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Reviews

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


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

 

 


Prodigy First Run D1/D4 Full Review by JT

Alright guys, today I would like to take a moment and offer a more in-depth review of the latest Prodigy D1 and D4 “First Run” stamp discs.

Earlier in February, fellow Doglegger Jeremiah wrote a review on the Prodigy D1 and D4 “Proto” stamp discs here on the blog. Since, Prodigy has released the “First Runs” about a month ago. So I wanted to elaborate on Jeremiah’s review with a more in-depth look for the newly tweaked “First Runs”. In this review I will cover such characteristics as grip, look and feel, flight patterns and more. I would like to include several vid clips and pics below in the article that we took while testing these two discs out.

Let me preface this by stating that before I write any disc reviews, I will always take the disc out on the course multiple rounds and play several weeks with it first. I also normally test the disc at a few different local courses as well. This helps me get a better understanding of how the disc reacts in different weather conditions as well as terrain—whether it be open fields or tighter, wooded courses. I want my reviews to be fair, honest and from my perspective. Keep in mind this review is solely my opinion and does not necessarily reflect the same opinions of other Dogleggers.

The Discs:
About a month ago, I got a hold of both the new Prodigy D1 and D4 “First Run” discs from InfiniteDiscs.com. I was extremely ecstatic the day both arrived in the mail! I was like a kid in a candy shop. The wait was over. Ever since the D1/D4’s release, I had heard nothing but great things about Prodigy discs. I felt like I just had to have a piece of disc golf history (well I’d like to think anyway). Friends had told me the discs felt like no other plastic out on the market and even adding 20-30 feet to their drives. Seriously? A new brand of disc could do that? I was slightly gullible, so of course I was going to give them a try!

prodigy_firstrun Upon pulling the brand new discs out of the box, I instantly noticed a completely different feel to the plastic. A grippy coating unlike any other I had seen before—which I liked already. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still not falling for any hype until I tested it myself. Let’s do this…[time-lapse]

Over the past four weeks I’ve thrown and tested out both Prodigy D1 and D4’s. I have finally gathered enough observations to give it a fair review. Daylight Savings Time had not yet switched over yet when I received the discs which meant it was dark already after I got off work each day. Ugh I hated it getting dark so early. I remember being antsy that entire week until the weekend rolled around before I could play. Finally, I could actually make it out during daylight hours to test them.

The Grip:
As I mentioned earlier, I was drawn to Prodigy’s grip right away. It has a solid firm feel with a good amount of grip on it. It seems like it would be a slippery disc with its translucent appearance. Innova Pro Katanas have been my go-to driver for the last three years. I love the Katana’s feel and the wider-rimmed edges which fit nicely in my long fingers. I was surprised to find that both of the Prodigy’s have a wide rim as well (According to Infinite Disc’s website, the Prodigy’s rim width is 2.3cm compared to the Katana’s 2.5cm). Could one of the Prodigy’s become my go-to replacement?

Prodigy is calling the grip on these two discs the 400 series. According to Prodigy’s website,

“The 400 series is a premium blend of material that is extremely durable. The unique blend of plastics feels as good as it looks and will be able to be broken in over time. This tour quality plastic gives the thrower better grip even when it is wet.”

A lot of high-speed discs are flatter and have sharper outside edges. Sometimes this sharpness can cut into your tightly curled fingers upon release..which sucks. But neither Prodigy did. Both of the Prodigy discs felt very comfortable with my grip (modified Split Power/Fork grip). The slightly taller height of the disc—compared to the Katana—helped it fit better and tighter in my hand. It also seemed to make it feel less sharp on that outer edge. Both discs are made up of a firm, very durable, high-performance plastic that feels great, but can it fly?

The Flight:
First course test: Alexander Park DGC, Hole #3 (FYI, all Prodigy discs are stamped just up the road from this course at Disc Stalker.)
First disc up: Prodigy D1
Weather conditions: Overcast, mid-30s with 15-20 mph winds

The D1 is Prodigy’s very fast, overstable distance driver recommended for advanced players and power throwers alike. Infinite Discs rates this disc’s flight characteristics as 13|6|0|3.

