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

We're an online disc golf blog community for those that love the game. Read reviews on discs/courses/apps or post stories, sell your gear and even brag about those awesome shots! Blog the Dog!

Latest

George Smith Earns 10th Win at 31st Annual Mid America Open

Instead of starting my post with a typical excuse for not blogging in so long, let’s be real. Life got crazy and I was experiencing some disc golf burnout. Since my last post, I earned two college degrees and started my first full time job. Clearly disc golf has taken a back seat.

But now that I’m settling back into “normal life” with a “normal routine” I see everything really connecting back to the sport. It is my stress reliever and my social life. It promotes the values I want to uphold in my career at the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: accessibility, fairness, health, and community. It’s an activity I can share with my boyfriend. It makes me think. And, most of all, I’ve gotten some pretty badass disc golf stories in my neighborhood lately.

Stories like this one I put together to send out to my local media have helped me to rediscover my love for the game. I hope this inspires you to pick up your bag and play this week, and that your feedback will get me out myself!

(Some alterations to this press release were made to fit the disc golf audience. If YOUR club needs help building relationships with your local media, let us know! I’m happy to provide guidance, and if there is interest, write about best practices or develop press templates for disc golf events. I’ll post links to press coverage here if the release is successful!)

Last weekend marked the 31st Annual Mid America Open disc golf tournament presented by the Columbia Disc Golf Club, Dynamic Discs, and Columbia Parks and Recreation. The event included a doubles event on Friday and a three-round tournament on Saturday and Sunday at Albert-Oakland and Indian Hills Parks. The tournament included 123 players from Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.

George Smith, 44, of Columbia earned his tenth Mid America Open title with a score of -52 for the weekend. His Saturday afternoon round on the Albert-Oakland Top Course was 13 under par and rated 1087 (yeah, that’s not a typo). It was the highest rated round of his career to date. Smith began playing disc golf in 1984 at the Albert-Oakland Top Course, the only course in Columbia at the time. He has since traveled internationally as a professional disc golf player, his tour including tournaments in Japan and Finland. In addition to his tournament win, Smith also won the Friday doubles tournament along with Grant Hodges of Columbia, MO.

The weekend’s winners also included: Andrea Meyers (Jonesboro, AR), Open Women; Keith Amerson (Columbia, MO), Open Masters; Justin McCain (Joelton, TN), Advanced Amateur; Gary Harvey (Roeland Park, KS), Advanced Masters; Paul Morrison aka Mo Louis (Columbia, MO), Advanced Grandmasters; Justin Neudecker (Alton, IL), Intermediate; Mariah Flagg (Camdenton, MO), Intermediate Women; Scott Foreman (Columbia, MO), Recreational; Beth Aubuchon (Columbia, MO), Recreational Women; Jack Lowen (Blue Springs, MO), Juniors Under 13 Boys; and Cynthia Riocciotti (Columbia, MO), Juniors Under 13 Girls.

Tournament competitor lands a disc in the basket during the Ring of Fire

Tournament competitor lands a disc in the basket during the Ring of Fire

Smith putting during the Final Nine Sunday afternoon at Albert-Oakland Park

Smith putting during the Final Nine Sunday afternoon at Albert-Oakland Park

Smith finishes a hole during the Final Nine as a gallery watches from across a pond

Smith finishes a hole during the Final Nine as a gallery watches from across a pond

Paul Morrison aka Mo Louis, radio personality from 102.3 KBXR, celebrates his win over the Advanced Grandmasters division during the awards ceremony Sunday evening

Paul Morrison aka Mo Louis, radio personality from 102.3 KBXR, celebrates his win over the Advanced Grandmasters division during the awards ceremony Sunday evening

Smith and his trophy following the awards ceremony

Smith and his trophy following the awards ceremony

Smith and Jack Lowen, Junior Under 13 Boys winner, with their trophies following the awards ceremony

Smith and Jack Lowen, Junior Under 13 Boys winner, with their trophies following the awards ceremony

Advertisements

Welcoming New Players: A Short Guide

 

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,

 😀estin

                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

 

Missouri Winter Wonderland

Hey Dogleggers, long time no talk! I promise I haven’t forgotten about you guys—I actually daydream about blogging quite often. For those who don’t know, I’m currently in my junior year of college, so let’s just say that I have to write a lot of stuff that’s not about disc golf during the school year and my brain can only produce so many words in a week.

