Tag Archives: Josh

Another day in the sticky woods

The last couple of weeks it’s been really hot here in Michigan, if you haven’t noticed.  And humid.  And the combination of these two make it a great time when going disc golfing….

So, I went out to Osthemo with some friends last week and we got to climb through the heavy air to throw some disc.  It actually wasn’t that bad, though we all pretty much had to have a second set of clothes to wear after finishing the 18 holes.  Also, as fair warning to anyone going out there, it’s mosquito season and they are out in force.  It did rain earlier that day, so that might have been the reason for the humidity and the mosquito assault, but on the positive side, it kept the place pretty much open for us to go through it with out waiting or letting anyone pass.

We had a group of four, me, Josh, Paul and Lara (actually five, but Josh’s girlfriend Brandy came along to cheer us on).   I have gone with all of them before, and in fact have mentioned them previously, so I won’t go into much detail about them.  We all had a really good time out there and actually all did well.  I think Josh has only gone a handful of times and most of those with me, but I could see improvement in  his game.  And I think he is for me, what most friends of disc golfers are, a person to use those discs in your bag that you never use.  You know what I am talking about.  You buy a new disc and use it on every basket for a couple of months, and then you buy another one and that first disc gets relegated to the bag, just like those old toys in Toy Story.  But, when you have a friend tag along with you, you  have an excuse to bust out that disc and hand it to them.  Which, in the long run gives you a reason for owning so many discs and one of those big bags to carry them all in.  Because you have friends.

No scores were kept, mainly because I really need to warm up and get ready for my big Michigan tour, but also because we were just out there to have fun.  Though, having gone to Osthemo many times, I sort of have a feel when it’s a good day and when it’s a bad day.  This was a good day.  Not for my forehand throw, but my backhand and overhand throw rocked.  I used the overhand throw a lot, mostly because the leaves were out in force, really making it a narrow passage from the start of the pad.    It was easier to slice through this by doing the overhand, then trying to get the backhand around the trees.  I feel confident that this is going to be one of my go-tos from now on.  My backhand really helped once on the fairway, and usually placed me next to the basket for an easy putt.

And my putts.

Oh man, those really made me happy.  At almost every basket the putter was attracted to the chains.  It helped that I was close enough to the basket to have the easy putts.  But, there are no easy putts.  Meaning that the practice and the mantras have paid off.  I think there was maybe two putts that were a bit embarrassing, but the rest of them totally made up for it.

I actually felt really good about my whole game.  I only had a tough time on a couple of the holes.  And only almost lost a disc once.  Though it turns out the disc was not in the woods at all, but just on the outside of the woods.  I did over estimate some of my throws, but, a guy can dream right?  I do have one confession to make…I only did one forehand throw this time.  I know, I know.  I said I was going to do it more and try to get better at it.  But, the one time I did it, it slammed into the trunk of a tree, on the sixth pad.  It was nasty, and I didn’t want to do that again.  Sorry.  I’ll be better next time, I promise…maybe.

Overall, it was a great time.  It’s always a great time.  Even on my worst days and I’m cursing all of the discs I own, I still love it out there.

GOAL

Reach par, improve drives

GOAL ACCOMPLISHED?

I’m not sure on the par part.  But, the drives all seemed to have improved.  Except the forehand, that one has not improved.  Not at all.  Nope.

PROBLEM

Just not working on it.  I can’t get better at something when I don’t use.

SOLUTION

I have to come up with some sort of system forcing me to throw it forehand.  Hmm….I’m sure there is some sort of harness that can do this…

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Monday: A crazy time for Disc Golfing in K’zoo!

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.

GOAL

Better Putting

Further distance with my drives

GOAL ACCOMPLISHED?

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.

PROBLEM

Still letting discs go at weird times.

SOLUTION

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.

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Weekend of disc golf!

It wasn’t the best weekend here in Kalamazoo for disc golf (Friday was nice, but Saturday and Sunday was all rain), but that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t go out and half some fun!  And that is exactly what I did, I went out on Friday and Saturday.  Saturday was an adventure because it started to rain when we got to the first pad, and it didn’t let up, so we only did 9 holes 8 and 1/2 holes because we were soaked.  Friday was also an adventure because I took my friend Josh, who has never gone disc golfing before, and what’s the best way to learn but to teach, so put on my instructors cap and took Josh under my wing to be introduced to the glory that is disc golf!

FRIDAY

Josh has been wanting to go for a while, but is always busy.  So, when I got a text from him that he wanted to out to the course on Friday, I was excited!  In fact, I was so excited that I jumped in the in-laws van and picked him up as soon as he was ready.  Which, turned out to be a little bit of trouble, because I didn’t eat a snack and that hurt me a bit later on the course.  It’s cool though, because we had a great time and I think I converted him to the dark side.

