Friday, October 31, 2014

The Terror at Terrace Creek

The morning of the Terror at Terrace Creek tournament looked promising. The sky was menacing, but the ground was dry. My hope for somewhat dry tee pads was blown away almost immediately when gallons of water began belching from the clouds.

I was eating an apple, walking the quiet path into the woods toward basket 11 when it started to fall. 

Oh well, I thought. My plan was to attack and the pacific northwest rain wasn't going to stop me. I was equipped with a giant umbrella and comfortable clothes that kept me warm and dry. In my bag sat two Maw N Paw towels and I planned to use them quickly and efficiently throughout the rounds.

After stretching a bit I began putting. This is when all my past tournament experiences usually begin creeping into my mind. Scenes of me missing putts or hurling uncontrolled throws rush in. This time was different though. I felt fed up. 

I began attacking the basket.

Ching, ching, ching from 10 feet. Ching, ching, ching from 15 feet. Ching, ching, ching from 20 feet. 

My Legacy Clutches were dialed in. I wasn't surprised. I've been putting more than anything else for a while now. I've adopted a new thought process that I picked up through watching all the major tournament videos on YouTube.

If I can see it then I can make it. 

I used to think – well if I miss I don't want to miss and have a long putt back.

Fuck that.

Excuse my language.

That technique left me with short putts and weak attempts. I'm all in now. If I miss the bird then I just make the par. If I miss the par then I need to practice putting more.

This tournament was going to be different. I had more confidence than ever before. 

Rain? What rain?

When I found out my card was starting on hole three I wondered if the Universe just watched my putting routine and eavesdropped on my inner battle. It's as if the starry bastard wanted to see how serious I was and maybe try to call me on my bullshit.

For those of you that have played Terrace Creek in Mountlake Terrace, WA. you know hole three is a relatively easy hole as long as you shoot the gap. For those of you that are not familiar with this course I'll tell you hole three is a short adventure over a ravine. There's a tiny tee pad with a steep drop off and there is a jail of trees to miss in order to make it across. A lot of people hit one of two trees right in front of the tee. Those trees have been hit so much that there are now 2x4s attached to reinforce and protect them from further damage. The photo above is taken from a bit of an extreme angle to show the basket position straight ahead, but that's basically what you're looking at.

Hole three is a birdie hole, but it's also easily a bogey hole.

So be it. I was ready to throw. What ever happens, happens. 

I made it.

It wasn't pretty, but I was across and looking at a long putt for bird. I ended up getting the par, but that was OK. I passed the first test.

Going hole by hole isn't my intention here, but the next hole needs to be written about.

Feeling good about my previous par, I walked on to tee four and mentally designed my drive. This hole is a blind, lazy hyzer shot. You have to bend your shot to the left around a hill and in front of a mando tree. You don't want to cut it too short, because you'll be stuck on the side of the hill, which is plagued with a serious case of fern-itis.

My drive looked great. My card mates agreed. They all had great ones too. We all walked out and everyone found their disc except me. It was hiding somewhere. We all searched. It didn't make any sense. I had hit that line many times before and I usually know where about my disc could land. The photo below shows the different landing areas around the bend. The basket is just behind the third tree on the right.

It was no where. I finally called the three minutes on myself and rushed back to the tee to re-throw. I was livid. I quickly drove and watched my disc hold a hyzer line right past the mando tree.


I took a six.

The rest of the round was a battle to keep a dry grip and a positive attitude. I hit a few birds here and there. One of them was extremely memorable, because it was on a hole I had never birdied before.

Hole 11 is a 357 foot hallway shot. I've always been just a bit off on the drive and that small inaccuracy has consistently landed me in the shite off to one side.

This time around I had a Legacy Rival in my bag, but the problem was I had never tried it on the hole before. It's a new disc for me that I purchased at Discovering the World in California on my recent trip down there.

I used it a lot on the El Dorado course in Long Beach and from what I learned it seemed like it would be the better choice than the beat-in Star Teebird I usually throw on this hole.

One of my card mates saw it in my hand and told me he had only used a Cannon before from the Legacy lineup.

I explained to him that it had been flying for me like a beat Teebird.

I stepped up, visualized my throw and hit such a perfect line that it kind of freaked me out. It just stayed straight. Even at the end. I walked back to get my bag and my card mate said he was going to have to check one out.

I was still on the narrow path when I walked up to putt. I didn't have an easy, short putt, but it was within my range. I found my link, gave it a dead stare and didn't look away until I saw my Clutch hit the chains and fall in.

I was in shock, but I ran up and retrieved my disc like it was usual business.

That round was tough and I was sitting six over at the end, but I wasn't too bummed out because a lot of good things happened. I couldn't wait to start that second round.

Toward the end of the second round I was soaked and chilled to the bone, but I was throwing strong. My card had started on hole three again, but I got through with no problems. Missed the putt, but moved on with a par.

On hole 18 I was sitting at -1. I had three more holes to go. All of them are easy pars and two of them I have birdied before. Unfortunately I let that near 980 rated round slip away and ended the round with a 56. Two over wasn't too bad considering it ended up being my highest rated round (951) in a tournament ever.

I placed sixth over all in advanced and earned the last spot for scrip. I earned enough for a new disc and that made me happy.

My pick for the evening was a Legacy Icon Patriot since I haden't thrown one yet and a mini for the Dish.

After all my drama I'm happy with the way things turned out. I knew I could have placed higher and knowing that inspires me to work harder. My goal is to raise my rating to where I believe it should be and I am on my way to accomplishing that.

I'll never know where my Pro Destroyer landed on hole four that first round. I even went back the next day to look more thoroughly. It simply vanished. Maybe the Universe took it. That's OK though – it makes for a great story.

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