Anyway, I’ve been DYING to tell you guys a little bit about the crazy winter we’ve been having here in Missouri. It’s been a winter wonderland. Not “wonderland” like the deep snow and beautiful trees on a Christmas card—we’re not quite northern enough for that. I mean WONDERland, like “I wonder if it’s going to be 60 and sunny, or if it’s going to be so cold the news anchors are telling me not to let my dog outside for more than 10 minutes.” So, let’s take a look at Missouri’s last few weekends.

Four weeks ago today I played in the 28th Annual Ice Bowl in Columbia, Mo. Columbia is not only my hometown, but the home of the original Ice Bowl in 1987. As we all know, the official Ice Bowl slogan is “No Wimps, No Whiners,” and for the 28th Annual there was nothing to complain about. The weather was beautiful, in the 40s and no rain or snow. I was very happy to be able to play in a division of 5 women, two of us celebrating one year since our first tournament! On top of that, I shot my personal record on the Oakland Top course with a 2 stroke improvement. It was a wonderful day!

Five ladies competed in the women's division at Columbia's 28th Annual Ice Bowl in January

Five ladies competed in the women’s division at Columbia’s 28th Annual Ice Bowl in January

Ice Bowl Shirt

The winners of each division at Columbia's 28th Annual Ice Bowl

The winners of each division at Columbia’s 28th Annual Ice Bowl

After such a great experience at the Columbia Ice Bowl, I was really pumped to play the following weekend in Jefferson City, Mo. However, the night before the tournament there was an ice storm and it wasn’t safe to make the 30 minute drive. Instead, I spent the day playing a 4-hole NOMAD course at my house and gathering with my neighbors to scrape ice off of my street. Not so wonderful.

NOMAD target set up in my backyard while the roads were too icy to get to a course

NOMAD target set up in my backyard while the roads were too icy to get to a course

My street covered in ice, and everyone trying to get it cleared off.

My street covered in ice, and everyone trying to get it cleared off.

I didn’t get any golf in the following weekend. There was more snow and I turned 21, so I think you can infer that I was a little busy doing other things…

Birthday

Last weekend I finally made my way down to Jefferson City to play league at their new course. They still don’t have permanent baskets or tee pads installed, so we played the front nine twice with temp baskets. Just by looking at the front nine and hearing rumors about the back nine, this course is going to be a BEAST. There are a few water hazards, lots of elevation change, and a mix of tight tunnels and long fairway shots that have to be strategically placed. (It’ll definitely be worthy of a course guide when it’s finished.)

Although it only snowed a little while I was there, there was plenty of “leftover” snow on the ground, cause it hadn’t been above freezing in at least a week. The park’s namesake Binder Lake was frozen enough to walk on (although I never recommend walking on ice!), which is pretty rare.

During this round my winter weakness was particularly evident. I’m usually pretty good at not letting cold affect my mental game, keeping my throwing hand warm, and not letting my feet get wet. But the worst thing about winter disc golf is wearing so many layers that it limits my range of motion. For the most part it doesn’t impact my driving, but trying to follow through on a putt when I feel like the Michelin Man is just not going to happen.

Geese along the shore of Binder Lake, near Jefferson City's new disc golf course

Geese along the shore of Binder Lake, near Jefferson City’s new disc golf course

Jefferson City Disc Golf Club's President Stan Balke putting from a tree on the new course

Jefferson City Disc Golf Club’s President Stan Balke putting from a tree on the new course

Me driving during league at Jefferson City's new course

Me driving during league at Jefferson City’s new course

Just six days later, I played my first short-sleeved round of the year at Carrollton Park in St. Louis. It was a beautiful, sunny day reaching a high of nearly 60 degrees. Can you say complete weather 180!? Then, fast forward to today, when the high is expected to be only 38 degrees; my disc golf feat for the day will only consist of writing this post and wishing I were at the Gentlemen’s Club Challenge, where it is currently 65 and sunny!

Precarious basket at Carrollton Park in Bridgeton, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis

Precarious basket at Carrollton Park in Bridgeton, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis

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

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 wrongIvy 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.

