Sap Bucket XII

The super bowl may be eliminating roman numerals, but WE WILL NOT!  Pre-reg now for the 2nd stop in the GMPS points series and the 2nd longest running disc golf tourney in Vermont.  Sap Bucket will even be NEFA sanctioned so you can encourage your friends from lesser New England states to come up and get their NEFA points.  Dave Frothingham and crew have been hard at work getting this classic VT course primed for the event and you won’t want to miss it.  In addition to the Mad Taco catering and Marshall Street AM payouts, division winners can look forward to custom Sherwin Glass trophies.  TD John Sudarsky is flush with them (see photo) – don’t let him win another!

 

John Sudarskys stack of Sherwin Trophies, incl artist rendition of SBXII


Turning to the matchups: Mike Habets was quick to pre-reg and hopes to stay hot with another GMPS win.  Last year Habets could only watch from 2nd place while Travis Keller SHREDDED the course (93 on the day) at the Center Chains Classic.  He WILL be looking for redemption.  It may not be so easy with Frothy hard at work “Habets-proofing” the course in the hopes of claiming the MPO title for himself.  And after missing Pinnacle how long will Sean Bleything and Jeff Spring hold out before making 2015 GMPS debuts?  Elsewhere on the leaderboard Ira Divoll is still riding high on his Center Chains win last year in MA1 (where he bested your humble blogger by a stroke).  Ira has been known to lead a band of marauding Borderland Bombers through the heart of the green mountains, claiming all of the Heady Topper and Sherwin Glass in their path.  Will he do so again?  I hope so.  Andy Powell looks to lock down the MA2 division (it IS a NEFA event) but he may have to get through Pinnacle champ Alan Gofberg (division decision pending).

How will it all unfold!?  Find out for yourself, register for the Sap Bucket XII!

Pinnacle Wrap-up

Jonny Meadows bombs hole 14 in front of the assembled elders.

What a grand opener for the GMDGC!  On Saturday May 2nd Pinnacle (Newport, NH) played host to 65 players from the deepest, darkest corners of VT, NH, and MA.  The attendees, pale and jaundiced as they were from their much-too-long disc golf hibernation, were treated to a sunny 70deg day on one of the finest tracks in the twin states.  Conditions were prime for low-scoring and a car-load of MPO players from Team Buffumville led the charge in the morning.  The lead card heading into round 2 featured Keith Burtt shooting an impressive 53 as well as Matt Kobel 55 and Joe Yaskis 57.  The other 55 on the card, though, was Newport pro and perennial GMDGC contender Mike Habets.  Crowd favorites James Beaulieu and Spencer Weatherholt also put themselves in contention with first-round 57’s.

James Beaulieu drove right up the middle all day

I had the pleasure of playing with James and Spence along with Edwin Bedell in the 2nd round and while 3 of us turned in pedestrian performances, James was catching fire to make a run at the leaders.  Hitting every fairway and running everything inside of 100ft James was as much as 5 down (course par 57) and didn’t sniff a bogey until we hit the home stretch.  His luck ran out on 14, a long downhill annie par-3 with trouble on both sides and a FAST green to brush off imperfect approaches.  After carding a hard-luck 6 to end an impressive run of golf Mr. Pinnacle’s deadpan response was simply: “That should be a par 4.”  James hung on to card another solid 57 and move up to 2nd place.

Meanwhile, on the lead card:  the course, and Mike Habets, quickly caught up with our friends from the South.  While the other players regressed (to varying degrees) Habets made his charge and improved to a 53 in the 2nd round, giving him a 6-stroke advantage over 2nd place finishers Burtt and Beaulieu.  Mike left no doubt that he was playing the best golf Saturday and he set the tone for what should be an entertaining season series in MPO.  Your move, Mr. Bleything!

Edwin Bedell challenges hole 3

Across the rest of the leaderboard, Nick Jennings bested Tim Tadlock in MPM and Jon Moorer resumed his throne atop AM1 with a couple rounds of 61.  Alan Gofberg closed out his first (and final) AM2 tournament to a deafening chorus of congratulations: “MOVE UP!”  Frank Strauss led the MPG pack with a solid 119 on the day.  Stephen Bosonac took Daniel Schroeder in MM1.  Finally, Christy Betit, Jamie Elwood, and Austin White won their divisions in FA1, REC, and MJ2 respectively.

The usual Pinnacle reindeer games entertained the masses with CTPs, CTPBRs, CTFiddleheads, and Putting Contests [which Tucker Davis won with the only 4 putts he hit all day ; )  ].  Grand issues were discussed and debated, questions of paternity settled, and a great time had by all.  Many thanks to Dan Walsh, Spencer, James, and all the Pinnacle volunteers for ru
nning a flawless event.  Full results are here.  On to Sap Bucket!!

