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Archive for September, 2013

Interview with 3x Legends Champ Pete May

Posted by mleefry


This summer, I had the pleasure of meeting 3x Amateur Legends World Champion Pete May (#12700). I first ran into May during a practice round at Emporia Country Club a few days before the Amateur World Championships. Luckily someone in my group pointed him out to me, or I would not have given much thought to the man in the cowboy hat walking the course on his own. I caught up with him again later in the week at the dgNOMAD Glow Ace Race, and learned more about his accomplishments and aspirations in the realm of disc golf.

May has lived in Augusta, GA for the majority of his life, and is a Senior Vice President of Morris Communications and President of the International Barrel Horse Federation. He started the Collegiate Disc Golf Championships, invented the disc golf game Hott Shott, and has earned the Amateur Legends World Title in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Here’s more about May and his achievements, in his own words:

Dogleg: When did you first start playing disc golf, and how old were you?

May: I first started playing with my oldest son and his two buddies, I was 58, they were all Table Tennis Olympians.

Dogleg: Explain the concept behind “Hott Shott.”

May: Hott Shott is my newest start. It is an indoor court game using elements of disc golf. Its noble purpose is the get middle school kids doing more with their hands and eyes and less with their fingers (cell phones). The business purpose is to create cottage businesses for the disc golf community… It is a putting type game that simulates bowling or darts [in terms of scoring]. The goal has a five year plan to start 7,000+ leagues nationwide in middle schools, churches, rec centers, senior citizen [centers], and similar gyms. I believe this is very doable. This game is fun, easy to learn, and hard to master—a nice combination. The game could have a profound effect on the growth of disc golf.

Dogleg: In your opinion, what are characteristics of a “perfect” disc golf course?

May: A perfect or sustainable disc golf course should…
• Be pleasing to the eye
• Have no more than 1 par four each nine holes
• Have at least two ace runs [per nine holes]
• Most par three holes should be designed for players that throw less than 350 feet; that distance is only thrown by 5% of all players
• Have tee shots that are fun to throw, but difficult to make a two unless the shot is very precisely placed
• Take more than 1:45 to 2 hours [to play]
• One water hazard per side adds to a great course
• Five to seven tree tunnel holes create the skill factor, not just distance
• No more than 3 blind shots on a course
• Close to the basket trapping is one of my course design features
• I like tough but not “mean” courses
• I like elevation change if possible
• I like 20 hole courses with par at 62

Dogleg: What inspired you to start the Collegiate Disc Golf Championships? How has it evolved since its first year? Where do you see it going in the future?

May: My youngest son was a college freshman, and my “boss”—the owner of Morris Communications—showed interest at the same time. I had just been a TD of the 2006 Pro Worlds in Augusta, and my boss said, Why can’t we have this here every year? I said it moves about. He said, Let’s have our own tournament. So, since there was no Collegiate Championship, and my son was in college, I asked him to help me start one.

The first year, 2007, we had University of Georiga, Clemson, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia Southern, East Georgia College and Southern California. Wow, what a start. We played on one course.

Last year we had four courses going on one site with 63 college teams, [including] seven schools from the west coast. This year we will have 16 regional tournaments feeding into the Championship, which we expect to be 80 teams. This is our max.

In 20 years, I will expect ESPN to cover the tournament and up to 10,000 spectators at the event. I do not see disc golf merging into the NCAA.

Dogleg: In an article from the Augusta Chronicle about your win in 2012, you were quoted saying “I didn’t really go there to win.” What was your goal going into the 2013 World Championships?

May: My goal for the 2013 World Championship was to broaden the reach of Hott Shott and win the Over 70 Championship… Winning is never easy and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Dogleg: What is the most fun disc golf tournament you’ve ever played in?

May: This recent World Championships in Emporia was my most fun competition.
The town respected us, the courses were fun, competitive, and logistically
easy to get to and from.

Dogleg: How do you prepare for tournaments?

May: At the practice rounds at the tournament sites, I keep a journal on each course. I play fast practice rounds only teeing off and looking at the upshot and making notes in my journal. I will usually get 3 rounds per course logged in. I waste no time putting in practice rounds. I do this alone with no playing partners so I can stay focused.

Dogleg: What do you mean when you say you consider yourself a gamesman, not an athlete?

May: A gamesman usually has great eyesight, very soft hands, and good balance. They will train obsessively and are usually very confident. They don’t necessarily run extra fast or jump excessively high or lift ridiculous amounts of weight over their head.

