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Posts Tagged ‘Disc Golf

Disc golf update … just some late night rambling

I’m heading to the Kentucky Derby this weekend. What does that have to do with playing disc golf? Nothing, but it’ll be my first derby and it’s serving as a bachelor party for my buddy George, who is getting married the following weekend in New Jersey. So the next two weekends, I’ll be out of town for non-wrestling related things, which for anyone who knows me, is quite weird.

But I was chatting on Facebook with a friend of mine who scored an ace today at a course near Blaine, and it got me to thinking about how many different courses I’ve played. It’s not a big list, but here’s my random, late night list of disc courses.

Virginia
Newport News Park – This is where I got my start playing when I was about 19. I started playing with friends Nick Pennow, Billy Sincoskie, Sean Buckley and Adam Simmons. That summer, I was working at a KFC and interning at a local radio station morning show. This was fresh off a summer bouncing at a bar called the Atlanta Beer Garten, which is now a bank. Go figure. Anyway, growing up and starting out on Newport News is good. It’s a good beginner course and has alternate tees (Reds and whites) and is really open and really wooded. It’s about 1.5 miles around, so it’s a good little sweaty walk if you’re a tad portly like I was (and still am). My best score here was six under from the whites. When I moved to PA, those courses killed me and then I’d come back and just rock Newport News. One Christmas, exactly a year after playing disc with Ben Askren (details below), I played a round with Nate Schy and Matt Storniolo. A few days later, I played a round with Storny and that bastard aced #12. Or as I call it, “Manuel.” My home course and I’ve never aced a hole there.

Dorey Park- I played 18 here on the way to Freestyle States in Virginia just before a thunderstorm hit. I was driving a 1981 El Camino at the time. I remember former Grundy and Virginia Tech wrestler Canaan Prater laughing at it that same day. This was a bit of a “dirty” course, I was used to tee pads at Newport News. I think I shot one or two under here, making me believe it wasn’t very tough. Oh, this is in Richmond, but the PDGA course directory incorrectly lists it in Roanoke.

Golden Hills- This one beat the everloving piss out of me. Mainly because it’s in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Christiansburg, Va. I played a round here with my buddy and former teammate Mike Akers. He was a four-time state champion and former wrestler at Virginia Tech. This was during my very unhealthy days. Trying to navigate some nasty elevation, rocks and oh yeah, we’re on a MOUNTAIN, was tough when you’re smoking a pack and a half a day. This was brutal. Hammer throws/meat tosses all around. I wasn’t used to this. I’ll never play this one again.

Munden Point- This was one of the more interesting disc golf experiences, because it was about a year after the forum craze which was “Herbert DEC Askren 5-4” by my buddy Nate. He went by a certain username on themat.com and was boldy predicting the outcome of the 174-pound final. Well, Ben Askren of Missouri won that match big. So because Nate and I are from the same general area, we drove from PA down to Virginia for the holidays. Caravan style. Oh, we almost died in the process as a car wiped out in front of us on the D.C. Beltway. Anyway, Ben is in Virginia Beach with the family vacationing before going to the Southern Scuffle. We got up to play a round while we were both in the same area. Ben’s pretty damned good. Probably the second best player I’ve thrown with, my boy Chris Kirk in PA takes the title of best disc golfer I’ve ever played a round with. Anyway, me and Nate show up and Chuck, Ben’s dad, fires a zinger of a quip right at Nate. Quite comical. I won’t divulge it, because there are some stories that are just better told than spit out on the internet. Ben had the disc golf directory and we set a course for Munden Point out in Pungo in Virginia Beach. It was a ways. I lost two discs this day and lodged a disc into a fence. Nice course, a little wet from the rain (or melted snow?). It was late December and 65 degrees this day. This was a nice, flat course, but hard to get out to play when I go home.

