USDGC 2011: The Nielsen/Ollis Perspective Page Title Module
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  • #31

    Nice playing guys! Go for it tomorrow and bring on the full synopsis! Awesome read John, wish I was there with ya'll!
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    • #32
      wow, boys. well done.

      and thank you again, for the story time. i am enjoying it very much.

      john ollis, don't you dare cheat of us anything... synopsize away, please & thank you!!!
      "'There are two mantras.,' Bernard said, 'Yum and yuk. Mine is yum.'"
      Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker


      • #33
        Originally posted by emmarose View Post
        wow, boys. well done.

        and thank you again, for the story time. i am enjoying it very much.

        john ollis, don't you dare cheat of us anything... synopsize away, please & thank you!!!
        Hi Everyone,

        I'll keep it short and sweet and let John tell you more.. Winthrop Gold was in a mood today and was a tough nut to crack. For me, Today was a day of contrasts, ups and downs, sweet moments of joy, anxious moments and sheer terror while waiting for an Green, or Red Flag from the spotters. I think a golfer could have severe and lasting psychological problems after battling THOWG - Induced primarly by miles of horrific colored rope - mostly yellow

        So here are my highlights..

        I was on the same card as Ken Climo! What a amazing day with the Champ
        I birdied hole 1 of the tournament and shot a 34 on the front (even)
        I didn't have any OB until Hole 11 and even took the box a couple of times.
        Took a six on 888!
        Second day of getting a three on Hole 17 ( the most psycho hole that I have ever played)

        My Lowlights:

        The 9 on Hole 11...OB by less than 1 foot each OB
        drum roll, Please...The 4 OB shots to score a 13 on Hole 18.

        That puts me in 29th place overall with +8 to my projected score. I'll admit it, I am pretty bummed about the melting down on 18, but the good news is this- I am on the same card with Barry Shultz and Big Mike Leslie due to my unraveling! Lemons to Lemonade???

        craig out...


        • #34
          Damn Nielsen I am so envious!!!!!!!!!! Keep it up man!
          Training to be a bagger


          • #35
            Day 6: The Fruits of Labor

            As I reflect back upon the day, heavily icing my shoulder and elbow, I wish I could ice my brain. Ever have one of those days where from the very beginning you have a feeling that something is not quite clicking? I had one of those days. To be sure THGOWG on a normal day requires a more course management skills then a ship navigator crossing the Atlantic Ocean in hurricane season, but today was one of those instances that just required 200%. After talking with Craig about the battles he fought and won within his own head during his round, sans the last hole, I suspect he feels the same about the mental concentration necessary to just to keep from blowing up entirely.

            The lead card was a hodgepodge of styles and experience. Dave Feldberg, "the Borg", with his amazing drive to be the best of his time, clearly was on cruise control most of the day, with only a few OB traffic lights, keeping him from a second straight round in the 50's. His style of play, is so demanding that he seems to not even understand anything short of perfection, and his confidence in his abilities push past any doubts. His routine before shots and ability to lock into the zone is insane.

            David Wiggins Jr. is on his way to becoming one of the best shot executors in the game. He threw more amazing shots after going OB than anyone I have ever seen. He had no memory for the bad shots, and channeled his frustration into miraculous sweeping hyzers and line drives that fly as fast as the fastest drive, but as straight as the most controlled mid range.

            Tyler Graham is an effusive young gentleman from Virgina who helped organize the South Carolina Disc Golf Club that just recently won the Southern Regionals to qualify for the national collegiate championship. He handled playing in the lead card of a Major very calmly and casually, and did his onlooking parents proud (this can be confirmed as I had a nice long conversation with his folks during a three group wait on Hole #5). His descent from playing within himself, to despairing each shot was filled with ups and downs such as a 75 foot putt saving a 4 on 17 and something like 3 straight OBs on the upshot on 18. This course is a brutal, beautiful mental test.

