation.  ... Because apparently everyone loves horse racing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hot or Not: PDGA Player Ratings for May 2012

With so much else happening, I haven't had an opportunity to comment on one more facet of being a PDGA member.  This changes now.  Along with sweet swag, tourney privileges, and a card that says that I'm a BA disc golfer, the King and I are now rated disc golfers.

Ratings are the means by which our community measures ability (at least for PDGA members).  Ratings are not the simplest things to tabulate accurately.  Think of the complexity for a moment.  Ratings need represent the aggregated performance of a single disc golfer across various rounds in various locations in incalculable conditions.

You cannot go simply by course pars.  Who would set the criteria?  Beyond that, how would the ratings take into account 30 mph gusts of wind over and against calm conditions?  Then the location question.  How does a gusty round at Winthrop Gold in South Carolina compare with a calm day at Blue Ribbon Pines in Minnesota?

In steps the rating system referred to as Scratch Scoring Average (or SSA).  I won't bore you with the details because I can't understand them, but the idea is a relative and fluid system that rates each round not against the tangible, physical elements of the course, but against the intangible, human element of the players themselves.  Each round is evaluated based on how those already rated perform around you, with standard (or scratch) representing 1000.  In order for a ratable round to occur, the round must be in a sanctioned tournament; comparable with at least five players whose rating is at least 800 and whose rating is based on at least eight rounds of information.

It is a complicated system, but from what I can tell very equitable and as complete a system as I could discern.  For more information, please go to this explanation:

I won't trouble you with the ratings of MRK or myself, though in the future I will likely outline my hopes and goals for my rating in a future post.  Until then, live in wonderment and awe of the rating system!


Programming note: I will try to have a post for you next week, however, I am preparing a vacation to Utah (yes, I know), and I may not have time to produce one in time.  I'll do what I can, because I know the many readers of this blog await my posts in anticipatory silence.  Yeah... that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Acorn Open 2012: Burrito Power Ups

Second tourney of the year is in the books.  It was, in a word, bipolar.  This is a word I used in description of the last tournament.  It is applicable for both, but for different reasons.  More on that in a bit.

This is a tournament the King and I had been looking forward to playing for some time now.  Honestly, when my interest in playing a tourney was first piqued, this is the one which caused the... piquing.  With the ever-efficacious benefit of hindsight, I'm glad we waited.

The day leading up to the event was an exercise in fluidity.  The original plan was to meet the Mid Range King in the Cities; sneak in a warm-up session; spend the night at my old roommate's abode; then rock faces at the tourney before riding off into the sunset.  Things changed.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Tourney Week: Watch Your Nuts!

A month after the "Groan at Doane", MRK and I will be hitting up our second scheduled tournament of the season.  We will be making a stop by the 2012 Acorn Open.  Taking place at Acorn Park in Roseville, this is a course with which we are much more familiar.  After all, Acorn is a place we considered home for a time.  Being close to our Alma Mater, URBWes, the King and I frequented this place more than any other (save perhaps the Bethel course after it came online).  We threw here before I switched back to a backhand throw.  We threw here in the Minny winters.  And we throw here when we are back in the Cities.  It is that standard by which we can examine the change in our game.

In fact, MRK and I were recently in the Cities at the same time and had the opportunity to get in a round at Acorn as a warm up.  Honestly, it was rougher for us than I thought it would be.  The reason?  Changes in our games.  One would think that as we develop as players our capacity to approach a familiar course with surpassing deftness and command.  Not the case.  Our games have developed consistently throughout our time in the game.  This includes the years since Acorn was our local haunt.  Such is the result when a great change encounters that which is familiar.

Our conditioned minds have an expectation for how to play a hole.  We have played it that way many times before.  It is tried and tested and must succeed the same way in the future.  Apparently my arm failed to get the memo.  I throw a Starfire much differently than I thew it back in the day.  The same for my Roc.  This is to say nothing of the increased reliance upon such discs as the Buzzz and the Stalker.  I would even contend that this presents a unique challenge that may be even more harrowing than playing a course blind.  We must alter entrenched mental approaches, and we all know that altering standing behavior is more difficult than establishing new behaviors.  My game has changed; my approach to a course needs to change with it.

I think I am up for it.  And I think the King is as well.  We will approach the task with alacrity and verve.  We will overcome ourselves.

At least we will have fun in the attempt.

Watch your nuts, Pap,


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Disc-ussion: "One, Little Trick..."

BryJohn isn't much of a disc golfer.  Never really was.  Sure, he had played from time to time at the local camp course (re: designed for the young), but outside of a round or two, nothing that would be considered substantial.  Yet, being the great friend that he is, wanted to be party to the Disc Weekend that was my bachelor party last year.

