Tag Archives: father-in-law

Wolverine Cup — Day One

The weekend of August 28-29 was the inaugural weekend for the Wolverine Cup.  The plan for the weekend was to get the family together and travel the west side of Michigan to play at different Disc Golf courses and try out some different Michigan brews.  Not knowing how this weekend was going to turn out, we decided on just three of us:  Mario (my brother-in-law), Win (my father-in-law) and myself.  And we planned on trying out three courses the first day:  Kalamazoo – Oshtemo Township Park, Grand Rapids – Old Farm Park, and Big Rapids – Northend Riverside Park.  Then four courses the second day: Ludington – Mason County Park, Whitehall – Whitehall Township, Fremont – Branstrom Park, and Holland – Winstrom Preserve.  In between these courses we were going to try hitting up some Michigan breweries and try out some local beers.

This was the plan, however the execution of the plan was a little different.  I think the problem was judging driving distances and playing new courses.  As most disc golfers know, when you are trying a new course there are going to be issues.  Issues of knowing where all of the pads and baskets are, issues of finding a disc when it was tossed into the underbrush, and issues of actually finding the course.  We ran into all of these, but we learned from our mistakes.  I think the plan for next year will be to start a day earlier and possibly picking courses that are closer together.  Because the driving time is what killed our second day, where we only got to play two of the four courses we planned.

I will now go over the first day and later this week give you the second day.

It was a great weekend for disc golf and we enjoyed every minute of it.  The weather was a bit on the warm side, but we missed any of the heat by being in the car. However, there was no chance of rain and their wasn’t much wind the whole weekend.  The night before our weekend was our cousin-in-law’s wedding, in which we played the important role of setting up and taking down, which meant that we had a late night and early morning.

And it begins…

Oshtemo Township Park

I have talked in detail about this course in the past and won’t give you any detailed description about it.  I will say that it’s a great warm up for the rest of the day.  Having varied baskets, you get to practice throwing in the woods as well as long holes.   Plus, going this early meant there wasn’t very many people on the course, saving us waiting time and allowing us the chance to finish up and be on our way.

 

Oshtemo Township Park Course

Mario and Win trying to get a disc out of a tree

 

I had a bit of a rough morning, making glaring mistakes and having obvious throwing problems.  Mario gave me an Innova Reaper to try out.  This disc will naturally go left if thrown backhand, but if you hold the disc right (kinda at a 45 degree angle from the ground) you can get it to go to the right and it helps you when the course dog legs to the right.

 

Osthemo Township Park Course

Win throwing his disc near the end of the course.

 

Plus the disc flies fast and floats, giving you great distance.  I wasn’t planning on doing anything new this weekend, I wanted to go with what I knew, so backhands and overhead throws were my norm.

We did discover that to save some time we would have a spotter.  Someone to run out and watch where our discs are going.  This was really helpful at Oshtemo because the trees were thick and we had some searching issues.  But, once we got the spotter out there he was able to save us some hunting time.  And in the end this saved us at least an half an hour.

 

Oshtemo Township Park Course

Mario sinking the putt at hole 18.

 

Old Farm Park

After Oshtemo we drove up to Grand Rapids to get lunch at Founders and then go to Old Farm Park.  Founders is a pretty amazing brewery up in Grand Rapids that I highly recommend.  The sandwiches were filling and the beer great for a summer day.  As we sat outside enjoying lunch our waiter noticed the shirts I made and we talked about the weekend.  He suggested going to a different course, saying that Old Farm Park wasn’t very good or difficult.  But, having already made the shirts, the plan was set.  Sorry waiter guy.  You can’t lie on a t-shirt, I think it’s a law.

The plan was actually to pick a course that wasn’t hard.  We wanted a somewhat easy one that we could breeze through before heading up to Big Rapids.  And according to the Disc Golf Michigan book, this course was exactly what we wanted.

After playing the course, I can say that the book and waiter were correct.  It wasn’t difficult.  Most baskets were around the 200 foot mark, though not all.  The nice thing was that they were clearly labeled and there wasn’t much underbrush to cause any searching issues.  However, there were some water hazards, including a really nasty looking pond that I think had the Swamp Thing in there, and he would steal your discs because he liked to play at night.