            I was eager to selectively attack the course from Hole #1 to Hole #18, but unlike yesterday by the time I got to Hole #5 the die was already cast. MY putt was not on, my throw was not on, and the only thing left in my control was to play as conservatively as possible. I can hardly remember throwing a single crowd wowing shot, unlike how the scenario played out in my dreams. But after about 16 holes I had controlled the leaking of strokes effectively enough such that if I finished #17 and 18 with a 3 and a 4 I would shoot a 71 (my score to beat). I was already exhausted, bored, tired of throwing firebird and XCaliber hyzers, tired of waiting on every teepad watching folks throw OB, tired of smacking chains, rim and band on putts that were going in yesterday.

            But walking up the long picturesque path to #17, I watched Avery Jenkins and Jeremy Kohling gleefully playing a sort of freestyle catch with a found Aero. The Aero fell in front of me, and Avery playfully snatched

            it from my retrieving grasp, and said "Better let me throw it back, you can't. Your playing..." He then related how he had never played catch on this road because he was always making the walk as a player.

            All this mental angst over "play". After that brief exchange, I was not tired of anything, just back to enjoying the experience. Back to embracing the opportunity to execute a couple boring pars and take my boring score into the clubhouse with pride. That's the game. Its not mental angst, its a mental challenge. No reason to be tired. No reason to fear the boring. Its all part of the experience. If it wasn't this hard, it would not feel so great when success does eventually come. The next two holes were not exciting. Thank goodness.

            Enough of the heavy stuff. Lets talk about Southern Hospitality. The player hospitality area at Winthrop is true treat. Free cheeseburgers, hot dogs, beverages, and Sammmy Poole's homemade ice cream highlight the comfortable seating area just right of Hole 3. Baskets are scattered about for easy pre-round putting. The volunteers are friendly and are basically just there to answer questions and make sure your USDGC is the disc golf equivalent of a five star hotel. Speaking of hotels, time for me to rest up in mine.


            • #36
              Originally posted by sol View Post

              All this mental angst over "play". After that brief exchange, I was not tired of anything, just back to enjoying the experience. Back to embracing the opportunity to execute a couple boring pars and take my boring score into the clubhouse with pride. That's the game. Its not mental angst, its a mental challenge. No reason to be tired. No reason to fear the boring. Its all part of the experience. If it wasn't this hard, it would not feel so great when success does eventually come. The next two holes were not exciting. Thank goodness.

              such lessons you are learning! and us as well...
              "'There are two mantras.,' Bernard said, 'Yum and yuk. Mine is yum.'"
              Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker


              • #37
                Day 7: Moving Day

                In ball golf, the third round is the first round of the weekend, and is considered moving day because it is the first round after which all players make the cut and get paid. In this tournament, it feels like there are three different groups of golfers: (1) those who have given up and are playing for just the experience, (2) those who are contending who are contending for the top ten trophy spots, and (3) those who are contending for the title. If I am honest with myself, while I am not disatisfied with my performance today, I probably moved from the 3rd group to the 2nd group.

                I am bit disappointed, but still ready to battle tomorrow. The wind at USDGC today was swirly and gusty, making it hard for even normally safe hyzers to always stay in bounds. I do not think even the best scores were blemish free. All in all though, another beautiful day at THGOWG. Time to ice up, and get ready to make a final push tomorrow, and try and finish strong.
                Being in the second card today was fun, but to be honest in this format, every card feels like a chase card. You never know who is going to shoot a hot round. The OB throw and distance virtually ensures that even a well-managed round could be a -3 to a +3 in 3 OB throws. Because of this, whomever can shrink that range by managing the course, should be the winner. I am hoping for the -6 tomorrow to follow-up the +6 of today.

                Last day, time to bring it from the fourth card.


                • #38
                  John's making his move! Only a few strokes back of 3rd place at this point... go get em'!
                  Don't just walk past that candy wrapper on the fairway-- I know you saw it!


