Tag Archives: fairway

Nine holes of fun

I think I like a nine hole game of disc golf for a family event.  It’s not so long that you miss the actual event (a reunion in this case), but it is a great practice and taste for people new to the sport.  I got to experience this perfect mix the other week in Grand Rapids at Lamar Park.

The course is a nice little course with not much of a challenge, besides some water hazards, picnic areas, and baseball fields.  The majority of the holes are short, except for one, which makes up for the others.  The other hazard that you will run into is the that this park has a lot of picnic benches and picnic areas around, with some really close to the holes.  So, you have to look out for the people in these areas.  That part is annoying, considering hole number three has a creek on your left and a giant picnic area to the right of the basket.  When we were there, that area was full of people enjoying a birthday party with lots of kids.  Meaning that you had to make sure you had control of your disc.  You didn’t want to go fishing or piss off a bunch of parents.  The baseball fields also present a challenge, though not as bad as the moving hazard of children.  The baseball fields only presented you with the trouble of having to hop fences if your disc went over them.  Obviously not a problem if a game is not going on, but…you don’t really want to mess up a game by stopping the outfielder from catching a pop-fly.  Plus, if you are doing disc golf right, that is out-of-bounds.

Overall, it’s a great little place that I do recommend you checking out if you have some time up in the Grand Rapids area.  Just be prepared for the one hazard that really shouldn’t be a hazard, yet seems to be for my brother-in-law, Mario.

The pond.

This pond seems be a storm run-off, that just happens to always have water in it.  I guess there are fish, because there are usually people on the edges of it with fishing poles.  Well, this pond is on the far left of the ninth hole.  The way the hole is laid out, the pond really doesn’t seem to be in the way of anything.  You wouldn’t even really want to try to cut over it with a big throw, because the basket isn’t in place where it would make sense.  I could see it being a problem, because it is in your line of sight when you are getting ready to throw your disc.  And if you let the disc go too late when you are doing a backhand, it could fly in there.  But, for the most part it shouldn’t be an issue.

However, both times we have gone to this course, Mario has had to take a swim.  The first time was pretty bad, because the disc went into the middle of the pond.  The second time I didn’t get to see it, because he went around the course one more time than I did.  The funny thing was that as we stood around the pad for for the first round, we had joked about him doing it.  He said he had no idea why his disc went in the water.  So, he must have cursed himself, because sure enough, as we were sitting around the picnic area for the reunion he came back with wet shorts.  Moral of the story: be prepared for anything, and don’t mind getting wet.

Now on to my game…

I think I did a decent job.  The only hole I really had an issue with was hole number seven, which was the long one of the course.  My drive was good, as well as my second throw, however the third one that was suppose to get me to putting range bombed.  There is a step hill that follow the fairway on the right, and at the top of the hill is a street.  Well, my third throw took my way off course and almost on that street.

Otherwise, I actually kept on or just over par on the holes.  Now, I am starting to count par as three and not four.  Four is a safe bet, which is fine for me, but three makes me pretty happy.  I did this with my backhand and overhead throws.  These drives usually got me close enough that my next throw put me on top of the basket.  And I never really had to worry about my putts.

I’m feeling better for the Wolverine Cup 2010, not perfect, I need to practice a bit more.  I didn’t mention the dreaded forehand throw, because I didn’t even give it a thought.  I guess I chickened out a bit on that one.  I’m focusing on one thing a time, and that is definitely not it.  My putting and other drives have become priority right now.  I know those are my strong suits and I want to strengthen them up even more before the tour happens.

Have you been to this course?  Any thoughts on it that I missed?

GOAL

Hit par on more holes.  Increase my putting range

GOAL ACCOMPLISHED?

Yes on both!  It was a shorter course and that might have been the reason, but hey I’ll take a win.

PROBLEM

Biggest problem is the length of the drives.  I know most people say putting is the name of the game, but you need to be able to get to the basket to make those putts.  I want to do it in a shorter number of throws.

