The first weekend of April had been circled on my calendar for months - it stood out as a double barreled test that I simultaneously anticipated and dreaded.
The anticipation - Early in January, I devised my "Tour" list, selecting slightly over 20 events I planned to compete in for 2019. The Dogwood Crosstown was a no-brainer - B Tier, local, and ran by people whom I know, love and enjoy spending time with. Also it was to be my "test" tournament - the weekend I had earlier predicted to be my litmus test before heading out to Emporia Kansas for the Glass Blown Open at the end of the month. But as you will recall, Buckhorn really slapped me in the face, unnerved me a bit, and in the following days I dropped GBO and took a little sabbatical and soul re-calibration.
Upon returning, the absence of the GBO made the Crosstown more important - it became my defacto big event for the first half of the year. I was determined that come Hell or high water, I would do my best.
I also dreaded the weekend. Fly Guy had been tapped for providing the merchandise payout, and the event promised to be the biggest one that Mitchell and I had undertaken. Though we had set up for B tiers already, once to solely vend and another for payout, this was going to be different due to the sheer size of the fields and the depth of the payout - and I didn't want to fall short. I countered this with a preemptive stocking up, and as you will see later we ended up providing a large stocked variety to positive feedback.
The Night Before
For the week leading up to the event, the plan was for Friday April 5th to be the final inventory and load up of all of the inventory into our enclosed trailer. The night before on Thursday I had acquired an additional 225 discs from Chuck, and we didn't have time to bar code them all - but as we were offering them at a discount, I was not that concerned. More so I wanted to get all of the stock loaded in a methodical manner so that when we hit the ground on Saturday , we could basically unload so efficiently that it looked like the tents just unfolded and the merch was already in place and under them. Life is strange though - as I headed home, I got caught up in a traffic jam due to the whole naked dude who punched a cop on the highway thing. I ended up not moving for 45 minutes - 45 minutes of crucial time as rain was in the forecast and daylight was slipping away.
My sons are awesome. Mitchell, my oldest son who helps with the store and is my junior partner, took it upon himself to go to my shop and load up alone, to make sure it gets done. But when he arrived, my other two sons who don't normally participate as much where Fly Guy is concerned offered to pitch in and help him. Together the three of them loaded the trailer better than the plan I had envisioned.
Saturday started with us leaving home at 6:00 . We went directly to Zebulon and set up the Fly Guy Tents there since both Pools would play that course that day.
Then - I did something different - I walked away. As soon as all of the tables were arranged, I simply got my gear, went and saw Chris Dimsdale who was TD for that course ( Team Fly Guy shout out!) , and I got ready for the round. At this time I also was able to finally distribute some Fly Guy shirts to some of the team as I received them at the event. It was really cool seeing the logo around the field of competitors at the players meeting.
One thing that Mitchell and I have been discussing is that my scoring is lower at events that we take the store to - a natural result perhaps, as my mind is on the store, and talking to people about store related things, and not on the game. Mitchell is currently taking a break from competitive disc golf, working instead on his game away from the stress of tournaments - while I realize I'm 44, not getting younger, and want to play as many events as I can. So we had made the deal that he's the sales department, and I'm the Team Manager, and we operate as such. At the event He's my boss, so to speak, and has run of the operation in the run of the mill, tapping me only if there is an issue or question he's not prepared to address.
That was what I needed. My first round, the only I would play at Zebulon for the weekend, was the best tournament round I have carded at that park to date. Not to mislead anyone, it wasn't fire and I wasn't in the lead - I was actually sitting in the last for payout spot (10th) when it ended - but I was happy with my 66. (Personal favorite part of the day was finally parring 10 Drop in - after a life average of 5.5 on the hole.)
Lunch was a treat - actually lunch was treated to me from Geoffrey and Victoria "Victory" Griffiths - we went to the amazing home-style McLean's in Zebulon, and the service was fast and attentive.
Second round was Clayton - oh man. I had played Clayton only twice before, both from the long tee pads - and for the event would have to play it twice from the newly installed short pads.
I made a serious mental blunder to start this round that very much impacted my final standing in the event. Starting from the 15th hole, I foolishly abandoned the game plan that I had used at Zebulon. I both let my mind wonder to Mitchell and the Store ( hey' its natural - I'm a Dad and I had left him 20 minutes away with no help ) ; also I can admit I was feeling a little bit cocky. It seems silly in hindsight - but I was riding so "high" from finally having a good opening round and took for granted that I'd do as per my usual and have a much better second round that I foolishly changed up and started throwing discs with an eye on making up ground on the leaders.
