Posted by randomtiz
A week later and just now getting a chance to sit down on this beautiful, cool morning to write about what I enjoy most, disc golf. Although arguably a better morning to be out on the course, it was important to me to get this post up as promised on our Dogleg Facebook page.
Two months ago I posted about an upcoming Vibram Birdie Bash being held at Hunter Memorial Park in Douglasville, GA. Well the time finally came last Saturday, March 21 as our four-man crew made the trek down to Douglasville. Not knowing quite what all to expect, it was all of our’s first time to play in a Birdie Bash and boy were we excited!
I like to think we’ve got a pretty solid, standup group of guys—Daniel, Rick, Sean and myself. Our four group plays regularly together on the weekends and an occasional weeknight. We try to select tournaments that we can all make and feel like it’d be a fun time. Although this was actually only the second tournament that all four of us had been able to participate in together since forming the group less than a year ago. I enjoyed our hour-long carpool down to D’ville last weekend talking disc golf and even strategizing for the Birdie Bash, haha. We had questions about how players would be split up amongst the cards for the first round and whether or not our 2-disc choices would play to an advantage. Of course it would be fun to all play on the same card the first round, but could that be a disadvantage to each of us four? Based on how we were thinking the point system worked, could we potentially be stealing points from one another? For example if no one scores on a hole, then the point goes to whoever landed closest to pin. Then we tried to figure out if our odds would be better if we played on different cards the first round in hopes to score similar and get paired together for second round. As much as we each love disc golf, we take it serious as well. All while having fun, of course!
Speaking from previous experiences in other tournaments I’ve played where you play with the supplied discs, it’s always good to get there as early as possible to sign in, get your discs and practice throwing them. The discs always seem to fly differently than what you expected or used to. So I highly recommend getting there early enough to get your discs and take them out on a couple of holes to practice. Learn how they fly. Test what they can do and how much arm they can handle. It sure helped me in our ~45 min. worth of practicing Saturday throwing the new discs before the start. I had thrown a Lace before, but not one that was in the weight range I chose. This one was a bit heavy and a little bit more overstable than what I’d thrown before. My other disc choice was an Obex which is an overstable, long glide midrange. I had never thrown one of these before either, so I’m glad I got out there and learned its flight path and how to control it to get it to work like I needed.
We got there really early and was able to get in a few holes with our regular discs to warm up. As soon as the tent opened up, we signed in and got our Vibram swag packs with our discs. I actually appreciated how the swag packs were already put together with the discs already in there. I’ve been to other tournaments where the line gets backed up with everyone carefully choosing their disc weight and color—it takes forever. So I liked the simplicity of the pre-packaged swag packs. The swag packs come with the two discs you selected back during online registration, a tshirt, two stickers, playing cards, and a Vibram rubber coaster. Note: The water bottle is not part of the swag pack. I’ll mention that later. [see pic].
One thing I freakin’ love about Vibram discs is the awesome, tie-dyed swirled patterns in the discs. Check them out! I went with a 170M Lace and a 167M Obex. I prefer the X-Link Medium which is Vibram’s original and most popular material.
The X-Link material is a unique rubber-based compound which resists scuffs, has incredible durability and unequaled grip. Additionally, X-Link has a stronger memory than any disc currently on the market, so if you do manage to bend it out of shape, in all likelihood, it will work its way back.
The players’ meeting kicked off with the introduction, “brief” rules, group pairings and scorecards were handed out and then we were off to our starting holes. One thing I didn’t like was that I felt like the scoring instructions, penalty scenarios and starting rules weren’t as clear as they could have been or the OB rules which weren’t mentioned at all. For example, it didn’t come up until we were halfway to our start hole that we had no idea when we were supposed to start. TD didn’t mention if it was an airhorn start or at a specific time. We were at the furthest hole from the tent too. Also, TD never mentioned the OB rules (later covered prior to second round). Do OB rules apply in a tournament like this? What’s considered OB at this course? etc.
I know the scoring rules were on the back of the scorecard, but I felt there was still confusion in a few scenarios that weren’t covered on the card. However, I did like the fact that the TD gave out his phone number to each group and encouraged any player to call if there was a question. But to my point, I feel like the scoring could have been slightly unfair or different amongst the groups when there were obvious things that were failed to be covered. Did everyone count OB’s the first round? Did people ignore those? Can the same player get a metal point and CTP on the same hole, or does metal cancel out the CTP? I know not every scenario could be brought up during the first player’s meeting, but I feel like it can affect the scoring for sure. And I understand that a scenario might not arise until it actually happens during the round. So, say they call the TD and find out the ruling.. What now? How do the other groups learn of the ruling? Another group could have encountered the same thing and may have scored it differently. I feel like there’s too many variables that could come up. If one group counted it one way, and another group a different way…the points are now different. You see my point.
