JULY UPDATE: Blackfalls & Gnomes Recap, Quarries Up Next

The past two events of the GMPS have come and gone with great success and immense fun, but before we provide a brief recap of Blackfalls and Gnomes, let’s take a moment to look ahead to The Quarries Throwdown (click for tourney info)! The Quarries is making its GMPS debut after enjoying a successful year one during the summer of 2014! This event will be GMPS #6, marking the halfway point of our series and will be held NEXT Saturday, July 11th. Make sure to sign up today – by clicking HERE.

The daunting throw over the quarry on hole #5.

The daunting throw over the quarry on hole #5.

BLACKFALLS:

It was a beautiful day in Montgomery as Johnny Betts again opened his doors for the 9th incarnation of the Blackfalls tourney. Unlike 2 years ago, there was no snow, ice, mud, or general terrifying weather to cancel the 2nd round – and yes – that day is still etched in all of our memories. Instead the course provided the challenge as no player managed to throw below 55 on the Gold/Gold layout. In fact, hole #14 was shut down due to the presence of a baby deer causing the silver layout to be played on the hole, making the course that much easier. There were tight races across the board and many division came down to the final hole! Here is the forum thread will all results, and below, a list of division winners!

  • MPO – Frothy
  • Pro Masters – JRapp
  • Pro GM – Danny White
  • FPO – Wendy Boutin
  • Advanced – Nolan Power
  • Intermediate – Andy Powell
  • FA1 – Kristi Bayer
  • Rec – Shannon Gokey
Sean Bleything - a fantastic TD despite a back injury

Sean Bleything – a fantastic TD despite a back injury

Josh Wedel with a forehand drive

Josh Wedel with a forehand drive

The real star of the show, a baby fawn that caused a hole change.

The real star of the show, a baby fawn that caused a hole change.

GNOMES:

The biggest story of Gnomes 2015, is the second card comeback by Dave “Frothy” Frothingham to nab his 2nd straight GMPS victory! After falling into a 4 stroke hole when JSpring shot a 1st round 44, the hot round of the tourney, Dave stayed steady as the lead card fell apart, allowing his 2nd round 47 to win the day! However, Dave did not actually win the ENTIRE day since Anne Lewis had the low score of all golfers with a 47-46 performance for overall low score, even though she was not playing in the Open division. Way to go Anne! Here is the forum thread for more detail, and below, a list of division winners:

  • MPO – Frothy
  • MPM – Anne Lewis
  • MPG – Peter “Gnome Master” Flaherty
  • MA1 – Sawyer Dwinell – Yardley
  • MM1 – Troy Dietrich
  • MG1 – Bob Penney
  • MA2 – Andy Powell
  • FA2 – Amelia Fotheringham
His and hers Gnomes trophies (adorbs)

His and hers Gnomes trophies (adorbs)

Green Mountain Championship Field Expands!

This fall, VT will be hosting one of its biggest events ever! The GMC has expanded its field to 216 players and the waitlist has first dibs! Next Monday, July 6th, any remaining spots will open up to the public. Here is the REGISTRATION link. For more info, check out our Forum thread as well! Vermonters – if you want to get into this tourney but felt like you missed out, here is your chance!

 

GMPS Recap and GNOMES

This note just in from Chris Young (the Prez and Gnomes TD) about the upcoming Gnomes tourney:  “Peter Flaherty the course superintendent and self proclaimed “Gnomes Master” is working hard to get the course in tip top shape. He is also making up the traditional Gnome trophies for all division winners. This is now one of the longest running NEFA/GMPS events in Vermont, right behind Black Falls and Sap Bucket. There will be random draw $5 dubz after with $50 added cash to winners! Celebrate one of the longest days of the year!! We are almost at the half way mark in the GMPS and races are heating up. Make sure to reg this event has sold out the past 2 years. Lots of Mass and NH players like to make the trip for this one. Great swimming, throw over the river. One of the shorter, yet technical courses in the Series.”  I’m paraphrasing a bit but I think he said that if you respect the office of the president or just want to add to your lawn ornament collection, sign up for the perennial Gnomes party before those Mass-holes do!  Registration info is on the forums.

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Who’s the man to beat in 2015? This guy.

