Saturday, October 12, 2013

Tom and Peter Gudekunst Pier Park 10-12-2013

Today I had the good fortune of playing majestic Pier Park with a couple of true gentlemen.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Timber Video

David, Amanda and I had originally planned on playing Milo yesterday but it was closed for a Civil War reenactment.  Rednecks like to LARP too.  

We ended up playing a couple of rounds at Timber instead and found time to shoot this video.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I wake up extra early Sunday morning from a nightmare.  Someone in my dream is babbling incoherently and I’m yelling, “Shut up! Shut up!” over and over.  This could be about my work, my relationship, my family or just meaningless.  I hate psychoanalyzing my own dreams, especially early in the morning on my day off.
“No worries!” I tell myself, it’s golf day.  I had checked in with my usual Sunday partner, David, the night before.  We made plans to go to Stubb’s Stewart state park in Vernonia, or as we call it ‘Stubby.’  The course is ultra-technical and plays up and down the side of a rugged hill for about 3.5 miles.  
I start the coffee.  I mean, I start the motherfucking coffee.  It can’t be brewed fast enough.  Sweet, delicious bean juice, how I love you.
I get a text from David that he’s bringing an unexpected guest and I think he wants me to guess about who it could be.  Not a good morning for me to make stabs in the dark.  Lately, David’s been joking about bringing a player he knows I’m not fond of.  I’m non-responsive to the text and I think David senses I’m not in the mood.
Good news, he’s bringing Rob.  Rob is an all-around great guy with an amazing golf game and an absolute pleasure to play with.
Two cups of coffee at home, a mug for the road and we are on Highway 26 headed for the park.  The highway runs out through the suburbs of Portland, past the land of large tech installations mostly owned by Intel and turns into farmland quite rapidly.  There’s a last second chance to stop at the mini-mart, Snack Jacks, before we turn north and head into dense, wooded forest area up Highway 43.
We park the car and we’re on the course, warming up with a game of catch.  It’s not quite as good as hearing the chains rattle on a practice green, but it works.  I do my best to pretend David and Rob have baskets where their chests should be.
Then the round starts.  

Not a good round for me by stroke count at all.  Hole one starts off with me missing an easy birdie putt.  On hole two I rip what should be a simple hyzer drive, dead laser beam straight towards the wrong pin position.  Normally, Stubb’s isn’t a course that will forgive such simple mistakes and today is no exception.  
Sometime during the middle of the front nine I have an amazing, if not somewhat obvious, revelation.  A good practice round isn’t about a good score it’s about getting in some good practice.  
I’ve been short changing my practice rounds for years by focusing on the score.  I layup when I should run.  I go to old standby shots when I should experiment with new ones.  
By the end of the round I knew who it was in my dream that needed to “shut up.”  It was me.  I need to quiet the monkey chatter in my brain that asks me to always track/analyze my performance.  The voice inside that insists on rating every shot I throw as if I am personally judged by each shot’s quality.  
I am not my shots.  I am not my round.  When I practice the only thing that matters is that I learn.
I return home content and ready to watch football for the rest of my Sunday.  Gouda kitty shows me her tummy.  The fair and lovely Amanda spoils me with snuggling and food.  I am truly lucky and life is good.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Milo Video and Night Golf Pic

Last weekend Amanda and I had a blast camping and golfing at Milo McIver state park in Estacada, Oregon.  It was beautiful weather, the park was phenomenal as always and we had a chance to do some filming.  Check out the video below and please be sure to leave a comment and feedback.

What does a top secret glow round at Milo look like?  A little bit like this.

It doesn't really do the experience justice but the arrow in the middle of the picture is pointing to the basket. This is hole 15 of the 27 hole course (the first hole playing into the loop in the woods).

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Beginning

I'm starting this blog to give myself a voice for my ideas about all things disc golf.  I'll be posting about courses, disc choices, technique and whatever else comes to mind relating to disc golf or maybe sometimes just relating to me.   I plan on including pictures and videos whenever possible.  Hopefully, there will be posts that everyone can enjoy regardless of their experience with discs but I'm sure that at other times it will get pretty nerdy and you'll have to be an avid golfer to appreciate those moments.

