Thursday, January 3, 2019

A New Year And A New Mindset

It’s official - 2019 is upon us and many of us probably have our fair share of New Year’s resolutions that we’re trying to stick to. Whether it’s exercising more, eating better, or promising ourselves we’ll quit a nasty habit, there’s no better time than now to make some impactful changes in your life. You might be using an app or a wall calendar to track your progress and you’re ready to see your goals through to the end of the year and beyond.

Your disc golf game is no exception to this idea of resolutions, and while we can decide to buckle down and create practice routines more regularly or commit to spreading the sport in our hometown, it’s all too easy to get distracted. So how exactly can you create and stay on track with your disc golf goals this year? Here are a few ideas worth considering.

Accountability Matters

If you’ve ever tried to start a new workout routine or even a different diet, you may have been faced with the choice of whether to create a group that keeps each other accountable or not. The same idea can translate over to disc golf and can take many different forms. Perhaps you meet others regularly for practice putting after work or you Skype with friends to discuss the rounds you played each week - what’s important is that you commit to your goals because other people are counting on you.

Rather than creating a specified accountability group, some players have opted to use social media as a way to stick to their goals. Already this year we’ve seen new Instagram accounts being created just to highlight one’s improvement over the course of the year, and you could even create a Facebook athlete page that documents how you’ve carried out your 2019 resolutions.

Making A Difference

Beyond simply aiming to improve upon your own game, playing more tournaments, or promising to watch more live coverage over the course of the season, one of the best types of goals to create is one that focuses on growing the sport. Disc golf is huge compared to ten years ago, but it’s not going to continue to expand unless people like you make the effort.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to #growthesport, but above all else your desire and commitment are crucial. Consider hosting a free clinic to introduce disc golf to your neighbors or contact local groups to see if a disc golf day would be an enriching activity that’s of interest. Volunteering to clean your area’s courses or even stepping up once tournaments get up and going to help relieve some stress off of a TD’s shoulders are also great ways to contribute.

We’ve only just begun this new year so it’s not too late to make some disc golf resolutions that are worth keeping. Whether it’s a small goal like simply getting to the course more regularly or you have your sights set high on raising your rating by a certain amount, let’s make 2019 the year that disc golf continues to reach people across the world.
Monday, December 31, 2018

Preparing For 2019 - Elements To Consider Besides Just Touring

The idea of planning for the upcoming season is one that’s been talked about over and over again, and by now you’re probably well aware of all of the things you need to consider. From carefully crafting your schedule to ensuring you have places to stay, traversing the nation to play disc golf is no small task. However, there’s more to life on the road than just driving and competing.

Unless you’ve got a huge wad of cash in your bank account, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to think about supplementing your income while on the road. While it’s a nice idea to think that you can maintain your cash flow by winning tournaments, that kind of pressure will eventually burn you out. Instead of relying on a solid performance weekend in and weekend out, what else can you do?

Teaching Disc Golf

If you’re on tour then we can assume that you’re exceptionally skilled at the sport we all know and love, making you pretty darn qualified to teach others how to play. There’s still time left before the season really gets into high gear for you to be able to coordinate clinics and events that line up with your touring schedule, so consider if this may be the right move for you.

Not only does running clinics help to pay the bills, but it strengthens your relationships with players and clubs across the country. You’ll help to grow your personal brand and of course, spread the disc golf love even further than you thought possible. Given that there's not a tournament taking place all 52 weekends of the year, you'll likely be able to fit some teaching time in pretty easily.

Considering Merch

Nowadays we see tons of players opting to get custom discs, apparel, and accessories made with their name, face, or brand on them. While opinions can be somewhat polarized on this issue, there’s no denying that jumping onto the merch train does have its benefits. Think about the fact that you could be selling items online and making money while you’re on the course and see if it changes your mind.

However there are several major issues to consider when it comes to this type of situation, and while there’s still time to place an order for items before you hit the road, think about how you’ll replenish your stock and more specifically, where you’ll ship it to. The idea of carting around extra items isn’t always ideal either, especially if you have a smaller tour vehicle. Between online sales and setting up shop at events, you’ll probably do pretty well for yourself, but remember there’s the initial cost of ordering product before you start to see a return.

Creative Thinking

These are just two of the more popular ways that touring pros can make extra money while on the road during the 2019 season. While it’s obviously impossible to keep a part-time job if you’re on an extensive travel schedule, try considering some other more creative ways to keep the cash coming in while you play.

