Leading up to the departure for DDO was pretty hectic! With a wedding to attend, and making sure I had everything I can think of to take on a two month jaunt to California, we had a lot of moving parts. Preparing to start in Kansas, and the last stop of the West Coast Swing ending in Ogden, Utah at The World Championships.
With the tux rental returned in Tyler, we immediately hit the road North, heading to Kansas. An eight hour drive through the plains, and we were scheduled to be in Kansas after dark. I had the idea to stop and play a round someplace, just to get out of the van, and move around a little bit. I decided on a super fun course in McAlester, OK; called Buffalo Run. The course was designed by my good buddy Matt House, and luckily enough, he was available to come out and toss the round with myself, Casey Jean and Julie Eagle. We played doubles on the course and just enjoyed the shot-making the course has to offer, if you ever get the chance, go and play here it’s worth the play.
We dragged ourselves up the highway and found our way to the Air BNB in Osage City, about 45 minutes out of Emporia where Casey and I stayed with our friends George and Jon from Dark Ace Apparel. The week was filled with laughs, and stories of how our discs did different things than we intended. The first round I started slow missing a few putts, but I was still playing a mediocre round, until hole 17….
Going into hole 15 I was -7 and looking to finish strong and stay in the hunt. Unfortunate positioning on the fairway of 15 put me in a dicey position, where I could go over the top and play for the birdie, or pitch down and maybe get a long look, but likely just a par- I went for it over the top, and caught the high branches of the tree overhanging the OB road. As it fell directly onto the pavement, I knew that my bogey free round was gone, so I dropped to -6. 16 has precarious OB everywhere, and after a bogey, I knew I didn’t want to follow that up with an OB stroke, so I pitched it down and played for the par, on to 17 where I threw my swirly scorpius on sidearm, it weaved through the gap in the trees about a little long, but as we were walking towards the green, we heard the dreaded sound of the lightning delay- we we’re SO CLOSE to being finished, but as it was we had about a 45 minute delay. Coming back into the round, I felt like I had been iced like a kicker, missing the putt from circles edge and then unluckily finding OB off the tee of 18, horribly out of position I made a grave mistake, going for the green over ALL the OB- it never came back, and I basically threw the shot agin, this time shooting 5… lucky to be in bounds I chipped up my putter and tapped out for a triple bogey 7.. leaving me -3 and way down the board.
The following 27 holes were pretty bland, not making conversions and missing opportunities all over the place, I found myself close to the cut line yet again this year, and with 9 holes to go in the third round I made a push, carding six birdies on the back 9 and securing a place in the final round.
I shot even in round four, the windiest of all the days in emporia, which wasn’t my best round, but I earned birdies on some good holes. I made some mistakes late, and a few missed conversions or else I would have been a satisfying round for my standard. Oh well… I made the cut and Casey and I said goodbye to friends and jumped in the van, I couldn’t get out of Kansas fast enough!
Feeling relieved, we drove out of Emporia around 12:30PM. Having an 8:30AM tee time was a huge blessing, now usually I don’t enjoy playing super early in the morning, but we had a Barsby Battle Series event scheduled in Colorado Springs on Sunday afternoon. We had planned on pulling an all nighter and getting there sometime in the wishing hour, but lucky lucky, we pulled in around sundown, giving us the chance to get a full nights rest and be ready to rock on Sunday.
It’s super rare these days for me to be able to host an event on a Sunday, since most of the time we are still playing a tournament, but with DDO ending on Saturday I had to make the most of the opportunity!
This was my first time to Colorado Springs; My friend and Team Millennium Member Jeff Bradshaw and his wife Ashley invited us into town to stay with them (and all of their animals.) Jeff came in so clutch- he lined up the Rampart Disc Golf course, flagged the OB’s and prepared the course for a PDGA event. We woke up Sunday to homemade waffles and the Sphinx Kitties climbing all over everywhere- I’m convinced now that if I am to own a cat, it’ll be a sphinx. With the slow going morning, we had time to do some sightseeing, hopped in Ashleys car and we drove over to Garden of the Gods for some light hiking and photos it was breathtaking, and I can see why people come from all over the world to come here.
The Barsby Battle at Rampart was quite the day, as we arrived to the course to begin setup- the climate changed quickly! From a breezy mild day, to a windy cooler afternoon, with it raining, hailing and getting gusty, I was concerned the event wouldn’t get through the storm, with a chance of lightning, all I could think about while the players were competing was not having to delay the round, which could have proven disastrous because we started at 3pm. THANKFULLY the groups played at a quick pace, and we went to do the clinic shortly following the tournament, getting it in before the rains came around 6;45 and the players picked up their payouts and dispersed. A huge thank you to the players who came out to see us and played in the event. This was my first ever time in Colorado Springs, and the first time I’ve been back to the state in 7 or so years, thank you all for the warm welcome back!
Since Casey and I have a (semi) week off, we decided to stop through Salt Lake City, and Ogden to check out the fort (worlds course) and to hang with the local scene, again, it’s been about 7 years since Ive been though the Area, and the locals came out in force, so many new players, and old friends flooded Creekside for their Tuesday doubles, bringing out over 100 players to play, and enjoy tacos at Tims place following the game.
Good times overall- now were of to California- thanks for reading!