The first round, players were divided up in alphabetical order by their first name unless you had requested to be grouped with other players during the online registration. That was one thing we learned that we didn’t know about. We might have requested that if we had known during the online registration process. But it was cool though, it allowed us to get paired with others and meet new faces. By the way the names fell, Rick and Sean ended up on same card. I really enjoyed meeting each player and getting to know them a bit more as the round progressed. The first round I got paired with Mark, Michael and “Bull”–all fun guys to be around. I did have a rough start and even took me several holes to score my first point, ugh. But I did better later that round once I was felt more comfortable with my discs. After talking to the guys after the first 18, it sounded like we all had a weak first round.
They gave us about a 1.5 hr lunch which was nice–plenty of time to grab some brews down the road. Ya know, loosen us up for the second round. The second round pairings were based on the scoring of the first round like most all tournaments. First round I had 13 pts and Daniel had 12, so we got paired together with Brian and Will. The second round I was on and already doing leaps better than my first round start. It was also nearly 20 degrees warmer the second round, so I felt more in my element with it being short-sleeve weather compared to our cold morning start. My group started the second round on Hole #16 and two holes later I ended up winning the second round CTP on #18 [see pic]. That CTP win is how I got the aluminum Vibram water bottle seen in pic above.
I ended with 18 pts the second round which was enough for a T-5th place finish of 31 pts. All in all I had a great time at the Bash and would recommend it to anyone, regardless of skill level. It’s fun getting out there, trying out new discs, enjoying the Spring weather and meeting new people. I plan to play in next year’s event too at a different course. My hopes would be that the rules will be more in-depth, OBs covered, and just explained more clearly to keep scoring fair amongst the cards. Check out Vibram’s Birdie Bash Locations to see when/where the next one is closest to you!
Congrats to Zach Haynes for the Hunter Park Vibram Birdie Bash win–pulling in a total of 44 pts! Great shooting.
Reviews from the Field:
The birdie bash was great. The format really allows players of all skill levels to have fun. I had never thrown a Vibram disc before the tournament. I was impressed and they will definitely have a spot in my bag going forward.” –Sean C.
It was my first Birdie Bash, first time throwing Vibram, and only second tournament. My biggest highlight was the player packs. I was able to add the Lace and Ridge to my bag. The Ridge is now my go to putter. The point’s system was new for me. But, it was easy to understand once you started playing and kept the tournament competitive regardless of skill level. Overall, I had a good time and learned a few things.
I’ve been playing for right at one year, and this was my first birdie bash. I thought it was a really cool way to play a tournament. Haven’t really thrown Vibrams before, but really loved the discs we received. The disc material felt great and the look was cool. Everyone was given brand new discs which really leveled the playing field. The scoring method also helped everyone playing be competitive. Really enjoyed the bash!
If I have any tips to share, I’d leave you with this:
- Disc Selection: If you’re not familiar with Vibram discs or have never thrown one, check out their flight paths and compare them to the discs you’re comfortable with on sites like Inbounds Disc Golf Disc Comparison. This might help you select the right Vibram disc that matches your own. Remember, you only get two Vibram discs to play with. Think about the course, the lines. Choose carefully.
- Disc Material: Vibram discs come in X-Link Medium and X-Link Firm. The medium is the most popular and original material by Vibram. The medium has more of a grippy service, gets less skip, and more of a slightly flexible nature. The firm is a stiffer, less grippy rubber compound that cuts through the air and can get more ground skip.
- Online Registration: If you’re wanting to play on the same first round card as your buddies, request that in the comments field of registration. If you don’t, you might end up getting paired alphabetically the day of.
- Arrival to Tournament: Get there early! Sign in and get your swag packs as soon as they start handing them out. You’ll want to get in the extra practice and test out your new discs before the tournament starts.
- Walking the Course: Be sure to walk as much of the course prior to the tournament. At ours, there was a few holes that the teepads were moved up on to lessen the difficulty. These were previously very long Par 3′s. Yellow flags were used to mark the closer “teepad” area. Start figuring out your lines from these new positions.
- Players’ Meeting: Make sure the TD covers all rules, scoring and goes over what the OBs are. Not everyone has played that course before. Be sure everyone’s clear.
- You ONLY get a CTP point within your group if NO ONE else scores a point on that hole. For example, if someone hits metal and you have the CTP, you don’t get the point. Their metal hits cancels out your CTP.
- Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Meet new people, learn new things. Teach others. Have a positive attitude. Strive for that Spirit Award!
Hunter Park’s Vibram Birdie Bash made the local news. – Dogleg JT in the red shirt.