SOLUTION

Practice, practice, practice!  I should try to go back to the park and throw some more discs, work the arm muscle a bit.  Also, should probably go to the courses a bit more.  Since the move has been delayed, this might be possible.

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Doing it Chicago Style…

I was in the Windy City this weekend and got to hit a nice little 9-hole course with the family.

This puts my weekly disc golfing count to two.  I”m hoping to be able to head out this weekend,  I need to warm up for the big West Michigan Disc Golf  tour (trying to think of a name).

My wife and I were in Chicago visiting some friends and then heading over to her sisters for Father’s Day.  While there, the boys all went over to Oak Brook Park to try out a course I’ve only been to in the dead of winter.  It was a lot different with out the snow but with leaves on the trees.  Being a 9-hole course it was perfect for the young ones and easy for us to leave early when it was time to start the BBQ.  The nice thing is that it wasn’t that easy of a course.  There were a lot varied holes, from some that were open to others in the trees, there was also a challenging one that had an out-of-bounds area.  I know that most courses have those areas, but this one was in a spot that forced you to ride the edge of the trees until you got to the basket.  Our first time around, my disc didn’t listen to me and it went straight into that area, but I made the stroke up by getting to the basket on the next throw.  The length of the holes weren’t short either, I believe the last hole reaches around 350 – 400 feet, with a little rain run-off running through the middle of it.  I think if you are in the Chicago area, and you have some time to kill, look it up.

As for my game… I did shorten up my warm up time, and usually did one over our par(which was three, for the kids it was four) on the majority of the holes.  But, the warm up time was horrible.  I have no excuse for it (though I am sure I could come up with quite a few of them…), I just wasn’t doing what I should.  On hole two and hole six (the second time around) particularly.  Both of those were pretty embarrassing.  So, I should probably share them with you so that I can see what I did and hopefully correct it in the future.

They weren’t horrible, it’s not like my pants fell down or I couldn’t hold my bowels anymore, but in the world of disc golfing they weren’t great.

On hole two, about five feet to the right of the pad is this pretty nasty bush/tree thing that pretty much morphs into a mini forest that follows along with the hole.  Anyway, it should be easy to stay on the fairway, there is nothing directly in front of the pad.  But, I decided for some random reason that I wanted a challenge, so I threw my driver directly into the that nasty bush.  STRAIGHT INTO IT. I had to basically embark on an expedition into the woods to find the disc, and then come up with some sort of trick to get it out, because the limbs and branches above me created a better ceiling than being in a house.  By the way, I’m looking to coming up with a saw blade that you attach to a disc to help you get out of a wooded area, anyone interested in helping me with this?  I had to bowl the disc out and start from there.

On hole six it wasn’t anything as drastic as that, but just basic crappiness on the throws and where they ended up.  This hole had a giant pine tree near the beginning  of the hole and then the fairway was sorta like an ink spot with random bulges of tall grass and trees.  So, you really want to keep your disc straight, otherwise you end up in some bad spots.  Which is what happened to me.  First I did an overhand throw from the pad and it landed right in front of the pine tree, meaning I had to find my way around it.  Which I tried to do, yet the pine tree had some hands on it and it grabbed my disc and put it on the other side of the tree.  Again, not helpful.  The next throw ended up where I didn’t want it to, a result of letting the disc go too early, and I had to find my way out of a secret grotto that was no where near the basket.  Even the kids were staying in the fairway or landing in idea spots for some great shots.

Those were the really memorable shots from the weekend.  I only tried my forehand throw once, and that didn’t do anything special.  However, I did  use my overhand throw a lot more, with pretty good results.  I’m happy to say that those throws got just as far as my father-in-law’s throws.  I think they could go further, but it’s a good start.  My putting was a bit better this time around.  I was pulling off some of the average distance putts, meaning that they weren’t crazy putts, but the type of putts I should be getting.  This is good, because you don’t want to waste a stroke on a putt that should make it in.  And this also meant that a lot of my mid range throws were doing better, at least in the point that they were getting closer to the basket.  I still think I could improve the mid-range throws.  I’m still letting go at random times.