Think back to when you first picked up a golf disc.  The way you threw it like an ultimate disc, and the way it went the wrong way.  The transition is difficult in the best of times, much less at the courses at Highbridge.  But being a good athlete, he soldiered on.  Then, about half way through the Granite Ridge round, I offered a small bit of advice.  Instead of letting it ride the rim, try tucking your index finger underneath the rim.  The result was instantaneous.  BryJohn's drives instantly gained 50 ft, and the resulting technique helped him figure out some other little things he could do to make his game better.

Such a small thing.

Bend one finger and throw 50 ft farther.

For me it was the transition from an untrained backhand to a forehand... then back to a better trained backhand.  Or seeing how competent golfers putted.  Or (and here was a thought), planning the natural fade of a disc into my shot preparation.

We all have those little techniques that have made a world of difference in our game.

Now's your turn...  Tell us of a specific change that you have made to your game and tell us how it impacted you.

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Sabermetrics": A Look at Acorn Park

Alright I know the title says it all boring numbers and somehow relating it to disc golf. Are you kidding me! I can hear it now. I feel that it is the perfect time to pull out such numbers as it is the beginning of baseball season and well you know the movie “Moneyball” starring yours truly Mr. Pit made the Sabermetrics somewhat famous.

I however, also have drawn a little inspiration for this article from a recent post on a neighboring disc golf blog where such a topic has been voiced take a look at it here (after you finish reading my take.) As most of you know Diggs and I are playing in a few tournaments this summer and our next adventure takes us to a course we are all too familiar with. Dare I say we “cut our teeth on” this course. It was at one point considered our “home course.” Well that weekend I’m sure this will be a lot of peoples home course. Anyway I decided to take a look at my stats at Acorn Park in Roseville, Minnesota over the past few seasons. It’s hard to believe that I have stats at this course going back over five years now.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Boss in Town

Back when I began playing disc golf, I heard tales of distance throwing competitions.  These meetings of the juggernauts produced figures that were staggering to my imagination.  These gentlemen were throwing these plates of plastic over two football fields.  Mind = blown.  In fact, the new distance record had just been set it Sweden (or some foreign place).  The distance?  250m or 820 ft.  Word had it that the record had been set with an Innova DX Valkyrie.  I immediately made that my must-purchase... and proceeded to make a fool out of myself with it.  I didn't have a true concept of what it takes to put it out there great distances.  I still don't.  I may be able to impress some of the locals, but no one would ever confuse me with a big arm.

You know who does have a big arm, though?  This guy!  His name is David Wiggins, Jr., a newer pro out of North Carolina.  He is the new world's distance champ, and (oh yeah) he's only 16 years old!  The record-setting throw of 255m (836 ft) took place in Primm, NV with the brand-spankin' new Blizzard Boss from Innova.  The new plastic allows for much lighter weights, while still maintaining a recognizable stability.  My assumption is that the record won't be held for ten years as the previous mark had.  As throwers become accustomed to the new discs, I see many others making runs at the Big D crown.

At least I hope so.

A 16 year old holds it now.

How d'ya feel about your "Big D" now, eh noodle arm?

Seems I need to find a field.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Doane Classic: Last Card Perspective

The previous weekend I had the opportunity to attend the 2nd Annual Doane College Classic in Crete, NE with my “traveling” partner Diggs. Let me give you the numbers on my weekend.
Ace Pot Shot-Say hi to Mr. Bill

Travel Time/Distance:
5:40 AM Leave Boyd, MN
12:00 PM Arrive in Omaha, NE
Total Distance Traveled = 295 miles give or take a few for construction.
12:03 PM Lock Keys in Car (Don’t ask why or how)
2:00 PM Leave for Lincoln
3:00 PM Arrive in Lincoln, NE
Total Distance Traveled = 56 miles-ish
3:10 PM After Gas-ing up the Impala
4:10 PM Arrive in Crete, NE
Total Distance Traveled = 26 miles

Grand Total = 377 miles driven just to get to this place called Doane.
The course from my perspective: First of all, Diggs did an excellent job at describing the layout of the course. It is quite challenging if you are of the tree hitting folk. Being that I had never had the opportunity to play the course until the day before the tournament. I’d say it was definitely a course for those who favor the short/mid-range game. I know what you all are going to say. “You are the Mid-Range King, You must have just tore the course a part.” I wish that were the case but inexperience of the course and good old “Pappadackis nerves” got the best of me. Diggs was not joking about the back nine. Short holes with about a zillion trees on each hole made for near impossible lines to throw through.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Doane Classic: Soggy Tacos

It is official.  Not only are MRK and Diggs PDGA members, we now also have rated rounds under our belts.  This will lead to our first official PDGA ratings!  We'll have to dance a little jig when they come out in the middle of May.

