At some point mid June, with the hustle of my "real world" job, a vacation and then all of the excitement of summer activities in general, I seemed to have let the blog get a bit behind. I've missed the play by plays and the anecdotes, and now that things have settled down a bit and as well as some new news I want to share in coming weeks , I am trying to get caught up a bit. Hopefully by the time this over those who make it to the end without being bored to a physical demise will have a chance to catch up on some events I've played, some changes to my game and some future plans. This entry is going to be word heavy and photo light, so lets just get into it.
As of this writing, I have played 19 PDGA tournaments thus far in 2019. Thats insanity - and I love it. I still kick myself in the shins for dropping GBO, but I am resolute at this point it was the right choice to make. So far I have chronicled most all of them , and a few non-sanctioned events as well. Now, to get us caught up :
Spike Hyzer's Tar River Roundup VIII (6/30/19) : Hosted by Chuck Connelly, premier event TD extraordinaire and Discraft representative, this event is one that is pretty special to me. I have played it for 3 years now - one of the few I have that history with. It was made even more special to me this year because it was the first PDGA event that my middle son Phillip (123295) played with his brother Mitchell (99534) and myself. It was a great day, even if my finish was disappointing personally. It was hot - always is - and the bugs were out - always are - but all in all it was a fun day and we had a pretty large turnout of the Team Fly Guy folks - with James Graves ( 49184) winning MA3.
Zebulon Cha-Ching and Zing (7/13/2019) : This event was formerly one that Chuck ran, but he passed it to TD Chris Dimsdale (62962), and it was sponsored by Fly Guy Disc Golf. ( This was the first PDGA that Fly Guy was a presenting sponsor for). The event went well, with Chris selecting to present old school Towelchies as the player pack item and they seemed very well received.
This event was a first for me - the first in which I have taken a 999. I had an abysmal first round and somewhere along the line got a real sharp tightness in my back. Being nowhere near contention and with the possibility of playing an ECO the following day, I decided not to risk any further injury and pulled out; it was the right choice. ( I also dropped the Eco event the following day as well and took the day to rest.) We had a good time, the field of contestants did well, and in the end I think the event was a total success.
5th annual Legacy Trails Memorial Open (7/27/19) : A memorial tournament thrown by Matthew "Moose" Greiner to honor his late brother, the event is held at Moose's home course "Legacy Trails" and is wonderfully done. You can tell that this is an event that is planned well and orchestrated to be a beautiful celebration and honor to his brother's memory. The course is fantastic and challenging - but fair. Featuring long and short pins and tees, I wholeheartedly recommend you watch for future events at Legacy Trails and if you can play, to do so . Round one I carded just well enough to be bottom of chase card, and round two put in solid enough effort to finish 7th out of a 15 player MA3 card.
It was at this event that I addressed a subject I had been wrestling with internally for a while - where I needed to play - and made a decision that I'd finish out Eco tour in MA3, as well as any events I had already sighed up for - but that I would be moving to MA40 in the future. ( Longer post about that later ) .
I won a CTP but took off without it - I had to get home and load up because the next morning we had to got o Greenville NC for ...
3rd Annual Pirates Cup ( 7/28/19) This event , presented by Sunday Baggers and sponsored by Fly Guy Disc Golf, was the third installment of a fundraiser tournament for the East Carolina University Disc Golf Team. The event has a great history - beautiful facility of the North Recreational Complex, excellent quality course and layout. If there has been one inconsistency however it has been the date. In 2017 the event was held on May 13; in 2018 it was moved a few times before landing on June 16th. Again this year it was slated for a date, moved - and even cancelled. Team Fly Guy member Blake (100708) also plays on the ECU Disc Golf team, and he asked would FGDG help. Long story short we formulated a plan, made some adjustments, and we we able to at the minimum " keep the streak alive". The event went well enough - though some experiences were definitely learned - and I am looking forward to being able to return to be part of their growth and improvement in the coming years. I played bad, even for me and was disappointed to walk out 17th of 22 players.
There was a huge Fly Guy contingent on hand to play - and Mitchell and Dimsdale manned the tables for the entirety of the event.
Taking a break : Somehow without even planning it, I ended up taking several weekends in a row off - I played some casual disc golf - not much - but I didn't play any events until the month of August was ending. Interestingly, in hindsight I think this was a good thing. Upon my return I played 3 events in 8 days, and five of the six rounds saw me shooting above my rating.
ECO Tour Stop 8 - Clayton (8/25/19) Eco events by Jay Clark have become a "must play" for me. Entering this event I had missed two of the previous 7 . Once was due to back tightness listed above, and another earlier in the year because storms we called for, and I just didn't feel like driving 2 hours one way to play in the rain. It didn't rain, by the way ... Despite all of that, I had somehow managed to be third in the point series for MA3 - trailing Caleb (113880 ) in first and Geoffrey (81118) in second. The course at East Clayton has a reputation of being challenging - it gets in the heads of some - but for some reason it doesn't affect me and I figured I had a puncher's chance in the points of somehow one of those two guys faltered. I was only partially correct. (Rounds were 878 and a disappointing 764 )
After two fun rounds, I ended up tied 9th out of a 15 player field. Caleb didn't win but did place 5th, so his lead over me wasn't much changed - but Geoffrey found his day and took the win, widening the gap from 2nd to 3rd. Also my lead over 4th shrank a bit .