I had a better time at this course, though some stray moments of pain and stress.  I didn’t start out strong.  The first hole is deceptively easy, with a straight shot to the basket which is on a slight hill, a bump really.  However, my disc decided to go way to the right of the basket.  But, I didn’t let this slip ruin my game.  The rest of the holes were pretty uneventful.  They are laid out in this strip of trees in the park.  I hit par on the rest of the front nine holes.

The back nine had a little more challenge, with holes 10, 11, 12 and13 all in a field.  This is where you could pull out some fire and have your disc fly.  Which I did.  Only on hole 11 my disc decided to go a little further and to the right of the basket.  I was trying out the Reaper and I guess I held it at too much of an angle.  But, I was still proud of the distance of the disc and I was able to make it back up.

 

Old Farm Park Course

Here is the "deceptive" Hole 15...

 

I should mention that through out all of this Mario and my father-in-law were doing great.  We all stayed pretty even through out the whole course.  They only had a couple of funny issues with the back nine.  On hole 14 a stream was on the left and the hole was on an incline.  Well, Mario had a nice throw, except  his disc decided to be a roller and just couldn’t make it up the hill, and rolled right back down and into the deepest part of the stream.  And then both Mario and Win had a perception problem with hole 15.  It seemed like a simple hole, the pad was on the top of a hill, the Swamp Thing’s pond was to the right and the basket was kinda on the incline of the other side of the valley.  But, from this angle you could see the basket for hole 17 on the other side of the pond.  I guess they both didn’t see the basket on the hill, but they did see the basket on the other side of the pond.  Both were freaking out on getting it over there.  I didn’t quite understand the issue and assumed they were worried the wind would push their discs into the pond.  I believe I was the first to throw and I was on target for the correct basket.  Mario and Win threw, and were on the right track for the correct one, but didn’t realize it.

 

Old Farm Park Course

Mario letting loose on hole 15, though aiming for the wrong basket...

 

They got up to do their second throws and both threw the disc at a really funny angle.  I was totally lost at this point and asked what they were doing.  I then pointed to the correct basket, which caused them to laugh and try to decide if they wanted to start that basket over again.  I guess that’s what you get for looking for a challenge and not paying attention.

Hole 17 did offer a bit of a problem, mainly because you were throwing to a basket that was in front of the pond (the one they thought you were suppose to throw to on the earlier basket).  But, no one went into the pond.  There was a couple in front of us that did make it in the pond and were trying to bargain with Swamp Thing while we finished up the course.  The whole course maybe took us two hours, if that.

Northend Riverside Park

Now we were on our way up to Big Rapids and to Northend Riverside Park.  Which is about a hour north of Grand Rapids.  We were making good time.  We would be up to Big Rapids around five, get our hotel room, find the course, play the course and do dinner around eight.  But, the heat and drive of the day was starting to wear on us.  We looked pretty tired once we got to the hotel and I could feel a headache coming on.  Probably not drinking enough water.  After dropping our stuff off at the hotel and sitting for a minute researching where the course was and where dinner was we got back on the trail.

This was Mario’s favorite course of the weekend, and I would find it difficult to disagree.  Mason County Park was pretty amazing, but the one in Big Rapids had everything you could ask for and gave you just enough challenge to make it interesting the entire time.  And the park ran along the Muskegon River, a beautiful river that a lot of the Ferris State University students use to go tubing.

Our first problem though was finding the start of the course.  The Disc Golf Michigan book pointed us to what we thought was the park that held the course.  But, after walking a mile on a path that ran parallel to the river we discovered a different park, the correct park.  So, after an all day marathon of disc golf  we walked an extra mile to try out a challenging new course.  Great way to start…

Northend River Park’s disc golf course is supposedly kept up by a disc golf pro.  And it shows.  Easily marked signs, clean baskets and pads, and some challenging baskets prove that somebody loves this course and uses it to prepare for big events.  The front nine were in mostly open spaces with some woods around the baskets, the back nine, or  what a wooden sign showed as “Anhyzer Country” was in the forest.  But in a neat forest with tall tress that really only had branches in the way.

 

Northend Riverside Park course

Here I am lining up a putt

 

We didn’t run into very many people at this course, which was fine because we did need to concentrate.  The day was catching up with us and near the end of the course we were sitting on the benches waiting our turn, instead of standing watching the others throw.  There was a nice breeze coming off the river and the sun was going down, keeping the temperature cool.

Each basket had a unique challenge, either going up a hill or going around trees.  Most of the fairways were clear.  But narrow.  You really wanted to throw straight on the majority of the baskets.

