Day 20 (2 entries)

6/4

5:55pm – Definition of irony: the only place I can get wireless internet out here is just a few miles away from Amish Country. And that should give you an indication as to how many back roads I’ve taken today. I have time to kill after my final round of the tournament. Suffice to say I did NOT make the final four, and I’m lucky if I didn’t finish DFL. I played super-mullet today. My putting was actually on, which is a feat considering the steady 25mph winds there were the entire round. The rest of my game abandoned me, leaving me with a lackluster +11 on the final round (I’m guessing if it makes a 900 rated round, it’ll just barely scrape it.)
So I was supposed to head down 71S to hit Jason Haas’ place, and I hit 77S instead, and for about two hours until I realized I was going the wrong way. So it’s back roads time! Which isn’t bad, because I’m learning alot about Ohio.
1) It has silly foliage.

2) It’s terrible at naming things. And here I give a shout-out to JayMar. Here ya go man!

Ah, good ole’ Township of PAINT
And then they stopped trying altogether.

Extra stat added: Number of birds killed by my car: 1 / 1

12:40am – I know it isn’t *technically* today, but screw y’all. That’s how we roll in Ohio. And Jason next to me just pointed out that if we were in Chicago, I’d be right. Huzza buzza. So after more driving, I have finally made it to the Haas’ and have been greeted by frightening (and well-warranted) enthusiam. If there are cooler people in this world, I’d like to meet them and tell them to piss off. But I just told him a story, and it bears repeating. I was on the phone with Cyrus (the crazy Asian from freshman year) and this is the conversation that was had, verbatim.
CYRUS. So you’re on your tour, right? Where are you?
DEREK. I’m driving through Ohio.
CYRUS. See a lot of potatoes?
DEREK. Ohio, Cyrus. Not Idaho.
CYRUS. Oh. See a lot of Drew Careys?
I miss Cyrus Chi. And before I go, howzabout I hitzabout you statsabouttizzat?

Miles: 289.9 / 4,079.8
Money: -$39.25 / -$1,697.96

Day 19 (3 entries)

6/3

5:58pm – Wow, what a bucket of suck at Lake Shore Park in Ashtabula. It began promising enough, playing the shortest layout first, and not griplocking my first shot. It went downhill from there. For the next 6 holes, I gave myself 5 putts for birdie within 30’. (I know this because they had chalked out a circle of 30’ on each hole) I missed 4 of the 5, including three within 20’. Yup, that’s special. I ended up bearing down and playing a few good holes, ending up at a -6, 6 off the leader. More importantly, I was only 3 off of 4th place. Auspicious, especially considering I missed 4 within 30’ (but managed to hit all of the putts from 30-40’)

Second round, I was in a good grouping playing a longer layout (that I had not even walked or seen.) It showed, and it kicked my ass. But surprisingly, it wasn’t my ignorance that cost me strokes, it was my… (guess)… putting. That’s right, this round I missed FIVE within 30’. That’s nine on the day. I shot even, 10 behind the leader for that round.

So let’s recap: if I make all of my putts within 30’, I reside at -15 for the day. The leader for the day is at -20. Instead, I’m at -6, 14 behind the leader, and with little chance at cash.

To be truthful, though, I should have had cash. On hole 12 of the first round, I throw my Aviar on a 200’ hole and BLAM, hit dead center in the chains (right and left) and dead center (up and down). And it was TOO perfect. It hit the pole and bounced me out. I should have won the ace pot. There were probably 20 people watching (backups on both sides of the hole), and I heard 20 people yell: “Yeaaaahhh….oooohhhhh” The ace-less streak is still going strong.

Now I plan on drinking. It seemed to help my play at The Grange. Actually, that’s not why I’m drinking. It’s the players party, and I want to just go out and forget that I can’t putt. (On the bright side, my ups were spot on)

11:30pm – The players party was a good time. I met some new people:

Tony and I at the party. He called Mitch “his boy”

These aren’t stats coming up, but they’re funny. Bar tab: $45.50. Games of video bowling: $8. Seeing Tyler Horne dance like a white boy:

Priceless

Miles: 0 / 3,789.9

Money: -$110.30 / -$1,658.71

Rounds played: 2 / 27

Courses played: 0 / 15

Day 18 (3 entries)

6/2

8:44am – Am I the only one who, when I see a cemetary, thinks “This would make an awesome putt-putt course?”

