Dave Feldberg is a professional disc golfer, World Champion, and ambassador of the sport. He is currently working to make the Next Generation Disc Golf tour the biggest amateur disc golf tournament experience.
After really not playing in over a month we had planned to go to Delaware to play the national tour. I had picked this stop to play as Synthya‘s family is from Delaware and I love the Ironhill Course. It would be our first real road trip as a family and we were excited. We took our time getting there and even stopped to play a new disc off course in Halifax County North Carolina. It was a brand new course it was almost 100° and we were the only people on the property. We made it about 5-6 holes and the heat was too much for our baby and for me the bigger baby. It looked like it was going to be a nice course, maybe we will stop and play it again someday in the future.
Once we got to Delaware we stopped and I got to practice Ironhill and see all the new changes and then we headed to Synthya‘s grandma‘s house for dinner. Man can her grandma cook some good food. One thing interesting that we did while we were there visiting was that Synthya‘s best friend also has young children and they took us to one of their weekly BMX competitions. We got to watch a bunch of kids ride around a dirt track do jumps, etc. it was pretty cool. We never had anything that cool to ride our bike on when I was a kid we were just happy to ride around the neighborhood, man how times have changed.
Delaware Disc Golf Challenge
The tournament started and it was pouring down rain but on the bright side I was on the featured card and it looked to clear up some point during our round which it did about the fifth or sixth hole in. So in my opinion two feature cards and anybody else that started late really had an advantage for the first day. It was hard to score and I was like a roller coaster going birdie bogey birdie bogey. I kind a got going and by the 11th hole I was one stroke off the lead and tied for the lead in the group. Then I threw a pretty good drive on hole 12 that went right down the center but too far. It hit a tree and kicked 40 feet to the right over the only OB line on the property. I bounced back with a birdie but then managed to double bogey the next par three. My roller coaster round ended up being a -3 which had me in a tie for fifth and if I just made one more shot I would have got to play on a lead card. It is a tough course to say the least. It was fun being on Jomez productions and I really enjoyed the crush boys commentary.
Day two I was on the chase card filmed by Gatekeeper Media and I just didn’t have the feel. I wasn’t shanking or anything I just didn’t make any jump putts and didn’t make very many birdies. I struggled my way to another -3 which dropped me into a tie for ninth place for the final round. Which would mean my last round won’t be on video but I had a killer group and it was supposed to be 80 and sunny.
The final day I felt a little better and I came out really slow with five consecutive pars I started to worry as those were some of the scoring holes for me in the previous rounds and the players I were playing with were also scoring well on those holes. I figured if I wasn’t going to get those birdies and I was shooting over par on the back the first two rounds, it was going be a long day. But then my putter got kind of warm and I started making a few 50 foot birdie putt’s and battled all the way up to a seven under which surprisingly moved me into a tie for fourth place. So in the end it was pretty nice finishing top-five at my first NT this year, but I look back at the tournament only losing by four strokes and think wow I wasn’t so rusty I probably could’ve contended for the title. That’s why I play in the long wooded big events because I think it provides the toughest and closest competitions and they require the most skill of throwing the disc.
I wanna thank my caddy Kevin, all the players I played with were quite enjoyable to play with. Also I want to thank Jimmy Mac who claims this is his last year as TD after a full decade of giving to the Delaware Disc Golf area. He did win the Innova stewardship award for his efforts. I want to thank my sponsor Infinite Discs and Next Generation tour and of course my lovely wife and son who came all the way to Delaware just to let me play, we did get to spend time with our family which is always good.
Then on Monday I jumped in the car and had to drive 14 hours straight back home to get ready to run an A-Tier NG Premier event at IDGC . It was a great event and everything went smooth. Then after running the event, putting everything away, cleaning up packing taking care of our dog, etc. I jumped back in the car and drove 18 1/2 hours straight to the US Masters championship at Maple Hill in Leicester Massachusetts, because Labor Day traffic meeting up with hurricane evacuation traffic makes for unbelievable traffic.
Tim Selinski US Masters
One of my goals is to be the world and US master champion in the same year. So I was hoping to play well, but the thing is with the Maple Hill course and the other ones around the area if you’re just slightly off, you’re going to have no shot to win. With the extreme traffic I arrived Tuesday morning at 5 am after literally 18 1/2 hours stopping only for gas three times, took a nap and headed to the course. I practiced all four courses in two days and with the drive, I was still really tired. They had many elevation changes. The day before the event I managed to play both Maple Hill layouts and 501 disc golf again for a second round. I really hate just getting one practice round in on each course. I didn’t get the second round in at Newton Hill which proved to be my downfall.
