** Before I get into the blog post, I have a few quick points I'd like to hit.
* First of all - THANK YOU to everyone who has supported Fly Guy Disc Golf in 2019. It was a "first year" for me and the gang, and it has been a greater success that I could have imagined.
* In particular I want to thank Mitchell, my oldest son and the face of Fly Guy that most folks know from the tent at events. He's the real MVP when it comes to getting you help in making decisions and quickly processed with your purchase. And Phillip and Collin - whose efforts unseen on the home side of things make it all get taken care of .
* Team Fly Guy - what can I say? Folks giggled at first - but we showed the world. We formed a family that supports one another, and we went to a HUGE variety of events. Some played great - some had fun - but in the end we were all there and always supporting each other. Looking forward to 2020 .
We now return to the regularly scheduled blog post ….
Ending 2019; Starting 2020
As I write this, I'm sitting in my living room by the darkened window of a pre-sunrise December morning. Scattered about me like an asteroid belt are all manner of disc golf paraphernalia - odd discs, stacks of new putters, some socks, a case of hats, stickers, wristbands - you name it. To the casual observer it would look like a cataclysmic mess. To me - it looks like a dream come to life.
To get to today, we always have to start with yesterday and the day before. I've previously waxed poetic about our little adventures beginnings, so I'll pass over the creation story - but lets look at 2019 in general. This blog itself is a 2019 invention; sure, I had written a post from time to time on my personal Facebook about some experiences - but it was after the pure drenching rain at Jason Clark's Goldsboro 2019 Eco Kickoff event that I decided " Maybe folks would be interested in hearing about some adventures?" The blog proved to be a mild success, and I appreciate all of the feedback that it garners.
There were times that I got behind - and others where I didn't write at all. One glaring example was this years Victory Junction Campership Classic. I held my peace and didn't post, preferring to wait until Dynamic Discs' own Bobby Brown posted his v-log; then once it was up, I got busy and failed to recount the event while it was fresh in my mind. It was a lesson learned and one I plan to improve upon next year by taking notes at the end of events while it's still raw and fresh.
The Fly Guy tent was active through the year, vending far and wide at events like Kings Cup (Kinston) , Winter Jam, Crosstown, Midtown, Duo ( CADL Events) and Down East Players Cup (Greenville) as well as a few events that we either produced - Pine Cone Open (Lillington) - or title sponsored - UNC Healthcare (Chapel Hill), Pirates Cup (Greenville) Cha-Ching and Zing (Zebulon). We also were able to do a few set-ups off the courses - at Durty Bull brewery and Glass Jug Beer Lab, where we had a chance to expose folks to disc golf for the first time.
The Fly Guy Bucks system for payouts worked well; there will be a slight modification on 2020 but otherwise I think it was nice to see folks be able to "save up" in some cases and buy larger items like Rovic carts and baskets. (Just a reminder all 2019 Fly Guy bucks expire 12/30/19 - if you need to come on out and shop at the store, get up with me soon ! No rules work if no rules are enforced - there will not be any extensions granted.)
For me personally, when it comes to playing events, I'd have to call it a year of sweet and sour memories. I had a lot of high ambitions for the year,. and had set some pretty lofty goals.
Let's address the elephant in the room first - my utter breakdown at Buckhorn Open and decision to withdraw from the Glass Blown Open . ( This post is my widest read post of the entire blog series, actually. I don't know if that means it's well written, it appealed to people, or that folks enjoy reading about other folks' heartbreak.)
I stand by my decision to drop GBO 2019. I do still think to have gone at that time, with my mental state where it was at, would have proven to be detrimental to my love of disc golf. I did in that post allude to trying new plastic - that's something I never did. In the end, I still personally stuck with and stick with to this day discs from Dynamic Discs / Westside / Latitude. It was a pure case of it being the archer not the arrow, and I was just frustrated at my play at the time.
I am signed up for GBO 2020. I have arrangements to stay with friends; I have taken the days off from work. All I have to do is show up, and enjoy it all.
Adding to the sweet and sour was the goal to get 750 points - and the fact that GBO was going to figure largely into that. I'd need 750 to get an AM Worlds invite (MA40) for 2020, when it's in Florida ( easy one day drive). Dropping GBO meant more than not going to emporia - it also meant that I likely would not reach that goal, either.
I doubled down and planned to play more locally. My play was up and down - my best finish of the year being 4th a couple of times in Rec, 5th in MA40, and I totally gave away the UNC event, where I shamelessly dropped all the way to Novice (MA4) to try and win the trophy only event. Hey - I'm desperate for a "W" here, folks. (And maybe that's Karma - I led the whole way with 4 holes to go when I had a cataclysmic breakdown, giving 5 strokes on one hole to the 2n place contestant, to finish - you guessed it, in third place, 5 off of the leader.)
I went to Winthrop and played the USDGC qualifier day. ( No. I had no misconceptions of what would happen, haha). But I did have a good time - and I got a MUCH deeper appreciation for just exactly what the top tier competitors in our sport are able to do.
My rating reached it's highest point of my 3 year career when it peaked at 826. It fell and I grabbed one point back, and will close out 2019 with a 819 - only 3 points better than a year ago. Not a lot of improvement there. If I take solace in anything though, that 819 is factored with 61 rounds used - SO I was out there, grinding away; it's not just a rating with 3 events on it.
At this writing - I have only one more 2019 event to go ( The deliciously fun Year End @ The County Course, ran by hands down the most influential Tournament Director in my life, Chuck Connelly of Spike Hyzer fame). I love the course, I love the TD, and I love the event. Rating be damned, I just plan to have fun tomorrow. It will give me 27 events for the year, and 56 since I played my first sanctioned Winter Jam in January of 2017.
