Posted by randomtiz
Dogleg JT here and boy do I have have a unique disc golf tournament to tell you about! It’s the inaugural “Downtown Throwdown” hosted by Jasper’s local disc golf club, Grip-N-Rip. Most people might not understand how unusual and rare of an opportunity that this tourney will be. This is an event you seriously do not want to miss! Disc Golf…downtown, seriously. Sweet prize packs. Free food. Beer. Live music. Heck of a good time.
It takes place this coming weekend in Downtown Jasper, Alabama and ONLY 11 spots left. What’s that mean? You still have time to sign up after you read this interview with Grip-N-Rip Disc Golf co-founder, Stephen Robertson. But hurry, this tourney is sure to fill up before Saturday’s matchup!
There’s several reasons I wanted to take on this special blog post. First, it’s a very unique, urban disc golf tournament—second of its kind in the United States—that takes place in my hometown of Jasper, Alabama. It’s also being hosted by a great group of guys, whom are close friends from high school, called Grip-N-Rip Disc Golf. Third, it’s being held this coming weekend, Father’s Day weekend. What better way to spend quality time with your father (or son) for this extraordinary disc golf event, haha. Lastly, I was asked to design the logo for the event. And I couldn’t have been more excited and honored!
Alright alright, lets get right into this interview shall we? I’m sitting here with close friend, Stephen Robertson, co-founder of Grip-N-Rip Disc Golf.
[Dogleg] Stephen, tell us a little about Grip-n-Rip Disc Golf.
[Stephen] We are a disc golf club that started in Jasper 3 years ago. It was originally started by Jeremiah Blackmon and me. We have brought some more awesome guys and a girl on the board—Billy Thompson, Jake Aaron, David Driver, and MaLeigh Robertson. Without them, we could not get to what we have gotten accomplished. There is also a lot club members that help as well. We run leagues during the season as well as tournaments. In the last few years, all of the money that has been raised has been going to fund improvements to our current course and now towards the construction of a new course to be located here in Jasper. Also once a year we run a fundraising tournament for a good cause. Each year we select a different. Last year it was for a local elementary school, where we raised and donated $1500 to the school. This year we are hoping to do the same for EASI. But mostly, we are a group of guys and gals that love playing disc golf.
[Dogleg] Now that we have the GnR background, tell us what exactly is the Downtown Throwdown?
[Stephen] The tournament is to be held on June 20th. It will be a temporary course that is put up just for the one day. The course is going to run through the downtown area of Jasper. You will play down streets, in alleys, and across parking lots. The course will start and finish at the Courthouse square. Warehouse 319 is our main sponsor for the event, so set-up for picking up players pack and registration will be in front of their building. Also they are serving breakfast and lunch day-of. Breakfast will run from 7:30am-9am and lunch will be in between rounds.
[Dogleg] The concept is crazy cool! Where did you guys get the idea of an urban dg tourney like this?
[Stephen] There has been an event similar to this before, just not in Jasper. Cary, North Carolina runs a disc golf tournament around a part of their town. It has been happening there since I believe 2012. Seeing videos of their events on YouTube is what inspired us to do it. Also it looked like a ton of fun.
[Dogleg] I can’t argue with that! How were you able to get something of this scale to even take place in downtown on a Saturday?
[Stephen] The club has been doing and will be doing a ton of work leading up to the event. We had to get permission from all Downtown businesses. Also, we have had a ton of help from the city council members. Tana Williams, Jennifer Williams Smith and Joe Mathews have been huge assets as well. Originally the idea for this was brought up in passing with Jennifer, Joe, and Tana and they loved the idea and helped us get approval for the event with the city council. They have also been helping with getting all of the permissions needed. Without their help, we definitely would not have gotten all of the things needed to run it. In the early stage of preparation, Warehouse 319 came on board as a primary sponsor. With their help, we are going to be able to feed all of the players both breakfast and lunch.
[Dogleg] That’s great to hear man. I love seeing community come together and helping one another to pull this off. Ok, so knowing how downtown Jasper is layed out with all the storefronts, what about the safety of windows? Will players be throwing down the street? Like down streets lined with large window fronts?
