I saw this saying on a bumper sticker when the kids and I visited the Marshall Street Disc Golf Pro Shop in Worcester, Mass back in 2008. I bought one of the stickers and put it on my Pilot – I’m now on sticker #3.
I’m a firm believer in visualization and the power of the human mind. We can use it for positive affirmation, visualization and reinforcement…or not. So I work hard to think and plan positively. And that’s what I was doing yesterday out at the Goat. They’re supporting exercise and mental health in a responsible fashion – singles play only at Goat Hill Park Golf Course (or twosomes if you can prove you live under the same roof). You must sign up for a tee time in advance and pay online. No one enters the pro shop. It’s about as good a system as I can imagine in this current climate.
So I went out and played 18 holes, without putting out (save the final hole, for closure). I had hand sanitizer with me in case my disc touched the basket, and I cleaned my putters off with Clorox spray before and after the round.
I used the time to think about the course – how I could improve the layout and make the tournament more interesting for players and viewers…and of course more challenging! Here’s a video I shot describing changes we will be making to tournament hole 6:
The changes to hole 6 are a response to the UDiscLive stats that showed it was the easiest hole versus par in 2019, and because it allows us to bring more trees and elevation change into play. The OB cart path on both sides of the fairway will challenge players to be accurate with their approaches to the basket. This will be a tough par 4.
Hole 13 is a hole I continue to tinker with. I really want to force players to put their drive into play on the tight and hilly golf fairway. There’s a lot of danger if a RHBH thrower lets their drive skip to the left. So I decided to make use of the old dead tree past the golf green. The basket on hole 13 will hang from the tree (tethered of course) with about a 35′ radius island that you must land on in order to putt. The cart path and beyond on the right side of the fairway (from the tee) will be OB, with a drop zone that uses the “Mini-Goat” turf tee pad. I’ll go back out and get a measurement of the hole distance. Here’s a quick video:
The final update I’ll share with you in this post are changes we’re planning on for Hole 16. Last year this turned out to be a bit of a soft par 5 – not many eagles but more birdies than I’d like to see. The big issue with 16 is tightening up the fairway. As we played it previously there wasn’t enough of a premium placed on accuracy off the tee and on the second shot. That’s a shame, because the boundaries of the golf fairway provide a tricky test for ball golfers – if you’ve played or seen the hole you’ll be familiar with the hourglass-like shape of the fairway about 550-650′ off the tee. If you try to stretch your tee shot down the hill the flat ground of the fairway gets narrow, with a steep slope to the right (heading down to hole 2’s “fairway”) and the tree line that divides holes 3 and 16 to the left. So we disc golfers will abide by those limits as well, with OB lines along the tree line on the left (and continuing on with the cart path) and hole 2’s cart path on the right. We will also use the large eucalyptus tree on the right side of the fairway as a mandatory – gotta go left of the tree. That mandatory will become more necessary…since we’re moving the basket back about another 100′ or so, to a small raised area just behind golf green #2. There’s a really cool gate created by two palm trees that leads to this new basket spot. And of course, there’s an OB cart path behind the basket location. Here’s another video that looks at these changes. I didn’t have enough time on the video to show the basket location – watch for that in a future video:
Keep checking our website for The Challenge for future updates. As of this date (3/30/2020) we’re still scheduled for June 5-7, 2020 but that may change. What *won’t* change is our commitment to hold the tournament in 2020 and to make it a fantastic test for disc golfers of all calibers. And you can help! Either by volunteering or by purchasing some of the fundraiser discs, FreakerUSA goat socks or Challenge Me! pins from DiscGolfPins.com. PM Allen Risley through this website, Instagram, Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!