Thursday, January 18, 2018

Testing Out The Maverick Prototype With Eric, Tina, And Zach


Bringing a new disc out into the field always puts a bit of butterflies in our stomach, as it's super exciting to see how our new creation will fly. Despite it being a rather windy day, we headed out with Eric Oakley, Tina Stanaitis, and Zach Melton to give the Maverick a run for its money.

As a new understable fairway driver, we wanted to see how each of these players would react to it. All three of them found really notable points about the Maverick that will surely make it a go-to disc for many.

When Zach first held the Maverick, he was surprised at how nice it felt in his hand. He described it as a "shallow and compact feel" which made it super comfortable. Throwing it on a hyzer, even in wind, allowed the disc to pop up and go straight before fading out a bit, giving him some nice distance and a trustworthy line.

Tina also loved the way the Maverick felt, commenting that it has a bit of a dome to it. She loves throwing her Fury and had heard that this disc was similar, so she was especially anxious to give it a shot. Tina's throws went exceptionally straight and had a lot more glide than her beloved Fury. She said the Maverick will be great for fighting the wind and she sees it working well for those with slower arm speeds.

Eric did some fancy things with his Maverick, including throwing a roller and a sidearm shot. He said this disc's profile makes it great for low ceiling shots, tightly wooded fairways, and for staying underneath the wind with a low throw.

You can check out all three players testing the Maverick in our latest video!
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The DD Women's Series - Part 4: Tina's Tips For Going On Tour


It seems like this segment of the DD Women’s Series is over too soon, but in the last three weeks, we’ve learned a ton from Tina Stanaitis. Those of you who have the entrepreneurial bug got to gain some inspiration, as we learned how WhaleSacs grew from a hobby to a profitable endeavor.

We also got to see the more challenging side of things, as being a female disc golfer on tour can bring up some roadblocks along the way. However, it’s worth it as we learned last week when Tina shared with us how being on the road has really improved her game. Now, we’re wrapping the series up with some words of wisdom and tips from Tina about how going on tour just might be the best decision you can make.

Effort Is Overrated

Now we’re not saying that Tina doesn’t try, and she’s not saying to skimp on the effort, but her big takeaway from 2017 might surprise you. “What I learned most this year is to not try too hard. Anyone who’s up and coming in any sport is trying really hard, but there’s something about trying too hard and not allowing your body to work for you,” she explained.

What she says really is true - when you place so much emphasis and energy on getting your shot just right or pressuring yourself to sink a putt, you usually don’t have the same results as if you were more relaxed. There’s a fine line between trying and psyching yourself out!

Learning Through Watching

While going on tour can be expensive and stressful, the things you gain are priceless. Tina described one of the notable positives of being on the road so much:

“Getting to watch the best players throw smooth precise lines is way more important than throwing 500’ or trying to play outside of your comfort zone. You gain a sense of confidence because that’s what everyone else is doing - you see how they approach each shot and approach each putt. You absorb the fact that they’re not afraid to do it, [and see] the way they carry themselves and the attitude they have toward each shot.”

Watching disc golf on YouTube or playing with local friends can certainly help to grow your game too, but for Tina, actually watching the top female players hit lines with ease helped her with her own skill set.

Taking The Leap

If you’ve been itching to go on tour and you feel like Tina is speaking directly to you, that’s awesome! But before you throw all caution to the wind, try taking a step back and looking at full-time touring from another angle.

“A really good place to start if you’re scared or intimidated is to find a way while you’re at your job to do it for a month or so,” she says about making the big commitment to live on the road. “Go live the dream for a bit. See if you like it. See if you need it. That will help make it so much easier if you really want it.”

After going on several smaller tours before quitting her day job, Tina found she did like and need it. And she’s doing a darn good job at it! Thanks for joining us for this DD Women’s Series, and stay on the lookout for another upcoming conversation with one of Dynamic Discs’ female players.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

In Need Of Training Help? You Can Be Disc Golf Strong


How you train during the off-season is quite a varied topic when it comes to professional disc golfers. Some literally put their bag in a closet and don't touch a disc for months, while others take their time at home to engage in a rigorous workout schedule to prepare them for the next season.