If you’ve been on tour before we’d love to hear from you - have you hosted clinics or tried selling merch? Did you have a lot of success or were the logistics of it too difficult to manage? Feel free to share with us in the comments below.
Friday, December 28, 2018

The Future Is Bright For UPlayDG - Here's Part 2 Of Their Story

As if playing across the nation in some of the sport’s most prestigious events wasn’t enough, both Zoe Andyke and Dustin Keegan have spent enormous amounts of time building their nonprofit UPlayDG. With a mission to teach disc golf to students all over the United States, and eventually the world, they’ve spent every ounce of their non-touring time creating a system that will be instrumental in growing our sport.

Some unusual things happened in 2018 that may have at the time felt like monumental challenges for the UPlayDG team, but toward the end of the season, the stars aligned for Zoe and Dustin in a big way. Let’s check out what’s in store for 2019 and see just how impactful of an organization UPlayDG is going to become.

Juggling The Tour

The 2018 season started like most others for Zoe and Dustin with big plans to hit the road and kill it at events all across the United States. However, running a nonprofit from the road is a pretty tall task, and what may have seemed frustrating at the time turned out to be a major win. Zoe explains how things unfolded:

“The story of this year was Zoe pulling herself off tour and telling Dustin good luck on tour because she’s trying to build a nonprofit. I had the best year of my life on tour while we were touring, yet also worked harder than we ever have before. I would’ve accidentally stopped my personal and professional life to run toward this nonprofit life and was organically forced to go back on tour and essentially halt UPlayDG operations.”

Once things settled down a bit back in their home base of Eugene, Oregon, Zoe was able to rejoin Dustin on tour for the last few months of the season. “Magic happened while we were on tour from August to October. We were networking and found ourselves in unbelievably special and opportune spots and in front of opportune people to help us strategically grow our nonprofit,” she said.

What’s In Store?

Plans for next year are already in full swing, and while we can’t reveal the specific details just yet, there are some exciting items in the works. The team will kick things off in January in California with a workshop that’s designed to really take their teaching curriculum to the next level. The goal is to standardize their system in full so that schools will have a formal application process to complete before Zoe and Dustin head out.

Other highlights of the coming year include a major collaboration with notable disc golfers in Canada as well as plans to join forces with some well-known Estonian players and instructors. With all of this in store, plus going on tour, Zoe and Dustin also hope to reach at least 10 different schools over the course of the year.

Keep in mind, it takes an immense amount of time and dedication to spread the sport of disc golf to students worldwide, and if you feel called to help, visit the UPlayDG Donate section of the website. We’re excited to see Zoe and Dustin excel this year both on and off the course!
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Dynamic Christmas

A Dynamic Christmas
By Brent Sickel #54924

‘Twas the night before the Christmas Open, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The bags were all hung by the front door with care,
In hopes that tournament day soon would be there.
The golfers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Ace-Runs danced in their heads.
And my wife in her DD hoodie, and I in my Dynamic cap
Had just settled down for our pre-tournament nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew to get proof;
Tore open the shutters to see the truth.
The moon was reflecting off the new-fallen snow
Giving a luster of midday to the basket below.
When what do my suspecting eyes did appear,
But a commander bag packed with eight discs in pair.

There was a little old golfer throwing so lively and quick;
I knew in a moment he must be the disc golfing St. Nick.
More rapid than EMac his practice putts they came,
Then he looked in his bag and called each disc by name.
Lucid Trespass and Felon, Fuzion Captain and Defender;
Bio Witness and Justice, Classic Warden and Slammer.
From inside the circle to the chains of the basket you fall,
Now fly away, fly away, fly away all.
Friday, December 14, 2018

What Has UPlayDG Been Up To? Here's Part 1 Of The Action

Earlier this year we had the chance to chat with DD team members Dustin Keegan and Zoe Andyke, the brains behind one of disc golf’s most exciting non-profits, UPlayDG. The two of them, together with a talented set of board members, have created the structure to implement a unique disc golf curriculum in schools across the country. From teaching youngsters all the way to seniors in high school the basics of the sport, Zoe and Dustin have been quite busy balancing this work with their touring schedule.

As the year is about to close, UPlayDG is embarking upon one of their most important events yet - a fundraising push to make 2019 even bigger and better than ever before! In Part 1 of this double feature, we’re going to spend some time exploring what the group accomplished this year and how you can contribute to their cause.

Behind The Scenes

Running any sort of organization is a time-consuming and challenging task, and when you’re looking at everything that’s involved in maintaining a non-profit, it’s shocking to realize just how much these two got done over the year. Despite touring extensively across the nation, Zoe and Dustin have held 11 board meetings this year and completed a board retreat, bringing together everyone from across the country to flesh out the future of UPlayDG.