The D4 is Prodigy’s most understable disc in their line. It is still a high-speed disc and not as understable as one might think. Don’t be fooled by its “understable” label. It is a serious disc that players of all skill level will enjoy. It flies extremely far and has lots of glide. Infinite Discs rates the D4’s flight characteristics as 13|6|-3|2.

OK, so my first throw with the D1 was terrible I will admit. Ha of course I’ll blame it on the wind all day, but it did soar out of my hand and straight into the treeline as a wind pocket lifted it high and right. The D1 is not a beginner-level disc by any means and does require a good bit of arm to get it to plane out like it’s designed too. I didn’t put near enough power into that one, so we’ll try again next hole.

The D4 is a lot more understable and seemed to us much easier to throw at first than the D1 did. Destin had the first throw with the D1 and actually did pretty well with it. You can see him in action on the short clip below on Hole #3 at Alexander Park. Listen to the wind in the clip; it was mid-30s with 15-20 mph winds that day.

It took me a while—even a few weeks later—before I could really get down the release throwing the D1. I kept switching up between the D1 and the D4 for much of the first round trying to figure which disc best suited my throwing style. I agreed with Destin that first round and more so favored the D4. It wasn’t as difficult to throw, but again it could have been a combination of several factors including the huge wind gusts, cold fingers and first time throwing the discs. I wasn’t going to give up on it though, I was going to figure this disc out one way or another.

As the day went on, I found myself leaning more towards the D4 with its subtle S-curve. The D4 felt more comfortable in my hand pressed against my fingers. The D1 seems to have more on an inner bead which had a bit rougher inner lip compared to the D1. That day I just couldn’t throw the D1 hard enough to get it to turn at a high enough rate of speed. It had a tighter fairway shot accompanied with a mean hook at the end which resulted in a big skip gaining me another 20 feet or so. It wasn’t until Hole #11 until I caught my break with the D4 (and longest drive I had all day) on a big shot down to the basket. You can hear the gusty winds in the background.

After a miserably cold and windy round, I still wasn’t completely satisfied that I had given the Prodigy discs a fair chance. I needed more practice, less wind and different playing conditions. Over a few more weekends worth of play, we tested the discs at Sequoyah Park, Oregon Park and Wills Park to help complete our review. The video below was taken on Hole #4 at Wills. Here I’m throwing the Prodigy D1. Now the D1 I had struggled with from the beginning because I couldn’t get enough arm behind my throw. After throwing it numerous times during several rounds, I finally figured out how I could tweak my own throw to compensate for its flight pattern. I loved its S-curve flight and big skip at the end. You can’t tell from the video, but the disc hits on the left side of the fairway and skips huge towards the basket. Not realizing how good of a shot it actually was, I was quite shocked when we approached the basket to find it lying about 10-ft past it on the bank. Yeaaa!

[Continue reading after the jump. You won’t want to miss =)]

WP4_prodigyD4
My throw lands around 10-ft from the basket on the bank. Overshot it.

WP4_prodigyd1 Destin teeing off with the D4 on the same hole.

WP4_prodigyd1jt Me with the D1 again (still frame from the video above).

WP6_prodigyd4 Destin on Hole #6 giving the D4 all he has haha.

Final Thoughts:
D1: This disc is not for beginners nor slow throwers.. It takes a lot of arm to really power this bad boy. Designed for power throwers, it has mad consistency in the wind and stays true to its path. I found that I could keep this disc’s flight a lot more level than the D4’s. Play the hook at the end to your advantage. Place it to where you can gain from the skip at the end. Although not a fav of mine out of the box, it has now become my preferred Prodigy driver. It took weeks of practice, but I have adjusted my grip and throw to compensate for this very fast, strong driver. This disc has replaced a few other long-time drivers in my bag and is battling for top spot against my seasoned Pro Katana.

