Posted by randomtiz
A week later and just now getting a chance to sit down on this beautiful, cool morning to write about what I enjoy most, disc golf. Although arguably a better morning to be out on the course, it was important to me to get this post up as promised on our Dogleg Facebook page.
Two months ago I posted about an upcoming Vibram Birdie Bash being held at Hunter Memorial Park in Douglasville, GA. Well the time finally came last Saturday, March 21 as our four-man crew made the trek down to Douglasville. Not knowing quite what all to expect, it was all of our’s first time to play in a Birdie Bash and boy were we excited!
I like to think we’ve got a pretty solid, standup group of guys—Daniel, Rick, Sean and myself. Our four group plays regularly together on the weekends and an occasional weeknight. We try to select tournaments that we can all make and feel like it’d be a fun time. Although this was actually only the second tournament that all four of us had been able to participate in together since forming the group less than a year ago. I enjoyed our hour-long carpool down to D’ville last weekend talking disc golf and even strategizing for the Birdie Bash, haha. We had questions about how players would be split up amongst the cards for the first round and whether or not our 2-disc choices would play to an advantage. Of course it would be fun to all play on the same card the first round, but could that be a disadvantage to each of us four? Based on how we were thinking the point system worked, could we potentially be stealing points from one another? For example if no one scores on a hole, then the point goes to whoever landed closest to pin. Then we tried to figure out if our odds would be better if we played on different cards the first round in hopes to score similar and get paired together for second round. As much as we each love disc golf, we take it serious as well. All while having fun, of course!
Speaking from previous experiences in other tournaments I’ve played where you play with the supplied discs, it’s always good to get there as early as possible to sign in, get your discs and practice throwing them. The discs always seem to fly differently than what you expected or used to. So I highly recommend getting there early enough to get your discs and take them out on a couple of holes to practice. Learn how they fly. Test what they can do and how much arm they can handle. It sure helped me in our ~45 min. worth of practicing Saturday throwing the new discs before the start. I had thrown a Lace before, but not one that was in the weight range I chose. This one was a bit heavy and a little bit more overstable than what I’d thrown before. My other disc choice was an Obex which is an overstable, long glide midrange. I had never thrown one of these before either, so I’m glad I got out there and learned its flight path and how to control it to get it to work like I needed.
We got there really early and was able to get in a few holes with our regular discs to warm up. As soon as the tent opened up, we signed in and got our Vibram swag packs with our discs. I actually appreciated how the swag packs were already put together with the discs already in there. I’ve been to other tournaments where the line gets backed up with everyone carefully choosing their disc weight and color—it takes forever. So I liked the simplicity of the pre-packaged swag packs. The swag packs come with the two discs you selected back during online registration, a tshirt, two stickers, playing cards, and a Vibram rubber coaster. Note: The water bottle is not part of the swag pack. I’ll mention that later. [see pic].
One thing I freakin’ love about Vibram discs is the awesome, tie-dyed swirled patterns in the discs. Check them out! I went with a 170M Lace and a 167M Obex. I prefer the X-Link Medium which is Vibram’s original and most popular material.
The X-Link material is a unique rubber-based compound which resists scuffs, has incredible durability and unequaled grip. Additionally, X-Link has a stronger memory than any disc currently on the market, so if you do manage to bend it out of shape, in all likelihood, it will work its way back.
The players’ meeting kicked off with the introduction, “brief” rules, group pairings and scorecards were handed out and then we were off to our starting holes. One thing I didn’t like was that I felt like the scoring instructions, penalty scenarios and starting rules weren’t as clear as they could have been or the OB rules which weren’t mentioned at all. For example, it didn’t come up until we were halfway to our start hole that we had no idea when we were supposed to start. TD didn’t mention if it was an airhorn start or at a specific time. We were at the furthest hole from the tent too. Also, TD never mentioned the OB rules (later covered prior to second round). Do OB rules apply in a tournament like this? What’s considered OB at this course? etc.
I know the scoring rules were on the back of the scorecard, but I felt there was still confusion in a few scenarios that weren’t covered on the card. However, I did like the fact that the TD gave out his phone number to each group and encouraged any player to call if there was a question. But to my point, I feel like the scoring could have been slightly unfair or different amongst the groups when there were obvious things that were failed to be covered. Did everyone count OB’s the first round? Did people ignore those? Can the same player get a metal point and CTP on the same hole, or does metal cancel out the CTP? I know not every scenario could be brought up during the first player’s meeting, but I feel like it can affect the scoring for sure. And I understand that a scenario might not arise until it actually happens during the round. So, say they call the TD and find out the ruling.. What now? How do the other groups learn of the ruling? Another group could have encountered the same thing and may have scored it differently. I feel like there’s too many variables that could come up. If one group counted it one way, and another group a different way…the points are now different. You see my point.
