Wednesday night’s Pro Panel Q&A was streamed live on YouTube and allowed viewers to get a glimpse into the thoughts of several top players the night before round one. The well-rounded panel consisted of Jeremy Koling, Philo Brathwaite, Valarie Jenkins, Eric McCabe, Eagle McMahon, and Ricky Wysocki, who all got the chance to answer questions.
We learned some fun facts, like how Eagle became a vegan and what it feels like to win a world championship. There was a general consensus that tournament play requires you to pack your bag just a little bit lighter than normal, allowing you to avoid carrying dead weight around for three days. But one of the most heavily discussed topics was that of the Eagle Disc Golf Course at Olpe Lake, and how exactly these players are going to tackle it.
Many of tomorrow’s competitors have played in previous GBO events and are very familiar with the course layouts. They have developed their own successful strategies for course management and generally feel confident going into the tournament. Yet this year, the pros will be including Olpe in the mix and spent several days practicing this challenging course.
One of the unknown factors that contributes to domination or frustration here is the wind. Gusts can reach upward of 50 mph, and this causes players to completely change their game plan. All across the panel, the same sentiment was echoed: “Stay safe, keep it in bounds, don’t be too aggressive.” Big Jerm included that everyone should bring multiple backup discs with them, and Eric made sure to give a huge shout out to Mike Smith and crew for all of the hard work it’s taken to get the course tournament ready.
Eagle is confident that the tournament will be won on one of the two other courses, and his performance at Olpe needs to be decent, but won’t be a determining factor. Philo described his game plan as “conservatively aggressive.” What do you think will happen? If the winds are high, will this course be instrumental in separating scores?
We’ll find out tomorrow as both the men’s and women’s open divisions start their 2017 GBO playing Eagle DGC at Olpe Lake. So far the weather forecast shows very light winds and clear skies until early in the evening, but only time will tell to see who succeeds with this challenging layout.