[Stephen] They will be throwing down some streets but there are only 2 places on the entire course where windows are even remotely close to being in play. We were very careful of the course layout to try to avoid any windows.
[Dogleg] Sounds like you guys have put tons of thought into this–especially with safety. So can you tell us what the course layout will be like?
[Stephen] It will be 20 holes. The entire course plays 4,585 ft. We will be using the new MachX baskets that were purchased for the brand new course being built on Walston Bridge Road.
[Dogleg] What will the format of the tournament be like?
[Stephen] This will be a PDGA-sanctioned tournament. There will be 2 rounds of disc golf. The first round will have a 9:30am tee off. The second round will tee off roughly an hour after the last card is turned in from the first round.
[Dogleg] How many players are you guys expecting?
[Stephen] We have ability to accept 100 players. As of June 15, we have 85 people already registered.
[Dogleg] What all can players expect in the player’s pack?
[Stephen] The player pack consists of: a custom-printed disc storage box from Box4Discs, an event stamped disc and mini, and free breakfast and lunch. There is also a token for 6 free wings that can be redeemed any time at Warehouse 319. For people who were registered by June 10th, they will also be receiving a tournament shirt. We will have some more tournament shirts there for purchase for anyone who didn’t make the early registration.
We are having a players’ party Friday night June 20th in front of Warehouse 319. You can pick up your players pack and your tournament book from 6-8pm that night. That will give people an opportunity to walk the course if they would like. The baskets will not be up until Saturday morning, but the tee pads and locations of baskets will be marked Friday night.
[Dogleg] That sounds awesome! Is it too late to sign up? Where can players go to still get in on this unique opportunity of a tourney?
[Stephen] We will have registration open all the way until the morning of the event or until we fill up, whichever comes first. If it doesn’t fill up, we will have registration open until 9am the morning of the event.
http://www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments/GnRs_Downtown_Throwdown_2015 is the registration page.
But Grip N Rip DGC on Facebook also has a link for it.
[Dogleg] Any shoutouts to local sponsors you’d like to give a plug to?
[Stephen] Warehouse 319, Cindy Thompson Realtor, Custom Shirts and Signs, Sexton Auto Solutions, David Driver and Marty Scott.
[Dogleg] Lastly, if anyone would like more info, where should they go?
Or you can contact Stephen Robertson or Jeremiah Blackmon on Facebook.
[Dogleg] Well thank you so much for your time, Stephen. I can not wait for this tournament this weekend! I’ve been stoked about it ever since you and Jeremiah contacted me about the design of it earlier this year. To all our readers–and especially the local ones–I hope to see you this Saturday in Downtown Jasper. We shall Throwdown!
Grip-N-Rip’s Downtown Throwdown featured last week on ABC 33/40!
ABC 33/40 – Birmingham News, Weather, Sports
Grip N Rip DGC on Facebook or the
Posted by randomtiz
You’ve asked for it, now you have it!
Dogleg JT reviews the unreleased Westside Discs Elasto Sampo driver, Dynamic Discs Fuzion Evidence midrange and the Latitude 64 Retro Macana putter from this year’s Trilogy Challenge.
Music credits: Bensound.com
I am a LHBH thrower. If you’re watching the video, for comparison, I would consider my arm speed to be medium. If you are a power thrower, expect the discs to fly more understable. If you have slower arm speed, expect the discs to be more overstable.
Westside Elasto Sampo Driver
Stronger arms could get it to turnover, but The Westside Sampo was a bit too overstable for me. The first round we played silver-to-silver (short layout) and I maybe used the driver 2-3 times. To be honest, I didn’t give it much of a chance but I don’t see it making a spot in my bag. I have only thrown a handfull of Westside discs but have not found one I liked yet. The Elasto plastic is a flexible, almost gummy plastic that has a nice grip but can feel a bit wobbly. Not sure if it’s the best plastic for a driver when you’re trying to get a hard, tight grip.
