Friday, February 23, 2018

Interview with Team Dynamic Discs Member, A Ray


We are starting a new series on the Disc Golf Answer Man Podcast. In this series we are going to learn more about team players from Dynamic Discs.

First up is A Ray who lives in the DFW area of Texas and has been playing in tournaments since 2009.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

DD Event Updates For The 2018 Season


This year is shaping up to be a busy season for Dynamic Discs, and with so many events going on we’ve found that it’s best to update everyone on the latest happenings in one live Facebook video.

If you missed the broadcast from Bobby and Doug, you can watch it here. Here’s a quick recap of the most important updates:

  • The US Amateur Match Play Championships currently have 222 brackets that are spoken for across 50 states and provinces. Check out the UDisc app to check out a bracket near you!
  • Pre-registration is now open for the flex start C-tiers during 2018’s Glass Blown Open and will be capped at 300 players.
  • Frustrated about securing lodging for GBO? Homeowners are being encouraged to participate with Airbnb, so be sure to check out your options there.
  • Our $5K/$10K Ace Challenge has almost 20 events throughout the country - find more info at the Grow Disc Golf website.
  • Stay tuned for Trilogy Challenge info around March 1st. 2018 should be a great year for these events!
  • Saturday, June 16th we’re holding another DD stadium event, this time at the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City! Registration goes live on February 14th at noon.

These are just the highlights of this important update, so be sure to watch the entire video for more info!
Monday, February 19, 2018

The DD Women's Series - Part 3: Let's Get Mental With Paige Pierce


Ok, we’re not actually going crazy in this post, but we are exploring all things related to one’s mental game during a round of disc golf. If you’ve missed our previous blogs in Paige’s series, go ahead and check them out now. You’ll learn about form and tee shots along with some good tips that set up nicely for this particular discussion.

Being a female disc golfer brings perks and drawbacks, and it’s managing the challenging aspects of the game that makes the difference between success and giving up. Sure, ladies are celebrated in the sport with their own events, gear, and discs, but there can also be a negative attitude by some when women show up on the tee box.

Let’s see what Paige has done to help her own mental game and how she recommends women excel on the course.

Playing With The Boys

It’s happened to all women, even Paige - you’re playing with a group of guys and your drive comes up the shortest. All of a sudden it seems that you’re invisible as everyone walks in front of your lie and you’re standing to wait to take your next shot. “It was cute when I was 4, but when I got around 7 or 8 they were over it and started walking in front of me. I tried to be polite and wait but it was almost every hole,” Paige recalls.

So what did she do? By tapping into her competitive side, she pushed herself to outdrive the boys and avoid the problem altogether. “Learning is more productive whenever something is on the line and you have pressure on you. You know you have one chance and you have to execute right then and there. You have to focus,” she said. We know, it’s easier said than done, but it’s better for your mental game than getting mad at your cardmates.

What Does Practice Mean?

Taking an interesting perspective, Paige said that one’s mental game while playing casually has a huge impact on how you perform competitively. “People misuse the term ‘practice round’ because people aren’t focused, they’re just chunking discs,” said Pierce. Instead, try looking for a ladies league on Facebook that’s near you and use that time to get into the competitive spirit. There’s a good chance you’ll actually try more in that environment as opposed to just throwing plastic for the heck of it.

Keep Your Focus

Not that we want to harp on this too much, but there’s always something to be said for women having to stand their ground when playing a round with men. Most guys end up being respectful, but there’s always a few that completely take away from the whole experience. What does Paige recommend if you’re a gal who’s being harassed on the course? “Just don’t even talk about it, it’s going to make it more uncomfortable.” Simply ignore them, she says, and they’ll stop.

Ladies, it’s not easy to keep your mental game on point when you’re surrounded by dozens of dudes and there isn’t another gal in sight. However, Paige has been there and with the tips she’s shared, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to kick some butt and earn more respect on the course. Stay tuned for our last post in this 4-part series with Paige Pierce!
Thursday, February 15, 2018

DD Team Member Bryce Lawrance Finds A Passion For Course Design


It’s a dream of many disc golfers to be able to design and install their own course. From designing their ideal holes, using a prime piece of real estate, and even getting the final say in basket selection, it’s an exciting prospect.

Sadly, many of us will have this dream but not see it through to reality. Designing and installing a disc golf course comes with a lot of time and even more red tape. That’s not to say that it can’t be done, but it takes perseverance and dedication.