We popped our ratings cherry at the 2nd Annual Doane College Classic in Crete, NE this past Easter weekend.  I have the scratches to prove it.  We had settled on the Doane classic for a number of reasons.  It was close to me; we were both available; and it was a sanctioned tournament without the pressure of the other tournaments we are looking at for the rest of the year.  It is a small C-tier in out-of-the-way Nebraska.  We figured we would be able to get our tournament feet under us without having to compete against the best of the Twin Cities or the crowd an A-tier would draw.

The main hitch to the plan was our unfamiliarity with the course.  Until that week, neither of us had even seen the course.  Being close enough to give it a look, Diggs-Jiggs Express trucked our way down there early in the week to get a sense of what we were looking at.  MRK and I were also able to hit it up the day before.  Well, most of them.  The course has undergone a few changes.  We missed about 4-5 holes, though we were able to get in most of them.

The course is truly bipolar.  The beginning holes play pretty open.  Trees shrubs are in play for most of the holes, but lines are generally widely available, especially the first holes.  They play typical lengths, and the designers did a fair job in utilizing the surrounding grounds to create some good golfing.  Then comes the back nine.  You cross a road and feel like you've crossed to another course.  They fairly typical, open holes are replaced by very tight, short holes, most are shorter than 200 ft.  This continues until hole 18 which brings you to a nice tunnel shot.  The course plays to the short to mid-range game, especially those adept at anhyzers/short, precise forehand shots.  This is not the strength of my game.

More after the jump...

Friday, April 06, 2012

Playing with Uli

Just a quick note before the disc weekend begins.  Word has come down the pike that Paul Ulibarri, a top ten player, will be playing the Doane Tourney with the MRK and myself.  It'll be nice to know how truly horrible I am compared with those who know what they're doing.  But still, playing with that caliber of a player will be the balls.



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hole-ly Saturday

Around this time of year, a lot of strange names are given to days in the Christian tradition.  Ash Wednesday was sometime back (where folks put ash on their faces), marking the beginning of Lent (another odd word).  In a couple days will be Palm Sunday, followed consecutively by Maundy Thursday (not Monday Thursday), Good Friday (which didn't seem that good), Holy Saturday (a meh-type of day), and (the big one) Easter Sunday (and I have now hit max number of parenthetical remarks.  Congratulations, you have just witnessed history).  The day that nobody does anything (Holy Saturday)... (alright, I'll stop), will be transformed to Hole-ly Saturday in commemoration of the first tourney of the year for MRK and myself.  We will be participating in the Doane College Classic next weekend as intermediates.  Neither one of us has played this course, so it'll be interesting to see how it pans out.  My prediction?  MRK says it best...

~Diggs, out.

Friday, March 23, 2012

On Phoenixes & Rainy Days: A Highbridge HIlls SC Review, Pt 4... Pt 2

Highbridge Gold and Granite Ridge in Memorium...

First up, Granite Ridge!

Diggs and the King in front of the landmark sign, found on Granite Ridge's course

This is actually Blueberry, but this is a taste of the fog we threw through during the beginning of the round

This is URBWes on the last hole of the course with the fog lifting quite a bit

This was a neat fallen tree left to provide more difficulty

This shot taken in a field after a 300+ foot throw, and you had to hit that tunnel. I faded into the trees on the left and went OB in the creek bed. bummer...

URBWes meditating upon the round. The other fellow always seems to be pointing at something...

And now, Highbridge Gold!

BroLo El Cunado kneeling Tom Joad style next to a tree. I think it is a metaphor. You know? For how the big course brought us to our knees... Righteous.

This was the fun terraced green on Hole #18. The whole hole was terraced in much the same way

Hole #8 Intro for the Longest Hole

BroLo El Cunado being all sorts of man on the pad. I believe he had a triple bogey on this one

BryJohn showing his throwing skills. Dude never plays, but he played this one in sandals. Straight gangsta.

Jiggs showing us the Leaning Dutchman routine

After my first drive on hole #8. Can you see the basket? No? It's about 1000 ft further down behind that clump of trees up ahead. Probably didn't help that my Nuke had a meltdown off the tee



Friday, March 16, 2012

On Phoenixes & Rainy Days: Highbridge HIlls SC Review, Pt 4

Pt 4... Stay Gold, Ponyboy (or Money Disc)

We have reviewed the Woodland Bear. We have reviewed Granite Ridge. Now we touch on the big daddy of Highbridge Hills... the Gold Course! We hit Granite Ridge in the morning and Gold after lunch. Play time was approximately 5 hours. That's 5... with a 5. Course length is ~8500 ft. Of the 18 holes, only four are under 300 ft; three are between 300-400 ft; and fully eleven holes are over 400 ft, including the (self-proclaimed) longest hole in the world, Hole #8 coming in at over 1300 ft.

