Setting the Stage
Do you believe in karmic retribution? If you were on the fence for this spiritual philosophy but attended the last two Flickline events, you might have more than enough evidence to sway your beliefs. Whatever hardships people subjected themselves to at Rose Valley was paid back in spades at CBU. Our second annual "adult camp" was nothing short of a perfect disc golf weekend. We had near perfect summer weather, smash-hit social gatherings, new disc golfers sharing genuine experiences, and super fun disc golf. It sounds like (and was) the type of magic we are trying to achieve every weekend!
To set the stage for those who missed it, Cape Breton University is the second biggest (by attendance) university in Nova Scotia. It is located about 10 minutes outside of Sydney on Cape Breton Island. It is also home to the first ever DiscGolfPark course in a Canadian Province. (The first ever DiscGolfPark Canada course was built in the Yukon.) The CBU course, just like the campus, is short, sweet, and contains everything you need for a really good time. Last year, it was one of the three hardest hit courses in hurricane Fiona. The month of November was basically dedicated to cleaning up what felt like an insurmountable amount of debris to make the course playable again. At the time, none of us knew if the course could be saved. In the end, the majority of "disc golf" trees were left intact, and it was only the sub-fairways that were destroyed (and one tee pad). Granted, the ground is now a bit rougher than would be ideal, but the integrity of the course remains, and what we have left is a fun, challenging, throwback course that can be attacked by all players. Yes, the drive is long for many of the people who wish to play, but once you arrive, you can park your car and not leave for the entire weekend. It is a small slice of magic that no one regrets traveling to once they arrive.
From a course-only perspective, CBU has an interesting layout. There are not a lot of comfortable or standard shots. Each line is unique. Every hole can be birdied or bogied. Putting, even more so than usual, can be the difference between a good round and a bad round. There are several holes that you can play multiple times but when you step up on the tee pad on your next round you might not know what shot you are going to throw. Having said that, the lines that are there--even if they are not always obvious--are fair. Make the shot, and 9 times out of 10 you will be rewarded.
From an event perspective, this is another "throwback style" event. Everyone plays the exact same course. For a couple of divisions the par is easier on two holes but all tee pads and baskets are exactly the same. We have tried to set this event up as a player-first experience. We provide water, bathrooms, access to food and lodging, and try and make it so each card has ample chances to win prizes. We also put a lot of our energy into making the Saturday night players party the best it can be. It is both informal and structured. We use the Student Union Building and the "Pit", where we offer free pool, ping pong, foosball, Mario Kart, and several other games. We also run a "DisConnectFore-nament". It is a perfect mix of friendly, non-division competition, crap talking, and comradery. This year, we played a double elimination tournament that had 36 of the 49 players take part. (We got started a little later in the night than we should have; otherwise, numbers would have been higher.) In the end, Brandon Kehoe defeated Brian Strickland twice and went undefeated to take the crown. In return, he will get his own Tiny Changes shirt and go on the wall of all time champions.
In a post-Covid world, at least for the time being, it really makes you appreciate gathering like this around people you love. At least three times this weekend people told us about their stories to get here and how thankful they were for the experience. Sometimes it's harrowing travel to just make the trip, or being reunited with long time friends over the game of disc golf, but either way a great weekend like this offers people a reason to celebrate. CBU was worthy of a good time.
As always we had great competition on the course. Several people shot personal bests on the weekend, and although some divisions were not close in the end, it was only because the leader had a great final round. On Sunday morning every division was competitive and that is what we are going for.
Winners in each division include:
Jr - Payton Dow
MA2 - Dwayne Crawford
MA50 - Scott Guthrie
MA40 - Chris Fudge
FA2 - Sam Blakney-Gale
FA1 - Nicole Kading
MA1 - Dylan Goudey
MP40 - Michael Stoddard
MP0 - Chris Richard
Like we said, we wish we could write out the stories of all the ups and downs from each division and what it took to capture the win. Until we get a full swath of reporters and writers, this will have to do. We know that is was awesome that Payton made the trip up with his dad to play this event and was rewarded with the Jr win, and by everything we can gather, it was a good one for the Dow family. Dwayne shot his PB in round 1 and played exceptionally well in round 3 to secure the win. Scott shot an outstanding final round, making it so nobody in his division could catch him. Fudge is celebrating the year of Fudge by notching another win on his belt. Sam made a comeback to win her division by 1, which is always amazing! Nicole strung together two great final rounds to finish her event on top. Dylan beat the entire field by 7, and if it weren't for the chance to win 9 more baskets at the end of the season for his permanent course in Yarmouth, we would certainly see him in MPO right now. Stoddard had a solid round 1 and 2, and did everything he needed to do to hang on for the win in round 3. Chris Richard finally put together 3 solid rounds to close out what he couldn't last year. All of this is exactly what makes us want to compete.
