For the love of the sport. A place for DG enthusiasts to share their thoughts.

Tips

100 Putts For 100 Days Challenge

Posted by Tricia Lafferty


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If you ask any golfer what the weakest part of their game is, most will say putting. Putting is the most important part of the game, because it is how you actually close out a hole. It’s importance is also overlooked by a lot of players. It’s fun to go rip drives and see how far you can get a disc to fly, but standing 10-30 feet from the basket and repeatedly throw at it is less appealing. The most important part of putting is confidence. When you walk up to your lie and look at the basket, you have to believe you are going to make the putt. If you don’t, you’ve missed it before the disc even left your hand. Practicing putting will not only increase your putting skill, but confidence in yourself.

Sarah Hokom started a 100 Putts for 100 Days Challenge back in November. Starting in November takes her through the 100 days the lead up to The Memorial, which is officially the start of the National Tour for disc golfers. As of now, she is on day 56 of the challenge. She has been posting results, tips, putting games, and other information on her Facebook page. She is getting great results too! Follow along with Sarah here:

https://www.facebook.com/sarahhhokom

I am now a part of Team Infinite Discs, and am attending the Glass Blown Open in April/May 2015. Seeing the great results Sarah is getting, and knowing that I need a lot of work on my putting as well, I have been motivated to start the challenge. I began my challenge on January 1st, which will take me up to about two weeks before I leave for GBO. Having the two week window will also allow me to make up a day if I have to miss one.

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For Day 1 and 2 of the challenge, I set my baselines. The two styles of putts I want to work on are spin putts, and straddle putts. I did 100 putts in each of these styles over the first two days from 15 feet. 15 feet may seem short, but these are the putts that can’t be missed. I got 75/100 for Spin putts, and 77/100 for Straddle putts. My goal over this challenge is to increase these percentages to at least 85-90%. I will do a baseline check every two weeks to see how I am improving. I will also start baselining further distances as the challenge goes on.

In between these baseline checks, I will be playing putting games and changing things up every day so that I don’t get into a stale routine and lose interest in the challenge. I will be posting my progress and what I am doing on my Facebook page, so please follow along and give my page a “like”. Also comment and let me know if you are interested in your own challenge, or any advice and tips you may have for me!

https://www.facebook.com/TriciaLafferty13

Best of luck for a great 2015 Disc Golf Season!


Creating a culture of respect

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. Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 2.36.04 PM

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.


On the Bubble

Posted by Tricia Lafferty


I still consider myself a beginner at disc golf. I feel like there are a lot of parts of my game that I can improve on, and a ton more to learn. What I love about disc golf is that you can take your game to whatever level you want to. You can be a casual player who just goes out and plays rounds for fun. You can join a league and play in a casual-competitive environment. You can play in tournaments and play for higher stakes: prizes, money, and a player rating in a competitive environment. You can choose to be a member of the PDGA, or not. No matter what level you play at, anyone can enjoy disc golf.

For me personally, I am an all-in player: I play causally, in leagues, tournaments, and am a member of the PDGA. I want to improve my level of play, and build on to my game. It is important to me to share my love of the game with others and help grow the sport.

But this year I faced the dilemma that many players who play in tournaments do; moving up in divisions. I have been a tournament player for just over a year now. So, how do you know for sure when you’ve improved enough to move up?

As a female player in this area, it’s tough, there are not a lot of us. Often times when I go to a tournament, I could be the only lady there, or there could be a handful of us in different divisions. Whether I win or lose in a division really doesn’t mean anything.

I looked to the PDGA guidelines for divisions:
Advanced Women - Ratings >= 825 Score Range : <70
Intermediate Women – Ratings < 825 Score range: <75
Recreational Women - Ratings < 775 Score range: 75+
Novice Women - Ratings < 725 Score range: 80+

So I find myself “on the bubble” as far as the numbers go. My player rating is currently sitting at 705. But, in the last few rated rounds I have played, my scores have been right around 75 and hovering around the 775 rating. I looked a little deeper into the information on the PDGA site.

