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...
1. Camaraderie - At each of these tournaments, the MRK was around to share in the trials and tribulations; the joys and successes. And in the process of getting ready for the tournaments, Jiggs was around to get the arm in shape. Even when your round doesn't include someone you know, the quality of folks around is typically pretty solid. There's the occasional turd in the punchbowl, but for the most part, if they're playing tourneys, they take their disc fairly seriously and buy into the chill culture surrounding the sport.
I whole-heartedly enjoyed the tourney experience and hope to have more in the future