Friday, August 16, 2019

Spreading The Word Locally - How To Promote Disc Golf In The Media

One of the main messages that people in the disc golf community promote regularly is trying to get more people involved in the sport. Whether it’s an effort to drum up participants for a local clinic or wanting to get spectators to come out to a large event, there’s always a push to expose as many people as possible to this wonderful game we’ve fallen in love with.

Many times these efforts are successful, as the use of social media has allowed people to spread the message much farther than ever before. Between online event posting sites, word of mouth, and even relying on using good old fashioned posters, it seems like you’d have your bases covered, right?

Additional Opportunities

We’re often so quick to turn to social media as a way to promote disc golf that we forget about the other type of media that’s out there. More “traditional” methods of communication including newspaper and radio are still alive and well, providing a great place to inform your community about the event you’re hosting.

Just recently, we had several DD team members on the local station in Emporia, KVOE, to discuss Junior Worlds and all that it entails. While a huge event like this is certainly ideal for additional media exposure, it’s not required in order for your local media outlets to give you some airtime or a spot in the paper.

Where To Begin?

The idea of having your C-tier or after school clinic featured in the media might seem like a pretty tall task, and for some, it could be pretty intimidating. First, remember that the people on the radio or the ones writing the articles are just like you - they’re dedicated to the community and want to expose residents to new and exciting activities.

It might sound too easy, but all you really have to do is reach out to the town newspaper or radio station and have a friendly conversation with them. Tell them a little bit about disc golf, the event you’re having, and how it’s great for the community. If you need to, make yourself some notes and practice your pitch a little bit first, because the goal is to get them interested enough to actually report on your event.

Prepare For The Best

How often do you scroll through social media and stop when you see someone sharing a clip about disc golf from their local news station? It doesn’t happen nearly as often as we’d all like it to, so when it does, it’s a major event. Consider just how many more people you could add to your disc golf community with the simple act of getting some coverage from local media - not only would your tournament likely see more competitors but you may even have greater success in getting businesses to donate prizes. Local government may be more keen to hear proposals for new courses if they have seen disc golf featured in a positive light and ultimately, disc golf will touch the lives of many thanks to your efforts.

Have you gotten disc golf featured in your town’s newspaper or on the radio before? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments below!
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Ins And Outs Of Disc Golf Clubs Part 6 - Bringing It All Together

If you thought setting up a disc golf club was easy, think again - there’s a reason we’ve devoted time and attention to this process across six separate blogs. In this final installment of our latest blog series, we’re going to take a look at some of the final considerations that every club member should keep in mind. From being able to partner with your city government to taking an analytical approach to the people in charge, there’s a ton of moving parts in any disc golf club!

  • Divide and conquer - If your club becomes so large that you don’t think you can handle it, consider breaking tasks up across various groups of people and reach out to those who can help to integrate solutions. Latitude 64 player Luke Wessel explained that their huge club has had to get creative: “Because of [our] massive size, we have a group of league directors that help out with different areas such as scoring, treasury, websites, and more. We still remain one of the most played leagues in Minnesota and currently are working with the city on expanding the course to accommodate the traffic!”
  • Make friends with the city - Anyone who has tried to install or expand a course knows that unless you have city officials on your side, you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle. Chris Eads, part of the DD team, gave us his advice on the matter: “When seeking new courses one thing we always provide is the labor to install the course, helping to lower the cost of the installation to the city or county. And we now have multiple courses where our target audience is the youth - cities love to hear that each course has a different audience it targets.”
  • Don’t play favorites - A disc golf club sounds like a great way to make a difference with your best friends, but keep in mind that your team should function more like a small business rather than a fraternity house. Ray Woodruff, President of the Mile High Disc Golf Club, offers some sage wisdom: “Gather your board together, these should not just be your friends with the same opinions; you want differing opinions, sit down and take your time. Remember why you want to start a new club - think about what you want to accomplish this year, next year, and 5 years down the road.”
  • Think outside the box - Your club doesn’t have to function in a specific way, as Dynamic Discs player Jake Key quickly discovered. “A lot of colleges don’t offer disc golf but when the course is on school property - how can I get them to the course?” he asked himself. The solution? “I set up a box of rental equipment and left it at hole one.” People signed out the discs they used during a 12 week league period and Jake got to expose tons of people to the sport.