Ryan Metivier shows off his hole-3 CTP after sticking it at the base of the pin on the treacherous slope



GMPS Season Opener / Pinnacle Spring Runoff!

Tricky approach lane on hole 2

Tricky approach lane on hole 2

The moment you’ve all been waiting for is finally here!  GMPS#1 is THIS SATURDAY 5/2 at Pinnacle in Newport, NH.  The dynamic duo of Spencer Weatherholt and Dan Walsh are running the show and its sure to be a good one.  Pinnacle is a classic James Beaulieu course featuring lengthy and challenging par 3s, 100’s of feet of elevation changes, and a ski jump.  The place has never looked better and its primed to host an epic showdown this weekend.  Pre-register now and save yourself the $5 day-of signup fee!

 

Don't hyzer under the ski jump!

Don’t hyzer under the ski jump!

Who do we like to win?  Well Sean Bleything was the class of the field last year but so far is notably absent from the reg list.  If he does try to defend his title it will be tough to repeat in Mike Habets’ back yard.  Mike is coming off a strong performance at Top O’ The Hill Apr 25th and he’ll be in top form heading into the season opener.  Whoever takes it down will have plenty of worthy challengers to get through including Frothingham, Spring, young-gun Jonny Meadows, and legendary lefty James Beaulieu.  According to our meteorological experts on the forum, forecast is 63deg and sunny with 100% chance of raining DEUCES.

GMDGC membership packs will be available for purchase/pickup at the event.  To support the GMDGC and be a part of the season long GMPS you can sign up for membership here for as little as $20: GMDGC membership

Event registration is here: Pinnacle Spring Runoff

See you all at Pinnacle!

Team Challenge

Tucker “Laser Show” Davis warms up at scenic West Thompson Lake

During this winter’s long, sad layoff from GMDGC play I had the pleasure of competing in the Team Challenge series with the Borderland Bombers under captain Ira “WannabeVT” Divoll.  Ira sold me pretty hard on Team Challenge when we were going head-to-head in GMPS events last year.  More specifically he brought it up at the lunch break of the “Center Chains Classic” where he enjoyed a modest lead over myself and the rest of the MA1 field:  “You should try Team Challenge.  I think you would like it.”  After edging me by a stroke to take the victory in round 2 he courted more aggressively:  “Here’s my number.  Its the most fun you’ll ever have playing disc golf.”  It sounded like the back of a “coed naked” T-shirt but it turns out he wasn’t really exaggerating.  For the uninitiated, Team Challenge is an “offseason” disc golf series that spans CT, NY, MA, NH, and ME (conspicuously – no VT).  It has 34 teams (roughly 12-20 players and at least one female) across 3 pools (A, B, C) that play monthly matchups against another team in their pool.  Each matchup between 2 teams (A and B) consists of 2 rounds:

  1. Match-play singles pitting one member from team A against one from B.  Player to win the most holes earns 2 points for his team.  In case of tie, each player takes 1 point.
  2. Stroke-play best-disc doubles (A/A players against B/B players).  The winning pair earns 2 points for their team (ties settled in playoff).

The team that accumulates the most points at the end of the day wins.  Sandwiched (pun intended) between the two rounds is a delicious lunch buffet put out by the host team.  (My first TC event I could barely make it through round 2 I was so full from lunch.)

After battling all winter long our ragtag group finished the season 3-3 with losses to powerhouses from Maple Hill, Buffumville, and Devens (the 1, 2, and 3 seeds respectively) and earned the 4th and final seed in B-pool finals.  Finals were held at the picturesque West Thompson Lake course on one of the first nice days of the year, if you consider consistent 30mph winds ‘nice.’  These 4 teams were playing for 2 coveted spots in the A-pool for the following season (Team Challenge borrows the one tolerable aspect of Premier League soccer: promotion and relegation).  When play got started Ira and I (doubles partners for much of the season) drew Kevin Gardner (this Kevin Gardner) and Devon Labelle (this Devon Labelle) for our first round matchup vs Maple Hill.  Kevin was the highest rated player in MA last year and Devon slings a Westside World wiiiiiicked faaaaah, a useful skill at the open but challenging West Thompson course.  Ira and I are pretty strong ourselves – but more so at things like spreadsheets and email than disc golf.  It was a fun round but Maple rolled us en route to a clean sweep (later beating Buffumville) and the first A-pool promotion.  The Bombers found ourselves at 0-1 and facing Devens in round 2.  We contemplated the need to win this matchup (and the next) to secure the other promotion while consuming a palette of black-and-white cookies at the lunch break.

