This is where it all starts. This is the 180-foot hole that can make grown men throw their hats and bring other players to their knees, the better to pray that they will sink their downhill putts.
It’s called the Texas island hole, so named because of the flagged outline of the shape of our fair state that surrounds the basket. Along with the dragon hole, it’s one of the hallmark features of the Texas State Disc Golf Championships at Tom Bass Park. In yesterday’s blog, I wrote how I used the highest point of the course to snap unique photos of drives off it. That hill also was a great vantage point for capturing all the action the Texas hole had to offer.
Disc golfers tee off on the island hole hoping that their drive will land within the state of Texas. This was a difficult feat to accomplish during the tournament, because it was so windy. One player’s drive almost hit us at the top of the hill beyond the basket only to have the wind blow it back almost to the drop zone.
Ah, the drop zone! If the disc doesn’t fall within the friendly confines of the state, players are penalized a stroke and must take their chances from the drop zone.
That can get the disc closer to the somewhat-elusive basket, but that doesn’t always make the disc golfer’s job any easier. Because, of course, the basket is on the hill! Putts can be uphill or downhill, and the ever-present wind loves snatching those plastic orbs and sending them every which way but nestled within the metal chains.
It made for interesting theater and photos from those of us watching at the top of the hill.
But it wasn’t all that much fun for the players.
The hole yielded few birdies during the tourney.
And I heard a lot of players muttering under their breath after their scores increased by several strokes.
Some of the players fall to their knees on this hole. Supposedly it gives them a better angle for their putts.
But it’s also a good spot to be in once the disc falls through the chains into the basket. That helps with all the praying that goes on at the signature Texas hole!