Friday, June 20, 2014

The Birdie Bash

This season I have chosen to not renew my PDGA membership and take a break from the sanctioned tournament scene for monetary and family reasons for the moment. I loved attending tournaments my last two seasons and hope to pick it back up in the future. This post has prompted the thought of another facet to the great game of organized disc golf activities. Dubbed what I am calling "novelty tournaments" For example you may have heard of Discraft's Ace Race tournaments where players get two prototype discs and try to get as many aces or (hole-in-ones) as possible in two rounds of disc golf. Super fun if you have the right course and discs. Another mini tournament that I hope to play in some day is the new Trilogy Challenge. However the event that gives this post credence is known as The Birdie Bash presented by Vibram Discs.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Gettin' Jiggy With It

As dawn broke across the Midwestern sky, my sleepy self along with my better half were already working our way southward.  She to fulfill her gainfully employed obligations; me to gain one more footstep toward my vocationally determined destination.  One more footstep to myself one day gaining gainful employ at the end of my preparatory journey.  I would be traveling much further that day.  And while my day would include painfully dreary and boring moments, others could never be considered such.

If I were to choose an hour to wipe the sleep out of my eyes, it would be the very same one in which I pulled into the parking lot of Seymour Smith Park in Omaha, over one hundred miles from where my day began.  Dew still fresh upon the ground, this is not the typical time for those of our ilk to ply our trade.  We are an afternoon-ish folk who would rather rest than experience the earlier parts of the solar cycle.  Yet here I was.  And I was not alone.  Jiggs and his firstborn would be my companions.

I had not practiced the art of the disc at Seymour in nearly a year.  I had first played the course in 2002 with the venerable SCDGA member Harky and the person who introduced us to disc golf who some here will know as the BBD.  It was the second course I had ever played.  It was the closest and most familiar course to me during my time in Omaha.  And I would now be able to play with the person I had introduced to the game at the course where I taught him the trade.

It was wet.  The fresh rain upon the ground recalling the Granite Ridge deluge of the first Cold Lampin' Weekend.  I fondly remembered it as I played with one who joined me in the experience, feet sloshing through wet shoes as we worked our way hurriedly around the course.  Unfortunately, schedules and responsibilities called us away to other things.  Things devoid of discs.  But we would have this experience.  We needed it.  Not because we required it for survival, but because life should be about more than survival.  And not because it was disc golf.  Though our compulsion to play our mutually beloved pastime is real, I would not have gone to the trouble for just another round.  But because in the act of playing with Jiggs, we were sharing all the experiences of the past year we were unable to share due to distance.  Because in that time that year was made manifest.  It is a means of reconnecting; it is empathy; it is sharing life.

I would be lying to you if I said that eighteen holes were played that day.  The clock and the schedule called to us, and divergent ways led on to ways as Frost well knows.  And telling you this with a sigh, I hope to impart that despite the imperfect throws, the incomplete round and the unfortunate weather conditions, the round was perfect.  It was perfect because we were able to play together.  And it is a perfection I wish to share with all you Cold Lampers again.

Ad Fontes!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Happy Memorial Day (week)!

Though of course, those to whom I should be directing such affections would be unable to hear such things.  I digress.  On the most Memorial of days I had the opportunity to finally get out and stretch the arm with the legally-bound family.  Due to our current transportation situation this is the first time since making the migration back to the land of my birth.  Needless to say the arm was rusty.  But who really cares.  When one has the opportunity to reacquaint with an old friend, one does not worry about whether one's whole life is in order so that one might be able to present the most positive of impressions.  One simply embraces one's friend.

And so to the land of disc we go.  Joining me were some familiar to the Cold Lampin' cadre: BroLo El Cunado (who has joined us on a couple Cold Lampin' Weekends), Mr. and Mrs. In-laws, and the incomparable Mrs. Diggs.  Our destination?  Crystal Cove in the South SUX.

It was a nice little outing.  You know, other than the thunderstorm that hit halfway through.  Despite the long layoff and unfortunate weather, I was able to have a fair amount of control.  The Money ($) Putter made an appearance and earned its name.  I hit a couple putts from outside the circle and I hit facemask on a 100 ft shot.

Keep in mind that we were working off back up discs here.  My main bag is back east along with most of my midrange discs and all but my trophy putters.  Negligible play time... relatively unknown course... foreign discs... a putter I've never thrown... I'm content with how I did, even though it was a fairly non-competitive round.  I was even below par until I started flagging toward the end.  It was a pretty solid way to spend the day.

Two more notes:
  1. My wife who NEVER plays with me (she honestly will only walk with me) decided to play.  The results were better than anticipated.  Not only did she improve throughout the day, she will occasionally do this little jump at the end of her throw that it is the cutest thing ever.  Sometimes the untaught techniques are the best.
  2. Those who attended the first Cold Lampin' Weekend may remember my friend Bryan.  I was able to help him celebrate him and his beloved become Mr. and Mrs.  Congrats to the awesome couple!

