Day 27

6/11

5:04pm – Wow, my 2nd NT ever is completed, and I have to say I was overall impressed with my round. Although I didn’t have one round without something going wrong, I didn’t have more than one round with more than one thing going wrong. That third round was rough, but I still maintained my rating. My fourth round would have been SOLID but I choked the last two holes.
Today, 5th round, is at the 11,000′ Blue Valley course. Although the final scores haven’t been posted yet, I’m almost positive the best round shot was a 60 (maybe a 59 might have crept in). Bear in mind, this wide open bomb course plays into ALL my weaknesses: long drives with accuracy, well-placed ups with no real distance gauge (I’m much better upping in the woods) and putts with wind and big elevation. I shot a 67, which won’t win me the tournament, but I’m guessing is around a 980 rated round. And that’s with NOT ONE (I’m not exaggerating) good drive. I think I’ve hit my exhaustion point. My arm was pudding today. My drives were at least 30′ short of everyone else in my group, and I was releasing very early. But it was a game of saving and… surprise surprise PUTTING! That’s right, I managed to NOT MISS within’ 30, and even hit a 35′ downhill DEATHPUTT (where I risked rolling a long way down if I missed). So at least I had that going for me.
I don’t know where I finished – it wasn’t in the cash. All I know is my total was 298, so I kept it under
300, which was definitely good. Every round was above my rating, and I even played with some great names (Timmy Gill rd 1, Chris Sprauge rd 2, Cale Leivisca rd 3… all three of which are 1000 rated players who were in the top 10, I’m guessing)
Finally, I felt like I was playing some golf. Still not good enough to cash, but if I were to play like this in a non-NT environment, I’d feel good about my chances.
As for tonight, it’s dinner, maybe a casino, maybe just a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow? I doubt I’ll touch a disc except for burning my Star and ESP plastic. Those things are useless.
Miles: 24.8 / 4,939.7
Money: -$11.50 / -$1,967.50
Rounds played: 1 / 39
Courses played: 1 / 21

Day 26 (2 entries)

6/10

6:13pm – What a weird day tournament-wise. Both rounds today were at Rosedale (the course I threw a +3 and a +13 on….hmmm) HOT and breezy and overcast. Let’s try to make this quicker than yesterday.
Round 3: I start out on the hardest hole, 8, with an island green (where everything else is OB). I throw a great drive and set myself up for the island. I’m feeling good about my chances. And then I SALLY a throw like I am a four year old girl learning how to throw a punch. It’s sad. I go OB, and take a 5. Not an auspicious start. The next hole is one of the hardest, and I’m the only one on my card to par it. Hmmm, could be good after all. And then it all came unglued. I lost my Firebird (my flick disc) yesterday, meaning I have NOTHING overstable in my bag anymore. And the next hole requires it. So I try a midrange, and it goes WAY off course, down a cliff, and pretty much to an unplayable lie. We need to make a ruling, call the TD over, and he rules that I get a one-stroke penalty and play on (more on this later). I take a 6 on the hole. So after three holes, I’m already plus five. I stop the bleeding a little bit with a tough birdie, but follow it up with stupid bogies. I really had NOTHING going for me this round. No drives, no ups, and I missed 4 putts within the circle. Ug-ly. (They rate it a 946, one point above my rating – yeah, that’s accurate…*sarcasm*)
I eat alot for lunch and have another can of amp and I’m back at it. I’m now around 40th place (cash will go to maybe the top 24). So I’m pretty much out of cash and now just want to save face. Which takes us, NOT to round four, but to a picture to break up the monotony.