This course was the pièce de résistance of our trip, the source of our desires, and the sun decided to show itself as we began to play. Since this was to be our most anticipated round of disc EVER MRK decided to make things a little more interesting. The winner of the round would be awarded a disc. Not just any disc; the disc with the sweetest name a disc could ever dream of... the Money Putter.

Let me tell you straight out that the best kept course I have ever seen resides in East Bethel, MN and is known as Blue Ribbon Pines. This one is a close enough second. The lines were well laid and well taken care of. To be fair, Jon had just gone out the day before to mow it all down. Jon's good that way. It was just a beautiful course. Gold offers a nice change in elevation; good use of vegetation and stone. It even mixed in a little water, though it really didn't factor into the course much. Gold does everything you hope a golf course to do. As Timmy Gill puts it, it rewards good throws and punishes bad ones.

Only a couple things work against the Gold course. A stage was left in disrepair and disuse after it's initial construction for the World Amateurs played there years before (round abouts hole 18 if memory serves). It just gummed up the aesthetics. Hole 16 was also a bit of a let down. Supposedly an island hole, the water had long since dried up, leaving what had once been (I'm sure) a very comely wooden ring around the island. The ring had unfortunately suffered a breach and the whole thing was in the process of falling apart apparently due to the extreme weight of the soil it was holding up.

Everything else was finger-licking good. Notable holes included hole 2(?) with a nice little elevated putt. I enjoyed hole 18 with it's terraced shots and an elevated green. Hole 10 was a tricky shot choice involving heavy pines. Another hole (of which number I forget, maybe 11) offered a neat little shot over a pond before anhyzering back right into this protected grove hidden within the side of a small hill. Hole 16's island green was a neat idea, even if she isn't as pretty as she used to be. And the most memorable of all was the famous hole 8, the big guy. It looked to be a ball golf hole converted wholesale into the longest permanent hole in the world, a hole that has garnered a legit par 6 from the PDGA. This thing wasn't just long... it was beautiful. Three tee pads in terrace formation lead to a gradual decline in elevation, bracketed on each side by tall pines. This opens up into a breath-taking view of the valley. A few trees line the right side of the fairway before emptying into grove of trees much closer to the basket, forcing a picky hyzer shot that better go as far as you think it will if you want to clear the brush and vegetation or a lay up anhyzer before a short approach and putt. Simply stunning. My only regret is turning over my Nuke WAY too much, crashing it into the treeline on the right and essentially wasting my first two shots on that drive and my recovery shot.

MRK and I ended the round in a tie, but since this was MY bachelor party and I can cry if I want to, I can now gaze upon the Money Putter neatly mounted near my home office, reminding me of that wonderful trip... that wonderful course... Highbridge Gold.

Stay gold, Ponyboy... stay gold


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Elusive Eluders

We take a break from the Highbridge review to bring you this update...


That is right, ladies and gentlemen, the 2012 disc golfing season is under way. Not only has the Memorial Classic been played, but the light winter has made it possible for disc to become more recreational activity and less survival adventure. We had 70 degrees today. Jealous, northmen?

Jiggs and I had the good fortune to knock some rust off last Friday, doing a little throwing at some soccer fields. It was an abysmal and windy experience... and sore, and sore. Today, we recovered enough to hit the local rec course for an actual round. I would be lying if I said I wasn't having the grandest ol' time out there. I would also be lying if I said I didn't have one of the more consistent rounds in my career... on the first day back. I have had better rounds with better numbers and prettier throws, but the fact that a great round happened on a day that I was expected multiple ugly numbers is significant.

I pulled 5 birdies while leaving 3 very make-able putts out on the range, compared to just one bogey. As I said, not super flashy numbers, but consistent! And consistency is ultimately what we are going for. I wasn't pressing or forcing shots. I was calm and collected. I let the shots glide out and I had confidence in my putting (for some strange reason). It all came together.

I even hit chains on my hole 3 drive, though the bounce out robbed me of my first ace. That's right, still without an ace over here. It yet eludes me.

Yet more significantly, the consistency which has ultimately eluded me throughout my career found me today. Let us hope that I remain consistently consistent throughout the season.

Good luck with your snow, everyone.


Thursday, March 01, 2012

Memorial Live

FYI... the annual Memorial Championship is being broadcast live on You can also watch recaps after live coverage ends. Currently over 1400 people are watching it live, even in the middle of the day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On Phoenixes & Rainy Days: A Highbridge Hills SC Review, Pt 3

Part 3... Like a Rock (or Wet Dreams)

Waking in the morning of the second day, feeling decidedly unlike P. Diddy, one topic pervaded my mind... rain. Why wouldn't it rain on the day I had awaited for years? The storm had began the evening before, and by my waking at 6 a.m. the downfall remained. I won't lie; I was getting mighty disconcerted. After all this time to be hampered by the weather was almost too much to bear. In my mind, I ran through the possibilities, and I imagined we would likely need to relocate back to the Twin Cities for any semblance of a bachelor weekend. But I wasn't prepared to give up just yet.