Pennsylvania
Buchmiller Park– I played this course more than any during my three years in Lancaster. Nate, who I mentioned above, went to Franklin & Marshall and had like three beat up discs the first time we played a round. He whipped my ass. I was so pissed. Cussing at my bag, the throw, basically throwing a hissy fit because of all the disc I’d played, I really knew I was “better” than that performance. Well, Buchmiller chewed me up and spit me out continually. I never beat Nate at this course, we tied once, and I bogeyed the 18th hole, blowing my chance at finally beating him. Played with Chris Kirk and Nate quite frequently here. Although Kirky would have to play early so he could watch the Phillies when they came on. Damn, I hate the Phils, but Harry Kalas was the best. My best shot here was oddly on the same hole with my WORST disc golf shot ever. Well, one day, I was working on my flick. This is a hole which is right by a road. Across the street is a ball golf course. Well, the throw went awry and the disc ended up to the far left, across the street, through the woods and on to the golf course. This wasn’t a good toss. The best throw was when I botched a tee shot on the same hole, hit a tree and dropped about 75 feet from the tee box, leaving me around 250 feet away. I can’t really “throw” straight, so I have this one shot in my arsenal which is extremely effective — sometimes. I call it a high hyzer. Probably the wrong terminology, but I went with a high arcing shot around a Northwood Spruce (inside joe for Nate) and dropped it right into the chains. Best-shot-ever.

Roland Park- This one’s up near Ephrata in Akron and my favorite course in Pennsylvania that is actually “a course” (more on that in a sec). Heart-shaped Lake, Great White and lost discs. A great course, but no real memorable shots. It was just a fun course to play, very open and wooded at the same time.

Pinchot Park- Only played this once, and we were surrounded by bikers. Nice course, hard to find tees on the front nine, but a real good course. Only time I played this one was with Kirky and Nate.

French Creek Park- This one’s in Hanover, Pa., just past York. This one was rough. Nate and I got out there to play with two buddies from the bar, Dave and Jason. We ended up playing 27 holes that day on a steaming hot day. It was rough because I was completely obliterated from the night before. One thing about Lancaster was a dive called Brendee’s. Lager, PBR, Jager … that’s all I’ve gotta say. I don’t even know what I did the night before, but I was death on the ride out. Sucking down Turkey Hill Orange Tea and Gatorade. I seriously felt like I was going to puke. Dave K put himself at near the top of the list on disc. In fact, he might actually be better than Kirky. He was in the process of moving back to PA from Rhode Island. I’d love to get another round of disc in when I go back to PA. I loved this course, but it was TOUGH. I think I stopped keeping score because I was so far over. Later that day, Nate and I played Buchmiller for 45 holes in one day.

Maryland
Druid Hill Park- Nate and I shipped down to Baltimore to catch an Angels-Orioles game at Camden Yards. We went early and tried to follow the directions to the course. This … led us through some ghetto, so the doors locked and we didn’t dare ask for directions. We found the course and had a great round. I was doing really well, about even par, until 18, where I shanked the hell out of my toss. My best shot was a second shot. I shanked one into the trees and had to shoot from my knee. I whipped the disc through, it skipped under the trees and right within tap range of the chains. Great shot. Went to the game, Nate got kicked out, met some Angels fans who knew about InterMat. Stayed at Nate’s girlfriend’s sister’s place. She was a grad student at Johns Hopkins. ROFO and Roof Jammy!

… so now I head west. Wait a minute, I’m going from Maryland, PA and Virginia to ….

North Dakota!
Oak Grove Park – When I was in Fargo for Junior Nationals in 2002, I brought my discs with me. Why? Because I drove from Virginia to Fargo in a 1989 Ford Bronco II with over 200,000 miles on it … and no A/C. Oddly enough, this would be the first time I stepped foot into Joe Busch’s house on Chatham Avenue in Arden Hills, Minnesota. This is where I now live. I spent some time in Wabasha and Rochester. I met my buddy Charlie’s three-legged dog Kelly at Aunt Sharon’s house. Charlie wrestled at ODU and was from Rochester, which in a weird way, is some of the connection I had to moving out to Minnesota. I knew “some” people. Well, after fishing and going to Slippery’s with our other ODU buddy, Timmy, I drove to Fargo. One of the half days of the event, I found a course, which was in the midst of drying after a flood. The grass was gone and the baskets broken and the ground looked like a tried riverbed … or the toxic waste scene from Fletch Lives. I played half a round because I lost where the rest of the baskets were.

