Charlotte: On Top of the World

Welcome to Crowley’s Corner, the place for disc golf players everywhere…

Issue #014  takes you on a trip to the International Disc Golf  Hall of Fame and Charlotte Worlds. We’ll also have some of the regular features of the ‘Corner, so relax and enjoy while in between rounds of golf.

Let’s start with 4 quotes from 4 famous people:

********************** DISC   GOLF   “QUOTES”

                      “Don’t bother trying to be better than your contemporaries or your predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”

                                                                                                            -William Faulkner

 “When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”

                                                                                                          – Joe Namath

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”

                                                                                                          -Frederick Douglas

” A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”

                                                                                                           - Winston Churchill

****************** CHARLOTTE :  ON TOP OF THE WORLD

    This year’s Disc Golf World Championships will be remembered as one of the best. Stay with me as I take you on my personal experience at the 2012 Worlds in Charlotte, North Carolina:

My seventh Worlds was unique in that I decided not to play, but instead  enjoy seeing the best disc golfers under the greatest pressure, and come back with not only a story to tell, but one to remember.

But first, I stopped at a special place…..

********************** ON THE ROAD TO THE HALL

I was ready to go and drove all the way to Appling Georgia, only stopping a few times. Fifteen hours later I arrived at the International Disc Golf Hall of Fame.

I could feel the vibe as I walked in with excitement and anticipation of what I would see after my 1000 mile trip to get there. Right away the guys running it were real nice and didn’t even charge me the ten bucks to get in.

Plaques with the Honorees names and inscriptions are lined up and taking up one wall in a room that serves as the “Hall”.

 There’s a room with huge glass displays and historic disc golf items. You’ll also see a place reserved for the Father of Disc Golf, Ed Headrick. He brought us the Mach One, Mach Two, Mach Three and Mach Five (there was no Mach Four, he combined the 2 and 3). He gave us lines of Headrick, hooks of Headrick, the Disc Golf Association, and the PDGA.

Proud to have met and talked to the legend a couple times,  I felt a sadness for the loss of a man who changed my life and whose statue was before me.

I’m sure he would be amazed if he saw the Hall and the sport of disc golf today.

After taking it all in, I head into the gift shop and buy a disc with the IDGC logo on it so when I get to Worlds, I’ll get some Hall of Famers to sign it.

Had a fun time and stayed the night in Georgia before heading to Charlotte, two and a half hours north.

************************CHARLOTTE  WORLDS

So, it’s off to Charlotte, where my first event was the players meeting.

Likely the biggest mass of people ever assembled together in one room for disc golf made up a special night of  welcome and good luck. The amazing part is before and after, where all the many reunions are taking place for people who met at worlds or other places and are meeting up again. The friendships are rekindled and strengthened as the years go by.

A Lot of the big time players are roaming around the hotel and it’s like a big family get together for disc golf. A special day ’cause THIS IS WORLDS!

A record amount of players took part in a Worlds that saw a lot of close battles and two first time World Champions emerge in Paul McBeth and Sarah Stanhope.

 On the first day I started out watching the Open players, amazed at the courses and the level of play I was seeing. These guys are the real deal. Every hole was exciting!

 The second day I went to see the Masters play and got to see some of the best golf, and some tense moments between players.

 Ken Climo was tied with Johne Mcray starting out the day and was joined by Jay Reading and Patrick Brown.  Barry Scultz joined the lead card the next day and battled Climo the rest of the week before Climo won his 13 th Worlds, and first in Masters.

 Tense moments came between Climo and Reading at one point as Jay was crunching the bushes too much.  Reading also took heat from Patrick Brown, who felt no sympathy for Jay’s injury, thinking he was faking it to work the group. I saw a lot of grumbling from the masters field that I didn’t see from the Open players, and it’s usually the other way. The masters were complaining of all the people roaming around the course, where the Open players were so cool and collected while playing under pressure. They were polite and respectful most of the time to the fans and each other. It was enjoyable to watch these cats play.

 In Open I got to see Ricky Wysocki and McBeth battle Michael Johansen and Cale Leviska most of the week and then Will Schusterick had a hot final round to make the final 4, but not after an exciting playoff between Johansen and Leviska to see who would get the final spot in the final 4. On the fifth overtime hole Cale had a putt to end it from about 25 feet but missed, and the next hole Johansen parked it, Cale didn’t, and it was over.

The finals were just incredible at Hornets Nest, and it was great to see them all tee off. After that, you had to pick a group to watch. The last 3 groups groups were the Women, Masters and then Open. I watched the Women play their first hole and then the Masters for about 6 holes and then the rest of the Open finals. I missed a really good Women’s Finals as Sarah Hokem made a huge last putt to win her first World Title.

        Paul McBeth made history in 2012.  He was good and he was poised. He looked and acted mentally strong and backed it up with some incredible shots and solid putting. I’LL bet his phone # is (222) 222-2222.

             He was THE best at Charlotte Worlds.

                                  …….DISC…….GOLF ………..TICKER………

                                Here’s my disc golf ticker for my trip……..

Saw Bobby Jones Highway and JC Smith University……License plates : DSKGOLFR……FRZB……..DISGOLFR…….DSCGLF……ACERUN… and on a Corvette I saw ZOOM….. The previous 4 World Champions faced off in the opening round….Flymart was massive huge with a lot of vendors……Had a huge thunderstorm everyday around dinner time……….Saw NASCAR Hall and Lowes Motor Speedway…..drove 2,450 miles… got signatures from Hall of Famers on my IDGC disc…..saw a lot of New Yorkers during the week…Huge gallery at the finals….speeches by the World Champions…..

************************DISC GOLF RULES!

         From the PDGA Rulebook:

                  805. Measurement Cross Reference

                         10 meters                 32 feet 10 inches

                           3 meters                    9 feet 10 inches

                            1 meter                     3 feet 3 inches

                          30 cm                         11 and 3/4 inches

************************CROWLEY’S DISC GOLF TIPS

                Here’s my tips for the Ams:

 There is nothing wrong with being an amateur player if you enjoy the sport at your own, maybe making some small improvements to your game. But if you’re an amateur that wants to improve and possibly make the pros, you can do it by trying to improve each part of your game. As explained in Crowley’s Corner “The 5TH Element”, there are 5 main parts to your game.

Driving, approaching, and putting are the first 3, then your physical and mental part of your game. If you improve a little on each one, each year, your scores will get better and you’ll be more consistent.

 Pros don’t need a lot of advice but are trying to improve and learn in order to transfer everything into low scores when it counts.  We can all improve somewhere and we all have weaknesses. We can all practice better and improve our mental game. Learn to recognize where your game needs work and apply it.

************************ THOUGHTS ON GOLF

Charlotte Worlds was my 7th that I’ve been a part of. I had previously  played in 4, volunteered in 1 and watched 1. Now, for the first time I got to see the whole week from the sidelines with a front row seat to the stars.

Disc golf and life are all about the moments and there were many. Especially the magic moments with disc golf’s elite players. The people of Charlotte were nice and the volunteers were proud and did a great job with our sports biggest week.

 Charlotte- I love you man….

********************************

                        Once again, my goal is to educate, enlighten and inform people about America’s best sport, disc golf.

            Gary Crowley -  Writer and Editor of Crowley’s Corner

           Professional Disc Golfer since 2005/Disc Golf Writer since 1999

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