Friday, July 05, 2013

The Minnesota Majestic: Tourney in Review

I have heard about this tournament for years since I have been living in Minnesota. "You gotta play in the Majestic! It's amazing...." I have been to the Final 9 and the Opening rounds to see the Pro's light up some of the greatest courses Minnesota has to offer. I have seen Feldberg miss a putt and the immediately smack himself in the head with a disc in disgust. I've even dabbled in playing in the doubles tournament that is the Thursday before the tourney starts and we all know how that went. But I have never actually played in the event. UNTIL this year.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

2013: A Disc Odyssey

This summer represents a pretty major change for me and my family.  I will be moving across the country in August to the east coast.  I'll be driving solo in my trusty Chevy Impala that may, in fact, eclipse a quarter million miles on the trip.  Now this isn't the first long trip I've made.  A number of years ago, I moved to Charlotte (in the same Impala, no less!).  The problem with long trips... they are long.  And they are boring.  They are long and boring.  And I needed to figure out a way to make the entire experience more palatable.  Enter map.  Here's what we're looking at:

View Larger Map

I know what you're thinking.

"Wow Diggs, that's a long way to drive.  What are all those little markers?"

So glad you asked!

Those are points spaced out on my proposed driving route.  Each one represents a course I (tentatively) plan on playing on the way out, picking up most states I will be traveling through.  I chose large cities in my path spaced out fairly evenly.  Then, looking at local options, chose some of the better regarded courses in the area.  Here is the list:

  1. Sertoma Park (Sioux City, IA): Former Cold Lamp Headquarters, this was the beginning of my disc golf experiences.  Seemed fitting to make it the beginning of this disc golf journey
  2. Camden Park II (Milan, IL): A course in Davenport looked more interesting, but this one also looked promising and is located in a state in which I have yet to play.  No better reason, really.
  3. Mohawk DGC/Boondock Farms (~Indianapolis, IN): Mohawk looked really interested, but it was described as a private course available only on special occasions.  What does that mean?  I don't know.  But Boondock is a more than suitable substitute from what I have seen.  It will also add an Indiana course.
  4. Brent Hambrick Memorial DGC (Columbus, OH): The Memorial is the site of one of the largest and well-respected tourneys of the year and a National Tour stop.  Having yet to play a course used in the NT aside from a couple WC courses, I am excited to give it a go!
  5. Moraine State Park (Portersville, PA): I hear Pittsburgh is a fairly decent place to play some disc.  Moraine is described as a championship level course.  Hopefully I have enough time to fit in all these quality courses!
  6. Mercer County Park (West Windsor Township, NJ): This will be in the neighborhood of my new home.  Might as well see what the locals are up to, eh?
 All stops will depend on how the drive is going and whether or not I have the time to spare, but I should be able to manipulate the drive to include most if not all.

Of course, if my wife joins me on the trip, I'm going to say all plans are off (though I might be able to finagle the Memorial!).  Anyway, wish me luck and Godspeed.  I will be embarking on a new adventure.  One thing is for certain (as concerns this blog), disc golf will continue to be a part of it!

Auf Wiedersehen!


Saturday, June 08, 2013

Cold Lampin' Weekend # 3: Preview and random thoughts

At the moment of this post hitting the internet we will be about 30 or so hours from beginning the next greatest disc golf adventure.  We are about to embark on our (count it) third annual Cold Lampin' disc golf weekend, never mind that this year it takes place over a Monday-Wednesday. I dare say that this years trip will be our best yet.  The anticipation has been mounting for months as we finalized our plans to head back to the place we dreamed about in high school. A place where the disc golf weekends started....the legendary Disc Golf Mecca. Highbridge Hills.

A place where one day there will be ten 18 hole courses set upon the single property.  Located in the middle of nowhere close to the shores of Lake Michigan in Northern Wisconsin. Five brave souls will embark on a journey that will undoubtedly strengthen our friendship but also test our disc golf abilities.  It is an area that is unforgiving, arrant throws will be punished with extra shots.  But the one golfer who dares challenge the likes of Highbridge Gold will wind up with the greatest prize. A golden trident that Poseidon tossed out of the Great Lake only to never have it return.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Well Poop. We Have Some Catchin' Up To Do...

When I say we have catching up to do, I mean it.  This post will be spanning a time frame of three years.  Buckle up!