nope

Captain Divoll attempts to drive the peninsula green on hole 16

 

At the start of round 2 Team Devens, coming off a measly 1-point loss to Buff, was angry and out for blood (metaphorically – they’re still really, really nice).  This time I found myself opposite Taylor Maslowski (this Taylor Maslowski) and Alex Gula (I don’t have a cool link for him but I watched him park a 430′ hole with a forehand so that’s pretty good).  Like a baseball manager faced with an under-performing lineup Ira shuffled our doubles pairings and my new (upgraded) partner was sidearm-specialist Pete Violet.  Pete and I started with a regrettable bogey and spent the rest of the round scrambling to overcome it.  Taylor and Alex complemented each other well and made it difficult to make up ground.  We were one stroke behind them heading into the final hole (#11, a 222′ downhill tunnel).  Our park-job put the pressure on them to convert a 40 footer to close the deal.  They failed to hole out and Pete and I escaped with a push.  Unfortunately for us when the rest of the cards came in Devens took the team match, handily.  Devens then advanced to face Buffumville in round 3 for the final A-pool spot, eventually losing by a single point.  Again.

So with the 2014-2015 season in the books the formidable teams from Maple Hill and Buff bought their tickets to A-pool and the gathered horde of players went home to somberly put their mittens, ribbons, gaiters and crock pots into storage ’til the snow flies next year.  And in summary, dear reader, after my first Team Challenge season I RECOMMEND PLAYING:

  1. AT West Thompson.  Its a beautiful, fun bomber course with great views.
  2. IN Team Challenge.  A great opportunity for competitive disc golf in uncompetitive conditions.  You’ll play with and against some really fun people.  In other words, Ira was right.  Which brings us to…
  3. WITH Ira Divoll.  Who doesn’t like Ira?  Nobody.  Maybe you can start playing with Ira at Pinnacle!   Its just 2 weeks away and you can register now.

Team Challenge season is dead, long live GMPS season!  Hey that means the GMDGC homepage will be populated with actual GMDGC features!  That will be a nice change.

In Search Of Spring

I recently made the trek down to Martha’s Vineyard for the Vineyard Social XI tournament.  My intention was to put up an obnoxious “In your face, I’m playing Spring golf” post that was loaded with pics of green grass and tee-shirt hucks.  (For clarity “Spring” will refer to the season for the duration of this post, not the player.)  I was so sure of it that I convinced 3 other local friends (including MA2 assassin and fellow GMDGC’er Ryan Metivier) to join me for this annual rite of Spring (the season).  In our hubris we even took a vacation day Friday to escape the frigid north in search of snow-free fairways.

En route…

For weeks I had been dreaming of returning to the vineyard and its 3 well-designed courses (White/Blue have different lines to the same baskets and Red loops around the original courses).  The vineyard course has a special place in my heart since I played my first ever round of disc golf there.  While on a family vacation my mom dragged me into “The Lazy Frog” leisure store.  We struck up a conversation with proprietor (and Vineyard Social TD) Jake Gifford who told us about the course and geared us up for a family trip to check it out.  Jake was an able caddy and steered us toward Rocs, Stingrays, and Leopards.  After 15 years of ultimate, however, I would not be relegated to “beginner discs.”  After dismissing the dizzying flight chart I decided to buy discs the same way I buy wine (which stamp/label looks the coolest) and walked away with a Beast and Destroyer as well.  We set out on the White course (the shortest) and everything I threw went 100ft and faded hard left out of my hand.  The discs were clearly broken and I would return to the shop to buy more (and more, and more…)  One casual round with family led to 10 more that week (often solo) and the rest is history…

…found this old scorecard from week 1 playing disc golf in MV. “Under par” was unfathomable.

TD Jake Gifford and his flock.

Back to present day: despite our hopes and dreams of an idyllic Spring (the season) weekend mother nature was not quite finished tormenting us.  The weekend high was 35deg, it snowed 3” Friday night, and freezing rain followed us from the players meeting into round 2 on Saturday.  It was a war of attrition on the course and although conditions weren’t “fun”, the tourney still was.  Jake and company put on a great event every year and nearly 120 enthusiastic New England golfers showed up to the PDGA/NEFA tourney eager to get the season started right.  My traveling companions eventually forgave me for broken promises of warm weather and 3 of the 4 of us finished in the cash in our respective divisions (MPO, MA2, and FA1 – nice win Meadow!)  After this weekend I’m more eager than ever to get back to the lush greenery and friendly competition of GMDGC golf.  2015 is bound to be a great season starting with Pinnacle and Sap Bucket (registrations now live!)

Meadow Hartwell navigates a “technical” fairway

“Fairway” Ryan Metivier doing work