For the love of the sport. A place for DG enthusiasts to share their thoughts.

Upcoming Tournaments

Grip-N-Rip Presents the Downtown Throwdown

Posted by randomtiz


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Dogleg JT here and boy do I have have a unique disc golf tournament to tell you about! It’s the inaugural “Downtown Throwdown” hosted by Jasper’s local disc golf club, Grip-N-Rip. Most people might not understand how unusual and rare of an opportunity that this tourney will be. This is an event you seriously do not want to miss! Disc Golf…downtown, seriously. Sweet prize packs. Free food. Beer. Live music. Heck of a good time.

It takes place this coming weekend in Downtown Jasper, Alabama and ONLY 11 spots left. What’s that mean? You still have time to sign up after you read this interview with Grip-N-Rip Disc Golf co-founder, Stephen Robertson. But hurry, this tourney is sure to fill up before Saturday’s matchup!

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There’s several reasons I wanted to take on this special blog post. First, it’s a very unique, urban disc golf tournament—second of its kind in the United States—that takes place in my hometown of Jasper, Alabama. It’s also being hosted by a great group of guys, whom are close friends from high school, called Grip-N-Rip Disc Golf. Third, it’s being held this coming weekend, Father’s Day weekend. What better way to spend quality time with your father (or son) for this extraordinary disc golf event, haha. Lastly, I was asked to design the logo for the event. And I couldn’t have been more excited and honored!

Alright alright, lets get right into this interview shall we? I’m sitting here with close friend, Stephen Robertson, co-founder of Grip-N-Rip Disc Golf.

[Dogleg] Stephen, tell us a little about Grip-n-Rip Disc Golf.

Grip N Rip Disc Golf

Grip N Rip Disc Golf


[Stephen] We are a disc golf club that started in Jasper 3 years ago. It was originally started by Jeremiah Blackmon and me. We have brought some more awesome guys and a girl on the board—Billy Thompson, Jake Aaron, David Driver, and MaLeigh Robertson. Without them, we could not get to what we have gotten accomplished. There is also a lot club members that help as well. We run leagues during the season as well as tournaments. In the last few years, all of the money that has been raised has been going to fund improvements to our current course and now towards the construction of a new course to be located here in Jasper. Also once a year we run a fundraising tournament for a good cause. Each year we select a different. Last year it was for a local elementary school, where we raised and donated $1500 to the school. This year we are hoping to do the same for EASI. But mostly, we are a group of guys and gals that love playing disc golf.

[Dogleg] Now that we have the GnR background, tell us what exactly is the Downtown Throwdown?

[Stephen] The tournament is to be held on June 20th. It will be a temporary course that is put up just for the one day. The course is going to run through the downtown area of Jasper. You will play down streets, in alleys, and across parking lots. The course will start and finish at the Courthouse square. Warehouse 319 is our main sponsor for the event, so set-up for picking up players pack and registration will be in front of their building. Also they are serving breakfast and lunch day-of. Breakfast will run from 7:30am-9am and lunch will be in between rounds.

[Dogleg] The concept is crazy cool! Where did you guys get the idea of an urban dg tourney like this?

[Stephen] There has been an event similar to this before, just not in Jasper. Cary, North Carolina runs a disc golf tournament around a part of their town. It has been happening there since I believe 2012. Seeing videos of their events on YouTube is what inspired us to do it. Also it looked like a ton of fun.

[Dogleg] I can’t argue with that! How were you able to get something of this scale to even take place in downtown on a Saturday?

[Stephen] The club has been doing and will be doing a ton of work leading up to the event. We had to get permission from all Downtown businesses. Also, we have had a ton of help from the city council members. Tana Williams, Jennifer Williams Smith and Joe Mathews have been huge assets as well. Originally the idea for this was brought up in passing with Jennifer, Joe, and Tana and they loved the idea and helped us get approval for the event with the city council. They have also been helping with getting all of the permissions needed. Without their help, we definitely would not have gotten all of the things needed to run it. In the early stage of preparation, Warehouse 319 came on board as a primary sponsor. With their help, we are going to be able to feed all of the players both breakfast and lunch.

