Ruminations on speed golf

Every now and then I substitute my thrice-weekly 3-5 mile run with a bit of speed golf. At Black Mouse DGC, a short but very mountainous track, it’s a great workout. My habit there, if time allows, is to play the course twice and aim for a time of less than an hour. Today I finished the first round in 26:26, and the the entire 36 holes in 53:05. If my math is correct, that means that the second 18 holes took 13 seconds longer than the first 18. I thought that was kinda cool, that the time it took to finish each round of 18 was so similar.

Reflecting on this bit of arcane information got me to thinking, though, about the relationship in speed golf between speed of play and score. Although it seems like a person could go faster if they were not concerned with score, once that person decides to play ‘speed golf’ for exercise I don’t believe that holds true. After all, the shortest distance between two points (say, tee to basket) is a straight line, and if you rush so much that your drive goes wildly errant and careens far off a fairway and down a hill, any time saved by rushing is canceled out by the extra hike to get to the errant disc and extra effort to hole out from there. Here is some more data from my morning round:

  • The first 18, I shot a -2, and the second 18 my score was -4
  • Although Black Mouse includes numerous blind holes and is heavily forested with redwood trees, ferns, and thick ground cover, the first round I was able to locate all my drives and upshots immediately. The second round, I had to search briefly a couple of times.
  • I didn’t feel like a lagged at all the second round due to fatigue

My guess is that if I had had as smooth a round the second 18 as the first, in terms of locating my drives, I would have finished it in less time rather than 13 seconds more. Maybe that just means that my hypothesis holds true in courses like we have here in Santa Cruz County, as opposed to flat, open, un-wooded areas.

According to Wikipedia’s entry on speed golf, speed golf competitions in ball golf use a formula where stroke play score is added to the time required to finish the round. Would the same formula be the most sensible with a disc golf version? Or would time elapsed alone be enough, with the idea that a round where the player does not shoot a good score is never going to yield a top time? I have an idea that the Running Man will have an opinion if he reads this.

Either way, it makes for a great workout and one of the best ways I know of to have fun while doing it.

Being Jack Tupp on Disc Golf . . . it’s a way of life

For some time now, the majority of the posts on this blog have leaned towards instructions, course reviews, and equipment reviews, and away from the author’s personal experiences in the sport. This has plenty to do with my no longer competing at the higher levels, but I’ve got a couple tidbits to share that have nothing to do with my plummeted player rating and disappearance from the sanctioned tournament scene.

Disc Golf Class at Cabrillo College
The Cabrillo College Extension Program’s Spring catalog, which is mailed to nearly 100,000 households, features disc golf on the cover. They’re promoting my short class, called Disc Golf for Fitness, Fresh Air and Fun! I’m marketing it to and tailoring it for people of all ages that are interested in learning more about, and playing, disc golf. They tell me being on the cover might force us to add a second session, which would be awesome!

Monthly Disc Golf Show on Community TV in Santa Cruz plus YouTube
It probably won’t begin airing for a couple months, but I’m excited to be working on a monthly disc golf show that should be different than anything I’ve seen out there thus far. World champs Nate Doss, Valarie Jenkins and Avery Jenkins (all living in Santa Cruz) will be featured in most if not all episodes, and we’ll try to mix in equal amounts of footage of disc golf action, course reviews, tutorials, and discussion of various topics surrounding our growing sport. Hopefully we’ll be able to flavor it with some weirdness and humor to keep it interesting.

Avery Jenkins putts on Hole 10 at Pinto Lake Championship DGC while cameraman and producer Ben Baker films

My partner in this ambitious endeavor is Ben Baker, a Community TV producer and creator of the recent coverage of the Faultline Classic tourney in Santa Cruz. More information, including broadcast times locally on CTV and links to view the show online will be published here in the (hopefully) near future.

Baskets seem to find me
Took the family to Tahoe recently, and one of our goals was to find a great place for sledding. We were pointed in the direction of a hill at North Tahoe Regional Park. True to the suggestion we received, the hill was great for our kids for sledding. But I also received a nice surprise when I spotted first one snow-covered basket,

then another,

and finally one right near the hut where we paid to go sledding (don’t know how I missed that one when we first got there- must be slipping).

I inquired with the guy in the hut, and sure enough he had one disc (a beat-up DX Stingray, which I assured him was valuable as a roller and finesse turnover disc) for me to borrow. I tried a few putts with ski gloves, and a few with frozen digits. Not sure how those in other parts of the country manage to play their Ice Bowls. No whimps, no whiners indeed! Anyway, I checked it out on line, and apparently the course at the North Tahoe Regional Parkis quite challenging and fun. I’m on a mission to get back there in a warmer month and play all 18.