Each disc golf club will bring its own unique challenges and opportunities to the table, so while it’s important to consider everything we’ve discussed in the last six blogs, remember that what works for one group may not work for the rest. If you’ve recently started a club in your area, comment below and tell us about your goals for the rest of the season!
Friday, August 9, 2019

The Ins And Outs Of Disc Golf Clubs Part 5 - More Money, More Problems?

If you’ve been following along with our blog series that outlines how to start and run a disc golf club, you’re probably pretty motivated to get things moving! So far, we’ve covered everything from the initial stages of getting your club going to some of the finer details concerning what you’re actually supposed to do at each meeting you hold.

However, like any good organization, you won’t get very far without financial support. In Part 5 of The Ins And Outs Of Disc Golf Clubs, we’re going to explore all things related to money and find out just how important this piece of the puzzle truly is.

Who Keeps The Cash?

Even if your disc golf club consists of members that you’ve known for decades, figuring out who actually hangs onto the money you raise can become a bit of a challenge. Many people don’t want to take on that level of responsibility, and one look at news headlines will prove just how easy it is for people in positions of power to take advantage of financial access.

So, who gets to keep the cash? We’ve received some great advice so far from Ray Woodruff, President of the Mile High Disc Golf Club in Denver, CO, and his wisdom extends into this all-important area:

“If you can wait for nonprofit status to be blessed by the IRS, wait for your Federal EIN before opening a bank account so that one person from the board isn’t left holding the financial baggage of the club if anything goes wrong. It does help to have a board member that knows finances, but this can be outsourced should you need it.”

Keep in mind that if your club gets large enough, it will operate much like its own small business, and it would be unfortunate for one person to be left financially liable should anything go amiss.

Raising And Using The Money

While having a huge balance in the bank account is certainly a sign of success, how does a club get to that point and then what can the money actually do for you? Latitude 64 team member Luke Wessel, who offered some insightful ideas in Part 4 of the series, shared that his group holds raffles and sells both discs and shirts to raise money for their various goals.

As a member of the Western Arkansas Flying Disc Association, Chris Eads offers a lot of insight as to how financial matters can positively affect one’s disc golf community:

“One thing we have always done is to raise money through raffles and disc sales for charities like EDGE (Education Disc Golf Experience) that helps grow disc golf in our state at the youth level. As far as raising funds for events and new course development - this is one of the hardest things to do and something every club struggles with. We do tee sign sales for both day of events and year-round permanent signs. This helps with course improvements.”

We still have a few more topics to tackle, so make sure to check back in to learn more about how to start and grow a successful disc golf club in your area!
Monday, August 5, 2019

Dynamic Discs Month In Review - July 2019

Dynamic Discs employees and fans are often asked, “Which of your discs are the most popular?” We tend to think that we know the answers, but some of our ideas may or may not be biased depending on our personal favorites. It’s time to put all that speculation to rest with some COLD, HARD FACTS. It’s time for the Dynamic Discs Month In Review.

Some discs may appear twice or more because of different plastic types. Here are July's top sellers:

  1. Tournament Gatekeeper
  2. Retro Keystone
  3. Lucid Vandal
  4. Fuzion Raider
  5. Lucid EMAC Truth
  6. Opto River
  7. Prime Burst Judge
  8. Lucid Trespass
  9. Prime Burst Escape
  10. Prime Judge
  11. Opto Explorer
  12. Opto Ballista Pro
  13. Lucid Escape
  14. Classic Burst Judge
  15. Lucid Justice
  16. Lucid Renegade
  17. Prime Burst Trespass
  18. Classic Blend Burst Judge
  19. VIP Underworld
  20. Classic Blend Judge

