It was roughly fifteen years ago on a sunny summer day at Hudson Mills Metropark. I was shooting a round of disc golf on the Original Course with a friend, Jim Daniels, and we had just completed the first of six alternate holes.
Walking to the tee pad on “Hole B”, we observed several novice players foraging about in the tall grass off of the fairway for an errant throw. Signaling that we’d like to play through, they waved us on.
At 330′, I was quite pleased when my sidearm drive landed only ten feet shy of the basket. So to was Jim, as his backhand drive bettered mine by two feet. Both great shots!
As we walked ahead, the other players could be heard talking amongst themselves, suggesting that we must be professional disc golfers. Not an unreasonable assumption, given our two drives. And, it sure sounded good at the time.
Nevertheless, when we arrived at our thrown discs, we each proceeded to miss short putts. At that moment, reality came crashing down and it sounded a lot like amateur…
It was the summer of 2000 when Hudson Mills Metro Park hosted the PDGA World Disc Golf Championships near Ann Arbor, Michigan. To accommodate a deep field of competitors traveling to the area, six different courses were utilized, including Cass Benton Hills (Northville) and Kensington Metro Park (Milford).
Various side activities were also available during that week, where players and spectators alike could participate. One such event included a disc golf basket to be given away on the last day. To qualify for a chance to win the basket (worth several hundred dollars), preliminaries were held each day at every course, where people were charged $1 per shot. With any luck, their name would be added to a final list.
I thought I’d give it a try, but realized that day that I’d already spent my money on lunch. However, after rummaging through my car for a while, I found $1 in change and handed it over to Gunars Nollendorfs, the person conducting the activity. He chuckled as I counted out the coins, informing me that many people where paying $20 at a time for a chance to qualify.
Nevertheless. Starring at the basket roughly 80’ away, I tossed my one and only shot…and made it! It was a moral victory of sorts, though I never did win the basket in the end.