Preparations for a PDGA Tournament; The Vic Park Classic

At the beginning of April, I registered for my first Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) tournament called The Victoria Classic in Red Deer, Alberta Canada.

For benefits to yourself as a member-player and for the PDGA community you can sign up for a membership on their website. This annual membership costs $50 USD per calendar year: Jan 1 to Dec 31 of any given year.

As a PDGA player you receive a membership number and this gives you discounted entry fees into PDGA sanctioned events, discounts from vendors, a subscription to PDGA magazine, access to exclusive events, and they track all of your Player Stats throughout the year.

Also by becoming a PDGA player and playing in tournaments or leagues you’ll have to follow and adhere to the PDGA rules and competion manual.

As well as your player number provides history of the events you attended, your ranking, your player rating and a history of events attended and/or qualified for such as provincials, nationals or world competition events.

On Saturday April 23, I prepped all the needs for playing in the one day tournament. A five gallon jug of water, snacks, extra clothing for warmth as the morning would start out at 4C (39F) then warm into the afternoon with a forecasted high of 15C (59F) and tried to determine which set of disc’s would be most beneficial in the disc golf backpack for that day.

Discs in the golf bag

  • Distance Drivers
    • Innova Shryke Champion
    • Yikun Disc Twin Swords Tortoise
    • Discraft Machete
    • RPM Discs Maori Warrior Atomic
  • Fairway Drivers
    • Innova Firebird Champion
    • Daredevil Mammoth Flex
    • Dynamic Discs Escape Burst
    • Streamline Lift Limited Edition Proton
    • Elevation Disc Binx
  • Approach
    • Infinite Discs Bomber
    • Innova Leopard3
    • Kataplast Kaxe K3
    • RPM Discs Kotuku Atomic
  • Putters
    • Discmania Sensei Active
    • Discraft Jawbreaker GT
    • Dynamic Discs Warden Prime

Tucking into bed early I was upstairs by 11:55pm but as I brushed my teeth my nerves were racking around my body when I finally calmed myself down enough to close my eyes. That must have been at 12:35am Sunday morning.

My eyes fluttered and SPRUNG OPEN!!

Leaning over, I picked up the clock face and read a glaring 3:43am!

I blinked twice, then a third time until my brains understood I still had a good 2 1/2 hours of sleep before needing to be awake. Rolling back over face into the pillow I went back to sleep.

Just before the alarm clock was set to go off at 06:00am my limbs twitched and I rolled out of bed the nerves of my first tournament had gotten the better of me overnight. Morning routine overweigh, I headed downstairs for nourishment but realized I could eat this food on the go. Back up stairs, I said good bye to the wife who responded with “enjoy your day down south. see you tonight!”

Out the garage door the Tacoma, the gear and I went.

Out onto the highway we were jamming out to The Trews on the CD Player at volume 10. The roadway was clear. No other vehicles in sight. I drove at a 115 km/ph in the 100 km/ph lanes since we were in the pre-dawn hours. Cresting the first hill on the other side of the highway blues-and-reds instantly lite up! Shitty start to the day came to mind as the police car chased after the speeding vehicle heading north. Foot off the gas pedal, we slowed to 5 km/ph above the limit.

Reaching the Edmonton City Limits then the Leduc City Limits the QE II speed limit went up to 110 km/ph and I pressed hard on the gas passing a utility truck. From this point onward its about an hour and a half to Red Deer. Estimated arrival about 8:30am. We arrived just after 8:00am. Guess we were driving a bit faster than 110 km/ph.

Pulling into the Circle K convenience store down the street from Victoria Park, I head in for a coffee and a washroom. Both missions completed I sat on the tailgate enjoying a raw carrot, a cup of premium Columbian coffee and mentally preparing myself for what was about to come next.

Player’s meeting at 9:00am. Drive to the other course. Go out to the hole for which I would be playing and await to meet the other players in my group.

Standing around shooting the shit with no-one at all. Since it was my first tournament and no body looked familiar then I heard someone shout “Hey Wally great to see you!”

Wally Ovalle is a legend in the Disc Golf community in Edmonton and throughout Alberta. A friend of a friend, knows Wally and I was too shy to introduce myself at that time. Just really unsure what to say to the guy.

I stood around awaiting the players meeting and the sign-in. Overhearing a few other players “check-in” was being completed online through the PDGA website:

Checked-in, I stood and watched other players far above my amateur status warming up and chatting with each other, or drinking coffee, or checking out the course, or tossing discs around the nearby soccer field. Everyone had their morning routines going and I was observing and cataloging all of it for future knowledge and use.

Just before 9:00am Rob Raincock the Tournament Director and member of the Highway 2 Disc Golf Club, called everyone over the first tee box to host the Player’s Meeting.

Basically he went over how Disc Golf is a growing community in Alberta, the rules being followed for the tournament being that of the PDGA, to score everything using the PDGA website and/or UDisc, to ensure people are spreading the word about disc golf and getting the younger generation aware of disc golf as a sport and that he was proud to announce this year’s tournament is filled with 80-participants in 10 categories.

He said everyone starting up at the north course would have about a 20-minute drive across town and everyone should start play about 9:30am. Then after the first round there would be a 1-hour lunch break followed by a second round of 18 in the afternoon. “If you start your day at Kentwood then you will finish your day at Vic Park. And vice versus if you are the other way around. Now go out there and throw some discs!”

~ Aaron JacksonCrabb

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