Athletes can run very fast, jump very high, are super strong and many times hate to train, because they are so gifted out of the box.

Dogleg: Should the PDGA and TDs be doing more to get more individuals who are over 50 to play in tournaments? What advice would you give them?

May: I think the PDGA should group all seniors over 50 into one Senior Championship.
The age breaks should be each 5 years. They should combine both Pros and Ams together for more senior fraternity. In my opinion, there is not and will not be enough money in these divisions to make a difference one way or the other.


Keep Your Score with ScoreBand!

Posted by randomtiz


IMG_3panel

What do you keep track of your disc golf scores with?

Do you find yourself fumbling through your disc golf bag in search for that dang pencil or constantly pulling out your smartphone after each hole to keep track of your scores?

Well what if I told you that there is a much easier, and simpler way to keep up with your scores? There is, and I was fortunate enough to come across it via Women’s Pro Disc Golfer/Model Holly Finley on Twitter. It’s called the ScoreBand®.

The ScoreBand® is a slick, portable, and convenient silicone wristband that allows you to track your scores in three different modes! Not only is it a watch too, ScoreBand® has a Tennis mode, Golf mode and an All Score mode. Since I’m a disc golfer, this review will mostly go in-depth about the Golf mode because it closest relates to our sport.
Untitled-1

The Look:
IMG_1766sm
The ScoreBand® is sweat & water-resistant and made of a grippy, non-slip silicone material. Normally I’m not one to wear things upon my wrists while playing because my mindset is that I feel like they mess me up. =) But this on the other hand, is very comfortable and does not slide up and down when I throw. It has a very slim, modern design to it which I find pretty cool and stylish. It comes in two band colors (black and white) and has four button colors (green, orange, pink and grey) available to choose from—making 8 different possible color combinations. Each wristband is available in four size options from Small to X-Large as well.

Getting Started:
Ok, the ScoreBand® is very easy to use. No fancy screens. No unnecessary buttons. No wacky user interface. It’s simple. It’s functional. That’s all we’re looking for here. Great for the active person that just wants a solution to quickly track scores in a convenient manner.

On the wristband, you simply have two buttons on the face—an up and a down arrow. This is how you’ll enter your scores. First, let’s get to the mode that we’re going to use. By default, the Time (watch) mode is displayed first. To toggle through the other modes, press the silver button on the right side. If you’re a disc golfer, use the Golf mode. You know you’re in Golf mode setting when you see the small “G” in the center of the screen.

Entering Scores: GOLF Mode
You’ll use the up and down arrows to your record your throws for each hole. The top digit is your hole score while the bottom digit is your round score. For example, you make it in the basket in 3 throws on the first hole. You would tap the up arrow 3x until “3″ is displayed. Now that your number of strokes is displayed on top, next hold down the down arrow for 3 seconds to “enter” that score. The entered score “3″ will now show in the bottom spot as your total round score. Then say you get a “4″ on Hole 2. Arrow up 4x, hold the down arrow for the 3 seconds to enter that score and you’ll notice the bottom number then changes to “7″. You get the point, right? Easy!

If you go past your number while arrowing up, just tap the down arrow to count back down. And what I like about this, is how easy it is to hit the buttons. You can still be walking & talking and not really have to pay attention to entering in the numbers—unlike trying to track it on a cellphone when you have to make sure you’re on the correct screen. You’ll be at the next teepad in no time while you’re buddy’s back there fiddling with his smartphone score tracking app. This is great for the social disc golfer.

Using the All Score Mode:
The All Score mode can be used to your advantage if you would like to track more statistics. Try using it in tandem with the Golf mode while you’re playing to record things such as fairways hit or putts made. Toggling between different modes does not erase or interfere with the scorekeeping.

I know fairways in disc golf are a little different than ball golf, but you might be interested in keeping track with how many of your drives land in the “fairway” when you play. Think about it, have you ever really thought about what your driving accuracy was when playing? Maybe you record how many putts it took you total in a round. For those that want to increase their putting accuracy, try using the All Score mode to tally those. You could even use the All Score mode to track your Birdies in a round. Another option would be to track a friend’s score using it while you use the Golf Mode. There’s numerous possibilities here, use it to your advantage my friend.