12:39am – Well, it looks overcast with rain all day (all weekend, actually), so I made sure to hit my first stop on the way in case it is raining tonight. That stop is, of course:

I might come back for the game tonight if the rain looks like it will hold. No promises. Onto the course to throw a practice round. Wish me dry bones.

11:55pm – An enjoyable evening of not finding the hotel until extremely late, I have arrived with Jason and Rebecca at the hotel.

Terrible picture of my roommates

I will likely sleep. Soon. Or now.

Miles: 331 / 3,789.9

Money: -$73.72 / -$1,548.41

Rounds: 2 / 25

Courses: 1 / 15

And now, your new windows background shot:

Day 17 (2 entries)

6/1

1:00pm – Wow, two days in a row in an overly comfortable bed. I would be remiss to mention again how killer this generosity is here at the Snyder house. I’ve had meals prepared for me, and all that was asked of me so far was to play some piano. You just can’t beat that with a mallet.

In my travels, I’m going out of my way to purchase things at an exorbitantly cheap rate. For instance, I went to the local Goodwill store here in Urbana OH and purchased me a nasty shirt for the supah-sweet cost of $3.20. You probably could beat that with a mallet, but why try? I’ll likely have a photo of that shirt as well, because fine fashion isn’t fine unless other people are subjected to it, that’s what I always say.

When Steve’s done with work, we’re gonna hit two local courses and hopefully avoid the patchy storms. Although it’s been so hot, I wouldn’t mind some raindrops fallin’ on my person. Because no matter what you’ve heard, beating rain with a mallet is just plain silly.

10:49pm – What a day it has been, and I mean that in the most opening-declarative statement manner ever, and possibly the worst grammatically. After a brief bout with consciousness (which I lost), Linda and I headed out to Whittenberg University to play their course. Obviously, we met up with Steve (SteveOhio on Stickitdg.com) and Don (Treasurer on the same site). It’s a long but beautiful 9-hole course with many low hanging trees, and it was certainly no picnic. We played five holes before meeting up with Don, and then we played the full nine. I played very consistently, shooting a -2, and that was with some lousy putts and a few good ones. My finest achievement there was parking a 350’+ hole with a winding anhyzer fairway (actually, I outdrove the hole) I missed the 20′ putt for birdie. Like I said, some good and some lousy.

After bidding farewell to Linda, we moved to the Antioch College course at Yellow Springs, a much longer and open 12-hole course. As we drove there, the skies opened up and it rained BUCKETS. As we hit the course, it hadn’t let up any. And here’s where I need a moment to describe what troopers Steve and Don are. Now, I have to begin by saying (respectfully, of course) that they’re not the youngest guys in the world. They’d both be playing in Grandmasters, if I’m not mistaken, and Don could even be Senior Grandmaster. I’m not sure. The reason I bring up the age is because I can still chalk up what hpapened to youthful exuberance and stupidity. But when the rain tapered to merely an onslaught, they were the first ones to hop out of the car and start the round. That’s not stupidity, that’s DEDICATION. Now, in all my years of playing, I’ve only played in rain this bad once, and it was in a hurricane. Before we even got to the tee, we were drenched and we had to cross a 4″ deep river of water. So we were already soaked. But Steve and Don didn’t waver. We finished all 12 holes in rain and fairly severe wind too. Not one complaint was uttered, and aside from a few sporadic “We’re crazy”s, it was just a blast of a round out there in the monsoon. I managed to string together 12 straight 3’s, which I consider an achievement given the circumstances. I almost deuced the longest hole (560′). The course would have been boring, I think, in normal conditions, but these were abnormal to say the least. I wanted to take a photo of the sewer rats we had become, but alas I had forgotten my camera. What you do get (eventually, when I have cable connection with my laptop) is a photo of Steve and Linda and I. I can’t thank them enough for their gracious hospitality. And Linda even got me to eat (and like) carrots when she hid them in a delicious casserole. No small feat, that.

Miles: 10.2 / 3,458.9

Money: -$106.20 (paid for my last tournament of the trip today) / -$1,474.69

Rounds played: 3 / 23

Courses played: 2 / 14

Day 16 (2 entries)

5/31

10:05am – It’s been a while since I’ve written in the AM. I even got my free continental breakfast. Mind you, I made it by 10 minutes, but that’s neither here nor there (it’s in Summerduck VA). Anyway, I’m making it a habit of mine apparently to leave something behind at every stop I make. I left my jelly and bread at my father’s place, I left my bowler hat at my mother’s, I left my electric razor at my brother’s place, and I left my conditioner at The Grange. What should I leave at this hotel? A mess? You got it, readers.