This was a fun event for me. In round one I got to hang out with Dave, and somehow I played well enough to be lead card in round 2 so i got to both keep it conversational and light for Geoffrey as well as watch how he attacked having a lead and holding it. ( You only need 1 ....)
Spike Hyzer's Jammin' The DMZ (8/31/19) Just 7 days later, I drove up to Dave Mansfield's immaculate pair of courses ( Runaway Rocks and Rocky Ford) to play another Chuck Connelly event. This was my first "elected" MA40 tournament. ( I say elected as I have played MA40 before - but only because the event lacked a MA3 division; I usually would choose MA40 versus having to play MA2 ). It was the perfect decision for me to play MA40 at this event because I had played the courses before earlier in the year , and in round 1 I was on a card with all people I knew - Kirk (6161) Sam (98525) ans Jacob (67722). I really only had 2 goals - have fun and don't come in last by more than 3 strokes. I need not worried - I had an excellent time and actually ended up 12 of 16, just 4 strokes behind Fly Guy Teammate Cameron (91687) - proving to myself that the move was justified and the atmosphere while still competitive was more relaxed. ( My rounds were rated 864 and 840 ). Home , rest and back up for day two of a back to back weekend found me ...
ECO Tour Stop 9 - Fayetteville ( 9/1/19) As much as I love the ECO event series, I was dreading this day. Next to last in the stop, and likely the last of the tour I would play in 2019 due to a double booked weekend of the week 10 event ( more in a future post). Still third in the MA3 points - but barely, and knowing that the event was likely the last that I would play as well as Geoffrey, all Caleb needed to do was show up, finish 10th or better and mathematically he was assured the series title for MA3. Little did we expect that despite Dave doing his best to hold Caleb off, and Geoffrey having a very rare not-so-stellar showing, that Caleb would in fact grab his first PDGA win and sew up the points as well.
I was also dreading the day because honestly I really dislike the course. You may recall an earlier blog entry about the Cumberland Copperhead IV ( probably the most negative of the series thus far ) where I relayed my disdain for Mazerick park. Since I wrote that post some improvements have been made to the Lakeside that were in effect for the ECO Fayetteville. Hole 2 currently plays from the old Hole 2 pad to the old Hole 3 basket - removing the walking path and creating a par 5. This is nice as it remedies the complaint I had in the previous post about Hole 3. However, it is roughly cut in, done by the extremely dedicate volunteer work organized by Bradley Kelso ( Who is doing some amazing volunteer work and making things happen for sure ) - but still plays a bit rough. Its not too "beginner to Rec friendly" - it seems the average in conversations for many was around a 7 - and I don't get the impression that there is any real concern for the lower skilled players in its design. Simply put they can get better or take high scores was the impression I was left with. I think with some more cleaning and wear the hole is fine, but I also think it was not in "tournament" condition and should have been skipped for this event. Either a temp basket placed in the old #2 spot or some other action could have been utilized to prevent the complaints and struggles that the hole seemed to have predicated. (Despite the course being one of my least favorites in the area, I managed to put together a pair of better rounds there than ever before, walking away with rounds rated 833 and 851.)
So that catches up us on where I've played recently. I have to admit that right now my game seems to be on a bit of an uptick, though I am actually finding less time to play causal rounds. I can't describe exactly what I mean but I have recently been able to "see shots" before throwing them a little better.
I attribute a lot of that to confidence I what I am throwing. I have settled down quite a bit to fewer molds, and carry multiples of them . On my driver side I have come to really rely on the Westside Sword. This great disc ( 12,5,0,2 in VIP) breaks in beautifully, and I finally have that " go to driver" that I don't hesitate to either try and smoke straight out the middle, hyzer to the side, or any other line I "think" I can get out of it.
Dynamic Discs rounds out almost all of my other discs. Of course I still putt with Judges ( Classic Blends and Super Softs seem to be my mainstays) and my Truth and Emac Truth always are bagged. I also have started to gravitate slightly away from convicts for backhands, preferring to forehand them, and backhand Getaways. Utility discs of Slammers, Suspect and Justice are mainstays, and of recent I have been experimenting with an Explorer, though I don't think I have it figured out quite yet .
And so here we are. In the next article or two I plan to expand on my decision to play MA40 and why, as well as kind of a "State of the Union" of Fly Guy Disc Golf after a full year of both doing set-up shops at events and sales from our Lillington location.
Till then - thanks. I appreciate ya.
~ The HP