Unwarranted artistic basket shot
Round 4: I start out on 10, the hole that I 6’d the previous round. The spotter tells me (after I three it) that I played it wrong last time and should have gotten a 7. I feel very bad, thinking I’ve cheated. My group didn’t correct me, and the Tournament Director didn’t say anything. I feel like I’ve dodged a bullet, but I resolve to bring it up to him at the end and take my penalty stroke anyway (I talked to him, and he told me that, due to various extenuating circumstances, his decision stands and I don’t need the extra stroke. Okay). Anyway, I’m a bit flustered by this, but manage to string together 7 straight pars. Good start. I take a stupid up on the next hole for a 4, and then on the hardest hole on the course I take another 4. Still, not bad: +2 with some birdie holes coming up. I par 1 and 2 (which is good) and par 3 (which is bad). 4 is tough, and I 4 it. So I’m +3 with only a few left. Sweet. And then I par, and then hit back-to-back birdies after some sweet drives and a 25′ putt and a 15′ putt, respectively. So with only two holes (albeit two very hard holes) left, I’m at +1. Next is the island hole. I have a good drive which kicks unfairly and I’m left with a backwards up shot for a tough tough 3. I MAKE the shot, and put myself within 25 (a very good up). But of course I botch the putt (one of only 2 missed putts, and they were both long). On the last hole, you need to throw 300′ to a 12′ gap to have a shot for a 3 (I 3’d it the first round). I throw it literally 2′ to the left of where I should and had NO shot. I should have flicked, but I lacked confidence in my flick after the earlier debacle. So I try a tight hyzer and I hit trees. Then I flatten out my next up and give myself a 40′ for the bogie, which I miss. So I take a tough-luck 5. That’s right, I finished +4, which is still relatively good (a 989 rating), but considering what it COULD have been if not for smarter ups/putts and a little luck, I’m a bit disappointed.
I’m about 10 strokes out of the cash now with the longest, most open course we play tomorrow. I don’t like my chances, but at least my rating will go up. It’s the silver lining of a gold brick. It’s nice and all, but I’d just like the whole shebang, you know?

11:31pm – I think it would be downright negligent for me not to mention how absurdly amazing the Freemans have been as hosts. Seriously, a guy I have only known online and traded a few discs with and his wife, who likely had NO knowledge of me, put me or 5 nights in their house, trusting me with with their housekey, their dogs (who have taken a liking to me the likes of which I’ve never seen before) and their stash of Mountain Dew. It’s downright scary. Dennis and Janna have been supurb hosts and I can’t quite express how appreciative I am for it.
And now, for something completely different – the stats.
Miles: 8 / 4,914.9
Money: -$58.69 / -$1,956.00
Rounds played: 2 / 38

Day 25 (2 entries)

6/9

5:22pm – Well, I’ve finished the first two rounds of my second ever NT event. And I’m pretty pleased with myself. I won’t go on another gushing spree about Waterworks – I like the course alot. It’s fair, it has very tough greens, and there are a handful of deuce holes that can easily be foured as well. A good pro course. And now, onto the results:
1st round – It was rocky to start. Hole 2 (where I started) is an easy 3. But not when you throw a bomb shot 40 degrees off kilter. I had a good up, but it still put me at 30′ with a downhill look. BAM. Confident putt (my putting coming back, could it be????) Hole 3, a must-deuce. I throw another TERRIBLE drive, and did my best with an up shot. Still 25′ away with a STEEP uphill. BAM! Good putt. And on the next hole, I had a drop in birdie. So it started shaky but well. For a while, I coasted with 4 birds and only 2 bogies going into my last hole (which is a 550′ bomb shot that should be 3’d) I gacked my drive and took a 4, putting me at -1 for the round (rated 997 – d’oh!) I threw some crappy shots, but also threw enough good drives to save myself. My putting was ON – I didn’t miss inside the 30′ circle, and made a few right on the edge. Hurrah!
2nd round – The temperature was climbing into the 90s and the wind picked up. Joy. I started on hole 8 (I ended up right in the middle of the pack, which was great for me). I go solid pars for the first 11 holes (including a gakked 15′ putt on my second hole – d’oh!) It wasn’t spectacular, but I actually felt like I played better because I didn’t have to scramble for pars and I threw a very smart round. Back to hole 1 (which I stupidly 4’d the first round) and I 4 it again with a STUPID up shot. So far, though, only 2 stupid shots on the round. Another par (including a good putt) and then hole 3, which was the short hole I needed a miracle putt for my 3. I had a good drive with a late tree pushing it away a bit. Not really a run at 2 since the green is REALLY tough and by a cliff. So I throw the “safe” shot and it bounces on the hard ground and rolls down the hill anyway. So my par is a 20′ steep uphill putt THROUGH TREES. And BAM! IT CUTS THROUGH! I’m a slow loft putter, and it’s the first time in my life a putt cut through. So what should have been a par (twice) turns into a four. Next hole (one of my birdies last round) was another birdie with a big 30′ putt. Nice. Then a hole I 4’d last round and guess what? After an okay drive, I hit one of the POLE MARKERS (for other pin positions that aren’t being used) and it knocks me down. I get a 4. Two holes later, hoping for a birdie, I have a 28′ severe uphill putt and BAM! Chains and it falls out. So I had 4 bad breaks on my last 5 holes, leaving me with a +2. It felt like a better round, but I got a worse score. The round was rated 977 (still well above my rating)
I’m still right in the fray of it all. So let’s hope I can string together two good rounds tomorrow, because I likely will have my work cut out for me on the uber-long course Sunday.