11:18pm – Pictures will have to come at a later point in time, as I don’t have access to my wireless here (I’m on Steve’s computer, but we’ll get there in due time). After driving by a silly-named place I ended up in Columbus OH, waiting on phone calls that never did happen.

Two words: false advertising

In the meantime, I jutted over to Hoover Dam to play the Brent Hambrick Memorial Disc Golf Course. It is a world-caliber course, and I can’t say I disagree. I ended up playing golf with Wally and Molly who were two very cool and polite ams. They were, as you can see by the picture, very far away.

It is a 27 hole monster of an open course, with about 9 of the holes being in the woods. Of those, 4 are great holes, 5 are moronic, but really if 22 of 27 holes are good quality holes, I have no problems whatsoever. Except bunyons. That’s for another conversation. We played from the pro tees (a first for Intermediate Wally) and I shot a +7 for 27. It was disappointing, but it was an instance where not knowing the course must have cost me about 5-8 strokes. When I got back to the car, it had already hit 90 degrees.

So I sought refuge from the heat where anyone foolish with money would: a used CD store. To my credit, I only purchased 5 CDs, and they ran me a TOTAL of $10.49. That ain’t shabby, as they say in Badgrammarville. Onto one more course.

It was time to play Griggs Reservoir Park, also in Columbus. As I pulled up, there were many people leaving for holes. One guy asks, “Are you here for the league?” Five dollars later, I was. So without seeing a course and not knowing a single person there or how good they were, I was challenging them for money. I’d make a terrible hustler. Anyway, the course is a very nice beginner course with only one hole that wasn’t reachable by me with a Buzzz (and, for that matter, that one hole is Hole 18 and it was unreachable by me throwing anything except beams of light, which I’m able to convey VERY far).

Hole 18 at Griggs

I shot a 47 for the round, which tied me for second. One successful CTP later, I was the proud recipient of $20 (including the $5 I put in). All right – let’s do the CASH DANCE. Ba ba… babadabop ba! Ba ba… babadabop ba! Huzza Buzza! That paid for my CDs and a trip to Subway, as it was now late and I was hungry.

That was my final stop before settling into Steve’s place after passing another silly named place.

Long since agreed upon

Steve is a guy I met through the STICK webite (SteveOhio) and the hospitality has been unrivaled. And that’s considering I spent a night at a place whose SOLE FUNCTION was hospitality. Not shabby. After all, tomorrow is another day. So is next Thursday. Big deal.

Speaking of big deals, I present THE STATS!!!

Miles: 152.9 / 3,448.7

Money: -$6.24 / -$1,368.49

Rounds played: 2 / 20

Courses played: 2 / 12

Day 15 (3 entries)

5/30

4:06pm – Back on the road. I swear to God, I was ready to stab a person in the neck with a tuning fork to get wireless internet. I had little notes on scraps of paper that were in my car and tent, and I was trying to assemble a coherent blog. No such luck.
Virginia is very uninteresting. I had to pay $15 to go on Skyline Drive, which is supposedly a very nice road. I saw many many trees on this road, which I can see in NJ for free. So I took pictures, more out of spite than because it was particularly nice.

Gotta justify that $15 somehow

10:32pm – It is unfathomable how excited I am about being in a hotel room tonight. Admittedly, it’s $35 I hadn’t had to spend so far in my foul-smelling overheated tent, but the bed itself is enough to pay the money. How people lived before electricity is beyond me. Because, don’t forget, before electricity was before disc golf. Yikes.
I think humans got gypped on alot of things. Our dependency on technology has soiled us as a species. The humans of millions of years ago were bigger, stronger, and overall less susceptible to global overtaking (baboons are planning a revolution, mark my words). But really, I think our dependency on technology has really just handicapped us in the Darwinian evolution process. For instance, will we EVER develop mandibles? I mean, seriously. We made forks. We were SCREWED the moment we did that.
Anyway, here are some pictures taken from a FREE road I traveled to get here, which is in Cambridge, OH.