Forging ahead, after Black Falls we’re now 4 events deep in the GMPS (Green Mountain Points Series).  Lets take a look at how some of the division races are shaking out:

MPO

Mike Habets  (343.3)

Jim Bailey (239.1)

Evan Spher (235.3)

Bad habits are hard to break and Mike Habets is hard to beat.  Competing in every event so far, Mike’s WORST points showing was an 80 (Sap Bucket and Brewster Ridge).  With a season-opening win at his home course and a history of contending at virtually every track on the schedule Habets has established himself as the man to beat in 2015.  Giving Habets chase in MPO is tremendous blogger and all-around-swell guy Jim Bailey in 2nd place.  With North Calais as his next scheduled GMPS event Jim’s stay in 2nd will be short-lived.  Evan Shper is right behind him after logging consistently good scores at every event.  Further down the leaderboard we have some of the most dangerous players on the tour poised to make a move.  Jeff Spring and Dave Frothingham both have GMPS wins and are perennial contenders (BTW, GMPS points get updated QUICKLY when Frothy wins).  2014 MPO champ Sean Bleything may be sidelined by injury for the moment but is a threat to win as soon as he returns to GMPS play.

 

MPM

Anne Lewis (208.3)

Chris Sherwin (150.0)

Josh Rappeport (100.0)

Anne Lewis currently has the crown thanks to steady play across 3 events but her pursuers are packing wins: Chris Sherwin bagging his own hardware at Sap Bucket and Josh Rappaport making a triumphant return to GMPS play at Black Falls.  Every competitor is capable of winning and MPM (as always) will be a fun race to watch as the season progresses.

 

MPG

John Sudarsky (271.7)

Todd Sternbach (85.0)

John McLaughlin (40.0)

John Sudarsky has made a commitment to taking down the “mileage division” and he’ll be hard to catch if he continues to log solid scores at each and every event.  Todd Sternbach and John Mclaughlin are his next-closest competitors but it will take strong attendance and strong performance to unseat “Jsuds.”

MA1

Chris Martin (275.7)

James Sweat (185.0)

Nolan Power (162.5)

Chris Martin has been outstanding with a convincing win at Sap Bucket and strong finishes at Brewster and Black Falls.  He’ll have stout competition in James Sweat, however, who has won at virtually every level and excels on some of the toughest courses in VT.  Young gun Nolan Power has a ton of potential and showed this past weekend that he can close, taking down a nice win at Black Falls.

 

FA1/FA2

Christy Betit

Amelia Fotheringham

These two ladies are 1 and 2 in both FA1 (Christy over Amelia) and FA2 (Amelia over Christy).  I’m not sure how to score this – maybe they can both be winners?

 

MM1

Daniel Schroeder (50.0)

Brian Betit (50.0)

Deadlocked!  Betit and Schroeder are tied in advanced Masters.  With Betit also logging MA2 scores its not clear if this division race will continue.

 

MA2

Casey Tanner (373.2)

Andrew Fisher (294.8)

Andy Powell (285.2)

MA2 is the deepest GMPS division and with a lot of players logging a lot of events it looks to be a tight battle moving forward.  Casey Tanner has the honors with strong finishes at every event so far including a huge W at BRO.  Andrew “DrooFish” Fisher and Andy “Iron Man” Powell are right behind him and ready to take the lead if Tanner slips up.  Alan Gofberg looked to be the early favorite in this division with a season-opening win but then he succumbed to peer pressure and moved up to MA1 before eventually just going back to ultimate.  Hopefully we didn’t break him.

Black Falls!! (BRO-ver and Out)

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Evan Spher prepares for launch on hole 11

Before we cover the action from this weekend’s BROIII, get yourself over to the forums and register for the 9th annual Black Falls tourney!  Black Falls and its owner, the great Jonny Betts, are incomparable figures in VT disc golf.  The course is as beautiful as it is challenging and has earned its ranking as the 13th highest-rated venue in the country via DGCR.  Sign up now and enjoy your pilgrimage to Black Falls this fine weekend!  Go now – we’ll wait.  Are you finished?  Okay then, read on…

The Brewster Ridge Open means 3 things: severe weather, bad “bro” puns, and the deepest competition in the GMPS.  With a field of 76 players from all over New England, Sunday’s BROIII more than lived up to its billing.  The MPO race pitted BROI winner Jeff Spring against BROII winner Daniel Marcus, who shot the hot morning round of 55 on a mixed Brewster Ridge / Fox Run layout.  Spring started the second round on the “OG 18” with a 2-stroke deficit and kept himself in the hunt with steady golf despite the cold and rainy conditions.  Back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14 brought Jeff within 1 stroke.  He had a chance to overtake Marcus on 15 but his 40’ deuce putt sailed long to push the hole.  Both players threw good drives on 16 and it appeared they’d each have a routine up-and-down.  That was true for Spring but Marcus ceded the lead with a rare misstep when his next 2 shots found early trees.  From there Jeff defended his one stroke advantage with 3’s on holes 17 and 18 (which Marcus matched) and secured his second BRO title in dramatic fashion.  The victory was all the more impressive with Spring juggling a full plate of TD responsibilities leading up to and during the event.  This was a 2-man race the whole way with lead card mates Jim Bailey and Dave Jackson enjoying the show!