Huge mistake. At Zebulon, just as in my best at Castle Hayne, I had stuck to "playing old man golf" and rode the back of my Truth , Evidence, Convict and Slammers. Feeling froggy, I grabbed my Captain and threw a shot with a very low percentage chance on a line I have no business throwing. Pitch outs and cussing sessions later, I opened up the second round with a triple bogey on the first hole. Then hardheadedly trying to prove to myself that I knew better, on the second hole I similarly took another risky shot and before I could blink tossed a double bogey on the fire. That's 2 holes in, 5 shots over. I felt like an idiot, mentally kicked myself, and calmed down. Regrouping and slowing down, I managed to play the next 16 holes as I should, having to suck it up and turn in a 70 ( Par + 13 ) for the round. This dropped my 10th to 13th or 14th - a drop I blamed myself squarely for for being mentally weak in the start of the round.
The second day of the Crosstown is what in my opinion made it the best damned event I have played - ever. ( Sorry all past TD's - still love ya, but it was amazingly done.) TD Bobby Henn had set the event up to have 2 rounds on saturday where the pools flip courses mid day - but Sunday was to be everyone at one course - with Tee times.
Best decision ever. Honestly, I heretofore will forever be agreeable to trading a fourth round for a scheduled third, where everyone gets to start on hole 1.
First of all - pace of play was awesome. While for full disclosure I have to mention that we were a threesome following a threesome - we still got a tournament round played from Tee 1 to basket 18 in 2 hours and 4 minutes. At Clayton, no less. Sure we played the short tees - but you still have to walk the entire course to do it. Secondly - as a vendor it made the paying out of merchandise so much more manageable - as a division was completed, there was an on the spot impromptu awarding of vouchers - and at an event with 123 ams registered, that meant the largest sudden crowd we had to deal with was approximately 21 players, not 63 all at one time. Downside of course is that the higher your division, the higher the likelihood that that special disc you had your eye on might have already been snapped up - but hey, that's the risk you take when you hold off buying it on Saturday to get in payout I guess.
As for my Sunday round, I carded a 67 - 10 over par and a bit above my personal goal of a 65 ( I wanted those 5 idiot strokes back ) - but I was happy with it as I played the back to a +1, and that was after missing a birdie putt on the last hole. I was able to pull myself up by my bootstraps a bit though, walking away 11th in the 19 player field and literally averaging my rating ( Rating 815, avg was 815.3333) for the weekend. (845, 762, 839 respectively)
My card mates all weekend were great. Also I didn't notice any blatant 3.03 violations, the vibe was awesome, a general positive vibe was everywhere and everyone seemed to really have a great time.
Team Fly Guy had some great results - Victoria took down FA1 with a margin of 14; Wade was 7th out of 46 in the MA1 field, Taylor landing at 38th , also in MA1; In MA3 Geoffrey shared 4th, I took 11th, and often mentioned Friend of Fly Guy Caleb tied for 12th.
A tip of the hat to Wes Brunton, who played the most boringly clean golf possible ( I'm kidding - It was great ) to win the division at +2 overall. Looking forward to seeing you pushing that new Rovic cart next time we play, Wes!
As for Fly Guy the disc golf supply store we had some great results, too. We brought over 1100 discs, as well as 30 shirts, 40 hats, grip six belts, both new and used bags, Rovic Carts, towels , clipboards and more. Payout of course boosted the sales, but there was also a heavy casual sale of material, with all brands - Innova, MVP, Axiom, Discraft, Dynamic Discs, Westside and Latitude seeing movement. Our goal was to put out a huge variety, and based off of the ratio of vouchers spent versus retained I have to say we must have offered choices that folks found interesting. ( This also spurred some reorders - have a load of new stock flowing back into inventory as soon as the big brown truck drops them off!)
I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout out here to Geoffrey too - besides competing, when Fly Guy sets up, he takes his being on the Team seriously, and never fails to jump in , help guide players to discs that may be useful to them, and generally help up manage the flow of customers. Appreciate it a lot.
To sum up the event - I'll repeat what I said before. Best damned event I have played. Period. Bobby, Kenny, Chris , Ken and everyone else who pitched in did a TERRIFIC job of running an amazingly smooth event - in a format that easily could have been complex to manage.
I really liked the tee time round. ( I just wanted to say that again.)
Thanks to everyone who stopped by, hung out, bought a disc and/or just generally made my weekend as great as it was.
OK - Giveaway time. READ THIS CAREFULLY.
I have a unique Gateway Wizard, one that was the tester disc for foil stamping for a recent run I had ordered. It is the only multi-stamped one I received - as well as is blue where the rest of the order is Superglow white. Lastly, it features some other random stamp, from what I don't know. Needless to day - it is unique. I want to give it away . Same rules as last time:
Of course there’s some fine print: Entries will be taken until April 30th at 8:00 PM EST - when a random person will be chosen to receive the disc.
Limit one entry per person. Multiple entries will be deleted.
Team Fly Guy Members are NOT eligible to win.
Good Luck and thank you for reading HP's Tourney Notes and News hosted at flyguydiscgolf.com .
Thanks - See you next as a player at the Riverbend Open II put on by Chuck, and set up for payout at the 4th Annual Cumberland County Copperhead put on by Jason. There's still plenty of room in each - sign up !!