Do I want to win one? More that Peter loved the Lord - but if it's to be, it'll happen. Otherwise I still love the game and will keep going.
I took 999's for the first times in 2019 - once at Cha-Ching and Zing ( back muscle) and just recently at Tupelo Bay ( poor trip planning).
Back earlier in the year I heard of Lloyd Weema and his major entries. I started following him and became intrigued - he was doing kind of what I felt like I do - entering against much more skilled players but being in the moment and enjoying the experience - but on a national level. I made the new millennial friendship; i.e. a Facebook connection, and after the PDGA "900" rule , and I guess my vocal support of him , he sent me some really cool mementos from some of his adventures.
I learned a few things when it comes to making agreements to perform services at events - some good, some bad. I plan to apply those lessons in 2020 both to serve the customers better as well as to protect Fly Guy's interests.
Even within the larger team, I have to give a nod to Geoffrey, Dave, James, Chris and Victoria. We have a tight little group - and I love all you guys. (Yes, even you James. )
While there is plenty more I could say, and likely I'll think of things and possible edit them in later ( I'll denote them) - it is time to move on to the future..
On the Fly Guy store side of things - Man, o man - have we expanded for folks in 2020.
First you should have noticed that the website where this blog is posted is totally revamped. I prefer the menu system this site offers, and we have returned to more pictures. One thing I am doing is all discs, regardless of plastic, are listed by mold. So if for example you select the Dynamic Discs Emac Truth the page displays all of the offerings, in all plastics. I like this because you can "fill your bag" with your needs in one spot - say a Bio , a Lucid and DyeMax, without having to jump all over the place.
Next you should see that we have added some discs - well, a lot of discs - and some new lines we didn't offer before. Streamline is the one piece disc offering that MVP / Axiom has brought to the table. Team members Aaron McLeod and Chris Dimsdale are knowledgeable on the MVP lines.
Fly Guy is the first retailer in North Carolina to bring in Mint Discs - a pretty cool startup with some radical approaches to how discs should be categorized , and with some great stamp work. Mitchell seems to really be showing an interest in these - especially their lot / run / numbering system.
Our Discraft inventory is being replenished as soon as the big brown truck arrives - I've listed what is on the way on the page if anyone wants to order blind to get ahead of the rush. ( Pics and weights will update when they arrive.) Team member Robert Leonard is sponsored by Discraft and is a great source if you'd like recommendations.
Of course the "original disc golf " company and "innovators of the game" Innova is always popular, and we have an excellent mix of newer stock stamps as well as some event stamps from years past . We have also got some sweet Fly Guy logo stuff, too. Judah Berman is sponsored by Innova, and team Fly Guy's Geoffrey and Victoria Griffiths both rely on Innova discs for their top level play.
You asked for it - and we listened. Currently we now stock a couple hundred Discmania discs - Including some " they get bought fast as soon as folks see we have them" discs like Doom Birds III and Royal Rage FDs. Fly Guy's Blake Poland and Dave Morse can make recommendations for you if Discmania is your thing.
And last - but certainly not least of all - is the section of the store I do my personal shopping in - the trilogy family of Dynamic Discs, Westside and Latitude 64. I pride myself o n the Westside variety we have in stock - and very soon will be freshening up the Latitude 64 inventory as well. On the Dynamic shelves, we have a good selection of stock designs that should make most every DD fan happy.
We also have added lots of apparel - be it hats, or shirts - or even socks. And there's more on the way! We also have added our logo on lots of popular products, so that you can throw what you like, while repping the home town disc shop.
In 202 we are already booked for 22 weekends to have the Fly Guy tents out and about - some we can't disclose yet - but for an idea look for us at The Hangover ( Clayton Jan 1); Winter Jam ( Kentwood Jan 18); Kings Cup ( Kinston Jan 25/26) , the CADL Quarterly Series ( Buckhorn 2/2, Zebulon 3/22, Apex 6/21, and Cary 11/22); at Fly Guy sponsored events like Pirates Cup (TBD), UNC Healthcare (11/21), The Pine Cone Open IV ( 9/27) and a few more to be announced...
Also a small thing - but it is important to me. I installed solar panels and a solar system to feed the small electrical demands of Fly Guy's store and storage. It may not be much - but it makes me feel good to know we're trying to be responsible and make as little a footprint possible, where we can.
For Team Fly Guy - the current members are in the "reapply " stage. Once I have that settled, I plan to look at who stays, who goes, and then see how many spots I have to fill. I am capping the team at 20 people total, period. That's about all I can afford. At the same time, sponsorship is a business decision, not just a friends club - so I will look at not only who I have - but where I expect them to compete - and where do I have holes to fill. If / When I hold an application period, it will be people who fill those roles that et the first consideration.
For me personally - 2020 is going to be about firming up my style and my game. I WILL go to GBO this year; I WILL try my best to make all 10 of the ECO tour events. But I also am going to try and commit to more field work as well as am looking into a fitness routine to see if I get in better shape it if helps my playing ability. But most of all, I plan to have fun.
So - I'm really looking forward to 2020. I think there's a few surprises around the corner - and I think that we will see Fly Guy continue to be able to do the things we have done - sponsor players, sponsor events, and sponsor holes, etc - and we can do that with your continued support.
Thanks for all you do, that makes all we do, possible.
- The HP 12/27/2019
5:32a - 8:27a