I awoke on Saturday morning and hesitantly tromped to the back door to get a peek at the weather. The week had been wet, and the forecast had ranged from guaranteed rain all weekend to scattered showers to wintery mix to nothing. I had given up on the prognosticators and figured I’d just see what I had when the time came. It was damp, but nor raining, so I figured that was something, at least.
After a shower, a fistful of ibuprofen and a chugged glass of Cran-Mango juice, I headed out to camp.
Camp Durant is a Boy Scouts of America camp, situated among the timber tracts and hilly hollers between Cartage NC and Seven Lakes. Started 52 years ago and going through several different growing stages, it is a wonderland paradise of a campground where no doubt many a young boy created fond memories that last a lifetime. It has rolling hills, a beautiful lake, and the amenities seem to have kept pace with progress over the years. I failed to inquire at what stage the disc golf course was installed, but it was – a right nice 18 hole track with multiple tees on most holes, and multiple basket positions on a few, too. Playing the event here is a breeze because on both days the canteen is open and a very affordable lunch ($5 deals abound) is available and I liked the “picnic table” café area – it seemed to lend to a very social and enjoyable atmosphere.
Arriving, I drove through the parking area of the cabins where many of the events competitors had lodged – yep – you can camp here and play disc golf for this event. While they were wiping sleep from their eyes and trying to warm up, I was halfway listening to Eminem’s “Killshot” track and already trying to scope out the conditions after a week of rain. The sun did peek though later in day 1.
I need not look too far – as I registered I inquired were we playing “casual relief” from the tee pads – as tee 1 had a puddle in it big enough to fish in. To put it mildly, it was wet.
This would be the theme of the weekend – mud, mud everywhere. And as would be expected , play only exacerbated the issue in areas that weren’t well grassed to start with – the constant walking and churning of 72 pairs of feet through the bottle necks and trails lead to several patches that belittled the term “quagmire” – think 1 to 3 inches of chocolate pudding that sucked at your shoes and pulled on your legs with every step. If it was not mud, you ran the chance of bone chilling standing water – that seemed to magically be exactly ¼ deeper than the cuff of my shoes at every step. GorTex is useless when the whole foot is under water.
But honestly the mud was the only issue of the event, at least from my perspective. The course was of course clean and squared away. The lines were free of debris and if one could tune out the mud it was a fantastic experience, as it should be.
Max Crotts was the TD and per his history provided a unique item as a player pack for the AM side – a really nice double walled canteen bottle with a laser engraving. I deemed it too nice to scratch up in my cart or on the course – it’s my office water bottle now.
Waiting to get started in the parking lot we had a right good social circle, with several Team Fly Guy members (Victoria, Geoffrey, Dimsdale, and Wade) as well as got some laughs with NC PDGA Area Coordinator Phillip Lawrence and NC Point Series guru Bobby Henn, Tyler Sturgill, Matt Mancuso and Jacob Diaz.
Players meeting was fast and we were off to the course.
All 4 photos - Credit Andrew Duppstadt
My card for all 4 rounds was semi-permanent – spending all of them with Andrew Duppstadt and Brian Baker. Round 1 we were joined by Nolan Grant, Rounds 2 and 3 by Jacob Diaz. With a drop in round 4, the three of us were the chases card in the two card MA40 field.
Really no major highlights or play by play of note, beyond I putted with more regularity, similar to last weekend in Castle Hayne, and I managed to surprise myself and card twice on hole 8 by crushing a Captain from the longs to the fence. It was ups and downs, woods golf Carolina style. We laughed, we cussed under our breath, and we encouraged each other. I found a new appreciation for playing on the MA40 card, and will likely spend some more time there in upcoming events. While rain threatened the second day, we finished before it began, with the only impact being awards were held under the terrace instead of on the lawn of the Grand Lodge. The mud did contribute to some attrition with several drops in the second day – folks were just worn out and tired.
Photo credit Geoffrey Griffiths
In the course of the event we played 4 formats:
Short tee – Long Baskets * except #2 which was short
Long tee – Long Baskets * except #2 which was short
Long Tee – Short Baskets
Short Tee – Short Baskets
I improved 13 strokes from last year - shooting 60 (798) / 68 (838) / 69 (805) / 53 (845) / 250, and was 5th of the 8 man field.
(Last year I shot 75 / 62 / 70 / 56 / 263.)
Awards was great. Team Fly Guy’s Victoria Griffiths took her 30th victory with a sold 50 stroke win in FA1.
Newly added Fly Guy Teammate Wade Benton tied for 3rd in MA1.
Photo credit - HP
The best part of the day was when I was allowed to make a small presentation to the camp. I had coordinated with several others who love disc golf, and we made a donation of around 270 new, un-thrown fresh discs for the campers to use. It was a pile of Dynamic Discs Deputy putters, and a large mix of Innova DX discs from overstock held by Chuck Connelly and Spyke Hyzer. I would like to give a special thanks to Michael Kirsch, Chuck Connelly, Max Crotts, Justin Bradford, Tate Allen, Vince Tricarico, Ryan McMillan, Josh Webb, Jared Wallace and of course Big Disc Society and Fly Guy Disc Golf – the collected pool was able to supply an almost $2,700 worth of discs to the camp. That’s growing the sport by leaning forward – thank you all.
Next up – a little United State Amateur Match Play Qualifier event – that I’m running, at the home course. There still 2 spots open as of this post – but I expect they’ll fill soon.
See you soon.
Click Here for full event results
( photo at top of post- credit - HP)