10:48pm – Tomorrow, during the tournament, I will be missing the following events: BBQ cookoffs, tons of local bands, and a cattle drive. Ah, the Midwest. I will, however, hopefully see the Flaming Lips, who I didn’t realize were in town playing tomorrow night. It would be a first for me, as the other time I had bought tickets, the drummer for the headliner (Red Hot Sucky Suck) broke his hand and they postponed the tour, and the Lips bailed. D’oh! I’ve d’ohed alot today.
And, keeping with the multi-meat theme of this trip, I had the Prime Cut Pizza today, and it had five (5!) meats on it. I was in Heaven. The Heaven of soulless scrumptious slaughter. Sample me up some stats.
Miles: 25 / 4,906.9
Money: -$44.80 / -$1,897.31
Rounds played: 2 / 36
Courses played: 0 / 20
Times crossed the KS/MO border: about 15

Day 24

6/8

10:22pm – Well, it’s been a long and fruitful day. Well, perhaps not fruitful, as I’ve not garnered any fruit. It’s been a long and aggravationful day. And it started out after a good night’s sleep.
I’ve already got to put a tangent in here. On this stay, I’ve managed to find some of the greatest people and hospitality imagineable. Dennis and his wife Janna have been terrific hosts, and I can’t thank them enough. I’ll likely sign onto the Stick website later and rave and gush, but just suffice to say that this trip has been so memorable mainly because of the kindness of people like Dennis. And he didn’t even know he was being a good host when he stocked up on Mountain Dew before I got here.
Anyway, amidst 90+ degree weather, I went out to play the final course I hadn’t seen, Waterworks. This is truly a fantastic park, and I can see why people rave about it. Significant (and beautiful) elevation changes, picturesque greens, large lumbering trees… Here is a picture of the signature first hole. It’s over 500′. I put it near with a midrange. I rule.

The basket is knee-height next to the fairway tree on the left
Anyway, it was bloody hot and I think exhaustion has been setting in. I shot a +3 (like I did at Rosedale) only it is arguably an easier course. I just couldn’t get any birdies. I only had one the whole round. Story of my month.
Then when Dennis got off work, I finally got around to play a round with him. We went back to Rosedale where I shot my hot 57 yesterday. And today, I shot a hot 67, complete with a hot losing of my Star T-Rex. And I’m about to go off on another tangent.
I’m making it my crusade to eliminate Star plastic. Sure, everyone seems to like the durability and grippiness, but I’m finding (for me) that I have absolutely no consistency whatsoever. If I throw Champ/Z plastic (which, for the few of you who read this who don’t know disc golf, is the more durable but supposedly “slipperier” plastic), my release points are consistent and I throw very consistently. With Star/Pro plastic, one out of every 4 throws slips off early (usually) or griplocks (occasionally). That’s what happened with my T-Rex – gripped too hard and went somewhere into a neighbor’s yard. Gone. That’s now about 8 discs I’ve lost on this trip, including both of my Star T-Rexes. Good. When then come out in Champ plastic, I’ll be a happy man.
Back to the blog, I shot like a mullet with Dennis, and aside from a few good drives, it was a miserable round. It’s certainly DFL fodder. And coupled with a less-than-stellar 57 at Waterworks, I’ve got my work cut out for me.
After playing, Dennis and Janna took me out for dinner amidst protests that the host should NOT be taking the guest out for dinner, but vice versa. Apparently, and here you frequent travellers may laugh at me, Kansas City is known for it’s barbeque. I didn’t know this. So we went to a BBQ place and I was on the verge of ordering the TEXAS MANHANDLER! It must be that large because it has Texas in the title, and everything is bigger in Texas. But I opted away from the TEXAS MANHANDLER! Instead, I chose the two-meat platter (beef brisket and pulled pork…. mmmm, alliterative dinner). It came with a thousand sides, and I still don’t feel like moving from eating so much. Man, it hit the spot.
So the tourney starts tomorrow, and I’m ready, though tired. Tonight will be relaxing so tomorrow will be good (I hope). It’s only supposed to be a high of 96 tomorrow, I got that going for me. *sigh*
Miles: 24.9 / 4,881.9
Money: -$23.58 / -$1,852.51
Rounds played: 2 / 34
(New) Courses played: 1 / 20