By the time a normal person awakes on vacation, the rains had abated, and in the young morning, a heavy mist lay throughout the area. We decided to give it a go. By 10 a.m. we were heading out to our first sortie of the day, Granite Ridge. The original plan was to hit up the Woodland Green as a nice little warm up. This changed for two reasons. We had stumbled through most of the Woodland course the day before. It also seemed as if the length of the courses were an unknown factor. The length of them were beyond your typical course, meaning any given round is destined to last about twice as long as the norm. So we decided to reassess our options and went straight for those courses we truly wished to play. Number one on the list was obviously the Gold course, but we were saving that for the afternoon.

While Blueberry Hill was high on the list, we had looked at Granite Ridge as our best option for the morning round. With the fog hanging heavy in the air and water soaking our shoes, we trudged out to the course to give it the "what for". Admittedly, I was a little depressed about the situation and felt none too good about my game that morning. So, as we walked up to hole 1 and saw... well, nothing but the tee pad and haze, I volunteered my services as spotter, hoping to avoid being the first up and embarrassing myself. Hole 1 sloped downhill about 300 ft, a fairly straight shot, but islands of trees forced you to take either a hyzer or anhyzer line to get to the basket. I took my place around 200 ft down the hill, allowing me a pretty good vista of any shot to come down. The problem? I couldn't see the tee pad! I'm telling you... FOGGY!

Standing down there, depressed, wet and cold, I began preparing myself for what I thought would be a very long day. Then, appearing out of nowhere, a disc came hovering overhead, landing somewhere beyond me and to the left. Then another. And each time a disc passed overhead, joy slowly started to sneak in. The soft buzzing overhead and the sensation of discs appearing out of nowhere combined with the beautiful surroundings and great company lifted my spirits. When my turn finally came, my blind shot landed right around the putting circle and I finished with a birdie putt. At that point, I was off and running.

While our experience was greatly impacted by the weather conditions, the round was wonderful! Granite Ridge is a wonderful array of options, providing slightly wooded shots mixed with a number of more open shots. The course is aptly named, noting the large rocky outcroppings. Some elevation change and water comes into play. And since I could generally drive the farthest of our group, I loved the amount of longer, open holes! I have the round scores somewhere and I will post them in time, but in spite of throwing into a creek bed marked OB, I still came within striking distance of par. And for my first time on a course, that was a stinking good round for me. This post is long enough already, but let it be known that for me, Granite Ridge was the best course we played... until the afternoon, anyways!

"... But no one here is asking..."


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Slimming Down

Slimming down may not just be a New Years resolution but a disc golf resolution as well. I’m not talking about losing weight here. I’m talking about losing discs. But not in the traditional sense of grip locking one on North Valley Park’s (now just The Valley) treacherous hole 15. For the rookies that hole is a 615 foot anhyzer line over a huge pond with not much room to spare by landing on the side of a hill.

No I am am suggesting that I move from a period in my disc golf career where it’s not so much expansion/exploration of new plastic/discs but a contraction and lightening the load that I have to carry. Those of you who have played with me know I carry a full bag. I believe its up to 22-24 strong. Do I play with all 22-24 on a given day? Well that depends on the course. But it has come to my attention after watching a few new disc golf dvds that my bag may be a little over crowed with plastic I either haven’t mastered enough to feel comfortable throwing in a given round or just “think I might need/have that shot.”

The thought for this post came from a conversation I heard between our favorite disc golf announcer Billy Crump and David Feldberg speaking about Nikko Locastro’s mixed bag he throws meaning he plays with discs put out by companies that don’t sponsor him. Anyway back to the point. Most pros will tell you to practice a lot and get good at throwing a few discs...then buy multiples of those discs and wear them in to different points and you will be all set.

Seeing as I won’t be a sponsored player anytime soon. (but one can dream right...) I have been really thinking about that piece of advice from the pros and thinking about the discs in my bag currently. Do I really need 22-24 different discs? I can say that in hindsight because I did just put some discs in to “fill the bag” but I can probably think of at least 2-4 discs that I don’t throw on a given day and that I could replace with another disc that is already in my bag. My thought is to over the next few weeks as the winter season in the Land of 10,000 mosquit....Lakes starts to close (Lord willing) is to really take a look at the discs I have in my bag and pair some of those down and look to adding a few multiples and work on breaking a few in. I’ve done that already with my buzzes. I have a pretty beat in ESP buzz that I can manipulate to any shot and I have a stiffer Z-plastic buzz that holds the line you throw it on. Which works great for tight wooded shots. To each his own in the quest for the lowest round of the day.

