Tag Archives: Amateur Worlds Disc Golf Championships

Am Worlds Ups and Downs and Ups

The trip starts: Marcus, Eric, the Mister, the kid, and Steve

The trip starts at our house: Marcus, Eric, the Mister, the kid, and Steve

Oh, how I had hoped that I would have a wonderful report to post about my younger son’s fifth Amateur Disc Golf World Championships experience!

Good thing the Mister drives a minivan!

Good thing the Mister drives a minivan!

When the Mister, who was my ace iPhone 5 photographer for the venture (and did his best job ever, I’m pleased to report), the kid, and our three buddies (Eric, Marcus, and Steve) left our driveway on Friday, July 5, I was cautiously optimistic that the kid would enjoy a great adventure.

The kid threw 489 feet and tied for third in the long-distance event.

The kid threw 489 feet and tied for third in his division in the long-distance field event. (Photo by the PDGA)

Cautious, because his right shoulder had been bothering him for several weeks, but only when he played disc golf. So we tried a chiropractic solution, which left him feeling better and ready to go.

The guys first stopped in Dallas to play a couple courses and stayed overnight in Oklahoma. The next day they arrived in Emporia, Kansas, site of the tournament. As they were practicing on courses and competing in the field events, my son continued to complain about his shoulder. I was able to find a masseuse, who gently worked on him on July 8, the day before play began.

A highlight of the trip was getting to see our dear, former neighbors.

A highlight of the trip was getting to see our dear, former neighbors.

The next day it was time to test his shoulder. He played a splendid opening round, winning his card. But he texted me that his arm felt tight. Sure enough, during his second round that afternoon, he was in pain. So much so, that he pulled out after eight holes, fearing that he might damage his shoulder.

And that, my friends, was the abrupt end of his Am Worlds journey. I felt so much sadness for my precious baby boy, who has been through so much the last couple years. And, of course, it made it that much worse that I wasn’t with him to comfort him.

The kid carries Eric's big bag.

My bushy-bearded boy carries Eric’s big bag.

Unfortunately, my guys couldn’t just head for home, because they were responsible for the players who drove with them. But misfortune turned into a lucky break for Eric. The kid decided to caddy for his co-adult bestie (along with Glen), whose game he knows so well. He was literally able to take a load off Eric’s back, as well as try to keep him loose and give him sage advice.

Naturally, they made a great pair (after all, they won the 2011 Amateur Worlds Doubles Championship). Eric turned in a stellar performance in the masters division (ages 40-49), having the kid on his bag for a couple rounds. He finished in fourth place after the six rounds of regulation play, easily qualifying for the semifinals.

The kid and Eric are ready for the finals.

The kid and Eric are ready for the finals.

Then Eric moved up a place after the semis last Saturday and headed to his first Am Worlds finals a few hours later. He managed to put so much pressure on the leader, Keith Walker, during the nine holes that Walker had to can an amazing, long, birdie putt to beat Eric. The fearless leader of our Southwest Handicap Mini series did, though, win the card while placing second. Not too shabby!

All in all, it was a good week for the other guys, as Marcus tied for eighth place in the grandmasters division, while Steve tied for tenth in masters. As for my son, I’m sure there was some kind of lesson to be learned from his disappointing experience, if only that he can turn those lemons into helpful lemonade.

My two guys! (Photo by JJ)

My two guys! (Photo by JJ)

Plus he got to spend a week with his buds and his Pops in beautiful Emporia. Hey, it was better than working in the hot warehouse!

Sidebar: Except where noted and the first two photos by yours truly, the other pics are by the Mister.

If You Want Something Done Right . . .

My younger son contemplates his next throw.

. . . do it yourself!

After lamenting the lack of action photos of my little big boy during last week’s Am Worlds, I was thankful that he and the Mister played in this past Tuesday’s Southwest Handicap Mini weekly tournament.

Jump putt

Now that’s more like it!

It was nice to have my beloved Nikon D700 back in hand, armed and ready to shoot the usual cast of local disc golfing characters.

Eric putts.

Like Eric, the tournament’s terrific director.

Billy lasers the disc towards the basket.

And Billy.

Dale putted well all evening.

And Dale.

The basket is within reach for the Mister’s putt.

And, of course, the ever-lovin’ Mister.

The best part about being there to experience what my younger son was going through (after missing out in Rochester, New York)? I got to see him win! Not only did he post the best raw score, but, despite his handicap, he snagged the overall victory.

Plus I got to scratch my action-shot itch.

One-Word Wednesday

My younger son holds up the wooden trophy disc he earned by finishing fourth at last week’s Amateur World Disc Golf Championships.

Trophy!

Photographically Bankrupt from Am Worlds

Shoe is a bad disc golf photo! (snapped by the #2 son)

When I made the decision not to attend last week’s Amateur Worlds Disc Golf Championships in Rochester, New York, opting instead to “chill” with my older son (as long as we’re indoors!), I knew what I was giving up.

Not being able to watch my younger son play and experience what was a memorable event for him was painful for me. I love cheering him on!

But even worse? Although I optimistically sent along the Olympus Stylus Tough 6000 point and shoot camera, I figured I wouldn’t get many photos so I could relive the event with both the Mister and our baby boy. Now I don’t expect the Mister to snap pics like I do, just like he doesn’t expect me to be able to build a custom box like he can. We have different strengths . . . and weaknesses.

I was merely hoping for 20 or 25 shots that would tell the tale of the five-day tournament. Those would have to be enough deposits in the Am Worlds photography bank to sustain me.

But to return to house and home with a skimpy 13 photos, nine of which are of boys who are not my beautiful green-eyed son? That’s just plain sad. Here are some of the pics that were taken by the pair (which includes that “wonderful” first photo of our boy’s shoe):

Eric is a blur.

I kinda like this pic of our good friend Eric teeing off. The blurry motion is pretty cool.

Our boy talks as Justin practices his putting.

Finally an action shot! Yay!! But it’s not our son who’s throwing the disc. Boo!

The final four (from left): Winner Kaj, Justin, my boy, and Andrew

When the Mister told me he had taken no photos during the six rounds preceding the finals, I begged him to at least snap one of our son with his three competitors, all of whom were in the finals.

Sidebar: Yep, my little big guy made the finals in the 16 and under division! He finished fourth out of 15 competitors; the three guys who beat him all were higher-rated. I’d be busting my buttons . . . if I wasn’t wearing the t-shirt he brought me back.

As you can see, the Mister obliged . . . not that our son deigned to actually look at the camera (He claims all the parents were taking photos, so he didn’t know where to look. Somehow I’ve failed him.).

My son putts during the finals.

As far as action shots are concerned, all that I have to cherish are several snapped by Eric with his Android phone. I’m thankful that he was there to add to the Mister’s meager collection.

If my younger son decides to compete in next year’s Am Worlds in North Carolina, I’m sure I’ll be there clicking away with my Nikon digital SLR. You can bank on it!