I'm out,

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

From East to (mid)West

Alright ya'll, with yet another finals season finished, a new time of the year begins (preferably with more disc golf than the last).  My summer will be markedly different than the previous few.  For instance, my PDGA account has not been renewed this year.  With so much uncertainty and busyness and travel in the last couple months and with so much more of the same in the next couple months, I didn't think I would find the time or resources to make renewal worthwhile.  We hope that next year will be different, but it just didn't make sense this year.  Further, the annual disc golf weekend of the SCDGA will be sans Diggs.  I hope the rest of ya'll are still able to get together for a trip, but for similar reasons, the timing and the finances just didn't make it possible.

What I am looking at, however, is a Midwest cameo for about a month or so before returning to the east coast.  During that month, I hope to connect with anyone who might be around the SCDGA birthplace during the rest of May through a fair amount of June.  I would like to see you gentlemen if possible.  I will be without reliable transportation during that time, and with my competition bag staying put out east, I'll be struggling through a meager disc schedule on backup discs.  Such is life.  But after I get back out here, things should open up a bit, allowing a more regular disc fix.

Here's what we're looking at through August:

  • MRK has already mentioned a possible trip down to throw a round or two.  This needs to happen.
  • I have a couple business trips during the Midwest trip.  One of these takes me to Jiggs' hometown.  We're going to try to get together and play a round at our old stomping grounds
  • Another trip takes me to Kansas City for a couple days.  I have not played a course in Kansas or Missouri.  I'm hoping to make both happen
  • I haven't spoken with URBWes in awhile, but if he wants to spike some more burritos, he should visit his sister during early June.  URBWes, you want a burrito
  • Harky I know is more limited in coming back (that's what you get for living in the Big Cheesy), but I wish him the best in working out a disc weekend!
  • When I get back here, I'll have about three guys to play with around here.  They aren't my Cold Lampin' Crew, but they'll do.  We'll be regulars at the Mercer course, which has gotten much better this season
  • I'm also hopeful we are able to make a trip to Tyler State Park and maybe even Warwick up north.  These are two well-regarded courses and the best around here
  • Most of you will know to whom I refer when I mention the Halo name Reepicheep.  There's a possibility I'll be able to head up to see him this summer.  If so, I'm not sure I could pass on all the quality disc around Rochester
I leave tomorrow morning for a place that was 40 degrees colder than it was here today.  I hope you are all doing well.  Catch ya'll 'round the Lamp.


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Sweet Release!

It is official.  I have now played my first round of 2014!  Only a day after my meteorological tirade, the fates heard my anguish and conspired an opportunity to express myself in plastic.  In shorts no less!  What a difference a day can make.

I, predictably, was about as consistent as a manic depressive.  My drives?  Short and erratic.  My approaches?  Untypically long.  Putts?  Missed 15 footers and made 30+ footers.  My lines were the only consistent part of the round.  They regularly went straight into trees.

It was just nice to get out.  Now let's see how the arm feels tomorrow!

Diggs, out.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Meteorological Lies

I had been reserving further posts until, you know, I had actually played a round this year.  I thought that would be today.  I was wrong.

I had the time.  I had the will.  And according to our weather reports, I should have had the weather.  0% chance they said.  There'd be no rain they said.  Now their pants are on fire.  The paradigmatic prophetic voice of our culture has (yet again) been laid low, embarrassed by reality.  Its as if the divine winds come yet again to prove to all that they are the Troll of Trolls.  Internet-bound pubescent teens haven't a chance to unseat the champ.

Why do we even try anymore?  Would it be equally successful to blindly throw darts at a board?  Why do we even allow absolute percentages at this point?  0%?  I don't think you understand that number.  Shouldn't there always be a chance, even if so minute the number is in decimal points?  Let us all vow never to invest in such absolute numbers.  It only ends in tears.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Awaiting Spring...and other thoughts

Hello disc golf fans! It has been much too long since I have graced this blog with a post. As I look out the window here in Minnesota, I am feeling sick to my stomach to see yet another snow storm roll on though. Should be more by the time this post goes to print. Last week the weather was warmer and many of the large mountains of snow began slowly melting away leaving the beautiful brown grass to show.

I have been licking my chops waiting for the first time I can toss some plastic.  So many thoughts and ideas have been going through my head this winter about goals, discs, courses, league night, tournaments, and just watching the plastic fly through the air.  My next few Friday posts will center around my goals for the upcoming disc golf season. Historically, I write a long post about what I want to accomplish in the new season...this time I plan on writing a series of posts breaking down into single mini posts on various aspects of my game that I wish to address.

Until next Week

MRK out...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Squish the Bug

This is the time of the year when I think about how horrible I am at disc golf; it is also the time that I think about getting a bit better.  With the weather hampering any productive rounds, our only solace is to watch others do what we love.  In spending too much time watching disc golf youtube movies, I am usually able to pick up one or two things I notice one more more of the pros doing that I think can be useful to my game.

