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Welcoming New Players: A Short Guide

Posted by destinjames


Last night I went to a friend’s BBQ party, and  three interesting things happened: I broke up a dogfight (wow, that was crazy), afterwards someone said ‘frolf’ during a conversation, and then lastly someone else said ‘frolf’ again within the same hour.

Even though the dogfight was crazy and gave me minor injuries and quite the adrenaline rush, the use of the word ‘frolf’ captured my attention the most, and it got me thinking…

The sport of Disc Golf is still growing, but there are a lot of players that don’t understand how truly amazing Disc Golf is.

Here is my short guide to welcoming new players to the wonderful sport of Disc Golf.

#1

Be convincing that’s it’s worth their time. Take them to a scenic and/or relatively flat course – it will be more playable and enjoyable for a beginner.

I personally recommend buying them a beer (21 and over of course!) before the round, or buy/give them a disc… It will have more impact on whether they play again or not.

#2

 A new player will always ask, “What’s the best disc to use?” and you should give options – and in my years of playing, you should always say “mid-range” and a recommendation. Once they have played, they will find a certain disc that fits their hand and throwing style.

#3

 Give them a crash-course on the physics of how a golf disc flies. Teach them what understable, overstable, and stable is. I recommend throwing a couple discs from your bag to demonstrate – also, let them know about thumbing (thumber) and tomahawking. For right-handed throwers, thumbing will make the disc curve to the left, and opposite for tomahawks.

 #4

ALWAYS be courteous. A lot of new players take a while to learn and straighten their throw, make sure you’re quiet and patient during throws and be positive towards them no matter how far they go off course – and congratulate them on successful fairway drives!

This wonderful sport still needs a lot of players. If you play, don’t be afraid to invite a friend you think might like hitting chains for the first time – chances are, they wanted to hang out and have a great time outside anyway.

Lots of Chain Noise,

 :Destin


Vibram O-Lace Disc Video Review

Posted by destinjames


DLDGolace

Yesterday my wife Jessica and I enjoyed a perfect sunny 60 degree Disc Golf round together, and we were able to film a disc review for the new Vibram O-Lace, coming out November 14th.

Enjoy this Dogleg Disc Review! Just click the blue link.

Filmed by my wonderful wife Jessica. I think she’s officially a Doglegger now! :)

If the video above doesn’t show, click Dogleg Disc Golf Presents: The Vibram O-Lace Disc Review

(For full HD, make sure your YouTube viewer setting is on 720p)


To Help, Or Not To Help? That is The Question.

Posted by destinjames


After playing this wonderful sport for years, a special situation occurred today in the heart of Atlanta at Perkerson Park.

When I threw my 2010 Champion Innova TL from mid-fairway, there were no worries. I was sure to find it; no brush, weeds or growth to over think about… I thought.

Walking roughly 150 feet away, once I was in the landing zone, I knew I was wrong: Ivy EVERYWHERE. I threw an orange disc, so that should be visible, right?

The small, but plentiful dead ivy leaves turned to a beautiful Autumn orange color, and gathered underneath the still healthy.

Disc Lost.

Let’s just leave it.”, I said, after what seemed too long to keep bending ivy.

Finding the disc would be a needle in the haystack challenge, and I have two in the group:  J.T. Hamman & new friend to Dogleg Tommy Lesesne who diligently helped and cared as a disc golfer should.

We were close to the basket with a blind view of the tee pad behind us, hoping no one was angry in our time consuming search.

Out of (what seemed) NOWHERE a disc golfer behind us approached and noticed we were looking for a lost disc. He not only decided to help, but to physically exert himself down a steep slope 250′ away, approach strangers, and help find a disc; knowing: “Find it or not, I still need to backtrack on this hole.”

In my opinion, that’s how you play good disc golf. I made sure I shook his hand.

Destin

P.s.

My disc was found, and he’s the one that found it.


A Couple Hours With Two of The Best

Posted by destinjames


Just as I usually do, I found out about something very cool last minute and by accident.

Two of the best disc golfers in the world: Will Schusterick & Paige Pierce hosted a clinic at Oregon Park near Dallas, GA last night, and it was fantastic! The majority of their training wasn’t new to anyone there (grips, stances, etc.), but it was nice to ask true professionals questions that you can’t ask just anyone.

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Will was able to help me with my up-shot wrist work with tremendous results. My wrist was too tight, and he fixed it. That’s something I could have not learned without a real face to face training session.

Paige was also able to help me and many correct their distant putting by focusing on follow-through. I was much more accurate at about 40 feet after Paige demonstrated techniques. 