And let’s see how we got here.
Miles: 551.1 / 3,295.8
Money: -$152.79 / -$1,384.26
11:00pm – HAHAHA! I just got my second donation, from Mr. JayMar, who has sponsored Fats by paying for the three piece suit picked up in Cape Coral. Thank you sincerely for that generous donation, plus $2 shipping and handling. Seriously, I can’t possibly conceive why I still have S&H on my donations. It’s either my webmaster still not having taken time to look at it, or PayPal is officially being moronic. I’ll play the good friend and blame PayPal. But Jaymar, thanks man! I love SPECIFIC donations. Like if someone gives me $5 and says “You must buy Taco Bell with this”, by gum you’ll see a picture of me eatin’ a Cheesy Hexagon. Maybe you’ll see a picture of me in that classy suit.
Oh, and Mitch, everyone alive says hi. It just makes things easier.
Money: +15.77 / -$1,368.49

Day 14

Memorial Day 5/29

All right, it’s time to try (in vain, quite likely) to recap the last six days from memory, which was often times clouded under the influence of various things that were quite tasty. My stats are already quite inaccurate because I often made spontaneous bets of a dollar over quite frivolous things (I bet I can throw that ring on that post… I didn’t). But it was quite satisfactory.

But first, it’s time to talk about today. Literally after the first round of the entire tournament, I knew I was out of cash. So I was just playing for fun… and preservation of my body. My feet are now so callused that walking barefoot through the woods is actually preferable to playing in those boots. I’m very concerned for the rest of my time here. The first round was again on the Darkside (where I posted a 60 yesterday) and I improved slightly with a 59. But the round was much more solid – I was even after 7 holes and finished off with 6 pars, so those last five strokes were in five consecutive holes. D’oh! Second round, I said “Screw you shoes” (directly to the shoes, with unnecessary vibrato) and I played the whole round in Cons with no socks. And I shot my tournament-best 54 on the Sunnyside (which was, for pro, all right).

Here’s the surprising thing about this weekend: consistency. It’s never been more forte. In fact, it hasn’t even been my fifte (stupid esoteric joke alert – a little late). But for 4 rounds of golf, I threw 8 birdies, only 3 5’s (two of which were OBs). The rest was decent, steady, consistent golf. My putting was consistently bad (though got better progressively each round), and my driving was the only thing that was inconsistent. I was overall pleased with how I played. And coming in the top 16 in Tiki was nice.

Mike “The Mose” Moser won the tourney in a playoff. Here is a picture of him.

Now, about The Grange in general: this is the place to be. I’ve always liked Paw Paw, but this place just has a little extra something. Most call it the Jacuzzi. And the arcade games (though I couldn’t get Ice Cold Beer to work properly). And the Tiki course. And the SHOWER (that was clutch). It was truly a spectacle. If you only go one place next year, it’s probably because you’re in jail.

Me and gracious uber-host Mike Trapasso

All right, let’s see if I can mangle some stats:

Money: -$23 / -$1,231.47
Rounds played: 2 / 18 (1 tiki / 20)

Day 13

5/28

To expound upon later: 1st round – all good drives (1000 rated golf) nothing after that. Ups and putts sucked. Missed 6 within 20’. 2nd round worse – scrambled for 3’s. Second to last card. Worse yet – tiki tournament. Semifinals. Got a nifty shirt – lost. Good playing. Had a lead. Gave it up. Lost because of a stupid 3’x3’ plastic fake pool that was “Out of Bounds” that I hit on the 2nd to last hole. Lost by one. Stupid crappity crap. That was potentially $250 I threw into that pool. Or wait, $500 for first. I have no faith in myself.

Big thanks to CROMWELL, my first major sponsor of my trip, with a huge $20 for my travels. That will go a long way, and hopefully not to putting, as no amount of money could save me from my dreadful putting.

I swear, my kingdom for a connection.

Battery draining. Must sleep. Must play well tomorrow. Must not kill a kitten with a stray shot. I’m so tired.

Yes, a real chicken

JG “Papa Stick” is actually the Burger King mascot. Who knew?

(Posted after a drunken 45 minutes set of accordion-based classic rock. I’ve been told, “I’ve never heard the accordion sound so cool before”)

Money: +4 (yeah Cromwell!!!!) / -$1,208.47
Rounds played: 2 / 16 (tiki 3 / 19)
Aces: 1 (tiki) / 4

Day 12

5/27

11:21pm. Battery low – much to report. I have played well lately and I’m all geared up. Played mixed dubs with Tiffany, a girl who just picked up the game a few months ago. First round was best score (we used mine on all 18 holes) and the second round was best disc (we used maybe 5 of her shots the whole round) Good for a beginner, that Tiffany. But we came in 4th (of 6) in the division, so that was sweet. CASHED! I lost in Hold’em to A4 when I had AJ. But I assume that luck will stop here and now. The biggest news is that there’s a tiki-tournament. Over 100 players. After the first three qualifying rounds, your ole’ Fats is still in it. I’m in the Sweet 16. Finals tomorrow (BIG payout!!!) Who knows, might cash after all. I even took out Tizzle (MTL) in the second round with a couple of huge 50’ comebackers.


