It’s that time of year again, the time of year where I optimistically (foolishly) believe I have a chance to be World Champion, and I will have 100 aces, and I will finally beat Jere Eshelman in a round. Then May comes, my back goes out, I stop practicing altogether, and in rare instances (last year), I don’t make a single dollar playing disc golf all year. I do this every year. Seriously, every year. So let’s do it again!
You’ll notice if you clicked on the last two years’ results above that I make pretty modest goals and then fail to meet even them (in 2014, I reached 3 of my 13 goals, in 2015 only 2 of 15). So this year, having experienced major surgery (and likely a second surgery) and a back that continues to give me periodic problems, I’m not holding out hope for a bounceback season. I *have* been practicing once or twice a week for the last month, so I’m not totally out of it, but I have to realize that my body just isn’t what it was when I was actually (barely) contending in the open division.
Well now, that was a depressing opening. Let’s get to it!
1) Play in enough tourneys to justify the $75 PDGA fee. So I need 8 tournaments. I was originally going to specify something about the Sierra Series, but for now, let’s just stick to any 8.
2) Cash in a tournament. At all. Last year was my first year since turning pro in 2005 that I didn’t cash. What’s more I only even sniffed it once or twice. I just want to not have all my competing be in vain. Still 2 years until Master!
3) Top 3 at either Sun Valley tournament. As of now there are only 4 players signed up for the one in 10 days, so I like my odds.
4) Cash for the first time in the Sierra Series. I’m going to be optimistic that I will play most of the events and give myself a shot at cashing, but truthfully, it’s going to come down to a good showing at King of the Lake, where most of the points are given out.
5) No DFL (dead f’n last) finishes. Yeah, it’s that bad where not sucking the most has become the bar to beat.
6) Beat Jere Eshelman in a single PDGA round. Still hasn’t happened.
7) Keep my lifetime streak of never DNFing (did not finish) a tournament alive. This one seems to be getting more and more difficult every year.
8) At least 1 1000-rated round. I average almost 1.5 a year, so this is certainly do-able, though I should note I’ve only thrown 1 since 5/6/2013.
9) At least 1 round over 1010. Only ever done once, but an old guy can hope, can’t he?
10) No more than 1 round below 930. I’m reluctantly coming to grips with the fact that I will suck at least one round every year, especially in the early months. So I’m lowering my basement to 930 (it used to be 940) and allowing myself one stinker. I’ve had 3 years since moving west where I accomplished this.
11) Have my rating at some point this year move out of the 959-969 range. I’ve had an impressive 22 ratings update streak of this rating going (dating back to 9/2012). I’m okay if it drops below, honestly, as long as it changes. This is a pretty monotonous streak.
12) Hit one ace. I average one a year, helped in large part by a 3-ace 2013. So what’s one more?
13) Camp out and actually have the “fun” experience at one of the Turtle Rock tourneys. Recently I have placed too much importance on cashing (for a guy who doesn’t practice). I want to go back to why I play, to have fun. The camp-out experience helps this a great deal, even if it means sleeping on the ground and drinking – essentially giving myself a fast track to playing poorly the following day. I suppose it could be any tourney, not just Markleeville; it just makes the most sense there.
14) Play dubs at least 5 times this year.
15) Try to have fun. Last year I got burned out, partially because of my back, but partially because I just wasn’t actually enjoying myself. Two years of disappointing play has something to do with that, I’m sure, but really, if I’m not enjoying myself, why am I doing it?
There you have it. The bar keeps getting lower. Hopefully I decide whether I’m supposed to vault over it or limbo under it. Knowing me, I’ll probably just run headlong into it.