My Experience and Final Thoughts:
I have thoroughly enjoyed the month and a half of testing I’ve put the ScoreBand® through. With its stylish, slick appearance, I wear it as my everyday watch. It’s extremely lightweight and I forget it’s even on my wrist sometimes. When playing disc golf with it, I never have to worry about not keeping a round score because my cellphone battery is low.

Don’t get me wrong, I would never give up some of my smartphone scoring apps. Because there definitely are times that I like to track lots of my stats and/or post them to social media. But like I said earlier, it’s great for people that are looking for a simple, easy way to track score without the hassle of smartphone scoring apps and keeping up with score pencils. It would make a great gift for a child too to keep score while they’re playing. If there’s one thing I would change about the ScoreBand®, is that I wish it would indicate the hole number you’re on. On a few occasions my first day testing it, I couldn’t remember if I’d recorded the hole or not. But I did hear that that feature is coming. I also read where they had custom logo printing available on the bands, sweet!

All in all, if you’re looking for a stylish, lightweight wristband watch for yourself or an athlete in your family, I would recommend looking further into the ScoreBand®. They retail for around $24.99 and can be found in Golfsmith stores, Brookstone and several other stores listed on their website www.ScoreBand.net.

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The ScoreBand® even won the “Best Product Concept Award” at the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show.

Four Modes:
-TIME: Displays Hour and Minute
-ALLSCORE: Keep Score, Statistics & Counts
-GOLF: Keep Hole & Round Score
-TENNIS: Keep Game & Set Score

The ScoreBand® Features:
-Water-resistant
-Comfortable & lightweight
-Fashionably designed for everyday wear
-Available in 8 colors and 4 sizes
-Infused with negative ion emitting minerals
-Conforms to USGA/R&A rules
-Eco-friendly silicone wristband
-Comes with 1-year manufacturer’s warranty

+Read more about ScoreBand on their website, www.ScoreBand.net.
+Follow ScoreBand on Twitter @TeamScoreBand.

Please share this post!
-jt


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Track Your Putts with ProPutt!

Posted by randomtiz


[Fig. 3a]

Now a quality app that tracks your putting statistics!

I have a practice basket at the house that I typically set up in the backyard to practice my putting on days that I can’t get out to the course for a round. Most of us frolfers have heard the saying “Drive for Show, Putt for Dough” and that my friends, is definitely true. Like ball golf, it’s all about the short game. You might ask yourself, What types of putts am I best at? What types of putts or conditions do I need the most improvement on? Well earlier this summer I came across a new app called ProPutt. And you might just find it to be the answer to all of the questions above.

About ProPutt:
According to their website, ProPutt is:

“ProPutt gives you the ability to effectively record your putting sessions and analyze where you need improvement. This will lead to more confident shots which will allow you to shoot lower scores every time you hit the course.”

This sounded like a really cool concept so I had to give it a try. Prior to this app, you’d find me out in the backyard with a stack of putting discs [and I say "putting discs" because I'm not a fan of real putters. I put with Innova Leopards, no joke. Anyway, I digress.] and a notepad and pen recording all of my putts. It was cumbersome and I looked like a middle school gym teacher with my clipboard. An app that could actually do this makes so much more sense.

*If you’d like to follow along with the actual app, you can download it here from the iTunes App Store for $1.99
(https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/proputt/id630269889?ls=1&mt=8).

Getting Started:

IMG_1818

[Fig. 1A]

What I like about this app’s, is how easy it is to use. Large buttons for those that have clumsy fingers (like me). It has a very clean, modern look to its interface. From the home screen, you have four main options: New Session, Sessions, Analyze and Settings. Let’s start.

New Session:
Click the New Session button to get started [See Fig. 1a]. Here you’ll be able to set your variables for this putting session. I like to warm up at a closer range and then work my way back to a further distance. I’m going to start at 15′ for this demo [See Fig. 1b]. Next enter in how many putts you want the set to consist of. Since this is my warmup and I’m only putting from 15′, I’ll just start with 10 [See Fig. 1c]. It’s a nice sunny day out with a subtle breeze–light enough to not even call it windy. So I’ll check “calm” as the weather condition [See Fig. 1d]. I putt regular (as opposed to straddle putt) and I’m in my backyard, so my terrain is “flat”. There is an option to record “comebacks” as well. This is optional but it’s to track your progress on “dots” and “flushes”–which I’ll get to later. Now hit “Create”!