Four More Feel-Good Stories
How about a handful of good human stories before we go?
Let's start off where we left off with Chris Richard. For those of you who don't know, Chris and his wife, Jenn, have been a huge part of the heart and soul of what makes Flickline awesome. Jenn is as organized as they come (ask her to see her calendar, which as far as we know is planned out well into the afterlife). She has edited our content for years, organized prize distribution, and generally contributed to making this work. She is a gem and we love her. Chris, on the other hand..... Well, Chris doesn't have a specific title per se, but he has been a cornerstone in our organization from almost day one. He is one of our favourite travel partners and an overall wonderful human being. He was one of the first people to volunteer his time in rebuilding courses that were affected in the hurricane and overall it would be impossible for us to express just how much everyone associated with this organization loves him. Chris and Jenn are embarking on a world tour for the next 329 days (it was 333, but we believe we are writing this article 4 days into their trip). It was wonderful to see Chris take home the win before he took off and we really look forward to the picture a day they will be posting. Chris was also a part of the most epic game of Jenga that may have ever happened in history. Although he was beat out early (don't listen to him if he tells you different), three players played a game where every possible useable block was taken from the bottom and put up on top and the rules of the game had to be modified to declare a winner (blocks were taken from two layers below the top, not three). Humble brag - it was Ben and Dylan Goudey who came out on top!
Human story number 2 has to do with our double elimination DisConnectFore-nament. The super interesting thing here is that Tiny Changes brought two games, and we had a long talk about the best way to run a little event. In the end, we decided double elimination. When we got to the "Pit" we needed to find a piece of paper to write names on. We went to the bar and they said they had none, so we settled on a piece of cardboard. However, when the staff went to grab a piece of cardboard for us, underneath it they found a stack of what looked like blank paper, so they gave it to us. Now, none of this story would be remarkable except for the fact that when we turned over the paper this is what we found:
That's right: the only paper we could find was a pre-printed double elimination bracket already made... If that's not fate, then we don't know what is!
Quick side note to this, all weekend long we had great interactions with the CBU staff, from custodians to bartenders. Everyone we dealt with went above and beyond their duties to be helpful and kind. It was a perfect mix of Cape Breton hospitality and international flare. We simply can't say enough to everyone at CBU who made this weekend so sweet.
Human interest story number three has to do with Yann Arther and Guyana. Yann is the main person responsible for getting disc golf into CBU. He was the point of contact there during the build and helped cross off any internal issues we had to overcome to make this course a reality. His employment for CBU centres around intramural sports. Over the last few weeks, he has been bringing out students to play the course. You never know how these things will go, and if only 10% of the kids take to it, then that is still something. Last week, he had 9 students join him on his round and a few of them seemed to be keen to keep playing the game, so he invited them down to our tournament, thinking they may be interested in watching and picking up some tricks. Instead, what happened is five students originally from Guyana showed up and asked to play round 1. We didn't have a full field, so we said certainly, and sent them off with a score card and some loaner discs. At lunch they came back, now with a 6th player and asked to play again. We again sent them off with a score card and discs. On Sunday morning they were back again. Each time we gave the winners of their card their own discs and as we were leaving, we saw two of the group practicing so we pulled over and gave them a large stack of discs. We told them, 'When you go home to Guyana let's build a course together!!'. Last we heard they were preparing to go out for another round on Sunday night. If that isn't a story of success we don't know what is.
Our final story for this weekend is a heartfelt one. As some people may know, one very particular player of the 51 people who registered for this event is going through a very tough and life-changing event. That player will remain nameless as they did not ask us to write this. The player in question was recently diagnosed with cancer. Not that long ago this would have been a certain death sentence, but, thanks to modern medicine and the wonderful parts of the Canadian health care system, this does not have to be the case anymore. Over the last few months they have been in chemotherapy, and although the first session was not successful, the second one was very promising. Now that player is in their third treatment and by all accounts weathering the storm in a noble and almost heroic fashion. Over the last few weeks we have been making a plan to have them come to this event and play. It is the perfect escape: the course is short, we stay on-site, and worse case, if they were not feeling well, any number of vehicles could be taken home early and have people drive home together. Disc golf is a personal journey of triumph over adversity, but it is best when it is shared with your friends. Disc golf doesn't matter at all in the grand scheme of things...except it does. It is a reason to celebrate, a reason to gather, a purpose for those who are without, and a way to include everyone who wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves. The fact that our friend was able to come to CBU during their cancer treatment, play, and spend time around people they love is the most successful story we can possibly think of on any disc golf course. Thank you to all who were a part of it, or who are reading about it now.
Next up is Newfoundland and our newest addition to the Flickline tour! Registration is open now and the Flickline tour points will be updated very soon.
We are half way through another incredible season. Thank you, everyone, for being here!