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.

Don’t Be A Hero

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.

Ladies Only!

Hey Dogleggers!  I apologize for getting so behind on my coverage of Worlds this week.  I often convince myself that I’m going to have tons of free time when I travel.  I somehow managed to forget that, since I planned on attending the majority of the events going on in Emporia, the rest of my time would have to be used for catching up on rest!  That being said, I will be catching up on my posts over the next couple of days.  I have coverage of the Player’s Party, Night Ace Race, an interview with Pete May, and an overall review of the event coming to you soon!

Now, on to the ladies-only event!

More than 30 ladies made it out to the Emporia Country Club on Wednesday night to compete for TONS of prizes in a ring of fire.  Miranda Fulton put on this great event, and was assisted by the adorable Haley, who was in charge of yelling out “1, 2, 3, FIRE!”

Image

As if a bunch of disc golf girls getting together to putt wasn’t fun enough, Miranda switched it up on us.  Some rings were reserved for juniors or required use of forehand putting.  Others required us to stand backward, or to “butt putt” by throwing the disc backward between our legs!

Image

At an event where so many female disc golfers travel from so far away, it was really great to come together to be reminded that so many of us share the same passion for disc golf and growing the presence of women in our sport!  I hope to see events like this at more tournaments in the future!

 

PS:  I forgot to mention–every lady at the event got an awesome umbrella straw, even if they didn’t win!  It was definitely a fun way to show off and start a conversation with others after the fact!  GREAT idea!

Worlds Pro Clinic

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!

Image

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

Course Guide: Municipal Golf Course

I’ve had the pleasure of walking the Municipal Golf Course’s temporary disc golf course three times this year, although I have not yet had the chance to get out there without the purpose of caddying!  Municipal, located just outside of Emporia, KS, uses only half of the ball golf course, and plays a total distance of 8,608 ft for the long tees and 7,987 ft for the short tees.  Course par is 65.

Throughout the week, this course will be used for the PDGA Amateur World Championships.  The A and B pools of Advanced Men played it today, with a hot round of 55.  Tomorrow the C pool of Advanced Men and Advanced Grandmasters will play the course.  The Advanced Men will play it once more on Thursday or Friday.

Because I have not personally played this course and because I’m trying to spend as much time out experiencing Worlds while I’m here, I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves (they are worth a thousand words, right?).  For an overall course map and hole-by-hole distance and OB information, head over to the Dynamic Discs website: http://www.dynamicdiscs.com/2013amworlds/courses/.  Dynamic Discs has been very supportive of my efforts to keep you all updated on the Amateur and Junior World Championships by allowing me to use bits and pieces of their course map here on Dogleg.  Thanks for being so great!

And now, to the course!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Welcome to Worlds

Hey Dogleggers!  I’m very excited to have the opportunity to spend this week at the 2013 Amateur and Junior World Championships in Emporia, KS!  This small town is booming with disc golfers, with more than 540 competitors here.  During my time here, I plan on bringing you daily updates on all things worlds.  Tomorrow [Tuesday] I plan on posting a course guide of the Municipal Golf Course, where the Advanced Men division will be playing in the morning.  Other than that, I’d be happy to take requests on what you’d like to read.  Just let me know in the comments, or tweet me @MLeeFry.

 Image

Since driving in from Columbia on Saturday, I’ve been to 4/5 of the courses, hung out at the field events, attended the players meeting, and socialized in our campground (which is PACKED with disc golfers!).  The photo collages below make up just a small portion of what’s going on here in Emporia, and I look forward to updating you on more throughout the week!

Image

Jay “Yeti” Reading introducing the EDGE Skills Challenge; Junior Doubles Champion and 13 and Under Putting Challenge Winner Braxton Lawrence; Skills Challenge Competitors; Luis Nava putting during the Skills Challenge

Image

Sarah Nicholson presents the mayor of Emporia with an honorary PDGA membership; Founder and owner of Dynamic Discs Jeremy Rusco welcomes players to Am Worlds; Jay and Des Reading bring up the energy levels by giving away prizes from EDGE; 540+ disc golfers conjugate for the Players Meeting

A Couple Hours With Two of The Best

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.

Image

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. 

Image

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

Image

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!

%d bloggers like this: