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NASA Wins February Team Challenge vs. Cranbury Park 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012  by mcmanus

Saturday, February 25th 2012, produced some of the windiest disc golf Amesbury Pines has seen in a very long time. For NASA, winds are expected at their open, hilly, Topsfield home course of Pye Brook. However, both rounds for this match were held at one of their other home courses: Amesbury Pines, and the magnitude of the wind gusts was far beyond any sort of normal “Home-Team Advantage.” There were no holes that played like they normally play, so the only home advantages were course-familiarity and travel (lack there of).

NASA produced five more players than Cranbury, but with the commute from Cranbury Park at over three hours to Amesbury Pines it’s bound to turn out this way. Whether or not this gives the edge to the smaller team or larger team is up for debate, since it depends on the quality of the players and the necessity of qualifying team players for the end of the year Team Finals.

The story of the day was the wind. It was quickly established during the morning’s match play that the winner of a given hole was the one who could lay-up soonest. Fifteen foot putts were extremely hard to sink, especially with the handful of unique Amesbury baskets (with just single heavy-gauge chain). Many players were seen putting with a Hornet or Drone instead of a putter. When it came time for the doubles matches, the in-round strategy was interesting. Much like most doubles matches, if one player lays up it means the next player can “go for it.” In this weather however, it became a necessity to lay-up even at short distances; and when a player was “going for it,” it meant they were throwing an over-stable disc with the force of a driver, sometimes from just 25-30 feet. Accuracy was impossible without power, and the strong majority of birdies came off a team’s second attempt (after the safe lay-up).

The edge in the morning’s match play fell to NASA with a fairly heavy margin. Four of these singles matches were pushes (ties), with each team being awarded a half point. The strategy for each team then made a huge difference with doubles. With NASA needing only three teams to win their rounds to win the match, it was up to the captains (JD and Whit respectively) to pair off their teams and find a way to win. The approach of a team with a lead is more of a “we-must-win-X-number-of-match-ups” as opposed to “we-can’t-lose-any-match-ups.” This offers the leading team the chance to form stronger pairs than normal, with the mentality of “these guys should take it down.” History repeats itself apparently, because the familiar teams of “Chad Hall/Dan Oulette” and “Drew Smith/Matt Thomas” came away with key victories. Chad and Dan had a stellar comeback win against Tully Rock showing great team work, while Drew and Matt had set the doubles course record at Amesbury against Borderland. The third and final doubles victory for NASA came from Daniel Marcus and Marielle Mallar.

An interesting and evidently pivotal decision became the singles match up for the second round. With an odd number of players available for Team Cran, each team had to provide a player to play a round worth only a single point. The final score was a NASA victory at 15-11, with Cran winning the singles match. Hindsight is 20/20, and it really is a “6 of 1, half a dozen of another” argument; but essentially the only thing the singles match could do for Team Cran was force a playoff, or lose the match. It couldn’t “win” the match, since the doubles matches are worth 2-points a piece. In other words, at 15-11 (with Cran winning the singles match), they had needed another doubles team to win to force a tie. If the singles had lost in this hypothetical instance; Cran would have lost. If Cran was to win the whole match outright, it would have required TWO more doubles teams to win; in which case the singes match wouldn’t matter and would not have affected the result. The reason this became important was Cranbury played possibly their strongest player (Bobby Cowperthwait) in the singles match. In reality, this was a safer way to play, because if you have confidence in your strongest player to win a head to head match up; you then need fewer teams to win in doubles to force a comeback tie. Yet, at the same time, one might expect the strongest player to single-handedly take down a doubles match- which is worth 2 full points.

Team strategy, while interesting conversation fodder, takes a back seat to performance in the end. If a team plays better, and stronger, they win. In this case, Team NASA protected their home turf, played through the 50 mph wind gusts and found a way to win against a strong Cranbury Park team

-Article submitted by Jaxon Sheehy- Team VSVN (NASA)

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Ice Is Nice 

Friday, February 3, 2012  by mcmanus

Looking at the calendar, one can easily tell its winter even though the temperatures and lack of snow and ice may indicate otherwise.  Regardless of the weather, its Ice Bowl season once again in NEFAland and there's no shortage of tournaments to go around for the month of February, including the following:

 Cranbury Ice Bowl on February 5th 

6th Annual J-Park Icebowl-PDGA C-tier on February 11th

17th Rhode Island Frostbite Classic on February 11th

2nd Annual Frozen Tundra at Charleton Woods on February 18th

Warwick Ice Bowl on February 18th

Buffumville Ice Bowl Doubles Charity Event on February 19th

FDR Park Ice Bowl on February 25th

NoHo (Northampton) Snow Throw on February 26th (A NEFA Dubz Event)

Ice Bowls are the perfect solution for the winter disc golf doldrums....good friends, good times, good food, bad weather (well, maybe not this year, and honestly, who's complaining?) and of course, a charitable cause!!....let's face it, it's all good, so get out there and sign up.  You may even be able to leave the ribbons and yaxtrax behind so you can have more room in the bag for liquid refreshments and a shiny new 2012 Ice Bowl disc!...maybe even a few floater discs for the "frozen ponds" out there.

