Greetings, all! It is time for the unveiling of what could arguably be the internet’s most rad disc golf video ever produced. No, I’m not just saying that because I produced it (OK, I admit — it might be because of that).
I had the opportunity to get some great footage of Destin, JT and me playing at Wills Park in Alpharetta, GA this weekend. The video, entitled “Rules of Disc Golf,” highlights what happened during about an hour-and-a-half round of play, all while informing what we feel will help you get the best out of your experience by following these simple rules.
The video was produced the next day, and within four hours of production, I had written and recorded a rock groove for the background soundtrack, fully organized the clips, and exported the clip sequence that was ready for upload. Talk about a productive weekend, right?? 🙂
We had a blast making it, and we hope you have a blast watching it. Enjoy!
Today I’m reviewing the “Golden Retriever” by Disc Diver. I bought a “Golden Retriever” about two years ago after I started losing more and more discs to ponds and lakes on disc golf courses that I was frequenting at the time. Reality is, losing discs suck. Especially on repeated occasions, because plastic “ain’t” cheap. I had even switched to discs such as Innova Dragon’s that float, but their super light 150g weight severely affected my distance from the box.
After multiple attempts with sticks, fishing rods and the occasional “swim” for a disc, I got tired of trudging through algae-infested mud-ridden ponds retrieving my weary discs. I knew there had to be a better alternative to fish out discs without having to actually swim with them in hopes to find my sunken disc and not catch some disease…
Then I found Disc Diver’s “Golden Retriever” and what seemed to be a clever invention–a disc retriever for discs sunken in the water. I watched the video on their site and was immediately sold. (Currently ~$25-30 on several disc golf websites out there.) I had just lost two discs a week earlier, so I was ecstatic about getting this thing in the mail. Almost considered rush shipping because I wanted those discs back that bad. Seems like a handy tool to frolfers everywhere, right? I’ll let you be the judge of that.
First you might ask What exactly is the Golden Retriever or How does the Golden Retriever work?
According to their website, DiscDiver.com, it is a fold-able device that’s “designed to retrieve sunken golf discs from the bottom of water hazards. It only takes a few seconds and is exceptionally easy to operate. The Discdiver ‘Golden Retriever’ is small enough to fit in any disc bag or back pocket.”
- Simply tug on the Golden Retriever’s throw rope to unfold it.
- Then toss it beyond the golf disc and pull across to retrieve.
- As it skims across the bottom of the hazard, it will scoop and retain the disc.
Seems easy, right? The concept of it is, yes, a fact very easy. Actually successfully throwing it and retrieving the disc? Not so much. Now let me explain; and this is why I named this post the way I did.
The Disc Diver “Golden Retriever” only successfully works under very specific conditions. If you watch the video on their site and notice, you can clearly see the disc sunken in the bottom of a shallow creek. The “Golden Retriever” works really when you can actually see your disc. I don’t know about you guys, but the ponds and lakes around here are both murky and have muddy bottoms. You’re S.O.L. trying to use one of these things around here as you throw blind into the water. The “Golden Retriever’s” back bar frame is barely as wide as the disc itself. With that said, you must have the “Golden Retriever” lined up almost perfectly behind the disc as you drag it over it. Just think if you can’t even see the disc?! Now you understand.
The goal is to throw it so it lands behind your disc. Let it hit the bottom, then carefully drag it towards you as you pull on the supplied 15-30 ft. line (TIP: Make damn sure you have the other end of your line tied to your body or bag. I’ve thrown the whole thing—line and all—into a pond before and spent another 30 min trying to retrieve that too!). As the “Golden Retriever” approaches your disc, the lip of the frame should catch on the underside of the rim of your disc. The disc somewhat “locks” into place in the back of the frame. Don’t try to lift up on it or you might drop the disc, just keep pulling straight towards you.