May the post find you inspired to play a round.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sober Up Freddy

This time of year, I miss my disc homeys. We just never seem to talk much during the offseason. Part of it I understand. I mean, what is there to talk about other than flying plastic? That said, I'm making an effort to stay friends with folks beyond the chains of the course and the pixels of the blog.

Jiggs and I had a chance to get out on the course a couple times in January. The King and I will get to catch up tomorrow. URBWes is a little harder to get in touch with, but after repeated texts and voicemails, I received a video update from him. A bit more than I expected, but it was sweet to catch up.

Anyways, I thought I'd post it all to you, figuring we are all friends, and you might be interested. He displays what's going on at work at 1:34. His music work can be found at 1:20. And his love life is at 1:26. He even gave me the good ol' Shooters at 0:55 like we used to do in high school. You can also definitely feel the influence from other videos he's done. Saturday Night Fever ring a bell, Lady's Man?

Anyways, here's the video. Hope you enjoy...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Blizzard Champ

On a day when we are getting 3" of snow, I found it noteworthy to mention the new line of plastic from Innova. It is called Blizzard Champion. This plastic incorporates thousands of microbubbles into the Champ plastic line. The benefit of this is high speed with lighter weight premium plastic which equals greater distance in the right conditions. Innova stated that testing has shown discs under 140 grams of the Blizzard Champ line of plastic will float in water!

Their are only 4 discs currently available in the Blizzard Plastic line up (Wraith, Destroyer, Katana, and Boss). I think the destroyer will fit nicely in my bag to start with. Which one if any/all will you be picking up for this upcoming season of DG?


Sunday, February 12, 2012

On Phoenixes & Rainy Days: A Highbridge Hills SC Review, Pt 2... Pt 2

A Bear Woodland Recap in pictures and video...

In an effort to give a better picture of the experience, I thought it might be sweet to include some more tangible expressions of the course. While my memories contain much that was never captured for posterity, I think this could approximate in greater fullness when considered along with my words. I debated including them in the other post, but concern for length stayed my hand. Enjoy this second offering...

The above image is the group sans MRK the cameraman. Solid.

Here's a sweet pic of Jiggs the Jiggalo with some happy rays of sunshine (the last we would have on the trip). From the looks of it, this might be the putt up a mound.

This is a typical vista on the course. Many tall trees, yet some nicely defined lines that really shape the course quite nicely.

This was a great hole (#2 I believe) even if it ended poorly for me. If we could pan to the right, we could see two different alley ways to the right and left. The route to the left gradually doglegs back to the right in a long arch (~450 ft). The route to the right arches around to meet up with the first, leaving an approach when you're done... as long as you have a big arm. And halfway down the right side is a separate arch branching around, approaching the hole from the other side. Really nice set up!

And boom. There you go.


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

On Phoenixes & Rainy Days: A Highbridge HIlls SC Review, Pt 2

Part 2... Grin & Bear It

Course: Bear Woodland

Time: Friday, late afternoon

Round: Arriving in the mid-afternoon on Friday, we promptly exited the vehicles and, before even finding out where we were staying, got in some putt practice. Eventually, we were able to connect up with John and get situated. In fairly short order, we were heading to the courses.

Our high-minded aspirations had us completing the whole series of major courses over the 40ish hours we were on site. Reflecting back on it, naive... so naive. I suppose we merely hoped for such an outcome, which as you may have guessed by now, did not come to fruition. Anyway, the plan was to hit up the Bear, a newer course that looked densely wooded. Saturday we would ease into the day with Woodland Greens ( a shorter, easier course); roll into Highbridge Gold for the Money Putt competition (winner won the money putter); capping the day off with some Granite Ridge action. The following morning, we would squeeze in Blueberry Hill before departure. One of those rounds we would make doubles, and we planned on throwing Chestnut Grove, the night course, one of those nights.

Well, as it turned out, the seasonal rains caused delays in completing the Bear course. Instead, they played the first 7 holes, then jumped over to Woodland Greens to finish off the round. Turns out it was a fairly nifty set up for those interested in throwing the Bear, though it prevented us from throwing hole 12 located near a live bear cave. Perhaps better that way...

Warning: The following account is admittedly colored by the viewpoint of its author. My experience is forever influenced by playing such rounds through my own eyes. Other authors will most assuredly have their own varied accounts that may differ greatly than my own.

Now I can tell you about how much the round sucked.

At least it did for me. Let us paint a picture. In the picture is a young man on the cusp of the most life-changing experience outside religious. Enter an opportunity to cross off one of the more long-standing bucket list items known to him. He seizes the carp, using the traditional male ritual for such a purpose. The moment finally arrives. What follows can only be described as a cruel, cosmic joke. Suddenly a decade's worth of effort and experience vanishes, leaving the remains of shattered expectations and broken dreams. I played that poorly. To be fair... I may have been pressing.

