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.
Having never played Bryant Lake, I had little idea what to expect. I knew it was a pay-to-play and part of the three rivers park district, making it, in all likelihood, a very well designed, well maintained course. I was not disappointed.
The course sets up nicely and provides a number of different elements including elevation: distance variation; blind shots; etc. The course's designer, Timmy Gill, is known for his focus on risk-reward golf, as well as developing our sport to include true par 4's and 5's. Notable holes included an hole well within approachable range but protected on right by a wall and railing. MRK had the opportunity to explore the bummer side of that wall but recovered nicely. Hole 16 was a nice little short guy that brilliantly uses a large boulder to block access to the basket. The last, (and I would say) signature hole was 17, an elevated pad that throws down a steep hill only to carry 500+ ft to a terraced green.
Great course. I even wish I could have seen it all.
Unfortunately, we tested the limits of the day and found ourselves on the wrong side of sunset. We even resorted to a vain attempt at charging our glow discs with cell phones.
[SPOILER ALERT! It didn't work.]
Due to the conditions, we suffered our first plastic casualty of the weekend. We chased plastic all round (mostly mine), but had survived the daylight none the worse for wear... when the impossible happened. We laid the legendary "Barry" to rest on the signature hole 17. El Cunado had borrowed the Champ Beast for the weekend only to lose sight of it before the weekend technically began. Barry made a name for himself at last year's trip as the disc who could not be lost. We should have known better, especially considering that its name derives from the name printed on the disc itself. It came to us as lost plastic and to lost plastic it has returned. Amen.
But such sombre affairs need not dampen a fantastic round. Not only was the course great (thanks, Timmy), but MRK shined, displaying as tight a game as he has had since rocking the Bear in Highbridge. We also added to the ace count. El Cunado, just two holes before losing Barry and harshing my mello, made a fantastic shot on hole 15 to hole out in one. I say fantastic because HE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHERE THE HOLE WAS! Hole 15 is a great, short shot up and over a hill, and while the rest of the crew ran the steps to see where the basket lay, BroLo stayed behind. But BroLo don't need no stinking sightlines, cuz BroLo is running Aces! He threw last and while everyone was grabbing bags after his toss, I jokingly said, "listen for the chains," hand to ear and everything. It looked like a good shot. I didn't know it would actually go in.
Dude straight Zen mastered it in.
And that is how we will end our talk of day 1. Harky & Co. hadn't made a course appearance; lost some plastic; ran an ace; and celebrated libatiously for the beginning of our adventure.