The 2019 Discmania Combine is in the books and man do I have a lot to say. For those of you who are unfamiliar with how the format works, it’s a skills test + a sanctioned C-tier round. Everything is points based and the Top 5 finishers in each tier move on to the interview process for Team Discmania. I’ll break it out for you guys as best as I can.
If you don’t want to learn how the event worked, you can skip to the results.
The Approach Section: Throw 4 shots from 100, 150, 200, 250 and 350ft. Somewhere between 10-25ft off the tee were two white poles (somewhere between 10-25ft apart from each other – I don’t remember). You had to throw through the poles, to the left and to the right for 3 of the shots. The 4th shot was whatever route you wanted to do. There were three rings around the basket (I don’t remember the distances unfortunately) but one was worth 5 points, 3 points and 1 point. The max points you could get was 20 per distance – 100 on the approach all together. You also received 10 additional bonus points for acing (which two people did)!
The Putt Section: Four putts from 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 feet. Similarly, making all your putts would result in 100 points. You then got 1 putt from 50ft for 10 extra bonus points.
The Distance Section: Throw as far as you can while landing within a 25ft fairway. If you missed the fairway, you reduced your total distance by how many feet from the fairway you were. Example: 400ft drive, 20ft off the fairway = 380ft. You threw 4 shots and they took your 2 highest shots. Max points here were 50 points – the person with the farthest throw got the most points. You also received bonus points for every shot that went over 300ft and landed in the fairway.
The Speed Gun Section: Very simple concept here. Throw as fast as you can, fastest throw resulted in max points (which was 50). We had 5 throws and our highest counted.
The Round Section: We played a round at The Valley DGC from the long pads (Par 60). The winner of the round scored up to 100 points, and the rest of the field received their points according to their finish. There were 10 extra bonus points for every ace hit during the round (there were none).
Total, if you played 100% perfect and won all of your sections, you could score 400 points (not including bonus options).
How did I do at the Discmania Combine?
Well, with full transparency, I took dead last. Here’s the breakout by section (in points):
The Approach: 100ft: 16 | 150ft: 12 | 200ft: 20 (yay) | 250ft: 14 | 350ft: 0 | Total Points: 62
The Putting: 20ft: 4 made | 25ft: 2 made | 30ft: 1 made | 35ft: 0 made | 40ft: 0 made | Total Points: 35
The Distance: Best two shots were 269ft and 282ft (around there anyhow, I don’t completely remember). Let me also say that we had about a 10-15MPH headwind for this section. I knew I wasn’t going to do well at the distance section, but that definitely didn’t help my chances. | Total Points: 13
The Speed Gun: My best speed was 57MPH with my Blizzard DD2. I didn’t get to see the scores at this point as it was the final event of the day, but I had the slowest arm speed there for sure.
The Round: This is the only part of the event where I was discouraged. After being in 85-90 degree weather for 6 hours, we played The Valley DGC from the longs. I was feeling stiffness in my elbow and wasn’t able to accurately hit my lines with almost any shot. While my mental game stayed solid (no angry moments, only moments of quietness), I hit a tree off every tee except 3 holes. I took two 6’s, four 5’s and a lot of 4’s. I ended up shooting the worst round of my disc golf ‘career’ – which was a +14, 74 – resulting in a 791 rating. That’s 113 points below my current rating. The best way to explain that round with complete transparency in one word is this: demoralizing. I also felt a little embarrassed. But after processing things on the 5 hour drive home the next day, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not a representation of the hard work I’ve put in over the last year and that I’m not going to let it stop me from working towards bigger things. Whatever those bigger things may be.
Overall, I had such a great time. Especially during the approach section. I met a lot of really awesome Discmaniacs and was able to talk with Avery Jenkins more. With his small team, he was able to run an incredible event and we can’t thank him enough for everything he does for the sport of disc golf.
My friend Vincent (the main reason I went out to this event) played well enough to advance to the interview process for Team Discmania and this alone has me feeling very accomplished with the trip. If you are wrestling with whether you should attend the event or not, the experience alone is worth it – so do it.
As far as my next steps go, I’m going to take a tiny break from competition to focus on a few other things. I discovered some problems with my left elbow that is hindering me from creating more distance and I have some decisions to make here. I’m also going to focus even harder on losing weight to help with endurance and add yoga into my life to improve my flexibility. While doing all of this, I want to finally peak 100 courses played (currently sitting at 80) and simply continue to remind myself of why I love this sport so much.
If you read this, you’re a trooper and I can’t thank you enough. Your support over the last several months has been incredible and it means the world to me. The opportunity to be on Discmania’s Media Team as well as serve my local community through The Disc Golf Experience is humbling and a great reminder of my roots in disc golf.