Posted by randomtiz
Earlier in the week, I caught up with Steve Dodge of Vibram Disc Golf on this year’s upcoming Vibram Birdie Bash. Here’s what he had to say:
With Spring fast approaching (as well as two feet of snow!), it is time to look into the Vibram Birdie Bash. In addition to improved prizes and more streamlined admin for TDs, we have added in a Vibram Birdie Bash World Championship. http://www.birdiebash.com/championship.html.
The VBB World Championship is happening the weekend before Am Worlds at one of the Am Worlds courses. It will be broadcast live by Terry Miller and Smashboxx TV, and all VBB TDs and VBB winners are invited to attend.
The VBB is geared towards bringing non-tournament players into organized disc golf as well as creating the next generation of Tournament Directors. By design, the events are easy to setup and run. We also emphasize the culture of the disc through our Spirit Award.
-Steve Dodge, Vibram Disc Golf
What is the Birdie Bash you might ask?
The Vibram Birdie Bash is a two disc/two round tournament where everyone throws one shot less than the par for that hole. Eagles are worth five points, birdies two, and metal hits count as one. If nobody in the group scores on a hole, the CTP after the final throw gets the point.
Birdie Bashes run from February 28th to May 31st this year. You MUST pre-register online to sign up for the event. Check out the Birdie Bash Event Finder here to see which events are happening closest to you.
For those of you here in Georgia, as of right now, there are two approved so far for this year. The first one will be hosted at Patriot’s Park DGC on March 8th near Augusta and the second will be later that month on the 21st at Hunter Memorial Park in Douglasville.
Patriots Park – Grovetown, GA
-March 8, 2015
Hunter Memorial Park – Douglasville, GA
-March 21, 2015
How much is it?
Only $30 gets you signed up and a player pack (valued over $60)!
What kind of swag is there this year?
The player packs are looking pretty sharp; here’s what you get:
Birdie Bash Player Pack:
Two Discs (one driver, one putter or mid)
One VBB Shirt
One VDG Coaster Mini
One VDG Sticker
Birdie Bash Prizes:
Card Winner prize for 1st round
Per Group CTPs for 2nd round
1st Place Men’s Prize
1st Place Women’s Prize
1st Place Juniors (under 13) Prize
Spirit Award Winner
Extra Prizes are Possible: The TD will award these extra prizes however they want!
VDG Water Bottle prize for every 10 players
VDG Hat prize for every 20 players
VDG Bag prize for every 30 players
Looking forward to seeing you guys out on the course!
Posted by randomtiz
I am excited to kick off the 2014 year with our first post this year! An interview with Steve Dodge from Vibram! Steve is a continuing supporter of the Dogleg Blog and has worked with us before allowing us to test/review a few new Vibram discs before they hit shelves. We are very fortunate that we could connect with Steve for this interview and learn more about Vibram’s annual Birdie Bash for a Dogleg special.
Q&A with Vibram’s Steve Dodge:
DLDG: Thank you Steve for helping make this happen and for being a part of our first post of the year! I know we’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s jump right into it.
So Steve, tell me a little about the history behind the Vibram Birdie Bash (VBB). How did it all start?
Steve: I get bored easily and wanted to create an event that was both easy to run and fun and engaging to play. Discraft’s Ace Race was a great starting point, although it was too minimal for me. After a dozen test events in 2012, adding a second throw, a creative scoring system, and counting metal hits for points were the primary changes that made the event universally fun.
DLDG: What exactly is a Birdie Bash?
Steve: In a sentence, use two discs and get two throws per hole.
- Birdies: 2 Points
- Ace/Eagle: 5 Points
- Any metal hit: 1 Point
For example: hit metal on the drive, sink the birdie putt: 3 points
The Birdie Bash format was created to increase the fun of a good shot and decrease the aggravation of a bad shot.
DLDG: That sounds like a lot of fun. I agree sometimes Ace Race’s can go by way too quick and it’s either all or none. I like the thought of getting more throws in there to where it’s more of a competitive, strategic game rather than a throw-off. OK, so who would play in a Birdie Bash?
Steve: Advanced and Pro players would play to enjoy a great day of fun disc golf, maybe try out some new discs, win some great prizes, and help teach some newer players how great our sport is.
Newer players will find a relaxed atmosphere for one of their first “organized” disc golf events. They will also get some great discs, meet their local discers, and have a chance to win some great prizes.
Basically, if you want to have fun, come play a Birdie Bash.
DLDG: We all love swag! What kind of sweet gear comes with signing up for the VBB?
Steve: $30 gets each player:
- two Vibram discs (of their choice)
- a Vibram dry fit tee
- a Vibram towel, mini, and sticker
As well as a chance to win tons of prizes: http://www.vibramdiscgolf.com/players-pack-and-prizes.html.
DLDG: I’m liking what I hear! That swag tops Ace Race’s in my opinion! And the Birdie Bash is open to anyone, right?
DLDG: I heard that anyone can be a TD for the Birdie Bash too, is that right? Is it really that easy?
