To fully take advantage of having a day off of work I decided I would push myself a little and play six rounds of disc golf on six different courses in the area today. Each course was at least 18 holes long while two, I believe, were 19; making a total of 110 holes of disc golf. I also needed to be sure I'd be done by 5 so I could get home and shower before going back out for a social gathering in the evening. Time, I felt, was going to be precious so I decided to start at 7:30 and then do the courses in a slightly unorthodox order so I'd end up on the course closest to my house.
The weather was forecast to be hot but clear and sunny. The forecast was accurate. It was hot, humid, and sunny; with a high around the high 80's.
The first course is in Ashland KY - Armco Blue - it is the longer of the of the two courses in Ashland and, I've never played super well on it; my personal best is a 60 (+1) which I shot last month. Today's round went pretty well but it put me in a hole for the days event as I finished Armco Blue at +4. I really didn't screw up anything too horribly and I only had one birdie on the course so I wasn't really sure how the rest of the day was going to go. Overall the round took me 51 minutes which is pretty good pace. Total course length is apx 6174 feet. If you've not played there before it's a pretty tight course for the most part with plenty of trees. A nice mix of both forehand and backhand shots are needed and you spend most of your time going up and down hills throughout the course.
At that point I needed some gatorade but fortunately there is a gas station right out side the park.
Then I was onto Armco White. The white course, much like the blue, is hilly and has plenty of trees but it's quite a bit shorter at 3,684 feet.. You need more forehands on this course and some of the fairways are very tight. The tee-pads are a little cock-eyed in some places but I still really like the course. I had more birdies on this course which was nice and I had some great saving throws after screwing things up - for instance, even though I bogied (4) 9; my second shot was perfect. I was super happy with it. Plus, a birdie on both 11 and 12 are pretty unheard of for me. I had a lot of puts, throughout the day, that were well over 30' that I almost made. I was really feeling good about my putting today. I finished up on Armco White at -2 which brought my days total down to +2 and I was feeling a lot better as I headed for the longest drive of the day from Ashland Kentucky to Hurricane WV and their new course. Overall time on this course was 41 minutes. Probably the shortest round of the day.
I was sort of live blogging the marathon after each round on Facebook and one of the local players in Hurricane said he'd meet me to play that round so I met up with him. I've only played the Hurricane Course 3 times before today so I was glad to have company and to have someone who knows the course layout pretty well.
I really didn't shoot very well or badly on the course and my score, +1, reflected it. I had a few really on point drives and I scrambled pretty well - but I also made a bunch of dumb little mistakes and that course made me pay for them when it happened. Birdies were kind of hard for me to find but bogies were easy. This round took 56 minutes which was pretty good with 2 people playing. It's a short course and most of the holes feel extra short. I like the course quite a bit though and I think, when it has grown in fully, it's going to be very picturesque. At the mid way point on the day I was +3. I had some work ahead of me if I wanted to finish even or better.
Thankfully, the next course on the list, heading back toward Huntington WV, is the Barboursville course. It's only 4,100 feet or so and plays pretty easily so long as you don't force things. This was a speedy round at just 48 minutes. I've shot as well as -6 on the course before so I was hopeful to pick up some strokes. First I had to grab a spicy chicken sammy from Wendy's which, while tasty, did not sit well with me. I needed to stop and take a break half-way through the Barboursville round. I was not feeling good at all. Thankfully, the break helped and I ended up shooting -3. I nearly had an ace on hole 11 when my drive hit solidly on the front of the cage leaving me with an easy drop in birdie. I then turned around and played like a complete idiot on 12 and picked up my only bogey (a double!) on the course. I was pretty annoyed with myself but I was happy to recover and escape the course with no kind of meltdown and, best of all, I was at even par on the day!
After Barboursville I had to head into Huntington to play my home courses of "The Rock" and Rotary. I decided to play "The Rock" first. It's much harder and less well maintained so I was worried about timing at this point. I couldn't afford a 2 hour plus round but I know they can happen on "The Rock". On the bright side, I really really like the rock so I was pretty happy to be playing this course. However, I have never shot sub-par there so I was also really worried about what my score would do on the day.
I got off to a great start and threw, maybe my best drive on hole 1 ever, and had an easy lay in birdie. But, of course, I followed that up with a complete shit-show of a hole and picked up a five on hole 2. Hole 3 went well though I missed a pretty easy birdie putt but I was stoked to get to hole 4 at even. Hole 4 was non eventful and an easy par. Then I crapped the bed on five and six and I was pretty sure the wheels were about to come off on my round. I settled things down with a great second throw on 7 making an easy par. Then, things went kind of crazy for me.
I birdied 8. I've never come close to birdying that hole. I threw a g-star destroyer pretty far down the fairway and had it fade into a bush on the left side. I decided to do a soft flick with my putter to lay up and I over-did it but miraculously my disc hit solid chains for a birdie. I was so amped.