[Dogleg] That’s great to hear man. I love seeing community come together and helping one another to pull this off. Ok, so knowing how downtown Jasper is layed out with all the storefronts, what about the safety of windows? Will players be throwing down the street? Like down streets lined with large window fronts?

[Stephen] They will be throwing down some streets but there are only 2 places on the entire course where windows are even remotely close to being in play. We were very careful of the course layout to try to avoid any windows.

[Dogleg] Sounds like you guys have put tons of thought into this–especially with safety. So can you tell us what the course layout will be like?

[Stephen] It will be 20 holes. The entire course plays 4,585 ft. We will be using the new MachX baskets that were purchased for the brand new course being built on Walston Bridge Road.

GnR Downtown Throwdown (course map)

GnR Downtown Throwdown (course map)

[Dogleg] What will the format of the tournament be like?

[Stephen] This will be a PDGA-sanctioned tournament. There will be 2 rounds of disc golf. The first round will have a 9:30am tee off. The second round will tee off roughly an hour after the last card is turned in from the first round.

[Dogleg] How many players are you guys expecting?

[Stephen] We have ability to accept 100 players. As of June 15, we have 85 people already registered.

[Dogleg] What all can players expect in the player’s pack?

[Stephen] The player pack consists of: a custom-printed disc storage box from Box4Discs, an event stamped disc and mini, and free breakfast and lunch. There is also a token for 6 free wings that can be redeemed any time at Warehouse 319. For people who were registered by June 10th, they will also be receiving a tournament shirt. We will have some more tournament shirts there for purchase for anyone who didn’t make the early registration.

We are having a players’ party Friday night June 20th in front of Warehouse 319. You can pick up your players pack and your tournament book from 6-8pm that night. That will give people an opportunity to walk the course if they would like. The baskets will not be up until Saturday morning, but the tee pads and locations of baskets will be marked Friday night.

[Dogleg] That sounds awesome! Is it too late to sign up? Where can players go to still get in on this unique opportunity of a tourney?

[Stephen] We will have registration open all the way until the morning of the event or until we fill up, whichever comes first. If it doesn’t fill up, we will have registration open until 9am the morning of the event.

http://www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments/GnRs_Downtown_Throwdown_2015 is the registration page.

But Grip N Rip DGC on Facebook also has a link for it.

[Dogleg] Any shoutouts to local sponsors you’d like to give a plug to?

[Stephen] Warehouse 319, Cindy Thompson Realtor, Custom Shirts and Signs, Sexton Auto Solutions, David Driver and Marty Scott.

[Dogleg] Lastly, if anyone would like more info, where should they go?

Grip N Rip DGC on Facebook or the DiscGolfScene page are the best places.

Or you can contact Stephen Robertson or Jeremiah Blackmon on Facebook.

[Dogleg] Well thank you so much for your time, Stephen. I can not wait for this tournament this weekend! I’ve been stoked about it ever since you and Jeremiah contacted me about the design of it earlier this year. To all our readers–and especially the local ones–I hope to see you this Saturday in Downtown Jasper. We shall Throwdown!

Grip-N-Rip’s Downtown Throwdown featured last week on ABC 33/40!
ABC 33/40 – Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Grip N Rip DGC on Facebook or the 11401433_1608378189447113_6587265809346782403_n

-jt


2015 Trilogy Challenge – Oregon Park Recap

Posted by randomtiz


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G’morning all and what a beautiful Saturday it is! An early disc golf round already lined up with friends and I can’t wait to get this day started. But before I head out, I had the pleasure of playing in my first Trilogy Challenge last weekend (May 30th) at Oregon Park and wanted to share how it went.

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2015 Trilogy Challenge Group shot. Photo credit: Derek Disc.

What is the Trilogy Challenge you might ask?
The Trilogy Challenge is brought to you by Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64°, and Westside Discs who’s goal is to gain better visibility of the sport and get more new players involved. In each player pack, you get three discs to use in the tournament–a Westside Elasto Sampo Driver, a Dynamic Discs Fusion Evidence Midrange, and a Lat 64° Retro Macana Putter. Basically everything you need to play a round. On top of the three discs, each player gets a Trilogy stamped mini, a mini clipboard, mini sharpie, scorecard and a pencil. All included in your entry cost of $30! Pretty sweet deal.