The Trilogy Challenges discs remain atop July’s list, but the Fuzion Raider is creeping in on them. The Lucid EMAC Truth and Justice were the only midranges to make the list, and the River, Escape, and Underworld are proving that slightly to very understable fairway drivers will always be popular. The Judge appears on July’s list 5(!) times in different plastics, and as a Warden thrower, I (Robert) would just like to implore all Warden throwers: Buy more Wardens. We can’t be bested like this again. The Trespass, Ballista Pro, and Renegade round out the distance drivers, while the Explorer retains the stable fairway driver spot on the list and in people’s hearts.

Thanks for joining us in looking at a snapshot of our best sellers. Which discs are you surprised to see off the list? Leave a comment below, and let us know why your favorite disc should make August’s Month in Review!
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Is More Always Better? When It Comes To Course Length, Maybe Not

For most of us, heading out to play a round of disc golf entails a journey across 18 holes. Sometimes, if we have the time and energy, two rounds make it into our day but very rarely do people play fewer than 18. Admit it - if you had the chance to choose between this “standard” length course compared to one that’s only 9 holes, which would you choose?

Although some might look at a 9-hole course and assume it doesn’t have much to offer, there are actually a ton of benefits that this type of layout can bring. However, many players don’t realize this and tend to stick to what they know. For example, whenever we get requests for new courses through Dynamic Course Design, it’s often to explore the possibility of a full 18-hole installation. Even when we take a look at the typical basket order, most of the time people are opting for 18 instead of 9.

If you’re of the opinion that a 9-hole course just doesn’t serve much of a purpose, consider how they can be beneficial for both players and course designers alike:

  • Great for all - An 18-hole course may be the ideal spot for those who have been playing disc golf for years, but this layout can be intimidating and downright difficult for beginners and children. Individuals who are just dipping their toe into the world of disc golf often find that a 9-hole course is far more approachable.

  • Saving money - Installing a disc golf course isn’t overwhelmingly expensive, but it’s not cheap either. Assuming that you’re looking for a cost-effective way to introduce the sport to a new area, consider spending half the money and time that you normally would and bring in a 9-hole layout.

  • Fitting in - Many would argue that a well-designed course needs at least one acre of land per hole and finding tracts of land that are near 20 acres can be a challenge. Instead, a 9-hole course needs far less space and can find a home in many established parks.

  • Staying casual - While children may not have the stamina to complete a full 18-hole course, that doesn’t mean that all adults can handle it with ease. Rather than only having championship-style layouts to choose from, a casual player can change up his or her routine and opt for a shorter set of holes to work on specific shots.

  • Timing is everything - It can be difficult to find several hours of your day to hit the disc golf course, but when 18-hole layouts are all that there is, sometimes you can’t play as often as you’d like. In many instances, a 9-hole course can be completed during a long lunch break or on your way home from the office before it gets dark out.
Don’t get us wrong, we love 18-hole courses as much as anyone else, but keep in mind that they aren’t the only option out there. If we truly want to #growthesport and make disc golf as accessible as possible for all, an influx in shorter layouts is certainly a step in the right direction. Tell us your thoughts on 9-hole courses below - what purpose do they serve in your personal game?

If you are looking into getting a course installed in your area send us an email at to see what is possible.
Monday, July 22, 2019

The Ins And Outs Of Disc Golf Clubs Part 4 - What Now?

As with many things in life, the process of taking an idea and turning it into a reality within the disc golf world can take a long time. From the first inkling of inspiration to actually formalizing your plans, it takes a dedicated effort to make a difference in the sport, whether it’s starting a league, installing a new course, or creating a disc golf club.

In this blog series, we’re tackling the last option on that list and reviewing what’s needed to create and run a disc golf club step by step. If you’re just now joining us, head back to our first three blogs to learn how to formalize your group, understand the importance of a solid set of board members, and more. Today, we’re all about getting to the heart and soul of your club - how do you actually utilize this structure to accomplish your goals?

