Tuesday, April 30, 2013

AFT Update

The Treejectory AM Classic tournament was a damn good time and I'm glad I participated. I got to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a while, I got to meet new people, I got to throw a Seattle Rainmakers ultimate disc made by Innova and I got to play two tough rounds of golf in sporadic windy conditions.

I'm refusing to litter this post with excuses about my poor performance, so I won't go into detail about what could have, or should have, been. I just knew it was going to be business as usual when I watched my first drive of the day sail in a direction I haven't seen in a long time.

I thought to myself, "Here we go," while standing one over par on the second tee with muddy shoes. The fact is my first round was comical. I shot a 66 and sat in last place after the round.

While eating pizza during the break I thought about the comment left by Ryan in the last post. He gave me some great advice.

1. don't put too much pressure on yourself, disc golf is meant to be fun, keep that mindset...
2. don't look at those problem holes as problems, it will only bring in the negativity...look at those holes as a challenge to better your game, in a positive mindset...ahead of time, visualize your perfect drive...
3. whatever time you devote to practice putting, devote the same amount of time 'meditating' on putting...practice in your head making every, single 25-footer, watching in your mind's eye as they crash the chains every time...trust me, this works!
4. block out all the other players, if you can. play your game. don't let another player get in your head.

By the time the second round started I was in a positive mood and ready to have fun. I ended up shooting a 59. Even though it wasn't one of my better scores on that course I was extremely happy to shoot seven strokes better than my first round.

I still ended up near the bottom after all the scores came in, but I didn't care too much. If I would have played my normal division I would have tied for second place, which would have been fun because I could have participated in a playoff for the trophy. 

Going in to this I wanted to learn something. I found out that consistency is the only thing keeping me from competing in the Advanced division. I have the distance. I just hit more trees. I can scramble, but I can't sink as many putts. I'll be working on my putting a lot more in the coming months. I've been so obsessed with gaining distance I've weakened other shots in my bag.

So, next time I'll be back among the Intermediate folks, but I'll make sure it's not for too much longer.

In the last post I mentioned four problem areas I was worried about. Here they are:

1. The OB on fairway one.
2. The trees off the tee on three.
3. The low ceiling and narrow hallway tee shot on 11.
4. The possibility of a lost disc on fairway 18.

Here's what happened.

I kept my Surge SS in bounds on one during the first round, but hurled it OB during the second round. There was a slight tail wind and I didn't think about what the wind would do to my shot.

On the first round I smacked an early tree off of the tee on three. I made it through during the second round

I had low straight drives both rounds on 11, but I missed the putt to card a 4 in the first round.

I was relieved to hear there would be spotters on the fairway of 18. I threw a strong drive and landed close to the fairway during the first round, but sailed off into some trees during the second. Never lost a disc though.

Just in case you're interested here's a link to the scores:


Monday, April 22, 2013

Another Freaking Tournament (AFT)

I registered into another freaking tournament.

The first Treejectory Classic tournament at the Terrace Creek disc golf course is slated for April 27. I'm excited and honestly a bit frightened, but I've been practicing as much as I can on the course and I feel the fear slowly subsiding.

Terrace Creek is technically my home course and I've played really well there in the past, so I decided to really torture myself and sign up in the Advanced division.

I've thrown among intermediates in all the tournaments I've played. I never learn anything. If I'm not going to place near the top of the pack then I better look for a way to get a lesson. Signing up as an advanced player should help with that.

I haven't posted about my distance progress lately, because I'm tired of guessing and Google mapping lengths of throws. I'm saving up for a laser range finder and when I acquire that I will post accurate distances.

I will say I know progress has been made.

Although with this progress a small issue with consistency and accuracy has plagued my regular play. I've discovered "timing" when driving off the tee and when my timing is off I can create advanced personal fairways if you know what I mean. Trees lose bark and squirrels scream for mommy.

This random inconsistency will have the back of my mind pulsing on every tee pad, but there are a few course features I will be worried about too. Here's a list:

1. The OB on fairway one.
2. The trees off the tee on three.
3. The low ceiling and narrow hallway tee shot on 11.
4. The possibility of a lost disc on fairway 18.

The tee shot off of tee one gives me nightmares. The distance to the basket is only 300 ft. or so, but it's slightly uphill the whole way. I've been told it plays more like 350' to 375'. That's not the problem though.

The problem is the busy road that hugs the left side of the fairway and the trees to the right near the basket. This situation creates a small gap to pierce in order to land in the circle.   

I'm a right hand/back hand thrower with a forearm only good for escaping tight spaces. I only have two options right now. I can either hyzer flip something without hitting the trees to the right, or fail to hyzer flip something and watch the disc hit a car.

Since starting this blog I've created a mental list of additional goals and one of them is to card a birdie on this dang hole.

Now tee three is like throwing a hail Mary. From the pad a disc golfer has to clear a ravine to reach the basket. It's not that far of a throw, but the trees in front of the tee pad mock you. They call you names. They stand only feet apart and dare you to clear the gap. If you fail you turn an easy bird into an exhausting bogey... or worse.

Throwing off of tee 11 hasn't been too much of a problem for me lately, but it's still a hole I think about. Your drive doesn't have a lot of room to play in the air.

Lastly, during casual rounds I've been in groups that took well over three minutes to search for a disc off the fairway of 18. Some of the time it's been my disc that we're looking for. This hole is a 500 ft. hallway shot with decent elevation. I've read roughly 70ft. Right handed throwers tend to fade out early and dive into a thicket of trees and blackberry bushes. If you turn one over to the right too much you lose site of the disc and end up in a jail of head-high reeds of some sort. Also, that area is flooded this time of year.

This tourney should be interesting. I have a few more days of practice coming up, so hopefully I can get myself ready for competitive play, or at the very least an enjoyable and informative couple of rounds of disc golf.

Wish me luck.