Who knew that a Monday evening in Kalamazoo would be a busy time to go disc golfing?
Well guess what? It is.
Maybe it had to do with it being a the first nice day in a while. Or it could be the fact that it didn’t get dark until after nine. Or it could just be that it’s fun to go disc golfing and so people try to find time to when they can.
I found this out because I went to Oshtemo with a group of my friends Monday evening and we seemed to have to wait at every pad. Not that it was bad waiting, we still got through each hole pretty quick (we must be getting better…) but it brings up a good question: who should you let go ahead of you when the course is busy? I think a good rule is if there are less people in their group than in yours, let them go. Or if you are stuck searching for a disc in the woods, let the group standing at the pad looking really bored pass. But, at some point I do think you need to draw a line in letting people pass, or you will be stuck at hole 2 letting everyone go by you and you’ll never get to disc. I think you’ll probably have a good idea of who to let pass. Just watch them throw. The group might have four people and you have two, but the bigger group can get to the basket in two throws while it takes you guys four or five, let that group pass. Because they might be waiting at the pad every time you are half way down the fairway. That isn’t fair to that group, and it will probably only cost you five minutes. Overall, it’s just common courtesy to not be a dick and try to hog the course.
I went with a group of five, Andy, Paul, Paul’s fiance, and Josh. This was Josh’s second time out, and I think Paul’s fiance has only gone a couple of times. So, it was a good mix and a fun mix. Andy still showed us all up with his crazy left handed throw. When he let a disc go, it would just keep going. It was pretty impressive to watch. Josh is getting better, understanding that the way you angle the disc before the throw controls if it’s going to go up in the sky and get pushed around by the wind or if it’s going to fly close to the ground. Paul cracks me up with his throws. Every time he threw the disc, he chased it like a dog after a stick. It was helpful to have a spotter, but it was pretty funny to watch. Plus, he throws his disc like he doesn’t care what it does. But, amazingly enough it usually does something good. I’ve seen that from other disc golfers. They have no routine or steps they follow, they just get on the pad and throw. Those guys usually have the furthest throw, so maybe that is something I should try to emulate. Maybe not concentrating on how you hold it, how you stand, what steps to take, when to let the disc go, did you grab the right disc, are you aiming where you want, did I take enough steps, is everyone watching me, am I doing this right?!!! Maybe if you just get up there and throw it, your body will figure out all of that stuff and the disc will take care of the rest. I’ll have to think about that, just after I line up my feet with the basket and make sure that my arm is straight.
I feel like I did a pretty good job out there. It’s been a little while since I’ve gone out ( it was April 26, see, less than a month), but it’s not like it’s been a month or anything so I wasn’t expecting a complete loss on what I’ve gained. It is still taking me about four or five baskets before I’m finally warmed up enough to see my improvements. My disc is getting a little further from the pad, and a little straighter, but I am still having a hard time on the control of it. The disc still seems to want to go up higher and get out of my hand at the wrong time. But, I did have a nice release I think at the 6th or 7th basket. Right before I let the disc go when I was at the pad, I thought about aiming down, and that thought helped keep the disc flat and straight for a long distance. So, I’m pretty happy about that. My putting has greatly improved since practicing with the practice basket. Now, I haven’t really had a chance to get out and practice with it in the last two weeks (damn job!), but I think I did gain some experience and knowledge from the practicing I did do. I found that I didn’t need to be right on the basket to use my putter. In fact, I was using my putter from a further distance to the basket than I have ever done in the past. I that really helped. The putter is a great approach disc, so I think if you are close enough to the basket to see the links on the chains, try tossing your putter. You might not sink the putt, but you might get right on top of the basket giving you an extremely easy putt.
One thing that I did discover that I really liked was the overhand throw. When I was out on Monday, I did have quite a few instances of my disc finding its way into the woods. And this being Spring after a bunch of rain, the leaves were out in force. Hence my love of the overhand throw. It was much much easier to just huck the disc over my head and through the top part of the trees, than trying to toss it through the trunks. The great thing about this was that the throw usually gave me a bit of distance too. I used my Roc for these throws. It would cut right through the leaves, go a bit further, and then flatten out and land. But the distance gained was enough that I never felt bad about getting in the woods. I also tried it on the 7th or 8th hole at Oshtemo, which ever one has basically a tight shoot to go through when you are on the pad. It wasn’t something I would try to do to replace my normal drive throw, but maybe with enough practice, it could do some damage.
I also continued my practice with my forehand throw. Getting a little better, but nothing to really report with that one. It still cuts way too early to the right for it to be worth anything. But, I am still trying it and not giving it up.
Overall, it was an excellent day to be out on the course, as seen by all of the others out there too. I still saw everyone starting from the easier pad. I don’t know why people do that, but it can be kinda dangerous there at Oshtemo, because the harder pad is usually directly behind the easy one and can make it a challenge to a.) not hit someone up there and b.) have people try to skip you when you are twenty feet behind them standing on the pad and c.) make it hard for you on the back pad to know if anyone is up on the easy pad. So, I’m still trying to fight that battle.
Also, I’m going to try my best to keep posting regular updates at a more timely fashion (not like posting a story on Thursday about disc golfing done on a Monday *cough* *cough*), but starting a new job and getting back into my online college courses, may make it a little tough. But, with the summer fast approaching, I’m definitely going to be out on the course more and hopefully seeing bigger improvements, so continue to watch this blog to see how I do.
Further distance with my drives
Kinda. I did see an improvement in my putting. Didn’t miss easy putts. And I am getting closer to the basket in less throws, hence the easy putts.
Still letting discs go at weird times.
Try to hit the park again and throw my drivers. That really seemed to help me, even if I was out there for only a half hour.