Now what about the format?
The format of the tournament is up to the TD. The one I participated in was a two-round format where the first round silver-to-silver and the second round gold-to-gold layout. Each round had its own winner–scores didn’t carry over from one to the next. For the first round, everyone played from the shortest layout there at Oregon Park which was silver-to-silver. In the Trilogy Challenge, players were only allowed to throw the three discs they received in this year’s player pack. The second round format was a bit different. Everyone played the long layout, gold-to-gold, and had the option to either add their three Trilogy discs from last year’s player pack OR substitute one of the three from this year with one of their own. I didn’t throw the driver much the first round on the short layout, so I opted to switch it out for one of my other drivers the second round.

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Westside Elasto Sampo Driver, Dynamic Discs Fusion Evidence Midrange, and a Lat 64° Retro Macana Putter. To watch Dogleg JT’s review of the three 2015 Trilogy Discs, click here.

Via their website, The Trilogy Challenge is a worldwide event from May 29th to September 20th that concludes with the Trilogy Öppna in Emporia, Kansas on September 19th-20th. The discs in each player pack will be unreleased until the last Challenge in Emporia. So be sure to get in on the action!

Between the two rounds, they had several raffle giveaways which consisted of Dynamic Discs Soldier & Cadet DG bags, Lat 64, Westside, and Dynamic Discs drivers, mids and putters. I won the first raffle drawing (shoutout to Jason Kirkaldy for drawing my name) of a brand new DD Soldier bag filled with 9 discs!

First Raffle Winner Prize Pack – DD Soldier Disc Golf bag with 9 discs included!

First Raffle Winner Prize Pack – DD Soldier Disc Golf bag with 9 discs included!

I had a great time with friends and meeting several new faces out there. It was a lot of fun and I will be playing next year in it for sure. The turnout was huge! I felt like everything went really smoothly and a big shoutout and thanks to Walter Black for running TD this year! I had a chance to talk to Walter earlier this week on how the tourney went. Here’s what Walter had to say:

So, we all start somewhere, right? It is easy to forget after years of playing and moving up from beginner to league play to playing tournaments just how hard those first throws were. How awkward it was to throw a disc the way it is supposed to be thrown. How confusing the different discs and their numbers were. How just finding other people to play with is an obstacle. When I decided to run the Trilogy Challenge, I wanted to be sure I didn’t forget what it was like to be new to the sport.

Our club gets together early in the year to hash out the events we want to host. Last year’s Trilogy Challenge was a success and I asked to run it again this year. I had only one real question for the club and that was, “Do you want me to make money?” The answer was “No”. They didn’t want me to make money. The club wanted everything we took in to be paid back out. It is an important distinction for me because if I don’t have to make money, then I can spend what I feel I need to attract the largest number of players. More players, more money. More money, more prizes. More prizes, more players. I had posters and postcards made to make sure anyone who visited Oregon Park knew about the event. We tapped into social media on the Cobb Disc Golf Club and Atlanta Disc Golf Organization Facebook page. The registrations were slow to get going but as we got closer and closer to the event date they started snowballing.

When we originally planned our Trilogy Challenge we wanted to offer more than what was necessary. More opportunities to play and compete and more prizes. Everyone played the Trilogy Challenge just as Dynamic Discs intended. One round, winner wins the prize pack. A second optional round was added with a few twists. It would be played on the longest layout of the course and would have it’s own prize. We expanded the number of prizes and had a drawing for them. Anything you could win with skill, you could win by getting lucky. No matter how new you were to the sport, everyone paid the same to enter, everyone would have a chance to win. I added another Soldier bag and nine discs to be won in a drawing and also upgraded the Cadet bags to Soldier bags. For the second round winner, a choice of a Recruit practice basket or any bag/backpack that Dynamic Discs sold was offered. There was also a drawing for the same Recruit basket or bag/backpack that could be won just for purchasing a player pack. For the drawings you didn’t have to be present to win. You didn’t even have to play. If you purchased a player pack you were entered into all the drawings.

More players are always good right up to the point that they aren’t and a week out we were rapidly approaching our limit for what the course could accommodate. I knew from experience we would get 20-30 participants walk-up on the day of the event. The problem was, I was already at my limit with the players who had preregistered. Where was I going to put another 30? At the last moment I contacted Dynamic Discs and tossed up another event, the Friday Night Flight, and got another winners pack for that event along with 50 more player packs. I wasn’t going to turn anyone away. I needed to get 25-30 players who had registered for Saturday to play their Trilogy Challenge round on Friday night to make room for the walk-ups I expected for Saturday. Just enough to give us a little breathing room.