                  • #39
                    Way to go John!
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                    • #40
                      Day 8: Last Chance

                      Last day of blue skies over Hole 5, last opportunity for redemption on the the par/birdie-eluding holes, last time to see new acquaintances and old friends from different states, last chance to play THGOWG for another year. Today began with aches and pains, general exhaustion, and an overall feeling of peace. Craig and I felt like an old grizzled, war vets as we drove by Hole 12 on the right, making the right turn,cruising down the the road splitting holes 14 and 15, taking a left into the course proper, with hole 5 flying by in reverse on our right, the blue heron looking for its fishy breakfast; the left turn avoiding the fleet of golf carts waiting to ferry players from the practice area to the hospitality area or the clubhouse and the first tee. I'd like to say we were ready to attack the course, but after three rounds the course has ground you down and spit you out multiple times. But like the recalcitrant regurgitants that we are, we came back for more.

                      My shoulder was throbbing and my elbow felt like I had thrown about 60 yard Hail Mary passes for the last hour at the rate of 10 per minute. Needless to say, my hopes were bleak, as I iced my shoulder and elbow all the way up to my tee time. The wind kicked up another 5 to 10 miles per hour more than yesterday, and seemed to change direction faster than a horse tap dancing around a rattlesnake. Highlights of today's round were an 80 foot birdie on Hole 2, a tap in birdie on Hole 4, finally figuring out how to throw the drive on hole 10, getting a 7 after two OB's on Hole 12 (the equivalent of eagling the hole without the throw and distance OB's), throwing a 260 ft flip up valkyrie while backed up against a tree that lead to a birdie on 15, my final drive on 17 landing in bounds (which meant I hit the island every round), and my upshot getting to 30 ft on 18, and canning the 30 ft death putt in front of hundreds of people. I know Craig threw in a 250 ft shot to

                      save a 5 on Hole 12 as well. So all in all lots of good shots. There were OB's too, but one cannot play this course without expecting to go OB at least once. In fact that would be my advice to

                      any newcomers to the USDGC next year. Expect to go OB occasionally. Maybe more than occasionally Don't treat it like it is unjust. Don't worry about how unlikely that uphill roll, swirling wind, or crazy bounce was on that perfectly executed shot. None of that matters. Just continue executing, and when a good shot goes OB, think about all the factors that could have made it happen and step up and make that next shot a great shot! Keep repeating until you have success. I was lucky enough to have a 7 as my highest score for a hole, which sounds bad, but really feels like a feat.

                      Anyway, regardless of final score, I feel like I was locked in, and played some of the best golf of my life (to put it into perspective, I averaged 4 OBs a round, which equals 8 strokes a round).

                      All I could think at the end of the tourney was hopefully I will get another opportunity to hone my game on this mostly just, but fickle course.

                      Props to Craig N. for playing his heart out in his first PDGA major, and taking home inspiration instead of disappointment, renewed excitement for the game instead of a lack of confidence, appreciation for experience instead of thinking about what could have been. Congratulations to him, he truly deserved to be here.

                      I tried to be the best state representative I could, tried to update y'all along the way, I hope you have gotten a feel for what it is like to be here. Accepting my 6th place trophy, I thanked the sponsors, the volunteers, and all you Oregonians who were so supportive during this experience. Thank you for having me as the State representative for this year.


                      • #41
                        Congratulations John on a great performance and a huge Thank You for all of your expressive updates and amusing similies, terrific stuff!


                        • #42

                          Congratulations, very very solid golfing. I think speak for many people when I say, there couldn't be a better person to represent Oregon in an event like this.
                          -Devin Cordell #38801


                          • #43
                            Great job! You guys are a true inspiration. Your detail, anecdotes, and candor in writing is really a great read. I have eagerly awaited each post.
                            Coming from a frustrating day at Pier yesterday, your final post made me realize I need to stop beating myself up on and after I am off the course if I wish to become more successful. In addition your earlier post of taking a 15 and calmly announcing it, is a reminder to us all of great sportsmanship we should strive to achieve and expect from others. Thank you for taking the time to let us in on your experience. I look forward to an opportunity to meet you sometime.