  • My May and June are pretty crazy.  I am literally home for 1.5 weeks in June, and I will be logging around 100 hours of work in those 1.5 weeks.  That will play into a couple of these bullet points, but mostly I just wanted to see that typed out so I could scare the crap out of myself.  Did it work?  Let me check.  Yup... crap is out.
  • Checking back on some old posts, I realized I was lazy.  I started Day 1 of the 2012 Disc Weekend, but I neglected to do absolutely anything beyond that.  Shame on me!  I will start catching up on those soon-ish.  With two posts remaining on the subject, I should get it done before the 2013 Disc Weekend actually takes place.  This brings me to my next point...
  • Disc Weekend (Week) 2013 is only about a month away!  I'm a loser, so I made an itinerary for our time.  After some fine tuning, I'll be sending it out.  Get your arms ready 'cuz you're going to need some stamina for this one.  I'll expand upon this in a separate preview post, but for now just know that there will be prizes, awards, skills competitions, and even something called the North Korea Special.  Stay tuned.
  • The 2014 World Amateur Disc Golf Championships will be in the Twin Cities
  • I am playing tournaments again this year.  I am pretty sure MRK is, too, though I'll let you tell you about that himself.
  • Wouldn't it be sweet if the last two bullet points were related?
  • My first tourney will be an A-Tier at the end of the month.  I have played precisely zero of the courses on the schedule.  My prediction = my rating will go down.
  • I have a pinched nerve in my back that's been going on for nearly a month now.  I have a doctor's visit tomorrow.  Let us see if we can't get Diggs up and going before the month is out.
  • I miss you all.  Can't wait to get together and throw some plastic!


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Worst. Day. Ever.

The weather finally seems to be getting better.  My back is still bothering me, but we'll play through it.  Little option, really.  When the disc bug gets in ya, you just have to get it out!

This effectively is the beginning of a lot of our seasons.  If your first rounds are much like mine, you will be reminded of how poorly you really do play this game.  Understandable.  You have to re-learn every disc.  Every throw.  Every angle and strategy and hole habits.  Those throws you were making in the fall just aren't flowing in the spring.  You know it will get better with time... just sucks now.

Got me to thinking.

What was the worst day/experience you have had in disc golf?  Figured I'd let this one marinate a bit before I offer mine.  Give you all a chance to give yours.

As you rehash those memories you thought you had left behind, be entertained by someone else s worst time.  Enjoy.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Identity Crisis

For those of you who didn't know (and here I'm talking to you, Mother Nature), we are now officially in Spring.  Everyone seems to know this except for the weather.  Spring... you're late.  We need you.  For you Southern folk, this merely represents the difference between playing in short- or long-sleeve shirts.  For us in the Midwest, this is the difference between playing or not playing at all.  Sure, we have some crazies that will disc all-the-year long without regard to ice or snow levels.  But I have become increasingly more convinced that this continued play might actually hurt your game as much as help it.  Almost pulled a groin last time I tried to throw from a patch of ice.

No.  While I have been known to throw down in the elements, I am afraid this does not appeal to me as a substitute for a bearable round of disc golf.  The Jiggs & Diggs Express is more fortunate than most in the Cold Lampin' Love Covenant (we live south of MOST of the snow).  We have had more opportunity to get out than the others.  Still, means little when we're talking about a snow forecast just a hop and a skip away from May Day.

But I believe in equity.  I do not think it fair to have more opportunity to prepare for the upcoming disc weekend (even if it is in the middle of the week this go around).  As a result, a pinched nerve in my back has prevented any disc throwing over the last three weeks.  My body made an executive decision without discussing the issue with me.  If you have never had a pinched nerve, it sucks... hard.  I never thought getting into a car might constitute the worst part of my day on a regular basis... at least until I recall trying to get out of bed.

But things will come around.  The pinched nerve is finally recovering after three bloody weeks.  The forecast later in the week is promising.  The disc will return.  Get your minis ready!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Snow, Ice, More Snow, More Ice, and DGTR

Well it's March now and I don't know about you but the weather her in Minnesota has never really bothered me. I for the most part have enjoyed the cold, snow, ice school cancellations  ect. for many years. That was until this year. It is this year that I now have a 35-40 minute commute to work one way (on rural county roads mind you).  So now that old man winter has been rearing his big bald head for the past four months, I am starting to become a cynical old man in my old 27 years of age. I can's stand driving in snowy hazardous conditions. I mean who really does anyway....but this winter has been notorious for blizzard warnings...freezing rain...old fashioned snow storms.

