I’m a daydreamer.
It’s always been in my nature to be one. I dream of winning the lottery (and, of course, build some wonderful disc golf courses). I wonder what the world would have been like if I had been a professional baseball player. Or a pro athlete in general.
I dream about great jobs and fancy cars. And floating down the river on a tube with no worries in the world.
I also dream of the day that I can make every 10-foot putt, drive 350-plus feet and not have to play every tournament in the novice division.
There’s a problem with being a dreamer, however.
It really does slap you in the face. Often. And, unfortunately, reality has a firm grip on my disc golf game.
There aren’t any courses in my area. If I want to get a round in, I have to travel about an hour and a half to get to a course. And because I have some other hobbies I do as well as play softball, doing field work can get tedious and boring at times because it’s the same thing over and over.
If I could do field work and then play a round or three each week, I think it would be better. As it is now, I’ll hit up a field, mark out some distances and throw for a while. Then I’ll putt. I love doing that because it can be relaxing.
But as I said, I get a little bored at times doing the same thing. I start dreaming of my other hobbies and go and do something else. I need to find a way to snap that funk. Maybe find a place to put my basket where there are trees and such to make it a little more interesting.
I need to get better. That’s all part of this year’s goal — to become a 700-rated player.
I know that’s not the most dynamic goal in the world in relation to disc golf. I started playing at the same time that my cohort in this blog — Darren — started. He’s already an 842-rated player and continually gets better. But he plays in leagues. He has a course close to him where he works. He’s got the options.
I start the year at 672. I am still trying to fully understand ratings (I hope I’ll eventually have a story up here about them), but at first I didn’t think 672 to 700 would be that large of a jump.
That was until one tournament last year when I thought I played decent and saw my rating drop.
Striving for 700 was born.
The first stop on the Striving for 700 Tour came this past weekend when I traveled to New Jersey to participate in The March of St. Pat’s Madness, a PDGA C-Tier event run by professional player Bob Graham.
Bob is a member of Team Vibram and runs some great tournaments and they have always been fun. In fact, he always emphasizes fun, which is something I really respect about him. He’s always smiling and always willing to give a helping tip or hand.
This tournament was no exception.
However, it made me realize how hard this quest for 700 was going to be. I’m not sure if the “hacker” term is used in disc golf as it is in ball golf, but it sure fits the bill for me.
I’m all over the place.
Trees cringed when I stepped to the tee. Baskets laughed at me when I attempted to float one in. And I swear I could hear blades of grass in the distance of long holes making fun of me, as if they knew my disc would never land anywhere near them.
The disc golf Gods were not smiling on me, that’s for sure!
Par for the day was 55. I went 69-75 — and I thought I played better in the second round. Maybe I was more relaxed. Who knows. But when the scored were added, I was shocked.
The first round was an interesting one for a couple of reasons. One, I had been working on 2 1/2 hours of sleep, which came before the 2 1/2-hour ride to New Jersey to play. Second, Darren and I were teamed up with two others who I knew through the magic of Twitter and members of the #hashtaggers fantasty disc golf league. Alex and Andy are local to that area, so they were both playing. It was cool to be paired up with them and get a round in.
Despite some frustration at times (who doesn’t get frustrated?), I enjoyed the round and had a whole heap of fun.
But I was all over. When I say all over, I’m not kidding. Left, right, and up. By up I mean the disc goes floating way to high, catches wind and drops.
It’s not impressive to throw a 100-foot drive, I assure you.
There were three field holes, too. I dread these holes. They are long and difficult for me. It’s even worse when watching Darren, Alex and Andy all throw solid drives. And then it takes me two throws to catch up.
At least it would appear I played in groups and gave some of my Irish luck away. Or so I can believe.
Darren won at Am 3, representing Rattling Chains very well. Andy placed second to Darren. Alex lost in a playoff for the Am 1 title. And in the second round, I played with the guy who won a playoff to win Am 4.
At least I got to watch some decent disc golf.
Not all was bad. I felt my putting was pretty decent throughout the day. I had some shots that made me smile.
Heck, it’s the little things that keep you coming back, yeah?
It’s the second year I played in this tournament and I’ve enjoyed it each year. I didn’t finish DFL this time around, so that’s a bonus. And there’s always a lot of fun things and people to chat with.
That’s what this game is all about, isn’t it? Having fun?
One of the most interesting part is Dennis — a local player who dresses up as a leprechaun each year. He’s also in a band and performs some fun songs after the event ends. I’ve attached a video below so you can all check out Dennis crooning away after the event.
In the end, I hope my quest for 700 takes a step up. My two rounds were rated 739 and 662. I’m not sure what that will do to my overall rating, but hopefully it will go up. It’s a slow climb, but I’m staring 700 in the face.
A guy can dream can’t he?
(Dennis performing after the tournament):
P.J. Harmer is the lead blogger for Rattling Chains. If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj [at] rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitterand like us on Facebook!