For Friday we did a simple flex start where the players could show up after work and get grouped with a few others and head out to play. This was attractive for some because they could get their round in and be done in less than two hours. Friday night I had 33 total participants play their Trilogy Challenge round but I still had a problem. Only 20 had preregistered. The other thirteen were walk-ups. This meant that while I did manage to pull some away, I was still going to have more than 90 players show up on Saturday.

I worried about how Saturday would play out well into the night on Friday, not getting to bed until around 2am. I was trying to figure out the best way to get 90+ players to fit on an 18-hole course. I could do cards for five and a few sixes but how long would that take with all the new players even on the shortest layout? I could split the field and run two rounds but what would 40-50 players do for two hours while the other half played? Both of these options had their advantages and disadvantages. I really didn’t like either choice. I give credit to one of the players for suggesting a rolling start. Everyone would head to hole one when they were ready to play and be sent out in groups of 3, 4 or 5. Friends could play with friends and solo players would be added in to fill out the card. Players would already be out on the course while others were just checking in. It worked very well with just a short wait time at hole one.

In total, we sold out of all 125 player packs and I only had to turn one person away because we just didn’t have any more. The Trilogy Challenge is Dynamic Discs effort to #growthesport but the additional prizes also attracted some very good long-time players. The winning round for both Friday and Saturday on the short silver-to-silver layout was a 13-under par 41. John Riley, a local player, won on Friday while Jason Kirkaldy, who traveled all the way from Augusta, won on Saturday. The second round was very competitive on the longer gold-to-gold layout with Jason Kirkaldy winning by one stroke over John Riley and Jermaine Barksdale with an 8-under par 51. But let’s not forget the real winners here. The three dads playing with their young sons. The fireman and his girlfriend, neither of whom had ever thrown a disc before, playing for the first time. The women, although few, playing together. All the other new players and beginners who came out and played with nearly one-hundred other disc golfers. We all start somewhere. That’s a pretty good start.

-Walter

For information about the Trilogy Challenge and seeing if there are any in your area, check out http://trilogychallenge.com/.

Jason Kirkaldy (left), Saturday's first round Winner accepting his prize pack from TD Walter Black (right).

Jason Kirkaldy (left), Saturday’s first round Winner accepting his prize pack from TD Walter Black (right).

Daniel – First round, Hole #1 tee shot. Photo cred: Derek Disc

Daniel – First round, Hole #1 tee shot. Photo cred: Derek Disc

Justin – First round, Hole #1 tee shot. Photo cred: Derek Disc

Justin – First round, Hole #1 tee shot. Photo cred: Derek Disc

Sean – First round, Hole #1 tee shot. Photo cred: Derek Disc

Sean – First round, Hole #1 tee shot. Photo cred: Derek Disc

JT – First round, Hole #1 tee shot. Photo cred: Derek Disc

JT – First round, Hole #1 tee shot. Photo cred: Derek Disc

Final player's meeting end of the second round.

Final player’s meeting end of the second round.

Want to see what Dogleg JT thought of this year’s Trilogy Challenge discs? Read/watch his latest post here.

-jt


2015 Vibram Birdie Bash

Posted by randomtiz


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Earlier in the week, I caught up with Steve Dodge of Vibram Disc Golf on this year’s upcoming Vibram Birdie Bash. Here’s what he had to say:

With Spring fast approaching (as well as two feet of snow!), it is time to look into the Vibram Birdie Bash. In addition to improved prizes and more streamlined admin for TDs, we have added in a Vibram Birdie Bash World Championship. http://www.birdiebash.com/championship.html.

The VBB World Championship is happening the weekend before Am Worlds at one of the Am Worlds courses. It will be broadcast live by Terry Miller and Smashboxx TV, and all VBB TDs and VBB winners are invited to attend.

The VBB is geared towards bringing non-tournament players into organized disc golf as well as creating the next generation of Tournament Directors. By design, the events are easy to setup and run. We also emphasize the culture of the disc through our Spirit Award.

