I have a scabbed over gash that runs from the top of my left triceps down past the elbow. The left hand has a few nasty scratches that make it look like I lost a catnip fight with a panther. My special "frolf shoes", actually Teva trail shoes, are so badly torn I haven't even tried to wear them in a week.
Plus, I had to buy a new skeeter.
Still the worst part of my past week was the following admonition from my wife :
"I don't think you should play alone anymore. If (Otis) can't play, you should just go to the gym instead. It's too dangerous."
She actually said that!
I'm so ashamed.
I started playing frolf regularly, by which I mean almost every day, about 8 years ago. That first initial infatuation lasted a good two years before taking a 5 year snooze. Then, last summer, Otis and I rediscovered what we loved about it in the first place :
It gets us out of the house.
It gets us outside.
It gets us away from our wonderful and better-than-we actually-deserve wives.
We can pretend we're competitive without, you know, skills or talent.
I've played pretty much every day for the past year.
But even a true love needs a fresh look, a new position to try, a fresh approach. After playing almost exclusively at "Timmons Park" we we thrilled to get a new course out in Greer.
So without further yammering nonsense, here's my take on the new "Century Park" course and details of my latest frolf humilation.
Now that the leaves are coming in, the course is looking good. The city of Greer had to redesign the course last year and brought Innova in for the course architecture. That led to a complete clear-cutting of all the underbrush. Before the spring it had a real zombie apocalypse feel. If you've read Cormac McCarthy's "The Road", this is the landscape you pictured.
Now with some leaves on the trees it looks like the apocalypse...with chlorophyll. That's an improvement in my book.
The layout is actually quite superb, a mixture of tricky elevation changes, long bombs, and at least a few relatively easy birdies.
Notable are :
- The third hole which is over 400 feet and has a tough uphill lie that begins about midway.
- The 7th, which should be the easiest in Greenville but has caused me to develop a frightening mental block. There is only one tree to hit. I always hit it.
- The 10th which lies to the right of the teepad with that path obstructed by heavy trees. It's a pretty easy birdie for a lefty who can get a good long range fade but is tricky for a righty who has trouble with a turnover disc.
- The 11th is the hardest hole in the area IMHO. Otis' too. 397 feet with a steep uphill and some pretty dense tree obstructions about midway. A par here is very impressive.
- The 15th. Notable because, while long, it is not a particularly difficult shot. Somehow, this is an Otis mental block hole.
- The 16th. A case could be made that this is actually the easiest hole on the course. I, however, have now lost two midrange discs here...including my daughter's "Skeeter".
Last week I threw a fade shot that I thought would curve into the basket. I had the range right but actually pulled it a bit and caught the side of a tree. That sent my skeeter a good 50 feet away and at a 90 degree angle from the hole.
When I crossed the creek and found my disc, I found that there is actually a SECOND creek perpendicular to the first. My disc was beyond a good 20 feet of dense bramble on the opposite bank.
After sloooowly stepping through the thorns, I got to the near bank and devised a retreval plan :
Step down about two feet onto the near bank with my right foot.
Quick step with left foot across 2 feet width of creek to far bank.
Push back onto right foot.
In my defense, a strategy much like this has worked thousands of times before.
Instead it went bad fast.
When I stepped down, my right foot sank a good 8 inches in the mud. When I lunged forward it wouldn't come loose.
I tried to re-adjust and threw my weight backwards, my arms flailing in a spiral.
With my left hand I reached backward for something to grab and stop my fall. With my right I tried to break my fall into the creek.
The left hand found something to grab. A thornbush. It ripped my hand open (my throwing hand no less) and I finally let go falling entirely into the mud.
The mud was so soft now that I couldn't stand to get out. I had to find some sturdy sticks nearby to get solid footing for the climb from the creek.
When I did, my right shoe stayed behind. I had to get on my stomach and pull it out.
I left the skeeter behind.
Now I'm not allowed to play alone. And, sadly, this is my SECOND major frolf injury of the year. This one, luckily, was without witnesses.
The last was in a competitive tournament.