Steve: Yes! We have a document that does a step-by-step including prep work, day of, players meeting, getting sponsors and more. It really is a Tournament-In-A-Box.
DLDG: Oh wow, yes that does sound easy! I think sometimes the overall impression about being a first-time TD can be fear of inexperience. I think that is awesome that you guys have put that much time and thought into this that does makes it easy enough for anyone to be a tournament director to run a Birdie Bash.
Now do Birdie Bash tournaments occur during a particular seasonal timeframe or do they go year-round?
Steve: The VBB events are held each Spring. This year they can be held anytime from March 1 to June 1.
DLDG: I know Dogleg has some international readers that might be curious, is the Birdie Bash available outside the US?
Steve: Yes, although not everywhere yet. We are expanding it to Canada, the UK, and the EU. We shut registration a week earlier and charge a little extra for shipping. If it works well, we will expand to Asia and Australia in 2015.
DLDG: Tell me about this Spirit Award. What is that?
Steve: Spirit, or the culture of the disc, is the reason that I want to grow our sport. In short, the ability to compete with honor and respect is what Spirit is all about. This year, we are introducing a Spirit Award which is given to a player that embodies the culture of the disc.
I invite people to read more about my motivation here: http://www.vibramdiscgolf.com/4/post/2013/11/grow-the-sport-why.html
DLDG: I love that idea about the Spirit Award, what characteristics make someone a prime candidate to win the Spirit Award?
Steve: A Spirit Award winner:
Is fair-minded and respectful Has a positive attitude Is happy when someone else makes a great shot Listens and considers Is respected by their competitors Treats others as they want to be treated Believes there is someone else more deserving Instantly helps to find a lost disc Is happy to be surrounded by so many friends Has fun
DLDG: Ok I’m stoked about the VBB concept! Now how can I find out if there’s one close to me?
DLDG: Ok Steve, I’ve got to ask. What is it like working at Vibram? Kind of jealous, it must be awesome! Right?
Steve: I am very fortunate to not only be working in the industry I love, but to also be able to have an impact on it. 3,500 people played in a VBB in 2013. For over 2,000 of these people, it was their first “organized” disc golf event. Additionally, over 40 people TDed their first event. It takes a lot to move an industry and I’m excited to be able to push as much as I can.
DLDG: How long have you been with Vibram? What is your position there?
Steve: 2008: Vibram sponsors Vibram Open, which I TD.
2009: hired by Quabaug, which manufactures for Vibram, as a consultant for Vibram Disc Golf.
2010: Quabaug hired me full time to develop the Vibram Disc Golf business unit
2012: Shifted to Vibram corporate as the Business Unit Manager for Vibram Disc Golf
DLDG: What would you say your top 3 favorite go-to Vibram discs are and why?
Steve: Ibex — it is easy to put on any line and it is forgiving when I don’t put enough pop on it.
Lace — this disc allows me to throw 400′ again, something I had lost for over a decade.
Summit — 80 feet and in, I’ve got a legit chance to sink it with this slow-speed-friendly finesse putter.
DLDG: Can you give us a glimpse of what to expect from Vibram [products] this year?
DLDG: Dang! Lol, I figured that’d be your answer. =) No, but we’re really excited for what’s to come for Vibram this year. Several of the guys here at Dogleg are big fans. Is there any bit of disc golf advice you would like to leave as a takeaway for our Dogleg readers?
Steve: Vinnie Miller once told me, “Brother, this life ain’t long, get happy as fast as you can.” Disc golf makes me happy. My advice, have fun and do good.
DLDG: Thanks again Steve for helping us put together this interview. I’m very excited about the Vibram Birdie Bash and hope to make it to one this year!
Here in Georgia where the Dogleg Headquarters is located, there is already one Birdie Bash set to take place at Patriot’s Park in Grovetown, GA on May 24th. Click to read more on the 2014 Patriot’s Park Birdie Bash.
Some of our fellow Dogleg members are helping with a Birdie Bash in our hometown of Jasper, Alabama. They have two dates set already for March 8th and one later on May 24th. Click for more info on the 2014 North Jasper Park Birdie Bash in March and for the 2014 North Jasper Park “Second Session” Birdie Bash that will take place in May.
To find out if there is a Birdie Bash already scheduled in your area, check out the Vibram Birdie Bash’s Events page.
Want to register for a Birdie Bash? Find your VBB and sign up here.
Want to take it to the next level and host your own Birdie Bash?
Click here to sign up to be a TD.
Follow Steve’s Disc Golf Blog — Vibram Disc Golf Blog
Read More on the Vibram Birdie Bash — BirdieBash.com
“Like” Vibram Disc Golf on Facebook — facebook.com/VibramDiscGolf
Follow Vibram Disc Golf on Twitter — twitter.com/VibramDiscGolf