D4: Don’t be fooled by this disc’s “understable” label. It’s questionable if that at all. This disc is much easier to throw than the D1, but I still would not call this a beginner disc. It, like the D1, is a Speed 13 driver which means it’s very fast and requires an advanced arm to huck it right. It has a beautiful S-curve and I love to watch this thing sail. It has a comfortable grip and releases with ease. I’m a fan of the high-vis yellow color too as it makes this a good disc for late afternoon/sunset play. If I’ve got a little more room to play with on a fairway, I’ll reach for this driver. You’ll find this disc as well in my bag at all times.

Unless you’re a power thrower, I would try the D4 first in a weight that is close to what you normally throw. Both of these discs I have been very pleased with thus far in the month that I’ve had them. Haha now I don’t have big arms by any means, but I do throw hard. If you have the power arm to control these, hands down they’ll add a good bit more distance to your drives. Depending on the hole, I’ve noticed an average of 20-50 ft added onto my drives. Earlier this eve after work at Oregon Park, I threw my first ever 350+ drive with the D1. The glide and s-curve on it was amazing. And too, I’ve hit a few trees with them already and still show no signs of nicks or cuts into the plastic. Solid made. I truly think Prodigy has indeed put out a high quality product that was well worth the wait. No wonder some of disc golf’s top pros have left their previous sponsors to join Team Prodigy. I look forward to their midrange Spring release!

Where to Buy! (promo code):
You can click here to purchase the D1, or click here to purchase the D4. *Right now they’re giving our readers a discount on their orders which include a Prodigy disc – so be sure to use code “DogLegDG” when you checkout!

Thanks for reading and go buy you a Prodigy today!

-jt


Course Guide: Jones West, Emporia, KS

I’m really excited to share with you all the first of many photo-based course guides I plan on creating.  I got the idea to start these when I realized that many members of the Dogleg community would not have the opportunity to practice the courses for Amateur Worlds until they arrived for the competition.  Since Columbia (my hometown) is only 3.5 hours away and St. Louis (where I go to school) is only 5 hours away, I figured I was in a great position to help non-Midwestern disc golfers prepare for such a big event.

But, making a trip to Emporia was easier said than done.  I sat on the idea for a month or two before Adam and I decided Valentine’s Day weekend would be the best time for us to take a disc golf trip.  (Jealous?  Refer to my last post: Love Is In The Air.)  After a few near-death experiences caused by our failure to realize that some highways outside of Kansas City were icy, we made it safely to my first Emporia course:  Jones West.

According to Disc Golf Course Review, Jones West, an 18-hole par-54 course, was established in 1989.  The topography has some gentle hills, but is mostly flat.  After all, it is Kansas we’re talking about!  Trees—ranging from broad and branchy evergreens to skinny deciduous trunks—definitely factor into the strategy on this course, but not to the degree that it creates the feeling of playing in the woods.  There are two ponds on the course, which create water hazards on 5 holes.  Each hole has two different pin placements, red and blue, for the Mach 3 baskets.  (For more info:  http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=1403)

As with most other Midwestern courses, the difficulty will vary with different weather and seasonal conditions.  Wind wasn’t a huge factor the day we played, but I’ve heard it can be pretty extreme in Emporia (there was a tornado nearby during the weekend of the Glass Blown Open last year).  The seasonal changes to the course will be a little more predictable.  Just like anywhere else, in spring and summer trees will be thicker and have more leaves; in the fall and winter they’ll thin out and leave more gaps.  The size of the ponds will change depending on precipitation in the days and weeks before.  This will cause the water hazards to be more or less extreme on some holes.  (The water was pretty low when I took these pictures; there was a drought last summer, and the heavy snow didn’t hit until a few weeks later.)

After playing the course, we swung by the Dynamic Discs store and talked with Adam Searle.  He said that all of the courses in the area will be getting new tee signs before hosting Am Worlds.  (The ones they have at Jones West now are pretty nice, but several have been vandalized.  I edited most of the vandalism out in my pictures.)  As of my correspondence with Dynamic Discs on Thursday, I learned that Jones West will not be used for the Glass Blown Open this year, but it will be for Am Worlds.  They are in the process of finalizing which pin placements will be used for the tournament.