I played well the first round at 501 and literally got a bad break which I got good ones earlier in the round, but nevertheless it was a bad break at the end of my round or I would have broke the record and shot a 52. I did card a 54 which was good for share of the lead with Johansen. After the round the threat of the hurricane was still following me and the weather was turning for the worse. Everyone was getting prepared for war with nature, but it hit during the night and by morning had blown through.
I received a random call at 5:30 am and when I silenced it I guess I silenced my alarm and it did not go off at 6:30. I woke up at 7:15 and almost panicked as I have never been late for a PDGA round, especially a major. I raced there and made it by 7:40 (shotgun start at 8am), but once I got dressed and such I barely got to warm-up at all and I was discombobulated to say the least. I even lost the scorecard and the lug-nut to my cart. Tough start to a long day. I played OK just couldn’t putt, which is understandable since I have had a routine of warming up for 20 years and today I missed it. With 3 holes to go I was winning the card and then I went par, bogey, par, when the others went birdie, birdie, birdie. Now I was all of a sudden last on the card and off the lead card. I was unprepared on the only course I was prepared to play.
The third round I was just not focused, we only got like 45 minutes including the drive back to the course. My caddy and I left right after the round hit a drive thru with only one car in front of us and we only made it there with 15 minutes to spare. So after changing my clothes and such I again did not have the time to practice my putt and work out whatever was going on. So I missed a lot of putts and threw some lazy drives. I missed 11 in the circle on Saturday and I would spend the last round on chase card.
After the day I was basically assaulted by a couple locals because I said without raising my voice to the course TD that Newton Hill was a disgrace to a major championship play and then I left calmly. He told everyone I said it was a disgrace to the sport as a whole. It had no restroom, water, tee pads, course map, tee signs, etc. not to mention the longest hole was 420 feet. Besides attacking me all over FB, They literally assaulted my phone, and messed with the RV I was staying in. People are out of control. Since when does blasting people on social media more acceptable than telling it directly to the TD? Man I must be really old.
All this drama lowered my spirits and the messing with the trailer cost me sleep. I had zero focus and I played poorly. I have not felt that out of it on the course in many years. Then on the 6th hole we are told the payout, and that even third place is under $800 bucks. After that I felt like I was playing for nothing, couldn’t win and couldn’t make money. It felt like casual play. I finished 6th and shot below 1000 rated round. I want to thank all the guys in the area that were so kind to take things to that level and act on their emotions rather than logic.
Overall it was a disappointing weekend of play and experience because of the harassment. There are always bright spots. I want to thank JJ from 501, which course I liked, for caddying on Friday and Sunday. Also thanks to Dave Jenkins for the two rounds on Saturday. Without them I probably wouldn’t have cashed at all. Also I need to thank Don Boutin for hosting my boy Brian Mad Dog McCree for setting me up with those nice caddies. Also thanks to Steve Dodge for letting me shower at his place and Charlie Cavalier and Kevin Jones for allowing me to stay in their trailer all week.
I did get to talk to a lot of nice people during the week and I hope someday someone will again put effort into running the Masters division events. After the event I practiced a little at West Thompson and then taught a quick lesson to a young ambitious pro from Minnesota’s named Adam. Now I get to go pick up my beautiful wife and amazing son in Delaware, and take them home, but not without a night at Rehoboth Beach with my family. Then we have to get ready for a NG Premier in Alabama, the USDGC, and the National Tour final in Georgia. Until then I’ll see you in the fairway!!
One last event to practice for Masters World’s in Vermont. The Sandy Creek sling is a one day C-tier which I won in 2018. Being that it is in Athens and on a course I really like, I headed there to defend my title. It looked like a gloomy day kinda of misting but was playable and not steaming hot. I was placed in a somewhat featured group that included the top other two rated players in the event Jason Light and Austin Lytle. We played two holes and they called it for lightening. I went birdie, eagle with a 75 foot putt right before they blew the horn. We waited around for 4 hours and I though they were just going to call it.
But they sent us out there to finish the 16 holes and make it an official event. The lightning was gone but the rain was still in full force. Luckily I had my new pro Pull sponsored super umbrella and Ryan my buddy on the bag. I came out and played pretty well taking a commanding 5 stroke lead headed on to hole 11. Austin pushes a little as the rain and my grip had reached it saturated point, but I held on to win by 3. So now I have an A, B, and a C- tier win in the open division this year. I really mixed it up throwing many different discs. After birding 4 out of 5 holes all with different brands J-Light looked at me and said “you really do throw everything, huh”. I went Latitude, Prodigy, Innova, and Kastaplast all birdies.
