Posted by Tricia Lafferty
Just like many of you, I know a few golfers who have headed off to Portland for the 2014 Professional Disc Golf World Championships. I am excited to follow the local players and see how they play, as well as the touring pros. I’ve been watching my Facebook feed for updates and pictures about what is happening on the other side of the country.
However, one particular post struck a nerve. It was posted on Facebook via DG Guy, Terry Miller. A screen capture of the post is below. Admittedly, I was not there, so I do not know the specifics as to the particular instance he is referring to. But, I do have some personal experiences dealing with the same issue.
Pittsburgh is hosting the 2015 Professional Disc Golf World Championships, and I was fortunate enough to attend one of the planning meetings that was held earlier this year. This opened my eyes up to how much time, effort, and planning goes into an event of this size. Everything is planned in order to make the players, volunteers, spectators, and others have a great experience. I can’t even imagine how terrible I would feel if I were up on stage giving a presentation at Worlds expressing how excited I was to show everyone the result of the year plus of hard work, only to look out in the audience to see people not listening and distracting everyone else.
I even experience this at the league I run. I generally start off by raising my voice and saying, “Ok, it’s **time**, let’s get started.” I try to talk fast and be brief when making any announcements, only occupying a few minutes of time before I give card and hole assignments. I know that not everyone is interested in some of the things I may be talking about. More and more I was finding that I was trying to talk over people standing 15 feet away from me immersed in their own conversation. So then it happened, it finally made me angry. My solution was to turn my back on the group and walk away. That got their attention, and the group got quiet. I walked back in, mentioned that I do my best to try not to take a bunch of time, and it will go faster if they just pay attention for a few minutes. It has gotten better since that day.
I think a lot of it has to do with a general issue, not a disc golf specific one: lack of manners and respect, whether it is intentional or not. When people are giving a performance or presentation, it is respectful to pay attention and stay quiet. If you do need to make a comment to a friend, then lean in and whisper as to not cause a distraction to others. There is nothing more annoying when you pay money to go see a movie that you have been anticipating for weeks, only to have someone sitting behind you yacking loudly about something and ruining your experience.
This is truly a simple fix. We can remedy this by creating a culture where it is expected that you will be respectful to others, at all times. Correct each other. Give people your time and be conscience of how your actions are effecting others. I understand that not everyone feels like the need to attend a players meeting, that they have been through these events numerous times and that they know how these things operate. However, it may be the first time the people running these events. They are excited that the pros and players from all over the world are in their city playing their event. Don’t ruin it for these people that give part of their lives to make these events run.
Just as you prefer that people are not talking and distracting while you are trying to make an important putt, give others the same respect for things that are important to them.
Posted by mleefry
One of my favorite things about disc golf is witnessing innovation that comes along with a growing sport. Nothing makes me more optimistic about disc golf than listening to people like DGnomad founder Jeff Gradinger or Legends World Champion and founder of Hott Shotts Pete May as they discuss their creative ideas for making disc golf a household name. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of playing a round with Parker Asay, one of the dedicated idea guys behind FOSSA Disc Golf, a new LLC based out of Springfield, Mo. Southern Missouri may be a surprising home for disc golf growth. In addition to FOSSA, Springfield is home to the first ever disc golf course in Missouri, as well as Disc Golf Monkey, a retailer known mostly for their colorful and heavy-duty Monkey Trap baskets. The Journey Post shop and Treehouz course, home of the Journey Post First Stop, is located just south of Springfield.
Needless to say, it’s not surprising to see a product like the ROA Tournament Bag come from this area.
The ROA Tournament Bag is comparable to the Innova DISCarrier. It holds 25+ discs, has several pockets and three dividers for organized storage, and an end pocket for putters. The bag is made of 600D PVC coated nylon; for those like me who know nothing about textiles, this translates to “waterproof and super durable.”
This being my first opportunity to really review a disc golf bag, I was surprised at how detail-oriented Asay was. He pointed out to me how the seams were stitched in such a way to add to the bag’s durability. On the lowest part of the back of the ROA, there are Velcro loops to secure a golf umbrella. FOSSA’s website is serious when the claim is made that they’re “committed to making products that are perfect for the everyday golfer.” Throughout our round, he continued to ask for my feedback and the feedback from others on the course in order to improve the product.
Even the name of the bag is clever and shows their dedication to perfection. The company’s name, FOSSA, is the name of the cat-like top predator of Madagascar. “Roa” is the Malagasy word meaning “two,” because FOSSA’s initial bag design underwent so many improvements that this bag became the second.
Now, the part you’ve all been waiting for…let’s talk money. The FOSSA bag retails for $59.99. Yes, that is not a typo. Not a sale price. $59.99. For comparison, the Innova DISCarrier is $79.99 on their website.
But it takes more than price to determine if a product is the right fit. As fascinated as I am by the FOSSA bag, I know that it would not yet be the best bag for me. As a beginning disc golfer, I carry 13 discs on average, which only makes up half of the ROA Tournament Bag’s disc storage. In order for the bag to not sink in the middle, I had to add extra discs for the round. That being said, having too much storage is typically not an avid disc golfer’s problem. For anyone who carries enough discs and is not ready to make the financial commitment to a backpack bag (like the Grip A14, which runs $259), the ROA is definitely the way to go. I would also recommend upgrading the bag with backpack straps to add a little more comfort and support—I used the ROA strap for 9 holes and my Phoenix straps for the other 9 for the sake of testing both out.
For more information or to order the ROA Tournament Bag, check out FOSSA’s website http://fossadiscgolf.com, like them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fossadiscgolf, or ask your local disc golf retailer.