Tiki Hole 1 – aced twice this weekend

Miles: 0 / 2,744.7

Money: -$36 / -$1,212.47

Rounds played: 2 / 14 (4 tiki / 15)

Aces: 1 (tiki) / 3

Day 11

5/26

I am not even positive what day it is, I suppose that is the greatest indication as to how my week is going. I have played The Grange, and I’m ready for tournament time. I wish I had more to report, but considering it will be five days (at best) before this gets posted, I think I have time to kill. I should be relaxing and letting my ankle get to the point where it doesn’t swell every time I walk on it, but hey, it’s The Grange. And now, everyone’s favorite part, the stats:

Miles: 0 / 2,744.7

Money: -$20 / -$1,176.47

Rounds played: 3 / 12 (tiki – 3 / 6)

Courses played: 1 / 10

Day 10 (2 entries)

5/25

9:25pm – I think I have reached Mecca, by which I mean the Grange. It is truly a spectacle of disc golf and pointless entertainment. I’ve scored my first ace in almost four years (even though it was on the short par-2 tiki course) and I feel pretty good about my chances. I now have $15 riding on this weekend. When did I become a gambler? Who knows?

Heaven on Earth

Really late – All right, my first cash. And my first ace. All bowled up into my first experience at The Grange. I played the tiki course (a short putting course in the woods) and I aced #7 my first go-round. Then I got invited to a $10 game of Hold ‘em. I came in 2nd of 9, and had I not been tired of playing and gone all in on 9-5 suited, I might have won the entire thing. Oh well.

I’m starting to talk with a drawl and I’ve only been in VA one day. That can not, under any circumstances, be good.

Miles: 230 / 2744.7

Money: -$45.00 (including the $10 I won) / -$1156.47

Rounds played: 1 / 9 (and 3 tiki rounds)

Courses played: 2 / 9

Day 9

5/24

8:48am – Finally heading out (about an hour late). One last memory for the road.

3:13pm – You know a ride is boring when the highlight is seeing “HiFi Hotspot” on a billboard, so that I could go online to post that that has been the highlight of this leg of the journey. I actually can’t wait until I get into the back roads of small middle-America towns, as I think I’m going to find a lot more adventure there.
And guess what?

This one was OPEN and delicious!

This entry has been brought to you by: the stats.

Miles: 820.6 / 2,514.6

Money: -$79.25 / -$1,111.47

Day 8 (2 entries)

5/23

4:39pm – So M&M and I head off to do some shoppin’ at the local consignment shops and to finally get some disc golf in. We first hit a consignment shop where I purchased a Sportscenter book, I forget the title. It was $1. I love Florida used prices. Then we hit another shop where I managed to purchase a COMPLETE 3-piece suit for $13.77 (tax included). That’s right, it was an amazing deal. If I don’t woo the ladies now, then really, not much has changed.
And that’s where our good fortune ended. We hit a gas station store to pick up some munchies before we played, and Mitch managed to buy cookies with moths flying INSIDE the packaging (he didn’t notice in the store). We get to the course, the wonderful North Fort Meyers Community Park, and believe me, I say “wonderful” in the most sarcastic tone imagineable. On the very first hole (marked 250′), I threw my DYEnamic Buzzz for the nice little anhyzer hole with a pond about 40′ past the basket. I ended up throwing the disc at about 60% so as not to go long. Well guess what? It not only went in the water, it went about 40′ into the water. Yes, that’s right – I threw 330′ with a midrange at 60%. OR: the course was mismarked. Big surprise, as the course was a miserable concoction to begin with. We forgot (or rather didn’t feel like expending the energy) to take pictures of this southern wildneress. It was impenatrable rough, hardly a fairway bigger than 5′. Mitch lost his favorite 2-year old Buzzz, his go-to disc. We saw snakes slithering across the teepad. It was not a fun experience. We quit after 6 holes (the first and only time I’ve quit a course because it just sucked so bad). I think Mitch said it best when he said: “This course gets more thumbs down than I have thumbs.”
If anyone who designed the N. Fort Meyers course reads this, I hate to say bad things and I try to apologize for negativity, but I want to punch you in the neck.
For the rest of the day, it looks like relaxing, eating reheated lasagna, and playing some low-key games.
And one last time:

