I competed in the 34th annual Gold Pan Open this past weekend in Orangevale, Rocklin, and Auburn. There were several things going on in my game that made this tournament kinda unique. This was my first tournament since my hernia surgery, since starting this blog, and since making a real full time investment in my backhand.
As many of you can relate, when I’m working on new stuff in my game there are usually corresponding parts of my game that suffers. This tournament my putting was a bit shaky. I only missed one putt that I really should have gotten but there were at least ten that I just missed. The pay off was that my backhand got me 40% of my birdies and I always threw the backhand on backhand shots, regardless of my confidence level in the moment.
This tournament is also different in that we played 3 rounds at 3 different courses. It was nice knowing that once you finished a tough hole you would not have to face it again. At the same time however, you didn‘t get a second chance to correct your errors in performance or judgement when you are playing the holes once.
There were plenty of DB things happening at the course. I heard of a golfer who threw a practice shot off the tee by accident. The group allowed him to collect his disc and re-tee. There was also a golfer whose roll-away putt hit his own golf bag and stopped, an offense which normally carries a penalty. That group also allowed the offender to continue without penalty. I was in neither group so I can’t speak to how appropriate those decisions were. Technically, they were both wrong and on at least one occasion carried some regret by the group in question.
I was in a group whose card leader grabbed the card and headed out to an obscure new temp hole without the rest of his group. While the other 4 of us were trying to find him and then the hole, he was at the tee practicing his putting, something I obviously could have used more of.
As a friend of mine A.J. reminded me, for every DB you meet there are plenty of good people out there so I thought I should mention the good things that happened this weekend.
A young man named Sam Minges, 14 years old, crushed me at the Orangevale course. Very good golfer, respectful, and eager to learn the rules of tournament play, this being his first event. I love meeting kids when they are young and I expect to watch this kid become a pro.
I played in three great groups, except for the one card leader, and we supported each other the whole way. The best groups get excited for each others birdies and the good vibes drive everyone’s performance. The third round was a grueling 27 holes with a 900+ hole all in the 90 degree California sun. We laughed, joked, and huddled in the shade together. We made water runs for one another and talked golf for the mammoth 6 hour round.
Team Off-Axis performed really well on day one. All four of us were within 6 strokes of our division leaders after the 1st two rounds. We were all performing really well on day two until we hit the safari nine holes where the fields finally started to stretch out. At the end, only one of us did not cash – but to be fair he had a 20 foot putt for a 3 on the 900+ hole and the most birdies by far of any one on his card.
This blog is mainly about etiquette and the proper way to golf. Despite that, I never have to remind myself that the worst day golfing with DBs every where is almost always better than the best day at work. Please have a good round, have fun, and remember
Don’t be the Douche Bag on the course today.
Categories: Disc Golf Etiquette