I actually did my best game of the day here.  I think it just took me a long time to warm up and knowing the day was almost done also helped.  I had some powerful throws and didn’t hit many trees.  Not saying that I didn’t hit any tree,  I definitely left my mark on a couple of trees.  But I only had one real issue, and that was overthrowing and having the disc curve the wrong way.  I think I was still getting use to the Reaper and its tendency to curve.  This caused a problem with the last basket.

The last basket of the day was challenging because it had two huge garbage trees in the way of you and the basket.  And then on the left side of the trees and basket was the road and a lot of rough.  The correct way would have been to go low and easy to the right and sink a par.  However, my disc decided to discover what the road was like.  And it was a beautiful road, so that was nice.  But, not where you want to be when you all decided to make a bet on who was going to get the car.

 

Northend Riverside Park course

A neat peace sign on the path to the end of the disc golf course

 

End of Day One

We were soaked from sweat.

And after much discussion, we decided on taking showers before going to eat.  Well, I didn’t really plan on that and only packed the bare minimum.  So, I had to wear some sweat boxers to dinner.  But, it’s cool.  I can’t smell so I was fine.

Big Rapids Brewing Company is in a restaurant called the Blue Cow.  The Blue Cow is a sort of a fancy restaurant.  Not a required dress place, but the food was upscale.  Perfect for the end of a long day.  We each tried a different beer, mine was the Strong Ale, and ate some amazing chicken.

After that was back to the hotel for a really tired game of Hearts and sleep.

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Tour name in final stage

Well, it looks like the name has been chosen. “The Chain Gang” lead the poll on what we are going to name our little tour of West Michigan Disc Golf courses. And that was suggested by my brother-in-law, so, he get’s a free disc!

I’m going to throw this over to Mario and my father-in-law and see if they like this name, if so, it’ll stick.

Next up, t-shirt design…

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Naming the tour

As some of you may know, I am going on a tour of some west coast Michigan disc golf course with my father-in-law and brother-in-law.  This is something we have wanted to do for quite some time, and when I picked up the “Disc Golf Michigan” book, it became a reality.  Over father’s day weekend the three of us sat over the book and mapped out the courses we want to see and play.  Now that it’s planned the next steps for me including creating an awesome t-shirt, practice, and telling you guys about the courses we are going to hit.  But, before I come up with the shirt I have one problem, I need to name the tour.

It’s got to have a cool name that can possible carry over for a number of years.  It’s also got to be something not boring.  I mean come on, this is going to be pretty sweet, so it’s got to have a name to fit the sweetness of the weekend.  Finally, it also has to make sense.

Here are the quick details of the weekend:  eight courses on the west side of Michigan, we are all family, we plan on hitting up some local breweries to try to some rockin’ beer, and it’s a weekend.

This is where you guys come in.  I need your help with the name.  Give me some suggestions and we can vote on the one we like.  If it gets picked, I will buy you a disc!  Come on, a free disc!  Just for naming a family tour!  Post it on here, and it needs to be soon, so let’s say I need something by the 19th of July.

Let’s see what you got.

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Planning the big tour

There are so many great disc golf courses in Michigan that I wish I could visit them all, at least once.  It would be nice to be able to say that I’ve tried them all and I have my favorites that I think you should check out.  I think that would really help boost my coolness level here on the blog, don’t you?

Well, I am working on this goal.

At the beginning of August, I will be touring the west site of the state with my brother-in-law, Mario, and my father-in-law.  We are planning a weekend of hitting about eight courses, four a day.  I believe that’s a nice amount, considering drive time, finding the course, figuring out the course, and then moving on to the next one.  Oh, and we plan on trying to stop by some Michigan breweries as well…so that might slow down our progress a bit.

The eight courses have been picked.  This past weekend, we got together and poured over the book Disc Golf Michigan, a book that I have talked about before (see here).  There is a great map at the beginning of the book that shows you where all of the courses are, and we used this to guide our way north and then again back south.  We are planning to head up toward Big Rapids and then come back south closer to the coast, making stops in Grand Rapids and Holland.

Courses in Michigan

Here is a map of courses in Michigan. Courtesy of Disc Golf Michigan

In the next couple of weeks I plan on mentioning the courses we going to, giving my initial reactions to the reviews that I read and if I find online posting the maps.  I also plan on doing a lot more practicing, sharing my results and what I need to improve on.  Obviously, if you have advice, please share it with me, I’ll take it.  And finally, I’m planning on creating a t-shirt for the three of us to wear, so I’ll share the designs and get your opinion on them.