One of the many realizations that came from these meetings is that there’s a need to modify their current plan. From 2016 to the present, Zoe and Dustin have documented over 10,000 instruction hours and in many cases, this time has been completely voluntary. Zoe goes on to explain where the group is headed:

“I built a nonprofit so that I could survive for the rest of my life on teaching and growing disc golf in a really special way. Now that I’ve built the system and the wheel, I’ve turned it into a real process. We’ve put it through the test of many other professional minds and through business meetings, and got to the place where we realized that the wheel I built wasn’t going to be sustainable at the rate we were doing it, for the cost we were doing it.”

How Can We Help?

Let’s be clear here - UPlayDG’s mission to spread the sport of disc golf to kids everywhere is not about making money, and anyone who knows Zoe and Dustin can tell you that firsthand. However, everyone has bills to pay and if the nonprofit can partner with schools in such a way to where it’s affordable for all, that’s obviously a win-win situation.

During this month, however, disc golf fans around the world can play their part in helping UPlayDG to reach more students than ever before. They are holding a fundraiser for the entire month of December, and if you donate, you may end up getting some pretty sweet gifts. A $25 donation gets you a UPlayDG mini, and $50 also gets you a disc. For a $100 donation, you’ll receive a mini and a disc signed by both Zoe and Dustin, and $250 earns you the signed set plus a presence on the UPlayDG website if you so desire.

If you feel called to help support this incredible team in their mission to spread disc golf, visit the Donate section on their website. You can also help every time you place an order on Amazon by visiting first and selecting UPlayDG as your nonprofit. Check out Part 2 and learn more about what’s in store for 2019!
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hockey And Disc Golf? Let's Learn More About DD Team Member Casey DeSmith

You may remember a picture that went viral a few months ago within the disc golf world, as Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith was seen with a disc golf basket on his helmet. Although he’s only been throwing discs for about three years, his love for the sport grew instantly and was so strong that he just had to represent it on the ice.

Casey is now a part of the Dynamic Discs family and we spent some time getting to know a little more about his disc golf game, what he loves to throw and where, and how disc golf has helped him on the ice.

An Instant Obsession

Disc golf fans everywhere can thank Casey’s Uncle Matt for introducing him to the sport, as a YouTube video search gone wrong brought about a pretty incredible set of events. While searching online for something related to mini golf, Uncle Matt came across disc golf and thought it looked fun. He paid Casey a visit and the two of them, along with Casey’s dad, went out to purchase a few discs.

“From the moment I first tried it, I thought ‘I need to be good at this.’ It was the perfect sport for me. We played four rounds in one weekend,” Casey shared. Like so many others, the disc golf bug hit him hard and fast. This love for the game is what led him to include a disc golf basket on his helmet, and once that news spread across the internet, he started fielding calls from disc golf companies who wanted to sponsor him.

The Disc Golf Link

It’s obvious that DeSmith is a natural athlete, but how does he manage to stay sharp on the ice and also keep his disc golf skills in check? His goal during 2018 was to play at least one event, which he did at the Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open and placed 35th out of 48 in the Open field. In 2019, he hopes to work a few more tournaments into his schedule.

Casey notes there’s a mental edge that disc golf has provided him, one that he finds himself turning to when on the ice, “When I go out and play disc golf if I’m playing poorly, managing frustration and staying focused is important. It’s the same concept where if a goal or two goes in, how do you not let it get out of control?”

What’s Next?

When he’s not playing hockey, Casey loves to visit Maple Hill, Salmon Falls DGC in his hometown of Rochester, New Hampshire, and Moraine State Park in Portersville, PA. You can find him almost always bagging his three favorite discs: the Enforcer, an EMAC Truth, and the Warden. With an upcoming wedding in the summer of 2019 and a busy training schedule with the Penguins, you can bet that Casey will still be out on the course improving upon his disc golf skills.

So far it’s been awesome to have him as a part of the DD family, especially since his love for the game is so apparent, “[Getting sponsored] was very unexpected. I didn’t put the disc golf basket on my mask to try to get sponsored, I just love the sport and wanted people to know about it.” Thanks for spreading the disc golf love Casey and we look forward to seeing what 2019 brings!
Friday, December 7, 2018

Then Vs Now: How Technology Has Shaped Disc Golf As We Know It

Depending on your age, this article may mean different things to you. Players who read this and are still in high school only know about the world of live tournament broadcasting and being able to interact with your favorite players on social media while more experienced lovers of the game remember when tutorials on YouTube weren’t even a thing.