Taking Care Of Business

Running a disc golf club sounds like it’s all fun and games, but there are actual decisions to make on a regular basis. Most clubs have a very set schedule for their meetings and work up agendas to make sure they cover the various aspects of what they’re trying to accomplish. While you don’t have to devote enough time to your meetings to make it feel like a second job, there is an element of professionalism that should permeate each gathering.

Chris Eads, who offered some valuable information in Part 3 of this series, explained how his club tends to operate:

“Our meetings mostly consisted of turning in mini money and discussing upcoming tournaments and the needs of those events. We currently run 7 events a year and we maintain 10 courses that we use for these events and weekly minis.

We use the public library as our meeting place because it is free and is pretty centralized for all parties that wish to attend. When running a meeting it is always important to stay focused on the tasks at hand. We have someone who creates minutes for us so that we can look back on previously discussed topics and also future topics that need to be addressed.”

Innovation And Growth

Not only are disc golf club meetings great for maintaining your club’s current happenings, but they also create the ideal platform to introduce new ideas. Latitude 64 team member Luke Wessel is a part of the Apple Valley Disc Golf League in Apple Valley, MN. While we’ve learned that a club and a league are two very different things, he mentioned some interesting ideas that he implemented just after joining which could easily transfer over to a club setting: “I picked up where they left off but started doing things behind the scenes like digitizing records and helping to boost payouts and prizes.”

Disc golf clubs are one of the best ways to bring exciting ideas to the table to not only keep your members engaged but also to attract new people to the sport and help to grow your local community. Keep your eyes out for Part 5 of this series where we learn how clubs actually make money!
Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Ins And Outs Of Disc Golf Clubs Part 3 - Setting Up A Chain Of Command

All of us have experienced at some point in our lives the truth about the phrase: “You’re only as strong as your weakest link.” Whether it be at work, school, or in another type of group, the people that you surround yourself with can make or break the goals that you’re trying to achieve. What exactly does this have to do with disc golf? Welcome to Part 3 in our series that takes a closer look at disc golf clubs.

We’ve already covered the differences between a club and a league as well as explored just how important it may be to make your club official through a nonprofit status, so now that you’re ready to move forward, it’s time to assemble your crew. Let’s talk a bit about some things to consider when selecting your club’s board members.

What The Board Entails

If you want your club to be at least marginally successful, you’ll need someone steering the ship. In most organizations, there’s a group of people who tend to run things, and while you can call them board members or officers, their function remains the same - to help map out the goals of the club and make sure their actions are in line with said goals. You may want to work toward raising money for a local charity, help upgrade the courses in your town, or even just spread the word and teach more people about disc golf. Whatever reason you started the club in the first place, it’s the job of the board to make sure you stick to that plan.

When considering how this group of people will help, it’s important to know exactly which types of roles should be included. Most disc golf clubs have a board that’s complete with a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and even a course maintenance individual. You can also create specific positions to focus on outreach, sponsorships, or any other goal that’s important to you.

How Important Is It, Really?

Chris Eads, a DD team member and part of the Western Arkansas Flying Disc Association, shares his thoughts on having a solid team of people on the board: “I think one of the most important things to a successful club is having people that you can trust and count on on the board. When you run an event you can have thousands of dollars in cash going through an event and it's comforting to know that that money is safe, especially since a lot of that money is usually used to donate to charities.”

Being able to trust the people who sit beside you is key whether you’re a huge group or a small club that’s just starting out. Ray Woodruff, who we spoke to in Part 2 of this series, echoes the importance that Chris describes: “Be sure to have people on the board who will put the club in front of their own interests and will be willing to pick up the standard of ideas that are brought to the board for help in executing. Don’t forget that the board of the club is the backbone and will deliver success or failure as they do or do not work together.”

