Welcome to a rather late edition of the newsletter. We have a report from Southern Ireland as well as the results from North of the border.
We hear from Beau Pettite who was at the first of this years SMEGS Events, a series of one day events at venues all over South East England.
And then we have Two for the price of one from Tom Soper. Within his excellent write up of the Inaugural Mendip Masters Tom has included a music based competition that could win you a Limited Edition 2014 British Open Disc. All you have to do is name as many Band names as possible from his story. Send you answers to email@example.com Get your answers in by 31st July the most correct answers will win the disc, in the event of a tie, we will draw names from a hat. Good luck.
DISC GOLF IRELAND
by Ken Jarvis
If you're in the UK and your reading this article, you may not realise it, but, you are a pioneer.
There's no matter if you can throw 20 metres or 200, if you love this game, then you speak my language. Our language.
As you know, Disc Golf has been making a huge push on the world stage in the US, Europe and Japan. For the UK & Ireland, it's our turn to step up and start riding the same wave. It all starts with us, we all have our part to play. Whether a top pro, a tournament director or enthusiast; we are all pioneering, building
our beloved sport.
I fell in love with Disc Golf after placing last place in a local monthly tourney in San Diego. I was in the beginners division and I didn't really have a clue as to what I was doing. But I was enjoying every minute, every throw. That was in 1996, my twin & I were 16 years old and unbeknownst to us, we were on verge of becoming addicted. From that moment, and for the next 7 years, my brother and I lived and breathed the game. We moved up the ranks locally and started playing tour events when they came around to the West Coast in 1998. I turned pro after placing 8th at a SuperTour event in Arizona. Innova approached me that week and welcomed me to the team! This was huge for me. With Innova sponsoring my addiction, it's easy to see how anyone become so attached!
Then came along an Irish woman! Thirteen years ago, we decided to travel for 1 year together to New Zealand. I didn't realise it then, but it pretty much marked the end of my Disc Golf career. We settled in Queenstown on the South Island. a beautiful location with a huge lake completely surrounded by mountains. I remember the moment I fell in love with Queenstown: we were walking through a park and I spotted a basket! I could not believe it. It was officially utopia for me. The course was short but technical, perfect, because it exposed my weaknesses! Not only that, but I'd venture to say that it would have to be one of the most scenic courses in the world.
I jumped online later that night to get a gauge on the scope of DG in New Zealand. It was a lot bigger than I realised. I then checked out the immigration policies quite quickly as I wanted to make this my new home! Our original plan was to just stay for just the 1 year but it turned out to be 7. It was the perfect set up: adventure sports, perfect weather, stunning scenery and Disc Golf. Life was good. Unfortunately, after 7 years of being sponsored by our employers, and a couple of expensive (non-succesful) attempts at being made permanent residents, we decided our time had come in New Zealand and it was a must to move on. We chose to settle for good in Ireland and with that choice, I knew for sure that my recreational Disc Golf days were now coming to an end. It wasn't an easy idea to cope with, but I knew I had to. I left all of my discs in New Zealand and we headed for the Emerald Isle.
My first year in Ireland, I was completely focused on setting up. Getting a home, a steady job and finding our feet were the main goals. Disc Golf had become an all too distant memory. The longer I was settled, however, the more & more the game had started to creep in to my mind. I started to look up courses in Ireland. To my dismay there was still nothing. Then finally I got wind of Disc Golf in Northern Ireland. Not only was there golf up there, but there was a tournament! I had contacted Gary Parr in March 2012 and entered my first European tournament. Judging by the size of the field, I'd have to say, I didn't have any big expectations.
If you haven't come over to play Rostrevor, then you haven't played the course that has completely re-ignited my passion for this game. In saying this, the course has changed over the last 3 years that I've played it, but it never seems to disappoint. With stunning views of Carlingford Lough across to the Republic, it's quite hard to beat the setting, let alone the hole designs. This year, the course has played tougher. The holes are longer and what hasn't lengthened has become more technical. Hole 9 for example begs me to roll a putter! Something I've never done out of the thousands if holes that I've played in the US. You can also enjoy a monster downhill hill shot that'll tempt you to throw 110%, but should you risk that? It's up to you. Either way it's 247 metres!
All of this is coming together, and thanks to Gary Parr, the crew from the British tour and my longing for the game; I have now set on my own mission to get Disc Golf in the Republic. Since last November a buddy of mine, David Moore, and myself have been working hard to bring Disc Golf to Ireland, and at last we have succeeded. By mid-July we plan on officially announcing the opening of Kippure Disc Golf Course. Kippure, an adventure centre, is a beautiful site and it has a plot of land that's perfect for Disc Golf. There are 9 holes with the potential of 18. It has steep elevation changes and beautiful 180 degree views of the Wicklow Mountains. My own slice of paradise.
