Oxford life. Thirtysomething challenges. Music leanings. Anything really.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Oxford Open Disc Golf

I stand at the tee, and focus on the steel basket, forty metres away. It's a short hole with the target at the end of a narrow corridor of trees and various pieces of foliage. Only a ruler-straight throw will make it, with a slight tail at the end, dropping to the left to hit the basket with my golf disc.

This is the fourteenth hole of my first round in the Oxford Open Disc Golf tournament, played, obviously, on my home course in South Park and Headington Hill.

I move back from the tee, and select my brand new Buzz disc. Barely tested, but it's a dead straight disc, with a tendency to fade left at the end of the throw.

I prepare for the shot, visualising what I expect to happen. One step back, arm cocked, step forward, swing and release.

And in that instant, I know it's an ace. Strong, straight and level, the others in my group breathe in. The flight is about four seconds, and there's an exponential adrenalin release. Just as planned the disc fades to the left, and KER-CHING - it's an ace!

What a rush to release the perfect shot. An ace is as rare in disc golf as it is in ball golf, and garners the thrower great deals of kudos as word spreads around the participants.

This alone is enough to put me on a high for the rest of the tournament.

Imagine, then, how it felt, on the second hole of my last round on the sunday, I throw another ace.

Another perfect shot, another surge of adrenalin and huge amounts of kudos from the other players.

The rest of my rounds weren’t enough to really put me in any contention for the top prizes, but the aces did net me a disc, a cap and even two quid prize money.

Two quid prize money? One of the players hails from the US, and he came up to me at the end of the tournament to say that back home in a tournament, anyone who gets an ace gets a dollar from all the other players. It’s not a tradition in the UK, but he felt he should pass it on, and slipped me a couple of quid.


The tournament was a great success, hard work paid off in the end.

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