Dynamic Discs Fuzion Evidence Midrange
The DD Evidence midrange disc I really enjoyed. It was more on the stable side but I could get it to turnover if I put enough arm speed into it and play a slight anhyzer line. I normally throw a Dynamic Discs Biofuzion Truth, so the mold and feel of the Evidence felt familiar. Although I feel the Truth is a bit more overstable, I can see breaking out the Evidence in casual rounds. The Evidence has a very comfortable grip to me.
Latitude 64° Retro Macana
The was the first Lat 64 disc that I had ever thrown. I’m typically not a fan of putters, but something about this disc really stood out to me during the Trilogy Challenge. It quickly made a spot in my permanent bag as that day I seemed to be on fire with it–at least for awhile. The Retro plastic is more of a cheaper, baseline grade of plastic but a nod to the plastics used back in the 80s–hence the name. The Retro plastic dings really easily but does have a nice grip to it. Of all three Trilogy discs, the Macana became my easy favorite.
What did you think of the discs?
To read more about the Trilogy Challenge that I participated in, be sure to check out my previous post, “2015 Trilogy Challenge – Oregon Park Recap.”
Posted by randomtiz
G’morning all and what a beautiful Saturday it is! An early disc golf round already lined up with friends and I can’t wait to get this day started. But before I head out, I had the pleasure of playing in my first Trilogy Challenge last weekend (May 30th) at Oregon Park and wanted to share how it went.
What is the Trilogy Challenge you might ask?
The Trilogy Challenge is brought to you by Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64°, and Westside Discs who’s goal is to gain better visibility of the sport and get more new players involved. In each player pack, you get three discs to use in the tournament–a Westside Elasto Sampo Driver, a Dynamic Discs Fusion Evidence Midrange, and a Lat 64° Retro Macana Putter. Basically everything you need to play a round. On top of the three discs, each player gets a Trilogy stamped mini, a mini clipboard, mini sharpie, scorecard and a pencil. All included in your entry cost of $30! Pretty sweet deal.
Now what about the format?
The format of the tournament is up to the TD. The one I participated in was a two-round format where the first round silver-to-silver and the second round gold-to-gold layout. Each round had its own winner–scores didn’t carry over from one to the next. For the first round, everyone played from the shortest layout there at Oregon Park which was silver-to-silver. In the Trilogy Challenge, players were only allowed to throw the three discs they received in this year’s player pack. The second round format was a bit different. Everyone played the long layout, gold-to-gold, and had the option to either add their three Trilogy discs from last year’s player pack OR substitute one of the three from this year with one of their own. I didn’t throw the driver much the first round on the short layout, so I opted to switch it out for one of my other drivers the second round.
Via their website, The Trilogy Challenge is a worldwide event from May 29th to September 20th that concludes with the Trilogy Öppna in Emporia, Kansas on September 19th-20th. The discs in each player pack will be unreleased until the last Challenge in Emporia. So be sure to get in on the action!
Between the two rounds, they had several raffle giveaways which consisted of Dynamic Discs Soldier & Cadet DG bags, Lat 64, Westside, and Dynamic Discs drivers, mids and putters. I won the first raffle drawing (shoutout to Jason Kirkaldy for drawing my name) of a brand new DD Soldier bag filled with 9 discs!
I had a great time with friends and meeting several new faces out there. It was a lot of fun and I will be playing next year in it for sure. The turnout was huge! I felt like everything went really smoothly and a big shoutout and thanks to Walter Black for running TD this year! I had a chance to talk to Walter earlier this week on how the tourney went. Here’s what Walter had to say:
So, we all start somewhere, right? It is easy to forget after years of playing and moving up from beginner to league play to playing tournaments just how hard those first throws were. How awkward it was to throw a disc the way it is supposed to be thrown. How confusing the different discs and their numbers were. How just finding other people to play with is an obstacle. When I decided to run the Trilogy Challenge, I wanted to be sure I didn’t forget what it was like to be new to the sport.