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Spring FOR THE WIN!

 

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Marcus narrowly missed back-to-back BRO titles

 

BRO saw the return to prominence of James “Rangduce” Sweat with an MA1 win, narrowly edging out Chris Martin (with another strong showing on the heels of a Center Chains win) and Eric “Kovo” Kevorkian.  Julius Caesar once said “Veni Vidi Kulchuck” which loosely translated means Bob Kulchuk came to VT and kicked butt in the Pro Masters division.  Playing the course for the first time (a little GMC tune-up trip) Bob was outstanding on Fox Run, carding a textbook 28 en route to an 11 stroke victory over Anne Lewis and the 6 player division.  Who knew Devens guys could throw well in fields?

Elsewhere on the leaderboard John Mclaughlin threw well on his home course to take the MG1 division.  Casey Tanner emerged victorious in MA2 with a 1-stroke advantage over “our favorite intermediate player,” Andy Powell.  Amelia Fotheringham made it back-to-back wins in FA2 beating out a competitive 6-player field.

“Family” was a key theme yet again at this well-attended GMPS event.  Steve and Joy Hartwell kept it in the family by completing another “Hartwell sweep” and taking their respective Grandmasters divisions.  Steve did so with a come-from-behind win over the 4 player field.  The Ogrizovich boys had a sweep of their own with Nick taking MM1 and Dan MA3.  The story of the tournament, however, was 5 year-old Finn “McMissile” Etter (thats a Cars 2 joke) playing all day in adverse conditions to notch a victory in the Juniors<10 division.  Finn was supported by his parents/caddies on the course and turned a lot of heads with his impressive drives and solid touch inside the circle.  Thanks, Etter family, for brightening everyone’s rainy day.  Mark your calendars, MPO players, you’ve got a 5 year window to win some $$$ before this kid is eating your lunch!

 

Get this kid a Vermont craft-brewed root beer!

Get this kid a Vermont craft-brewed root beer!

 

Finally lets have a big round of internet applause for Jeff, Jon, Pat and the whole Brewster Crew.  Its a beautiful course in immaculate condition.  You don’t need to take my word for it either – you can ask Maple Hill superintendent Dave Jackson who gave glowing praise throughout the 2nd round!  Its also not clear whether Jeff was a better player or TD on Sunday and thats a very good thing.

With GMPS points updated through BRO stay tuned for an update on the points races in the coming days.  Did I mention you should SIGN UP FOR BLACK FALLS?

 

B.R.O. Awaits as Next GMPS Challenge

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Devico tuning up on Fox Run

Okay, so maybe we dragged our feet a little on a “preview” for The Brewster Ridge Open (III).  The justification was this: why hype something whose excellence is already known far and wide?  Thanks to the hard work of Jeff Spring, Pat Abbott, Jon Lange, and the rest of the crew Brewster Ridge has a growing reputation as a disc golf destination in New England.  Brewster is a well-designed course with immaculate grooming in a gorgeous mountainside setting.  The Fox Run 9 and main 18 offer outstanding hole variety and an array of challenges that will test the best disc golfers in the world.  In fact, Brewster has played host to the likes of Ricky Wysocki, Simon Lizotte, Will Schusterick, Steve Brinster, Nikko Locastro, and Avery Jenkins at the BRO’s “big brother” tournament: the Green Mountain Championship (don’t take my word for it: check out last year’s coverage).  While you might not see any of our regional pros parking hole 20 this weekend, you can bet that the competition will be fierce and fun at this standout annual.  In addition to the coveted BRO title and added cash, players will be vying for an invite to the Maple Hill Open in this qualifying tournament.