RIP: 2006-2006

11:39pm – For any family or others who would be weirded out by me talking about personal details of my life, please discontinue reading. For all you other sickos, welcome. I thought I knew pain. I thought I knew what it was like to be in pain. I have had a 10lb metal plate fall on my head. I’ve taken injections into my lower back. I’ve taken a frying pan to the forehead. I dated a Scorpio. But no. When I sprayed IvyDry (which is known to sting) onto ALL of my poison ivy, I felt as if my scrotum had been staple-gunned to the front end of an ocean liner. My God. Person number two I want to punch in the neck: God. Since I assume it was He who made poison ivy.
We finished playing Racetrack Canasta and my mother and I were victorious. Wow, this is what my rockin’ rebellious trip has been reduced to – playing old people games and gloating over my victories. I think that bodes poorly on my chances of cashing on this trip.
What has made me feel better tonight?

And now, the stats:
Miles: 43.9 / 1694.1
Money: -$23.49 / -$1032.22
Courses played: 1 / 8
Rounds played: 1 / 8

Day 7 (3 entries)

5/22

9:18am – Interesting start to the day. M&M and I were primed to go to one of the two Fort Meyers disc golf courses that we’d located. I wake up to find a note saying they’ve absconded with my car and are going to the doctor. Now see, if I were to choose, I would DEFINITELY pick a disc golf course over a doctor’s office, but that’s just me. Hopefully, it’s not about the cases of sunburn we all received. But it very well could be.

3:27pm – After a little delay, we set out to find the Bay Oaks Disc Golf Course in Fort Meyers. We hit it and after only three holes, we were told that we aren’t allowed to play during school hours since the kids don’t want a driver to the face during recess. What’s the matter with kids today? So we got out of there (I stupidly left my Wraith out there and it was gone when we came back) On the way home, we stopped at a putt-putt course, and played two rounds. I won the first round over Mitch n’ Marsha by 1 stroke. Mitch whomped us the second round, with me playing lefty and Marsha not feeling well. Bravo.
Along the way, Marsha had help from a little friend.

That little guy managed to push the ball a few inches toward the hole before Marsha moved the ball and took her stroke. It was pretty amazing. We’re preparing ourselves for a lasagna dinner and then off to the casino tonight!

midnight – So something occurred to me as I was squandering some of the $95.95 that I would end up losing at the casino. And that thought was: “HEY! You don’t like slot machines! Stop putting money in them!” When at a casino, I like table games: let it ride, blackjack, even roulette. This casino only had ONE table game: hold’em (which I like), but not tournament style (I like tournament style) So there was not time at which I was up any money. There was a time fairly late in the day when I was only down $30, and I should have cut my losses, but I get spiteful when I’m upset at my luck. So I squandered money that I don’t particularly have in order to… I don’t know, have something to bitch about when I got back to the computer. So I hope all three of you that read this heed my warning: slot machines suck. Hopefully back on the course tomorrow so I can do what I came down here to do – get more skin ailments. Let’s see some stats (today/total)

Miles: 36.5 / 1650.2
Monies: -$101.95 / -$1,008.73
Courses played: ??? (we only played 3 holes, I don’t think that counts)
Skin maladies: 3 (poison ivy, chigger bites, and sunburn)

Day 6 (1 entry)

5/21

5:31pm – I’ll say this: “spelunker”. I’ll also go on to add, perhaps on an unrelated note, that Florida is obscenely hot. Although I don’t think I’ll rival the Ian Gillan-esque deep purple that I was five years ago, I will point out that I have turned a nice shade of the less popular band Cancer-Pink. I blame two things – Sanabel Island and this guy:

A halo appears when the sun’s heat kills an angel
Anyway, we’re back at my mom’s house, which looks uncannily like this:

She’s a landscape manicurist, my mother. She puts more hours of work into her yard than I do into my social life. Which explains a lot, come to think of it. But anyway, I only have six minutes of life left of battery, and I’m too l lazy to find my AC adaptor. So here’s two more pics. Mitch n’ Marsha (M&M, affectionately) and Mittenz and Fats. Enjoy.

Day 5 (6 entries)

5/20

5:34am – What the deuce am I doing up this early, you ask? Jonesin’ for the open road, I answer. And I can’t help but think how many birthdays I’ve completely overlooked lately.

8:11am – I’m officially putting in my bid to rename the South Carolina slogan. “South Carolina: we’re shaped like an infected liver.” Catchy, huh? Oh, and while driving through the torrential downpours, I did manage to catch this one:

McDonald’s newest sandwich for the overindulgent omnivore

10:55am – I’ve just gotten back from Owens Field Park in Columbia, SC. It was POURING as I was only miles away, so I tried to find shelter. Then, like as if a dream, it came like a beacon into my sight!