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Now that I have all the details out of the way, enjoy the pictures!

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Hole #1:  We played this hole in the red placement.  For those of you who have played at Jones before, you may notice that the giant tree in the middle of the fairway (the one on the tee sign) is no longer there, which makes the hole play out a lot easier.  Water shouldn’t affect you on this hole, even though it can be seen on the tee sign.  Scores: Emily 4, Adam 3

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Hole #2:  We played this hole in the red placement.  The road on the left is OB.  Scores:  Emily 5, Adam 2

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Hole #3:  We played this in the blue placement.  Righties, beware of the road that runs down the left of the fairway, it’s OB!  Scores:  Emily 5, Adam 4

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Hole #4:  We played this hole in the blue placement.  The fairway is gently sloped downhill.  When the pin is in the red placement, water may come into play.  Scores: Emily 7, Adam 3

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Hole #5:  We played this in the red placement.  Scores: Emily 4, Adam 5

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Hole #6:  Based on the pictures I took, I can’t remember which placement this hole was in.  Tee for this hole is right up next to the edge of the pond, whose width will vary depending on rainfall.  I didn’t quite have the distance or confidence to go across, so I played around it.  The top center picture shows the view from the pad.  The far right picture looks back at the pad from across the pond.  The picture across the bottom shows the length of the pond; you can see the tee pad on the left.  Scores: Emily 7, Adam 4

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Hole #7:  We played this in the red placement.  I didn’t get any pictures of this one because I ended up in the water (which shouldn’t typically happen for lefties, but I kept griplocking REALLY badly).  Water will come into play though for right-handed hyzer shots if they go too long.  Scores: Emily 5, Adam 3

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Hole #8:  We played this in the red placement.  Scores: Emily 6, Adam 3

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Hole #9:  We played this in the red placement.  The fairway is slightly downhill overall, with a drainage creek running across it.  There is a cluster of skinny trees surrounding the tee pad, and a few larger evergreens guarding the basket.  Scores: Emily 5, Adam 4

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Hole #10:  We played this in the blue placement.  The big tree on the tee sign that used to be in the fairway is gone.  It previously played as a mando, so the shot to the basket is significantly more open than it has been in the past.  Scores: Emily 5, Adam 3

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Hole #11:  We played this in the blue placement.  The fairway curves to the left for both placements.  The green slopes down then back up, creating a bit of a valley.  Scores: Emily 5, Adam 5

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Hole #12:  We played this in the red placement.  The right side of the fairway is lined with trees; the left side is relatively open.  The basket is within the treeline on the right, and is surrounded by trees on 3 sides.  Scores: Emily 6, Adam 3

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Hole #13:  We played this in the red placement.  The road on the right is OB.  You can see that it is roped off on the edge of the pictures; the ropes are a few feet from the edge of the road.  Scores: Emily 4, Adam 3

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Hole #14:  We played this in the red placement.  The basket is tucked between two evergreen trees, and behind a smaller tree.  Scores: Emily 3, Adam 3

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Hole #15:  We played this in the blue placement.  The road on the right of the hole is OB.  Past the evergreens on the left is wide open, in the event a shot doesn’t land in the fairway.  Scores: Emily 5, Adam 3

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Hole #16:  We played this in the blue placement.  I didn’t get any pictures of this hole because, for me, it was long and frustrating, and Adam’s shot didn’t turn over and landed in someone’s yard across the road.  Whoops!  Scores: Emily 9, Adam 3

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Hole #17:  We played this in the red placement.  There is OB on both sides of the fairway (road on the right, houses on the left).  Water comes into play for the blue placement, but not the red.  Scores: Emily 5, Adam 3