Despite being in his teens, DD team member Bryce Lawrance gets to see his dream come true as he has helped to design and implement a course in Purcell, Oklahoma. We spoke with Bryce to find out how he’s been so successful with this project and a little more about what residents of the area can expect.

It Takes Teamwork

Dragon Disc Golf Course is certainly Bryce’s brainchild, but he wasn’t the only one involved to make it happen. Both he and his father have been involved in their local club, Sooner Disc Golf Club, for many years. Making a name for themselves through volunteer work and being an active member of their disc golf community, they were approached by the City of Purcell to see what the options were for installing a course.

“Sooner Disc Golf is a collection of volunteers who get together to run tournaments and take care of our local courses. We have been members of this group since I started. My dad has been with them on and off for many years,” said Lawrance. He’s seen first-hand that playing a part in your local club can have a huge impact on the growth of the sport.

Why Now?

With a heavy workload in school, it might seem crazy for Bryce to also take on the activity of installing and designing a course. But as we’ve said, when you’re in love with disc golf, it’s the ultimate goal for many: “I love the game of disc golf. Being able to assist in design and installation of a course is a dream all disc golfers have. I also share this dream.”

The course opened on January 14, 2018, although it has yet to be fitted with permanent tee pads or tee signs. Players in the area are getting to test drive the layout so to speak and have the opportunity to provide feedback before things are made permanent: “We wanted it to be played so we could tweak anything that did not play as we hoped and to ensure safety,” Lawrance said.

A Beast Of A Course

So what’s Dragon Disc Golf Course like? “It is a par 62 with elevation change and a lot of out of bounds chasing you all over the course. This is as far from a birdie or die course as we could get. You must play placement shots and check your ego at times or your score will skyrocket,” Bryce said proudly. The course sounds incredible and it seems as if Bryce has tapped into a unique talent at a young age.

If you’re in the Purcell area, check out the course and let us know what you think!
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

It's Time For Another DD Disc Spotlight!


Knowing which discs are right for you is always hard, whether you're a new disc golf player or you've been hucking plastic for decades. Without actually feeling the disc in your hand and throwing it for yourself, it can make the process of buying new discs a bit of a challenge.

We know that no video will take the place of test driving a disc yourself, but in our disc spotlight videos we aim to educate you on the various options we have available so that you'll be more comfortable buying something without first throwing it.

Today we're going to check out two popular molds, the Felon and the Judge.

Click here to see what pros say about the Felon!

Some important things to keep in mind about the Felon:
  • It's great for sidearm shots or a spike hyzer
  • You'll get dependable fade every time
  • The Felon holds up in wind and offers a predictable flight


To learn more about the Judge, click here!

Shifting gears quite a bit, we learn more about the Judge. Here's a quick rundown:
  • Great for drives or putts
  • Various plastic availability provides different benefits
  • For many, it's the furthest flying putter they've ever thrown
If you throw either of these discs, let us know what you think of them in the comments below!
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Pay To Play Courses - Why Disc Golf Needs More Of Them


There are typically several controversial topics within any given sport, and when it comes to disc golf, the idea of pay to play courses tends to be near the top of the list. Whether you’re morally opposed to paying for the ability to huck some plastic or pay to play is your only local option, there’s reason to believe that increasing this type of course could have a positive impact on the sport. Let’s examine the idea of pay to play courses, why they receive such grief, and how they can make a difference.

What Is Pay To Play?

The idea of a pay to play disc golf course is quite similar to that of ball golf where you pay fees in order to obtain access to the area. Sometimes the course will run on an honor system and directs players to deposit their money into a locked box or use an on-site card machine while others have attendants who collect fees upon entry.

The costs will vary depending on the caliber of the course and the part of the country you’re in, with some 18 hole layouts charging $10 or more to play. Other more rural areas might cost half that and give you access to more than one set of holes on the property.

The True Cost Of The Course

If you haven’t been involved in the disc golf scene for very long, you might not realize how much hard work it takes to install and maintain a course. Even short pitch and putt courses are spread across acres of land that require an immense amount of time and effort to keep in line. If you’ve ever let your lawn grow unchecked for a few months, you get the idea.

Disc golf courses aren’t a “set it and forget it” type of situation, and keeping fairways trash free, trimming hazardous branches when needed, and trying to install new pin positions from time to time all cost someone money for tools and equipment. Unfortunately, many players feel that they shouldn't have to pay to enjoy the land that's intended for public use. Some disc golfers will flat out refuse to use a pay to play course simply on principle alone.

