Tag Archives: Steve

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.

Not Ready for Prime Time Players

My younger son shows off his mad skills for Bobby and the camera.

We’re pretty much down-to-earth people in our household. We don’t seek out the spotlight. Some might even call us humdrum, even if they’ve never heard us hum or drum (which is a shame, because we’re all pretty good at both of them).

Marcus’ pretty putt is captured digitally.

But when our pal Marcus told the Mister and the kid that they could help him hype their favorite sport of disc golf on TV, they started singing a different tune. One called “Celebrity.”

Bobby gets up close with the disc and basket.

We took the limo Honda Odyssey to Missouri City’s Community Park disc golf course, ready, willing, and able to help. I came along to document the event, using two Nikon lenses with my Nikon D700: My 24-70mm for wide-angle shots and my 105 for close-ups. This photo scout was well-prepared for a change!

Steve sails a putter towards the basket.

As the guys played and I snapped away on a beautiful Saturday, Bobby, the big-shot TV producer, videoed the action. It was a fun nine-hole round filled with the usual friendship, teasing, and awesome play by Marcus.

Marcus sinks a putt.

Bobby made a great decision in using Marcus and Eric to explain how disc golf works and to describe the play during the round. The former is a witty, brainy Rice University grad who can make the complicated seem easy, and the easy seem complicated.

Bobby films one of Eric’s short putts.

Eric, another funny and smart guy, brings an engineering bent to his conversational approach. He also might have a future in disc golf play-by-play commentary . . . assuming he likes not making any money. I’ll bet Bobby had fun editing the video.

The Mister shows off his style.

Speaking of which, we all can’t wait to watch the Disc Golfers Gone Wild in Mo City (or whatever it’ll be called) on TV. Should you be looking for it on ESPN (or ESPN–DG)?

Actually, online public access in the form of Missouri City TV is its final destination. But major channel or YouTube, it’ll be fun to watch local disc golf.

I’m just glad that my guys were there to help drum up support!