This year my focus is something I've known I've needed to work on for awhile, the pivot.  Since becoming a RHBH thrower, I have recognized the importance of a good pivot in transferring energy.  And muscle memory being what it is, I naturally reverted to the technique of a baseball swing.  As I was instructed as a wee lad, one should step and "squish the bug," rotating on the ball of my foot.

So that's what I've been doing.  But I've noticed a significant problem with it.  The torque created on my knee is creating structural problems at my tender old age.  This became problematic enough for me to start using a knee brace for the rest of the year following an unfortunate experience at the Des Moines Challenge.  I needed to find a way to take pressure off the knee as I throw.

I've also noticed that none of the pros pivot on the balls of their feet.  As they pivot, they plant perpendicular to where they throw (similar to me), but they will then shift weight to the heel to pivot before shifting their weight forward again for the finish.

So that's what I'm hoping to do this spring.  If I change any one technique this year, it will be the pivot.  I'm not entirely certain this will completely alleviate the knee problems, but it sure can't stay the way it is now.  Let us hope that my knee will stay healthy enough to avoid the brace as much as possible.  It is SUPER annoying!


P.S. Sorry for the late article.  At least it isn't well written!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Geographical Goals for 2014

I realized the other week that I had yet to fully update the course map page.  In doing so, I noticed that the Cold Lampin' Crew has now tallied 79 courses across 15 states.  I was very impressed!  Well done, gents!

But I was not terribly satisfied.  Maybe a case of OCD is creeping in, but 79 courses looks to me like a crooked number.  Let's straighten it out a bit.  Hear and accept!  The goal for the 2014 disc golf season is for our cohort to top 100 courses!  That means that between the lot of us, we will need to add a total of 21 courses, or nearly a 25% increase in our current number.  A daunting task to be sure.  But here's where things get possible...

The King has already spoken to me of a number of new courses he has already put on his docket to play.  Between that and any new courses he may play at tourneys this year, I imagine he could easily add 6-7 himself.  In addition, with my new digs in a relatively unexplored area of the country, I think I could easily find 10 new courses around here to hit up at least once.  Two in particular catch my eye, and others around seem promising.  Let's call that 17 total.  If we can find just four more courses, we're there.

Let's do it, gentlemen!  Join the quest to 100 courses!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Rocky Montage

The weather forecast has indicated to me that the optimism of my previous post is more a statement on our mutually held desires than it is an accurate representation of reality.  Winter yet remains.  It will not always, but it is still in the coming.  We may here note that manifesting desire in the physical plane is not as simple as one might wish.

The professionals have already put in some work.  It is worth perusing if you have the time.  But in lieu of personal accounts of flying polymers by which I may regale you, I think I will instead touch on an issue which I think is too little addressed in this sport of ours.  Physical preparation.

My fat ass has sat around for far too long.  There was a time when I kept it mildly toned with the help of Tony Horton's P90X, but the copy was not mine and moving one thousand miles away from that copy has made it difficult to continue.  I started Insanity the other day, and we will see how that works out.  So far I have only been reminded that while I do have many shapes, I am not IN any of them.  Hopefully I can get to some semblance of fitness without sacrificing knee stability.

The point of all this is not to bring up my own personal workout routine, but to finally ask the question, what is the most effective way one may prepare one's body for disc golf?

Would it be similar to a ball golfer's routine?  Perhaps a baseball player's?  Should I run?  Work core?  Lift free weights?  If so, what lifts will best prepare me?  I am in the northeast now.  Should I take up rowing?

I'm not sure what the answer is, but this has long been a question of mine.  Please let me know your thoughts.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Itch

Hello ladies and gents,

It certainly has been awhile, but we're back in the saddle again.  For those of you not in the know, I went back to school this fall, and I have to say, it has been kicking the lower end of my digestive tract.  Homework is a bear and takes up too much time.

This semester is a little lighter on the course load.  That or I'm just not being as diligent.  The truth is somewhere in there.  In any event, this is the time of the year when I get the itch...

I greatly dislike playing in typical winter weather.  I've played in snow and ice before.  Pretty sure I did it on sheer principle.  But as I've grown older, I've realized that (in the words of Lewis Black) it isn't a triumph of the human spirit... it's f***in' stupid.  It doesn't seem like disc golf to me.  Instead, I've spent the winter cooped up inside staring at my practice basket.  And as month as turned to month, my strange desire to throw molded plastic at metallic assembles becomes a pervasive part of my reality.  It is a cacophony of silence that begs to be pierced by the chinging of chains.

Let us all prepare now brothers and sisters to scratch that mutual itch we share.  For while in the fall we somberly muttered that winter is coming, in the winter we may now anxiously proclaim that spring is nigh!