The first round, players were divided up in alphabetical order by their first name unless you had requested to be grouped with other players during the online registration. That was one thing we learned that we didn’t know about. We might have requested that if we had known during the online registration process. But it was cool though, it allowed us to get paired with others and meet new faces. By the way the names fell, Rick and Sean ended up on same card. I really enjoyed meeting each player and getting to know them a bit more as the round progressed. The first round I got paired with Mark, Michael and “Bull”–all fun guys to be around. I did have a rough start and even took me several holes to score my first point, ugh. But I did better later that round once I was felt more comfortable with my discs. After talking to the guys after the first 18, it sounded like we all had a weak first round.
They gave us about a 1.5 hr lunch which was nice–plenty of time to grab some brews down the road. Ya know, loosen us up for the second round. The second round pairings were based on the scoring of the first round like most all tournaments. First round I had 13 pts and Daniel had 12, so we got paired together with Brian and Will. The second round I was on and already doing leaps better than my first round start. It was also nearly 20 degrees warmer the second round, so I felt more in my element with it being short-sleeve weather compared to our cold morning start. My group started the second round on Hole #16 and two holes later I ended up winning the second round CTP on #18 [see pic]. That CTP win is how I got the aluminum Vibram water bottle seen in pic above.
I ended with 18 pts the second round which was enough for a T-5th place finish of 31 pts. All in all I had a great time at the Bash and would recommend it to anyone, regardless of skill level. It’s fun getting out there, trying out new discs, enjoying the Spring weather and meeting new people. I plan to play in next year’s event too at a different course. My hopes would be that the rules will be more in-depth, OBs covered, and just explained more clearly to keep scoring fair amongst the cards. Check out Vibram’s Birdie Bash Locations to see when/where the next one is closest to you!
Congrats to Zach Haynes for the Hunter Park Vibram Birdie Bash win–pulling in a total of 44 pts! Great shooting.
Reviews from the Field:
The birdie bash was great. The format really allows players of all skill levels to have fun. I had never thrown a Vibram disc before the tournament. I was impressed and they will definitely have a spot in my bag going forward.” –Sean C.
It was my first Birdie Bash, first time throwing Vibram, and only second tournament. My biggest highlight was the player packs. I was able to add the Lace and Ridge to my bag. The Ridge is now my go to putter. The point’s system was new for me. But, it was easy to understand once you started playing and kept the tournament competitive regardless of skill level. Overall, I had a good time and learned a few things.
I’ve been playing for right at one year, and this was my first birdie bash. I thought it was a really cool way to play a tournament. Haven’t really thrown Vibrams before, but really loved the discs we received. The disc material felt great and the look was cool. Everyone was given brand new discs which really leveled the playing field. The scoring method also helped everyone playing be competitive. Really enjoyed the bash!
If I have any tips to share, I’d leave you with this:
- Disc Selection: If you’re not familiar with Vibram discs or have never thrown one, check out their flight paths and compare them to the discs you’re comfortable with on sites like Inbounds Disc Golf Disc Comparison. This might help you select the right Vibram disc that matches your own. Remember, you only get two Vibram discs to play with. Think about the course, the lines. Choose carefully.
- Disc Material: Vibram discs come in X-Link Medium and X-Link Firm. The medium is the most popular and original material by Vibram. The medium has more of a grippy service, gets less skip, and more of a slightly flexible nature. The firm is a stiffer, less grippy rubber compound that cuts through the air and can get more ground skip.
- Online Registration: If you’re wanting to play on the same first round card as your buddies, request that in the comments field of registration. If you don’t, you might end up getting paired alphabetically the day of.
- Arrival to Tournament: Get there early! Sign in and get your swag packs as soon as they start handing them out. You’ll want to get in the extra practice and test out your new discs before the tournament starts.
- Walking the Course: Be sure to walk as much of the course prior to the tournament. At ours, there was a few holes that the teepads were moved up on to lessen the difficulty. These were previously very long Par 3′s. Yellow flags were used to mark the closer “teepad” area. Start figuring out your lines from these new positions.
- Players’ Meeting: Make sure the TD covers all rules, scoring and goes over what the OBs are. Not everyone has played that course before. Be sure everyone’s clear.
- You ONLY get a CTP point within your group if NO ONE else scores a point on that hole. For example, if someone hits metal and you have the CTP, you don’t get the point. Their metal hits cancels out your CTP.
- Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Meet new people, learn new things. Teach others. Have a positive attitude. Strive for that Spirit Award!
Hunter Park’s Vibram Birdie Bash made the local news. – Dogleg JT in the red shirt.