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I think one of the best times of the evening is getting the Dogleg shirt signed!

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Overall it was great to support the local disc golf scene and two of the best disc golfers out there. Will and Paige are truly great people with a lot of class. Make sure you root for them this weekend for The Hall of Fame Classic here in GA!



Fantasy Disc Golf, Anyone?

Posted by destinjames


Even though I was never a huge football fan, and I’m still not — especially since getting married, I would enjoy playing Fantasy Football with my friends. It was a way to have a fun connection to the guys and the games every Sunday — a reason to watch.

Recently I found PlayFantasyDiscGolf.com. It is a simple concept of picking 4 Professional Disc Golfers for events to win, and you earn points if you are correct, and at the end of the season you can win some pretty cool prizes!

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You can create your own league, or join others. I haven’t analyzed the site all that well yet, but it looks much easier and more inviting than Fantasy Football.

I want to keep this post short, because there is only 1 day to join a league (or more than one if you want!) and make your first picks for the first tournament this Wednesday, The Memorial.

visit PlayFantasyDiscGolf.com and check out the rules, the F.A.Q.’s, join and get started!!

This could be pretty fun!

Destin

 


Working The Angles – Manipulate or Utilize?

Posted by destinjames


A long time ago a friend of mine who just started playing Disc Golf asked me a fantastic question:

“What is more important… manipulating the angle of the disc to fly how you want it to, or understanding how the disc is supposed to fly when thrown flat, and utilize it’s natural characteristics?”

The first thing I said, and I would think most would agree, is that you need to understand how your disc flies naturally first. Not only how it is supposed to fly new, but how it will eventually fly after you have hit all those darn trees and broke it in. You can really only determine this with your own experimentation disc to disc since no one knows how much bark you’ve made fly!

The rule of thumb with plastic is the cheaper it is, the quicker it will become understable with use. And for some plastics such as the Discraft Titanium plastic, that disc will fly the same as brand new forever. The Titanium plastic is close to indestructible. Don’t rely on expensive plastics to change flight characteristics too much over time.

Also, more expensive is not always best. One of the cheapest plastics you can buy is the Discraft Pro-D, I have an XL Pro-D, and it’s a staple in my bag. It’s crucial for me because after years of use it went from stable to understable, and I now use it as a roller or a predictable turnover disc.

Once you are very comfortable with how your disc flies (make sure you are using the same grip, speed, etc. to ensure predictability), then move on to manipulating your hyzer and anhyzer shots.

With proper practice and experimentation you will know if a disc thrown flat will give you exactly what you need without the huge unpredictability of angling a hyzer or anhyzer.

Grip, Throw, Repeat,

Destin


A Post For Beginners – Where to Start

Posted by destinjames


Way back in 2005 I walked into an amazing “leisure shop” called The Lazy Frog on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. It was a shop with a plethora of games and fun related things to help you relax properly while you enjoyed your stay on the island — as the store slogan implied, it was “Dedicated to Leisure”. It was similar (loosely) to other fun stores I have been in, but then I saw the wall of discs.
I had heard of disc golf, but have never played it and in all honesty, never respected it.

After looking over all of the discs and reading their flight ratings, and looking at the Disc Golf posters explaining what the discs do during optimum conditions, my brother and I decided to each pick one out. When we arrived at the local disc golf course, not only were we over-confident on how we thought we could easily throw a disc golf disc well, we overall treated the sport like an activity to pass the time, not a sport that it truly is.

After our naive and very pompous ignorant first throws, everything changed – we immediately realized we knew nothing about disc golf. We were officially hooked.
The world of Disc Golf is vast, and understanding it all can be a bit intimidating. Weights, flight ratings, speed, fade, turn, glide, etc. The following will be what I consider an essential guide for all the beginners out there.

Disc Selection

There are a few things to consider when picking your first disc. Disc type (Putter, Mid Range, or Driver), Weight, Diameter (often overlooked) and flight characteristics.
I and most recommend a Mid Range for your first disc. A mid range gives you the best of both worlds — stability & predictability like a putter, and distance that can compare to a driver as a beginner.

A lot of people would jump to tell you a certain make and model disc to buy as a beginner, but I want to first explain weight and diameter. Usually a beginner does not have a lot of arm speed, so a low weight mid range, 165-170, is a good choice. There are certainly lower weight mid ranges, but low weights down to 145 will go crazy in the wind, becoming unpredictable.

Low weight has a couple of advantages for the beginner. It has the natural tendency to project more glide and distance. A good metaphor would be this: If you were to make a paper airplane and a tin-foil airplane and threw them with the same force, speed, and release, which one would go farther? The paper airplane. The lighter weight allows more glide… BUT… If you were to actually do this plane experiment, you would notice the paper would be much more sporadic in movement compared to the heavier tin-foil plane. The tin-foil most likely landed where you expected it to. That’s why you shouldn’t use minimum weight discs, and over-weighted discs as a beginner… The wind alone will overpower the advantages of discs below 154 or so grams, and without conditioned technique heavy discs may be discouraging.

Disc Diameter

Short and sweet, the majority of disc diameter is about comfort. Wide is stable, but low distance capability. Most Drivers are built low diameter for fast rotation and spin, maximizing distance; mid ranges can vary depending on it’s design for distance, and putters are close to mids for diamater, usually wider, but do vary in my experience. Since putting is all about feel and finesse, testing different putters is key to a successful round. I personally like slightly smaller diameter discs for mid-ranges and drivers, but I do not have large hands. I have been told that you should fit the size of the disc to your hand and this certainly makes sense! Small hands, smaller disc. I cannot stress enough about personal comfort. People like me can shove ideas down your throat all day long but at the end of the day, all that matters is the time you put in to find what’s most comfortable for you.

Disc Flight Characteristics

Flight characteristics are usually printed on the disc or can be easily found online or on a poster at a disc golf shop.

Speed: How fast you need to throw it for it to perform the way it was designed. As a beginner, roughly 5 is the way to go, usually the speed of a mid-range.

Glide: That beautiful soar before it loses speed and starts to fade.

Turn: Also known as high speed turn, for good reason. This is what the disc will do almost immediately after release, a lot of times going slightly to the right for right handed back handed throwers. A negative number would indicate this behavior.

Fade: Also known as low speed fade. This is how much the disc will go to the left at the end of flight for right handed back hand throwers.

A lot of disc manufactures show you a picture of the intended flight of the disc now. This is very helpful and puts all those numbers into perspective!

Putters are shaped much like Frisbees, and are designed to glide straight into the basket, and you shouldn’t worry about it turning or fading much. Mid-ranges vary, but usually go pretty straight. Drivers are a different story. You need to pay special attention to what’s printed on that disc, or what the manufacturer has provided on their website, poster, etc.

In my opinion, as a beginner you should not be throwing a driver. Master your mid-range first, and most mid’s don’t have a large variance in characteristics either, your first job is to just get use to throwing a disc golf disc.

Understable, Stable & Overstable

Understable when thrown flat will naturally fly to the right for right handed back handed throwers. Stable should fly straight when thrown flat. Overstable will fly left when released flat. Remember the natural flight of any disc will always have some sort of fade, even a putter, at the end of the flight. Proper accommodation is part of the game.

Anhyzer Vs. Hyzer

Anhyzer and Hyzer is how you release your disc — if you don’t release the disc flat, you are doing one of the two. If you angle the outside edge of the disc down, as if you were leaning over at the time of release, that’s a hyzer. It will create a more overstable outcome. When angling the outside edge up, that’s an anhyzer. It will create an understable flight. The outside edge, the other side of where you are gripping the disc, should not be confused with the nose — the nose is the front aim point. The only time the nose should be adjusted is with elevation shots, and that can be up for debate and a personal choice. Don’t worry about this right now! Only worry about the basics.

Now that you know the basics and beyond, the most important thing you should take away from this post is when you are beginning, master a mid-range disc. Learn and experiment, but don’t switch discs too often in the beginning or you won’t master your muscle memory and retain the dynamics of disc flight.

If you are unsure of a mid to start with, I have to recommend the most popular mid-ranges the Discraft Buzzz, or the Innova Roc. Nowadays, there are many to choose from. If you have read my posts before, I stress that Disc Golf is a personal experience, and I do not believe there are certain discs that are superior to others since there are too many variables player to player. Pay attention to their flight characteristics and make your own educated purchase.

How do I properly throw the darn thing? Well, I’ve already written too much for one post. Below is a great video from DGA for throwing off the tee. Don’t disregard this information when you are in the middle of the fairway either. The reason the video instructor spins after release is to teach momentum, and I highly recommend it as a beginner. As you progress, you won’t need a 360 degree turn after release, but I can’t stress the importance of momentum enough. I am still working on it myself!

I Hope This Helps!

Destin


Winter Disc Golf Adjustments – Weight & Grip

Posted by destinjames


Recently I had the pleasure of playing White Oak Park in Dallas, GA. A beautiful open hilly course — nice little pond that comes into to play for holes after 14 too. The air was a bit brisk, but certainly a good day to hear chains as always. After about 6 holes I noticed my go-to Sidewinder not having the same glide it usually has. This made me think…

I’m not a meteorologist or a physicist, but proper disc weight in adverse conditions, no matter the skill level, is extremely important!

Over the years I have heard that low weight discs (roughly 150-168) are easier for distance, but hard to release and control consistently, especially with wind. Heavier discs are naturally more over-stable (slightly), harder to gain distance, but consistent. I find that this is very true.

BUT… I’ve yet to read about disc weights and how to adjust them according to the weather, mainly temperature.

Air Temperature

I found that throwing my 172g Sidewinder feels like throwing a 190g when it’s coat-wearing time. It sunk like the Titanic on my first moderate up-shot this last weekend. I bought a 154g disc today to compare, and I had a tremendous improvement.

I highly recommend adjusting your disc weight according to the outside temperature. In these low temperatures of Winter (high 40′s right now here in Georgia) my go-to weight is 160 now, but I am not a high speed thrower. The beauty of Disc Golf is you need to find what works best for YOU. Right now, for me, it seems that lighter weight cuts the cold air a bit better.

Now Grip…

Peripheral Blood Flow

While playing at White Oak, the great J.T. of this blog made an EXCELLENT point. When the weather is cold, our hands don’t have as much blood flow and do not move and react as they normally do. So naturally when we throw the disc it may not have the same release point, usually late-whipping it way off track — to the right for right handed back handed throwers.

The way he remedied this is by using a modified fan grip on his drives as he would a long approach shot. Since the fingers aren’t tucked in the rim, they don’t need to get out of the way in time, giving you a smooth release. As long as you have grip on the disc and can still snap it, this is a fantastic modification for cold weather conditions.

As always, these points and tips are something to read, enjoy, and go by – not to live by. Disc Golf is truly amazing because it’s personal. In order to become great you have to practice A LOT and define your own game. I just hope the tips and stories we share here at Dogleg Disc Golf steer you into a happy and successful direction.

Few Trees,

Destin


The Importance of a Fairway Driver

Posted by destinjames


After reading J.T.’s review of Legacy Park, I thought I would take the trip to Kennesaw and check out the lil’ 9-holer. The course is in a beautiful community that is extremely well maintained, but as you may have already read in previous posts, the course is private to residents and/or their guests.

I LOVED the little course, and it may be my number one favorite course in Georgia so far. BUT… I feel the reason may have been the day I chose to play Legacy. 68 degrees, perfect breeze, leaves falling and squirrels everywhere gathering for winter. It was simply beautiful disc golf or no disc golf.

The best thing about Legacy may be it’s downfall. It is extremely accessible to beginners and is certainly the course that hooks a newbie into the sport, but serious disc golfers may be bored with it’s mainly ace-able holes and lack of diversity on the land.

What this course is PERFECT for is working on your straight game, and I can’t stress enough the importance of a fairway driver. While not as fast as a distance driver, it will go where you put it without a lot of fade.

I throw the Innova TL, and exclusively threw it playing Legacy. I don’t know if I was just having a good day on the course, or the TL is truly amazing. I’m not a hard thrower, so it tends to go just as far as my distance drivers anyway, but it’s placement is reliable.

A lot of players think that throwing a distance driver means getting distance, but what may happen is they under power the disc and it doesn’t go any farther than a mid range would, and the disc dives to the ground where you didn’t want it. I’ve been there.

What I love about a fairway driver is not only how they fly, but how they feel. When I toss the TL, The grip is much more comfortable than a sharp distance driver, and it rips out of my hands with grace.

After having a wonderful day with the TL, I know what my go-to disc is now. The next time you need a straight beautiful drive, reach for your favorite fairway driver.

Here are a few pics from beautiful Legacy Park:

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Back To Basics: Starting From The Hit Backwards

Posted by destinjames


When I first started playing DG, I did what most of us did — I bought a random disc not knowing very much about it, went to a course not knowing how to throw, and ran up the tee-pad with confidence and flailed my arm as fast as I could. Much to my ignorant surprise, I sucked, and if there was a lady’s tee, I’m sure I didn’t go past it.

Early in my DG days I heard the phrase, “Drive for show, Putt for dough.” There’s a lot of truth to that, and that’s how I have structured my game the past 5 years, but you cant win regularly without a well rounded game. I am usually solid at putting and approaching, but haven’t quite mastered the hit of the drive.

Recently I found an excellent video on YouTube that focuses on working from the hit (the acceleration and release at the end of the throw) backwards. It focuses on how very important it is to keep that disc very close to your body, and have an exponential acceleration, if you will… A slow pull across, and a burst of acceleration at the end.

I know this video will help me tremendously with my long game, and I hope it will for you too!


Hello Everyone! Want To Build Your Own Quality Basket?

Posted by destinjames


I’m proud to now be apart of Dogleg Disc Golf!

My name is Destin and I’m originally from the Ann Arbor area of Michigan, but currently reside in Marietta, GA for school. I’ve been playing DG for about 5 years, and love every facet of the sport. 

Back in 2010 I designed and built my own basket. The cost was less than $100, and the feeling of using your own basket beats buying one any day; and it truly works just as well as a basket at the park.

Below is my original post I put on my own Michigan Blog a couple years ago. I hope everyone can use the information to make their own backyard basket!

It may not be worth it to spend a lot of time making your own basket when nowadays a portable basket is not much more more than the cost of this basket, but I certainly want everyone who views Dog Leg Disc Golf to have this option.

And always remember that all questions are welcome!

Enjoy the Greenleaf Basket! Named after the road it was designed and made on.

Destin

 

——

 - Original post: 2010 -

*** THE PICTURES BELOW MAY BE TOO HIGH OF RESOLUTION FOR THE BLOG FORMAT!! CLICK THE PICTURES TO BE DIRECTED TO THE MAIN SOURCE. THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO VIEW THE PICTURES! ***
 
You can probably figure out a lot just from the  pictures (pictures are below… if dimensions are cut off, click ‘em), but here is a bit more detail.
 
The top piece is a PVC cap that fits over 2″ PVC (the hole is 2″). I  suggest a cap that isn’t hollow. It gathers too much water.
 
The wood piece is treated plywood. The thickness is to your liking. I  suggest 1″, this is what I used. Make sure it’s treated! Cut and sand the way you prefer. The diameter of the wood is 23″.
 
The opening between the top and basket is 22″.
 
I have 24 chains. Screw eyelets hold the chains. My chains aren’t as heavy as they could (or should)  be, but they seem to work just as well as a Mach III. From the pictures you can tell the gauge. A trip to Home Depot or Lowe’s will tell you the  right chain to buy. I suggest Home Depot since I was able to buy the  length I needed off of a roll; not already packaged. 12 chains on the  outside–17 links, 8 in the middle–16 links, and 4 for the inner–15  links. When constructing you will know the proper length–just make it  look like a disc basket!
 
The basket is a whiskey barrel liner bought at Menard’s (23″ opening, 5  or so inches deep.. perfect measurements are not too important. Just  want to keep those discs in!). If you don’t have a Menard’s in your area, call around and ask if they have whiskey barrel liners. These  liners are cheap and perfect.
 
Once you get one, cut a hole the size of the outside diameter of the PVC in the middle. drill or puncture holes all over (1/2 inch or so) to make sure water doesn’t gather. As long as your holes aren’t larger than  a disc, you’re all good!
 
PVC couplings were used above and below against the barrel liner. This  was for easy breakdown and hold of the liner/basket.
 
A bolt was driven through the bottom coupling into the 4-way splitter…  I think there is an actual name for the splitter, but it escapes me  right now!
 
Four 45 degree angle pieces were used to connect to the legs.
 
The legs were cut at a 45 degree angle on a saw to insure flat stabilization.
 
ENDING MEASUREMENTS:
 
23″ DIAMETER TOP/PLYWOOD (1″ TREATED)
 
23″ BASKET/WHISKEY BARREL LINER (HORIZONTAL OPENING)
 
22″ CATCH OPENING (WHERE THE DISC HITS! … THIS IS BOTTOM OF PLYWOOD TO  TOP OF BASKET)
 
10.5″ BETWEEN BOTTOM OF  BASKET TO QUAD LEG-SPLIT
 
30″ TOP OF BASKET (BARREL LINER) TO GROUND
 
OVERALL: COMPLETE BASKET SHOULD BE APPROX. 52″ TALL
 
 
This isn’t the best way to show how to make a well made basket (and  trust me it is a great basket!), but it’s the best I can do at the  moment.
 
If you have ANY questions email me! I would be more than happy to share thoughts on a wonderful  homemade recipe for a just-as-good-as-the-park disc golf basket!
 
Happy Huckin’,
 
Destin
——
This first picture is the original basket that was a bit too tall, and with an unstable wood base. The directions above are for the pictures following the initial picture. I posted the initial picture to get an entire view of the basket.

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