Regardless, I was about as useful as a "Birdie" putter out there. Others had more positive experiences. MRK played well and Jiggs played outside of his mind! I thought URBWes acquitted himself fairly well, though I don't recall him being particularly satisfied with the performance. BryJohn and "El Cuñado" also did well.

Let us be clear. The issue was not the course, at least the Bear portion. The Bear is a wooded, yet well manicured course that I will be excited to play on better terms. Tight fairways and multiple lines on a number of holes provide a challenging and beautiful experience. The Woodland Greens was a different experience. Not bad just... different. It struck me as just another wooded course. Nothing too spectacular. The Bear's holes were much more precise and lengthy; Woodland much more open. Woodland had a few cool shots (a neat one on a hill), but nothing about the course particularly struck my fancy. In retrospect, Playing just Woodland would have been a wonderful warm up/confidence builder.

Heading back to the cabin after the round, I could have used that confidence. I had hopes that tomorrow would bring a new day, full of new experiences. Then came the rain...

"... the first to volunteer..."


Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Fantasy Maps

I know I promised my response to Highbridge was forthcoming, however, I had to make this post instead. I hope you will see why. In the end, I leave for a conference tomorrow morning, plane departure at 6:45am. I'm not sure, but this means that I likely will not be able to complete my first course review until I return. The upside is that I have half of the post completed already.

And on with the post...

As you may have noticed (or not because it was a fairly non-descript change), we have made a long desired addition to the blog. We have, on the right side under "pages", added a course map designed to display those courses our members have played. It is far from complete, but even now you can get a sense of the breadth of experience we have. If you are a Cold Lamper and have an addition, let me know and I'll get it up there in short order.

The second update I have concerns two distinct pastimes that I know most of us enjoy: fantasy sports and disc golf. We now have the opportunity to combine the two. That's right... fantasy disc golf! Deadline is the end of February. I'm down if you are...

Short, simple, and important post. I hope you enjoy the map. I'm sure it'll grow in complexity and information as I spend more time on it. But now I need to get some sleep. See you on the flip side!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The W

It's January 29th 2:30 in the afternoon. A "balmy" 43 degrees at the time of the first tee off. Is it really possible that this would be the 2nd time this month that Diggs and I would have the opportunity to disc in the middle of winter in Nebraska? We were not going to let that opportunity pass us by. After a short stop to meet the newest member of the Walters family (the 4 legged variety) we arrived at the Seymour. Diggs and I were actually playing it pretty close each of us taking some birdies that were hard to come by just a few months back. As we approached the final 3 holes of the round it was becoming more clear that I might actually have a chance to take the W for the first time from the man himself! Despite some heckling and a missed putt on the 18th hole I was able to seal the deal. Thanks Diggs for a great competitive round in January. Don't forget the importance of putt practice!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Disc Golf Playlist

Have you ever been out playing a round and you happen to stumble upon a player who is playing by himself...or herself? What is one thing you notice? If you answered that question out loud you might have said, they have no friends, or a job, or maybe they are just practicing. But have you looked closer to see if they are just listening to music on some sort of portable device. If you answered any of those questions you might have just describe my disc golf experience for the last few years. I do have friends but they have moved away for one reason or another. I know this is against the culture the PDGA is trying to promote but I'm uncomfortable sometimes playing with people I don't know. So I have found myself avoiding  the awkward question "Do you wanna throw with us?" I really avoid it like the plague.  But I should say just so people don't think I'm a jerk. If someone asks, if I wanna play with them and they pass the (we are not gonna smoke illegal substances) test. I usually say yes.

 But when those situations are not in play I tend to play most rounds in the comfort of my own thoughts and go to musical playlist. I thought I would share it with the community.  You can use it, laugh at it, or try a list of your own but it really helps me focus. Now I have to say I'm not one of those guys who has it blaring so everyone knows what I'm listening to. I do also like to be able to hear what's going on around me on the course and in nature so the volume is just a background/elevator style filler.

MRK's Disc Golf Playlist
1. Sound of Melodies - Leeland
2. True Love -Phil Wickham
3. Young Blood - The Naked and Famous (an iTunes free single, I heard it and liked it)
4. My Spirit Will Go On - Dragonforce
5. Right Now - Akon
6. Teenage Dream - Katy Perry
7. Broken Wings - Alter Bridge
8. Set The World On Fire - Britt Nicole
9. Holy Is The Lord - Chris Tomlin
10. Firework - Katy Perry
11. Every Man - Casting Crowns
12. We Are Hungry - Circadian Rhythm
13. My Sacrifice - Creed
14. The Face of Love - Sanctus Real
15. Hey Wait - Sanctus Real
16. Everything Glorious - David Crowder Band
17. You And Me - Lifehouse
18. Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
19. Tattoo - Jordin Sparks
20. 8th World Wonder - Kimberley Locke
21. Boy On A String - Jars of Clay
22. This Is Your Life - Switchfoot
23. Say It Loud - Sanctus Real
24. I Dare You To Move - Switchfoot
25. Hurt - Thousand Foot Krutch
26. Hanging By A Moment - Lifehouse

