Saturday, November 1, 2014

GHEDI: Griffin Hill Equinox Disc Invitational

Hot Chick award

This is how I remember the conversation starting.

"You know the Count?"

I said, "The what?"

"The Count. Count Ferrari," my friend Don said.

This was the day I discovered there was an actual Count in the disc golf world, and he happened to live nearby.

Apparently the Count hosts a couple of tournaments a year on a private disc golf course designed around his home. There was only one rule to follow if you wanted to be invited.

The sign

You must have the right attitude.

Don said he would secure me an invite to the next one.

But did I have the right attitude? I wasn't sure. What did that mean? I have an old memory of a guy randomly asking me if the door was open. I happened to be standing in front of an open door, so I was confused and wondered why he had to ask. He could definitely see that the door behind me was open.

I said, "This door?"

He said, "No, dude. Is the door open?"

"The door behind me is open," I said.

He impatiently replied, "No, man. Is the DOOR open?"

I stared at him for a second and then as if he gave up he said, "Do you want some cocaine?"

"Whoa... um, yeah... I mean no. No the door isn't open," I said.

So what was this "attitude" Don was talking about? What if it was code? I've only known Don for a couple years. Maybe he's in to some weird shit. Maybe he was about to get me invited to some nudist commune or something. I guess you would definitely have to have the right attitude to play disc golf in the buff. That's a lot of whipping, spinning and picking things up off the ground. I wouldn't have the right attitude for that sort of scene.

I was still curious and hoped what ever it was I was about to walk into wasn't too freaky. So, all I could do was wait for the next tournament to be scheduled.

And so it was.
Don walking through the horse stables.

At the crack of dawn on September 20th I drove into Everett to pick up my friend. Don had a bag of discs and a giant Crockpot full of beefy goodness. Things were starting off very normal. I was glad.

The beauties. "Don't bang a horse."

We made our way into Arlington and after a couple of turns we were headed up the private road leading to the Count's massive piece of property. The place looked amazing. There were white horses walking around, a pond surrounded with lush greenery and extremely interesting homemade disc golf baskets and tone poles scattered about.

Things were starting off very well and everyone I met, including the Count, still had their clothes on.

Don and I started walking the course and playing some of the holes to get familiar with the layout. While we were out more people had arrived.

We cut our practice off and walked back to tournament central. Twenty or so people were milling about and most of them were either making or opening their early morning beverage. There was whiskey, beer, cocktails and I believe bloody Marys being passed around. There was also a ton of food being organized. I had brought chips and salsa from a local Mexican food joint, but some people brought awesome clam chowder, delicious crab bisque and a ton of pastries. The list could go on.

Everyone seemed happy to be alive and everyone still had their clothes on.

Things were looking really good. I started to understand what was meant by having the right attitude.

The fire hazard.

Our format for the tournament was one round of singles and then a second round of doubles. For the doubles round the lowest scores were paired with the highest scores. I landed somewhere in the middle. A well-known local badass ended up setting a new course record with a -15.

The people I met were kind, positive and ready to have fun. It was a disc golf gathering many of us enjoy.

Just like any other sport, disc golf can bring the worst out of your competitive spirit. I've seen grown adults throw tantrums. I've seen people get so pissed off that they throw their entire bag into the air. I've seen people simply stop playing and slowly walk off the course.

I know I'm guilty. Although, I usually get upset and talk to myself when I'm alone. I'm very conscious of my attitude when there are other people around, because the last thing I want to do is ruin anyone else's vibe.

There's no room for tantrums at the GHEDI. That's what they meant by having the right attitude. It's a tournament, but you're not there to win. You're there to play and enjoy the company of others in an awesome setting. It's disc golf in its simplest form.

The day out with the Count was one I will remember for ever. I loved it. It gives me a perfect example to share when I try to explain why disc golf is so addicting.

And I'm so glad I didn't have to come home and tell my wife I was playing disc golf naked with a bunch of strangers.

Thanks, Count.

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