I looked closer at the descriptions for the divisions:
Advanced Women - Upcoming players who have played 2-3 years and are gaining consistency and experience. Throw 200-300 feet, make 4-6/10 putts from 25-30 feet, developing different shots
Intermediate Women – Players who have developed basic Frisbee® and disc golf skills and/or have tournament experience. Throw 125-200 feet, make 3-5/10 putts from 20 feet, can throw backhand with some accuracy
Recreational Women - For beginning and casual players who are learning basic Frisbee® and disc golf skills
Novice Women - For beginning and casual players who are learning basic Frisbee® and disc golf skills

This was by far a lot more helpful information to make a decision. According to these descriptions, I feel I definitely fall into the Intermediate division. On my home courses, I can see where I am improving, my drives are longer, my approaches are shorter, and my putts are coming a lot easier. I also looked back at my tournament history. My first PDGA tournament was last June. I played in a tournament at the same course this June and improved 22 strokes over last year’s total. I couldn’t even believe it at first. My goal for this year was to try to improve on my scores by 5 strokes.

Armed with this information, it was a lot easier to come to a decision; time to move up. I may not win since I am at the lower end of the division, but that’s really not what is important to me. I don’t have to win on paper, I win with experience and knowledge. If I want to keep improving, I need to play at the level I want to be. I need to observe competitors that are better than me and learn from them. They may see a line that I can’t, make smarter decisions, or have a technique that may work for me. If you are not open to learning how another player plays their game and only focused on a win, you are doing yourself a disservice.

I’m excited to see how my game will improve in the next year! Tournament season is in full swing now and it’s the prime time to get out there and throw. I hope some of you will take the leap with me and take your game to the next level!

Source: PDGA Player Classifications and Divisions


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.


Don’t Be A Hero

Posted by nachonathan


I would like to preface this post. I am no touring level pro golfer; I am currently 930ish and some change (give or take) rated. That being said, I chose to write on this topic because it is WHY I am rated lower than where’d I’d like to be and even lower than where I should be. I want to be a high level golfer; and I believe this to be a key in achieving greater skill as a disc golfer. So I’d like to share my thoughts and grow in the sport with y’all.

This blog is about the importance for disc golfers of all ability levels to play within themselves.

I guess a better way to say that would be that any golfer who steps up to the tee-pad or that really tough lie needs to understand their own limitations. If that’s the case, fewer catastrophic mistakes will happen, which will in turn lead to lower scores (and a greater understanding of how and where you can improve your game).

The reality is that even the world’s best disc golfers will face shots during a round where the risks associated with trying a particular shot far outweigh the potential rewards. You’ve seen it on DiscGolfPlanet.TV or even at a local tournament – a 1020+ rated Pro could crush a hyzer over the trees and spike it inside the circle for a tap in birdie, but the wind is kicking up and could push their disc OB. More often than not in situations like that, in an effort to minimize the potential damage, you’ll see the top players pitch out, lay up, or play it safe.

And everyone who plays disc golf needs to understand that there’s nothing wrong with playing it safe — Paul McBeth, Ricky Wysocki, and Will Schusterick would all agree on that — and that sometimes a bogey is a pretty good score (at least for us mere mortals). You’d definitely adopt that after playing Winthrop Gold roped off for the USDGC.

So keep that in mind the next time you find yourself in a stepping up to a par 5 with 3 doglegs or a thick patch of shule on the course, which we all know is going to happen from time to time.

Don’t be a hero. Play the percentages; play smart and take the shots with the highest percentage of success for you. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride, and pitch out of the shule versus throwing the miraculous shot of the day or throw an easy midrange down the fairway off the tee instead of crushing that new high speed driver. I know I have to do this on a regular basis on the course. Get yourself in play and don’t turn an easy bogey or a solid chance at a par into a double bogey or something even worse because you’ve tried to play a shot that you’re simply not going to pull off with any regularity.

Follow that advice and there’s no question that your score and golf game will benefit at the end of the day. Heck, even your round as a whole will end up to be more enjoyable, because overcoming big numbers is mentally tough, making a triple bogey early in a round can ruin an entire day, and most importantly lower scores alway make you feel better.


Worlds Pro Clinic

Posted by mleefry


On Tuesday night, more than 40 people attended the Pro Clinic featuring Ron Convers Jr., Jay “Yeti” Reading, and Robbie Olsen.  The clinic’s general focus was on playing in the wind, as Kansas is famous for, but the tips given ranged from general disc physics to distance driving.  Here are a few key tips from each of the pros for those of you who missed out!

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Ron Convers Jr.

Look for visual wind clues

A common way to test the wind condition is to throw some grass or dirt into the air and observe the direction it blows before it lands.  However, this only indicates the wind condition at the tee.  Especially on longer holes, it’s important to look to the end of the hole for trees or other things that show the direction and speed of the wind.  Your shot should be adapted to fit the wind throughout the duration of the hole and your disc’s flight.

