Clifford the Big-Armed Dog, and another oddball first for me

Nearly all of us have played disc golf with people who can seemingly throw a disc with half our effort and make it go twice as far. Such natural power is to be envied, but it occurred to me today that in some ways these freaks of nature deserve our sympathy as well.

Watching Clifford the Big Red Dog the other day with my kids, I thought of how large active dogs need more room to get the exercise they need. If you have a 90-pound Labrador Retriever you should be taking that dogs for runs in open space every day. A Chihuahua, on the other hand, can get all the exercise it needs running around the back yard or even the living room.

It’s kind of like that with disc golfers that can throw 450 feet or more. If they live in an area with courses that have mostly short par 3 holes, imagine how bummed they must be! I try to be a glass-half-full kind of guy, and as my arm (which was never a big gun even in my prime) loses a little each year, I find that more and more holes present new, distance-related challenges. Usually that comes off as a bummer, but disc golf is no fun without the challenge, and this Chihuahua is finding more challenge every day. Yipee, I think.

Black Mouse Disc Golf Course has been my place for exciting happenings this year. There was an ace several months back, and more recently possibly my most surprising birdie ever. And now today, it happened again. I was playing hole nine, which for those of you who don’t know is a very short, sharp dogleg right that is flat until the dogleg then drops sharply downhill. I’m a lefty, so I throw a hyzer that is supposed to cut just around the Redwoods that define the dogleg before dropping down to the right. Today I hit those Redwoods and my disc stayed behind them, forcing me to try to save par with a sidearmed turnover shot that hopefully would slide under a tree guarding the basket. Instead, the shot hit one of the tree’s thin branches solidly, shot across the fairway (left-to-right), then ricocheted AGAIN (right-to-left this time) off a huge overturned root system of an Oak tree to the right of the basket and INTO THE CHAINS. It was a Surge, by the way.

Another sidearm shot (which I throw as little as possible due to my torn rotator cuff) that was meant to just get close enough to save par goes in for a birdie. When my putt on the next hole for birdie hit dead center but slid out, I just laughed and assumed that all my luck for the rest of the round was used up.

By the way, did I mention it was a running round- or two rounds? 36 holes, up and down rain soaked, muddy slopes, in 54 minutes and six seconds. Yeah, it’s a short course, but still . . . . not bad for an old Chihuahua!

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