I'm off to the immigration offices now!
You can keep tabs on us the our Disc Golf Ireland Facebook page. Updates on course progress will be posted there on a regular basis. Also here's a link to the Kippure Adventure Centre: www.kippure.com.
I would also like to take the time to say thanks to those from the UK who have generously donated to Disc Golf Ireland:
Derek Robins, Gary Parr, Dan Ryan,Liam Young
and Matt Cutler
If you are interested in donating feel free to check out this link: http://www.gofundme.com/discgolfireland
Thanks a million, your support is hugely appreciated!
Resuts from BDGA Tour #6 Kilbroney, Northern Ireland.
Junior <= 13 Boys (2)
2014 BDGA TOUR (and a couple of specials)
PLAY MORE WITH MARS MILK
MARS Milk is seeking to encourage people to play more with the launch of an exciting
new initiative, the MARS Milk Play Fund.
The fund, which runs from May 1 2014 until September 30 2014, will donate cash
awards to sports individuals and clubs in need of extra funding, whether they need new
kit, help with travel costs, extra pitch time or competition entry fees.
Each month, ten deserving applicants will be selected to receive a donation of £300.
There will also be a £1,000 award for the monthly People’s Choice award, where the
public can vote for their favourite individual, club or team.
Michelle Frost, spokesperson for MARS Milk explains why the fund has been launched:
“Unfortunately, the tough economic climate has meant that less funding is available
for sports individuals and clubs. Our hope is that the fund will help clubs to recruit new
members and encourage sporty individuals to play for longer.”
Every month the MARS Milk Play Fund will also the chance to win the latest gadgets and
fun days out to share with friends.
The fund is open to residents of, and clubs and organisations based in the UK and
Republic of Ireland only. Applicants must be 18 years or over and only one application
will be accepted per person, club or organisation.
Applications to the fund can be made on the MARS Milk website www.marsmilk.com
Mendip Master - BDGA Tour #7
By Tom Soper
Phil Wood is to be blamed for the idea of getting the writer to embed names of pop music acts throughout. The first person to get them, by posting the correct number on the BDGA forum, may congratulate themselves on completing a little game successfully.
In at 10!
The complex is centred around a dry ski-slope down which some surprisingly tiny children hurl themselves while their parents look on. Overlooking its foot is a long balcony, so we had a spot-game after our Saturday barbie (nice food, nice beer, very nice people at The Mendip - thank you all), throwing Aviars down into blue buckets for prizes. Up stepped Rich Wood for the first of the evening, and wham! A huge cheer. The locals were impressed and turned to each other, nodding their heads. ‘Let's stay behind for the free entertainment, shouldn't take long’. We spent what felt like an hour throwing discs anywhere but into a bucket. About 75 shots in toto, trying hammers, thumbers and all kinds of cunning trick shots. Several were heinously off-target. Rich Eddins - from the centre and new to disc golf - then had a go. He picked up an Aviar, turned it over in his hands, and then almost apologetically threw it straight into a bucket. The locals looked at each other and went home, and are now spreading word of the UK's elite competitors all across the county.
Down three spots to number 9!
The course is brand new. Heavies have done all the hard graft, clearing away the brambles and laying down tees on the main course, and we played a mix of woodland and open holes, segueing between both types twice over the course of the 18. You shoot out of woods and into them, and encounter lefties, righties, and ups and downs of a certain ratio. There are mandos and doglegs, open fairways, thread-needles and pinball machines, and it’s quite tough - you can make some of the birdies but almost none of the eagles. If you rush, or try to dig yourself out of a hole when your drive goes wrong, you may even end up walking straight into one - like Matt Cutler, who suddenly found himself thigh-deep in a badger's sett. Admittedly, that's ankle-deep for the rest of us.
Up five to number 8!
The course is also beautiful - breathe-deep beautiful like Beaminster - and with a couple of years' working back over the strimmed areas to allow carpets of wild garlic and bluebells through, it will be a real charmer. Massive kudos to Matt and the centre staff for the work put in. At the highest point of the course, you can see all across The Bristol Channel and as far as Brecon Beacons, and the view is not just in one direction but 360 degrees, overlooking the area near Cheddar Gorge too.
A brand new entry, straight in at 7!
It was great to meet the IoW, so solid, crew and hear about what they are getting up to on the island: they have exciting plans and are thinking long-term. Jon van Schalkwyk stormed the Int Am, his first tour win, and Andrew Bonjour took the Ad Am with a superb final round of 54, making his 2014 so far read: 'two tour events, two wins in two divisions'. Even short holes with the basket in sight were difficult to get the measure and the ace of. Base your calculations on a straight drive into the chains on 16, for instance, and you will almost certainly overshoot into OB. Yes, that might deter anaemic old players who have lost their sense of adventure, but not Ross Davies, who slammed in an ace there on Sunday afternoon.