You’ve now created a session for 15’ (or whatever distance you chose). Within this 15’ session you created, you can add as many sets as you’d like. Lets just focus on one for now, the one we’re about to play. In the lower right corner, hit “+Add Set” [See Fig. 1e]. Now you’re ready to begin your first set.

[Fig. 1b]
[Fig. 1b]

[Fig. 1c]
[Fig. 1c]

[Fig. 1d]
[Fig. 1d]
[Fig. 1e]
[Fig. 1e]

New Set:

[Fig. 2]

[Fig. 2]

How much simpler can it get on the user experience side? This is great. You have two large choices here to record each shot. You have “dots” and “flushes”. A dot is when you hit the metal cage or above. Hitting the pole is a miss, that does not count as a dot. A flush is obviously when you make it [See Fig. 2].

TIP #1: I would recommend recording your dots. This way–especially from longer distances–you can help keep track of your improvement of metals hit. Say for example if you’re putting from a further distance such as 50′ out–where normally you’d miss most of the shots from this distance. If you were tracking dots, you would know from set to set how many more shots you hit metal on.

TIP #2: Want to speed up your set scoring? Record only the dots as you hit them. You can tally your flushes after you’ve thrown the full set because those are the ones lying in the basket. Say you might forget how many metals you hit if you try to total those at the end of the set.

Watch as you record your flushes and dots, the “Putts Remaining” counts down. Once you’ve putted all your discs for that set, click “Save” in the upper right to record your set.

Viewing your Session:
After you complete your set and save it, you’re brought to the Session screen [See Fig. 3a]. Here you can view a summary of all your sets for the session. It shows how many sets you’ve played for that particular session along with how many flushes, dots and misses you scored. It also gives you your putting average.

If you swipe to the left, you’ll see the second screen where it allows you to enter notes for that session. For this session, for example, I was using my dgNOMAD portable target. It’s important to me that I notate that in the notes section because this particular target has a much smaller diameter target area to hit. That way I can see how my accuracy percentage increases on such a tighter target area [Fig. 3b].

From this screen you can start a new set or view previous sets. If you click “Sets” in the lower left, you’ll see all sets recorded for this particular session [Fig. 3c]. It shows the flushes made, dots and misses along with a timestamp for each one.

[Fig. 3a]
[Fig. 3a]

[Fig. 3b]
[Fig. 3b]

[Fig. 3c]
[Fig. 3c]
 

It’s a Wr(app):
Overall I’ve been very pleased with the ProPutt app. I’m a very statistical person and love numbers. This app has been great for me tracking my putting statistics. I now have a better understanding from what distances I’m consistent with sinking (or nearly making) putts and in what conditions. I really like how easy it is to use and tracking my progress. I find myself out in the backyard practicing more and more using the ProPutt app by my side. The only thing I wish the app had was something that lets you record a specific disc with a set. For example, there’s several different models of discs that I putt with. I’d like to track my percentages with those different discs so I know which ones I’m more accurate with. I guess I could always put the name of the disc used in the notes section for each session and label it according to which set I used what disc.. I may just be overcomplicating things. If you’d like to improve your putting by learning which types of shots you’re more accurate from in certain conditions, I would definitely recommend this app. Thank you @ProPutApp for a well-made app!

You can download it here from the iTunes App Store for $1.99 (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/proputt/id630269889?ls=1&mt=8).
For more info on ProPutt, check out their website here.
Thanks!

-jt


Dogleg Update: Where’s the posts?!

Posted by randomtiz


So you may have been wondering why there hasn’t been any new posts lately. As some of you guys know, I’m getting married in two week! I’ve been in full wedding mode this summer and apologize for lack of new activity on my end on the blog. Lots of planning and designing has gone into the wedding so far and it’s left me with little time to maintain the blog over the past few months.

I just wanted to update you all and let you know what’s been up here at Dogleg. No, we’re not going away. Come mid-October when I’m back out on the DG course playing and reviewing, expect lots more reviews and posts. We’ve got several reviews that we’re working on writing, filming and editing that we hope to go live within the next two weeks! With my free time being few and far between, just know that I’m working on the blog the best I can. =) This is a very exciting and special time in my life, so my second true love of disc golf is getting the back burner for the next few weeks. Ha!
Thank you to all of our loyal fans and friends out there for understanding and keeping up with the crew!

Many good things will be happening to/on the blog in October and the following months. Get ready. And don’t forget to..Blog the Dog!

-jt


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