The ways in which technology has shaped us as a whole are pretty incredible, but even when you zoom in and look at disc golf specifically, the resources we have now have played a major role in the development of the sport. Don’t think so? Let’s look at just a few examples.

Better Event Promotion

Back in the 1970s, disc golf tournaments were advertised through paper flyers and word of mouth. That’s it - no social media channels to post on and no way to text all of your friends about the next big event. Back then, it was crucial for disc golf clubs to have impeccable communication not only within their own group but with neighboring associations as well.

Anyone who has run an event in recent years knows that the tools of online promotion, registration, and the dissemination of schedules are pretty easy compared to how it used to be. Not only can we offer tournaments with greater frequency, but we’re also able to more easily team up with sponsors to make sure they’re a success.

Changing Your Game

Imagine how good of a disc golfer you’d be in 2019 if there was no such thing as the internet. The discs you purchase would be solely based off of word of mouth opinions, and the ways in which you play would be strongly influenced by those around you. There’s something to be said for the simplicity of a time gone by, but how much better could pros back in the day have become if they would’ve had more tech?

Nowadays, a brand new disc golfer has almost too much information at their disposal. From a plethora of disc reviews to countless videos demonstrating various forms and techniques, anyone can pick up the sport easily and have a decent amount of success.

The Ultimate In Enjoyment

How did players learn about new courses in their area and beyond back before the internet days? You guessed it - word of mouth once again. Three hours away from you, lovers of the sport may have been working to install several new layouts and you’d never know unless you hopped in the car and went for a drive. Those interested in watching bigger events had to either visit the tournament in person or simply hear about it from friends.

With the implementation of tools like UDisc and additional course review websites, you can learn specifics about courses that are thousands of miles away. Let’s not overlook the importance of both live and post-produced tournament coverage as well, a feature that’s really helped to push the sport in front of more eyes than ever before.

When you think about it, the spirit behind disc golf has pretty much stayed the same over the last several decades, but the ways in which we engage with it are so different now. Is it better? Do these tools really help us? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Plan For Your Holiday Season With Dynamic Discs

We can’t believe it’s that time again - it seems as if the moment Halloween decorations come down, holiday decor is already up! Some wait until after Thanksgiving to deck their halls, but there’s no denying that savvy shoppers are already starting to think about their gift list. If you procrastinated last year or simply had no idea what to buy some of your closest friends, we have a few ideas for you.

Last year we featured a lot of smaller items that you can buy as stocking stuffers, including minis, apparel, and gift cards for those who are slightly pickier. This year, we’re focusing solely on plastic as we have some pretty unique options for the disc golfers in your life.

Taking Custom To A New Level

While this probably toes the line between an appropriate holiday gift and something that’s awesome for your next tournament, we figure it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. After all, when you understand how much time and energy goes into running an event, anything that others can do to help is like a gift in and of itself.

Dynamic Discs recently announced on our Facebook page the new Custom Run program, which allows you to take your tournament discs to another level. This program is designed to better support your event or even a personal business by helping you to create and promote a unique new product. This allows your local disc golf scene to better market your brand through the design of really awesome discs. If you’re interested in the Custom Run program, and perhaps want to give the gift of discs to your loved ones, contact us on Facebook.

Your Face… On A Disc

Have you ever wondered how so many people seem to throw DD plastic that has some crazy stuff on it? Whether it’s a picture of someone’s face, a beloved pet, or just a super cool design, our DyeMax program has been able to help you express yourself through your discs for years. While we have come up with some really cool designs that are ready to purchase, we also encourage you to design something that’s all your own.

In most instances, our team can convert your image on to a disc in as little as 48 business hours, but we don’t advise that you wait until the last minute to place your order either. Shopping on December 23rd isn’t great for anyone, right? It pays to plan ahead, so make sure to carefully read all of the requirements before placing your DyeMax order.

Discs for the holidays is always a good idea, and whether you’re in need of a gag gift for a white elephant exchange or you want to design something that’s meaningful for your special someone, both of our custom programs are ready to make your dreams a reality. Don’t forget to buy a little something for yourself as well, and make sure to check out everything in the Dynamic Discs store for additional gift ideas!
Thursday, November 29, 2018

An Amazing Ambassador For Am Players - We Caught Up With DD Team Member Marcus Rawls

Photo: Conrad Meyer Photography
All too often, people imagine that you have to be a full-time touring player who’s rated over 1000 to be a part of the Dynamic Discs family. While we certainly have some of the sport’s most skilled players as a part of our team, we recognize talent everywhere. Plenty of amateur players make up our DD family, including Marcus Rawls, a passionate disc golfer from Larkspur, Colorado.