Add field practice to your routine

When you’re just practicing on your home course(s), you tend to throw the same discs on the same lines over and over again.  Ron suggests going to an empty soccer or football field and getting to know your discs better in this setting.  You’ll have a better idea of what types of distance you’re capable of throwing.  The monotony of throwing shot after shot will cause you to step out of your comfort zone and to put your discs on new lines.  You’ll never know if your backup backhand driver should be your go-to flick disc!

“The best asset a disc golfer can have is a short-term memory”

This one is pretty self-explanatory.  Every hole is a new hole.  Don’t let a bogey or OB mess up your entire round.

Jay “Yeti” Reading

Play by the laws

The laws of physics, that is.  There are four major forces that impact the flight of your disc.  Of course, there’s gravity and lift.  Then there’s momentum—everything in your throw should be utilized to increase momentum.  When you’re doing a run-up, it will only add to your momentum if the elements of your standstill form are still intact! Lastly, the little scratches in your disc impact drag.  Contrary to popular belief, blemishes on the outer edge of the disc are less important than those on the inner edge.  Some of these can be smoothed out by rubbing the disc with a terrycloth towel.

Play to your strengths

When it comes to playing in the wind—or really any time—first consider throwing whatever style is most natural for you.  If you throw right-handed backhand, you should always be on the lookout for a hyzer route, because chances are it’ll be the easiest for you to control.

Robbie Olsen

Distance is all in the hips

Just like a good golf or baseball swing, movement in the hips is key to any good disc golf shot.  The hips are where the momentum begins, and using them properly will add distance to your throws.

Keep your core tight

In order for the momentum from the hips to travel to the arms, the energy has to travel through the core.  By making sure your core is tight and is acting as a connection for your hips and upper body, you won’t need to pull back as far to still see an increase in your distance.  As all of the pros at the clinic agreed, extra crunches or core-focused yoga can give your drives a boost!

Watch some of Robbie’s drives here:  https://vine.co/v/h7Ivgl7F6pr/embed/simple


Love is in the Air

Posted by mleefry


If I had a dollar for every time a disc golfer told me he wished his girlfriend played disc golf, I’d have enough money to install a course in my backyard.  If I had a dollar for every time I have played disc golf with another girl…well, let’s just say I would be thankful disc golf is free to play.

The ratio of male to female disc golfers is astounding.  As of this month, only 6.7% of PDGA members are women.  Of the 3,523 players registered as professionals, 250 are women.  These ratios mean that many tournaments offer more divisions for men than for women.  This was even the case at the 2012 Amateur World Championships, where there were 3 fewer women’s divisions; no lady champions were named for the Junior <19, Senior Grandmasters, or Legends divisions.  It is clear that there is a lot of room for growth in women’s disc golf.  For a sport that is so focused on progressing, girls could be a huge resource.

A great place to start utilizing this resource is to get your girlfriend (or wife, or other special lady in your life) interested in disc golf.  This seemed to be the trend at my first tournament, the 27th Annual Ice Bowl in Columbia, MO, the home of the Ice Bowl. Of the 55 players at the event, 6 played in the women’s division; all of us had a male significant other who was also competing.

 

The ladies who participated in the Columbia Ice Bowl

The 6 ladies who participated in the Columbia Ice Bowl

 

So, then comes the big question, “How do I get my girlfriend to play?”  As a disc golf girlfriend, here are 10 tips I recommend trying.  No guarantee, but they worked on me!

1.  Match her personality

One of disc golf’s best qualities is that it is a sport for everyone.  It can be tailored to fit any level of skill, competitiveness, timeframe, or budget.  The first step to getting your girlfriend to play disc golf is showing her that it is a sport for her.  If she’s generally not interested in sports (like me), present it as a fun game and a great way to get outside on a nice day.  If she’s more athletic, make it competitive, but still friendly.  To get her interested, you have to make sure that the way you talk about disc golf appeals to her as an individual.

2.  Easy on the terminology

The words we use to describe disc golf make up an entirely new language.  You’ll need to pay attention to which terms she already knows and which ones are still new.  You don’t want to confuse her, but you also want to make sure you’re not condescending by explaining too much.  For me, it took a lot of effort to learn the lingo.  I wasn’t familiar with basic golf terminology like “par” and “birdie,” so learning things like “hyzer” and trying to memorize that Wizards and Magics are putters was sometimes overwhelming.  So, in the beginning, make sure you clearly define what each term means, and don’t get frustrated if you have to explain it several times each round.