Stupid Fatz was closed
Cafe notwithstanding, I got out onto the course just as the rain was tapering off, and I had wonderful weather. Now, I wanted to like this course so much, and there were plenty of good, tight holes. I didn’t play well, and even considering, I almost liked this course. But its two drawbacks prevented me from liking it (the more and more it went on) For one, it was horrifically marked and there were walks of at least 200′ on every hole to get to the next tee (one walk I estimated to be over 1000′) I spent ten minutes trying to find hole 15. But even with that, I could have still liked this course.
What ultimately prevented that was the jails, which made Alcatraz seem kinda easy to get out of.

The tiny gap is 300′ away, and 5′ to the left of it is jail that takes at least three thumbers to escape from
Seriously, if you were not on the fairway, you spent about two or three shots getting back on, and that’s if you played smart and threw directly out and not tried to be a hero. I shot a +20 on the longest tees, and it felt like a worse round than that. I had some good putting going on to salvage something, and two birdies (and a total of four pars… woo) Not worth your while until they trim that crap.

2:29pm – Finished up Edisto Memorial Gardens DGC. What a simply remarkable looking course.
Easily one of the most beautiful open courses I’ve ever played.

Yes, I birdied both, and yes, those mandos are less than 3′ apart.
Stupidly easy (when I birdie the first three, it can’t be that tough a course) The first hole was 125′ with a few sporadic trees. Hmmm…. I was -4 after 14, and then I got lost and started throwing at wrong baskets and going all sorts of haywire. The last few holes are not well marked, and I counted at least 2 hole 18s. Hmmm once again. Great newbie course, and it marked my third ace run this trip (missed by less than a foot right)
Now I’m enjoying Comfort Inn. Not really the interior, but more their wireless internet connection. Yummy.

5:34pm – Days Inns are alright in my book too. The GA course I was gonna hit was a bust. Couldn’t find it. Looks like I’m gonna hit Daytona again – that was beautiful from what I remember. Then haul some adorable ass down to south Flordia.

midnight – Finally hit the mom’s. Played Daytona. No pics – the draught down here has not done wonders for the course asthetically. Played the most solid round of golf I’ve ever played, I think – 2 birds, no boges. Not one early tree, stupid up, or dinked putt. If I play like this during the trip, I’m cashing.

Miles: 820.2 / 1613.7
Money: -$77.05 / -$906.78
Rounds played: 3 / 7
Courses played: 3 / 7

Day 4 (1 entry)

5/19

10:04pm – It’s been a long and fruitful day, and by fruitful, I mean ripe with cucumbers. I actually saw a small sign on a dirt patch which said “cucumbers” and I thought it was a very sad tombstone indeed. Those poor veggies never stood a chance. Anyway….
There was no ball golf today as the course was mobbed. That’s fine as it allowed my father and I to go to Mac’s Breakfast Anytime.

Macs – it’s got a sign and everything
The south may be sketchy on their soda options, but man do they know their breakfast. Crisp bacon, scrumptious eggs shaken all to hell, and pancakes large enough to smother a small child. The price is right too. Apparently, they’re part of a small chain. Go there – it’s worth it.
From there, I saw the other sight West End NC boasts. Trees:

I imagine this is what Hell is like for disc golfers
Finally, it was time to escape from my father’s to play some disc golf. I hiked up to Moncure NC to play Swingin’ D.B.’s, which is a homemade private course. And why is it named Swingin’?

Hole 4 at Swingin’ D.B.’s, looking at the actual fairway
All baskets are dangling from trees on zipline for easy mobility and ingenious use of various household stuff. This course is the apotheosis of tight fairways, as several holes sported gaps of less than five feet. It is not a long course, so even early wood allows a good chance to save par, but this is TRULY a difficult course. And I felt like I played the round of my life. Using a Buzzz on nearly every hole, I hit probably around 80% of my gaps with seeming ease. My putting was alright, and if it weren’t for two circles (one which missed an ace by a foot and went long into the water, and another that cut-rolled over the road), the round would have been one of my best. I shot a +1, which was (to me) very gratifying. We were fortunate to have Chuck from NC as our personal tour guide, and many thanks (and kudos) go out to Chuck, Harold, and Mr. DB “It’s Me” himself. Thanks, guys.
I played with my brother Doug, who is an intermediate, who also shot well. Here he is, moments before an angry outburst:

