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