3.  Make sure she has the right discs

An important aspect of disc golf strategy is using the right disc for your throwing style.  For beginners and for women, chances are that the right discs for them will not be the ones you use.  Most beginners should start with just a putter and maybe a midrange; at such an early stage, most people throw putters and drivers the same distance.  A putter can be used to get comfortable with playing—learning courses, developing good form, and snapping the wrist.  Once these skills have been mastered, it will be easier to recognize patterns of how other discs fly.  When she does need a driver, start with low weights and fairway drivers (I used an Innova Starlight Roadrunner until I lost it in a pond, then moved on to Discmania’s Jackal).  These discs are easier to control, especially if she’s still working on building power and strength in her throws.

4.  Start easy

Once you’ve been playing for a while, it can be hard to remember how much work it takes to play a round at your favorite par 64 course.  Keep in mind that it is unlikely that your girlfriend will have the same disc golf endurance when she starts playing.  You’ll probably want to start at a course with shorter holes that aren’t heavily wooded or surrounded by poison ivy and thorns (common course conditions here in the Midwest).  If your options are limited, start by playing 6- or 9-hole rounds at a difficult course, and progressively play more as she gets more comfortable and develops her disc golf muscles.

5.  Ladies first

Let her take the pad in casual rounds, regardless of whether or not she’s earned it.  Be a gentleman.  Easy enough.  The only exception is if she asks you to go first, which may be the case if she’s unfamiliar with the hole and wants to learn from your shot.

6.  Use “lady par” to score

When anyone first starts playing, it is unlikely that they will be able to regularly par holes.  In order to make scoring more encouraging, add 1 to the par on each hole.  A standard par 54 course becomes par 72.  Playing and tracking progress will be a lot more fun if she has scores to be proud of—no one wants to announce a round with 13 double bogies, even if its better than they normally play.  Adjusting the par will more accurately reflect how well she is doing as a beginner.

7.  Make it a date

Pack up a picnic lunch or take a trip to a course that is especially scenic.  If she’s not quite hooked on disc golf yet, she may feel like a third-wheel when she’s out with you and the course.  Make sure she knows that the important part is adding disc golf to your relationship—not the other way around.

8.  Encourage her to play with other girls

For a girl, learning to play disc golf only by watching experienced males is like being raised by wolves.  No matter how much time and effort you want to put into helping your girlfriend, her body is fundamentally different than yours.  A man’s center of gravity is in his shoulders, whereas a woman’s is in around her hips.  Generally speaking, women typically have less upper body strength than men.  Obviously, the process of pulling one’s arm across the chest for a backhand throw is significantly different for the two sexes.  Your girlfriend will be able to get more detailed tips from girls who already throw, and not feel like as much of an “outsider” in the disc golf community.  A great place to start is to introduce her to girls in your local disc golf club, then encourage her to invite her friends to come out and play too.

9.  Resources and Networks for Women

In addition to introducing your girlfriend to individual female disc golfers, make sure she knows about the groups and networks that have been created to expand her opportunities.  Start by finding ladies leagues in your area, or a disc golf club that has bag tags specifically for women.  Beyond the course, the Internet is a great place to stay up to date with the female disc golf community.  PDGA Women and DiscGolf4Women.com both have a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter, and have a variety of resources for ladies of disc golf to get more involved in their community.

10.  Return the favor

If she’s willing to take a chance on disc golf, it’s only fair for you to do something equally out of your typical realm of interests for her.  Suck it up and watch a chick flick or go to the mall with her.  Let her know that you appreciate her giving disc golf a try.  She’ll be more willing to play again in the future, and be more likely to get hooked.  Eventually, she’ll be the one begging YOU to go out for a round.


Go to Dogleg’s Twitter @DoglegDiscGolf and Retweet our latest “Love is in the Air” tweet for a chance to win. If we get at least 50 retweets, we will be giving away a FREE Dogleg Disc Golf Tee! To be eligible, you MUST retweet it!


Running Tournaments

Posted by alphagenerator


Grip and Rip DGC began as an outcropping from the Dogleg crew’s drive to bring another course to our hometown of Jasper, AL. The new course is still being decided by the local city council, but they are pretty close to making a final decision. When researching all the details for starting a club, I found the PDGA to have a helpful How-to guide.

We cut our teeth with Discraft’s annual Ace Race tournament, which proved to be a valuable learning experience. Skills learned included: managing costs, gathering sponsorship’s, taking pre-registration monies, registering with the local park, setting up the course for tourney play and coordinating schedules with football season (if you are not from the Southeast, then you wouldn’t understand =)).