Day 23 (2 entries)

6/7

4:35pm (local time) – That’s right, biznatches, it’s 6/7/06, the day that holds no particular significance whatsoever. Revel in it. C’mon. I dare ya. Revel.
So I’m here in Kansas, which is a state that I have assuredly never visited before, and one that I likely won’t head back to anytime soon. But I’m enjoying it while I’m here. I’ve made it to Dennis’ place, another friend from the Stick Website. JG and Will, what have you wrought? I have already made it to one of the courses that will be played during the tournament. It’s the Blue Valley Park course. And, as you noticed (since I know everyone clicks on ALL the links I post), the course is 11,049 feet. That’s nearly 5,525 people or 1,381 and 1/8 spiders. Hell, it’s over a hundred centipedes. It’s ALOT of feet. And I played all of them (plus a whole bunch since I didn’t ever seem to go in a straight line. I threw a 73, including 2 5’s and only one 3. There should be more during the tournament, but it was good to see the course. And it was especially nice to play in a totally open course when it was 85+ bloody degrees outside. I wish we used celcius just so I would feel better. I lost two more discs. I haven’t kept tally, but offhand that makes at least 5 for the trip, not to mention the four that I offered Steve for putting up with me. I’ve gotten two in my travels and I swiped two from Steve, so that puts me at about way too many behind. Oh well.

One of the shorter holes at Blue Valley at only 600′ and change
You’ll notice you don’t see any basket. That’s because it’s tucked 50′ behind that tree that’s just to the left of the street. I’m in for a long weekend.
And now I’m headed off to the league at Rosedale. It’s another of the courses for the tournament. And Jersey locals Steve and Lesli will be there. Good times.

11:48pm – After watching some poker, I’m ready for bed. “But wait,” you interject in your intimidating, deep voices, “Derek, you haven’t talked about your second round today.” Right you are. I swung by the league at Rosedale Park, where we played the Up-Top course (not the tight, woodsy and overgrown “Down Under” course) This is one of the courses we will be plaing for the tournament. I was playing with a few of the local pros, though not on the card with what we’ll call the “top” pros (like Brinster, Sprague…etc). Still a good group. I got off to a good start, I’d say. First hole is a 309′ tight wooded hole. I threw a Buzzz and CHING!!!!! It chained out. I swear, I have hit so much metal in the last 12 months, it’s sick. But nothing seems to stick. Well, two of the guys in the group paid me a dollar for hitting metal, so I can say I cashed.
Actually, I ended up shooting a very solid +3. It put me one stroke off cash (my 5th first out of cash as a pro, though I don’t know if leagues count). Brinster only beat me by one. That says something. Probably says that his putting game was off or something. But I was told a 57 is a good score for pro and if I can do that both rounds, I’ll be in decent shape. We’ll see if I can do it again.
I think I actually got color on my face. I apologize in advance if I don’t have that usual so-white-I-glow look about me. The sun does weird things.
Why does the sun darken skin but lighten everything else (fabric, hair, spirits)? It makes no sense.
I did find out that my CD’s have arrived, so the release date is, once again, JUNE 20th!!! Reserve your copies today of the album that Jason Haas describes with “Are you sure you don’t do drugs?”
Before I pass out, let’s see the breakdown.
Miles: 209.1 / 4,857
Money: -$14.50 / -$1,828.93
Rounds played: 2 / 32
Courses played: 2 / 19
Metal hit on a drive: 1 / 4

Day 22 (2 entries)

