For the next couple of months Team Captain and 2011 Worlds Masters Champion Jon Baldwin will be on the road and on tour. Jon will be sharing his experiences on the road by posting updates here. Check back or subscribe to the DGA blog to keep up to date. Make sure to head over Jon Baldwin’s website to check out what going on, what’s in his bag, Lessons, Instruction and more!
Well, I’m in the air now. Thanks to my sponsor, DGA, I am flying to the east coast to play disc golf. They rewarded last years victory at the World Championships with a flight and entry fee to a major tournament. Initially it was going to be the inaugural PDGA Championships, but due to my college schedule, that didn’t work out. So I saved the flight and decided to use it for this years Worlds in Charlotte, where I will attempt to defend my title in the Master’s Division. I am trying not to go into this event with much in the way of expectations. I have practiced, but one aspect that is lacking is the immense amount of course knowledge I had last year.
I haven’t “grown up” playing Renny Gold, or Nevin, or Eastway as I have Delaveaga. I have played Renny, and I have to say, it is going to be tough. My sister and her family live in Atlanta, and while visiting last Thanksgiving, they kindly let me borrow their pick up truck so I could go up to Charlotte and check out some of Stan McDaniel’s sorcery of course design. I went straight to Renny, and within 5 minutes of finding the first tee, my leg was sliced by a trimmed bamboo shoot, I had lost a disc, and I was flat on my back in the mud. A rude awakening for sure. A slap in the face that said, “WAKE UP!” A storm had just cleared and it was windy and muddy. Fortunately a local was very kind and helped me look for my disc, which I gave up on until after the round, and then showed me around the front nine.
The course is diabolical. Risk reward is the theme. Birdies are there, but you will most likely have to be very confident and accurate with your putt, as many of the greens have extreme slopes, as do some of the fairways. If they aren’t sloped, they are lined with dense trees that penalize venturing off the fairway by even 5 feet. You might have to give up a stroke just to get back to the fairway, forget about advancing down it at all. A underpar score here will move you up for sure. I’ve heard and read that Nevin is tighter and just as challenging. Eastway seems to be our breather course, where we will be able to air out some open drives. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll bet my friend Phil Arthur is too. His huge power will be valuable there.
I feel this is going to be a great Worlds, a true test of shotmaking skills and perhaps even more a test of quality decision-making. I can’t wait, and it is only a couple of weeks away! Whoohoo!