Hopefully you enjoy this little adventure and tour we are going on, and maybe inspire you to do one as well this summer.

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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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It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity…

I’m slowly getting back into a rhythm and I’ve been able to go disc golfing two Saturdays in a row.  It’s amazing, I know!  I can see how excited you are for me…

It did feel good, even though the first Saturday was extremely hot and sticky. But, anytime I am out on the course and I hear the chain rattle in the basket, I am happy I’m out there.

Let’s talk about that first Saturday now and then in my next post I’ll talk about the second Saturday.

My father-in-law and I headed down to Three Rivers to check out the north course  at Meyer Broadway.  We had gone to the original course a couple of times, but didn’t know about the north course until picking up the Disc Golf Michigan book and talking to people at the course.  The north course is a ton of fun, with a lot of open fields to test out some of your long throws.  Plus, some good wooded holes that gave it some nice spice.  I don’t have much to complain about that course, except maybe the lack of direction to find each hole.

Some of the holes were pretty obvious, but the middle nine were a little difficult to track down.  Two of the wooded holes, I believe seven and eight, were laid out in a way where it looked like you were shooting for the seventh basket yet that was really the eight one.  Basically, hole seven’s fairway was the same fairway for hole eight.  The basket of hole seven was to the right of the fairway, in a little clearing next to a wicked little swamp.  Which was really nasty considering it had rained the day before, you had to be real careful with your putt, otherwise that putter was gone.  The basket for hole eight was at the top of the fairway and a hill.  But standing at the pad on hole seven, it looked like the basket on hole eight was your basket.  Would have cost me a shot if we were playing in a tournament.

Besides that little issue, I highly recommend the course.  In fact, the entire 36 holes at Meyer Broadway would make a great day.  With a nice little pavilion in between the two courses you could have a fun little tournament with some friends.

Now, I guess I should talk about how I did.  I was worried about my game, because I haven’t gone out that much, it was a new course, and the heat was horrible.  However, I want to say I was about fifty percent on.  Which means I kept myself at about average.  I didn’t go down in skill, but I certainly haven’t improved either.  It is still taking me about nine holes to warm up and get a good throwing arm, but that’s not to say the nine holes are consecutive.  A couple of the early holes on the north course worked out in my favor, giving me par and excellent throws.  And some of the later holes gave me a horrible case of random throws to the middle of nowhere that cost me any stroke advantage I could of had.  What this really means to me and my progress is stamina and being able to keep my energy up for all 18 holes, as well as being able to get out of the gate at a good speed.  Those first couple of holes could cost me the entire game.  Unless I can really catch up on the back nine, I would be behind the entire game and never be able to catch up.  Any golfing advice on starting strong?

One thing that I believe ties into the dip in my game is the stopping and hunting for discs.  Here at Meyer Broadway all of the holes that are in the fields have thick tall grass around the fairway, making it difficult to find a disc, that might have flown in there.   We spent a lot of that day trekking through the grass trying to find our discs.  This stops any momentum you might of had, and causes you to throw from a position that might not be that great to start from, as well as possibly lose a disc.  I feel like it would almost be worth throwing a shorter distance that you know will land in the fairway, then to go all out and have to spend 10 minutes digging in the grass.  Which also would save you from having wet discs.  With the humidity the way it was, every time it went into the grass, the disc came out slick and difficult to hold on to.  Make sure to have a towel with you when you are playing there.

I tried the overhand throw a bit more this time around, with positive results.  Especially in the wooded sections of the course.  I was lucky enough to find the corridor between the trees and have my disc go it’s entire distance with out hitting a tree.  That made me feel good on a number of holes where my father-in-law’s disc smacked into a tree trunk.  My forehand throw is still not where it should be, though sometimes it looks pretty.  I do love the flight path of the forehand throw, when it’s thrown properly.  I think too, if you aim for the pretty throw, it will probably go further and do what you want.  You don’t want a lame floppy disc flying out of your hand, that is bound to end poorly.

Overall, I’m happy to be able to semi-regularly get out to the course, and happy that my game didn’t go completely down the crapper.  I wish it would be a bit more regular… but I have a strong feeling that most people won’t be able to get out all the time, with life happening.  I plan on heading out there again, which I feel is only necessary to get a good idea on a course.  Have you had a chance to hit the course in the last couple of weeks?