Elevating The Sport

While it might make disc golf more expensive for those who are addicted to playing during every free moment they have, the bottom line is that pay to play courses can help to make disc golf more legitimate in the public’s eyes. Instead of players stomping through overgrown woods to locate their discs, we can compete in high-level tournaments on manicured courses that make it easy for spectators to attend.

Pay to play courses might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those putting in the blood, sweat, and time to keep their local course looking great, a little bit of money to offset costs doesn’t hurt. At the end of the day, we’re all committed to growing the sport of disc golf. If a few extra dollars here and there leave our pocketbook so that we can experience cleaner and higher caliber play, isn’t that worth it?

Let us know your opinions on pay to play courses in the comments below!
Monday, February 12, 2018

We Had A Whale Of A Time At The Bag Of Tricks!


January was an exciting month, not only because we got a new RV, but because we got to take it to Carrollton, Texas for the first Whalepants event of 2018. After learning where our gas cap is and seeing AJ Risley’s sweet dance moves, we arrived at the event ready to see what the Bag of Tricks was all about.

We pulled up to the DD Carrollton store full of excitement and were greeted by Tina Stanaitis and Spout the cat. A quick trip to Waffle House was in order the next day, and then it was off to the event! Participants got to dig through boxes of discs and grill Eric Oakley on how each one flies, and as the sun peeked out of the clouds it was time to get going.

Special scorecards for each group denoted the types of shots that were required during the round, including the usual backhands and forehands, but with the occasional roller and player’s choice options thrown into the mix.

Not only does the Bag of Tricks let players get more comfortable with shots they don’t normally throw, but it helps to expand their view of how they would play a specific hole. When you’re forced to throw in a way that’s not your norm, it can really help you to grow your skill set. The event was a huge success and players felt like they learned a lot about their own disc golf game.

Stay tuned for a Bag of Tricks event to swing into your town, as Whalepants is going on tour during 2018! For a good laugh, check out the full Disc Golf Adventure video here.
Friday, February 9, 2018

The DD Women's Series - Part 2: Paige's Tips For Women On The Tee Box


Last week we gained some insight into how Paige has been so successful on the disc golf course and found that a lot of it has to do with the repetition of certain skills and the ability to modify her game to suit her own strengths. In that vein, we’re going to dive even deeper into one of the areas that she’s best known for - her booming drives off the tee box.

If anyone tells you that there’s nothing women should do differently than men when it comes to unleashing a drive, they’re wrong. Pierce gave us some interesting things to think about when it comes to executing tee shots and how women can gain distance and accuracy. Let’s jump right into Part 2 of the DD Women’s Series!

Have The Right Mindset

Disc golf is about what’s between your ears as much as anything else, and there are a few things that can get in the way when ladies step up to a hole. First and foremost, Paige recommends being super careful with your disc selection. “Everyone wants the newest and greatest disc. Just because the man in your life hands you one doesn’t mean it’s good for you,” she says. Instead of opting for the nearest overstable disc, try honing your skills in with midranges first.

Comparison can really cause you to struggle on the course. One of the more common inquiries that Pierce hears women ask revolves around how a woman can throw as far as a guy, and it’s natural to want to unlock that secret. Unfortunately, while many women might not be as muscular as men, there’s a silver lining to reaching maximum distance: timing. One of the most shocking things about seeing Paige launch a disc over 400 feet is how compact her body is - it’s her timing, not bulging biceps, that works for her:

“I try to tell people to use your entire body as a muscle. If it’s all working together that comes from timing, and making sure your lower and upper body is working together. A way to achieve that is by putting a lot of body weight on the back part of your shot. When you pull through transfer that onto the plant foot so it’s like an explosion. You’re using your entire body to propel that disc.”

All About Anatomy

A major difference between a man throwing a distance shot and a woman doing the same has to do with the female form and some, shall we say, obstacles that might get in the way. Instructors commonly state that you should pull the disc flat across your chest, but for some ladies, that’s not an option.

What does Paige recommend in this instance? Start your shot higher above your chest and release at a lower angle. “When you come down with your elbow you have to rely more on your wrist. The benefit with that is that the disc will start low and fast, and it will end up raising later in the flight, but at least your release will be accurate, low, and controllable.”

The bottom line for ladies is to do what works for you on the tee box. No matter what the guys on the course do, choose discs that fit your game and think about your disc golf form as it relates to your own body shape.

Next week we’ll get into some more of the mental aspects of Paige’s game and how ladies can overcome common challenges on the course. Stay tuned for Part 3 of our DD Women’s Series!
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Practice: Living that life.


CLANG. CLANG. CLANG.

I don't think there's a more punitive sound in sports. It sounds like the sort of noise you hear following behind you as a crowd cries out "SHAME. SHAME. SHAME." From the volume of the collision to the discordant and sudden lack of resonance at the end of the sound - it is an aural shredding of the eardrums. Whether you're throwing it high off of that dark intimidating bogey bar or throwing it low off of the rim - you're jarred by it. When your nose down putt chips the bar and slides down into the chains: everything about the beautiful and harmonious chime of the catching area is thrown off.

It can be discouraging to miss. Even more so when you're tracking numbers. When you're trying to focus on results every single night, that noise becomes synonymous with your failures.

This is all a roundabout way of bringing me to my topic:

What to do when putting turns into a grind?

We all want to be that person that dedicates time to the basket daily. But, likewise, we are all that person with responsibilities away from the basket. When the sessions go bad, it can be tempting to set the discs aside and go in to Netflix and chill. This was the case myself on a recent evening. The sun was down, the lights were on, and the baskets in my yard were calling me. I've made a habit this winter of telling people about my putting, so I have to hold up my end of the bargain and do what I say I'm doing. I could tell right away that adjustments would need to be made. The snow, half melted, resulted in ice patches all around the yard where I and my dogs had compacted it over the days. I knew footing would be bad. Winds were gusting to 15 miles per hour. I tried to make adjustments to my weight shift to compensate, while adjusting height and pace of putt. Starting out 21 feet away from the basket.

CLANG. CLANG. ching. CLANG.

(Well, I mean, some of them tinkled off of the chains...)

Seven out of eight. Six out of eight. Sporadic sets resulting in an effective number under my target. For 20 minutes. Frustration begins to set in. This isn't going to be a good set. I can't get my footing. I can't get my head off of my footwork. I probably look stiff. I begin to tell myself that I need to just go inside, this isn't going to work tonight.

You can't do that!

So how do you move past these putting doldrums? For me the answer lies in changing the routine. I believe strongly in tracking putts, making sure you are assessing yourself regularly. But you can't do it every day. In education (my own field and experience as a person) we repeat the same thing every year: over-testing is bad. It holds true in disc golf. So how do you take a session that isn't up to your standards, and back off of the numbers to enjoy it?

You remember that the numbers are not what give the routine structure. There are a thousand different ways to structure your routine that allow you to take your mind and pull it away from the numbers. For me, on that night, it meant creating a routine that involved a very generous and pleasant progression. I stepped back from my routine, and I decided I wanted to feel successful. I needed to get in reps. I needed to be able to focus. And I needed to step away from frustration.

With my flags set at every three feet from 18 to 48 - I set down simple rules. At every station I would get 3 misses. If I missed 3 putts in a row, I move to the next closer station. If I make a putt, I move to the next deeper station. And I would go through this until I went all the way from 18 to 48 to one basket, and then I'd turn around and do the same from the other basket. It allowed me to feel good about my results, because of the varied distances it was difficult to develop a meaningful statistic in my head (I can't help but track myself when I can, often to my chagrin). I was consistently hanging out in the 39-45 foot range for long stretches of time, which made the missed putts easier to stomach.

In the end I was able to get meaningful practice out of a night that I wasn't at my most focused. I was able to come out of the session with a positive mindset about my putting game while getting all of the reps I needed, despite less than stellar conditions.

Living the practice life does mean tracking numbers. You need to understand your progression. But it doesn't mean doing it every single night. There's no need to track every putt that you take. I could not tell you how many putts it took me to move up and down both ends of my distance ladder. But I can tell you that I felt good about the work I put in at the end. And that made me want to get out there again the next night.

Live that life.
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Going On A Mini Tour? Start Planning Now!


If you aren’t able to make the commitment to tour on the road full time, it doesn’t mean that traveling out of state to disc golf is out of the question. Whether you’re in school or have a steady job, there’s a good chance you get some sort of break or vacation time during the year.

When it comes to playing tournaments and living the tour life, there’s no such thing as planning too much. If summer vacation or spring break seems like an eternity away, it’s not too soon to begin looking at tour dates and figuring out your schedule.

Logistics 101

Many players find that no matter how long or short their tour is, they enjoy taking a friend with them on the road. Typically it’s a person who is also competing and touring with them, but other times is a close companion or partner. Touring can be stressful but also super fun, so you’ll want to take some time to figure out if going solo is the right move for you or not.