Iowa
Sertoma Park– This one was in Sioux City. I was in town covering the 2006 World Team Trials. This was the first round played with Askren. Also joining the fray were Raymond Jordan and Mark Ellis. So in hindsight, I played a round with two NCAA champs. This was a nine-hole course on top of a massive hill and some big ass water tower type thing. I joked that it was the highest point in Iowa on a video which never made it to InterMat. I still joke Ellis about his bad game, same with Raymond. Mark got the last laugh, he won an NCAA wrestling title, I’m writing a long ass blog at 1:30 a.m. Awful round. Ben had a trunk full of discs. This is where I discovered he was somewhat obsessive about disc.

Minnesota
Silverview Park- I went into Fairway Flyers on Rice Street after dropping off a cable box with Comcast one day. This was also the scene of a funny scenario where a woman demanded her cable bill be 83 cents LOWER than it was. She kept saying “Charlie charged me this for years.” The representative kept telling the woman she underpaid, which kept with the compounding balance. “Well, Charlie did this.” Joe and I are cracking up, as are the other three people in the place. Anyway, I remembered seeing a disc golf store on the way there. So when I took the box back a few weeks ago, I stopped into Fairway Flyers to pick up some new plastic. I hadn’t played since I moved to Minnesota and I was going stir crazy to throw. I chatted with one of the guys in the shop who hooked me up with a Metro Twin Cities directory of courses. Apparently, there’s like 100 courses within 100 miles of the Twin Cities. Damn, that’s awesome. Anyway, I go up to Silverview Park in Mounds View, about 10 minutes up the road. It’s a short, nine-hole course and I completely sucked. Ended up playing with a crew of people and had a modest round after not throwing for over half a year.

Anyway, I’ll be adding a ton of new courses, but thanks to a random facebook message, I’ve written this long diatribe. Thanks for Diet Dew!

I’m sure I left some details out … but what the hell, I’ll tag this up on Facebook and see what other people can remember. I love playing disc, but I’d only consider myself average.

Written by Jason Bryant

April 29, 2009 at 1:28 am

Well, there’s been a slight change in plans

Last year, I made a decision to run a marathon. This decision still stands, but the timeframe was a bit premature for me to try to run the St. Louis Marathon on April 19. That being said, I’m simply backing up my schedule, and instead, running the Twin Cities Marathon on October 4.

I could make excuses, but the reality is, I’ve got running shoes and the desire to accomplish this feat, but wrestling season, traveling and of course, the Minnesota winter, got in the way.

I started running in October and early November, then the cold got to me. I’m from Virginia, so I’m used to pretty mild winters with little, if any snow. I’m not a runner. I’ve never been a runner. I’m also not a runnin’ fool like my co-worker, who can probably rip off 10-15 miles if you say “Go.”

The most I ran in one set before the winter set in was six miles. Now, the weather is starting to cooperate and I can get some real headway before the summer. Another bit of motivation is my girlfriend is going to run one in June. Now, the alpha male in me cannot have that on my conscious. If anything, it’s something we can do together and I’m looking forward to it.

Kyle had suggested I start with some 5K’s after I train some, that way I can get used to running road races and get a bit acclimated to the decorum and rules of running. I’m to the point where I’m 255 pounds and my knees don’t have 30 extra pounds of weight pushing down on them. Why join a health club when I live in the suburbs and have many running trails and less-traveled roads to follow.

The trail behind my house is a few miles long and could be a great way to just relax. I’ve been eating right, living right and doing what I can to make my body work better for me. Gone are the days I’d kill 2-3 pitchers while shooting darts and rifling through a pack of smokes. Gone are the college parties, bar hopping and general debauchery. Oh, I’m not going all prude, if anyone saw me in St. Louis, they know I’m still a social being.

I still loathe fast food, but during the wrestling season and traveling, it’s very hard to avoid those types of food options. What may come as a surprise to many of you is that I really enjoy salads. I’ve made some kick ass salads since returning home from Nationals and returning back after my trip to Virginia. It’s a lot more cost effective than ordering salads out. I’m cutting the dining out portion of my life back and using the space in which I live to be more conducive to a healthy, life-loving atmosphere.

The last three weeks, especially the last nine days, have been a great motivator for me. The weather is cooperating and it’s now disc golf season. For the die-hards, it never died, but I now have maps to 100 courses within 100 miles of my residence. I bought some new plastic (discs) from the Disc Golf shop on Rice Street in St. Paul and I’m eager to toss them around and check out the new courses.

The thing about disc for a portly fellow like myself isn’t just throwing and chasing, but the walking involved does lead to breaking a sweat up the hills. The course back home in Newport News is about 1.5 miles around, and I usually play 1-2 rounds a day. This will start to pick up, probably tomorrow. I’ve finished editing Tuesday’s show and it should be encoding as I type this, but there’s something very calming about disc golf to me. I’m not very good in the grand scheme of things, but it’s an activity you can start doing with little cost and even less effort.

I won’t be playing today, but I’m anxious to get my new drivers some added distance. I’ve never been a “big arm” thrower, which doesn’t make sense since I’m a big guy. One of these days, I’ll finally beat my buddy Nate, who has NEVER lost to me once. We’ve tied once at Buchmiller Park in Lancaster, but maybe I’ll get a shot when he comes into town on business next week.

I’ll also be blogging more and blogging less, if that makes any sense. I feel energized now that our season has come to an end, but it also hasn’t. We’re having more topical shows on Wrestling 411 and still doing two shows a week and trying to fundraise, which is always a treat in this economy.

So the new goal is October 4, 2009 — Twin Cities Marathon. I WILL be ready.

Written by Jason Bryant

April 15, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Weekend recap

The Olympics have fired up and I must say, I’m impressed by the coverage NBC is giving all of us here in the States. What’s most impressive is the quality of the online broadcasts/webcasts they are providing via the NBCOlympics.com web site. I was watching judo at like 3 a.m. on Saturday night while chowing down on some Channello’s Pizza. Great clarity, although the cheese bread wasn’t exactly hitting the spot.

It’s like old times here in Virginia … and while I love coming home to visit, I’m glad I moved away three years ago. The area scene is pretty much the same and other than the few people I actually want to run into, eh, at least this is time to relax before moving to Minnesota.

After getting in town on Thursday, I played two rounds of disc golf at Newport News Park. One with my friend Billy from high school and another with ODU assistant Matt Storniolo. In between, my dad and I replaced my radiator in my truck, which thankfully didn’t crack on my way back from Fargo or on my drive down from D.C. on Wednesday Night/Thursday morning.

Storno aced hole 12 at Newport News, a 285-foot shot that skipped right into the basket. Sweet. He ended up beating me by one shot, four under to three under from the whites.

Other things that have been interesting over the weekend were the deaths of comedian Bernie Mac and musican Isaac Hayes. Hayes, who I grew fond of due to his role as Chef on the Comedy Central show “South Park,” was 65. I’ve dropped a few notes of “Chef” on karaoke in the past. Some of you know what I’m talking about.

In regards to wrestling, we’re still playing a waiting game with whether or not Mike Zadick will get the nod from the powers that be to compete in Beijing. Zadick, a former World silver medalist and U.S. Olympic Team Trials Champion, didn’t get awarded one of the few wildcards to the 2008 Games. But as Bulgarian newspapers call it, “Bad Karma” might be what gets Zadick in. The top athlete for Bulgaria tore his Achilles and the replacement was injured in a car accident trying to catch a flight to China. Talk about your strange occurrences.

Spenser Mango received his draw for the Olympic Games at 55kg in Greco-Roman. The St. Louis native has a tough draw and he’ll probably take to the mats around 9:30 p.m. Eastern Monday night, which will be Tuesday morning.

One of these days, I’ll go to the Olympics … but I’m not blessed with mega bucks to just get up and go on a whim. The media deadline for the 2008 Olympics was sometime in 2006, a good two years before the games. At the time, I was still in my first full year at InterMat — not exactly enough time to “earn” the right to cover the event. I covered the 2007 World Championships in Baku, but that was my vacation and again, wasn’t something I could afford to finance myself, nor could my then-employer. One of USA Wrestling’s top dogs stepped up and took care of it, allowing me the opportunity to cover my second World Championships as a member of the actively working media.

I’d like to line things up to get to Denmark next year for the 2009 World Championships and then eventually the 2012 Games in London, but the new position with Wrestling 411 could give me that much more air time and experience to maybe work the 2012 Games in a television capacity. That would be a dream come true.

Anyway, that’s four years down the line and I’m not even 29 yet. … No, I’m not going to talk about two recent occurrences in the Big Ten and Big 12. I don’t want to beat an already dead horse.

Wrestling’s on in about 6-7 hours. woo hoo!

Written by Jason Bryant

August 11, 2008 at 1:34 pm