Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Great 8

So, I've finally recuperated sufficiently to write up this year's Great 8.

I've been having all sorts of trouble with Time Warner Cable this week (concluding with my canceling my service after about three days of busy signals, hang ups, customer service lies, and general frustration), so it's taken me awhile to get around to posting on this.

Overall it was a great experience. Last year I came six holes short of finishing, so the genesis of success this year came with my cajoling Todd into coming down this year in order to be able to avoid senseless delays. (We holed out on the last hole with about 2 minutes to go before the 8:30 deadline.)

Todd and I are both intermediate players--but we have complementary games for doubles. He drives farther than I do, but I'm a bit more accurate off the tee and a bit more consistent putting. (Todd will drop in a few long ones and miss a few shorter ones).

I putted above average (not great) all day, including making some crucial momentum putts. Unfortunately, I also threw my only Sidewinder into the pond at Cedar Hills (why I was even throwing that disc, I'm not sure).

We had several obstacles that made it a little tough to stay mentally up. It rained pretty hard the last four holes in Durham (costing us a stroke). We threw at the wrong basket at one hole on Cedarock (costing us a stroke) and had to run the last six holes or so because of not knowing the course. (Biggest preparation omission is that I should have played Cedarock rather than Wellspring.) I mistook a disc landing and had Todd pick up on one hole that also cost us a stroke.

One thing that was surprising and enlightening was that we finished stronger than we started on most courses. My worst habit as a disc golfer is that I tend to have a preconceived notion of how a round should go, so when I run into a bad result on a particular hole, I'll exaggerate how a "round" is going. A typical example was on Zebulon where we started on hole 5 and it felt like, for most of the round, that we were having a mediocre doubles round. We then birdied three of the last four holes. When we got to Wellspring we bogeyed 2 of the first four holes (tired, still wet from rain); it would have been easy enough to just limp to the finish line, but we got a second breath and before I realized it was happening birdied five holes in a row and shot a 21 on the back nine. Don't give up on a round until it's over, you don't always know where your birdies are going to come from. Easy advice to remember--hard to follow some time.

Anyhow, we shot a 402, good enough for third place in the intermediate division. More importantly, we had a great shared day and experienced the satisfaction of pushing ourselves mentally and physically and meeting a goal. I think we could have shot a little better (though I remind myself that Todd was new to some of these courses)--we shot a 52 at Buckhorn and I recently shot a 49 singles at the same course (my best score at that venue)--but I'm pleased that even when we got tired, we did not card back to back bogeys the entire day.

Zebulon (Starting hole 5)
2-2-4 2-3-3 3-3-5 (27)
3-2-3 3-3-3 4-3-4 (28)=55

Cedar Hills
3-3-3 3-3-2 2-3-3 (25)
3-3-3 3-3-3 3-3-4 (28)=53

2-2-3 2-3-2 2-2-3 (21)
3-3-3 2-3-2 2-3-3 (24)=45

3-3-4 3-3-3 3-2-3 (27)
3-2-3 3-3-2 3-3-3 (25)=52

UNC (Starting hole 8)
3-3-3 3-3-3 2-2-3 (25)
4-3-2 4-3-2 3-2-3 (26)=51

Valley Springs
2-3-3 3-2-3 2-2-2 (22)
3-3-3 2-2-2 3-2-4 (24)=46

3-4-2 4-3-2 3-2-2 (25)
2-2-2 3-2-2 2-4-2 (21)=46

Cedarock (Holes 8&9 skipped for this tournament as instructed)
3-4-3 3-3-3 3-3-3 (28)
3-3-4 2-3-2 3-3-3 (26)=54

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