With all this Ace Race tournament director experience, I decided to take the PDGA’s Officials Exam to better understand the rules for sanctioned play. PDGA Rules - The rules are interpretative in some cases. I am more of a casual player, so I don’t necessarily agree with all the tedious rules (just my preference). The 10 official’s exam can be taken an unlimited amount of times and is only $10, which is good for 3 years. The PDGA now has a Pre-Register Tool that allows tournament directors to collect payment online. It does cost $2-3  for the player to use, but the players list updates in real-time.

I started building a GnR website with a forum to house all of the club’s activities. This proved to be more complicated than anticipated; so we setup a Facebook group under “Grip and Rip Disc Golf”. The events section is extremely helpful, since it allows local players to accept the tourney invite.  The real-time feedback allows for us to judge the expected attendance ahead of tourney day.

Contrary to popular belief, tournaments are time-consuming to run, and yield little profit for the club.  However, they are beneficial in growing the sport. Without groups of disc golfers coming together with similar interests, new parks wouldn’t be built and existing parks wouldn’t be improved. Just in the Birmingham metro alone, there are 7 new parks coming online in 2013! I really hope we can continue growing this beautiful sport.


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


Tips on Removing Disc Ink?

Posted by randomtiz


Hey all! I have about 15-20 discs that I am looking to either sell or trade. To prep them for that, I need to remove my sharpied name and number off the back of the discs.

Do any of you know the best way or have any tips/tricks for removing the ink off the bottom of discs? Let me clarify though, I’m not looking to remove the stamp on top (I’ve heard that can be done with acetone).

Please let me know, thanks!
-JT


Night Rounds – Reviews on glow sticks, LED Lights, and Glow plastic

Posted by alphagenerator


With the impending time change, night golf will be our only option if you work traditional hours.   I have used mini glow sticks, flashing led lights, and glow discs as my test subjects for when day light savings goes into effect.   The mini glow sticks work fairly well if disc is almost clear.   Any slight tinting of the plastic will drastically reduce the visibility of the low powered mini glow sticks. I’ll give it a 2 on a scale of 5.

The flashing LED lights have been my staple for the past year.  They are roughly $2.50 ea and give roughly 12 hours of use.  These are the best option of the 3 test subjects.  They are the heaviest of the addon options but they work well in all lighting scenarios (ie low sunlight, dusk, and completely dark).  The newly redesign 2 alternating color lights that emit a combination of  Blue/Red, Blue/Green, Red/Green colors for very easy identification from a far.   Dynamic Discs seem to be the main supplier of this particular light setup. I barely notice the LED taped to my discs, but I don’t try any crazy hyzer flip shots at night, much. I highly recommend these particular models and give them an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5.   I’ve dinged the 5.0 rating for the weight weenies out there. =)

LED_Flight_Light_Flat_LED_light_LED

Lastly I have tested the Innova CFR glow discs, Innova Pro Glow, and the GatewaySuper Glow plastics.  one of the problems with glow plastic is that not all the names are available in glow.    Innova probably has the largest selection of glow plastic but its still limited compared with their full product offering.   The less translucent discs seem to hold a glow longer than the more translucent.   That being said the Innova Pro and Gateway Super Glow outlasted the Innova CFR’s.   All glow plastic seems best suited for near zero visibility.   Any close street lamps will drastically reduce your night vision and the perceived glow from the discs. LED Blacklight flashlights tend to be the best option for charging this plastics in between rounds.  I picked one up off ebay for around $13 shipped. My rating for the glow plastics is 3.5 out of 5 mainly due to the limited disc option in glow plastic and the fact most of my dg gets played around dusk and street lamps.     All the above plastics are perfectly suited normal daytime use, as the Innova CFR plastic has excellent durability.   Hope this helps someone!

Below is picture of a fresh charge on the 3 plastics in a completely dark room. They are visible for 10-15 minutes in a zero light area.

IMG955189.jpg

Jeremiah

Grip-and-Rip.com


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!


Great Putting Video ft/ Avery Jenkins

Posted by randomtiz


Thanks to our friends at @ATRDiscGolf on Twitter for recommending this Disc Mania putting video to us, featuring Pro Disc Golfer/ World Champ Avery Jenkins. Very high quality video as well as audio. A lot of disc golf videos I’ve seen out there have poor editing, graphics and camera angles in general. Not this video. Well worth the 7+ min watch. This is just the first episode in the series. Looking forward to watching many more. Check it out!

