The KOA Pro Am Jam is always an experiencee, but this year’s event was an EXPERIENCE! It was definitely a tournament that will be talked about in years to come wherever disc golfers gather to discuss “hey, do you remember the time…..”
What can I say? Best laid plans and all of that. Nothing went as planned from the very beginning. We had stated that the field was limited to 150. Ha! Instead of the PDGA advising me of registrations as they received them as they had done in the past, they sent notification every two weeks in batches of 15 or 20. I had no idea of the total number registered. When my list neared 150, I notified PDGA to close registrations and was told they had another 13 signups they hadn’t advised me of! We ended up with 185 registrations and were faced with putting out a lot of ‘fivesomes’ which slows down play considerably. We didn’t want to do that so we added a couple of holes (15a & 15b) to help with that. We ended up with 22 holes! This was a record for KOA. And then rain moved into the forcast!
So we expected, shall we say…, inclement weather. Two weeks before the event the weather report predicted (??) partly cloudy conditions. Then things began to change. The entire week before the tourney, I had the The Weather Underground up on my PC and my television turned to The Weather Channel. I watched with dismay as the forecast degenerated from “partly cloudy” to “30% chance of showers” to “70% chance of rain” to “heavy rain with a chance of thundershowers”. What can you do? “No wimps, no whiners.” You don’t cancel tournaments for weather but we had already decided that we would call play at the first sign of lightning.
Well, lightning was the only thing that didn’t happen. I’m not sure how we missed that one! It rained. No, it poured! Conditions were…how can I put this tactfully?……adverse. Yeah, that’s it…”adverse”. We had constant heavy rain punctuated by periods of monsoon alternating with typhoon conditions. It was miserable and the curse of the gods of disc golf continued.
First of all, we found that we would not have the use of Tournament Central as we always had in the past. A large group of school children were visiting the campground (in the rain) and would be occupying Tournament Central until after 5pm and we didn’t find out until we got there. We had planned to unpack the material for our players packages and hand them out as players checked in. Instead, we had to run check-in from the front stoop of our cabin(!!) and could not unpack anything because we had no room and it was WET. That put us back in the position of handing out players packages during the rounds which is just what I didn’t want to do. Players packages were reserved for the first 150 who registered but our volunteers who handed out the packages didn’t check registration numbers. Some people didn’t get their packages and we ran out of tournament shirts. Not the volunteers’ fault…. we were to get the help!
It was just that we were doomed!
George and I are the kind that actually like camping in the rain. As long as we can keep our tent dry. We had a cabin for the KOA, and that was a good thing because there was no way we could have kept the tent dry! The lower end of the campgrounds were a swamp. With the rain and the foot traffic it quickly degenerated in places to a bog. Tents
blew over and nothing was dry. I am amazed that we didn’t have more cancellations, no-shows or DNF’s than we had!
The entire course was treacherous footing. I didn’t hear of any injuries and that was a welcome miracle.
The truly amazing thing was that we had more tournament Aces (7) than any KOA in recent memory. This in spite of the typhoon.
On the first day of the tournament (Saturday):
Jim Waltermire aced hole 11 (his first ever tournament Ace)
Chad Santos aced hole 7A
Duane Fuller aced hole 8
On the second day (Sunday)
Eric Crespo aced hole 17
Shane Kimbrel aced hole 7A
Dallas Albright aced hole 14
John Khury aced hole 2
Congratulations to all the guys who aced.
There were a couple of missed steps. Because the weather was so bad on Saturday we knew that Sunday was going to be slow going so awards and the raffle would go late, so we moved the second day start time back half an hour. A couple of players did not check times before leaving Saturday evening and were late for the Sunday morning rounds.
One player said “the flyer said 8:30am”. Jeeze guys, the flyers were printed 6 month in advance. Did you not notice the weather? No quite what we expected (or hoped for). All things are subject to change during a tournament and 95% of the first round players did verify the start time before leaving. It was posted but the sign was wet and smeared, another indication that the weather was “not good”.
A number of players were upset because the number of tents allowed to a campsite was limited to two. This year that was vigorously enforced. I’m sorry guys, but that was not within our control. We have no influence on Campground policy, only the actual tournament.
Needless to say, Sunday did run long and it was after midnight by the time we got everything packed up and shut down. The two baskets in the raffle went to Burke Lewis and Dan Odetto. The full placement list is on the PDGA
site but a listing of the top 3 (trophy) positions in each division can be found on the tournament recap page.
Thanks to the guys who helped out, Greg Goben, Steve Schroeder, Lewis Bittney, Chris Caudle, Russ Stirling, Mark Patenode (who will be an integral part of our projected Ukiah tournament) and Justin Napier and his photography crew.
The representative from Gateway Discs, Blake, stopped by on Sunday with some swag for the raffle and actually went away with some sales. Thanks Blake. And, of course, as always, thanks to Mr. Neal from the NorCal store! Don’t know what we would do without hime.