Monday, November 28, 2016

Expecting the unexpected

Last weekend, I played in a tournament in Silver Lake, WI with surprising results. My first round was rated over 2 shots better than any tournament round I ever played and even though I tired at the end of the second round and lost a title playoff on the third hole due to a 100ft shot that my opponent made, it marked the first time in 15 tournaments over a span of three years that I finished in the top half of a division in an open event. (As opposed to an event only available to members of a club) When I started to play in the 50+ division, this type of performance and result was what I was planning to see but my play over the last 3 years made this scenario become unlikely.

Now that the sting of the loss is fading, I can focus on the good and try to figure out how it happened and more importantly how to repeat similar results in the future.

Being the 4th Saturday in November, it was barely above freezing and most of the trees had no leaves. The temps did not bother me as I wore a sweater and winter hat at the start then a regular hat and long sleeve shirt the rest of the round as I got warm. My weight might have kept me from needing to wear as much as others proving me less discomfort in throwing a disc and no doubt the lack of leaves on trees made the tighter shots appear far more open.

It is possible that working out has given me more distance which showed on a couple of shots where I could go all out and a lighter and stronger version of me would probably fatigue less during an event in 2017. It is possible that me practicing to stay loose between rounds was a factor to why I tired at the end.

The course has to be a factor since the only other time I played it in July at a club event, I had my previous highest rated round. More than half the tees are elevated which definitely helps since I have a low flight. Though the course has duel locations for baskets, the distances of the holes to each basket fit my game as most of them are either within my reach on the first shot or too long or difficult for most other players to reach. The highest rated player in my division last Saturday which would normally be 5 shots per round better than me also played in the club event last July and only finished one shot better than me so having this result twice means the course suits my game.

A large factor has to be the player. Only one putt less than 20 feet was missed in the 38 holes I finished though 4 of them did hit the top of the front of the bucket but still went in. Since early October, a whole lot of disc golf was played even with a sore elbow/arm and Saturday’s result showed that.

Learning how to use midrange discs per the advice of a pro who ran the Memorial Day weekend event I worked has helped along with adding a couple of them to my bag. My failed attempt to get my first ace has also helped my overall game as I use midrange discs on 6 of the 9 holes at Horizon Park. There were multiple shots where I threw a midrange full shot close when before that it would have required a less than full shot with a driver.
Thinking about it, the most important factor might be the attitude of the player towards the game. Within the past 2 months, disc golf became the primary focus and not secondary as far as time and energy and the results show it. I believe that I had spent time and money sitting in a theatre in Aurora in late October and in a hotel in November in Lombard what happened that day would have been less positive. For similar results to continue in 2017, that has to remain.

A few hours after posting, I remembered something from 1995 and 2001:

Next year is NOT guaranteed!

There will be a 2017 but there is no way I can be 100% sure that an obese level 2, 51 year old man who has had multiple surgeries on his knees and who takes medicine originally designed for chemotherapy for life and pain killers to play will be able to drive his old, beat up car to events next April and be able to play at or even near the level shown.

During workouts, the sting of the event shows and it is important to use it to build my body and not to damage it.

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