Hole 9 is tricky for me but I threw a hard fore-hand that somehow snaked through some very tiny gaps and left me with a drop in birdie. Then hole 10's drive ended up about 30 feet below the basket with an uphill putt. I made the birdie! The first time I've ever been underpar at that part of the course. But hole 11 is a nightmare. It's a par 3 that plays like a par 4. My drive.. was horrible. I hit a tree early on and felt like I was teeing off again. I don't have a great forehand but needed one on the next shot and somehow I found it. I threw a g-star shryke and it flew straight down the fairway before glancing off a tree and bouncing further up the path to land within 10' of the basket! I saved par. I could not believe that throw. I still can't.
Hole 12 is pretty easy but my drives there lately have sucked yet, today, nothing was stopping me and I put my drive about 15 feet to the left of the basket and sank the birdie. Hole 13 can be tough if you don't drive your line perfectly and I didn't. Yet, I got SUPER LUCKY and hit a tree keeping my disc from going way, way, way downhill. I ended up with an easy approach which I overthrew leaving me with a 30' uphill putt for par and, as things were going, I nailed it. I really wish I had a go-pro for these holes. I was stunned at how things were going.
Hole 14, is a narrow fairway with a bit of a cliff to the left. I typically throw a straight backhand but my throw on 11 was still on my mind so I decided to throw a buzz straight at the basket with a forehand. It slid by and left me with a 10' easy birdie putt putting me three down with 2 easy and 2 hard holes left.
I drove both easy holes well, had 20' putts for birdie, and choked on both of them but getting easy drop in pars. Hole 17 is a mess of a hole and I typically just try to not do anything crazy. I threw the buzz forehand again - it was nice, left me with an easy layup and a safe par. One hole left - 18. Typically I get a 3 or a 4 on the hole so I was feeling pretty good about myself at -3. So of course I threw a drive 10 feet into a tree which caromed into the thick brush on the left of the fairway. My second throw was a huge hyzer hoping to just get far around the trees and it did. Third throw had a good chance to get close to the basket so long as I didn't try anything too crazy and I over-threw the basket by about 30'. My putt slid off the right side of the chains and I dropped in a double bogey 5. Ha! I finished -1; 3 better than I had ever done on that course before. And, after the hardest course of the day (to me) I was -1 on the day going in to Rotary where I can typically shot even. I was feeling great.
I walked up the huge hill from 18 to the first tee pad of Rotary and my legs were jelly. I was out of gatorade/water and I debated teeing off or going to get a drink. Eventually, self-preservation kicked in and I walked back to my car and down to the gas-station just outside the park to restock on liquid and get a cliff bar. Refueled I headed back to the first tee of Rotary Park a 4550 hole course that is a mix of open and very wooded holes. 19 holes with a par of 57.
I got super lucky on my drive on one and then saved an easy par. On two I noticed at the last second the basket had been moved so I tried that forehand buzz again and I was pretty happy with it. The second throw wasn't great but I saved par. Seriously, even par after the first two there is a small victory for me. The rest of the round, up until hole 9 was pretty non-eventful. At the tee for 9 I was -2; bogey free, and nine is easy. The basket was moved to my favorite spot and I was feeling good. So, of course I threw a horrible drive that ended up really short and up on the 10th fairway. My second throw was barricaded by a bush and a tree. I put a big anhyser on the putt, let it fly and somehow hit the birdie! Three down on the turn. Ten is long and I had a short drive but my second throw was close enough and I saved par. I had a super lucky drive on 11 that had NO BUSINESS being anywhere close to the basket and I played for a safe par so as not to push my luck.
Twelve was a bad drive, a pretty good recovery shot and then my brain was like "you haven't had a bogey yet" so of course I missed the 18' putt for par. Thirteen was a 30' uphill putt for birdie which I went six feet too far on. Throwing six feet, down an easy hill, I managed to not throw the disc far enough and took a bogey. Two in a row! Hole fourteen can be tricky - lots of chances to roll but I threw what looked like a perfect drive. It landed and rolled down the hill; I had a decent recovery shot, easy putt, and I clanged it for a third bogey and, just like that, I was even par. I was so disappointed in myself.
Fifteen can be trouble but I escaped with a safe par and the immediately drove out of bounds on 16 - fatigue was really kicking in for that to happen. I missed the par save and took another bogey and suddenly I was +1 on the round. Of cousre, I drove poorly on 17 to the island hole but fortunately the drive crossed the island before going out of bounds so I had a 17 footer for par and I made it. I was so happy to save that par because, while 18 and 19 are pretty easy holes I wasn't sure I'd birdie either one. I was still +1 on the round and even on the day. I really didn't want to screw it all up on the last two holes.
I've been killing 18 lately so I grabbed my destroyer, looked up, and saw the basket was moved. I switched to my shrkye, let loose, and parked it for an easy drop in birdie. YES! I went up to 19 happy to see the basket was still in the easiest spot, so I launched my Zombee out over the road and watched it curl back - I knew it was good throw as soon as I tossed it. It landed about 15' past the basket and I drained it to end the round at -1. -2 on the day! Tired, hot, a sweaty mess, but stoked to finish negative.
I started at 7:30 and ended the day at 2:42. Overall, a great success of a day off.