6/6/06

6:22pm (local time) Happy Satan Day all! Haha, just a little morbid, end-of-the-world style humor for you there. No, it’s more like Happy Coincidence Day, that’s all. Nothing to do with the NUMBER OF THE BEAST. Nothing whatsoever.
That’s a chilling start to a blog.
So away from the Haas’ I go and end up pretty early in Indianapolis for the first new course, over at Brookside Park. I’m noticing a trend with these courses here in the midwest – they’re all open with several large low-hanging trees scattered around. They first reminded me of the course at Daytona Beach, and now it seems like it’s more the norm out here. I met up with two local ams named, and I’m not making this up, Fathead and Barry. I was gonna take a photo of these guys but I don’t think they were the most photogenic people in the world. Cool as hell and very polite, but they made me look downright handsome. But that’s neither here nor there. I shot an underimpressive -1 at a course with many birdie runs. My putting was WAY off for the nth day in a row. I swear, I gotta take a look into that when I get a free few years.

Hole 3. I didn’t ace it. I didn’t even birdie it. PUTTING!
From there, I need to go back a few years into story-telling mode. A good friend of mine, Jaclyn, went to school in Terra Haute IN and routinely ridiculed it as perhaps the worst place on Earth. Her disdain of that city has left an indelible mark on my life, as it has been made out to be the cesspools of all cesspools, boasting only a Wal-mart as it’s only attraction (and, furthermore, its only social outlet). So knowing that Rt. 70 passes literally through the place, and there’s a disc golf course in it, I had to see if she was right.
The course I was looking for was Deming Park. And the directions at pdga.com are wrong, or at the very least misleading. Here is a copy-and-paste from the website of their directions to Terra Haute’s main course.
– From I-70
– take SR 46 north, to a left on Poplar, 2 miles to a right on Fruitridge. Over RR tracks to entrance on right. Pass tennis courts, next right to 1st tee
Those directions did not lead me to the course. I have a much more descriptive way to get to the course, and that is how I got there. Those directions are as follows:
From I-70
– Take SR 46N
– Notice that no road numbers have names. Assume that Rt. 42 is NOT Poplar, because it would say “Poplar”.
– Take 46N to end. It T-stops at Rt. 40. Turn left. This *should* be Poplar, you assume.
– You see “Fruitridge” at a mile and a half, so your assumption has been validated. Make a R onto Fruitridge Ave.
– See RR tracks. Your assumption must now be correct.
– Once over train tracks, get to an immediate dead end. Get confused. Backtrack your steps.
– Try it again. It’s still a dead end.
– Go back to 40N and try taking the street BEFORE Fruitridge. At a certain point, it inexplicably turns into “Fruitridge” again, though you were pretty sure it stopped about two blocks over from where you picked it up again.
– Cross train tracks. Look for park on right.
– Notice that there are no shortage of parks here, but all of them seem to be industrial parks.
– Cross another set of tracks. Keep scouring for park.
– Cross a third set. Take road to end. Make a U-turn.
– Start randomly taking side-streets that are vaguely near RR crossings.
– Get frustrated. You were ON THE BLOODY ROAD that the directions said.
– Finally, give up and concede that Jaclyn was correct and that Terra Haute just lied to your face.
– On the way back to Rt. 70, accidentally stumble upon Poplar Ave.
– Follow the PDGA’s directions which lead you to hole 13, not 1.
– Play a round with two more ams.
I’m actually glad I got to play there, since it’s another beautiful scenic course, albeit not that challenging. These guys used the course pars, and with those, I shot a -20, definitely my best round to date. Of course, playing par 3’s, I only shot a -2, which is rather lousy, given the circumstances. But it’s very encouraging to play with newbies, where my periodic 400 bombs are impressive, and the fact that I made 2 putts outside 30′ was downright inspirational.

Basket in the middle of the 3 centered trees. Of coures I deuce THAT!
This recent spree of playing has made me realize something. I don’t do well in tournament NOT because I’m an inconsistent player, but because I don’t make alot of my birdies. I have good, solid drives that will usually leave me outside the circle or near it. Or I’ll get kicked around and not have much of a putt. I don’t 5 much of anything, and not even too too many 4’s. But I don’t get my birdies, and that’s what kills me. I mean, for four rounds of Grange, I only shot 7 birdies. And 3 rounds of Ashtabula, I only shot 9 (the first round alone was a BIRDIE FEST). I think it means I either need to step up my putting or stop dallyin’ around the 30-50′ range and just put them under. Tangent.
After Deming Park, (and JayMar, here’s another shoutout to you), I had to hit a little place in Illinois.

