I posted some thoughts on my experience in yesterday's local Birdie Bash yesterday (City Park New Orleans) on DGCR, and I thought I would share them here, too.
It was my first tournament; I had assumed that the Birdie Bash would be a good starter tourney, and I was right. The atmosphere was fun and supportive, even when it got competitive. I'm sure who I got paired with helped, and that I was never really in the running for the grand prize, so there was no pressure there. But there was a good level of camaraderie and mutual support going on, which was cool to see. Plus, I don't play with the local club very often (lots of work on nights and weekends), so this was a great opportunity to get to know them better. Definitely going to start going out more club events once summer hits and my work schedule lightens up.
I loved the format. The TD set up a lot of alternative holes/tees, so it was fun to play a mostly-new course (even if it compounded the challenge of playing with new discs). Or to put it a different way: it was fun to see the course from new angles. The often-shortened holes meant that a birdie was viable on pretty much every hole, which is far from a given from a relative newb like myself. Rounds played fast - about an hour and 15 minutes - which was nice. Again, it was a good easing-into the experience of playing two competitive rounds back to back (something I don't do often, if for no other reason than because I often play alone).
It wasn't all wine and roses, however: the discs failed to make it in time (!!!). The TD should be commended for keeping a good face and salvaging things: he's the friendly local disc proprietor, so he just made his Vibram stores available. It wasn't enough to cover everyone, however, so he ended up getting locals who throw Vibram to give out some loaners to cover the difference. I don't want to overstate the negative side of this - the predominant impression I got was that people had fun - but it definitely had an impact on the afternoon. Because we were working with what was available, many didn't get the discs or weights that they had asked for. This led to some comical situations, like a guy in my second round who was throwing a Soft Ridge that had apparently sat in the water for a year. Not sure if the water had had an effect, but that thing was crazy floppy, and was literally unusable for putts outside of ten feet (he did however almost get an ace with it!). I think people were generally bummed to not get to use "their" discs. I also felt like people ended up with more Firms than Mediums, which I thought was a bummer, because I personally think Medium feels was superior. I hope the experience didn't put too bad a taste in people's mouth, but I fear it did with at least a few, even though it's hard to blame Vibram for the late-arriving discs (TD said they were due to arrive Friday via UPS guaranteed, but that UPS delayed their delivery for some reason).
For my part, I got there early enough that I was able to snag the driver I had wanted (Medium Trak). I had to use a loaner (Firm) VP, though (probably could have used my own had I thought about it - they were in my car; then I wouldn't have had to fear losing someone else's disc!). I thought that the Trak ended up being a good choice for the Bash - it's pretty versatile, and I seemed to be able to get surprisingly easy distance from it considering I'm used to glidely Lat/Westside drivers. I definitely plan to spend some more time with it. My familiarity with the VP (started throwing them after buying two off of Brodysseus; love that thing) was definitely an advantage, and as the day went on I found myself throwing it more and more. Not a massive fan of putting with the Firms (I look forward to snagging the Medium I was supposed to get for the tourney when it comes in on Monday), but off the tee and for long upshots, that thing is perfect. Anyway, I finished with a 16 total from the two rounds - nothing for all the 500'-throwing, 1000-rated studs of DCGR to get excited about, but I was fairly happy with how I played, a few tantalizingly close birdie putts and one hair's width away from my first ace aside.
PLUS: the TD had a throw-off (CTP) at the end of the day to win a spare water bottle, and I won! I was tempted to tell my fiance that I had won the whole thing, and that all they had for the champion was a water bottle ("Look how poor the local disc golf club is, honey; I need to buy more discs to help them out!"). Anyway, it was nice to walk away with something that I earned with my playing.
(Way) TL;DR: Fun day, loved the format, great first tourney, good people, discs didn't get there which bummed people out but the TD improvised and saved the day, and I won a water bottle. *score* Will definitely play in this puppy next year.
**Currently auditioning Eagle Xs**