Posted by Tricia Lafferty
No matter what level of player you are, from beginner to pro, we all have bad shots. If you watch any of the numerous rounds of disc golf on YouTube, all players experience this. I have noticed over the 2 years that I have been playing, the bad shots are happening less often. Even when I do have a bad shot, I am usually able to recover pretty easily. I also noticed that great shots are becoming more frequent as well. I call these my “moments of greatness”, and this is what I play for. No matter how many bad shots happen in a day, there is always that one shot that can make they entire day memorable.
One of my most memorable moments recently was at a fun non-sanctioned local tourney. The tourney itself was pretty ordinary, good shots, bad shots – and I won my division. I always buy in for the Ace Pot, just in case I get that lucky, or even someone else does. And like normal, no one hit an Ace that day. There was a CTP shoot off for the Ace Pot money, which was around $75 or so. A lot of times I look at the shot and know that I can’t even reach it, and don’t even bother throwing. I am a female, and a beginner, and sometimes going up and throwing in front of a bunch of guys is really intimidating. But this day I decided to go ahead and give it a chance since it was such a laid back atmosphere and I knew many of the players since it was local.
I don’t really know how far away the basket was, maybe 250-350 feet, but slightly downhill. They set up a teeing area near the tournament central pavilion and shot to basket #2, which we could see. There was a gauntlet of trees in the way. I stood and looked and considered the best path for me to take with a shot a knew I could likely hit. Without seeing any others throw, I decided to spike hyzer to the right where there was a larger gap and let it glide and fade to the basket. I chose to throw my Latitude 64 Jade for this shot. That disc has become my go to driver and I really love the feel of it so I was confident in using it.
The first guy gets up to throw, grip locks, and sends it about 300 feet to the right in the wrong direction. The crowd got quite a laugh, me as well, even though I felt bad for laughing because I have been in that same situation before. This is my biggest fear with these shoot offs, having a bad shot and everyone assuming that you can’t throw based on that one shot. I sometimes feel like I have the responsibility to prove that women can be good at this sport as well, and showing a bad shot doesn’t help. About 2/3 of the group threw before I decided to go take my shot. It was a mix of good and bad shots: too short, too long, tree hits, and close calls.
I walk up to the tee and envision the shot I initially decided to take. I lined up my disc at the release point I wanted to take, took a few warm up swings, and then let it fly. As soon as I released it, I started to smile because it was taking the exact line I was hoping for. As it got further away, it sailed it’s way through the gap I wanted to hit, missing every tree. It reached it’s high point and turned and started gliding and fading to the left. Everyone watching was starting to get excited because they knew it was going to finish well. I could hear whispers and gasps behind me as I stood and watched, my heart started to flutter. It started to finish its flight and looked like it may very well crash into the chains. The noise behind me grew, and the disc dove into the ground as my heart was pounding. A cheer erupted as well as congratulations for the shot. From where were were standing, we couldn’t see where exactly the discs were landing. My hands were sweating and heart racing while the final few people threw. I couldn’t wait to get down there to see where I was because I knew I may actually be the closest.
I grabbed my extra ball of string from my Golden Retriever, just in case we needed to measure shots. As I walked to my disc, others were picking up their shots on the way. As I got close to the basket, I could see it was sitting about 4 short from it. The smile on my face grew, it really was an amazing shot! When I got there, I could see another disc laying right about the same distance as mine from the basket, but behind it. As I got the string out, I really hoped mine was closer. After measurement, he got me by about 6 inches. I picked up my disc, threw into the basket knowing it would have been a birdie had it been in play. I walked back to tournament central with the biggest smile I could smile, clutching my disc close to my chest. The memory of that shot is well worth more than $75, and I’ll never forget it.