My local club, the TDGA, holds weekly minis on Sunday afternoons all year long and on Thursday evenings from April through September during Daylight Savings Time. I don’t normally play the Sunday minis because that is family time, and they don’t love disc golf quite like I do. The Thursday minis, however, are a favorite of mine to attend. It’s usually cooler in the evening and getting outside after working inside all day on IT issues is relaxing. So this weeks mini rolled around, and I went to it.
The course we played is a pitch and putt course for any pro level player. Only one hole over 300 ft, with most ranging from 215 to 275. The best I’ve ever scored on that course, Ballard Park DGC in Tupelo, MS, was a +1(55) last fall when a friend and I played four rounds in a day. Starting the round from Hole 13, which is the longest at 309ft, I managed to play par golf. I was satisfied with my play for the most part, with one birdie and one bogey on the first nine holes. Then came what the four round day friend calls “Amen Corner.”
It starts on Hole 3, where the basket is surrounded by small pine trees and the window to reach it off the tee is only about ten feet wide, which is thirty feet in front. It’s open field until that thirty foot or so mark. I sky hyzered my forehand tee shot, made an amazing forehand without hitting a tree to 10 ft from about 80-90 ft away, and carded a par. My putting was solid throughout the round at this point. Then came Hole 4, a tight tunnel shot off the tee into wide open, with the basket tucked into more trees. My drive was beautiful….until it hit a limb and dropped like a brick. My upshot went straight instead of hyzering like I wanted it to, but I can only blame myself for that. I had picked up my Dynamic Discs Fluid Warden instead of my brand new Lucid Suspect. It resulted in a 20ft putt from behind a skinny pine, with a big oak tree 8 ft from the basket hiding the entire left side. Of course, I hit high chains and fell beside the basket to card a bogey. The pic that follows shows my round.
As you can see, I had a tough four hole stretch. Hole 5 wasn’t too bad, I just had a mental breakdown in my putting stroke that brought on that bogey. Hole 6 isn’t the easiest, with a low ceiling all the way to the basket thanks to a few large oak trees. I have seen one huge RHBH spike hyzer land right by the basket, but that isn’t the usual route. I kept throwing towards the sky with my first three shots, doing battle with tree limbs all the way to the basket. Hole 7 was another mental mistake on a short putt for par. I managed to clean it up afterwards to par four out of the last five holes I played, remember, I started on 13.
This goes to show that you can recover from a rough patch in your round. I have to thank Tim over at Mind Body Disc and Patrick, creator of Zen Disc Golf, for helping out with my mental game. I posted this on Twitter:
Check them out on the Zen Disc Golf podcast, as Tim has joined Patrick and Zach to make for a great podcast. Also, there are the Mind Over Plastic segments Tim has been doing on the Disc Golf Answer Man podcast. Both of the podcasts and blogs can really help with your mental game while on the course. Also, a big shoutout to Eric McCabe and Bobby Brown of Dynamic Discs for their “Is This Disc Right For You?” video series highlighting the lineup from DD. They’ve been giving away the ones they used in the video, and that’s how I got the Lucid Suspect I mentioned earlier. I don’t have any business relations with Dynamic Discs, so any mention of their products is because I like what I’ve purchased or won in a giveaway. And also a big shoutout to Udisc+, the best app for scorekeeping in my humble opinion. I use the app often when I’m playing to track any scoring improvements my practice might show.
If you need a little checklist to keep things from spiraling out of control, try these three things:
- Be confident in your throws
You know that you can throw a RHBH, RHFH, or whatever you need to throw to get down the fairway. If something didn’t work on the last hole and it cost you, do what you do best and don’t deviate from it.
- Own up to your mistakes
We all make them. Paul McBeth, Will Schusterick, Paige Pierce, and other top pros all make mistakes. Don’t over analyze it, just say “I made a mistake, oh well,” and move on. Dwelling on what went wrong increases your chances of dropping the ball again.
- Treat your next hole as your first hole of the round
A short memory is a good thing in certain situations. Sports brings to the forefront the ability to remember what went right, what the other person did right/wrong, and what you need to adjust to correct for a previous mistake. Disc golf is no exception, so no matter your score on the last hole, step up to the box and throw it like you are on the first hole of the round.
It’s Just A Game!!!!