Another thing that I’m not sure I mentioned yet on this blog, is the choice of disc.  I do think there is some importance in what disc you pick for your throw.  I know earlier I mentioned my practice of going to the park and throwing my discs around, but I don’t think I went into detail about which disc did what.  I’m not sure if I’m at the exact point of being able to tell you which disc is best for you, but I’m getting close to the point of knowing why I pick certain discs.  For instance, I know that my Leopard and Shark will go really straight if I throw it right.  There is no fade with them, basically they will go where I point them, while others will fade left or right.

So, overall it was a great day out there and I think if I go out this weekend, I’m sure I will see some improvement.  Any advice on picking the right disc for the right throw?

GOAL

Reach that par

Improve my throws (forehand, backhand, overhand)

GOAL ACCOMPLISHED?

Yes and no.  I did get close to par and the majority of holes, and my overhand throw is improving.  However, I’m not sure my backhand or forehand throw has seen much improvement in the last couple of weeks.

PROBLEM

Again, being scared of trying to do a throw.  I think especially when going with a group of people, I get nervous and fall back on what I know.  When, I really should just be trying new things because nothing is riding on this.  And trying the new things obviously will mean improvement.

SOLUTION

Not being scared and just forcing myself to try and try and try.  Only way to do it.  Force myself to do six holes all right handed, and then the next time, nine holes (unless it just doesn’t make sense to do that).

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Good to start from the bottom

I guess it’s good to start from the bottom for this blog, than start in the middle and not make much progress.  That wouldn’t be good for this blog, not good at all!  So, I will take the cheap way out and say that my game today wasn’t good on purpose…

Tee pad at hole 15

This is the tee pad at hole 15. As you can see you have a small tunnel to throw through. Fun stuff...

It’s not that I did bad disc golfing at Oshtemo, I think I did about the same that I always do, but there were a couple of holes that killed me.  I have a tendency to zig-zag across the fairway, doing what my father-in-law and I call the “finding of the trees.”  If you have been to Oshtemo before, you’ll know that it’s covered with trees and that the fairway is usually pretty skinny.  So, the challenge is to keep your disc in the middle of the fai

rway and not deep in the woods.  I usually go in the woods, however my progress has kept me on the edge of the woods.

My biggest challenge today was letting go of the disc at the wrong time.  Just to quickly let you know of the type of throws (in case you are new to the sport) you can do:

Fairway at hole 15
This is where my disc landed after my first throw from the pad. If you look, you can see where the basket is. It took me two more throws to get in.

backhand (like you normally throw a frisbee) or forehand (which looks really weird, but can help you when the fairway goes to the right).  Whatever way you throw it, if you let the disc go too soon or not soon enough the disc will go way off and send you in the crap.  I’m not sure what the story was today, but I kept letting go at the wrong time.  Something to work on for the future.

I did however get a bit better with the forehand throw, which is pretty difficult to do (at least for me).  I’m not use to that throw, it’s easier to throw across the body than kinda next to the body.  But, watching a lot of other golfers you really get to see the benefit of that throw.  I’m not great at it, the disc usually comes out of my hand pretty wobbly, but it’s starting to get a little less wobbly and it’s starting to cut at the right time.

I took some pictures with my phone, which I will post tomorrow.  There wasn’t many photos, I was concentrating on the game, but at least they are something. The pictures are up.  I only took some pictures of hole 15 and hole 18, but at least you can see some of what we saw.  I’m sure as I go further along in this blog I’ll have a complete set of photos from Oshtemo.

Anyone have any advice on throwing?  Anyone go out today?

Hole 18 basket

And we have finished. It feels pretty good to finish a game, whether you did good or bad. Here are our two putters enjoying the basket.

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