Who knew Jay Marshall was one of at least 3,800?
If it weren’t on a main drag, I would have lined up the shot of me either a) hugging Marshall or b) taking a leak all over Marshall. But I felt weird with a random homeless man watching me with my digital camera faking urinating on a road sign. So this is what you get.
Now we go on to past St. Louis. After I make some sandwiches.

10:43pm – I’m not typically a sentimental guy, nor am I one that’s easily wowed by landmarks and time-tested buildings of import. As such, many of my historical travels will be documented by pictures taken with my hand out of the car window while driving in excess of 60mph. Case in point:

1/2 of the world’s biggest McDonalds

After whizzing by that, it became the goal of the night to find a cheap hotel. I succeeded in that, only there were enough moths INSIDE the lobby to sway me from saving the extra few bucks. I went to a Budget Inn instead, where the price was decent, and aside from the fact that I have to pay a few extra bucks for internet, I’ll cope. It’s a nice bed and a shower. That’s cost in and of itself.

Also found out yesterday that Mr. Bryan Fenkart has been getting himself some FM radio play. Anyone interested in seeing my boy slowly ascend the ranks of greatness, click here to see his website.

Lemme see some stats, me.

Miles: 568.1 / 4647.9

Money: -$110.47 / -$1,814.43

Rounds played: 2 / 30

Courses played: 2 / 17

Day 21 (3 entries)

6/5

2:24pm – I’m still overwhelmed by the shows of hospitality I’ve received, and if I hadn’t already spent over $100 on the entry fee for the KC Wide Open, I would hang out with Jason and Amy Haas until they started to charge me rent. Even then, I’d probably consider it. Their house is SICK. In New Jersey, I imagine this house would sell for a billion dollars. But that’s just me.
So after sleeping in until after noon (a first on this trip), I awake to find out my math has been horribly mutated on this blog, and I’m sure you’re all sitting at home with your calculators, sporting disappointed looks on your faces. I can see it. So I have fixed all the old math gaffes and the site is back to reporting the news ONLY in such a way that has elements of truth in it.
On the schedule for today: Jason gets out of “work” at 3:00pm (basically, he stands up from his home office chair and says, ‘Okay, let’s play some golf’. So we’re gonna bolt over and play another local course here, come back and have some dinner, drink a little wine that I bought in Ashtabula, and watch the hockey game. I suppose I should read up on hockey, so I know how much an extra point is worth and how much penalty box time you get for slide tackling. Go Canucks! (I hear rumor they were elminated a long time ago. Oh.)

7:49pm – We just finished up playing a round at Lobdell Reserve DGC in beautiful and vacant Alexandria OH. I can imagine this would be a fun course if a) the fairways weren’t shin-high with the tall grass and b) the woods lines weren’t Amazonian basin thick. It was like playing Zebulon all over again, only I wasn’t in the rough too much. It’s a nice big long bomb course, and I played fairly well (carding one unfortunate 7, but quite a few birdies). It wouldn’t have won me cash in a tournament, but it would have at least made me feel decent.
I swear, I spent 30 minutes scrubbing off the millimeters of poison ivy oils I surely accumulated. Luckily, Jason Haas is probably one of the most funnerest people in the world to play a round with. It’s a shame I am leaving here tomorrow. I could definitely see myself hanging here for a couple of months.

11:25am – I just watched my first game of hockey in probably 5 years. And I got to say, the Canucks played like crap. I don’t think a single Canuck even handled the puck once tonight. Highly disappointing. But tomorrow I embark on a quest to Missouri to squander more of my savings at a NATIONAL TOUR tournament that has maybe 20 pros signed up. Something is amiss indeed.
But it will be with heavy heart that I leave the Haas’ house. I can’t say enough good things about them, so I’ll insult them. They’re both moronic. Like mind-blowingly stupid. But man, can they make brattwurst. No, seriously, I’ve had the time of my life here. Here’s a picture to commemorate the event.

Certainly not covering up a pregnancy. No-siree
I’m already planning on coming back here on my way back to Pittsburgh. But that’s aways off. And in the meantime, I’ve got some stats to get to.
Miles: 0 / 4,079.8
Money: -$6 / -$1,703.96
Rounds played: 1 / 28
Courses played: 1 / 16

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