If you have no disc golf interest, treat this post like a fruit bat during full daylight–avoid.
This is a blog about writing and I rarely diverge (dry cough), but today I must review a new disc course about 30 minutes from my house. Anyway, disc golf is like writing. Difficult and fun and makes you want to throw Roman Polanskis into a bath of light.
Yesterday Mark Neely asked if I have seen this course. I said no. But I will. Soon.
I am always wary of church courses. Will they be purposely easy (lame) to make everyone feel righteous? Will they only have 9 holes (churches love them some 9 hole D golf). Will they put bible verses on the tee signs? Will someone proselytize as I am trying to Hammer a utility disc up and over and around a tree?
(Hole 1: “In the Beginning,” etc.)
So, Calvary, Calvary. Heaven or hell? The New testament (forgiving; we all throw bad shots) or Old Testament (You sin, you die, Wham-O.)
An easy drive, exit the car, and my first thought is groan. It looks like one of those “courses” where people just sow baskets in a field.
I walk to hole one. Hmmm…
Not a great sign. But no bible verses either. And the baskets have been in 2 weeks, so I am in an absolving mood for the course. They are going to install concrete pads and tee signs and all that jazz in the future. (I met the pastor on the course, so I think I should know. He said, “Before the baskets, we just had nets.” Nets? There is nothing like the sound of a disc hitting a net. Whatever.)
Here is their flier announcing the opening of the course, and if that is the typical Calvary member, Mr. Lovelace just might attend a little church.
Wait a minute. Inside this bucket is a map and scorecard.
*Yep, 9 holes, with multiple tees. So 18 that way. Ah, the art of the church course. I am hoping their future course includes 18 actual holes.
* Wait a minute. The map shows a big-ass lake. The map shows tablet after tablet of trees.
Stay tuned for details. You do realize this disc golf course is named after the site of a crucifixion?
Here it is, hole by hill by hole.
Hole 1.) 285 feet out into a field. Ditch on right, with brackish water. One shrub to avoid. Yawn me a song. I drive it, miss a short putt because I suck, and settle for par. You have to cross several skinny-ass planks to get across this ditch.
Immediately it was apparent the actual baskets are Judas. No inner chains. I had one putt betray me, kiss right through the center chains, and you can most likely expect this once a round, I feel.
As you can see, I snatched Aden out of school. Disc golf with dad trumps school all life long, folks. The kid carries a fishing rod pretty much everywhere he goes…
2.) 400, level 5 drive over the sulking little ditch, and suddenly I learn that ol’ Calvary snore-fest might just be a tad bit Ted Haggard–as in a bit off, pharisee-ing, as in hiding something (like Meth?). Actually the course and rural church here are much kinder than cynical Mr. Haggard. I don’t want to press the analogy. What I mean to say here, in disc golf vernacular, is watch out.
Wow! Hole two’s basket is clearly insane, and meant to turn anyone picnicking nearby to a mound of salt. This will later be hole 11 for even more approach angles to maim, thunk, clean, and/or decapitate. I LOVE this hole placement. The first I have seen seemingly planted with intent to disrupt human gatherings. Now this do seem Old Testament to me.
I play a light yet succulent Hyzer over the shed on the right. Par.
3.) 245 feet. Did I mention a lake? Aden said, “Dad, can I fish!?” I said, “Aden, fishing is the most biblical profession. Go ahead.” He fished. I threw. Here you get a first chance to just skim over the lake as you park a Roc. But the lake was in my mind a bit, naggling my synapses, but just wait until later, kind folks. And how do you feel about that Roc, Sean? Hot pink and about 2 weeks old. A disc I have heart for; its allure quivering when I grip it in my hand. You like that Roc don’t you, punk-ass Sean?
Birdie, and Sean is -1 and feeling all Kelly Clarkson.