Back to my commute, I have lots to time to prepare for or decompress from school while making the trip. I usually tend to listen to a variety of podcasts and not the radio.  The podcasts range from Paul Allen and Dan  Barreiro's shows on Twin Cities Radio 100.3 KFAN, MLB Networks show Intentional Talk, to Gleeman and the Geek where two crazy guys drink beer and talk about the Minnesota Twins very entertaining by the way.  But the reason I am writing this post is to share with everyone one podcast that has seemed to help curb my desire to disc golf while the snow flies her in Minnesota.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

2012 Tournament Season in Review: Bueno

Whew!  With all that tourney negativity out of the way, let us turn to all those things that made the 2012 tournament season a wonderful set of experiences.  Here are the "Bueno-s"

10.  PDGA Membership - #52116.  Along with the custom mini and PDGA issue Stalker, the sweetest part about joining the PDGA is being able to support the efforts of disc golf as a sport.  Not only does it allow for tournaments, but for all the innovative ways in which disc golf is being developed and promoted.  Glad to contribute.
9.    More complete understanding of competitive disc golf - While I had the opportunity to play one other tournament before, the tourney was also the first of the rest of those participating.  Playing in sanctioned events forces you to take every shot seriously.  No longer is it a given that you'll be one of the better players on the course.  The level of competition goes up, and so does the level of your play.
8.    Some of the better rounds I've ever played - Definitely some notable exceptions.  The doubles tourney was certainly a low point in my career, and the first round of the Acorn Open was less than steller, but for one stretch of the second round in the Acorn Open, I hit 6 birdies in 8 holes.  Rock star.
7.    Mini competitions - CTP, ace pools, distance competitions, rings of fire.  Stupid little things to pass the time, but interesting nonetheless.
6.    Meeting some big-time discers...
5.    Ratings - Along with the PDGA membership, every sanctioned tournament round becomes a rated round.  Think of 1000 being a standard for the sport (something akin to par).  Ratings allow you to gauge where you are in relation to other players.  I like the idea.  Now I know for certain how horrible I am
4.    Tournament Flymarts - Sweet Moses, that was a lot of plastic.  Promoters and companies bring a nice little collection of the latest and greatest around to sell to us hapless consumers.  This is on the list because of #2
3.    Duh... winning!  Even though I won exactly zero tourneys this year, for the most part, I was competitive, landing me in the winnings.  This leads me to...
2.    Free plastic! - Placing in these things as an amateur will often net winnings in the form of a voucher at the flymart.  And all those discs you never had the chance to buy suddenly become a lot more affordable

And the numero uno "Bueno" for the 2012 tourney season is...

Friday, March 08, 2013

2012 Disc Golf Season Personal Reflection Part 2

After spending most of last Saturday afternoon watching the conclusion of The Memorial Championship on the internet, I was motivated to complete a post that was meant to drop last Friday. For the second part of my reflection of 2012 I want to focus on the courses I was able to play this year.

 Last I checked I totaled out playing 13 courses. Compare that with previous years 2009 - 9, 2010 - 6, and 2011 - 12. Thirteen courses when I look back at it now seems crazy considering I now have lived in an area where to go to a decent course with at least 18 baskets I have to travel over an hour one way. Now of those 13 courses I played last year 8 of them were courses I have never played before. Details after the jump.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Site Changes

I was still finalizing my list of "bueno's" for the tourney season by the time Tuesday came around.  Sorry you won't be able to check out that awesomeness just yet, but I thought I'd take this week to apprize ya'll of some alterations around here.

First, we have slightly updated our course page.  It now includes a state-by-state listing of the courses we have played, their city, and who has played it.  At last count, we have 60 courses across 13 states listed.  I know my hope is to personally add at least five states to the list over the course of the next year and a half.  We'll see how that goes.

We will also be unveiling player pages.  This will include a short DG bio, as well as some disc and course preferences of those who's eloquent and erudite words you read around these parts.

Be on the lookout for this one coming down the pipe, and if you still have some work to do on your page, get at it!

Until we meet again,


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2012 Tournament Season in Review: No Bueno

With the 2012 tournament season in the books for me, I thought I would go back and touch on some of those things I hadn't had an opportunity to get to during my tourney reviews (let's be honest, they were long enough as it was).  I wish to start low and go high, so we will start with my top ten "No Bueno-s," those things I could have gone without.

10.  Thanking your sponsors - Players, I'm sure it is contractually obligated to mention sponsors following an award, but it still sounds tacky to me
9.    Lack of preparation - Some people have organizational skills; others do not.  Those of the latter should not be running a tournament.  If you do not have an idea for how CTP; distance throws; or between round course alterations will be accomplished, do not offer them
8.    Amateurs taking themselves too seriously - You know the guy who is out to win Worlds at an out-of-the-way C-tier.  Chill, turbo.  Though this could become a "Bueno" when you can catch him in a wrong rule explanation when he's been shoving them down your throat all day
7.    Lack of communication - Fine, you told us that all the pins are now in the short position.  But understand that we understand that to mean existing pin placements.  Doesn't help when you randomly invent pin locations on blind throws
6.    Incorrect posting of scores on the PDGA website - Rings especially hollow when you had just admonished players for accuracy in score reporting.  Just sayin'...
5.    Hills - Man, I hate hills
4.    Wet grass - Man, I hate wet grass
3.    Cold - Man, I hate... you get the idea
2.    Playing a course blind - This hit me on the doubles tourney MRK and I played at the Minnesota Majestic.  MRK mentioned as much on his Year in Review.  This is very much on the player.  We're the ones who decided to sign up for these things.  It would be our lack of preparation that would keep the course knowledge from us.  It isn't like they surprise us with locations.  Doesn't make it any better, though, when you have to scheme a hole on the spot without much concept of how the hole rolls.  I say avoid playing these bad boys blind

And the numero uno "No Bueno" is...