While visiting family in the area (ok my wife was visiting while I was disc golfing) I was fortunate enough to spend much of Memorial Day on the course.  I was joined by Justin Devico, Alan Gofberg, Anne Lewis, and Dave Frothingham and it was the most fun I’ve had playing disc golf in a while.  Some of us were seeing the course for the first time (nobody’s buying the “new to disc golf” thing, Alan), some of us were avoiding in-laws, and others just doing what they love to do on a free afternoon.  I can tell you first-hand that the course was looking pristine in its tournament layout and is ready to host a full field of excited New England disc golfers this weekend.  I’m sure they’ll leave Jeffersonville just as charmed as I did.  Are YOU ready for the B.R.O., brah?  We’ll find out Sunday!!

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How can you walk by hole 20 and not throw your entire bag??

 

Kicking the Sap Bucket

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Nolan Power pulling for ‘Murica

 

Saturday was another beautiful day for disc golf and 56 folks from the Green Mountains and beyond hit Center Chains for Sap Bucket XII.  The course was in fine shape and I think everyone who walked it would agree that the required redesign (property issues) was well-implemented and preserved or improved-on the spirit of the course.  Huge thanks are in order to Dave Frothingham, Anne Lewis, and Pete Hess (Will’s dad) for stewarding Center Chains through turbulent times and returning it to top form for 2015.

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How to park hole 1 with Travis Connolly

 

With calm winds and cloudy skies, scoring conditions were prime on Saturday and the cards reflected it.  After round 1 there were 3 rounds of 46 turned in!  One was from Travis Connolly who did not let up after the break and pulled away from his MPO competition with a spree of deuces down the stretch (including 12, 13, 14, 15, and even 18).  Connolly finished with a 2nd-round 47, making it the 2nd year in a row somebody named Travis won at Waterbury with a 93 overall (Keller did it in 2014)!  After his own 1st round 46, Jim Bailey turned in an also-ran 51 to lock up 2nd place in MPO while Evan Shper jumped up to tie Mike Habets in 3rd (100 strokes on the day) to round out the cash positions.

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Not Habets’ day but the dude can still bomb!

 

The 3rd hot round of 46 was turned in by Chris Martin in MA1.  According to my careful internet research, Chris took a break from fronting the band Coldplay and holding hands with Jennifer Lawrence just long enough to shell the Advanced Division.  Ross Dunham made a strong bid to overtake him but Chris had such a cushion after his hot round that he regressed TEN STROKES after the break and still won by 2.  Next time I see Chris I’ll shake his hand and ask him how they made that awesome reverse-motion video.  James Sweat took the 3rd and final cash position in the division.

The deep MA2 division saw a 2-way tie at the conclusion of play between Sayer Dwinell-Yardley and Josh Lapine.  After pushing on hole 1, Sayer had a strong drive on 2 and canned the putt for a deuce that Josh just couldn’t match.  It capped a fine performance from Sayer (and Josh).  Of course Sayer and sister Dana enjoyed a cheerleading advantage as their Mom caught much of the day’s action from her perch at the convergence of fairways 5/6/12.  One of my MPO cardmates nearly hit her with a drive on 6.  Her response to our chorus of “FORE!” and “SORRY!” was simply: “Thats going to be a REALLY long putt!”  She was right…

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Sayer Dwinell-Yardley for the win!

 

In other GMDGC family news Pete Hess won the “most adorable caddy” award with 5yo son Will in tow throughout the day.  Pete expressed his appreciation to competitors and cardmates for helping make it a fun and successful day for Will.  As a father who’s hopeful to one day share the sport with his own children, I loved seeing them out there and applaud Pete for growing the sport in the best way possible.  On a related note, the OB swamps on hole 1 are full of awesome tadpoles!

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Tadpole’in


Other division winners included Jeff Roland in MA3, Michael Ray in MG1, and Nick Ogrizovich in MM1.  “The Glass Man” Chris Sherwin took home his own wares after beating out Anne Lewis and the rest of a tightly-bunched MPM group.  Rick Williams ran a shady (but effective) Vibram fundraising auction then beat out TD John Sudarsky to win MPG.  Finally, Amelia Fotheringham took it home in FA2.  I’m fairly certain that Dave Frothingham and Amelia Fotheringham are related.  One of their ancestors had a drunken misspelling at Ellis island – I’m just not sure which.

Thats about it from Waterbury.  Personal thanks to John Mclaughlin for sharing some VT craft beer love with new friends from NH.  Having first “met” on the forums I can now say that John is far less whiny in person (but just as left-handed).  And many thanks and congratulations go out to first-time TD John Sudarsky for running a silky smooth event that was enjoyed by all present!