GOAL

Hit par

Keep my disc in the fairway

Improve forehand throw

GOAL ACCOMPLISHED?

No.

I didn’t do any of these things.  I think I might have hit par on one or two holes, but not enough to justify it being a reached goal

PROBLEM

I will say that with a new course, comes the added challenge of figuring out each hole, therefore taking away from the ability to improve.  You are forced to focus on finding the basket, understanding the hole, and knowing where not to throw.

SOLUTION

Try to get past the new course challenge.  Considering that I want to try new courses, I should be able to easily adapt.  Therefore, I need to work on varying the courses I go to around here in Kalamazoo, keeping myself guessing on the holes.

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Discovery of the forest dwelling basket

This was a great weekend for disc golf and it felt great to hit the course and toss some discs.  It’s been a while since I’ve been able to hit the course (I know I keep whining about it, but that’s the point of this blog, duh), but there wasn’t any rust on these throws and I think I actually saw some improvement this past Saturday.  Also, it was great checking out a new course, Lake Township Park over by Warren Dunes on Lake Michigan.  A nice course that I think you should check out if you are over that way.

Let’s talk about the course first, because it has an interesting hole and one hole that I guess is a premier hole.  Both of these holes are worth talking about in detail.  First, to start off, the course is in a nice sports park and was originally nine holes, but recently moved up to a normal 18 hole course.  Being part of a sports park, I think there is somebody there to take care of the course or nobody knows this course exists.  I didn’t see any garbage around any of the holes (a major pet peeve of mine that I’ll talk about soon), which was surprising because I didn’t see very many garbage cans around.  They had maps at hole one, which I liked because some of the pad placement was a little funky.  The majority of the holes were short, around the 200 foot mark, making you feel like a superstar with every drive.  Not saying that it was an easy course.  The first nine holes were in not quite a forest (you’ll here about that in a second) but some sort of hilly tree area.  So, they placed a lot of the baskets right on the other side of a tree, making you almost have to come around the back-end of the basket.  After that there were some open holes, those were the ones that had some length, hitting 400 feet.  And a couple of the holes were on the edge of the park, testing your fence climbing skills if you had a stray throw or the wind was deciding to be evil and wanted to grab your disc.

Now, the two  holes that I think need to be discussed at a bit of detail.  Hole 3 and hole 11.  Hole 3 for it’s apparent notoriety and hole 11 for it’s ridiculousness.

Before going camping this weekend, I did a little research on if there were any disc golf courses around Warren Dunes, and Lake Township was the one.  Well, in everything I read, they said hole 3 was the hole to look out for.  According to Disc Golf Course Review and the PDGA website this is the trademark hole.  My question: why?  It’s a straight shot from the pad to basket, 492 feet, with a fence on your right and some trees around the basket.  Yes that fence could be a problem, but for most people who throw right handed and do a back hand throw, that disc is going to go left, away from the fence.  And yes 492 feet is a long hole, but not the longest one I’ve seen (that was a course in Illinois, the hole was over 900 feet I think and the longest in the state).  There is a little worry that your disc might go rogue and go deep in the woods that is on the other side of the fence, but it’s a very very tiny worry.  I guess if you are playing tournament rules, you might have a little trouble with this hole because there is a parking lot and sidewalk that you have to throw over, and if you land on them that is usually considered out-of-bounds.  But,  there were five of us out there and I don’t think anyone landed on the out-of-bounds area.  I hit par on that hole, and I would have gone one under if it wasn’t for a stray tree branch that was in my way.

If the disc golf sites are going to consider hole 3 the trademark hole, I wonder what they would consider hole 11?  The park is broken in half with a thick forest separating the soccer fields from the baseball diamond and pond.  This forest is actually labeled as a “Boy Scout Trail” and does have a couple of trails going through it.  However, hole 11 must of been created by someone that has never heard of the word “fairway” or “lawnmower.”  Trying to find the pad was a beast, and then trying to find the basket was like going on an expedition in a newly discovered jungle forest.  There was underbrush every where.  Nothing was cleared out.  And I don’t think anything had ever been cleared out.  You were throwing blind from the pad, definitely needing a spotter to help keep track of your disc.  I guess there were tiny bike paths along the sides of the woods, but nothing you could use to help you throw from a clear area.  I highly recommend using the overhand throw for this hole.  We had to hunt down the basket first, which again, didn’t have a “green,”  then we had to station a couple of people in the woods to help spot, and after we threw, we took over for the spotters to throw.  It was a big process to get to the basket.  I can’t imagine trying to do that hole either by yourself or after a rain.  It would be full of bugs and just plain nasty trying to go through it.  I have a picture on my phone that I’ll post to show you the insanity of the hole. The picture speaks for its-self.

