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2012 BDGA Tour #1 - Frostbreaker

Keen to get started, on a cold winters morning, whilst others were about to set about their daily Friday grind, two upstanding members of the Croydon Disc Golf Community, Hippy Dan and Sam made their way to Dorset to sample the delights that the much anticipated Whitcombe Farm disc golf course. On arrival both were amazed at what lay before them, a towering hill in front dotted with fluffy sheep, surely they wouldn't be playing up and down it, that would be absurd! Of course that is exactly where the course was.

Neither had played the course before but had heard much about it previously and were therefore keen to give it a try prior to competition commencement. Terry Tenger and James Burton arrived at a similar time and joined in the fun. Dan and Sam were glad to try the course out on the Friday for the following reasons:

  • They had a day off work
  • Dan got to 'bagsy' his bunk bed (very important to align his chi and channel his positive energy into making long putts, but most importantly to ensure that he was in a corner away from all the usual snoring folk!)
  • To play shots which they had never had to play before (eg. 200m steep down hill shot on 'Hyperjump' or the little 70m 'dink down the hill on Christmas Trees) All shots were made all the more interesting by the frozen ground making it difficult to stop the disc anywhere
  • But mainly because the course is AMAZING and it was incredibly satisfying standing at the top of a huge hill hurling discs down and watching them glide forever eventually landing 100m below!

More and more people arrived during the day with the majority arriving by the evening in time for pub food, beer, whisky and poker with pasta pieces used as money. For those requiring a little more description and pasta is just not descriptive enough, the pasta we used was Fuseli, the obvious choice.

Anyway, we woke on Saturday and prepared for the day ahead despite the very cold weather and thick frost. Meanwhile somewhere between Dorset and London, Croydon reinforcements were on the way in the form of Tom, Dan and honourary Croydonite for the weekend Gilard (Dan's friend from the states). They arrived in time for the players meeting, people got their score cards and headed to their appropriate starting hole throwing a few warm up shots on the way.

Feeling confident, taking much from his practice round, Sam was to commence competition with two open players in his group, George Aslett and Neal Pickett on 'Badgers Hotel'. Unfortunately his good work in practice did not pay off, hitting a tree and bouncing down the hill, maybe cliff is a better description, balls. Not to worry he'll just pop down there and hammer it back up, the hammer was fine, getting back up the hill was more difficult after slipping over on a miniature land slide! Missing the put, he feared for the worse, surely not a vision of things to come. Things did however get better with lots of pars and back to back birdies on 'Horror' and 'Fishy Digit' finishing round 1 with a 64. Having no idea if that was good or not they returned to the club house.

Turns out it was pretty reasonable putting him in 2nd place 1 shot behind. Meanwhile hippy Dan had played some solid stuff in the int. ams, Jester and Bruce were in the mix in the open division but Dan Ryan had a disappointing start. Nay mind, it meant Sam and Dan Ryan would play together in the 2nd round with Dave Allaker. This seemed to provide Dan with the right kind of relaxed environment to excel, starting with back to back birds immediately, choo choo! This turned out to be the highest rated round of the weekend, a whooping 997!!! Dave Allaker continued to impress with some monster drives even with the conditions under foot worsening. He bettered his first round by 1 shooting a 62, shouts of bagger resonated within the valley. Dan picked things up with a 58 putting him back where he belonged, towards the top. Sam was less successful than the first round with a 67 but this still proved to be reasonable.

Day 1 was done and the pub beckoned. Food, beer, pool, darts and skittles, for some, ensured all had a good time. Awards go to Hippy Dan and Sam for some top class pool hustling, learning the others a thing or two and to Ivan, George and Sue for darts prowess. A special mention to Sue for leading the dance floor in the right direction.

Sunday arrived and the whole of the west of England was talking about one thing and one thing only, who would take home the winners crown in Open, Ad. Am and Int. Am division, lucky for them they would only have to wait for the day to find out.

For the first time Sam did not have to tee off from Badgers Hotel for the opening whole which was a relief. Despite the difficult conditions under foot all Croydonians seemed to have a reasonable 3rd round in comparison with the rest of the field. People are unsure why, but think it is probably most likely down to the extensive practice that members of CDGC get on the wildly hilly terrain that is Lloyd Park. The third round progressed precariously as the last of the frost and frozen ground disappeared, with people often favouring the stand, point and shoot approach as opposed to the big run ups.

Following the final round Croydon would be well represented in the finals with Jester and Bruce in the Open Division, Terry, Ali and Sam from the Ad. Am division and Hippy Dan in the Int. Ams.

So, the finals arrived and the tension could have been cut with a knife. The Open Final set off first hoping to show all the way, with the Ad. Ams and Int. Ams following behind.

The Ad. Am. final was dominated by inconsistent scoring which seemed to be directly related to the quality of ground under foot. One highlight was Sam finally working out how to throw 'Christmas Trees' (the whole of that name, not the actual trees!) after trying 3 different shot types in 5 rounds. Another was teeing off on 'Wild Field' trying to find a suitable place to stand on the tee let alone run at it. After Sam, Dave, Terry and Ali all tentatively teed off, narrowly avoiding slipping over just stanidng there, Sophie ran up to the tee in her football boots and pelted one of the best drives we had seen on the hole all weekend, with the result heading all the way down to the bottom fence line, awesome. Chris Rowland provided some hilarious comedy moments by wanting to help look for discs whilst being the scorer only to find himself regreeting taking off his football boots, struggling to stay upright more than most.

The round finished in the only way possible, by playing over the goolagong! Having done reasonably on the last two holes Sam teed off first but made a right pigs ear of it. Luckily it was bad enough to be in no danger of finding the pond. Others followed, Sophie's, Dave's and Ali's sailing over. Out of the 5 none were found to require a snorkel.

The match finished with Dave Allaker deserved winner. I played a couple of the rounds with him and he played some awesome shots, particularly whilst putting and driving. I pulled out a 2nd place, Sophie Southgate taking 3rd after and excellent final, Ali Findlay 4th after some excellent holes in the final and Terry Tenger 5th.

The Int. Ams finished Nick Clark 1st, Simon Edwards 2nd, Hippy Dan Hawkins 3rd, Paul McCullough 4th, Steve Cardwell 5th.

The open players finished Jester 1st, Chris 'OB' O'Brien and Derek Robins joint 2nd, Neil Webber 4th.

I think it would be appropriate to finish with thanking everyone who made this such an awesome event. James and Bernadette Green for letting us invade their beautiful farm, all those who helped with food and the clearing up after vast numbers of people consumed lunch both days, the landlords in Beaminster's pubs, the fish and chip shop, the youths for not beating us up and particularly to Toby Green for hosting an amazing competition, cooking up some glorious soups, curry, pasta and cake after the long slogs up and down that bloody great hill. Hopefully he has raised a good sum of money from the event to go towards his chosen charity 'The Friends of Della and Don.'

Sam