Board members are typically elected in a club atmosphere but that doesn’t mean that you have zero say about who ends up on the team. As long as personal agendas can be left at the door and the goals of the club remain the focus, things should run smoothly. Make sure to catch our next part in this series to learn more about the ins and outs of disc golf clubs!
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

KVOE Radio On Air Chat with Paige Pierce, Paige Bjerkaas, and Robert McCall

During the 2019 PDGA Junior Worlds, KVOE, our local radio station here in Emporia, Kansas, was kind enough to chat with Paige Pierce, Paige Bjerkaas, and Robert McCall about the event and disc golf in general. Give it a listen below and share your thoughts in the comments.

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Ins And Outs Of Disc Golf Clubs Part 2 - What's Your Status?

If you’re just now joining us for our latest blog series, welcome! We’ve recently started discussing the huge topic of disc golf clubs and will be reviewing all of the most important information you need to know if you’re interested in starting one. Before going any further, head back to Part 1 of this series where we make sure everyone is on the same page.

All set? Good, because we’re about to get a little more detailed moving forward. The truth of the matter is that any disc golf club isn’t much different than a business, so if you or your friends are looking to establish one, it’s not as easy as making up some flyers and advertising around town. Let’s discover your options for making this decision an official one, should you so desire.

What Is A Nonprofit?

When this word comes to mind, most people think about donations and tax write-offs. While many nonprofits do include those elements, there’s more to them than you may think. According to Wikipedia, a nonprofit is “dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a shared point of view. In economic terms, it is an organization that uses its surplus of the revenues to further achieve its ultimate objective, rather than distributing its income to the organization's shareholders, leaders, or members.”

Sounds like a disc golf club, right? While you won’t necessarily be forced into formalizing your club in this way, it can hold its fair share of benefits, especially if the club gets to be rather large. Establishing a club as a nonprofit will also force members to create bylaws and articles of incorporation, which again will help to keep things organized should you become incredibly popular.

First Things First

Disc golf clubs can, and may want to, formalize themselves as a nonprofit on both a state and federal level, and like any other business action, it requires a fair amount of paperwork. We spoke with Ray Woodruff, President of the Mile High Disc Golf Club in Denver, CO to get a little more insight on the matter. He shared with us a bit about their own nonprofit journey, a decision that became very apparent as they neared 600 members:

“In the beginning, nonprofit status was sought and obtained within our state, but the federal level was pushed aside for the time being. This has come to haunt us since paperwork is the death of any good organization, even a fledgling disc golf club. As time went on, it became painfully obvious that we would need to complete the federal process for our nonprofit status.

Bring in the lawyers... Nonprofits can be set up in many ways - the one that most people think of are the places that we donate money to and can deduct from our taxes, but that doesn’t always work for a disc golf club. We are currently speaking with tax advisors to complete the setup of our club's federal nonprofit status and hope to be finished with that process by the end of the year. While we are hoping for a charitable designation, we know that the IRS decides that based on your application.”

As you can see, setting things up right off the bat will likely create smoother sailing down the road. Disc golf clubs can always begin their operations without any formalization and then change their minds later, but it may become a bit more complex to do things this way. If you’re serious about your club, opt for nonprofit status as soon as you can to get things started on the right foot.

Stay tuned for more in this series, including things to consider when choosing your board, how to handle club finances, and more!
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Ron Convers Jr. Comes Home From Pro Masters Worlds With A 3x Champion Title

Anyone who has been to Smugglers’ Notch knows that the courses there require an immense amount of dedication to each and every shot. You can’t step up to the first tee unprepared and believe that you’ll come out on top. Confidence is key, and that’s exactly what Dynamic Discs team member Ron Convers Jr. brought to the 2019 Pro Masters Worlds. He entered this event with a Grandmasters win in both 2016 and 2017, and after an epic battle with Patrick Brown in 2018 that landed him in 2nd place, Ron was determined to come out on top once again.