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Hole #18:  We played this in a special placement that is usually used for Hole #1; it goes all the way across the pond and rests on the edge instead of being on the left side of it, as is seen in the red and blue placements.  You can see the basket from the tee in the top picture, where it is to the right of the brown trees.  The water makes this placement especially difficult.  We learned from experience that, if faced with a difficult putt, it is vital to throw a shot that will not roll if it hits the ground.  I ended up 50+ feet from the basket more than once on a roll.  Also, for the blue placement, it may be important to know that the road is OB behind the tree line.  Scores: Emily 11, Adam 4


Our One Disc Challenge

The Intro:
A few weeks ago fellow Doglegger, Destin, casually mentioned that we should battle in a “one” disc round at one of the local parks sometime soon. I had heard of people playing rounds with one disc before, but just the thought of being limited to only one disc did not sound fun to me. Even though I don’t carry a plethora of discs, I do like having options for different shot types I encounter. I’m always up for a fun, friendly competition so I took Destin up on the challenge.

What disc should I actually choose?
I wouldn’t say that there’s one disc in my bag that I would truly consider my all-around go-to disc. I do have a few that I throw often for multiple shot types, but never considered them for every single shot. I figured I could at least choose from some of those as a starting point. I knew we had at least one normal full round before the challenge, so I would take that opportunity to test some of those discs out.

The Discs:
Some of the discs I tried out were my beat Innova Leopard, Discraft Zombee (2012 Ace Race disc), Discraft Buzzz, and my new MVP Vector. Here’s my little background history for each of the above mentioned discs:

Innova DX Leopard (weight = ~171g) – This is the oldest disc that I have. I’ve used this disc for several years now and have carried it in my bag ever since. If you guys have been following my posts, you know that I mention this disc a lot and actually putt with this thing instead of a true putter. From several years of throwing it, I seem to know its exact flight path for approach/putting. I’ll use it for anything under 150. It has become very understable over the years—especially at high speeds, so teeing off with this thing is out of the question. I also use this disc if I’m in the woods and need a good anhyzer disc to get around trees. This beat Leo has a wonderful, big s-curve at short distances when thrown at an anny.

Discraft Z-line Zombee (weight = 175-176g) – The first time playing with this disc was at my first Ace Race last summer. This 2012 Discraft Ace Race disc was recently named the Zombee. I immediately fell in love with this straight-gliding shooter with small fade at the end. It has a shallow rim and is cupped out making it easier to rest a finger on the outside of the grooved rim. This disc can really hold its line for me when thrown hard enough and finishes with a nice slight fade at the end. The longest approach/putt shot I’ve ever hit was made with this disc a few months ago at around ~125 ft. Still [knock on wood] no Ace to date, but the closest I’ve ever came to one was also with this disc from around ~180 ft that hit the center post and bounced back out of the front of the chains, AHH! During a normal round, this is my go-to midrange for shots 100-230 ft or so. I’ve never teed off with this disc on a hole further than 250, so not sure how well it flies at max potential/speed. I haven’t really found anything I dislike about this disc so far.

Discraft X Buzzz (weight = 175g) – I’ve heard and read rave reviews on Discraft’s line of Buzzzs, so I just had to get one and try it out. I got a great deal on one off eBay several months back. I’ve heard how well they hold their line and overall how great a midrange disc they are. I will break this disc out every once in awhile, but I’ll be honest and say that I still haven’t quite figured out its best characteristic. Maybe I should just use it more often to really give it a chance. I tend more to use this disc in practice or for ‘gimme’ shots when my game’s not on the line. But with having used that beat Leo and Zombee for most shots under 200, I haven’t found a good enough reason to switch to the Buzzz full-time yet. I am sure it really is a great disc though; I just need more practice with it. It does feel great in-hand and has that solid, sturdy feel to it.

MVP Vector (weight = 176g) – This is the newest disc in my arsenal and has already found a permanent spot in my bag. For a midrange, I can throw this bad boy further than any other midrange disc I own. I don’t know if you know, but MVP discs supposedly have GYRO™ technology which gives its flight path a more stable/balanced, accurate and consistent glide. The Vector is slightly overstable making it more wind resistance. I was surprised at the results the first day I took this disc to the course, for a midrange. If thrown at a little harder speed, it has a very long glide and little fade at the end. Depending on the type of terrain you’re playing, the Vector’s “grippy” rubber-like edge could prove beneficial. I find this disc to have less of a skip and more of a “magnetic” stop when it hits. It seems to grip better to the ground—great for approaches/putts.

