After last year’s interesting conclusion, I have decided to try my hand once again at making some goals for myself. Because I don’t foresee a world where I suddenly play a ton of practice rounds, and because it seems like every single tournament I want to play is scheduled for a week where I have the boys (making it logistically impractical), this is going to be another wonky year. As such, I’m going to reuse a fair number of goals from last year, where I ended up with a pretty impressive 69% success rate (nice). So off we go.
1) Play enough events to justify the $75 PDGA fee.
This is a goal I set every year, and one I seem to make regularly but barely. As mentioned in the preface, this might be tougher due to bad scheduling luck and needing to travel for many of my tournaments. I need to play 8 events to win.
2) Cash in half my events.
While this isn’t usually the hardest goal, I won’t have the luxury of playing mostly courses I’m comfortable with. In fact, given that I may have to travel often, I’ll likely be playing many courses at odd elevations and without the luxury of practice. Here’s hoping.
3) Cash in 75% of my events.
Just like the last one, only harder.
4) Play 25 rounds that aren’t tournament rounds.
I have an advantage and a disadvantage with this one. The advantage is my boys are more interested in playing than before, meaning this should theoretically be easier. The harder one is I have more responsibilities this year, plus I’ll be saving up money (and time) for a big vacation later in the year. If I practice, it will almost certainly be at the course just up the road. At least I should get pretty good at that one.
5) Win enough cash to pay for my entry fees.
Another goal I have accomplished the last few years, but only barely each time.
6) Win at least one tournament.
I don’t really know if this will be easy or very difficult. The Masters division is certainly easier to win than Pro Open (5 of my 6 pro wins were in Masters), plus I’m not getting younger, or better for that matter. I ended my season last year at the lowest ending rating I’ve had since 2010. Fingers crossed.
7) Never finish in the bottom third of a tournament.
An oldie but a goodie.
8) Don’t throw a round lower than 920.
I was originally going to recycle my goal from last year, which was not to throw a round under 930. Turns out I’d never actually done in that in any year in my life. I haven’t done the research to find out whether I’d ever done it with the lowered goal, but here’s hoping loosening the waistband might make the pill go down easier. Is that a phrase? It is now.
9) Throw a 1005-rated round.
I tweaked my normal goal of ‘just throw one 1000-rated round’ just so if I only come in with a 1004, I’ll silently wonder why I do these sorts of things to myself.
10) Hit at least one ace.
Again, I was going to originally recycle the last year’s goal about just hitting metal, but in the only round I’ve thrown in 2022 so far, I splashed chains on a hole (an easy hole, but a hole nonetheless). So, gotta up the stakes. Go big or go home.
11) Have more rounds at or above my rating than below my rating.
I did it in 2021, let’s do it again in 2022.
12) Have my rating be over 970 for at least one ratings update.
I didn’t do it in 2021, so let’s do it in 2022!
13) Play 4 new courses.
Last year I hit six, but this year it might be harder. There isn’t an abundance of local courses I haven’t played before (especially with Tom’s Adventure Park now closed), and the one course I knew I was going to play for the first time was a tournament that I simply forgot to sign up for. Doops!
14) No rounds with more than one double-bogey.
While double bogeys are all but unheard of in the local courses I play, I don’t know where all I’ll be playing this year. As such, I can’t have the lofty goal of never throwing a double bogey – if I end up playing Maple Hill for some reason, there are some holes that a double bogey doesn’t honestly feel too bad. So I’ve eased this goal a bit.
15) Make enough points to qualify for Worlds, or end with a high enough rating to get priority entry in next year’s Tim Selinksi Memorial.
These two tournaments are the two biggest for my age division, and both happen to be on the west coast next year (Worlds is in AZ, the Memorial is in OR). That means it’s far more likely I would be able to play in them. However, with those tournaments being difficult to qualify for, it isn’t a slam dunk I will get in. In the years before the disc golf explosion (before COVID-19), anyone who had the money could enter. Now, it’s entirely likely I won’t qualify without some good play. I don’t know a solid number, but I imagine I’ll need 600 points to qualify for Worlds, or a 975 rating to qualify for TMM. So those will be my goals (or a direct invite – any of those will earn me a win). Of course, the dilemma then becomes: do I enter tournaments as a Masters player, where I’ll make more money, or as a Pro, where I’ll earn more points? Decisions decisions…
16) Have a Circle 1X putting rating of over 50% for the year.
Circle 1X putts mean any putt between 11-33′ (it eliminates tap ins shorter than 11 feet). Now, calculating this will be tricky. First, it means tracking every round on uDisc. I already do this, but usually score only, not each shot. The stats will be much cooler if I track it (yay), but it will be a whole lot more work each round, possibly taking me out of a competitive mindset. My goal is to do it, though I may not during certain rounds if I want to concentrate better. Partially because this also means measuring every darn shot I make with my rangefinder. It also means achieving this, which I literally have no idea how easy it will be. The top pros are around 90% here, though I don’t really know where the lowest pros fall. Anyway, we’ll see if I actually do this enough to even justify a result.
17) Have a Circle 2 putting rating of over 10% for the year.
Circle 2 putts are from 10 meters (33.1 feet) to 20 meters (~66 feet). The top pros are between 30% and 36%. I genuinely don’t know how many of these I make, but here’s hoping I have a sizeable number of 35-foot putts this year.
18) Win at dubs once.
In my early years here in Reno, I’d win dubs probably 75% of the time. I was a big fish in a tiny drop of pond scum. Now, the competition is fiercer and I play well less often. I am looking for just one single first place finish. (I’ll also consider an ace during dubs as a success here as that would net me way more cash than 1st place would.)
19) Witness at least one thing I’ve never seen before.
This can’t be something like “well, I saw someone throw a disc I’ve never seen.” It’s gotta be a story I’d tell over and over again. Like when Nick threw an ace on hole 17 at Vista that was shank, re-directed off a tree, and rolled down the trunk of another into the basket. Or when I landed in a pool of water that was basically 10% larger than my disc (and therefore out of bounds). This is admittedly arbitrary, but might be a fun entry.
20) Remember why I like this game.
It’s getting harder to find time to play, and tournaments fill up faster, and there are fewer and fewer people I recognize on the course, and I play where there are no trees. There have been any number of reasons over the last few years why my love for disc golf has waned a bit. One happy biproduct of that is I tend not to get so upset (if I lose, it’s because I don’t play, I tell myself). But I want to enjoy myself AND find some renewed passion. Hopefully traveling for these tournaments (sometimes with Danielle) combined with a bigger purpose – to qualify for major events in 2023 – might rejuvenate me.
See ya on the course!