                            Josh Dearing
                            PDGA# 49616
                            Stumptown# 353
                            OTDG: Young Guns - SAT


                            • #44
                              Great reporting! Sounds like you fellas loved it there and hope to go back! I hope so too so i can read more recaps. Thanks


                              • #45
                                Heading Home: The final Chapter of USDGC from Craig

                                "You'll remember me when the west wind moves
                                Upon the fields of Winthrop
                                You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
                                As we walk in the fields of gold"
                                -sting (with a bit of a modification)

                                The opening banquet was my first clue that this week would be like, and end like no other. On Tuesday night, As the throngs of hungry Disc Golfers ate their last helpings of Sweet Potatoes and Nanner Pudding, I listened intently as the grizzled veteren Harold Duvall indulged us all to get some of the "gold" that comes from playing the USDGC at Winthrop. I recollect that the statement seemed somewhat trite. Granted, this is the finest and most difficult course in the world as well as one of the most prestigious events in our sport. Internally, I dismissed his offerings - After all, how could the USDGC experience could be anything more than challenging disc golf at an amazing venue? What I didn't realize at the time is how true Harold's enticements would soon become.

                                As my final putt rang the chains on 18, I reflected back on the week and realized that I was the most fortunate competitor at the USDGC. I didn't score particularly well, nor did I place nearly as high, or as well as I had anticipated, however, at the end of this week I had scored gold, lots of precious Winthrop Gold.

                                I was fortunate to be on the same card as the Legendary Ken Climo and played some of the best golf of my short DG career. I appreciated his easy demeanor and his reverence for a well executed golf shot, no matter who threw it. Not only is he an amazing golfer, but a genuinely nice person. Winthrop Gold

                                My bad fortune on 18, 2nd round landed me on a card with Mike Leslie and Barry Shultz on the 3rd round. I was amazed at Barry's skill and willingness to share his encyclopedic knowledge of disc golf. I learned several extremely valuable lessons from this top pro that I will carry forever.

                                I was able to witness unbelievable bravery as a injury crippled Mike on 18. Mike made it through with courage and returned to finish his final round on Saturday. Winthrop gold.

                                I want to reiterate the outpouring of respect for John Ollis. I was fortunate enough to witness his amazing disc golf abilities first hand. We owe John a great debt of gratitude for representing Oregon with integrity and skill. Congratulations John for bringing home some Winthrop Gold

                                All of the players, Volunteers and sponsors have made a lasting impression and I owe them my thanks.

                                The USDGC and Winthrop has made me realize that I have many lessons to learn, and many skills to yet master. As I suspected, I left the USDGC encouraged and humbled. I was definately over my head, but I was willing to take a chance and it has paid handsomly with Winthrop Gold

                                Finally, I want to share a personal story and I hope you will indulge me, even if it seems a bit sentimental. I may have mentioned to some of you that my eldest Brother, Mark Nielsen, passed away from a heart attack about 4 years ago. Mark introduced me to disc golf around 1980 and I remember his passion and keen disc skills as if it was yesterday. Although I had not played in the subsequent years, disc golf always had a place in my heart. In the last three years, I have pursued it with passion and intensity. As I have honed my Disc Golf Skills, Mark has always been at the back of my mind and seemingly shadowing my progress. It occured to me recently that I wanted to honor him in a special way. So, on October 7th, 2011, on what would have been my brother's 53rd Birthday, I putted a Disc that Mark bought for my nephew Erik Nielsen, into the 18th Basket. For just that short moment, I was able to share with Mark a bit of Winthrop gold.

                                Last edited by Fridgecat; October 10th, 2011, 05:41 AM. Reason: fixed my crummy spelling error - Thanks Chuck ..sorry Harold


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