Good form for yet another Sonderfan
From there we jetted over to Sanford NC to play O.T. Sloan Park. It is an extremely easy (yet well laid-out and meticulously manicured) course about 20 minutes from DB’s. I shot a disappointing Even (disappointing when you consider about 14 of the 18 holes are aceable, and certainly deucable). And here is the reason why I didn’t do well:
A great drive, kicked by a branchA lame putt, hitting the front of the basket
And we have arrived back at the Dad’s house, having eaten a terrific steak dinner courtesy of the culinary expertise of my father and stepmother, Magda. They make quite the cookin’ team. Quote my father about his cooking (really about everything): “I hope to kiss a duck’s foot” I leave for Florida at around 7am. Lots of golf left to play.

Stats: (today / total)
Miles: 116.2 / 793.5
Financial Status: -$25 / -829.73
Courses played: 2/ 4
Rounds played: 2 / 4
Times heard the name Mitch from someone else: 193 / 200

Day 3 (3 entries)

5/18
3:11pm – So you know that luck I didn’t get at Worlds? Or at Seneca? Or pretty much any time I seemingly play well at disc golf? I found out what happened to it – ball golf has stolen it. I played 18 holes with my father and I swear, aside from two (2) total bad kicks, I was getting love from the trees that would have made a tree sprite jealous. This included a screaming line drive that would have been OB by about six counties, and it hits the OB marker (which is a piece of pipe maybe 1 1/2 inches in diameter) and richochets back onto the fairway.


Ah, the form and look of a typical ball golfer.

I ended up shooting a 111, which is I think my best ever (I play ball golf once a year at most), including two pars (which I’ve only ever shot two others in my life) and a 25′ putt (which I don’t make in disc golf)

Financial status: paid $2.68 for sunscreen, but made a dollar off my dad.

3:50pm – I’m drinking Mello Yello. The South is filled with savages, I tells ya. SAVAGES!

8:29pm – I think for as much as people criticize my choice of wedding song with “Good Enough for Now”, a much worse choice would be “Creeping Death”. Just my opinion.

Day 2 (2 entries)

5/17
3:35pm – I was expecting zany adventures. I95 doesn’t lend itself to zany adventures. In fact, I95 is kinda the Renee Zellweger of highways – unattractive, unimpressive and tedious. Oh what I wouldn’t give for some shenanigans right now. My kingdom for a single hijink.

9:51pm – After eight hours in a Saturn, I was feeling the urge to play some disc golf. Mitch told me of a great course in NC called Zebulon, which I hadn’t played. I was optimistic. And after two holes, everything was still fine. But then I had the joy of spending at least 20 minutes trying to retrieve a disc that was Out of Bounds by only 5′, trekking through the inhospitable bog known as …. you know, I was going to proceed with my venomous lambaisting of Zebulon and how it is the incarnation of everything I despise about a course and how it is probably quite like birth except less rewarding and FAR more painful. But I’ll save you that. I’ll just leave you with this: if disc golf is your passion, then Zebulon might not be for you. However, if your true passion isn’t so much in disc golf, but rather foraging through Amazonian-river-basinesque foliage and topography, narrowly avoiding trenchfoot, praying the plant and/or animal that just punctured your chest isn’t too lethal, and wishing you were undergoing surgery instead of finishing your laborious round, then I highly recommend Zebulon. It won’t disappoint.

The two hour car ride that followed that was among the most looked-forward to in my life. I’m currently at my Dad’s house in West End, NC, amazed that I have any wireless signal.

Miles traveled so far (today/total): 609.2 / 677.3
Financial Trends (being cautiously optimistic as if I’m going to make money at some point) -$60.99 / -$803.05
Rounds played: 1 / 2
Courses played: 1 / 2

Day 1 (1 entry)

5/16
11:20pm – Okay, so I fully realize my trip doesn’t start until tomorrow. The two things I assume I will do excessively on this trip are 1) play disc golf and 2) spend money. Because I did both today, I justified starting my storytelling one day early. I played doubles at Warwick and played well, but didn’t cash (my partner was pretty new to the game). I think I need to take a look at this trip and already brand it a financial failure. I’ve spent exactly $742.06 on this trip, and I have only traveled about 40 miles. (Entry fees, digital camera, new golf shoes, food…) A this rate, I’m going to be a very sad Derek in 5 weeks.

On the bright side, I’ve already been to two states, played one round of golf, and realized at least one thing I forgot to pack. I leave in less than 9 hours. The excitement is so thick you could use it as a shim.