Return to sport!

Dave Ross, from Mundy Park, on his way to CTP on the signature Raptor hole at Raptor’s Knoll
Ken Nelson, out of Whistler, trying to catch Dave’s vapour trail

After a 16 month hiatus, we finally got back to competitive disc golf in BC at the Welcome Back Warm Up, held July 24 by the Raptors Knoll Disc Golf Club.

To give you an idea of how our sport has exploded during COVID times, 126 players registered for the event–only 15 in Open divisions (Open Men and Open Masters). Intermediate had 31 players and Recreational had 40 . There are a lot of energized new players out there!

For this event, we had four players in Open Masters, which was collapsed from Grandmasters (my normal division). I got to play with two friends from Mundy Park (Dave Ross and Craig Sheather) and Ken Nelson from Whistler.

Raptors Knoll is a great, awful, frustrating, wonderful course. There’s not a hole on the course that I haven’t birdied at one time or another. Of course, there isn’t a hole I haven’t bogeyed (or doubled or tripled or we-don’t need-to-talk-about-it). Of the 11 holes I birdied over two rounds, I only hit one both times (hole 14). Of the 8 holes I bogeyed only one bit me twice–twice. I double bogeyed hole 15 both times (once with an out of bounds penalty, once with a yip-induced three putt). My goal going in was a three down each round, and both rounds I was there at some point (-4 through hole 11 in the first round and -3 through 14 in the second). Full scoring stats are available from the PDGA. All in all it wasn’t a great return to tourney play, but it was acceptable–shooting over my player rating both rounds (948 and 958). Dave took the trophy, and Craig and I tied for second (his second round was perfectly balanced, Raptors style–six pars, six birdies, and six bogies), with Ken keeping us honest and pushing our game throughout.

On the day, I really appreciated my RPM midranges: the Kotuku, Piwakawaka and Tuis. When the wind kicked up, my Kotuku was money in getting me safely to the pin. My Taniwha got me an unexpected birdie on the well-protected hole three (hill placement). That said, the weekend also made apparent that I need to work on my upshot game. From 200ft my game was inconsistent as the pressure to park the shot had me trying to guide the throw in rather than authoritatively throw the shot.

Next up is the BC Open on August 14/15. Then we’re looking at the BC Doubles Championship, where Neville Collett and I will defend our Open Masters title. Thanks to the folks at Raptors Knoll for a fun day!

I hope your discs are flying well for you!