, 2023-04-27 11:23:34,
Going into the final round of the “Hills are Alive” Tournament in Stowe last September, Angus Barstow, 31, of Middlebury was four shots off the lead.
On these final 18 holes, he sizzled, shooting five under par on the front nine with three consecutive birdies on holes 7, 8, and 9 — and then shot five under again on the back nine to win the tournament by three strokes!
For this win, he earned first-place prize money: a jackpot of $297.00.
Angus Barstow is a disc golf professional.
He is also a second-grade teacher at the Bridge School in Middlebury. He played in 10 tournaments last year (he hopes to play in more this year) and finished in the money a number of times. “I made enough that I had to claim it on my taxes,” he told me in a conversation last week.
“I throw every day pretty much,” Angus said of his routine. He has a basket in his back yard and another in his basement where he practices his “putting,” which are throws from 50 feet and in. “The same as golf,” Angus explained, “that’s where tournaments are won.”
To play a practice round, he heads to nearby disc golf courses at Camp Keewaydin (where Angus has been employed for the last 11 summers) and in Pittsford at the public recreation park there. “Disc golf is similar to golf but the ‘status element’ is not there,” he said.
“There’s great variety of disc golf courses: no course is the same. The majority of courses are on public spaces and are free. The best course in Vermont at Smugglers Notch is just $10 to play.
“What I like about disc golf is that it rewards accuracy under ever-changing circumstances, all the while providing an excellent excuse to spend time with friends outdoors.”
No doubt you have passed by a disc golf course in an open area somewhere in your travels, recognizable by the distinctive “baskets” three or four feet above ground. Some are out in the open while others weave through heavily wooded areas.
The rules and terminology of disc golf are very similar to its better-known sticks and balls and holes in the ground precedent: nine- and 18-hole rounds, birdies, pars, and bogeys. The par threes are 150 to 200 feet from the tee, par 4s are 300-450 feet, and the par 5s upwards from there. The longest par 5 is in Vermont is 1,200 feet at Smugglers. The longest distance throw in disc golf history was 1,108 feet.
If you have access to YouTube, you might watch “the Holy Shot” by James Conrad, easily found, the greatest shot in disc…
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