First, my origin story as a disc golfer.  In 2003 I was working from home and spending most of my free time playing on the computer.  A friend bought me and my wife a DX Cobra each and introduced us to a course less than a mile from my home.  I fell head over heels in love with the sport almost immediately.

The strong benefits from disc golf to my mental and physical health were evident.  I started losing weight and my stress level dropped.  Before I knew it, I was playing 3-5 hours of disc golf a day and loving every minute of it.  The sport was growing at tremendously fast speeds at that time, with new local courses being installed rapidly and it only helped to spur me to play more and more.

I went on that way playing everyday until sometime during 2007 I tore the rhomboid muscle in my shoulder.  Though I had lost over 30 pounds playing golf at that point, I hadn't been training my body in any other way besides walking the course and throwing discs.  Despite seeking treatment and taking several 2 month breaks to let my injury recover, my shoulder would have no more and continued to be a problem until finally in 2009 I decided to take a 6-9 month break and let it heal.

When Spring of 2010 rolled around I decided I was determined to exercise for the right to play golf and not have golf be my primary exercise.  So, I started working out regularly and confined myself to one round a week.

Flash forward to today, I'm playing more and more again and I'm also training harder than ever before.  I do aerobic workouts 3-5 times a week and strength training 3 days a week.  I golf almost everyday but try to take at least 2 days off a week for recovery.

Now that we've got that under our belt I can talk about something more interesting to me, the drivers in my golf bag and why they are there.

Firebird - Champion, 175 grams:  The piggy.  This is the most overstable and reliable disc in my bag.  Used extensively for upshots, forehand air and roller shots, backhand flex and hyzer shots, overhand shots and anything that needs to skip. I like it in champion because it takes a pretty serious beating from the overhand shots and rollers.  I also feel like champion is the best rolling plastic because it should bend less when it impacts the ground.

Destroyer - Star, 171-175 grams: The distance driver.  I use this disc for long backhand hyzers, annhyzers, straight wooded shots with a low ceiling and flex shots.  I would like to say I have a bunch of these in different stages of wear but it's not true.  Most of the destroyers I have are still pretty stable to overstable and I cannot make any of them flip up from a hyzer angle.  I've had a couple beat in ones in the past but I lost them both.  I throw the destroyer because it feels like the most reliable wide rimmed disc to me and it holds the lines I throw it on.  I don't have to compromise too much control for the extra distance this disc gives me.

Sidewinder - Champion, 175 grams: The flipper.  This disc gets utilized for rollers and backhand turnover drives over 350'.  Sidewinders are great because out of the box they behave like a well loved and seasoned driver.  Besides a few mutants ones I have encountered I have no probablem turning these discs up from a hyzer the day I buy them.  One of the things I like about the sidewinder is that the wing is not too wide and it is still relatively fast.  I feel like it's easier to throw controlled shots with a smaller wing and when I'm throwing turnovers and rollers I need all of the control I can get.  Again, I feel champion plastic is better for rolling.

Teebird - Champion, 175 grams:  The control driver.  This disc gets utilized for backhand hyzers, annhyzers and flip shots out to 350'.  It is the most controllable driver I have ever thrown and it holds the lines I put it on.  I like how I can make it finish left when I need it to but it will also finish straight or to the right if required.  I usually carry these in at least two stages of wear, one that is beat in and one closer to new.  The new ones are awesome for holding hyzers and the beat up ones will flip up from a hyzer and run straight for days.  I like these in champion plastic because they put in a ton of work and champion seems to be slightly more resilient to tree hits than star.

It's taken me a lot of trial and error to come up with this list but it seems to cover all of my needs while not over cluttering my bag.  I really don't believe in carrying discs that overlap as it just adds confusion when selecting your shot.

Finally, I'll top this first blog off with a video of me driving at Rooster Rock last weekend.  I'm working on pivoting on my heel to help promote my follow through and good rotation. I threw this one nose up but it still landed within 60' of the hole.  Thanks to my lovely wife and partner in crime, Amanda for filming.


Please leave comments and feedback.  If you enjoyed it please let me know and I will do more.