Thursday, May 24, 2007

Missed Opportunities

The disc golf theme this month is missed opportunities. Earlier this month I shot a 63 to tie for first (after one round) at the King's Cup only to follow it up with a 67, 69, and 73 (to finish 5th, I think).

Today I shot 8 birdies from the short tees at Buckhorn, and was putting to go to -7 at 16. Unfortunately, I three putted and then put an approach in the water on 17. Still a good round (51), but I had an opportunity to break my personal best.

I guess the King's Cup wasn't really a missed opportunity so much as a bad idea. By half way through the second round, various aches and pains were beating me up, and I just wanted to get off the course. I slept poorly and woke up not feeling great for day two. I really need to not play in two day tournaments, especially on long courses. I'm not sure what possessed me to sign up for four rounds from the pro tees...I pretty much did what I always do on those sorts of tournies--started out well and then lost gas and eventually interest as something I normally do for fun (play DG) turned into a grind. I think I would have been better off just playing the doubles and the first day of the tourny. (Since I don't need points because I don't want/need to qualify for anything and am not playing in the money anyway, I'm not sure why I didn't just play day one).

Buckhorn was irritating. I definitely left some strokes on the course that made the difference between a great round and my personal best. Ah well, that's golf.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Rescue Dawn

Christian Spotlight on Entertainment has published my review of Werner Herzog's RescueDawn.

To read the review, click here.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sanford Spring Sling III


1) I got miscalibrated on this course. I know it had been over a year since I had thrown it, but I had recollections of -3 being "about average." Now, I suppose tournament conditions might add a stroke or two, and it was windy. But I had a tough time shooting par (only 1 in 4 rounds). More to the point, the scores across the board were not reflective of the degree of difficulty I remembered. For example, I remembered the course as being maybe a "tad" tougher than Kentwood, especially on the back nine, but while a 49 on the former was rated as a 905 round, a 53 at OT Sloan was rated 922.

2) That 922 was my highest rated tournament round of golf, I think. First time I shot over the 915 threshold, which is supposed to be the window for the advanced division.

3) I hit the red number on the top of the basket on 15, narrowly missing my fourth career ace. It's been almost two years since my last ace, and I've hit chains and basket several times on my tee shots in the intervals (on holes 1, 5, 9, and 15 at OT Sloan; holes 1, 7, 8, 14 at Buckhorn, 1, 6, 9 at get the drill). This effort did get my a CTP--a cordless phone and t-shirt from Windsteam Communications (love them sponsors).

4) I struggled for most of two rounds (the early rounds both days) and really worked to not just explode. Not giving away loose shots when things aren't going well really is a discipline.

5) If you're only going to do one thing marginally well, it might as well be putt. Putting not only helps your score by getting birdies, it increases your margin for error on approaches. The extra strokes you don't add to your score are just as important as the birides you make.

6) I really need to learn to throw a thumber. I don't even need to throw it well, just enough to have it in a place where that is the only throw called for.

7) There are jerks (I was going to use a word that started with "A" and ends in "holes") and nice guys at pretty much every tournament and at most levels of competition.

8) The worse a good player is going, the bigger jerk he is. The better a novice/intermediate player is playing, the bigger jerk he is.

9) There are a lot of foot faults in disc golf, even in tournaments.

10) Over four rounds I took 14 strokes on hole 5--the easiest on the course. Go figure.

11) I lost a second CTP by the length of Gary's toe. Grrrr.

12) I'll never understand why people don't want you to clear the basket after a made putt.

13) I'll never understand why people ask you to clear the basket after a made putt and then don't wait for you to walk clear of the basket before they putt.

14) Applied learning is a wonderful thing. I remembered the lesson from Roselane last week about a heavy tail wind on a short approach. I putt a bit more on a short approach and sure enough when the tail wind knocked it down still had enough to get it close.

15) I hit four trees less than fifty feet away from me (three on intermediate approaches) that is annoying.

16) I'm getting to the point where playing 72 holes in two days is bordering on work rather than fun--and where I feel it in my back and muscles for a day or two afterwards.

17) Ticks bite...and they suck.

Round 1 (Starting Hole 12)
3-4-2 3-4-3 3-3-2 (27) Out
3-4-2 4-3-3 5-4-2 (30) In 57 (Rating 857)

Round 2 (Staring Hole 13)
3-3-2 2-3-3 4-3-3 (26) Out
3-4-3 3-3-3 3-3-3 (28) in 54 (Rating 889)

Round 3 (Starting Hole 13)

3-3-2 4-4-3 3-2-3 (27) Out
4-5-2 3-3-3 5-3-3 (31) In 58 (Rating 858)

Round 4 (Starting Hole 12)
3-3-2 3-3-3 2-3-2 (24) Out
4-4-3 3-3-2 4-3-3 (29) In 53 (Rating 922)

Postscript--I believe this makes my average rating for all four rounds an 881, which means I shot a whopping 4 points above my PDGA rating (877); Looked at differently, the PDGA rating correctly predicted my score after 4 rounds to within 1/2 a stroke. Sheesh. I guess Bill Parcells was are what your record says you are. (But at least I'm still getting better.)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Lucky You (2007)

Link to my review of Lucky You at Christian Spotlight on Entertainment.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Stephens County Pro Am #6 (2007)

Some things I learned:

1) You are what your record says you are. There is a reason I feel like I'm in this no man's land between Advanced and Intermediate. I shot a 73-77 (24 holes each), which the PDGA website said were rounds of 899 and 889 rating. Advanced rating according to PDGA is 915 and up. (At least that appears to be when you are required to play in that division.) At roughly 9 points per stroke (b/c the course playing marginally more difficult than the average course which is 10 points per stroke), that means I played 2-3 strokes (over 24 holes, roughly 1-2 strokes over 18) higher than a typical advanced player.

2) Size may not matter but length does. I just can't drive as far as players 40-50 points higher than me. My short game is okay, but not above average.

3) Every stroke counts the same. The most important putt I made was the first hole; it helped me recover from a shaky drive and shakier approach. Starting +1 just gets me off on the wrong foot.

4) I'm mentally stronger than I have been but still not totally there yet. At one point in round 1 I was -2 and putting for birdie. I had one of those putts where the disc hit the basket, fell to the ground, flukishly landed on its edge and rolled fifty feet away, turning a possible two into a four. Earlier I might have let that derail my whole round or day. For the first time in a tournament setting I was able to shake off a bad break and still play some good golf. In my second round I was very tired, but I managed to finish birdie, par on holes 10 and 11. In another age I might have figured (rightly) that I was out of it and just picked up a few loose strokes, but I'm trying to play from first hole to last.

5) A tail wind doesn't just knock the disc down on putts. My most difficult lesson was a 70 foot approach that only went maybe 40 feet because the tail wind just knocked it straight down into the ground. Cost me a stroke on what should have been an easy three, but that is a lesson I will remember.

Round 1 (Starting on hole 14)(Short pins, short tees)

3-3-2 3-3-3 3-5-3 3-3-3 3-3-2 2-4-4 4-2-3 2-3-4 (73)

Round 2 (Starting on hole 12)(Long pins, short tees)

4-2-4 3-5-3 4-5-3 2-3-3 2-3-2 3-3-4 3-3-3 3-4-3 (77)

Forgiving Dr. Mengele

I noted today that this film is now widely available on DVD; I saw it available at Blockbuster and is now available at Netflix. My review is here.