Unchanged for the third successive week at number 6!
Par is 55, but it is often difficult to get the three - degrees of caution have to be taken around some of the OB zones. On the long 7th with the telegraph pole mandos you need to be on top of the game, and probably the possessor of a strong sidearm, to get the four. Top score on that one might even have been in the teens, as plenty can go wrong. I loved hole 5, curving uphill to the right, round larch trees and up to a little mound with basket atop, like 16 at Quarry Park. Plenty of rollaway putts there, accompanied by moans, groans and arms raised to heaven. 17 was from a tee within OB and looked driveable, at least up to the fence, but several of us came a cropper trying to put the extra power in. Multiple rollaways too in the woods on 14 - my group witnessed a triple? quadruple? rollaway there on Sunday. These things are never funny and so we didn't laugh, we just herniated quietly while facing the other way.
Rising three to number 5!
I prefer playing with as many people as possible at a tournie, for the different conversations we have. But I found out this weekend that a lot of Finns choose to play entire rounds with headphones on, no doubt driving and putting to the beat. Lest this catches on, I recommend a headphone ban on UK disc golf courses, because surely we should be sociable and talk? Talk, and we can share our triumphs and disasters, and however much concentration can be a problem, headphones are not the cure.
Dropping one place to number 4!
No showers onsite! Neal Pickett smelled like Satan's jockstrap. But don't worry, there will be some in time for next year, with men at work on a
A Flock of Seagulls drop to number 3. That means we have a NEW number one!
We got all kinds of weather. Reports of storms coming were wrong, but it was humid and mostly dry on the Friday. Then the rains came and with it mud, then a mighty wind picked up on Sunday, which settled into a hot, still Sunday afternoon. An average of 57 per round - consistently 2 over par - was enough to win this event, so you can imagine what a bit of rain and wind would do to scores. Matt C took first place, but was harried by James Luton and Jester Wilson in an eventful final 18, while our Intermediate Women's winner was Lisa Gregory in a two-way tussle with Beau Pettitt.
Rising six places to number 2!
The Mendip centre is forward-looking and committed to our sport. One plan they have is to mass-purchase discs and get scout groups all over Somerset having a go. With Matt there to bring on and coach those smitten by the experience, this could become a future hothouse for the UK.
And at number 1!
Congratulations in advance to Jester, who will soon be married not far from the Mendip course. We'll have to think what's best for the wedding present - maybe a contribution from our UK subs.
South East Masters Series Event 1 - Elmstead Wood
by Beau Pettitt
I was excited to play at Elmstead as I had heard good things. It sounded perfect, technical with few big arm throws, my type of course. We turned up early, eager to start the day and get a good look at the course. I was pleased to find the course was heavily wooded and reminded me of a few smaller courses in the states. We set up and started practicing hole 1. My first throw was spot on and made it just shy of the basket. Feeling great about my throw, other players started to turn up and we were shown the layout for the day ahead. Returning back to hole 1, we had a players meeting. Happy about the groups we were put in, we went our separate ways and headed towards our allocated Tee’s. The weather conditions could not have been better and 'disc talk' was well under way. We arrived at the Tee pad and began. In the first round, I smashed my personal best on tournaments played so far. I played it safe and stayed out of trouble although putting was my downfall. After getting some great tips from Nick and Phil, I was determined to up my game for round two. After 18 holes we stopped for lunch and had a catch up with other players and discussed the morning’s events. There were mixed reviews, perfect shots were made and dark tales of tree smashing were told. The scores were totaled and we were regrouped. I was pleased when I realized that there were four of us girls and suggested that we be put into a girls division. Phil agreed on the decision and was happy the opportunity had risen. We started the second round, but being an all girl team, we got lost. After being redirected, the game was away to a rough start. Trees were jumping out of nowhere and halfway round the course the group behind us kindly helped retrieve an out of reach disc. Thanks Guys! Although a frustrating second round a lot of laughs were had and amazing shots were thrown by all. The last two holes I just managed to putt on par (holes 6/7) and really saved my game, finishing one worse than my previous round. All in all, I had a great day and loved the overall experience. I always enjoy catching up with fellow Disc Golfers and meeting new ones. Great course and awesome people, what’s not to love. I am looking forward to putting some of the tips I was given into practice. Thank you to all that attended, you made it a great day and big thanks for all the hard work by the Elmstead team. See you at the next game.