Tag Archives: Paul

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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Great day to be out on the course

What a perfect day to be out!  The sky was clear, the temperature not too hot or not too cold, and it wasn’t that dark out.  Besides the killer wind that basically picked our discs out of the sky and threw them the opposite way, it was amazing out.

My friends Paul and Andy came with me to Robert Morris Park.  We only did nine holes because, like I said, Andy wanted to warm up to playing again, since he hasn’t gone in a while.  Plus we wanted to go eat dinner.  Anyway, nine holes was perfect because we got to play and not get tired out.

Since moving back from New York, I’ve been going out disc golfing a lot, and Robert Morris was the park that got me back into the sport.  I haven’t gone there since the beginning of March, but it seems in that time they have made some changes to the course.  The changes weren’t bad, except I loved the challenge of hole 9 (which had a huge chunk of water for you to throw over, pretty wicked).  If felt like they shrank up the holes some, but not to say they were easier.  I still had the problem of letting go too soon.  It’s funny because I know it’s happening, yet I can’t stop it.  I have to focus on holding the disc until my arm is straight.  Maybe the problem is that I am fulfilling the prophesy of knowing that I let it go early.  Anyone have any advice on stopping that?

I also seem to have the power of hitting trees dead on.  This might be tied to the letting go to early problem, so, maybe I’ll let that go for now.

My discs are flying further, which is great. But, I just need to make sure they are going the way I want them to.

Andy and Paul were great.  Whatever Andy was saying about not being good was a bit of a lie, he did really well.  He is left-handed and so it was interesting to watch him throw.  He throw the forehand way and instead of it going to the right (like it should for right-handed people) his goes left.  Different, but neat.

I’ve mentioned Paul before in this blog, so you know that he has gone out disc golfing before.  He does ultimate Frisbee, so he has a pretty powerful arm.  What’s interesting about him is that he only uses one disc for everything.  And the crazy thing is that it works.  Makes you wonder if you really need that bag full of discs…  That disc even worked for him when he was forced to throw his disc from a tree limb (gotta play where it lays…).

I didn’t reach my goal of par on every hole.  I would love to blame the wind and say that it caused the issue.  I would also love to say it was all of the other golfers on the course, maybe I was embarrassed to perform in front of them (there was this guy behind us that was reaching the baskets in one throw, no way you can look good in front of that).  But, like I stated earlier the problem was letting go too early.  Time to go to the park and practice throwing.

GOAL

Par on every hole.

GOAL ACCOMPLISHED?

No

PROBLEM

Letting disc go too early

SOLUTION

Practice throws until I know where the disc should go

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Heading out today

Well, this was a bit unexpected, but it seems that I am going to be heading out later this afternoon to go disc golfing.  Pretty sweet!  I will be going with my friends Paul and Andy, I’m not sure where we are going, maybe Oshtemo, maybe Robert Morris.  Robert Morris can be a bit intense, there are some steep hills, and hidden baskets, but it’s a ton of fun.

I’ve gone disc golfing with Paul multiple times, but Andy I have not.  He said that he has gone before, but it’s been a long time for him, so this will be a warm up session/practice for Andy.

I’ll post the results after we get back.  But I am hoping that I can keep a par of four on each hole.

Do you enjoy taking out new disc golfers?  Any advice on it?

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