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!
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Keep Your Putting Fresh With The Winter Marksman League

For so many of us, the winter months force us to take time off from one of our passions. Not only is it frustrating to choose between shivering throughout 18 holes or sitting at home, but our skills can certainly start to decline. After spending months perfecting your putting routine and or getting used to a new set of putters, wouldn’t you like to keep up your momentum all year long?

It’s with this sentiment in mind that we’ve developed the Winter Marksman League, a way for players across the world to stay sharp on the putting green and have some fun with their friends. With the ability to win prizes and a way to bring your disc golf community closer together, we’ve developed an easy to follow system for groups to enjoy.

How It Works

Running your own Winter Marksman League is pretty simple, and since registration just opened up on November 1st, you’ll want to make sure you submit all of your information sooner rather than later. Depending on the size of your league, you can choose from a range of packages, with varying quantities of Marksman baskets and 6 Winter Marksman League stamped Moonshine Maidens for each week’s winner. We also have Prime and Classic putter packs available to help offset the registration costs.

Leagues can begin as early as December 1st, with time to register until January 12th. All league play must conclude by March 3rd, giving people plenty of time to get a space secured and put the word out to their community!

Keeping Score

The Winter Marksman League has grown by leaps and bounds, and we are so excited to have partnered with UDisc in order to make statistic tracking available for all of our leagues. By implementing a global leaderboard system, you can see how your putting skills compare with your friends and family anywhere else in the world.

Not only do these stats help League Directors run their event smoothly and efficiently, but numbers generated from the 2017/2018 Winter Marksman League gave us some pretty exciting insight. Across the six week league, the results show that people not only maintained their putting ability but actually grew their skills.

Exciting News For This Season

Those who have participated in the Winter Marksman League in the past probably know how much fun it is, but the thought of competing against some of the best putters in the area may have been a little offputting for newer disc golf fans. This year we’ve changed that, as League Directors now have the opportunity to host multiple divisions!

Interested in running a Winter Marksman League of your own? Curious if there’s already one in your area? Visit our information section that details exactly how it works, allows you to look up currently registered leagues, and gives you the opportunity to register your own Winter Marksman League. There’s no reason that colder weather should keep you from improving upon your putting skills, so get some friends together and sign up today!
Friday, November 16, 2018

Paige Pierce Signs 3-year Contract with Dynamic Discs

Dynamic Discs is thrilled to announce a three-year extension with Paige Pierce! Pierce has been a dominant force in competitive disc golf since she won her first world title in 2011, collecting numerous wins including multiple major victories and three more FPO World Championships. Pierce has stated that her goal is to become the greatest female player to ever play disc golf, and we’re excited to partner with her into the future as she strives to achieve that goal!

About the extension, Pierce said, “Coming into each new year, we are faced with which direction we want to go with as a sponsored player, and this year was no different; that decision had to be made. Yeah, it was a very easy decision after a couple of conversations about what the future would hold for a DD/PP partnership moving forward.”

Pierce purchased her touring van (affectionately known as Vanna Kendrick) last year with Dynamic Discs’ support, and we hope that you’ll catch her at one of her tour stops and purchase one of her many fundraiser discs to show her your support! We’re proud of you, Paige!
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

2018 World Champion Paige Bjerkaas Signs Two-Year Agreement with Dynamic Discs

Dynamic Discs is excited to announce that we have reached an agreement with Paige Bjerkaas for the 2019 and 2020 seasons! Bjerkaas has played for Team Dynamic Discs since 2009 when she was in seventh grade, and she has collected multiple wins since, including the 2010 Junior World Championship. In 2018, Paige faced a difficult decision - return to Emporia State for the fall semester or stay out on the road for the remainder of the year. Ultimately, she chose to tour for the remainder of the year, and most would call it a life-changing decision, resulting in winning the FPO 2018 World Championship.

As you may have seen, Paige recently purchased a touring van with Dynamic Discs’ support, and we can’t wait to see how she thrives out on the road! About her upcoming seasons, Bjerkaas said, “I am excited to have the opportunity to represent Dynamic Discs in the best way that I can. Dynamic Discs has believed in me for many years, and I’m looking forward to making them proud while touring full-time!”

If you want to join us in supporting Paige, pick up one of her signature Fuzion Judges or special stamps now, or you can grab a Lucid-X Getaway in 2019. We’re proud of you, Paige!
Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Brains Behind Some Of Your Favorite Gear - Let's Get To Know Kevin Shaffer

At Dynamic Discs, we often refer to our players as part of a big family, but beyond just those talented athletes, the employees who help our company to grow are just as important. To honor those individuals who spend so much of their time devoted to providing the disc golf world with amazing products and service, we’re starting a new blog series.

Each post will focus solely on one of our awesome employees and help us to get to know them a little bit better. We’ll share how they got started working at DD and the ways in which they help to grow the sport when they’re both on and off the clock. Our inaugural post highlights one of many people who work tirelessly to create awesome disc stamps, apparel, and so much more - graphic designer Kevin Shaffer.

It Must Have Been Fate

Kevin almost didn’t end up working for Dynamic Discs, but a strange turn of events has kept him here for nearly four years. Attending college for graphic design, he applied for a design position just after graduation. What happened afterward can only be described as comical:

“I initially turned down the DD job once I got it because I had plans to move back home to Colorado in the next few months. I ended up calling back the next day and they said that I should just try it out and see if I liked it, so I did. Turns out, it was the best decision for me and I couldn't imagine my life without DD. I also know there are plenty of people out there who would think I was crazy for turning a job at DD down, but I did! I am glad I ended up accepting it the next day though!”

By taking a chance and trying something new, Kevin has been able to be an instrumental part of so many of the designs you’ve seen across the world. He works on disc stamps, posters, apparel, and signage and always feels great knowing that his professional work can help players to elevate the events they run.

Beyond The Office

As you’d imagine, Shaffer has a passion for disc golf and when he’s not designing your next favorite graphic, he’s working just as hard to spread information about the sport to others. He explained, “I like to grow the sport by talking about it to people who don't know what it is. I like describing all the different things each disc can do as it flies. I also like to show people videos of the top pros playing tournaments to show the legitimacy of disc golf and the wide range of skill levels that can play.”

The crew at Dynamic Discs is fortunate to have Kevin as a part of our team, not only because of his incredible graphic design skills but because of his dedication to growing disc golf in every way he can. The next time you’re running an event and want professional and unique graphics to bring it up a level, keep Kevin and DD in mind!
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Jeremy Rusco Returns To Hometown Great Bend, Kansas

Returning to your birthplace after being away can carry all sorts of emotions and memories, but returning home to be honored is something special. On October 23rd, Jeremy Rusco returned to his hometown of Great Bend, Kansas to be honored as a speaker in the INSPIRE Speaker Series at the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce. Rusco outlined his journey as a kid from Great Bend to an entrepreneur selling discs as a hobby to owning and operating Dynamic Discs, which employs over 50 people in Emporia, KS.

The momentous trip didn’t stop there, however, as Rusco and other Dynamic Discs staff members Eric McCabe, Bobby Brown, and Robert McCall moved to the newly re-designed disc golf course at Veterans Memorial Park. The Great Bend Recreation Center hosted an afternoon re-opening of the disc golf course with a putting contest, long drive contest, clinic, and mini-tournament. Course re-designer Eric McCabe showed players around the new layout which now features red Dynamic Discs Veteran baskets.

This brief trip shows how important and easy it can be to grow disc golf in your area!

You can also read more about this event in the Great Bend Tribune here.