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Argentina  INESfun

22 Feb 2020 at 13:37

There are about 300 recesses on one golf ball, and thanks to them, the ball flies three times farther than a smooth one. ... Balls of the same size...

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United States of America  Smitty

09 Sep 2021 at 03:16

Congrats, Joey! Great playing.

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United States of America  PatPenguin | 169 views | 0 comments

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Into the Woods Again


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United States of America Patrick Sheridan's blog« See all PatPenguin's blogs

Into the Woods Again
30 Sep 2021 at 14:57 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 252 | Comments: 0
Into the Woods Again
Playing one of my favorite holes in all of minigolf

I love writing about the Dolphin Open. One of the reasons is because how it always seems a bit cut off from the rest of the world for the weekend. Due to the location of the course itself with respect to everything else in the town (hotels, etc), it actually acts as this sort of gateway to another world. After a 5ish hour drive up from Connecticut with the family, once you pass Dolphin it's like you are in another world on the Maine seacoast. It's wonderful, but then sad when you inevitably leave, either right from the course or later and have to pass the course, as it acts as the gate back to the real world. You drive by it and think "till next year my friend."

The experience was no different this year, my 13th trip in September (and 14th overall), and as I passed the course on the rainy Thursday that arrived I wondered what it held for me. The course rarely changes. Lee (former owner) changed up the first hole slightly a few years ago, though it didn't really change the tee shot, and although the carpet has been wearing down for years now there's only a few places where it makes you change your approach year-over-year. So within a few moments of being on the course you could almost be right back in form - illustrated best by my putting friend, and former Dolphin champion, Josh Tiberio who showed up about 30 minutes before the tournament on Saturday and ended up 3rd. It also manifested in a fun way for myself once I got to the course on Friday. Before then though my family got settled in the hotel and met up with fellow penguin Mandy and our buddy Highlighter where we proceeded to have dinner and some drinks at the hotel. For a few years, most of our dinners have been cooked at the hotel as it has a little grassy area and some charcoal grills and of course we extend the invitation to some of our close friends. Most of the time the weather is perfect to take advantage of this setup and it's been particularly a bonus during Covid.

The next day we took it easy and arrived at the course mid-morning.  Mandy and I jumped into playing a couple of practice rounds after talking with Nancy Stoddard (course owner).  Before lining up for the 3rd go-around Mandy and I thought it would be good to try to put together a full video of my playing the course that we could post out on social media prior to the tournament.  We decided to do it in one long take so I wouldn't have to edit anything later.  I started the round off well, acing holes 2 and 5 and then got lucky on hole 8.  Ending the front 9 with 15 was pretty good but nothing too out of the ordinary for a lot of us.  We've all seen plenty of 15s and 16s on those front holes given how many of them are set up for aces. Things were looking lucky though when I aced hole 10 and nabbed another one on hole 13, which is my favorite hole on the course. We paused before hole 15 (Bobbin Buoys) to let Highlighter and Justin Seymour get a couple holes ahead of us as they were in the middle of a round as well.  At that point I knew I was doing ok but didn't quite realize what my score was.  I knew it was going to be good, though, when I aced 15 which is one of the least aced holes on the course.  I followed that up with another ace on 16 and deuced my way out.  Even during the "wrap up" portion of the video I didn't know my score, having not kept track of it. It wasn't until we watched it back that Mandy and I realized I had shot a 29, my first time breaking 30 on that course.  Even better than that I was now only one of 5 people who have broken 30 on that course according to Nancy. Even when the US Open was there in 2008 no one broke 30 and I had just done it on film, all in one take. The challenge, of course, was trying to replicate such success when it was actually tournament time.

To my surprise I did seem to start the tournament that way.  After helping get everyone organized for the morning and the pairings set up, I headed out on the first round with my playing partner Cheri, a new addition to the tournament family, and fired a 32. Unfortunately I would follow that up with my worst round of the tournament, a 41, and then things would bounce around in the mid-to-high 30s for the rest of the tournament.  Every time I thought I was getting a step ahead, I'd drop another mediocre round but through it all I was managing to hang tight near the top as no one but man-on-fire Justin seemed to be able to string together consistent good scores.

The bad thing about the tournament was that my mind block on the loop returned and in a bad way. A full 50% of the time I wasn't able to get it through the loop on the first shot but luckily I didn't have any complete breakdowns and was able to recover on the second and get a 3 all of those times.  The absolute most amusing part of the weekend is that I would ace that hole on the final round. The aces would be my savior overall as I would end up tied for the 2nd most in the tournament with 25 over the 10 rounds. 

In the end, I would do just enough to hang on for a paying position at 6th, which ended up being my worst finish in many years. It's always disappointing to not do as well as you know you can, but at least having something to show for it softens the blow.  Plus, As Mandy and I discussed, there's not a whole lot more I can ask from this course/tournament - I've already won it and now I have on film tying the course record. Anything else I do here is just gravy.  Not to say I will pull back my competitiveness at all, but it is good to put things in perspective, especially when you need a pick me up.

As a I finish writing this, I do so with the hindsight of my next event, the Matterhorn International Pro-Am, was also going to be a pick me up and I hope to get that covered before we hit the links for the granddaddy of them all, the US Masters next week. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely the views of the writer and do not represent the World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF), Minigolfnews.com or any other organization that the writer may be associated with unless expressly stated in the blog.

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