The Fan Poll:
These four discs had their advantages and disadvantages on the course that day, so I was still unable to fully commit to any one disc right away. I thought to myself, Do I go with a driver that can get me further distances off the pad, but then suffer on putts because it’s overstable? or Do I go with a midrange and get less tee distance but comes with better chances of sinking approaches and putts? Ahh the decisions. So here’s what I did. I turned to our awesome fanbase (you guys) on both our @DoglegDiscGolf Twitter and Dogleg Facebook and posed the question, “If you had to play a full 18-hole round with only ONE disc, what type of disc would it be?” We received a lot of great response and I want to thank you guys for that! Here’s some of the responses…

Facebook Feedback:

Billy T. – Discraft XS
Trey P. – If the course is long a mid-range, Buzz. If the course is mostly shorter holes I’ve had success throwing my putter.
Manuel L. – A echo star boss
Dylan C. – Glow aviar putter!
Justin A. – MVP vector
Aaron M. – flat dx roc
Tommy J. – Valkyrie or a buzzz
Destin W. – Zombee!! (2012 Ace Race Disc)
Oscar J. – 173 medium neutron Ion – Yellow Green – my name and number on inside rim.
Alan M. – Boss 136g
Robert T. – i would use my trusty discraft buzz
Jeremiah B. – Definitely a Roc.

Twitter Feed:

@WolfPackDiscs – DX viper #innova #discgolf played many one disc challenges with it
@Restonification – Z Buzz. What else is there?
@MCW7979 – From what’s in my bag right now, my Star TeeBird.
@captain_jager – simple that would be a crisp wraith. You can do anything with that disc.
@BigAppleachia – My Lat64 AirSaint147. Its a driver w/glide does anything a mid can, and putts too! #discgolf
@Delt_Nikolas – Ti Buzzz. Buttery smooth.

Challenge Day:
The challenge day was finally here. This past Saturday, we met up at Oregon Park. It’s early afternoon and the temp’s barely breaking 40 (we live in the South now). Wind conditions looking less than favorable and peaking at 15-20+ mph wind gusts. Not exactly my ideal conditions for a first time, one-disc challenge. But lets do this!

After all the feedback from our followers, I decided to go with the one disc that received the most votes—the Buzzz. Heck I’ll give it a shot. My choice: 175g Discraft Buzzz, Destin’s choice: 169g Innova Star TL.
onedisc-both

For this one-disc round, we moved up to the shorter pads to better our Ace chances with the unruly wind conditions. I think we both had a rough start getting use to just throwing one disc and unsuccessfully controlling its inconsistent flight paths in the wind. Hole #1 was a downhill shot, which was a great way to start any round. Those downhill shots build confidence in your throws when you can easily go yard off the pad. Once we got past the first three holes out in the open, the course takes a turn for the woods. Shielded by tree lines from the wind, I did much better with my drives from there on out. The likeability of the Buzzz was growing on me when the wind no longer became a major factor. I was finally figuring out how to hold it and throw it further and further with a few minor hand adjustments.

Gotta love Georgia Pines…always making a mess and leaving tight shots. onedisc-OP16

“Needle”ss to say, it was a tight race throughout the round. Destin was on a high for beating me for the first time ever earlier that morning in a normal round. We were neck and neck until he birdied one late in the round, going one up. Then it came down to the final hole. Uphill into the crosswind. All I needed was a birdie and I could have tied it up…or he bogey..or even double. Nope, he got the best of that wind on that last hole. We both layed up close to the basket leaving for a short par toss each. Well-played Destin, well-played. [Below] Destin acting estactic as he pulled off back-to-back wins that day on me. First for both haha. Besides the wind, had a great day overall. Fun times. I call rematch.

onedisc-winning

Feel free to comment below with your One-Disc Challenge experiences and/or your favorite all-around discs. Enjoy! —jt


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dgNOMAD Glow Chains/Portable Disc Golf Glow Target Review by JT

Good evening!