But you don't have to be a touring pro to practice exercises that will help improve your game, as our partner Seth Munsey at Disc Golf Strong demonstrates. He's working with DD and the Disc Golf Answer Man to provide tips and information that will help disc golfers of any skill level to maintain their health and avoid injury.

In his first video, Seth talks about core strength and how it is foundational for helping your game. With the dead bug move, you can help to build a strong center and eventually generate more power when you throw from a well-developed set of core muscles. This exercise works well for any player regardless of athletic ability and will get you on your way to a more stable core.

Seth expands upon his core strength series with his second instructional piece where he shows us another beginning move called the bird dog. This type of exercise helps to maintain the integrity of our spine while engaging our ab muscles.

Check out both of his videos to incorporate some of these awesome moves into your workout routine, and be sure to keep your eyes out for more from Seth!
Monday, January 15, 2018

When Disc Golf Really Is Life - All About DD Team Member Brian Miller


It’s tough to strike a balance when the disc golf bug hits - we become obsessed with playing and often have to find creative ways to fit our new passion in between the other facets of our life. For DD team member Brian Miller, he’s found success in that delicate dance of competing, volunteering, and taking care of life’s other responsibilities.

We got a chance to chat with Brian recently to learn more about the impact he’s had on the Indiana disc golf scene and find out what makes him such a dedicated player.

Hard Work Doesn’t Go Unnoticed

Believe it or not, Brian didn’t instantly become obsessed with disc golf the first time he played. While he was certainly attracted to the sport, it was years before he took it seriously. “I just wanted to be the guy that would go out to the park with 1 disc and play as quickly as possible. Then a couple friends started getting serious about it. They were starting to get pretty good so I decided to get a bag and start trying to get better,” he explains.

This competitive spirit has been with Miller long before joining the DD team, as his athletic background includes experience in wrestling, football, pole vaulting, and seeing success within several traveling softball teams. Once he decided to take the leap into tournament play, Brian was able to bring home multiple career wins and consistently performs very well on the course.

The Indiana Disc Golf Scene

While he may not be traveling and competing as much as he’d like, Brian is involved with disc golf as much as his work schedule allows. Among his accomplishments on the course in 2017, he notes a few other proud moments, including running a disc golf camp, acting as the TD for several large events, volunteering his time to improve local courses, and securing the 2nd place win at the Indiana State Championships.

Perhaps it’s his friendly Midwest demeanor or the appreciation he feels toward the DD family that fuels his desire to make disc golf more prevalent in his hometown, but Brian knows what representing the sport truly means.

“Have fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be classy. Get to know people,” he says when asked what he would tell anyone going on tour for the first time, or really any player who is getting into the sport in general. His attitude aligns perfectly with the DD mission, and he recognizes that how you treat people and the atmosphere you create around disc golf are paramount to growing its numbers.

2018 And Beyond

Touring proves to be a challenge for Brian, as returning home to work prohibits him from traveling for extended periods of time. However, you’ll find him at some of the major events in 2018, including the Glass Blown Open. When he’s not playing, Miller spends time with his family and continues to work on local courses and host great events.

He notes that his best friend, Jason Smith, has been an integral part of not only enjoying the sport but in making a major impact in Indiana: “He and I have worked very hard over the years to promote disc golf, improve our courses, improve relations with the parks department, and grow our club.”

It’s this diligence and motivation that makes Miller such a great ambassador for DD and for the sport of disc golf. We hope you have an awesome 2018 season Brian!
Friday, January 12, 2018

The DD Women's Series - Part 3: How Touring Has Improved Tina's Game


It’s no small feat to make a living at disc golf, and if you’ve been following our latest DD Women’s Series, you know that Tina Stanaitis has achieved amazing things. From starting her own business and leaving her career to play and tour full-time, she’s an incredible example of hard work and determination paying off.