4.) 205 feet. Wow. A mid-range nothing, right? Uh, wrong. We now bring in the lake seriously, and the trees. This is your Calvary appetizer, one of the minor plagues, those little frogs, the days of hail, straight-line winds, whatever, or having to attend a parent day luncheon, that kind of pain.
I park that thing like a Maserati. Sean is -2 and drinking the red Kool-aid flecked with chiles.
Does that look a tad nasty? Just wait.
5.) 525 feet, over water. Huh? (They call this a par 5 at the church, but I play ALL disc golf holes as par three, the way Ander Monson taught me.)
Did somebody just tell God about a hardening heart? Why must I sacrifice my pink Roc? Why? Don’t question. Don’t. Good bye disc, and my score. Wateriest of graves. (Sean is now, in a flash of lightning, + 1)
Don’t see any sea parting either….
6.) 500 feet. Highway fence on your right, then a busy highway. Lake on your left. A fairway the size of Pharaoh’s staff. Well, whatever this course was, it is now way Old Testament. Fire and those weird ash-sacks people wear and fish swallowing towns and the day the daughters or some angels or something slept with their drunk dad, all that, add salt. (Sean is now +3)
7.) 400 feet out into a field. No big deal except the tee pad is tucked into a forest of arthritic trees. I par.
8.) 325 from center of field to center of field. As boring as a standing cow. I easily par.
9.) 185. OK. Major Deuteronomy. Stone the disobedient children! Once again, Calvary attempts to maim. The ol’ throw the disc over the tractor-tire playground move. Major ace hole, though you would feel a bit sheepish at 185. I’d just like to say how impressed I am with placing the basket just past a child’s play area. Diabolical. Did I design this course in my sleep?
Please don’t throw. That is my child scrambling up those tires. (Throw comes from BEHIND the tires, OVER them, toward the photographer here.)
(Sean parks, takes his birdie. +2)
10.) 590 feet!!! Jesus. Seriously, Jesus? Good look with your par here. The basket is way back into shrubbery, but pretty open (except the lake behind). I take a bogey. (Sean at +3)
11.) This was # 2 basket earlier. Now 175. Ok. I bounce one off a picnic table, almost in. Birdie. Sean is +2.
12.) Out into a field (hole one basket). It is listed at 245 but even the bible is open to interpretation. About 315 to 330, I’d think. Par.
13.) 532 feet. Another field bomb, then into nasty trees. A net of trees, a honeycomb and locusts. I eat a double burger and now at + 4.
14.) 500 feet. Oh the drive? Over water. After the opening 9, I went to my car and grabbed some “water” (code for don’t care about) discs. Goodbye DX Valk. Center shot, deep. Sinking still. How do you like this drive, disc-golfers? The FAR LEFT (not the one on the right) basket is the hole I am playing…
Sean is now physically warm inside. I feel jumpy. And down. Shooting a + 6.
15.) 500 feet. Again, you drive OVER the lake. I cut the corner and took a bogart.
16.) 370. Weird hole. You drive out of a tree-chute. Pretty tech, and I like it. Par.
17.) Damnation! I’ll let the photo talk here. That is lake of sulfur in front, woods in back, basket on a stale wafer of earth.
I play it well and proudly par.
18.) I will vote this hole as the worst finishing hole in the history of disc golf. This is my nominee. Any challenges? I would have taken a photo (should have) but was lulled unconscious while approaching the tee pad. 175 feet of throw your putter straight at the basket.
Uh, I birdied. If you ace this hole, Way To Go. Really. What a spoiled wine way to end a course.
So, Sean runs a + 6 and loses TWO discs. Wow. Beat down like a money-changer in the temple. A truly biblical course, as in odd. I kind of hated it and loved it, too. I am going to return, more than once, just to shoot a good score. And I am going to buy a floating disc.
What is the best floating disc??
Revelation: NEVER throw your best discs on these lake holes. I had wind today, and it was gospel. Without wind, still. So.
(at least Aden stayed happy)