-Steve Dodge, Vibram Disc Golf

What is the Birdie Bash you might ask?
The Vibram Birdie Bash is a two disc/two round tournament where everyone throws one shot less than the par for that hole. Eagles are worth five points, birdies two, and metal hits count as one. If nobody in the group scores on a hole, the CTP after the final throw gets the point.

Birdie Bashes run from February 28th to May 31st this year. You MUST pre-register online to sign up for the event. Check out the Birdie Bash Event Finder here to see which events are happening closest to you.

For those of you here in Georgia, as of right now, there are two approved so far for this year. The first one will be hosted at Patriot’s Park DGC on March 8th near Augusta and the second will be later that month on the 21st at Hunter Memorial Park in Douglasville.

Patriots Park – Grovetown, GA
-March 8, 2015
-http://www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments/Vibram_Birdie_Bash_at_Patriots_Park_2015

Hunter Memorial Park – Douglasville, GA
-March 21, 2015
-http://www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments/Vibram_Birdie_Bash_at_Hunter_Memorial_Park_2015

How much is it?
Only $30 gets you signed up and a player pack (valued over $60)!

What kind of swag is there this year?
The player packs are looking pretty sharp; here’s what you get:
Birdie Bash Player Pack:
Two Discs (one driver, one putter or mid)
One VBB Shirt
One VDG Coaster Mini
One VDG Sticker

Birdie Bash Prizes:
Card Winner prize for 1st round
Per Group CTPs for 2nd round
1st Place Men’s Prize
1st Place Women’s Prize
1st Place Juniors (under 13) Prize
Spirit Award Winner

Extra Prizes are Possible: The TD will award these extra prizes however they want!
VDG Water Bottle prize for every 10 players
VDG Hat prize for every 20 players
VDG Bag prize for every 30 players

Looking forward to seeing you guys out on the course!
-jt


Four days until my tournament. Nothing left to do but panic!

Posted by chrissmithspresence


If you have read any of my earlier posts, then you know I am organizing my first tournament.  I decided to go with an a-typical tournament format in the hopes that I would create something fun and memorable for all players involved.

The tournament is really coming together.  In my last post I talked about finding local sponsors to go along with my more national “disc golf” sponsors.  As an update, the local sponsors didn’t pan out as well as I had hoped.  No worries though.  I got a few more prizes and hopefully those companies will benefit from the donation and be willing to donate again in the future.  I have over fifty people pre-registered and over 35 prizes to give out.

One thing that I found was that I kept going over things that needed to be done in my head and thinking “Oh yeah, I’ll do that later.”

When I decided to actually sit down and make a list of things to get done, I was overwhelmed.  I walked through the player’s experience on tournament day in my head.  Here is what I am looking at with four days left:

  • When they show up, where will they go?  - I’ll need a table for registration and one to display the prizes.
  • How do I split them up into random partners and cards?  - I need to get some poker chips and write numbers on them (I also considered ripping a deck of cards in half)
  • How am I going to communicate all of these crazy rules?  - I made a score card specific to the tournament with the “special” rules on the back.  It only cost me $2.80 to get them printed on card stock.  I also made a one-page list of the holes and what is different about each, to post around the registration area.
  • What the heck am I going to say at the player’s meeting?  - I wrote up an outline and listed all of the sponsors so that I don’t forget to thank anyone.
  • How are players going to mark their longest putts and CTPs?  - I bought four dowels from a hardware store, cut them into four pieces and made duct tape flags to make 16 markers.
  • Anything specific to the tournament that needs to be done?  - I needed to buy some field paint to mark a drop zone for a mando, a putting circle for one special rule, and specific distances from baskets because we will be using a putting game for a tie breaker.
  • What else am I forgetting?  - I committed to sending pictures of the winners with their prizes to companies that donated.  Too bad I don’t have a very good camera.  Maybe someone would be willing to come take pictures and/or videos.  I posted it to the facebook and disc golf scene and the wife of one of the players is going to help me out.

So that’s it…  If I continue to check more things off of my list than I add every day, I should be ok.  I am sure that it won’t go completely as planned, but if I roll with the punches, I am hoping that it is a fun tournament for everyone involved.