After tapping into her entrepreneurial spirit and overcoming challenges as a female touring player, what else could possibly stand in her way? As we all know, one of the goals of going on tour is to become a better player, and Tina’s found a way to get this down to a science.

Let’s take a look at how going on tour, and sticking with the ladies, increased her confidence while taking strokes off her score.

You Can’t Have Too Much Support

In a way, you could say that seeing other touring women is what really put the spark inside of Tina to get out there and live her dreams. Competing in her local women’s group in Portland, the Ladies’ League, she started to meet others who shared her passion, but an event in 2014 is what really turned the tables for her.

“I saw the ladies competing and I just freaked out about it,” Tina shared when talking about the year that Worlds came to her hometown of Portland, Oregon. It was this moment that she decided that she too could be out there on the course vying for one of the top positions at one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year.

She connected with locals Zoe Andyke and Kira Alexander and developed strong bonds with both of them as well as Seattle player Erika Stinchcomb. Together, the four of them shared tips about going on tour and accompanied each other to various events during the season. Before embarking on a full-time tour, Tina received a lot of support from Kira, noting “without her, I don’t know if I would’ve done it in such a big way.”

Buddies On The Road

How does practicing on tour differ from local events, and in what ways do fellow touring women make a difference? Tina has found a ton of success by always becoming a student of the game and working with others who can help to develop and improve her skill set.

“I really focused on playing and practicing with the right people, so I wasn’t changing my shots and trying to do things that weren’t outside of my realm,” Stanaitis says of her 2017 season. Although it’s great to practice with soon-to-be husband Eric Oakley, the differences in their game can create more questions than answers. “I try not to practice with him because his game plan is so different than mine. I don’t even want to think about what he’s going to throw,” she said.

Practicing with top-ranking women like Paige Pierce or Catrina Allen can bring both benefits and challenges as well, as she describes: “[If] they’re outdriving me it’s intimidating. I’ve learned to not do that and keep my own confidence up. With that being said, getting to watch Paige or Cat play and hit perfect lines - you can gather all of this information by being around some of the best players. It’s stuff you wouldn’t think to ask in a clinic or a lesson.”

Sticking with players who are often more similarly matched, like Erika or Madison Walker, has been one of the keys that Tina attributes to her success. Be sure to check out the conclusion of our DD Women’s Series with Tina next week as well glean insider secrets and tips for women who want to tour!
Thursday, January 4, 2018

Check Out This Disc Golf Answer Man Special Episode!


If you ask us, every episode of the Disc Golf Answer Man is special, but on this particular occasion, we had some pretty awesome people join us. Both Jeremy Rusco, CEO of Dynamic Discs, and Tyler Searle, long-time DD employee and RV driver, stopped by to share some info about upcoming events, RV changes, and more.

While you can watch the entire episode here or listen here, we figured we could clue you into a few tips from Jeremy and Tyler:

  • Look for glow events coming soon in addition to the other DD events like C-tiers, dubs, and disc challenges.
  • If you’re running a tournament or local work party, you can’t use social media enough! Share from your club page, personal Facebook page, or do a live video. The more you’re out there, the better the odds that people will see it.
  • Keep your eyes out for the DD RVs in a more regional setup, with our awesome drivers putting on events and having a presence at major 2018 events. We’re aiming for a better work-life balance for these guys while still being out there for all of you!
  • Jeremy talks about the 2018 Trilogy Challenge discs - what are they? Watch the video and find out!

More info about adding players to the team and info about new Westside products can be found in this short and sweet one hour video.
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

How Will You Change Your Game In 2018?

If you’re the kind of person who actually sticks to their New Year’s resolutions, there’s a good chance you’ve been planning yours out for months. For others, it may tend to be a more last minute type of thought process, where you quickly scan the events of your life over the previous 12 months and figure out what you would’ve liked to have been different.

