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

Posts tagged “Tournament

On the Bubble

Posted by Tricia Lafferty


I still consider myself a beginner at disc golf. I feel like there are a lot of parts of my game that I can improve on, and a ton more to learn. What I love about disc golf is that you can take your game to whatever level you want to. You can be a casual player who just goes out and plays rounds for fun. You can join a league and play in a casual-competitive environment. You can play in tournaments and play for higher stakes: prizes, money, and a player rating in a competitive environment. You can choose to be a member of the PDGA, or not. No matter what level you play at, anyone can enjoy disc golf.

For me personally, I am an all-in player: I play causally, in leagues, tournaments, and am a member of the PDGA. I want to improve my level of play, and build on to my game. It is important to me to share my love of the game with others and help grow the sport.

But this year I faced the dilemma that many players who play in tournaments do; moving up in divisions. I have been a tournament player for just over a year now. So, how do you know for sure when you’ve improved enough to move up?

As a female player in this area, it’s tough, there are not a lot of us. Often times when I go to a tournament, I could be the only lady there, or there could be a handful of us in different divisions. Whether I win or lose in a division really doesn’t mean anything.

I looked to the PDGA guidelines for divisions:
Advanced Women - Ratings >= 825 Score Range : <70
Intermediate Women – Ratings < 825 Score range: <75
Recreational Women - Ratings < 775 Score range: 75+
Novice Women - Ratings < 725 Score range: 80+

So I find myself “on the bubble” as far as the numbers go. My player rating is currently sitting at 705. But, in the last few rated rounds I have played, my scores have been right around 75 and hovering around the 775 rating. I looked a little deeper into the information on the PDGA site.

I looked closer at the descriptions for the divisions:
Advanced Women - Upcoming players who have played 2-3 years and are gaining consistency and experience. Throw 200-300 feet, make 4-6/10 putts from 25-30 feet, developing different shots
Intermediate Women – Players who have developed basic Frisbee® and disc golf skills and/or have tournament experience. Throw 125-200 feet, make 3-5/10 putts from 20 feet, can throw backhand with some accuracy
Recreational Women - For beginning and casual players who are learning basic Frisbee® and disc golf skills
Novice Women - For beginning and casual players who are learning basic Frisbee® and disc golf skills

This was by far a lot more helpful information to make a decision. According to these descriptions, I feel I definitely fall into the Intermediate division. On my home courses, I can see where I am improving, my drives are longer, my approaches are shorter, and my putts are coming a lot easier. I also looked back at my tournament history. My first PDGA tournament was last June. I played in a tournament at the same course this June and improved 22 strokes over last year’s total. I couldn’t even believe it at first. My goal for this year was to try to improve on my scores by 5 strokes.

Armed with this information, it was a lot easier to come to a decision; time to move up. I may not win since I am at the lower end of the division, but that’s really not what is important to me. I don’t have to win on paper, I win with experience and knowledge. If I want to keep improving, I need to play at the level I want to be. I need to observe competitors that are better than me and learn from them. They may see a line that I can’t, make smarter decisions, or have a technique that may work for me. If you are not open to learning how another player plays their game and only focused on a win, you are doing yourself a disservice.

I’m excited to see how my game will improve in the next year! Tournament season is in full swing now and it’s the prime time to get out there and throw. I hope some of you will take the leap with me and take your game to the next level!

Source: PDGA Player Classifications and Divisions


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.


Rocket City Blast!

Posted by alphagenerator


Below may be a great chance for all of us to get together and play this month.   Two days 4 courses over Memorial Day weekend in Huntsville, AL…. Tim this may be a good reason for you to come into town to “visit” the in laws.  =)

The Arsenal will be part of the series!  Let me know if you plan on making the trip.

Jeremiah

The Rocket City Blast, hosted by the Rocket City Chain Gang, will be held on May 26th & 27th covering four courses. For your disc golf pleasure, the field will play Monte Sano, Brahan Springs, Mastin Lake, and Redstone Arsenal.

This event will be PDGA sanctioned as C-Tier for Pros & B-Tier for AMs with a minimum of 120% paid out to AMs.

Sponsorships will be in more detail later but, as a preliminary, hole sponsorship will be offered at each course for $25 each, which will include a personalized sign and a select disc. The sponsorship can be designated to your field of choice (pro, adv, int, ect). On a side note, if a title sponsor wishes to donate the required amount of money, then the sanctioning can bump to the next tier (ie if someone sponsors $500 to Pro, then it will become a B-tier).

I’ll have more information soon. Questions/Comments are welcomed.


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