I love being home for the holidays, especially quality time with family. Over the past two years, I’ve gotten my Dad and younger brother both hooked into disc golf. So anytime we’re all in town, we always make it a point to go hit up a round together. A father/sons tradition we started over a year and a half ago when we finally got my Dad into playing. Always fun times, but we still always seem to manage to turn it into a friendly competition. Who will win it this year?
Our hometown has a course—small, flat and short, but a course nonetheless. We’re talking like ~3900 ft. total length for 18. It’s a great beginner course with the front 9 being mostly 150-200 ft long, through the trees. The rest of the course is pretty open and the back 9 are longer. There’s not an abundance of trees in general at the park, so wind gusts always provide an unpredictable, increased level of difficulty to this rather easy course.
Weekends back home fly by way too fast, especially when the drive there is roughly 3.5 hrs. So the only time we got in a chance to play a round was this past Saturday morning. Low 40s, cold (for down South) and very windy…of course it would be. But we have to make do with what little window of time we have. Rain, sleet or snow, we’re playing. Might as well make it two rounds, since it’s so short of a course. By the way, this is a course that is perfect for trying out new discs..no chance of losing one, or dinging one upside a tree. I figured this would be my chance to give my new Buzzz a redemption round.
Since I first started playing disc golf, I’ve been partial to Innova discs. And by “partial” I mean that’s the only brand of disc I had ever thrown up until a few months ago. I guess I’ve stuck with them because I “understood” their detailed flight ratings and descriptions moreso than any other brand of disc that I’ve come across. But anyways, I’m branching out. I’m moving on to other brands to give them a shot.
One disc that’s making its way into a permanent spot in my bag is the 2012 Discraft Ace Race disc, the Discraft Zombee. I love this disc. Neon red, it has stability, lots of glide and a slight lowspeed fade at the end. My other “non-Innova” disc that I bought recently was a bright blue Discraft X-Line Buzzz. I’ve played two rounds with it here in Georgia and did not instantly fall in love with it like all the rave reviews I’ve read over the past few months. I blamed my poor rounds on the idea that I may not be holding it correctly. I’d learn. And yes sir, that came true. The Buzzz was my go-to disc that chilly, windy lil morning in Alabama. I don’t know if it was the wind conditions or somehow I’d magically figured out a better way to hold that disc or what, but it was dead straight on the line that I would release it at. I drove with it on the front 9 and switched to the Zombee for much of the back 9.—It was a Discraft-kind-of-day.
I would go on and beat out my Dad and bro by almost 10 strokes the first round and 7 the next. I ended up shooting back-to-back (-5)’s. It turned out to be a great day indeed. Having family there and spending quality [DG] time with them made it just that much better. So it was a redemption round indeed for that Buzzz and me. My initial dislike for it has now changed. I will try it again this weekend when we play a few courses in Georgia. Hello Discraft [for now].
Any thoughts on Legacy or Latitude 64 discs? I’m in the market for a Legacy Rampage driver (173+) and a Latitude 64 Core mid-range (173+) disc if anyone would like to sell me one or make a trade. Let me know!
What an eventful weekend it was. Our short trip to Alabama did allow for a few rounds of disc golf at my hometown’s North Jasper Disc Golf Park.
This course is a fairly easy and short course but the unforgiving wind conditions always take a toll on your scores. With few trees on this fairly flat and wide open course, knowing how to play into the wind becomes a vital factor.
Saturday morning, Stephen, Jeremiah and I took on the rolling flatness of this fore mentioned park. The previous week’s rains left for some marshy areas and muddy tee pads. Great. The wind came into play on the back 9 and really got me on #18 when it took my sailing disc and carried it damn near the parking lot. Awesome…I now have as long a drive to the basket from here than I did from the tee pad. Bogeying that hole knocked me to +1.
Saturday, a few hours later, Dad and Eliz join me for yet another round. It’d been awhile since I’d played that course with my Dad–granted too that he’d only started playing several months back and a handful of times at that. So I was just about to find out how much he’d improved. To much of my dismay, he took an early lead as I struggled hitting long putts. He had me on those shorter holes for sure as trees instantly became magnets to my throws. So Dad kept a 1-2 stroke lead up until about 15 when I tied it up. Got another back on 16. Missed a gimme putt on 17 to drop back and even it back up…Tie on 18.
Can’t stop now, it’s sudden death son.