Friday, February 22, 2013

2012 Disc Golf Season Personal Reflection Part 1

As the new disc golf season approaches or it's supposed to here in Minnesota anyway. I thought I would take a few moments to reflect on disc golf "season" of 2012. It is marked with many firsts which I will talk about in detail in the following posts: my PDGA membership, new discs, tournament participation, and a few new courses to add to my growing list.

 For the purposes of this post I will elaborate on my PDGA membership as well as the tournament highlights. So as the story goes, Diggs and myself decided we were going to play in a few tournaments and well those of you who play tournaments know that if you are not a PDGA member the cost is usually ten bucks more than if you were a member.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Disc Review: Prodigy D4

Prodigy D4
First the hype...

A considerable about of buzz has been generated in expectation for the release of the Prodigy D1 and D4.  Remarkable considering Prodigy is the new kid on the block in the manufacturing realm.  So new, in fact, that prior to the release of these two discs a couple weeks ago, they had yet to have any discs on the market!

So how does a new kid become the big kid?  Be represented by all the big guns of the sport.  Similar to what Hendrick Racing did in NASCAR (my college roommate was a fan.  Couldn't help pick up some info between yelling at him to switch it back to football).  They grabbed up a murderer's row of the top arms around, including Cale Leiviska, Sarah Hokum, Paul Ulibarri, his fiancee Katrina Allen, highest rated player in the world Will Schusterick, Paige Pierce, Ricky Wysocki, and blog favorite Nikko Locastro.

And why did all these names, a veritable all-star team join an unproven company?

Why because they founded it, of course!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Catch-Up Post # 1: ace rACE Numero Dos

It seems to be about this time of year that we take the time to dust off the lamp and fire up the cold...not talking Minnesota cold here but the blog site. I have succumbed to the business of the holiday season as well as the new addition to my family. Levi Michael was born on February 6th, 2013 and thus taken up a lot of my "spare" time when I would normally be writing blog posts.

On October 27th, I made the trip up to the Twin Cities of Mn to meet up with Diggs and play in my 2nd Ace Race of the season. After having one already under my belt and feeling very comfortable with the prototype disc now named the Zombee I felt that I had a decent chance at some chains.  The ace race/tournament was organized by one of the best disc golf outfitters in the Cities. Gotta Go Gotta Throw. This is the 3rd event I have played with them and haven't been disappointed yet. They do a wonderful job at stressing the events are to be FUN and spirited.

For more follow the jump.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Provisional Memberships

It is with great pleasure that I congratulate MRK.  The Mid Range King and Queen have been blessed with the Mid Range Prince.  I know, I know.  I should have probably let the King announce it himself, however, this whole thing has got me thinking...

Three of our members-in-good-standing have little ones, the King's new progeny, Jiggs' little one of less than a year, and Harky's brood.  And knowing their fathers, these little ones will likely grow up knowing the ways of the disc.  With a mind to the future, I propose that the Cold Lampin' community extend provisional memberships to the SCDGA Cold Lampin' Club.  While not full memberships per se, they represent a commitment of the group towards the support of those who would be our future.  I admit a selfish bent in all of this.  As one who hopes to pick up a couple provisional memberships for my own offspring someday, I would be honored to have any and all of you in the lives of my children.  Thank you all for your wonderful friendships.

If we can agree on this, all that's left is the nicknames...

Be on the look out for a future post on the new Prodigy D4, which I had the pleasure of throwing this last week in sunny Orlando.

No more a rake and no more a bachelor...


Friday, February 08, 2013

2013 Disc Golf Event

Highbridge Hills Sports Complex

The 2013 Annual Disc Golf Event has been planned and scheduled. The official location this year is a revisit to the disc golf complex in Highbridge, WI. The Highbridge Hills Sports Complex is a mecca of disc golf challenges and entertainment. Most of the other guys were able to attend this trip in 2011 as a bachelor weekend event before Diggs' wedding. They were able to experience what has to be the longest single hole ever and one of the most challenging and technical forest courses around.

One of the fun things to look forward to is staying at the Honka House. Looking forward to that as well.
Honka House

I am personaly not going to miss this for anything. Can't wait for June.

Warm up those throwing arms everyone. Good luck.