Now this playlist had it's inspiration from the Acorn Park Course in Roseville, MN. You start out with a couple of slower songs to keep your emotions in check with the water that comes into play on the first hole and the aggressive line you can take on the second hole. By the time Dragonforce and Akon hit I would be around holes 4,5, or 6 which tend to be holes where you have decent shots at some birds. Then as the list goes on the mood becomes more of a redemptive/ reflective type of theme. Usually it works out great cause by then I will have thrown some crappy shots and feeling kinda down and need to focus on something other than my score.

So that's my list take it an run or create one of your own to share I'm always looking for new music to add to my list.

** You may be wondering why my list is 26 songs long and thinking most courses are 9-18 holes long. Well, in MN there are a few courses I play that are either 27 holes long or super busy and either way I get through the list pretty regularly.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

On Phoenixes & Rainy Days: A Highbridge HIlls SC Review, Pt 1

Part 1... The Phoenix Rises (w/ Disc in Hand)

The long awaited review of Highbridge Hills Sports Complex (otherwise known as the disc golf mecca) is finally here! I have attempted to produce this post before. I failed. Such endeavors proved fruitless as my penchant for loquacity met up with the vast raw, untapped wealth of the experience, producing a cacophony of verbiage too great for mortal ears. Planets imploded... light poured forth from the recesses of the universe, rending the very fabric of existence... the universe began contracting and time reversed upon itself (the last one was an actual theory proffered by Steven Hawking. Go figure). Regaining a sense of brevity... TL;DR.

Instead, I have opted for a series of posts addressing key points along the journey. This as-yet-to-be-complete work is beyond me at this point. I haven't a clue how long it will take. Yet, as my wrestling coach once told me, perseverance commands success. We will reach the end at some point!

Our first posting focuses on the past in order to look towards the future. Highbridge began not as a disc golf effort, but ball golf. Land was purchased, investors courted, and plans developed. Unfortunately, the main partner passed away, leaving a man with a deed to 300 acres and no investors. Simplifying matters, the land was eventually re imagined into the disc golf hotbed it is today. For this, we thank Jon.

As elsewhere documented, our crew discovered this gem some years ago in college. Our hopes were kindled, yet opportunity never presented itself. However, as Smokey the Bear will tell you, embers, once kindled, aren't always so easily extinguished. The desire persisted. Finally, with my wedding as the catalyst, we had our excuse to head to Highbridge.

The goal for the facilities is to eventually support ten 18-hole golf courses, with a number of them already in place. Unfortunately for us, time constraints precluded a round on each of the courses. Just as well. Our arms were pretty well fried with the amount we did get to play. Those we did chance to play were Bear Woodland, Granite Ridge, and Highbridge Gold. I imagine each experience will warrant its own post, and the particulars will be spelled out therein.

"Heroes will be heroes..."


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Global Warming? I Don't Understand the Problem...

We are in the first month of the year, which in the northern hemisphere in a temperate climate such as ours generally means cold fingers and shrinkage... lots and lots of shrinkage. Yet, a couple weeks ago, I found myself in a bewilderment. In the midst of January (re: shrinkage month), we were blessed with weather that would satisfy a Floridian retiree. Suddenly, the heat need not be on. Windows on cars could be rolled down. And those clothes packed away in a Fall mourning ceremony could find themselves utilized.

This led, as Jiggs so astutely observed, to an obligatory round... in January... in the Midwest... in shorts and a shirt.

Jealous much?!

I have disced in January before. Others among you have done the same. It is a horrid affair. Numb fingers perturb every shot, and snow (oh the snow!) is the prevailing course condition, a substance which serves but three purposes in disc golf: 1) Hamper all locomotion. Good luck finding any sure footing! 2) Make all things wet... and cold. Wet and cold. 3) Provides hide-and-seek locations for your discs. Peek-a-fuckin'-boo.

Our experience this January proved much more amiable. What's more? We didn't suck so bad! I'm not claiming mid-season form, but we acquitted ourselves quite nicely. Hopes of another charmed round have gone the way of the buffalo as a cold spell has come and played hell with my disposition. Yet, truth can be buried by neither snow nor by cold nor by any other devise sacred or profane. Truth abounds. Truth perseveres. Truth must be expounded. And the truth is that for a still, small time in January, harshness ebbed long enough for a singular moment of beauty.

For this I am thankful.


Song of the Month:
"Winter in the Hamptons" by Josh Rouse