Tie #1. Hole #2, Dad lands less than 10 ft from the hole. I fly about 20 ft past the basket leaving me up to my trusty Leopard and my putting skills. Hit that long bird shot to tie #2. Hole #3, I’m up and sail one 30+ ft past the hole and, of course Dad, lands a few feet from within the basket. Gees. This is it, my only hope. 30 ft ringer—which I practice regularly in my yard—to send it into Hole 4 Sudden Death or either a few month’s bragging rights for Dad. No pressure, right? I toss one high and straight on…banks slight right clanking the chains and sails on past…done, that’s it. Game over. Dad goes Crazy; calls my bro on speakerphone to tell him the news and I have yet to hear the end of it. Haha great game Ham! Well played, well played. My Dad beats me at my own game. He loves it.
A funny think happened to me on the way to do some bridge maintenance at Bowers last week. I met three guys on hole 12 pro tee that encouraged me to sign up and perhaps submit material here on dogleg. So, after a week of procrastinating and watching the terrible news involving the tornadoes in the midwest, I finally got the gumption to sit down and type out my thoughts and say hello.
For those that don’t know, Bowers Park is in beautiful sunny Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Yes, a tornado came through, and yes it did damage, but a lot of work has been done to make it playable, and all 18 holes are playable. The course is maintained by three groups. Tuscaloosa county Parks and Recreational Authority or PARA owns the property and does minimal work. Tuscaloosa Disc Golf Club is the official group that does trimming, brush clearing and rotates basket locations. Then there is this super secret disc golf society that I, myself belong to, called the Bowers Park Holes that do a lot of work behind the scenes. I will tell you about the Holes, how we got our name, what we do, and how we do it in another post.
Bowers is one of the more challenging courses in Alabama, and has a reputation amongst the players for eating discs and causing bogies. More than one player in the Eat Sleep Disc series declined to come to Bowers, citing it was the hardest course on the tour and would be difficult to compete in. My friends and I just call it home. The course has three tees for each hole. The blacks were added last fall for all holes and make it quite a challenge for the pros. Each hole also has three positions and some even have a fourth, but until all eighteen holes have a fourth, we will just have positions A, B, and C for now. The month of June will see the positions shift from B to short. The tee to pin distance ranges greatly from under 200 in some positions to nearly 500 on Hole 3 long. The terrain ranges from open with little trees on Hole 1 to a ‘hairy booger’ on any hole of the back nine you choose to throw. It’s a good hike up and down hills, across creeks and through the woods, but in the end youwill find that there is something for every thrower, newbie to pro, lefty to righty.
That being said, I will be posting things about Bowers, encouraging all of you to come throw. The invitation is there, every 7:30 Saturday mornings.
Ahh man what a weekend! So yet again, another big disc golf weekend. This time, Birmingham for Tim’s wedding. I want to thank Robin (you’re awesome) for allowing Tim to make it out to play disc golf the day after the wedding. So Sunday it is and all the guys from the bachelor party are in town ready to play. We had a couple of hours to kill before the Talladega race ended and before Jason had to catch his flight. So why not a round of disc golf, right? Great choice.
This was the first time I’ve played at the John LeMaster’s DGC and only the second course I’ve played in Birmingham. After throwing my disc into the Cahaba on Hole #1 and tripping over huge boulders and being approached by a feral cat on Hole #2, I was beginning to rethink what the heck I doing here. Then I took a drink of my Imperial Red and realized I was here with a great group of guys and what an adventure this was about to be.
John LeMaster DGC has some intensely, traverse fairways and tight spots. The majority of the pin locations are visible as straight shots from the tee box. However, welcome to big fields full of tall, unforgiving trees. There’s a few holes that are extremely tight and narrow with lots of hungry foliage and what seemed like, booby-trapped mine fields full of sharp, jagged rocks and empty creek beds. When searching for your misguided disc here, be sure to watch your footing as there are many sharp rocks and big drop-offs down to creek beds–not to mention the poison oak flooded down several of the wooded fairways.
This course is very challenging and a great choice for anyone looking to step it up to the next level. This course also has a few interesting pin locations–such as a long dogleg hole with a pin set back on a narrow trail in a shrubbery ‘cave’. This course also has pretty high grass. I’m not sure how often it gets cut, but can be difficult to find your disc after a long throw or either after ricocheting one off 3 trees. I would certainly like to come back and play this course again, and to finish it for that matter. We ended after 11 in order to get Jason back to the airport in time for his flight.
Great weekend you guys! We must do this again; another day, another city, another course.
LeMaster Tip: *Bring extra discs. Use neon ones. Good luck; you’ll need it.