Young Old Guy Tour – What Just Happened

Gonna try a new format for my final round wrap-up. To find out how I got here, click HERE to read about the rise of Fats, and here to read about the coasting of Fats.


  • It was not the strongest of fields. Based on rating alone, I was on the cash line to start, and three rounds of, quite frankly, mediocre golf would have earned me some cash. (960 golf was last cash)
  • My scrambles. Not that you ever really want to hang your hat on the ability to scramble on a course where nearly every hole is deucable, but I did managed quite the short game. My ability to scramble and my up-shots in general were a strength this weekend. Many of my 80′ up shots (which have been problematic in the past) were no-brainers, and I saved a lot of strokes with some well timed scrambles, particularly with my forehand.
  • My putts. Sure, I missed a few in the circle (I’d estimate about 5 for the weekend), but none inside 20′, and I made a BUNCH outside the circle, probably 7 or 8. I didn’t really feel it today, and it showed (one missed putt in the circle, none from outside), but my putter definitely saved me a bunch.


  • That’s right, somehow I went from 10th place to 13th to 19th (they paid top 18). What went wrong? A bunch of things. First: altitude. I never shoot amazingly at sea level, but I just couldn’t seem to get off the tee without my disc behaving in some weird way I didn’t expect. Add to that I had trouble off the tee in general and it led to a long weekend.
  • My inability to throw an anhyzer drive. See the previous entry, but it was most readily evident off the tee. If I had to throw a long anhyzer, you could bet that I was going to griplock it into the woods off to the right. On hole 5 alone it cost me 3 strokes (would have been four were it not for an amazing scramble during round 1). Anhyzers have never been my strength, but they’ve never been this glaring a weakness before.
  • Luck. I hate to attribute a bad round to luck, but there was no denying my bad breaks this weekend, specifically the final round. From my first throw of the day where I NICKED a tree that turned a drop-in deuce to a 70′ birdie bid, it didn’t get better. On hole five, I found some terrible trouble, but could get away with a bogey if I managed to execute a really tough deep-woods hyzer. And I nailed it perfectly (throwing it into some low branches and long grass). Somehow, it misses all of that and does a 30′ flare skip past the basket and into more brush, leaving me with no real putt for a bogey. Hole eight, my card all cheered for me on my drive, only to find it go OB. Three holes later, on another scramble, I throw the perfect skip shot across the hill to give me the tap in, only I get a NEGATIVE skip, leaving me a 35′, which I dink off the top. Hole 15, I throw a great drive and end up in a 4′ creek 300 feet down the fairway. I had six OBs for the tournament, and only 2 of them were the result of bad throws.
  • My Ape. This was the disc I threw great on holes 5, 8, and 11, each one of which got some weird funky result, and each cost me a stroke.
  • My putter. It’s not like it went dead, I only missed one putt in the circle all round, but it stopped saving me like it had on Friday and Saturday.
  • Deucing holes. This may sound weird, since you WANT deuces. I got 14 on the tournament, which wasn’t nearly enough. (Even if I threw bogey-free the whole weekend, I would have only come in 6th). But what I did immediately after those 14 bogeys was a travesty. Not ONE birdie (meaning I didn’t throw back to back birdies the entire weekend), 4 bogeys, and a double-bogey. I just couldn’t sustain anything.
  • I had to not suck today, and I sucked.

I’m really disappointed right now and am replaying that final round in my head over and over again. The fact is I played poorly off the tee, got some unfortunate breaks, and dropped myself out of the cash in my first tournament as a Masters player. And really, I didn’t deserve to cash, not after the final half of the tournament.

TYOGT (The Yogurt Tour) – Day 2

It was the second day in a row where I just could not maintain momentum. Like yesterday, I had flashed of brilliance that were almost immediately offset by moments of pure stupidity. Like yesterday, my tee-shots were not my strength, but I was scrambling really well and putting very solidly. Yesterday I had seven birdies and four bogeys, resulting in my decent -3 finish. Today, I had only five birdies and four bogeys, although I would also say luck was not on my side this round for the most part.

To break it down:

I had a dumb par on the first hole. Hole 2 features a large pyramid which means if you’re outside about 30′, you lay up so you don’t take a big score. I felt good about my putt after yesterday, so I tried from 40′ away and nailed it dead center. Good start. I took a somewhat lucky par on 3 (could have gone OB but I hit a tree and it got knocked down), made a 20+ footer for par. Hole four was my bit of luck – my driving was sliding toward OB but hit a log and stayed safe. Another 20+ footer for birdie.

Hole 5, the super tough par 3, I didn’t have a great drive but it could have been fine if I didn’t find the 4′ wide OB river (my disc was dry but it was in the roped-off area). Bogey, followed by a STUPID bogey on 6 – bad drive, good up but got smacked down by this tiny tiny branch, missed putt). Great drive on 7 but alas only a par. 8, long look for birdie but I was okay with a par there.

9 is a roller hole, and I put the angle down perfectly. However, it hit the only guardian tree and squirreled off to the right. All I had for an upshot was a kneeling forehand under a low-hanging branch, which I executed great and it left me a 25′ par putt, which I made.

Stupid par on 10, excellent birdie on 11 (perfect drive didn’t slide forward like I expected, so I had to bang a 25+ putt). Bad drive par on 12, good scramble par on 13.

Then we go to the temp holes, and I go into safe mode. A, boring par. B – missed a 40′ putt for birdie. C, which is the toughest par 3 on the course, and I made a 20′ for par. On D, I get another bad break, skipping off the OB pavement INTO the hillside (which would have been fine), only to skip off the grass and onto another hazard area. I missed the 30′ for par, so I took a bogey. Hole E, made a 35′ putt for par. Hole F, the very tough par 4, saw me take a par, but only after a great forehand roller 3rd shot and a solid save putt. G was an ace run, had to settle for a drop in birdie. Naturally, I followed that up with a bogey, as was my wont this weekend.