A Guide to Finding Tournament Sponsors

Posted by chrissmithspresence


My first run as tournament director is coming up in about a month.  If you want to read more about it please check out my last post on Dogleg.  I am not collecting a tournament fee so my original plan was to just have players win a beer from other players.  Then I got it in my head to see if I could get some prizes donated.  This has proven to be a great learning experience and a very successful one too.

For what is basically a free tournament, we are going to have a huge set of prizes.  There will be a free key-chain bottle opener (and hopefully a beer koozie) for every player that pre-registers.  We have five disc golf bags to give away.  We also have 11 discs from seven different manufacturers as prizes.    There are also a bunch of great extra prizes including things from local breweries which works great with the single beer fee to play.

When I first decided to try to find sponsors, I looked up every brewery in Michigan and sent them an email or contacted them through their website.  The email explained the premise of the tournament and asked for donations to give away as prizes.  I was very lucky to have two Michigan breweries agree to donate.  Looking back on those emails now, I am surprised that I even got anyone to respond.  Thankfully, both breweries have people at the brewery that play disc golf.

After getting brewery stuff, I thought it would be a good idea to contact some disc golf companies.  Again, I looked up everyone that I could think of (outside of “the big two”) and sent them an email.  I would have continued with these lack luster results if I hadn’t gotten the most helpful response declining to donate.  They actually gave me feedback on my donation request and after incorporating what they told me, my responses really started to turn around.

Here is the format that I found has really worked for me:

  1. Briefly introduce yourself and your tournament.  There are hundreds of tournaments out there.  Explain what makes yours different from the rest.
  2. Talk about the company that you are making the request from and how they line up with your tournament.  This part is specific to the company that you are working with and it is important that it be personalized.  This can’t be a form letter.
  3. A donation is a business decision.  Explain the specific exposure that the company will get with their donation.  How many players are expected?  What level of players are you expecting?  Where and how will the company be promoted by the tournament?  Will there be sponsor logos on posters, web sites, t-shirts, etc?
  4. Try to be specific about what you are asking for as a donation.  If you leave it wide open, the company will not have any expectation on the monetary commitment that you are asking for.

The last step that I have to do for collecting prizes is to go around to local businesses to ask for donations.  At this point I am a little behind the gun on this one.  I feel like I would have been more successful if I had started a couple of weeks ago but I just haven’t had the time.  Real life keeps getting in the way.  Businesses that I am thinking might be interested are local bars/restaurants, the local movie theater, and maybe the local bowling alley.  Hopefully a walk through town shaking hands and talking to people about something that I really enjoy will result in a few more prizes to give away.  This is a different approach from sending emails and it is a little intimidating.

Don’t let a lack of responses get you down.  There was a stretch where I was really getting down on myself because I was sending out a lot of communications and I wasn’t hearing back.  It was like high school all over again.  But then, as I continued to work at it, I started getting more and more responses.  Some of the older requests started coming in too.  There were literally weeks where I was working with four different companies to see how they could work with my tournament.

One thing that I noticed about every single disc golf company that I worked with was that they are a part of the disc golf community.  Whether or not a company donated, they all seem to be going out of their way to grow the sport.  If you are organizing a disc golf tournament, focus on working with disc golf companies to help the sport together.  Don’t burn bridges, and try to build a long lasting relationship with everyone that you deal with.  Chances are, you will get the tournament director bug and your first will not be your last.


Running a tournament is like singing in public. Wait… What?!?

Posted by chrissmithspresence


I am just over five weeks from my first crack at being a tournament director.  It really feels like the home stretch.  At this point, it looks like this thing is going to be really successful.  I’d like to share my experiences with you and hopefully help you through my successes and my failures.

I tend to be a bit of an oddball.  I am constantly thinking up twists to the game that could be fun or fall flat.  I am convinced that blue discs fly farther when you throw them toward water and pink discs are under-stable.  The idea of running the same tournament that everyone else runs is like standing in line for a crappy roller coaster.  I just can’t do it.  I’ve got better things to do with my time.

Last year I played in an April Fool’s Worst Shot Doubles tournament that I was really excited about and it turned out to be an absolute flop.  It wasn’t really worst shot.  It was farthest from the pin, so an errant shot could just be followed with a safe short shot and there was no need to recover.  The course was disgusting and covered in broken glass, stagnant water, and old mattresses.  It was really disappointing.