Our club gets together early in the year to hash out the events we want to host. Last year’s Trilogy Challenge was a success and I asked to run it again this year. I had only one real question for the club and that was, “Do you want me to make money?” The answer was “No”. They didn’t want me to make money. The club wanted everything we took in to be paid back out. It is an important distinction for me because if I don’t have to make money, then I can spend what I feel I need to attract the largest number of players. More players, more money. More money, more prizes. More prizes, more players. I had posters and postcards made to make sure anyone who visited Oregon Park knew about the event. We tapped into social media on the Cobb Disc Golf Club and Atlanta Disc Golf Organization Facebook page. The registrations were slow to get going but as we got closer and closer to the event date they started snowballing.
When we originally planned our Trilogy Challenge we wanted to offer more than what was necessary. More opportunities to play and compete and more prizes. Everyone played the Trilogy Challenge just as Dynamic Discs intended. One round, winner wins the prize pack. A second optional round was added with a few twists. It would be played on the longest layout of the course and would have it’s own prize. We expanded the number of prizes and had a drawing for them. Anything you could win with skill, you could win by getting lucky. No matter how new you were to the sport, everyone paid the same to enter, everyone would have a chance to win. I added another Soldier bag and nine discs to be won in a drawing and also upgraded the Cadet bags to Soldier bags. For the second round winner, a choice of a Recruit practice basket or any bag/backpack that Dynamic Discs sold was offered. There was also a drawing for the same Recruit basket or bag/backpack that could be won just for purchasing a player pack. For the drawings you didn’t have to be present to win. You didn’t even have to play. If you purchased a player pack you were entered into all the drawings.
More players are always good right up to the point that they aren’t and a week out we were rapidly approaching our limit for what the course could accommodate. I knew from experience we would get 20-30 participants walk-up on the day of the event. The problem was, I was already at my limit with the players who had preregistered. Where was I going to put another 30? At the last moment I contacted Dynamic Discs and tossed up another event, the Friday Night Flight, and got another winners pack for that event along with 50 more player packs. I wasn’t going to turn anyone away. I needed to get 25-30 players who had registered for Saturday to play their Trilogy Challenge round on Friday night to make room for the walk-ups I expected for Saturday. Just enough to give us a little breathing room.
For Friday we did a simple flex start where the players could show up after work and get grouped with a few others and head out to play. This was attractive for some because they could get their round in and be done in less than two hours. Friday night I had 33 total participants play their Trilogy Challenge round but I still had a problem. Only 20 had preregistered. The other thirteen were walk-ups. This meant that while I did manage to pull some away, I was still going to have more than 90 players show up on Saturday.
I worried about how Saturday would play out well into the night on Friday, not getting to bed until around 2am. I was trying to figure out the best way to get 90+ players to fit on an 18-hole course. I could do cards for five and a few sixes but how long would that take with all the new players even on the shortest layout? I could split the field and run two rounds but what would 40-50 players do for two hours while the other half played? Both of these options had their advantages and disadvantages. I really didn’t like either choice. I give credit to one of the players for suggesting a rolling start. Everyone would head to hole one when they were ready to play and be sent out in groups of 3, 4 or 5. Friends could play with friends and solo players would be added in to fill out the card. Players would already be out on the course while others were just checking in. It worked very well with just a short wait time at hole one.
In total, we sold out of all 125 player packs and I only had to turn one person away because we just didn’t have any more. The Trilogy Challenge is Dynamic Discs effort to #growthesport but the additional prizes also attracted some very good long-time players. The winning round for both Friday and Saturday on the short silver-to-silver layout was a 13-under par 41. John Riley, a local player, won on Friday while Jason Kirkaldy, who traveled all the way from Augusta, won on Saturday. The second round was very competitive on the longer gold-to-gold layout with Jason Kirkaldy winning by one stroke over John Riley and Jermaine Barksdale with an 8-under par 51. But let’s not forget the real winners here. The three dads playing with their young sons. The fireman and his girlfriend, neither of whom had ever thrown a disc before, playing for the first time. The women, although few, playing together. All the other new players and beginners who came out and played with nearly one-hundred other disc golfers. We all start somewhere. That’s a pretty good start.
For information about the Trilogy Challenge and seeing if there are any in your area, check out http://trilogychallenge.com/.
Want to see what Dogleg JT thought of this year’s Trilogy Challenge discs? Read/watch his latest post here.