Either way you go, 2018 is here and it offers a nice starting point to commit yourself to something new with your disc golf game. Whether your resolution is one that’s focused on more practice or a mental matter, there are ways you can help yourself to see success with your new commitment.

Shoot For The Stars… Or Not

One common mistake that we all tend to make when setting goals for our disc golf game is to place super high expectations on ourselves, creating an undue amount of pressure and subsequent disappointment if things don’t work out. Instead of aiming to raise your rating by 150 points or to hit an ace a month, why not set out clear and measurable steps?

For example, let’s say you do want to raise your rating by a significant amount in 2018. It might help to think about the smaller actions that will contribute to your goal. You could sit down with a calendar and commit to playing 10 more events than last year, as well as playing two more practice rounds per week than you used to.

By laying the foundational building blocks to reach your goal, instead of just a hope and a wish that you’ll perform better, you set yourself up for success.

Be Realistic

After your careful planning, you might be really jazzed about this year’s resolution, far more excited than any other year even. However, one of the most important aspects of setting a goal for yourself is to be gentle and understanding if you don’t reach it. Setbacks may happen along the way and it’s all part of the process.

Let’s say you do play in more events this year than last, but your first few tournaments don’t result in round ratings that help you to achieve your goal. Some might get frustrated, throw their resolution out the window, and tell themselves it was a silly idea to begin with.

Yet with the proper mindset and attitude, you’ll realize that even if you may not have performed as well as you’d like, you still have the rest of the year to work hard and get where you want to be.

What’s Your Goal?

Ultimately, setting a disc golf New Year’s resolution comes down to discipline and desire. If you want it badly enough, you’ll figure out a way to make it happen. And in all honesty, if you have so much passion for a specific outcome, you probably aren’t waiting until January 1st to put it into action.

What’s your resolution for 2018 and your disc golf game? Share with us how you’d like to personally improve in the comments below.
Monday, January 1, 2018

The DD Women's Series - Part 2: How Tina Overcame Challenges As A Touring Female


If you’re just tuning in to this installment of the DD Women’s Series, you’re in for a treat. Last week we talked with Tina Stanaitis and learned about how she started her successful company, WhaleSacs, and turned her dream of touring professionally into a reality. Take a moment to check it out for some great tips and motivational words of wisdom.

In Part 2, we get a little deeper into what life is like for a disc golfer who’s on the road more often than at home and gain some insight into what challenges can come up for a woman who does it on her own. Buckle up, because this blog is about to get real!

Going Against The Grain

“I can’t tell you how many times people were skeptical that I bought an RV and lived in it alone,” Tina said with a laugh. Not one to dance around a topic, Stanaitis was very straightforward and honest when we talked with her about how she went on tour by herself. Although we now see her as one half of the WhalePants team, during the beginning of her professional career she was on the road solo.

While Eric and Tina's RV seems to be a staple everywhere you look, the first leg of Tina’s journey was actually done in something a bit smaller. “I did half a year in a Prius on tour by myself,” she shared and noted that others were constantly surprised when they heard about what she was doing it. A former banker, Tina wasn’t quite used to living out of a car but said it became the norm after a little while.

Upgrading to an RV was certainly a luxury, yet that didn’t mean the road ahead was all smooth sailing. A mere two weeks after moving into her new digs, Tina was robbed. Despite some hesitation about how others viewed her reaction to the event, she stands firm that her personal safety is far more important than trying to confront an intruder.

Does Gender Really Play A Role?

You might be asking yourself how any of this is related to being a woman, and without stepping on anyone’s toes, it might be something to decide for yourself. However one thing’s for certain: far fewer men encounter skepticism, extreme concern, and weird looks when they talk about going on tour than women do.

Ultimately, Tina’s words of wisdom when it comes to touring don’t apply to women only, although they sure are encouraging for those ladies who do want to take on a new challenge:

“The biggest and best advice I could ever give is to stop saying you can’t do it and just do it. We can all come up with so many excuses to not do something; it applies to pretty much anything in life. I can still find a million reasons to not do what I’m doing. If you hide behind that what’s the point of living years and years not doing what you want to do? Just find a way to figure it out and work hard to do it.”

