Air conditioning is a gift. Being able to artificially change our surroundings is one of the great things about being human. We’re some pretty lazy pigs wallowing in a cool mud right now. Outside it’s Charlotte and The World Championships. There are disc golfers everywhere and everyone is racing around trying to practice their assigned courses. It’s also 90 plus degrees and the air is almost pure water. The courses Minna plays are mostly down under style with one open longer course which she only gets to play in the short settings. In her bag is a buzz, a putter, two drivers and four bottles of water. My courses are all long and hard. But beyond that, I get to play the deepest and strongest field of any of the divisions here. Finishing top 50 in masters will be nothing leas than miraculous. Especially with tennis elbow drastically changing the way i play my game at the moment.
Of all the tales which can be told of how people got to Charlotte are’s is sure to be one of the most colorful. Are story begins in a cave…
Festus, Missouri located on the banks of the Mississippi, is home to the only subterranean disc course in the world. It’s actually two courses and if it isn’t enough that it’s underground, mostly sand, a disc killer and permanent midnight in there, its also half covered in water. Its the middle of one of the hottest summers I can remember, so entering the cave and feeling the temperature drop 60 degrees in under three steps is quite a shock. I brought one hoodie and it is barely enough.
The cave is a must-see stop on any disc golf journey and if the fine ladies and gentlemen of KC can put together the cash we should make a road trip over there. Especially now with the weather hovering around 2000 degrees in KC. They serve beer.
Minna had to see Graceland, because she’s European and they think a lot of him over there. After several hours looking at the dead man’s shoes, we were back at it. We traveled through rural Mississippi soaking in the landscape. The south is ideal for disc golf and it’s surprising that there aren’t courses everywhere. We did find a descent course in Jackson called Ross Barnett. For all of the beauty that is Mississippi this course really failed to use any of it. It did have a gator. A %$#@ing gator. After bears, snakes, cougars and super models, a gator was asking too much. Thankfully this one wasn’t big enough to do much more than inspire a mess in our pants but still… A gator!?!?!
We kept up our frantic pace and found our way to Mobile and the course at the University of Southern Alabama. At least this course had the decency to put up signs saying, “beware of snakes and alligators.” Beyond the absolute fear of being chewed on, the course was bad ass. Extremely rough. The best part about it – it’s an hour from the ocean.
Pensacola has some tiny courses and none of them really ask a lot of you, but watching a sun going down there is enough reason to visit. While we were playing the course there, the Blue Angels, who are stationed there, were practicing overhead. Every two minutes they would fly over and it was impossible not to stare at them. Sort of a major distraction while you’re putting, that and the whole gator thing again.
It was hard to leave the ocean but we had a reservation at Fly Boy and this was one of the major destinations for us on this trip. Fly boy used to be the number one rated course in America on the dgcoursereview before the owner pulled it off the site. It’s privately owned and operated and no longer open to the general public without an invitation (we just called him). The course was built around a private airstrip slash private really extremely pricey gated community. As you would expect any housing area to be when it has its own air strip. That and the amazing course is just a super big wow factor which you just cant hide. It’s 27 holes of disc golf super awesome. We were invited to stay in the owner’s house and were given the red carpet treatment. It was really way too much but we ate it up. It even comes with a playstation 3 equiped with a cordless game version of disc golf. They feed you two meals a day from a private garden and you’re only asked for a donation for the accommodations. The place is perfect but it begs the question, “How is this place going to stay open?” the ask for donations to play the course but it’s not open to the general public to play. So it could only get a few bucks a day gross. Eventually the home owners around the course are going to tire of the disc golfers wandering around their private airport. And the owner has a full life outside of the fly boy course and he can’t maintain it alone forever. It’s a sad thought. This course is really perfect and is presently the number one course on my list. We felt cheap leaving our donation but our budget didn’t allow for a big donation.
We met Ed Gonzales at the IDGC in Appling for a round on the Jim Warner course and then we headed down to savannah hoping to see the ocean again. Sadly the powerful aroma of wet shoes and socks which have been festering in the hot sun for five days in the back of our car could no longer be avoided. The ocean was put on hold until after an emergency laundry mat visit. Sadly we didn’t have the time to see the ocean as we needed to be in Charlotte that night.
We stopped at the Trophy lakes disc golf compound just outside of charleston, sc before we finally found the ocean again. Its a great course and if you find water on one of the 15 holes which have water, you can swim out to get it without being eaten. A real plus for this part of the world.
And again the ocean…
The water was over 70 degrees and we spent a few hours just body surfing and washing off the road. It was weird to be in water without worrying about gators, however the thought of sharks is always strong in the minds of timid Kansasians unsure of this whole ocean thing.
It was a short drive to Charlotte and we stayed with Ed for the night. It worked out well for us, not so much for Ed who I fear won’t be asking us to stay in his room again. I snore.
We checked in at tournament central and spent the next two days playing the courses on Minna’s schedule. They are really unimpressive in my opinion but that’s because you play them in the shadow of hornets nest, rennie and nevin. I could be just expecting more out of worlds.
We have played 12 courses. Visited 9 states. Traveled over 2100 miles and eaten BBQ twice. And it’s only been a week since we left home. We take on worlds and head north from here.
P.S. gas has only been 2.99 a gallon for most of our trip. Ba… Zing!