But what I’m not sold on is how effective it is in a variety of scenarios. Yes, it works wonderfully in a clear body of water with a smooth ground bottom. I would simply suggest actually observing the different bodies of water around your local courses before considering one of these. Like I mentioned earlier, here in the Southeastern states—where I play most of my disc golf–ponds are very murky, have muddy bottoms that often covered with algae, slimy plant life and debris. And I’m going to be perfectly honest with you; If your local ponds have any characteristics like the aforementioned pond descriptions, I do not see this product being of any help to you. Check out this picture to the side, this is what I “retrieved” with one throw into a disc golf pond while playing in Mississippi. If the pond has any kind of grass/weeds like that, there’s no way you’re returning anything that you hoped you would be. If you’re into kelp or need weeds for your home aquarium, go for it. =)
Another thing, this really only works if the bottom of the pond/lake/river is near flat. If there’s debris, large rocks, or limbs then you might be in trouble. The bottom floor needs to be near flat in order for the retriever to “scoop” up the disc. It does have a slight learning curve with getting it to fall and line up with your disc though. Don’t get me wrong, the “Golden Retriever” does have several great features as well as being super compact and portable! Its lightweight design has a high-vis color paint that helps visibility in slightly murky water. The ones I’ve seen online now actually come with up to 50 ft of line. Just keep in mind, it’s all about lining the retriever up with the sunken disc and being able to actually see the disc in the water. If these two conditions apply to your sunken disc, then you have a high chance of being able to recover your lost disc!
Honestly I’ve retrieved more of my friend’s discs than any of mine. It does work to a degree. I finally feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth two years later. I take it with me every time I go out on the course just in case. But in most scenarios, this might not be your best friend when trouble arises.
Would love to hear anyone else’s stories and/or feedback if you own/or have ever used a Disc Diver “Golden Retriever”?
The disc golf community received lots of exciting news last December. Clearly, as I addressed in my earlier posts, the discopalypse and announcement of Prodigy Disc Golf stirred up tons of gossip. Dynamic Discs released its new line of discs. But the announcement that has the greatest potential to impact the sport went unnoticed in comparison. On December 21, PDGA Executive Director Brian Graham announced that the PDGA would be joining with two other sports organizations to create the Emerging Sports Network.
The purpose of the ESN, according to its website, http://www.emergingsports.info, is to recognize and celebrate the “most innovative, exciting, and competitive sporting endeavors available today. Though each of these sports might not have millions of fans and dollars to support their play, they do not lack the passion or the skills necessary to create great broadcasting.” The other two organizations pairing with the PDGA to make up the ESN are the Upstate Watercraft Promotions-International Jet Sports Boating Association (UWP-IJSBA) National Tour and the Extreme Volleyball Professionals (EVP) Tour. Before the PDGA became involved, the two sports had partnered together to form the Beach Sports Network, which has now evolved into the ESN.
As a partner for the ESN, the PDGA will produce four 30 minute video segments this year. The first of the four disc golf episodes will cover the Memorial Championship in Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, AZ at the beginning of March. Between the three sports, 20 episodes will be created, then distributed by Comcast or another sports network. These episodes have the potential to be picked up by networks all across the country and to be seen by 66 million households.
The group who owns the rights to the ESN website and who will provide key help in producing the first disc golf shows for television is the Terra Firma Media Group, who specializes in strategic communications and “helping your company reach its audience.” Terra Firma already has a big role in disc golf. They run DiscGolfPlanet.tv and their clients include the USDGC, the Japan Open, Innova, Red Bull, and Kimberly-Clark.
I expect that partnering with the UWP-IJSBA and EVP Tours will have several, large effects on disc golf in the next couple of years. The most direct effect will be that disc golf will be more well known, and therefore, more people will want to play. This could eventually lead to more course installations and cooperation from Parks and Rec-type groups.
Although I do not see this until next year or later, I believe that if the ESN is successful, the PDGA will collaborate with the UWP-IJSBA and EVP to organize a tour made up of mega-events where all three sports are represented. Graham said in his announcement on Disc Golf Talk Radio that he hoped to have one of these events in the future, but I expect that there will be several if the ESN is a successful alliance. The other two sports have already synced up the time and place of several of their major tour events for the 2013 season, and this trend could easily transfer to include disc golf events as well.
