The Skyline Am Series Visits the Telulah Throw Down was held at the Telulah Park Disc Golf Course in Appleton, Wisc., on Saturday, May 6. Unfortunately, this PDGA sanctioned C-tier event turned into a rain fest with the rain starting out mild in the morning and within just a few holes it had turned to a downpour. A handful of under-prepared players decided to call it quits during the middle of the first round.
Tournament director Terry Miller told me that some players went home with hopes of drying out and coming back but couldn't muster up the courage to do so. Somewhat ironically, it was during their lunch break that the rain stopped and the skies cleared for the rest of the day.
Miller said that he also took the opportunity to address the participants and provide some tips for playing in difficult conditions. You might recall the Glass Blown Open that was held in Emporia, Kan., last month when hundreds of disc golfers were battling it out through wind gusts of up to 45 mph and even several tornado scares over that mid-April weekend.
Miller remarked, "We always hope for great weather but on days like today you get to learn something. It might be physical or possibly mental, but this is truly a learning experience for everyone."
As he also noted, "Being prepared for tournament play will make you a better player and can quickly give you an edge when competing in harsh conditions."
Four tips that were offered include:
Change of clothes
Always bring at least one change of clothes to a tournament. Prepare for the worst as it might rain, you could tear your shorts on a thorn, or you could slip and fall into a body of water. Always pack extra socks and shoes at the bare minimum.
Carry a gallon-sized Ziploc-style bag full of towels in your disc bag. Not only is it great to have a handful of dry towels, but you may need that same bag to keep your wallet, keys, or other valuables dry during the round.
Invest in a large umbrella. Any size umbrella is better than none at all, but you are carrying a bag full of discs, which means you need to keep both your bag and yourself dry.
Always keep a positive attitude, and remember, everyone is playing in the same conditions you are. Most players will probably slip and throw an errant shot, so stay focused and just try to minimize unnecessary errors.
It was 15-year-old Justin Lammers of Lomira, Wisc., who was able to emerge the winner despite the inclement conditions. Lammers might have had the ultimate advantage that led him to his win -- a caddy. His trusty father was toting his bag and umbrella, which certainly was an advantage during the inclement weather. He was tied with Ryan Robertson of Appleton, Wisc. going into the "Super 6" but birdied 3 of the 6 holes, which was ultimately his margin of victory.
The hottest round of the day came from Casey Connors of West Allis, Wisc. during the second round. Connors' 43 is unofficially rated as a 1031 round. There was no looking back during the finals as he simply had to nurse his 11-stroke lead. Miller remarked that "with rounds like that he may find himself forced into the gold division after the next PDGA ratings are released in the upcoming week."
Overall, the event turned out to be a successful one as players were elated to play the second round and the finals all without any additional precipitation. Surprisingly, there were no aces recorded on the day, which means the ace pool will carry over to the next event that is scheduled for the Grey Fox Course in Silver Lake, Wisc. on Sunday, June 3.
The first time K.C. Dermody played disc golf was in the spectacular Black Hills of South Dakota. She has since become addicted to promoting the sport, and enjoys playing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She welcomes comments and suggestions, with the goal of promoting the sport of disc golf throughout the world. Find her on www.facebook.com/KCDermodyWriter or Twitter @kcdermody.
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