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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

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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


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!”

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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!

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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!

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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


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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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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


dgNOMAD New Logo & Glow Chains!

ImageThis won’t be news to any of you who know JT here at Dogleg DG, but I’d like to let the rest of the world know that his design came out on top in the search for dgNOMAD’s new logo, and we think it rocks! Thanks also to everyone else who sent drawings, there were several contenders.

If you need need any logo or promotional work done you can stop looking, JT did an excellent job for us. From concept to revisions to final drafts, as well as staying in touch and putting up with my busy schedule, he was on top of it all. The new logo looks awesome printed in black on our red carry bags, and the color version does a great job displaying the “UV-ness” (JT coins terms as well as designs logos!) of our newest product, retrofit Glow Chains. Our Glow Chains snap easily to any existing basket or target in under a minute and give glow golf a whole new meaning! Check them out here .

And speaking of Glow Chains, if you’re in western Pennsylvania or Northeast Ohio you can see them in action at Young’s Run DGC during Valley DGA’s Glow Throw! The first of the monthly events is May 10th, check in a 7:00 for the first 9 and after dark the Glow Chains are coming out for the next 9! If you miss this one try back, there’s one every month May to November. More info at ValleyDGA.com or email info@valleydga.com.

Trevor at Valley DGA has done a great job helping spread the word on our new chains to some neighboring clubs, anyone else who is interested in a club purchase for glow leagues or tournaments (or just to get a discount!) should definitely let me know. Club orders get 10% discounts and free shipping, email club@dgNOMAD.com for details.

Last but not least, there’s still a week left before our next drawing, register to win either a set of dgNOMAD Glow Chains or one of our revolutionary ultralight portable NOMAD Disc Golf Targets! These little guys are under 3 pounds, available in 6 standard and 4 Glow colors, and let you take a target places you never thought possible…toss one in your backpack, on your dash, or even on your bike handlebars and you can throw anywhere! They have regulation size target zones, and in fact are the only PDGA approved Object Targets on the market. In addition to being made in the USA, our targets are economical so you can grab one for yourself and give the kids their own!

Enter the drawing for free stuff here.

Thanks for checking out our new product!

Jeff@dgNOMAD.com

 

 


Dogleg DG (& JT’s beard) featured on Go Ham’s TWIDG!

Earlier this week, Dogleg JT’s article “Prodigy First Run D1/D4 Full Review” was featured on Go Ham Disc Golf’s “This Week in Disc Golf (TWIDG)” weekly YouTube segment! What also got a mention in Go Ham’s video?… JT’s beard! Lol. Check it out around the 3:10 mark!

Here at Dogleg, we get pretty excited whenever we get featured on Big John’s vids. A BIG thanks to him for giving us a shoutout and featuring us once again in a vid! Check out Go Ham’s YouTube channel here.

Read JT’s “Prodigy First Run D1/D4 Full Review” post here if you haven’t already. It’s an in-depth review complete with video clips of us throwing and several pics.


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The best round of DG ever recorded! McBeast throwing a 39 at Fountain Hills, AZ!

Hey guys and gals!

Now that the Memorial has wrapped up I wanted to make sure anybody that hasn’t had a chance to see Paul “McBeast” McBeth’s record breaking final round at Fountain Hills has a chance to see it. This is the best round of disc golf ever played and recorded. Paul shoots an incredible 39 in his final day to make an incredible push to force Will Schusterick into a play off!

Here’s the video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-xGFbRdNv0

Go watch history!!! This is truly incredible and he makes it look effortless!


Just a quick reminder!

Hey Dogleggers!

Just wanted to remind everybody that it is Memorial Week! Discgolfplanet.tv has live coverage of the 2013 Memorial Tournament from today until Saturday. Just head on over to Discgolfplanet.tv to tune in and enjoy watching the best in the world play the first major National Tour event kicking off the 2013 disc golf season!

-DiscRaptor