Corn In the U.S.A

Kicking the corn out of fellow bag tossers is nothing new to Rick Taylor and Matt Guy. For them, cornhole is more than just a casual tailgating game that offers something to do while drinking beer and waiting for the burgers to cook.  

Guy, a Kentucky-based bread company employee, and Taylor, who works for a Cincinnati refrigeration- parts firm, routinely grill competitors in weekend tournaments and often drive hundreds of miles to do so. They’ve pocketed thousands of dollars in prize money, a trip for four to the Bahamas and a digital camcorder — all for tossing 16-ounce duck cloth bags filled with corn toward an angled platform with a 6-inch hole in it.

During the recent Cleveland Cornhole Championship organized by Hermes Sports & Events at Gray’s Armory Museum downtown, Guy and Taylor’s doubles team, American Cornhole, beat The Johnny Five’s in the finals 21-3, taking home the title.

“When I first began playing six years ago, I couldn’t even hit the board,” Taylor says. “I was getting my butt kicked. But what’s great about cornhole is that anybody can play it, it doesn’t take long to get pretty good, and it’s addictive.”

From Chump to Champ

“The key to cornhole is consistency,” Taylor says. “You have to practice enough that your delivery becomes second nature.” Here are six pointers that’ll help you hone a killer toss this tailgating season:
1. Aim: Think middle. It’s best to land the bag just short of the hole. If you spin it correctly (keep reading), there’s a good shot you’ll drain it. If the bag lands and stays put, at least you’re “on the board.”
2. Arm speed: Think slow. Just like in golf, a controlled, methodic movement works best. Move your arm back unhurriedly while you focus on your target.
3. Grip: Think soft. Don’t squeeze the bag like it’s your date.
4. Motion: Think flick. Keep your arm straight. When you release the bag, bend your wrist slightly so it spins back-tofront in the air and glides up the platform.
5. Strategy: Think smart. When a competitor’s bag is in the way of the hole, “lay up” somewhere else on the board instead of trying to “airmail” it directly into the hole.
6. If you still stink: Think beer. It’s essential equipment in cornhole.
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