I’ve been playing at Shady Oaks as much as I can lately getting ready for the St.Patrick’s Classic in just over a week. This morning I met new friends Colin and Garret for an early round. Waiting at hole one, we joined up with Brandon and his dog Tucker. We played the round as a foursome and had a blast. Brandon was playing some classic rock while we talked disc golf and the coming tournament. I wanted to tell this story because we had an incredibly casual round and we did it with complete responsibility.
In particular, Brandon was an excellent dog disc golfer. He made sure we were okay with the dog. He kept Tucker’s influence in the foursome. At one point, he saw an approaching dog from 50 yards away and leashed Tucker even though it seemed everything would be fine. He saw the potential for rudeness and prevented it rather than apologize for it. We played music and had a blast. We did not let the good times affect anyone else. We only took extra shots when it did not impede play. We kept the speed up when we needed to and kept the volume down when other golfers were near.
We were all there practicing for St. Pat’s. This will be Brandon’s first Open event, my first Advanced event, and Colin’s first intermediate event. I’m hoping Colin can convince Garrett to play – he’s played less than 10 rounds of golf. I met Colin last week when we had matching Penn Valley Ice Bowl shirts. We commiserated about the poor event, traded phone numbers, and planned to meet later. Before we left for the day, we walked through the nature park identifying where the temporary 10 holes would be. I took some photos and described some of the common lay-outs.
I love the temp holes. I’ve played this event twice before and the temp holes have always helped me out. They play tight and technical. They remind me of the golf I played in Flagstaff except instead of the brown of the high desert it is lush and green. Hole A plays off the tee pad for hole 14 but in the opposite direction into the nature park we are allowed to use for these two weeks only. There is a nature walk through the park with signs describing the variety of ecological habitats found in the park. There are several vernal pools that must be protected so of course we use them as out of bounds to make the holes more challenging.
My experience with these holes is exactly the opposite of most other golfers. I come into this section of the course looking to pick up some ground. Most golfers try to bank some shots so they have a few extra to drop. The safari holes play like an old fashioned object course – most of which I have never liked. These holes I love. A safari course with baskets. It’s green this time of year but not overgrown with the tall grass of the late summer. The first year there was standing water everywhere. The second had perfect conditions. I’m so stoked about this event I don’t care how bad the weather is.
Thanks again to Brandon for letting me take a photo of him and Tucker and for letting me write this post about our round. There is no reason we can’t all have our own kind of fun on the golf course. Just because I want to wear a polo, use my mini, and keep score every round doesn’t mean you have to. All I ask is that we respect the kind of golf others want to play and for us all to keep our good times in the foursome.