Getting ready for Masters Worlds as my next event. I am excited to defend the title and look forward to what I am told will be fair fun courses. Patrick Brown and I will defend our doubles title to start the week and then I will be on my quest for a second title. I have found that it is hard to repeat in any event, but I have noticed with my new mixed bag that when I am playing well, my level is higher than last year. Plus my jump putt is much better now that I have old blackie back .
On a business level I see NG getting smoother every day. It has its hick ups, but overall we are on the rise. The funny thing is people ask me why should I play NG? Besides all the prizes and such, I ask them, why did you play your local C-tier? I didn’t know we had to give players a reason to play tournament golf. Our goal was just to make that experience better.
On a personal level I just celebrated my first Father’s Day and Synthya is so sweet. From gifts to homemade steak and potatoes she made me feel special. Leomax is growing fast and he is so smart!! I just rented my first pressure washer and waved my house . Those things are pretty fun. I have also been working on getting a few courses put in so we have something decent to play. Looking good to put in a championship course here in Georgia!!
Some days you feel great and other days you don’t. Being that this event is only 3 hours away from our house I decided to drive back and forth each day. I also decided to just show up on the day of the event since I had played the course before. Both of these decisions were poor choices to play my best. So when I arrived after a 3 hour drive leaving my house at 4:40 am, I am also told that it will be a record hot day both days of the event. So I decided to take it easy and play in the masters division. Another poor decision.
I came out of the gates playing well but I somehow forgot how to make short putts? Which was the one thing coming in I had been the most consistent with this year. So I was spun and managed a 1020 rated round where I threw about a 1070. Then the second round I was trailing Barry by 2 and I cut the lead, but again I couldn’t make routine 18 footers and then the heat broke me. I had not played in heat like that (97 degrees) in a long time and I just ran out of gas. My leg was cramping and my energy was gone allowing Barry to go ahead by 6 while shooting a lousy 983 rated round.
On day two I still had hope, and I started to make some putts, cutting the lead to 3 on the front nine. But then I managed to somehow miss a few more very short putts and ended the round with a bogey from 15 feet and gave him all the strokes back to be down by 6 again. The heat would not let up and the final round was a test to say the least. I played well shooting a 1052, but again I ended my round and event by missing a 15 foot putt for low round of the day.
I did finish in second, but I would have tied for 4th in Open and I probably would have made less of those silly focus mistakes if I was playing in the open division. I also would have made a little more money. Just a weekend of bad decisions and poor play. I want to thank Brian and the Huk Central staff for a well run event with plenty of water!! They always run a solid event that I will continue to play for years to come!! I want to thank my caddy Ryan Schollkopf for helping me get through the heat!!
Trailblazer – Clermont, FL
I had no idea what to expect as I had never played in that part of Florida before. I did know that the heat wave had not gone away and I would be in for record hot temps again. I felt lucky that I had played the week before in South Carolina as I had learned how to deal with heat better. One thing was that Synthya bought me one of the chilly pad cool towels. Man those things are a life saver and only 8 bucks at Walmart. Also for this event I showed up two days early so I could learn the courses and be prepared.
They would have us play two really long courses twice a day, this was more of the Florida Iron man contest. Both courses were designed by Gregg Hosfield and one was brand new. The first course, Hiawatha Preserve a par 65 over 9000 feet, was a very fair mature tree course. It had challenging shots and fair ob’s. I came out the first round on fire breaking the course record and I would have gone lower but I was stung multiple times by some yellow jackets while trying to stand out of the way of my fellow competitors shot. It shook me up for a few holes. I carded a bogey on the hole I was stung and missed a 16 foot birdie putt in the next hole as I was still a bit worked up from the incident. The good news was that the night before the event I had gone to the course and practiced putted in the dark and figured out what had gone wrong with my circle one putting. It was pure laziness. I noticed I was leaning back in my set up instead of leaning forward. I think the habit started because I was so tired the week before. Once I started leaning forward I started making all my putts again.
After the first day I had a 7 stroke lead headed to Palmetto point park, a new course that will be great but still needs some breaking in. The holes were long, par 67, and they were tight, many a car couldn’t fit through. The rough was on another level (poisonous snakes) and you had to pitch sideways when you missed the fairway. I knew this type of golf would play to my advantage since I learned on wooded courses and my best skill nowadays is accuracy. I came out in the morning and set the new record of -12 with two bogeys. I was throwing well hitting most fairways and making all my circle one putts as well as making a few long putts. My competitors struggled as this course tightness is not easy to explain on paper. I extended my lead to 20 strokes.