These large events would put disc golf in a new position. They will attract better bids from Convention and Visitors Bureaus, which would cut costs for tournament hosting. They will also make tournaments more appealing for sponsors that apply to all three sports–like Nike or Gatorade. We can also expect that the cities that will host these big events will be on beaches, so they can accommodate jet ski racing and beach volleyball. Cities like Kansas City, who hosted the 2009 Pro and Am World Championships and is home to the Kansas City Wide Open (a national tour event), will be less likely to host these giant events. Large cities in coastal states will have a higher chance of hosting disc golf’s biggest events.
For Brian Graham’s announcement: http://discgolftalkradio.com/2012/news-from-the-the-pdga/
For the full interview with Brian Graham: http://discgolftalkradio.com/2012/interview-with-pdga-executive-director-brian-graham/
How do you expect the ESN to impact disc golf? Tweet @doglegdiscgolf with the hashtag #EmergingSN to let us know!
We’re getting Dogleg Disc Golf Tees printed up! This “Original Logo” tee will be the first of several Dogleg Disc Golf merchandise items printed this year.
We will be selling the Limited Edition First Round for only $15! or…
PRE-PAY BY JANUARY 31 and get it for ONLY $11! (+s/h)
We’ll be offering these colors to begin with: Charcoal, Light Grey, White, Red, Green, Maroon, Pink, Purple, Goldenrod, Olive Drab, Blue, and Navy. The sizes available are Small-3X.
Trying to decide if the front will have a left pocket design of either the Dogleg logo or “Blog the Dog!”.
Contact JT or email DoglegDG@gmail.com for more details. Thanks!
Help support your favorite disc golf blog by purchasing a tee today! Remember ladies, a Dogleg tee would make a great Valentine’s Day gift! =)
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,
Earlier this week I received my dgNOMAD Ultralight UV Portable Target and a set of Glow Chains for my DGA Mach Lite in the mail! Join some of the Dogleg Crew as we will be doing a full review of both of these products from dgNOMAD in another week or so here on our blog. Check out this quick teaser for now!
Check this out guys: Dogleg Disc Golf was named in Disc Golf Station’s “TOP 5 Disc Golf Blogs”!
I want to start by thanking DiscGolfStation.com for considering us as a top disc golf blog nominee. It’s such an honor to be chosen in the Top 5! To read the full details, definitely check out the results here: Top Disc Golf Blog Winners! Be sure to “Like” Disc Golf Station on Facebook!
Next, I want to thank all of our fellow Dogleg contributors—you guys help made this achievement possible! And of course, I could never forget our fan base and support of our friends.
A Message from JT:
Here at DoglegDiscGolf.com, we strive to be different. Our goal is to deliver fresh content in a way that can relate to our audience unlike any other disc golf out there. We’re not pros. We’re just regular guys and gals that freakin’ love disc golf. We try to go extra lengths to explain topics, cover events and write a more in-depth review on things like disc golf apps. If we can’t relate and connect to our audience on a personal level, we’ve missed the point. We’re not here for money. We’re here simply because we love what we do. Keep slingin’!
Lots more to come in 2013, thanks again!
That’s right folks! Two weeks in a row, Dogleg was featured on GoHamDiscGolf’s “This Week in Disc Golf” weekly YouTube segment. To which both weeks Destin’s articles were featured. Way to go Destin!
This Week in Disc Golf (01-09-2013) — Destin’s post “Winter Disc Golf Adjustments – Weight & Grip” gets featured.
This Week in Disc Golf (01-16-2013) — Destin’s latest post “A Post For Beginners – Where to Start” gets featured.
Congrats again Destin and a big thanks to Big John @ GoHamDiscGolf for the shoutouts! Be sure to follow Big John’s disc golf Vlog here.
Although it has been more than 3 years since I was introduced to disc golf, this is the first time I have had the winter disc golf bug. Today, for example, in Missouri the high temperature was below freezing and there is 2 inches of snow and ice on the ground. This is not my idea of disc golf weather, especially as a beginner who gets frustrated enough when my discs are dry.
These conditions have left me thinking about disc golf much more than playing. Mostly I have pondered my favorite disc golf moments from last year, and those I’m looking forward to most this year. The biggest difference between the two is that now I’m a player, not just a spectator.
