Tag Archives: weather

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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Does weather mess with your disc golf?

Living in Michigan has taught us all to never trust the weather guys and to always wait five minutes for something new to happen with the weather.  So, does this life of random weather patterns mess with our disc golf game?  Is disc golf specific to the summer?  Or does it really matter what is happening on the course?

I want to say that it doesn’t matter, but we all know that it does.  I want to say that for some of us die hard fans, we don’t really care if it’s snowing, raining or windy, if the disc can fly than it’s cool.  But, it does have an impact on our game and we have to learn how to ignore the weather, or at least find ways to keep it’s impact to a minimum.

I think that some types of weather we are more use to than others.  Wind, for instance is something that disc golfers are usually always dealing with.  The best way around that is to just keep your discs close to the ground, or aim further into the wind so that your disc gets pushed the way you want it.  Another type of weather that we deal with is temperature.  Again, this is something that disc golfers are always dealing with.  Make sure you dress proper and have water, that’s the best advice I can give.  Maybe try to go a little earlier in the morning.  I hate hitting the last nine holes while dying from the heat.  I don’t know about you guys, but my body sweats like crazy, and dealing with that as well as heat exhaustion can really kill my game.  At that point, I’m not throwing to get a low score, I’m throwing to just finish the game, and that is not the way to play.  And when it’s cold, you should try to bring gloves.  You need your hands to be warm so that you can easily release the disc.   There were many times that I went out and my hands were frozen, killing any control I might of had on when I wanted to release the disc.  It’s a pretty weird feeling to have the disc in your hand and to try to throw it, only to let go way too late.  It felt like you let go earlier, but nope, that disc just got thrown into the dude on your right and you have to explain why you took a chunk out of his leg.  So, where gloves or something to keep your hands warm.

Those are just the normal types of weather that you are probably dealing with the most.  The two that are fun are snow and rain.  These are things that will probably keep you inside and away from a park.  But, I think you can have fun throwing in the snow, and rain…well…rain does kinda suck for disc golf, you can do it, but I don’t know if I think disc golf should be the first thing you think of when it is raining.  When going disc golf in the snow, again dress for the weather (hats, gloves, maybe a coat), but also be careful what color disc you throw.  Try not to throw white discs.  Those can be a real pain to find, especially when it’s soft snow and the disc sorta digs itself into the snow.  My father-in-law and I were out disc golfing in Crystal Lake, IL, and I threw a white disc in a pretty open area, but it was getting dark and the snow was fluffy and deep, causing the disc to blend in.  We walked back and forth for like an hour in the dark trying to find it, we had to come back the next day to finally find it.  So, be careful on the color of the disc.  As for wearing a coat, it is important to keep yourself warm, but make sure the coat isn’t going to mess with your throw, you don’t want it to restrict your arm or get in the way.  Also, you might warm up while you are out there, and that might suck.  It might suck because you don’t want to have to carry it around, but at the same time you don’t want to get all sweaty.  You might want to just wear a nice long sleeve shirt or maybe a fleece.  Finally, this is something you would want when it is raining as well, a towel.  Something to wipe your disc off.  It’s a pain to have a cold wet disc in your hand.  It’s slippery and not fun to hold(….that’s what she said) causing you to not have much control.  So bring a towel and clean that disc.  There is not much I can say about rain that I haven’t already said about snow.  Except, I wonder if the falling rain has any affect on weighing down the disc?  I haven’t really noticed it in the past, but maybe it does.  It can be annoying in the rain, especially if you have glasses, which get covered in the rain.

So that is my little deal about disc golf and weather.  I’m sure I’ll think of more things as I continue with the blog, which I will try to post when I think of them.  Plus, maybe you have suggestions?  Do you care about the weather when going out?  Is there anything that keeps you away from the course?

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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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It’s nice out, are you disc golfing?

Here in Kalamazoo it’s very sunny out. It’s cold, but sunny. Are you out on a course? I’m thinking I might go out tomorrow morning.

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