Marcus has had a great 2018 season and we took some time to catch up with him, learning a bit more about his go-to discs, his most memorable win, and how he seamlessly integrates disc golf into his life.

Sweet, Sweet Redemption

Marcus started playing disc golf on a 9 hole course at a local camp, Ponderosa, and was introduced to the game by friends of his. While he just so happens to run this camp as well, Marcus fell in love with the sport through playing tag matches and tournaments. His first competitive event, the MHDGC Spring Fling in 2015, found Rawls in a playoff for first in the Recreational division. He gave it his all, but came up short and ended in second.

This year, he competed in the MA40 division and was able to capture the win, making this event one of his highlights of the season. He’s also taken home several other top finishes in 2018, including the GBO Flex Start C-Tier at Peter Pan Park, his favorite course.

Is Disc Golf Life?

Integrating recreational activities into one’s life can always be a challenge, but Marcus knows exactly how to get the most out of it, “Balance is all about taking care of priorities. My faith comes first, my wife second, family third, then my job, and disc golf after that.” Although it may seem low on the list, Marcus is still a very active part of the DD team, noting that his friendship with Doug Bjerkaas helped him to get more involved:

“The last two years we have been able to bring The Colorado Crew to GBO and volunteer for whatever Doug throws at us as well as partner with Eagles Wings Chapel services. Back home in Colorado, I am able to host a putting league for Pikes Peak Flyers DGC, the Line in the Pines at Ponderosa tournament in May, and the Winter Warriors in November for MHDGC. I try to help local clubs in any way I can as well as teach disc golf at camp.”

Rawls certainly focuses on his own game too, and with the most recent rating update showing a 10-point move up from last time, he’s excited about what 2019 has in store. His tools of the trade? His go-to putter is the Marshal, although he may rotate between Classic, Classic Soft, and Classic Super Soft. He loves the Latitude 64 Zion as well as the Ballista Pro to get distance off the tee box.

Marcus is a wonderful addition to the DD team and shows Amateur players everywhere that you too can become super involved in the sport on both a local and national level. “It has been a true joy to be a part of Team DD. It's like being part of a great family,” he says.
Thursday, November 22, 2018

Lodging While On Tour - What Are Your Options?

Whether you’re taking a few months off from disc golf or you’re going strong through the winter season, there’s no denying that some of 2019’s biggest events are literally just around the corner. Many of the sport’s top players are already registered for The Las Vegas Challenge, and much of the housing in Emporia is already filled up for next year’s GBO.

For those who are just now trying to plan their tour for next year, how do you know where to stay, what prices you should be looking for, and how to navigate this part of your tour in general? We’re here to help, so let’s check out the many ways you can approach lodging while on tour.

Comfort And Convenience

You may not see it as a popular option, but believe it or not, there are tons of hotels, motels, and Airbnb’s across the nation. Some of them are more stripped down and practically only offer a bed and a roof over your head, while others like an Airbnb have a full kitchen, backyard, and more. The tricky thing about utilizing these options comes with price and availability.

If you’re going to be on tour for several months and plan on this type of lodging the entire time, your bank account is going to be drained fairly quickly. Even the cheapest motel rooms may be up to $50 per night, so when you multiply that by 60 or 90 days on the road, you’ll end up spending a small fortune.

Many players opt to share a larger Airbnb and split the cost which can certainly help, but for larger events across the nation, homeowners sometimes inflate their prices intentionally because they know the demand will be so high.

Roughing It

The summer months do offer some reprieve as many players look to campsites as their place to stay. Again this does come at a cost, not only to rent your spot for the night but will include an initial investment of gear if you don’t already have it. While you may be able to feel more in touch with nature, camping while on tour can get old and of course is completely reliant on the weather.

If you want to opt for the cheapest option around, crashing on the floor or couch of other disc golfers is the way to go. Obviously, this won’t always be possible, especially if you’re staying in a town where you don’t know anyone, and sleeping on something that’s not a bed will start to affect your body after a while.

Other Options

We’ve seen our fair share of players opt for van or RV life as of late, and while this is probably the best touring option when it comes to lodging, when was the last time you had the money to finance or even rent this large of a vehicle? Again, you may think about pitching in with friends to offset the costs, but remember that there’s not as much room inside of those vehicles as you may think.

We want to hear from you - how do you approach your lodging plans during tour? What tricks or tips have you uncovered to make it more affordable? Let us know in the comments below!