Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My first sorta tournament recap

I've already copped to doing more fieldwork than healthy, but after a this last weekend's tournament I felt like it was not all in vain. This was my first tournament of any kind. It was really nice to play doubles for my first time and I somehow lucked out and my brother ended up being my partner. More likely the random draw wasn't THAT random. I played a round where I had some big old nasty screw-ups, but thankfully it was doubles and my brother managed to pickup the slack when I did shank one, two or well, you get the point.

Down the hill, up the hill! Repeat. Lynn and Ron Leader.

Let's talk about the screw-ups first (because everybody loves a good bone up story).

To start, I woke up at 5am and couldn't get back to sleep! I was excited and nervous and I just lay in bed for another hour and half waiting for the alarm to go off. Not exactly a screw-up, but I certainly could have used more rest.

Next, new plastic that I'm even slightly unfamiliar with should be left at home on tournament day. I brought a new 176 MVP Axis that I'd thrown for 4 days during my field work practice. I figured I had some idea as to what it would do and that a hard snap would keep it straight, even turning right early a bit. Right?! I threw a shot across a big tree filled gully that I wanted to put a straight line across, and I even added a little anhyzer to the shot to hopefully keep it heading right. Of course, that anyhzer release sapped all of my snap... the thing went STRAIGHT, STRAIGHT, LEFT, LEFT, LEFT down down to the bottom of the gully into the abyss. I lucked out and found it 200' down the gully - but still it was a terrible shot.

Had I thrown my well worn Z Buzzz - it probably would have been a straight shot - I know I don't add anhyzer to it ever to keep the Buzzz straight... but I wanted to throw the new plastic. Gratefully my brother bailed me out with a great shot. 

TEAMWORK is what we called that... AKA, him bailing me out.

The new 175 Katana also came out and I know that mold pretty well - as the one I found (and lost) was a disc that I threw quite a bit. Big downhill throw (400ish feet) with a bunch of time for the disc to fade. I put it way out there - and it faded and faded and faded - ended up probably 50' pin high, 150' left of the pin. New over-stable plastic is more over-stable before it gets beat! I guess I just believed I could snap it hard enough to keep it straight for 450'! Dumb move. Brother saved me again. Team. Work.

Probably the most painful screw-up came on the first or second hole. 15' gimme putt for a double birdie (-2 on the hole). Brother putts in no problem. I look at it for a second and it was like I went into tunnel vision. I could feel the other players looking at me even though I knew this was a fun game and there was no real pressure. 

I felt like I was rushing and wooden and nervous. Off the top it goes and I immediately feel like a donkey. I had warmed up a bunch with putts from 15', while everybody else was shooting from 30-50'. I felt like an idiot doing it, but I wanted to get the same feeling I have when practice putting and I'm actually consistent. I never really got that feeling because I felt like I was dodging discs, in the way, talking with people... it is HARD to warm up your putts.

Lastly, if the teebox drops off - don't have your run-up end 6" from the edge of the teebox. I did this. As I approached the release, I leaned way back during the throw so that I didn't fall off the box and shanked the crap out of my drive. TEAMWORK! Thanks bro.

So it wasn't all bad!

I had my bag packed the night before - clothes picked out so I wasn't rushing to find clean socks while the wife slept. I also had a big breakfast and a mug of coffee so that I wasn't dealing with a caffeine headache. Plenty of snacks and 2 liters of water in the bag. I ended up refilling a bottle w/ 4 holes left to go... it was that long of a day. We got there and were checked in, warmed up and ready to go with plenty of time. I would have hated to have been rushed.

Eventually my putting came around and between my brother and I we made most of our shots from within 25'.

Field work payed off when I put a thumber about 6' from the pin over a huge bush from about 100' out. I didn't feel like I had a chance at getting over the huge bush with a forehand or backhand.  I throw thumbers a few times a week during field work - but not much more because they're brutal on my thumb. It feels like the skin on my thumb is being ripped off, probably because that's what's happening. It's a strange throw, no question, but a very nice shot to get you out of trouble.

I actually threw the damn anhyzer and it worked.

The back-hand anhyzer drive. There's probably no shot that I fail with, during a game, as much as this shot. Throwing 250-300' with this shot, when it really has to go right and stay right, requires leaning my upper body back in a way that seems to drain all power from my shot. So two things HELP but don't solve this problem. First, I use a lighter understable driver. The same 167 Star RoadRunner that I use for thumbers is my disc of choice. Just a flat hard release will get this disc to turn right. But just turning right isn't always enough if you want it to get over a tree, which requires some UMPH and height.  Second, I pull tight across my chest and really try to get a good hit. 

Well, I actually nailed the shot! From the teebox, I managed to park a shot 5' from the pin - 300' across a deep valley and left of a tree hanging out near the teebox that was just enough in the way to keep you from getting a straight shot at the pin.

I didn't feel like I was just relying on my brother for getting us outta every bad situation - though I certainly put the pressure on him a few times. We both managed to have our shots go bad when the other guy had it covered.

My brother and I ended up shooting '-3' for the day over 21 of the most challenging holes that could ever imagine dreaming up (and we were friends at the end of it!). I felt like I was able to relax in between times when I really wanted to focus. It was great that it was doubles, everybody seemed social, lots of laughing and having a good time and it was charity event - not some scary sanctioned PDGA tournament. It was really fun and relaxed. But, I tried to imagine playing that course as a regular singles tournament and it gave me the shivers. It would have been a very very BIG score if I was playing solo. TEAMWORK!

My brother and doubles partner for the day (left) and I (right) before the start.


  1. Doubles are a lot more fun to play, it's not so intense. I'm not a long driving player and my partner is but my approaches and anny's are better than his, so it balances out better. I've played in two singles and one doubles, needless to say i didn't place in the singles but we came in 5th out of 19 in the doubles. I'll stick to doubles until I feel a little more confident in tournies.

    1. I am definitely a fan of the double format and I think it lends itself to being more relaxed and social. If you both miss a putt - you don't have to feel too bad - because you know you're in good company.