Hole 11
This is at about the halfway point of the hole. As you can see, nothing was cleared.

I went to the course with my father-in-law and my nephews.  This course was perfect for my two youngest nephews because of the shortness of the holes.  They had a great time on the course, challenging each other, figuring out the yardage equivalent of each hole, and trying out our different discs.  It is funny to watch them come up with reasons for wanting to use different discs, usually having something to do with the color or how one of us older guys did with a disc.  Made me laugh and think about why I have so many discs.  Do I really need the ten discs I have in my bag?  Why do I switch to a Roc or Shark or Leopard on the fairway?  Is there really that big of a difference between my Pro Star and Pro Beast?  Could I do just as well with one or two discs?  I have gone into some detail on testing out my discs, so I guess I can say there is a difference between all of them.   I really think it has to do more with the golfer than the disc.  However, we gave them a new disc when they asked and it made them feel good and that’s all that really matters.

One thing that should have shocked me, but didn’t, again having talked about it, was that they were really good at the forehand throw.  It’s pretty sicking to see how easy it is for them to just whip a forehand throw like it’s nothing and have it go exactly where it should while my throw wobbles off into a bunch of trees way to close to count for any type of throw.  I’m glad they can do the throw and that they can get out on the course, they keep it up and they will be major competition for some of the guys that are pros.

As for me, like I said above, I did see some improvements on my game and I feel good about it.  My drives are going a lot further, cutting down my mid range drives usually by one whole throw.  On hole 17, which is a long hole, around 500 feet, I got within putting range in two throws.  It did go a little further right than I wanted, having to do with me letting go at the wrong time, but it was still easy to recover from.  My putting wasn’t too bad.  I got a couple of putts I didn’t think I could get and some that I thought I would get, I bombed.  I’m having a hard time hitting the chains on the right side of the basket, and I can tell it’s a problem because my putter keeps passing the basket on the left side.  So that is something I need to work on with the practice basket.  Another thing I noticed was that the type of basket can make a difference.  They have Innova baskets, which have this plastic ring around the top that your putter can use to bounce off of.  I’m use to the metal pieces that a lot of other baskets have, which usually just stops the putter and drops it into the basket.  The plastic ring however, gives your putter enough bounce to push it away from the basket and back to the ground.  I did try doing more forehand throws, but those still gave me results I didn’t want.  My overhand throw did come in handy for some of the holes(as mentioned above) and I do feel like it’s something that I want to pursue further.

It was a great time and I do recommend you try out the course.  For the five of us, including three children, it took just about two hours.  I can imagine it taking a lot less time for people who disc on a regular basis.  So, if you are driving to Chicago from Kalamazoo, or the other way around, stretch your legs and go to Lake Township park (it’s like two minutes from the highway, but doesn’t feel like it when you are actually at the park).  It’s possibly going to be our starting point on our trip of  Lake Michigan courses, being an ideal meeting point for my brother-in-law in Chicago.

What course did you go to this weekend?  Have you been to Lake Township park before?  Disagree with my assessment of hole three?  Let me know.

GOAL

Reach Par

Improve Overhand Throw

Improve Forehand Throw

Beat nephews

GOAL ACCOMPLISHED?

I reached par on probably 60% of the holes, which isn’t too bad, but I don’t think it’s worthy of goal accomplished.

My overhand throw did me well.  I think if I keep it up it could do even better.

I think I did beat my nephews, though the 15 year old was really close to my score.  That’s what they get for being young, losing!!!!

PROBLEM

Forehand throw still needs a lot of work.  It’s really wobbly and goes right way too early.   I’m sure this just goes back to me letting go to early.

SOLUTION

Do not be afraid to try the forehand throw.  I think my biggest problem is that I’m a bit too competitive and am scared to waste a throw that might not go anywhere.  But this causes me to not practice a throw that needs to be practiced before it gets better.  So, I need to just force myself to do one whole disc golf game  forehand.  Eighteen holes in a row of forehand throwing should be good practice.

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