Over the last 2 weeks something happened to me in disc golf that had never happened before. My younger brother beat me, twice, in a row. He’s only ever played with family and friends, and I want him to experience better play, and maybe a little pressure too. I decided to sponsor him for a random dubs at a local course. I gave him the money and sent him on his way, but I had forgotten to tell him about all the little intricacies of this sort of match. Dubs is random draw doubles by the way, I’m going to refer to it as dubs for the rest of the blog because that’s just what people call it. So this week I’d like to let you guys know how dubs are run at some of Maine’s courses. If you haven’t played in one before, go! I literally cannot recommend it enough. I love playing disc golf in all its forms but dubs is probably my favorite, as it's just a casual competition among friends. So here’s Some tips I wish I had told my brother before he went.
Things to know about dubs before you play.
First things first, dubs costs a few extra bucks. The winning team(s) are given a percentage of the money paid in. Usually you pay $10 to $15 to enter. This often includes the course fee, so if you’ve already paid for that, ask before paying into dubs.
I can’t stress this enough. You👏Are👏Not👏The👏Worst👏Person👏There. Yeah it deserves a clap emoji every time. No one is the worst person there. You’re on a team, and teams need both players to win. You’ll make some good shots, your partner will too, and sometimes you’ll both hit the same tree. So don’t worry about what happens if you get a really good player as your partner, you’re not disappointing anyone.
We were all uncomfortable and nervous our first time playing random doubles. I know I was, my brother was, and though I haven’t heard back from 5x World Champion Paul McBeth, I bet he was too.
There are a few prizes at almost every match, so even if you lose, you could still win a CTP (closest to the pin) and walk away with a new disc, cash, vouchers to a local course, or sometimes food. Don’t feel obligated, but every once in a while bring in a CTP prize option. I feel like the person who donates tends to win their item back half the time!
Bring a mini. Many players don’t use them in casual rounds but you’re going to need one today. Look up the rules on how to mark your lie so you don’t make a mistake, though players will be forgiving if it’s your first time. There are a variety of minis to choose from. Some courses will have them available for purchase at the Pro Shop or you can purchase them on our website.
It’s fun, it’s casual, and we’re all out for a good night of disc. While a lot of these events are enjoyed with a beverage or two, it's best not to overindulge before playing. You’d be bummed if your partner’s mind wasn’t fully in the game, so just please don’t be that person.
Some rules for dubs.
You’re playing the best shot between the two of you. You’ll both get to throw every drive, every upshot, and every putt. You count the best score the two of you make together, so you’ll be carding a lot more birdies than usual!
If there’s an odd number of people, they draw a Cali player. If you’re Cali it means you play alone and get 1 additional shot per hole. However, some courses let you pay an extra $5 for Valley Cali which lets you take 2 shots each time, so you’re your own partner. It’s definitely fun, but also more tiring on the body as you’re essentially playing 2 rounds at once.
Things to talk about with your partner ahead of time.
Do you agree to split the ace pot if either of you hits? Many folks agree that you should split an ace, but that isn’t always the case. I look at it this way, if I agree to split the ace pot, it doubles my chances at getting money that night. Also I’m not just playing for me that night, remember it’s about teams; so while I may hit the ace, they might have played a shot that allowed me to run it. There’s also often a cash CTP, so find out if you split that as well. It’s hard to split a disc or a shirt so whoever hits that usually gets to keep it. It’s just something to talk about so there’s no confusion or hurt feelings later.
How are you going to play the holes? I recommend “Every Other, and Sally Putt.” Every other describes who drives first on each hole. One person gets odds the other gets even holes to drive first. You’ll likely mix it up but who cares? The Sally Putt refers to throwing next. So if my partner and I both drive and they outdrive me, I would be the first one to throw an upshot. If we decide to take my upshot, they would be the first to putt.
Additional tips you should probably know.
If there’re a lot more players than usual it will probably mean a bigger ace pot. Make sure if your partner is parked - you go for it!
You probably won’t start on hole 1. My brother mentioned this to me and I forgot that it would seem unusual if it’s your first experience. Every other time you’ve played a course you’ve likely started on hole 1, this is just a new way to play the course. Enjoy it!
If you’re throwing first on a hole, I suggest a safer shot to stay in the fairway. That way if your partner misses their line you have a better lie. If your partner goes first and they have a good shot, make sure you really go for it when you step up next. Run the ace, pull out a driver when everyone is laying up. Dubs is for taking some risks on the course.
At the end of the round you’re all going to be walking back in from various spots along the course. You’ll be ending at different times, so cards will trickle in. When you’re one of the first groups back and an incoming card yells “What’s hot?” (What is the current best score?) It feels like a tradition to lie that you not only have the best round of the evening, but to add say that you scored better than the course record; laughing as you turn in your scorecard.
Remember this is all about having fun. Some weeks you’re hot, others you’re not. If you’re looking for random dubs to attend you might want to check out your state disc golf community on facebook, look at a message board on your course, or ask other disc golfers you see. Let me know if you guys have any other questions or maybe some other helpful tips I forgot.
May your discs miss all the trees, Andrew Streeter #70397
I watch live disc golf on the Disc Golf Network, and post production like Jomez and GK Pro as well. It’s fair to say I’m a disc golf enthusiast. It’s a job and a hobby that have combined in my life and I get to do what I love every day. Getting to see the pros play in person is a different experience entirely.
So when I got the chance to spectate Smugglers Notch I took it. For 40 dollars (plus a couple dollar processing fee), I was able to get a t-shirt, and spectate the 8 best players in the tournament.
We’re reaching an interesting time in disc golf. Where we’ve got a massive crop of talent at the top. Plenty of other touring pros cash frequently enough without scratching the top 25 in talent and can tour with their winnings and sponsorships.
So let’s take a step back from calling anything other than a win a failure. Improvements from year to year on a course could be a win for some of these players. Finishing top 10 should be considered good for young players. The days of players dominating and winning every single weekend are basically over. Competition is tight at the top, and it’s only getting better.
There are tournaments for everything in the world. Humans can be competitive and so we’ve found ways to determine the best in almost everything. Today in the blog I want to look at some tournaments that I enjoy watching. Other ways that sports have found to crown the world's best. Let’s start with the longest ways in sports that determine a champion. Then work it down to shorter tournaments.