Well ... if the most fun wins, then I would have to say I was one of the big winners at the St Louis Open. Sure, my scores could have been better, but for the most part, I played OK considering it was my first time playing any of the 4 courses used (in their current tournament layouts).
Our first day, the weather was challenging, with fairly high winds and a little rain. The Advanced Grandmasters started Saturday morning at Sioux Passage. This 8500+ foot course is big, and long. It has a lot of varied terrain, and plenty of trees to avoid. This is a brilliant course ... The layout is fair for lefties and righties. Mostly wide open holes with awesome grass and beautiful trees, this course is calling me back for another shot. I could spend weeks playing it.
Our second round was in the wooded course at Endicott Park. While it is not nearly as long as Sioux Passage, at 6400+ feet, it isn't short. With only 1 par 4, and 1 par 5, this course has plenty of birdie opportunities ... except for all those dang trees! I had an OK round here, but missed way too many opportunities for birdie, or PAR! Not sure why my putting was only an inch or two off, but I hit chains too many times to count.
With my recently broken leg, I would have been happy to go home after playing these two outstanding courses. It was a lot of walking! But no ... The next morning we started at the 9500+ foot long Creve Coeur disc golf course. This is a FLAT course. It's long, and if it were in CO, I'm sure there would be three courses there instead of one. Maybe they will add more baskets and holes someday? I enjoyed playing the mostly wide open par 4 holes. I think there are only a couple of par 3's at Creve Coeur DGP, they go by pretty quickly. I managed to shoot my best round here, and that was a 69 Par round.
Traveling from one course to another between rounds was a trip. Most of these courses are at least 30 min apart, and it was a lot of fun trying to get lunch and get to the course for a warm up, some putting, and be on the tee in time. TD's at each course did an outstanding job, and I think most people were getting plenty of time to eat, get a break and get to their tees on time.
Our last round was at Jeffersons Barracks on the south side of St Louis. This is a fantastic course, weighing in at around 7000 ft. The course designers and River City Flyers have done a great job improving the course. There are really nice concrete tee pads, benches at many tees, bag and tee sign posts, wood chips, and the fairways are very clean. It's a great park for disc golf, and I think I can say it is one of my top 3 courses to play in St Louis. The HUGE trees in the park are a blast to throw drives "under". The Gateway disc sports shop is right off of hole #18 just in case you need some "magic". Again, my putting was off just a hair ... I can't count how many times I grazed the chains on a long jump putt.
I will say that ALL of the people I played with were awesome, fun, and great sports. I had my nephew with me and he carried my bag for all rounds. With my recent injury, I don't know if I could have finished this tournament without his help. This tournament has more walking [and traveling] than any I have played.
I'll also mention the awesome players package the tournament provided to all AM players. I had intended to play Pro Grandmasters, but due to one player dropping out, I would have had to play in that division alone. That's NO FUN! So I decided to play with the Adv Grandmasters ... who promptly whooped on me! Don't let anyone ever tell you amateur disc golfers are less skilled than pros! I'm sure Chris, Don, Jerry and Bruce will be moving up to play pro soon if they're interested in playing that division. Anyway, the players pack was 4 GOOD discs. I got a Discraft Force, Gateway Magic, Innova San Marino Roc, and a DGA Titanic. Also included a very nice St Louis Open t-shirt. Retail value well over the entry fee!
On the way back, my flight was delayed because of mechanical problems with the plane. I got a $100 travel voucher, and got to spend another 1/2 day with my nephew. I'm just guessing, but I estimate that my entire trip cost less than $250. The entry fee is moot, since I received more than my moneys worth back in the players pack.
I recommend this tournament to anyone who can make it. It was a lot of FUN, and I met some great people. I'm really looking forward to going back next year and making this an annual tournament event for myself and my family.