Then in the fourth round I came out firing again shooting the exact same -6 on the front nine, but then with the lack of push and the heat reaching its peak of the day and it being the fourth round in two days I lost focus and shot only -1 on the back. It was still the low score of the round at -7. So I won by 21 strokes to win my first A-tier in Open this year. The course was hard period. Fox Hills video crew was there and so you can see when the video comes out what I am talking about.
I want to thank my caddy on Saturday Dan Lewis and my Caddy on Sunday Anthony Rising. Without them it would have been rough. Also, great to see a lot of Florida guys I have not seen in years. I also won the putting contest claiming some cash and a mini basket!!
The trophy was a sick sword!! I want to thank the staff of the event for a great event and I look forward to this club and event growing over the years.
On a business level NG is doing well and we are working out all the computer kinks that come with a new system. Everything should be working great in the next couple of weeks!! We have really been focused on building a quality staff this year so we can accomplish more and do it smoothly. If you’ve played an event, be sure to check out he current standings.
On a personnel level. Synthya and Leomax are doing great. He is smiling, and really becoming curious, we think he is also starting teething. Everyday the reward of a family is stronger and reminds me how small my life really is. My brother came to visit and loved Leomax. We took him on the lake and he caught his first freshwater fish. Synthya’s Grandparents also came to visit while I was gone but I did get to see them for a few minutes before they left. They are always a treat. We are now getting ready for this summer and of watching Leomax grow !!
I am really starting to dial in my mixed bag, and i am looking forward to defending at the Masters World Championships in a month!!
So I decided to play in my first two singles events with my new mixed bag. The first event was the Jonesboro Open.
I felt ready. I showed up the day before the event to practice and the wind was blowing 30 mph. Not very good practice since it was going to not be 30 mph during the event. The fact is I know my discs, but I had not seen many of them fly in heavy wind. So when the first round rolled around and it was only a slight wind, I felt like instead of executing I was playing a guessing game of, “How much is that going to Hyzer?”
I didn’t make many mistakes, but I also didn’t make anything worth mentioning and I found myself in 35th after the first round. But I was only a few strokes back of the top ten. I did putt 100% in Circle 1. The second round came, and the weather was looming. Everyone was getting ready for a doozy of a day. I usually play well in the conditions and I was prepared, and my caddy Steve was also highly prepared.
At the start, I was playing better than the first round and by the time we got to hole 11 I was already in the top 20. Then after a great drive, they blew the stop horn. I still had seven holes to go and now we were to play at 7:30 am. I have never been much of a morning person.
When I woke up on Sunday at 6 am it was literally freezing and raining. I barely had enough clothes to feel comfortable outside. I headed out and I took a par on all seven holes dropping me to around 25th. That I could handle, but now I had a 5 hour wait in the rain and cold before I had to play 18 more holes. I tried to distract myself, rest, and stay warm, but this was a task. I headed out for the third round and played the front nine well. But then I just ran out of gas and focus. I took a bogey on three of my last four holes, finishing with a sloppy par on the last hole. I dropped back down to 35th.
All in all, it was good weekend. It’s just the older you get, even though you have the experience to play in the conditions, it is less enjoyable playing in the bad weather. But it was a good warm up and let me know what I need to work on for the rest the season.
Linton Park Open
I played in one more event, the Linton Park Open which was a B-tier in Sandersville, Georgia. I was able to pull out the win by two strokes over Matt Dollar. It paid $1100 for first!! I started off a little slow and gradually increased my play throughout the weekend. Jamie Brindell and his crew ran a fabulous tournament with all kinds of food, awesome trophies, and tons of added cash. It’s nice be able to win over thousand dollars less than an hour from my house.
Over the next few weeks I have two more events planned. I will be playing in the Huk Central A -tier in South Carolina, followed up by the Trailblazer A-tier in Clermont, Florida. I’m hoping to be able to start playing my rating at those two events.
I got my first action with the Infinite Discs Emperor at these events and I must say I really like the disc. It is giving me a really fast over stable distance driver for my bag. My new tour Emperor in Splatter Star should be coming out very soon. If you like Destroyers, you’ll love the Emperor.
Next Gen Tour
On a business level next generation tour is doing well. We just announced that we will have a $100,000 final event in Austin Texas. Synthya and I decided after lots of thought that the one thing that amateurs need to take that next step is cash.
On a personal level, Synthya, Leomax, and I have been doing great. He is growing so fast, and Synthya has turned into a wonderful mother already. This week my brother is coming to town from Maryland to visit us and meet the baby. I think we’ll all go up to the Atlanta aquarium and check it out.
Well that’s my update for now hopefully I can start playing better Disc Golf, make sure people understand what NextGen is now, and enjoy being a father to this wonderful family that I have helped create. Until next time, see you in the fairways.
