Last week’s best example of grassroots disc golf growth comes from Cape Cod

With apologies to Paul Mcbeth and his impressive ESPN coverage in the past year, local disc golf clubs still get my vote as the MVP (most valuable part) of disc golf’s inexorable expansion. It’s as simple as 1-2-3:

  1. The increased visibility of our pro tours and the increase of disc golf-related businesses (more companies, more disc models, etc.) is due to a strong, steady rise in the number of people who play the sport.
  2. The steady rise in the number of people who play the sport is mostly due to a steady rise in the number of places where disc golf can be played. New courses, in other words.
  3. A large majority of disc golf courses in the world today exist only because a club lobbied for its installation and did/does the heavy lifting/grunt work- for example, the fundraising, maintenance, and community relations.

The chapter of The Disc Golf Revolution titled “Disc Golf’s Organic, Grassroots Growth offers dozens of examples, but this post focuses on one that is unfolding right now.

In Sandwich, which is part of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the #CapeCodDiscGolfClub is going above and beyond (which is typical behavior for a disc golf club) to get a new course installed on the Boyden Farm Conservation Lands. According to Tao Woolfe’s excellent reporting, the club submitted a proposal a year ago but pulled its request because the environmental impact report wasn’t completed in time. But when it was finally completed, results backed disc golf in a big way.

“The study ultimately showed that disc golf would not hurt wildlife or forested habitats. Natural Resources Director David J. DeConto said at that time that the environment would actually benefit from the new course.” –Tao Woolfe, The Sandwich Enterprise

Andrew McManus, president of CCDGC, submitted a plan promising the club would “prune the course annually, clean up any storm damage, design and create the course through the trees—keeping and maintaining the existing mature trees and thinning the underbrush.” It went on to say that volunteers (would) also clean up litter, help enforce park rules, and place signage and an information kiosk, and host golf clinics to teach people how to play.” Woolfe’s story added the fact that the club has performed similar volunteer maintenance at Burgess Park in Marstons Mills since 2011.

disc golf club, disc golf book, disc golf lessons, disc golf teambuilding
Disc golf clubs are also all about fun and competition. This is the team representing my home club, DeLaveaga Disc Golf Club, against 15 other clubs at the NorCal Team Invitational Match Play event.

The people who lead disc golf clubs and push to get new courses installed don’t do it for personal gain. To me, that makes their sport’s grassroots growth not only more special and pure, if you will, but also less likely to taper off. They put in the hours and raise the funds because they want more opportunities to do something they love, as evidenced in the photo above. They want it for themselves, to be sure, but they are also eager to share the experience with others.


Santa Cruz vs. San Jose Match Play Results

The first of hopefully many team match play events in Northern California went well today, with Team Santa Cruz prevailing 8-2. It may seem like a sound whoopin’, but a closer look at and understanding of the numbers will show that the matches were all pretty close.

First of all, there were 16 total match points being contested. Each singles match was worth one point, for a total of 8, and the doubles matches were worth two points each- also totaling 8.

During the matches, each hole is worth a point, and players keep playing out the entire match even if someone wins the match with holes left to play (example, a player/team is 3 up with two holes to play). So with all that in mind, here are the scores:

Shasta Criss tied Manuel Fernandez 4-4
Chris Foss defeated Christlus 8-2

Shasta/Chris Foss defeat Manny/Christlus 7-4

Jon Baldwin defeated Shannon Carson 6-4
Jack Trageser defeated Thom Magraw 5-4

Jon/Jack tied Shannon/Thom tied 4-4

Nick Garcia defeated Eric Kopit 7-5
James Pendergast defeated Assaf Sadeh 7-5

Nick/James tied Eric/Assaf 1-1

Am. Masters
Gregory LeBaron tied James Brennan 4-4
Ed Baskirk defeated Mike Miller 4-3

Gregory/Ed defeated James/Mike 5-2

According to my shaky math, the total by hole-points was Santa Cruz 58, San Jose 46.

So now it’s on to the re-match in San Jose sometime in the near future. A couples side-notes:

  • Manny Fernandez turned his ankle halfway through the doubles match, and Christlus has to play odd-man with one extra shot on each hole the rest of the way.
  • Gregory Lebaron aced hole 21 during the doubles match, after his partner shanked his drive first.

Match Play Gets some Play in Santa Cruz

We’re trying to start small with some ‘club vs. club’ match play this Sunday at DeLa. The Hellyerites (or Hellyerians?) are bringing a team over the hill Sunday to compete in a match play event against us Santa Cruzans for 18 holes of singles and 18 holes of doubles match play. When San Jose team captain Mike Miller mentioned it to players from other clubs at the recent Otter Open, he heard repeatedly ‘we want in,’ and that’s exactly what we hope this eventually becomes: a four or five team club vs. club annual or semi-annual event.

For now though it’s just two 8-player teams (2 open players, 2 masters, two AM-1’s and two Am Masters players). If you’re interested in checking it out, we’re planning to tee off around 8:45 AM on Sunday. For those that don’t already know, match play is a form of competition where (in the singles format) a player from one team goes head-to-head against someone from the other team. Rather than cumulative scoring, though, each hole is worth a point. It’s like skins, but ties on the hole don’t carry over to the next hole. So if two players in a match both get pars on the first five holes, then player A birdies hole 6 and player B pars it, player A now is “Up 1” in the match. It’s especially challenging since normally in golf we condition outselves to try to block out what the other players are doing, in match players we make shot decisions based in large part on what the other guy just did or might do. Match play also lends itself well to the team concept, which should make Sunday both fun and interesting.