Truer words were never spoken! Next week we’ll talk with Tina about her strategies for practicing with other women and how being on the road has helped her game.
Friday, December 29, 2017

Breaking Down An Unorthodox Shot - The How And Why


We’ve all been there - you throw what looks like an amazing shot off the tee box only to find that your trusted driver has landed squarely behind a massive tree. Whether you’re playing a casual round or you’re on track to set a new course record at a local tournament, you want to have every shot in your bag to avoid extra strokes when situations like this arise.

There are a ton of shots out there, some that don’t even have names (think “Patent Pending”), but today we want to review just a few of them in the hopes that they’ll help you out in a sticky situation one day.

The Grenade

Although some might argue that it’s not an incredibly popular shot, throwing a Grenade could pay off every now and again. The basics of the shot are simple enough: essentially, you’re throwing a spike hyzer with the disc upside down. It sounds ridiculous, but there’s a reason for it.

A Grenade shot generates a lot of backspin and forces your disc to spike straight into the ground without getting much forward progress down the fairway. When might this come in handy? Let’s say you’re on a downhill hole, and if you throw a regular backhand shot you’re going to blow past the basket. With a Grenade shot, you’ll advance about 100 feet or so and then dive straight down, putting you in perfect position.

The Thumber

Seen often amongst the amateur circuit and by the pros here and there, a Thumber is a great shot to have in your bag. With this approach, you’re going to hook your thumb around the edge of the disc and have your four fingers rest on the flight plate. Now, throw the disc like you would a baseball pitch.

Thumbers get their fair share of grief as it’s typically the way many new players learn how to throw, but the corkscrew action you get in the air can be really handy if you need to get up and over a bush or around a tree that’s directly in your flight path.

The Horseshoe Putt

We’re all impressed when we watch someone pull off this type of unorthodox shot, as a Horseshoe Putt can be super tricky. Instead of using your usual putting stance, imagine you’re throwing a horseshoe toward the basket. Bring your arm to the side of your body and use this motion to connect with the chains. Simple, right?

Like the other unorthodox shots we’ve mentioned, this type of putt works best when you have something directly in your way and you’re blocked from using your typical putting routine. There’s certainly a time or two in recent history that we’ve seen a Horseshoe Putt on post-produced coverage and were completely in awe of this unique type of shot.

A Bag Full Of Tricks

There are so many random ways to throw a disc that we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. Have another suggestion for getting around obstacles on the course? Let us know what your favorite kind of unorthodox shot is in the comments below!
Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Double Disc Spotlight - The Convict and The Marshal

Sometimes it can be tough deciding which discs to buy for yourself, especially if you've never thrown that particular type of mold or plastic before. Instead of worrying if you'll like the Convict or the Marshal, we wanted to give you some insight into these beauties so that you'll be confident in your purchase. Let's take a look at what each one has to offer!

The Convict

A disc that's great for players of all skill levels, the Convict holds up quite well in the wind. Ladies
might benefit from choosing this disc in a weight that's a little heavier than they'd normally choose, that way it can act as their overstable fairway driver.

If you need a disc that will hold your shot through a tunnel or need some distance with a bit of hyzer on the end, it's the way to go. A ton of players love to use it as a great sidearm choice as well. It's trusty and predictable.

Watch a compilation of some of the DD team members talking about how they use the Convict here.

The Marshal

A trusted putter that will hold nearly whatever line you put it on, the Marshal is a disc that many players have come to know and love. Eric McCabe specifically uses this disc as a throwing putter when he needs to dial in a shot with extreme precision, although you can really count on the Marshal to do many things.

Throw it straight, add some hyzer, or put a lot of power behind it - as you get comfortable with this disc and see how it flies, you'll find that it's super reliable and you can really get a good amount of distance from it for your upshots.

Watch a compilation of some of the DD team members talking about why they love the Marshal here.