For the sake of not wanting to pay a fee (talk about that soon), I took Josh over to the Oshtemo course, which is free.  It wasn’t too hot or too cold, though it wasn’t really sunny either.  But the wind wasn’t bad.  I don’t think the wind really effects that course too much, because of all of the trees, but for the sake of talking about the weather, it wasn’t that windy either.  There were quite a few people out on the course,  so for the first couple of course we had to wait at each pad, but for whatever reason, once we let this one guy past us, the waiting  cleared up.  Maybe people only did 9 holes?  Or maybe they started doing really well?  Who knows.

By the way, one thing that I want to ask is: why is it that every time I go out and there are people playing, they always throw from the closer pad?  There is usually two pads for people to start on, obviously one closer to the basket than the other one.  I always play from the one furthest from the basket, it adds a challenge and I think that is where the pros play from.  Why wimp out and play from the one that is 20 – 30 feet closer to the basket and isn’t behind some trees?  Seems like if are good at disc golf you would want that extra challenge.  I mean, I guess if you are just out there to say that you disc golf (I guess it makes you cool in some circles?  Don’t ask me.  I don’t have a huge following on this blog or see it on tv or very much on the web, so I don’t know how cool it makes you to say you disc golf), then you would probably want to play from the easiest pad just to get the game over with.  But, as someone that isn’t very good (but trying!) I hate waiting for a group of kids throwing from that pad, walk the couple of extra feet and come back here with me and see why disc golf is challenging and fun.

Anyway, it’s fun taking someone new out on the course and teaching them how to disc golf.  You have to try to teach them that throwing a disc is kinda similar to throwing a frisbee, but not really.  Josh did a pretty good job.  He did have a bit of a discus type throw.  You know,  where you curl your arm around the disc and then run up to the edge of the pad and whip your arm out.  But it worked.  It just hooked to the left quite a bit.  It was cool though to watch him realize that and see him compensate for it.  I didn’t want to over burden him with a bunch of things that I have read about disc golfing, so I would just give him small bits of advice, kinda tell him why I am doing what I am doing.  Also, the guy we let ahead of us was pretty good, so that was cool to watch and see what he did.

I believe that Josh had a great time.  He said that he can see what people do it: being out in nature, enjoying the quiet(unless I screwed up), not having to spend that much money, the calmness it usually creates (again, unless I screw up), and just the fact that you are having fun.   I believe that I will be taking him out to a course again.

SATURDAY

On Saturday I went to Robert Morris Park with my cousin-in-law’s fiancé, Nate.  Which, has gone out before, a lot, actually, so no teaching but still fun to do.  If you have been following this blog, then you know that I had a nice run in with Robert Morris Park last week involving the paying of fees.  So, this was a good test to see if it is easy to find the box you have to pay in.  I guess if you call a yellow post that looks like a cement post you use to stop people from hitting something, then I guess yes.  However, if I didn’t know I was looking for that, I wouldn’t have known that was what it was.  I would have thought it was a cement post you use to stop people from hitting something.  Anyway, we did pay the fee (which wasn’t listed anywhere near the post, we just guessed and paid a couple of bucks).  And as soon as we got out of the car, it started to rain.  And rain, and rain, and rain.  Luckily, the first nine holes are pretty much covered by trees, so it wasn’t that bad.

Nate is similar to Andy in that he throws left-handed, so it was interesting to watch.  The unique thing about Nate is that he did the majority holes overhand.  Which was surprisingly effective.  Especially for some of the really wooded holes, or when the hole dog legged to the right.  The disc would flip over and head that way.  I might have to give that a try.

I had some good holes, more than bad ones, so that means I am improving, which is great.  But, it’s hard to tell because of all of the rain, that definitely made the game(again, I don’t like calling it that, but haven’t thought of something better.  What do people say when they go golfing?) interesting.  The discs got really muddy and slippery, and made you try to aim away from the mud puddles that were forming around the baskets.  I guess that forced you to  be better at putting, because picking your putter up out of the mud is not fun.

The weirdest thing about Saturday was the fact that the 9th hole was missing a basket.  Now, I know they went through and changed the course up some time the last month, but as of two weeks ago there was a basket at the 9th hole.  However, when Nate and I stood at the top of the hill where the pad is for the 9th hole, I couldn’t see the basket.  I assumed it was down there and we threw our discs, but once down  there, the basket was no where to be found.  The couple that was playing ahead of us was also looking for the basket and they asked me if I had seen it.  I pointed to the places where the basket has been, usually past the nasty little pond that seems to suck up a lot of discs and has some mean geese protecting it, and where they had recently put it, which was currently a suspicious hole.  The hole looked pretty fresh too.  Did they plan on putting it somewhere else and then get scared off because of the rain?  I don’t know, but considering that we have to pay to play there, I would like to be able to count on baskets being at the end of each hole.

I’m not bitter or anything…

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