I like disc golf.
Seriously, it’s a good time and good exercise. Case in point? By my pedometer’s count, I walked 5.1 miles playing 36 holes in a tournament Sunday afternoon. Anyone who thinks that’s not exercise needs to really define the word. It’s said that 30 minutes of walking per day helps your health. I did that and then some.
But this isn’t about the argument of whether or not disc golf constitutes exercise. This is about how a fun game can turn sour in a hurry.
See, when you are in tournaments, you don’t have control over a lot of things — weather, playing partners etc. You have to go with the flow. Still, the hope is to keep the game fun and entertaining. Without those last two pieces, a tournament — and the game — become dragging and not something I want to do.
So this tournament I played in Sunday…
It’s on a course I really like. I’ve shot well here and though I knew I stood no chance of winning my division, I set a goal of not finishing dead last in the division and the tournament. Anything else would be gravy.
The first round I got paired with three people in a different division. That’s fine, but it was tough because they were playing from the blue (longer) tees and I was playing from the white (shorter) tees. That basically meant that no matter how well I shot, I wasn’t going to get to be first on the tee if I got the lowest score because I was on a different tee.
I didn’t have an issue playing with the guys I was paired with. They were all cool to deal with and good players. But, for someone like me, that’s a little intimidating. They know a lot more. They do a lot more. The score a lot better. It’s tough when paired with people like this because newer players (such as myself) can watch and get lost in it all.
And it can’t be any better for those guys as they shoot 15-20 strokes better than me.
The hardest part was when we walked up to the white tees and sometimes they’d continue on before I’d say something. I don’t blame them either — they are playing from those tees, watching their shots, knowing what they have to do etc.
But for me, it made it harder because I didn’t want to slow them down or “hurt” their game. So I rushed at times, got stupid at others. All because I was worried about other things. The reality was that I wasn’t going to place in my division. Those guys could win theirs. It stunk, to be honest. I felt bad and I played worse. (To be fair, the thunderstorm that rolled through and soaked us didn’t help my misery, either).
I shot an 83 on a course that I hadn’t been out of the 70s on in quite a while.
The second round was a different story. I played with people from my division. People playing from the white tees. We played as quick as we could, had fun and all scored near the same. It was enjoyable. We joked, we chatted and didn’t worry. I wasn’t worried about screwing somebody’s game up. I was loose and enjoyed the round.
End result? A 72.
I truly understand that tournaments are hard to organize, run and do. I’ve done them in many sports. I’ve run leagues and tournaments and all sorts of things. So I can empathize. People who didn’t pre-register can also put a wrench in the spokes. And many tournaments I’ve played in do the same thing in the opening round — mix up players in different divisions. But it seems unfair to put a recreational/novice player with those who are really good. At least put two people playing from the whites in with a couple from the blues. That would make it a little less nerve-racking — for both sets of people.
I don’t know if my play had any effect on the three better players. But I know it did on me because of several factors. It wasn’t the company — I enjoyed the three others. In fact, I think a casual round with the three of them would be fun and educational, in regard to disc golfing. But in a tournament? It was tough.
In the end, it was OK. My 11-stroke differential between rounds earned me a $25 gift card to a sports store for best improvement. So add that to the disc I got for playing and two rounds of competition for my $20 fee, and I can’t complain. But, it’s food for thought.
For those of you who might read the blog and are disc golfers — give me your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you think about these things.
As you may know, I’m in the midst of a small personal project on the blog with my research of obscure baseball players.
I’ve picked out a half-dozen or so that I am going to start digging into and getting information on. I’m going to head up to Cooperstown and the National Baseball Hall of Fame to visit its library and find what I can on these players.
I’m hoping I can connect some dots as for some of these players, all I have is what I can find on baseball-reference.com. Hopefully, there will be a few things I can add to the numbers from this trip to the Hall.
It’s time for me to come up with a better way of storing memory cards after switching them out of my camera.
I went to the county fair Saturday and took a small memory card full of photos, many of which were really cute photos of a friend’s daughter. When I got home and was ready to move them from the card to my external hard drive, I couldn’t find the card.
Panic set in.
I looked through all of my pockets and everything else. The camera bag, my memory card pouch — everything. And nothing found.
I had put the card in my pocket when switching out and I had no idea what happened. My only thought was that I dropped it at the fair (in one of two places) or in the street at my friend’s house when getting in my car.
He went out and checked at his house. Nothing.
I went searching again and found a bag I had in my pocket. The card somehow ended up in there. My panic ended. That made me realize that I need to come up with a memory card holder to be able to switch out when needed. I don’t ever want to go through that again!
Any of you photographers have any suggestions for a good pocket-sized memory card holder?
Speaking of disc golf, as I did earlier in this post, I received an interesting package in the mail.
It was my renewal for my PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) membership. What’s odd about that is that I didn’t renew because my membership doesn’t end until Dec. 31, 2011. And if I was going to renew, I would do it after Oct. 1, when it would give credit for next year. Even with that, it wouldn’t make sense. I hadn’t planned on renewing until the end of the year, when it needed to be done.
Last year, when I signed up, I did it after Oct. 1, so it was for the end of 2010 and all of 2011. When I did that, I got all of the perks and membership stuff. It also included the 2010 member card, which showed my membership expiring on Dec. 31, 2011.
Then the package came today.
I didn’t know what had happened. So, I called them.
Turns out that when I signed up in October, I got all of the 2010 items and then would eventually get the 2011 items. Apparently today is that eventually. At least it all makes sense now!
I have some things in the works for future blog posts. I have e-mailed Bill Walker — Skywalker in hiking circles — and will be talking to him soon for a post or two on the blog about his adventures in thru-hiking. I have already previewed one of his books on the site and will be reading his second one, soon.
That also gave me an idea.
I have followed several people through their trail journals this year in regard to hiking the Appalachian Trail. Some finished, some didn’t. I am going to reach out to several of them in the hopes of interviewing them for a post on the blog. I’d like to get both sides, too, so it shows why some people need to leave the trail, how hard it is to finish it or not etc.
I’m going to try and correlate them so I can do all of them over a two-week period (including the Walker stories), maybe going every other day or so — that way not going too overboard with the hiking stories! But I think in the end, it will show a compelling picture of what people have to go through on the hikes. It’s my hopes that I’ll be able to get a few photos from each, too, to be able to help all of you paint a picture of what they go through when they do hikes like this.
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com.