When my partner from last year joked about playing again, I responded “I bet we could do it better.” and the idea was born.  It was like a song that gets stuck in your head.  I found myself thinking about the things that did and didn’t work last year and the things that I could add or twist to make it better.

One of the first things that I had to decide was “why” this tournament was going to exist.  Just having a song stuck in my head is no reason for me to sing in public.  People would much rather listen to someone else that has sung before and knows what they are doing.

I came up with three reasons:

  1. I have a lot of friends that don’t play.  If I could focus more on the fun and less on the competition, I may be able to talk them into enjoying disc golf with me.
  2. We have a regular Sunday game at my local course and it would be great to get some new blood playing regularly.
  3. I wanted a group of people willing to try playing with my crazy twists.

So the tournament was for all skill levels, with weird rules, intended to get the word out about our regular Sunday game.  It was time to start combining things from tournaments, our regular game, and my weird rules to come up with a combination that worked.

The regular Sunday game is random draw doubles and the losers owe the winners a beer.  They also add one to their handicap and the winners take one away from theirs.  New players usually take a couple of weeks to settle into a handicap that works for them but most weeks are fairly close at the end of the round.

This format works well for small groups but in a large tournament, without handicaps, I needed to find a way to stop someone that may be really competitive from being upset about picking up a brand new player as a partner and I wanted to make sure that there was no incentive for a foursome to “cheat” and not pick the worst shots.  I decided that if player’s were only competing with others from their own card and cards rotated partners throughout the round, this would eliminate both problems.

There was no reason to charge for the tournament because there were no costs involved and no club to raise funds for.  Everyone could bring a beer and the best score on the card would take two beers, the worst would take a single beer, and we would throw together some other competitions for the one leftover beer per card.  While I was at it, I decided anyone that brings a beer unique to the tournament can take two strokes off of their final score.  That would help set the tone.

I decided to have special rules on every third hole and have the partners switch after each special hole.  I came up with a scorecard that helps show the special holes and when to switch partners.  I honestly don’t know how this is going to work out.  It may be that there are too many special holes and switches.  It may be just fine.  Time will tell.

Our course has 24 holes.  There are 18 numbered holes and six letters that are just mixed in throughout the back half.  I decided to have the letter holes played as individuals for a tie breaker.  This could be another way for a competitive player to feel like they have a better chance.

After I came up with the format and the fees, I had to figure out how to advertise and get people to sign up.  I chose the Sunday before April Fool’s day and named the tournament April Fool’s Shenanigan Doubles and decided to use two different methods to advertise.  Disc Golf Scene is a great way to publicize to disc golfers but new players would never know about it.  A facebook event was my answer for the less serious and potentially first time disc golfers.  As players say that they are attending my facebook event, I just add them to the registered players list on disc golf scene.

A couple of weeks later someone looked at a calendar and broke the news to me.  I had six players signed up to play a tournament on Easter Sunday.  Since when is Easter in March?  I pushed the tournament back to April 7th and let everyone registered know to contact me if they wanted to be removed from the player’s list.

One other problem that I didn’t think about until it was too late was that people assume that they need to bring a partner and pass on the tournament without looking at it based on the name.  Once you pick a name, you aren’t allowed to change it.  I wish that I would have put “Random Draw” in the name.

Now that I have a good sized group of players registered, I am a little bit worried about the true first-time players.  I think that I am actually going to run a “how to play disc golf” clinic two weeks before my tournament and ask people that want to come to go to their local disc shop and pick out a mid-range and a putter that feels good in their hands beforehand.  During the clinic I will give them a chance to throw all of the drivers that I own to see what does and doesn’t work for them.  This will also give me a chance to teach them basic rules and etiquette.

At this point I am just over five weeks away and I already have 36 players pre-registered.  I am really looking forward to seeing everyone enjoying this crazy idea that I had a few weeks ago.  I have managed to get some of the best prizes donated that I have seen at any non-A tier and non-sanctioned tournament.

In my next post I will talk about how I worked with great sponsors like Gorilla Boy, Fade, NutSac, Dynamic Discs, Millennium, Gateway, Flywood, Dogleg, and more.


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