So I have decided to have a blog this season , but I am not sure I can type up everything going on in my life. This has been one of the most eventful years of my life and I can barely come up for air.
Welcome Leomax Feldberg #22626
On a personal level Synthya and I had our first child Leomax Feldberg #22626 on 2/18/19. He is a blessing and very healthy. We are so lucky to have him in our life and are looking forward to watching him grow and sharing many great experiences. Synthya and I bought a house where we have no relatives or close friends near by and so we are doing this ourselves and she has been a rockstar to say the least.
Next Gen Tour 2019
On a business level Next Generation Tour is having a banner year with the expansion of 10 disc manufacturers, 10 other new sponsors, a new NG team, relocating the National Championships, and partnering with Infinite Discs to make it all happen. We are seeing a lot of positivity out there and we are doing all we can to deliver the best amateur tour out there. It will only continue to get better. We have some big announcements coming!!!
Disc Golf an Honest Take Podcast
I have started my own podcast called “Disc Golf an Honest Take”. I will be reviewing existing products and new releases while covering a little NG and history of our game. The first one is in the editing stage and will be out very soon (hopefully Monday).
Tournament Schedule 2019
On a playing level I have decided with all that is going on, that I had to cut back on my schedule of events I compete in. I will still be competing at many of the larger events, but I will not be playing as often. Below is my proposed schedule for this season:
Super bowl scramble – 3rd place
Full Monty Doubles- Galloway as partner 1st place
Huk Central A -tier
Trailblazer A Tier
Great Lakes Open PT
Pro Worlds Presented by Infinite Discs
Augusta NT Final
Linton Park Open – B-Tier
Sandy Creek Sling- C-tier
Building the Mixed Bag for 2019
It has been exciting to be able to throw any disc that I want to throw. There are so many choices out there nowadays it is incredible. Back in the day we had very few choices compared to today.
So I had to start somewhere. What I have done to start the season is take the Trilogy and Innova discs I loved for many years and picked out some solid choices. I stuck with the Sinus, BT Bard, XXX, and Ballista Pro. I brought back my Aviars, Rocs, Eagles, and Destroyers. That alone made my game stronger right away. Now I wanted to experiment with the other manufactures that are supporting the tour. So I have started by incorporating one new disc from each brand. Here is what I have so far.
Discraft – I am messing around with the Kong, Comet, Heat, Vulture, and Crank. They all fly well just trying to see where they fit my bag. I have added the Zone as I always wanted to throw that disc.
Prodigy– I have been testing almost all there molds and I have liked the D2 and D3 and found that the M3 is a good over-stable midrange. I have added the 300 A2 to my bag as this plastic feels feat and I love short over-stable flying discs.
MVP– I also tested many of there molds and found that the Resistor and the Octane are very good flying discs and the Resistor, I have having a hard time resisting. I have added a Mayhem to my bag as I like this distance driver. It is not over-stable or under-stable. It flies long and straight and I can make it fly almost any angle I want.
Gateway– I have been testing most of there line and the Apex and Illusions have stuck out as really consistent fliers that I can use between full high speed and fairway drivers. I have added a Diamond Prophecy to my bag as this is a really good Hyzer midrange that I throw fairly often.
Legacy– I just received their box of testers, but will say right out of the gate, that I am liking there new plastic, I will update Legacy more in the next blog.
DiscMania – I have tested a few of their discs in the beginning when I played for Innova. I am awaiting a box of testers, but I am excited to test the new Cloud and Instinct co branded Latitude fairway driver. I will update in my next blog.
Kastaplast– I have been testing most of their line of discs and I will say I was very impressed. The feel was great- shiny discs that were not slippery. I am looking forward to some rain to see if it performs as I think it will. The Kaxe was a unique mold I wanted to test and I found it to be the rare disc between a midrange and a fairway driver. I like the Stahl and it is in a final battle with the Mvp Resistor to see who makes the bag. I have added a Falk to my bag as it is a great late flip under-stable fairway driver that just seems to fit my game.
Infinite – last but not least I have been testing our discs often. I have found that the Myth putter is growing on me and that I like the plastic lines we make. I have added a glow metal Flake Pharaoh to my bag as this thing goes far, only about 5-10 feet less than a Corvette but feels like a Destroyer in my hand. I have also added a RA to my bag as this disc has this unique nova type flight where it doesn’t move to the left it just holds and then drops predictably. I am also starting to test my signature disc which will be a Splatter Emperor. I am excited as it has been described to me as an Eco – Destroyer which I like but don’t want to pay 100 or more dollars for.
So I think that is good for my first blog, now out to the field to test some more plastic!!!