Do you enjoy night disc golf? Have you ever wanted to get into night disc golf? Or do you simply wish you just had a super lightweight practice target that you could easily tote around and set up in minutes?

Just about everyone could use some practice on their short-game, right?

Well I might just have an idea—or solution if you will—if you answered “yes” to any of the above questions.

A few weeks ago I posted a teaser video for this upcoming review here on the blog. Let me just preface this by saying the filming of this 13 minute video review took longer than anticipated to cut, edit and produce the music track in it. But several weeks later and many late nights put into it, I can proudly say IT’S FINISHED!

Just in case you missed the teaser, the guys at dgNOMAD were grateful enough to send a set of their new UV Glow Chains for us to review right here on Dogleg. While I was at it, I also bought one of their Ultralight Portable UV Disc Golf Glow Targets to include in the review as well. Both of these products are awesome I must say!

OK enough of the suspense already, just watch the video review!

Once again, special thanks to Jeff at dgNOMAD for hooking us up and a BIG thanks to fellow Doglegger Justin for filming and producing this video. You guys rock!

To get your very own dgNOMAD Glow Chains or dgNOMAD Ultralight Portable Disc Golf Target, check them out at dgNOMAD.com. Tell them DoglegDiscGolf sent you! =)

-jt


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Prodigy D1 & D4 Review

Image I will use the post to drive more user feedback. Take my brief review with a grain of salt, as I was forced to play with my non-dominant hand… still recovering from shoulder surgery.

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Most, if not all, proto D1 & D4 discs currently come in max weight. The D1 is meant to be very fast and over stable, without the dreaded meat hook at the end. The flight path was narrowed significantly… reducing the side-to-side travel down the fairway.   The inner lip has been rounded as part of Prodigy’s patented Easy Release Technology. The easy release is meant to reduce both grip lock and blisters. (Soap Box Rant:  Innova’s most recent production of discs (late 2012) has a micro-bead on the inner lip that is extremely sharp and difficult to release.)

I am consistently getting more distance (20-40 ft) on every throw with both the D1 and D4. The D1 flies over stable, as intended. Prodigy claims the D1 flies well into a headwind as it does with a tailwind. I have yet to play in these conditions.

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The D4 is designed as a very fast, under stable driver. In my experience, this disc is not under stable. I would actually classify it as slightly over stable. Obviously, I am not getting a solid pop on my release, but I was expecting something along the lines of a fast Innova Roadrunner or Mamba (Definitely not the case).  I figure a 150 class disc will make the D4’s alleged under stability more apparent.

Overall I am happy with the purchase and look forward to throwing more Prodigy plastic. Both of these discs throw very well and get max-d with every toss.

What are your comments / reviews?

– Jeremiah


Golden Retriever, Not Always a Man’s Best Friend

Golden Retriever
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.

retriever
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. =)

retrieverdog
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”?

-jt


dgNOMAD UV Portable Target Review Teaser

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!

Enjoy!
-jt


Weekend Recap Part II: White Oak Park

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.]

Signature Hole #17 at White Oak Park. Yellow line indicates roughly a 180-200ft shot over the pond. Or take your chances on the blue line with a 380ft shot to the bank in front of the basket.

Signature Hole #17 at White Oak Park. Yellow line indicates roughly a 180-200ft shot over the pond. Or take your chances on the blue line with a 380ft shot to the bank in front of the basket.

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.

Destin launching a killer drive from atop Hole #8's elevated teebox area. Over the treetops.

Destin launching a killer drive from atop Hole #8’s elevated teebox area.

White Oak's Hole #17 — Looking back towards teebox.

White Oak’s Hole #17 — Looking back towards teebox.

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*To read Destin’s White Oak Review and his tips on adjusting your grip and disc weight for winter weather, click here.