Last summer I drove to Charlotte, NC, with my boyfriend and his dad for the 2012 Disc Golf World Championships. At the time, I hadn’t even played a full 18-hole round of disc golf. I was coming as a girlfriend, caddy, and camera girl. From my point of view of as non-player and disc golf spectator of nearly 3 years, here were the top 5 things I loved about 2012 Worlds that I hadn’t seen anywhere else.
5. Beautiful courses
Yes, I’ve been to other courses that were pretty (most notably, Diamond X in Billings, MT, and some courses in Des Moines, IA). However, this was the first time that EVERY course I went to was gorgeous and visually interesting. On top of simply being nice pieces of land with awesome layouts, they were clean with very little litter. Despite the heat of the Carolina sun, it was always fulfilling to be outside just to see the courses.
4. Narrow, straight fairways with tall, skinny trees
When I first started watching disc golf, I thought it was so neat how discs flew in curves and “S” shapes. It wasn’t long before I realized that discs curve naturally, and it is extremely difficult to throw down a narrow fairway. Watching drives on the numerous holes with tight hallways simply amazed me, especially because so many were so accurate!
3. Putting for dough
As the saying goes, “drive for show, putt for dough.” At such a competitive event with incredibly skilled players, putting was for dough AND show. Every throw counted, and long putts created more suspense than any drive from the tee. And, when someone made one, led to more excitement.
2. Watching people of all ages play
As a 19 year old girl, it is often hard to find other people “like me” at the course. Spending a week watching the junior divisions gave me a whole new perspective on the sport (even if I mostly followed the boys!). The disc golf community is so much larger and more diverse than I knew. It was definitely a shock to see kids ten years younger than me flicking farther than I can throw backhand (still)!
1. Watching other people watch
As someone who watched disc golf for nearly 3 years before I started playing, it always seemed so odd to me that I was usually the person in a gallery. The way the discs fly and the relaxed atmosphere of the sport make it such a unique sport to watch. Seeing so many people with so much interest in watching others play was pretty foreign to me. It changed my view on the potential of the sport. Now that the PDGA has announced a partnership with the Emerging Sports Network, the opportunity of having a new role in the disc golf community—spectators—is more possible than ever before.
Sitting around, drinking hot tea, and waiting for spring to come is giving me plenty of time to get excited about the upcoming disc golf season. I haven’t decided how many tournaments I’ll play in or where all I will travel to watch, but I sure hope to get to Emporia, KS and Crown Point, IN to have the Worlds experience again!
Our disc golf-filled Saturday last weekend concluded with a trip to White Oak Park DGC.
After a successful round at Deer Lick [Read Deer Lick DGC Recap here.], the three of us headed down the road to the next course on our list, White Oak.
White Oak Park Disc Golf Course is a very large, open park with long, beautiful rolling hills located in Dallas, GA. It is one of my Top 5 Georgia disc golf courses that I’ve played around here. Although I wish it was a lot closer to where I live, but the experience and the views never fail me each time I go. Two things that really draw me to White Oak Park are: 1) Several elevated teebox areas set you up nicely for long, open drives to a downhill basket and 2) Signature Hole #17’s pond-flyover to a peninsula green [See image inset below.]
Once we got there, the disc golf part of the park (in the very back) was nearly vacant. Awesome, for disc golf. We met up with fellow contributor and Doglegger, Destin here to join us for this round. The weather was nice, mid 50’s and overcast with little wind. I was a little disappointed to find out that the park had temporarily removed holes #13 and 14 due to frolfers disrespect to neighboring properties. I started off with a rough start dropping me to +4 after just the first 2 holes. I think I hit every tree in sight. I turned it on at Hole #7 with a short-lived birdie streak run. Pulled it back together at the end and finished at +5. Not bad for me for that course.
Here’s a look at some pics from that day at White Oak along with videos of our Hole #17 pond-flyovers! I apologize for the crappy quality uploads from our phone.
*To read Destin’s White Oak Review and his tips on adjusting your grip and disc weight for winter weather, click here.