-jt


PDGA divisions and ratings

Posted by curly2284


DIVISIONS:

Class Division Name Code Ages Minimum Rating
Amateur Advanced MA1 All Any (Required for 935+)
Amateur Intermediate MA2 All < 935
Amateur Recreation MA3 All < 900
Amateur Novice MA4 All < 850
Amateur Advanced Master MM1 40+ Any
Amateur Advanced Grandmaster MG1 50+ Any
Amateur Women Advanced FW1 Any Any (Required for 800+)
Amateur Women Intermediate FW2 Any < 800
Amateur Women Advanced Master FM1 40+ Any

If you are a PDGA member and have a rating you can easily see what divisions you qualify to play in by comparing your rating to the following chart. If you do not have a PDGA rating then you can determine your approximate rating a couple ways. The best way is to compare your score at a previous tournament to other rated players at that tournament. If this is your first tournament then you can compare your average score at a course with previous tournaments at that course. To find this information you can go to www.pdga.com use the search function for the course. However, it is important to note that normally a course plays more difficult during a tournament due to additional OB lines, slower play and the pressure of competition.

RATING SYSTEM:

Now on to the rating system. The PDGA rating system calculates each player’s skill level and also the difficulty rating of each course played in PDGA events. Your Player Rating is a number that shows how close your average round scores are compared to the World Class Par (WCP) of the courses you’ve played in competition. Players who average WCP on courses played will have a rating of 1000. If they average even lower scores, their rating is over 1000.Most competition players average scores higher than WCP so their ratings range somewhere between 700-999. Every 10 points equals one throw on an 18-hole course. If you average 5 throws over WCP, your rating will be 950. Everyone has a few bad rounds. The system uses at least 85% of a player’s best rounds relative to the course WCPs from PDGA events that have been entered into the system.

Hopefully this sheds some lite on Ratings and Divisions. I personally use this as a guide im still only an 800 rated player but I will go to a tournament and compete even if it doesn’t have a novice division. I really enjoy playing rec division as a challenge, You will never be better if you don’t play against better opponents.

~stephen


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.

What is in your bag?

Posted by alphagenerator


I am still trying to hone in my perfect bag but this is what I currently have…

Putters

  • Gateway Wizard SSS
  • Gateway VooDoo SS
  • Discraft Elite Soft Challenger (Primary Putter)

Midrange/Fairway Driver

  • Buzzz SS 175g
  • Meteor 175g
  • Leopard 170g
  • Discraft Impact – 07 Ace Race
  • ROC 147g

Drivers

  • Sidewinder 150g
  • Teebird 150g
  • Valkyrie 150g
  • Blizzard Boss 134g  (way overstable, but i am working on my throw to compensate)

Any suggestions/alterations to my current bag setup for a RHBH novice player?


Droid Disc Golf Lite

Posted by alphagenerator


Haha I would not recommend downloading this mobile Disc Golf game from Google Play unless you have hours of time to kill.   Wow….its addicting!   It took me a minute to figure out some of the controls, but its fun nonetheless.  I would like to see an array of disc selections besides “Driver”, “Midrange”, and “Putter”, but its free so I cant complain.

One neat feature is the shot selection… I am assuming this is changing up the Right-hand,Back-hand shots to a Right-hand, flick type shots.

Happy Gaming!

Jeremiah


Gregory Carter, Shorter but Harder

Posted by randomtiz


What a Good Friday it was. After a successful morning round at North Jasper DGC, Stephen and I drove to Trussville to meet up with some friends to play course 2 of Civitan Park. Last weekend we played the first course, John LeMaster; this weekend it was the second, Gregory Carter Memorial DGC.

If you like heavily wooded courses, and the difficulty, check out Gregory Carter Memorial DGC. This is a very short course–with holes averaging around ~215 ft.–but the thick foliage, abundance of trees, and dogleg pin positions make it a tricky and technical course. There’s only a few holes where you can really release a beast of a throw. But the majority of the holes are thick through the woods with tighter fairways and require strategic, shorter throws. The Cahaba and large rock formations are factors on a few holes of the front 9 that you’ll have to keep in mind.

Overall, a fun and challenging, technical course. Bring your short game. This course really tests your accuracy and placement.

*TIPS: Bring a good mid-range disc. They may work to your advantage on these shorter holes which require more accurate/straighter throws. Keep your throws low. Much of the front 9 is on slanted hillsides. So if your disc catches an edge, expect it to roll …and roll …and roll down the hill. Expect to chase at least one downhill.

-JT


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