 

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Renewing your NEFA membership or thinking of joining? 

Thursday, January 5, 2012  by mcmanus

So, you're sitting at home contemplating renewing your NEFA membership or you've never been a NEFA member and you are curious as to what being a  member is all about, well here's the skinny:  Now thru January 31rst, you can take advantage of a 2 for 1 membership deal!  The cost of a year long membership is $25.00 but if you do the math involving this sweet deal, that works out to just $12.50 per person...whatta baaahgain!

Check out the sign up form here ....and if you'd like check out the discussion forum on this topic, just click here and you'll be whisked away to it immediately...gotta love hyperlinks!  Membership benefits include a NEFA mini disc (for first time members), a NEFA bag tag that can withstand even the harshest of weather conditions, a lifetime nefa number and the eligibility to compete in any number of divisions for the NEFA Points series which runs from January to the end of September of each calendar year, culminating in a Points Series Final at a chosen date in October. Most importantly, you'll be part of a community of disc golf & frisbee enthusiasts dedicated to growing the exposure of these activities throughout the New England, New York and New Jersey areas!  The NEFA Board of Directors are working hard to improve our beloved organization and there are many reasons to be excited about the future of NEFA with a top notch crew working behind the scenes .....of and for the members!!  Did I mention that NEFA also offers yearly grant funding opportunities which course owners and/or clubs can take advantage of to improve their local courses?...oh yeah, I just did.  

So don't procrastinate, sign up this month and take advantage of the dealio! 

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Course Spotlight: Bellamy Park Dover, NH 

Thursday, December 22, 2011  by mcmanus

 This past weekend, I headed up to Bellamy Park Disc Golf Course in Dover, NH with a few good friends.  Its always exciting to play a course that you haven't been to yet and Bellamy did not disappoint.  A wooded course from start to finish with some holes that mix open and wooded areas quite nicely, Bellamy offers an excellent variety of short, medium and long holes that can be fun for novice players and challenging to the pros.  Hole 1 starts out on a stone patio type area where you're throwing across a creek to a forested upland area replete with beautiful white pines.  A decidedly lefty friendly hole, it also offers opportunity for righty anhyzer or righty flick drives.  Crossing the bridge to the other side of the creek of hole 1's fairway, one can't help but feel excited about this course with such a unique and challenging starting hole.

                                                                                    (looking back at practice area & parking lot on way to hole 1's fairway/green..hole 1 tee is off to the right of practice area)

On hole 2, the creek comes into play for errant drives that happen to coast too far right (very steep drop off the embankment to the creek which meanders along the right side of the fairway).  The creek also comes into play on holes 9, 11 & 12. for errant and/or overthrown drives/putts.  As a testament to the quality of folks who play the course, I landed my champ sidewinder in the middle of the creek off hole 2  towards the end of the day with quickly fading sunlight.....too dark to see it anymore for retrieval, we headed back home.  The very next day I got a phone call from a NH area code asking if I owned an orange champ sidewinder as it had been retrieved from the creek....always nice to see that kind of effort and honesty!

 

(basket on hole 11)

Overall, Bellamy Park flows quite nicely as the course designer(s) took full advantage of the land available for the layout.  Did I mention that all the tee pads are concrete?...perfectly flat, wide and smooth from beginning to end.  Be sure to check out the hyperlink at the beginning of the blog for more information about Bellamy Park Disc Golf Course leagues, happenings, photos and directions.  Dover is roughly 20 minutes past Amesbury just over the Mass state line and the course is easy to find.  So, if you're looking for a course that offers terrific variety, challenges and concrete tee pads throughout, Bellamy Park is worth the trip!

** If you'd like to have your local course featured in a course spotlight, give me a shout at staraviar@yahoo.com.  Wishing everyone in nefaland and beyond a happy and healthy holiday season and prosperous new year!**

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Guess Who? 

Friday, December 16, 2011  by mcmanus

 

 

It's time to play "Who's that NEFA member?"  Take a look at the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rwin2WuWso&feature=share

and see if you can guess who the kid with the glasses is roughly 3 seconds into the Life cereal commercial.  Here are some clues:

his first name has two syllables

his last name has three syllables

He's been known to tear it up at New Hampshire states

____ dog is his nickname

Good luck!

 

 

 

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