Okay, I’m boring myself with this recap. You kinda get the idea. Moments of brilliance offset by moments of stupidity. My putter was a godsend again, and even though I missed a couple of 30 footers, I banged more than that from outside the circle. My forehands were great on my scrambles, but lousy off the tee. My rollers were really unlucky but solid.

I find myself right on the cash line at -4. If I play solid tomorrow, I’ll be okay. One of my unofficial goals was to throw under par each round, and so far I’ve done that, even if I walked away from today’s round disappointed.

TYOGT – St. Patty’s Day 1

See my ramblings from yesterday, which I forgot to link.

After a night of surprisingly good sleep (thank goodness for earplugs!), I took my ibuprofin (a Masters-division tradition) and headed out to the course. I warmed up for a while and, while I wan’t really getting huge shots, I was feeling pretty good. Here we go.

The first few holes are ones you want to get one or two of them, but I started with three pars (no real danger but only one look at a birdie, which I airballed). Hole four found my first birdie with a 25′ putt. And hole 5 was where my round was defined.

It’s a very tough par three with a long anhyzer fairway and an OB river. Well, I tried to get all the way there and ended up shanking it, nearly hitting 6s tee. It’s a NIGHTMARE over there. I was about 160′ away with nothing but a tiny forehand gap 60′ in front of me. I pured the gap and found myself about 50′ away (it was a pretty spectacular out). BAM, made the putt.

And that can sum up my round. Disappointing driving, scrambling like a mofo, and a great putt. I threw in my next upshot for a 60+ foot birdie and I was off to the races. Until hole 8 where I threw my drive OB and took a bogey.

Followed up with a par on a tough hole and a 40′ putt for birdie on hole 10, which I banged. Then, as was the case most of the round, bogeys were followed by birdies and birdies were followed by bogeys. I SHANKED my forehand drive on 11 and took a somewhat-impressive bogey from where I ended up. Then hole 12 saw me banging another 40′ birdie.

So, to sum up, halfway through the 27-hole layout, I carded 4 birdies but 2 bogeys. That took us to the temp 9 holes, which are fair holes but pretty difficult. In that stretch I had 4 birdies and 2 bogeys, but my drives were starting to come around. One of my bogeys was a bad upshot and the other was a tough-luck OB stroke. So with only the last four “normal” holes left, I was -4, hoping to get to -5.

I had a very impressive par on 15 (bad drive, great scramble and putt). 16 saw an easy par. 17 was really my one regret. It was a decent drive, leaving myself about an 80′ hyzer upshot. Which I throw 30′ short and then miss the putt. NO BUENO. I finished the round with a bad drive, good scramble, good putt (sound familiar?)

That puts me at -3. My goal was to shoot under par each round. I obviously would have liked a -4 or -5, but this was totally acceptable. Using last year’s rounds as a barometer, it was a 970 rated round, and it felt like that. Solid if unspectacular golf. I was 6 strokes off Robert Bainbridge, one of the two or three favorites to win my division. I’ll take that.

But man, that putter saved my butt today. I hit 3-4 outside the circle and only missed one or two inside the circle. My upshots and scrambles were on point, which made up for a somewhat disappointing day off the tee.

I won’t know where I am until later, but I imagine that round kept me around the 4th card, or just ahead of the cash line. Now time to rest the back and do as little as possible until going to bed tonight.


UPDATE: With all the scores in I’m in a tie for 10th place! Mind you, three people are tied for 1st at -9, but I’m only two strokes off of 5th place (and only 1 stroke ahead of the cash line – there’s a lot of clumping, is what I’m saying.)

The Young Old Guy Tour – Saint Patrick’s Classic

The PDGA season begins tomorrow (for me, at any rate) in the form of the Saint Patrick’s Classic at Shady Oaks in Sacramento. This course was home to my highest-rated round of all time, which was sadly 8 years ago. What does that mean for the tournament this weekend? In the words of Spaceballs, absolutely nothing.

I did get out to play the course today, including the nine temp holes, and I probably shot somewhere around par. Hard to tell as I was trying various lines, all while wondering why the hell I can’t turn any of my discs over (for the non-players, playing at sea level like I am here makes discs turn over far more than I would at Tahoe). Either way, aside from an extremely sore back, I’m rearing to go.

And that’s part of the weird thing – I’m really feeling good about this. Maybe it’s because I’m joining guys who are closer to my skill level, but I drove down here just feeling at peace and that a good finish is within me. Naturally, much of that went away after one round where everything is hurting my old man bones.

Either way, I’m glad to be out playing somewhere I haven’t been in a while. I’m looking forward to a good year.

March 7, 2018

A true magician never tells his secrets. But I do. Velcro poodle to the bottom of a large top hat. When pulling it out, the audience will definitely hear the rrrriiiiiipp unless you say some loud mumbo jumbo like abracadabra or Benedict Cumberbatch! Historical footnote: Abe Lincoln kept a dog in his hat to keep his head warm during the Civil War. Rutherford B. Hayes mistakenly kept one in his beard for the same purpose.

March 6, 2018

Velcro poodle to table. Cover poodle in papier-mâché, leaving a hole at the top. Fill hole with flammable materials, preferably lava for authenticity. Bring to your kid’s Science Fair. Start the demonstration, win the ribbon. If it fails to win the ribbon, go back to the original 1942 American National Science Fair. Your time machine should win the prize.