This year he had a different mindset and between his ability to focus, some trusty discs in his bag, and the preparation that he’s undergone all season long, it’s no wonder he succeeded. Ron’s accolades extend farther back than just 2016, however, so let’s explore a bit more about this incredible player.

Skin In The Game

Convers has been playing disc golf longer than many of our readers have even been alive, over 30 years at this point, and has set foot on courses around the nation with some of the biggest names in the sport. He attributes part of his desire to compete to the motivation he gained after watching ‘Crazy’ John Brooks play in the early 1990s, and from then on, Ron’s been a force to be reckoned with.

He won the very first Glass Blown Open and has been a part of the DD family from the start. While he may not be on the road in a full-time capacity, he can still be seen at anywhere between 10 and 20 events over the course of any given season. The 2019 season, however, has presented some challenges for him that he’s overcome with grace and positivity: “My family has had a very challenging year and in the process of taking care of necessary things I've burned up my vacation time and money!”

Despite his focus being shifted heavily toward his family, Ron managed to work on several key aspects of his game before attending Worlds, including improving his forehand distance and accuracy and not only losing 23 pounds but adding some muscle as well.

What Was Different?

The more you play a course the better you naturally tend to do, but when things go wrong it can have a tendency to create a mental strain that’s hard to beat. “Last year I came up and played Pro Worlds and had a horrible round on Fox Run. It was my worst recorded round in competition since I was an Am and it shook my confidence in my mental game. Being able to put that aside helped boost my attitude and confidence after the first round on Fox Run this year,” Ron explained.

Rather than focusing on all of the missteps he made last year, he approached the event with a fresh perspective. His disc selection sure helped too, as the courses at Smugglers’ Notch are incredibly demanding. Convers said:

“I relied on throwing mids in the woods. [My] Truth, EMAC Truth, and the Suspect got hard workouts. On the more open Fox Run course, the Ballista Pro was a distance go-to with the Lucid Enforcer as a backup. My fairway approach game got a boost with my forehand and I used my Lucid Criminal and Lucid X Felon to pin several of the harder shots and approaches.”

One Hole At A Time

When all was said and done, Ron beat out the rest of the 31 men in his field by a total of four strokes, and while he didn’t always have a commanding lead at any point in time, he was able to make steady progress each round. “I was pleased that I played well overall, but each round had a hole or two which were really bad. Being able to card good rounds in spite of those holes and being able to stay focused on the work at hand made the win possible,” he said.

Convers shot well during round one, and with only one bogey ended up just one stroke behind the lead at a -7. Again, round two saw one more bogey to his name, this time at Fox Run, but he was able to manage an impressive six down and come out two strokes ahead of Patrick Brown. Maintaining momentum through four rounds plus a semifinal and final 9 is no easy task, and by the time round three came up, it seemed that Convers had slowed a bit.

While an eagle on hole 11 certainly helped him to make up strokes, his eight down wasn’t the best score of the day. Instead, Brown brought in a -9 and Anthony Pugh shot -10. At this point, Ron was still very much in contention for the win, and his gameplan of staying focused kicked into high gear. Smart and safe became the name of the game, and his -5 during round four and impressive -11 in the semifinals were enough to put him into the final four.

“After the first hole of the finals, I had 5 strokes over Kevin [Babbit]  and just coasted to a no-risk finish,” Ron described. Knowing his strengths, putting in the time throughout the year to improve upon his skills, and having all the confidence in the world is what lead him to the win. Now a 3x Pro Masters World Champion, he’s headed into the rest of the season with ease. What’s next for this amazing player?

“If I hadn't managed to win a B-tier in Open the week before Worlds, competition would have been almost impossible. As it was, I had a great time because of the wonderful people in our sport. I hope to play the Mid America Open and five to six more Pro events as I did last year. Next year, [I’ll attend] the Canadian Nationals and more events on the West coast unless I get the opportunity to travel to Scandinavia. I hope to continue to play good golf and would like to hit a 1020 rating in the future.”

Congratulations on a job well done Ron!