Depending on who’s coming along, your lodging situation might vary. Thanks to an ever-growing disc golf community, many players find that they can locate places to stay for little to no cost while on the road. Crashing on a fellow player’s floor or couch could suffice depending on your travel style, while others prefer more privacy.

Be sure to check out options through Airbnb as well as traditional hotels to figure out what looks most appealing and what fits within your budget. Take into consideration that the cost to drive to each event will take a toll as well, so think about the big picture when calculating costs.

Determining Your Schedule

First and foremost, take into consideration how much time you’ll be out on tour. If it’s only for a few weeks, it’s probably a good starting point to plan for one event per weekend, making either two or three events your maximum. Consider how much money you have available for tournament entry fees as well as your overall skill level, as these will both factor into whether you play top-notch A-tiers or opt for smaller events closer to home.

One of the most important pieces of advice that touring pros will give you is to allow time for rest, so even if you’re touring for only a few weeks, make sure you have enough time to get from destination to destination without depriving yourself of downtime. Ultimately, it will make for a more fun trip and will help increase your chances of performing that much better.

A Taste Of The Big Time

Embarking upon a mini tour is a great way to see if full-time tour life might be the right choice for you. If you live, eat, and breathe disc golf and end up finding your home on the road, it could be that much more of an incentive to rearrange your life to make touring a reality. Above all else, make sure your tour is fun and memorable!
Monday, February 5, 2018

Sandbagging - The Hot Button Topic You Can't Not Talk About


For some of you, just seeing that word “sandbagger” makes your blood boil. It’s a term thrown around disc golf communities across the country, and while some use it lovingly to harass their friends, others flat out slur it at players and use it to tear down the camaraderie and structure the sport entails.

Instead of using the “s-word” let’s focus on what it means to play in a division that’s not right for you and how the PDGA guidelines can often confuse players when they view their actual performance. If you’re not sure what division to play in, we devoted an entire blog to it a while back. Today, we’re going to look at the effects of what happens when things go wrong.

The PDGA Guidelines

Let’s have a quick refresher about some of the criteria when it comes to playing in tournaments. We’re not focusing on age limits or gender here, just ratings and experience levels:

  • Advanced: Ratings equal to or above 935. “Tournament experienced players who have played disc golf for several years, and developed consistency. Throw 300-450 feet, make 5-7/10 putts from 25-30 feet, have different shots in their arsenal.”
  • Intermediate: Ratings below 935. “Developing players who have played 2-3 years with improved consistency and accuracy. Throw 250-350 feet, make 5-7/10 putts from 20 feet.”
  • Recreational: Ratings below 900. “For players who have played 1-2 years and are gaining consistency and experience. Throw 200-300 feet, make 4-6/10 putts from 20 feet, learning different shots.”
  • Novice: Ratings below 850. “For beginning and casual players who are learning basic Frisbee® and disc golf skills. Throw 175-250 feet, make 3-5/10 putts from 20 feet, can throw backhand with some accuracy.”
Here lies the issue when we talk about sandbagging (sorry, we said it): if you’re a new player who rightfully belongs in the novice division and someone who is rated 840 also plays on your card, there’s going to be a problem. It’s not playing favorites or being rigid, it’s flat-out logic.

Why A Bad Rap?

Let’s examine this situation a little further. The 840 rated player is technically signed up in the correct division. However, you don’t get to be rated that high if you can only throw 175 feet and aren’t very good at 20-foot putts. In this instance, some players might take one look at your rating, call you a sandbagger, and talk crap about you behind your back when you smoke the rest of the novice competition.

Not only does this 840 rated player receive a lot of grief, but they also have the potential to hurt themselves and their competitors. If you’re a true novice player and you see this guy show up in your division, your heart might sink and you’ll kiss the thought of a win goodbye long before you throw your first shot.

We hear time and time again that playing with those who are better than you can help improve your game. You learn by watching, but there’s also something funny about disc golf where you tend to learn through osmosis too. The 840 rated player would probably stand a better chance to be challenged during tournament play if he competed in the intermediate division, but the PDGA guidelines tell a different story.

This confusion is what leads to sandbagging even being a concern in the sport, as those who take a hard stance on the PDGA descriptions will shun those who seem to be playing in a lower division than they should.

We’re sure that we’ve sparked a healthy debate on our hands, so let us know in the comments below - is sandbagging a concern for you and your friends? How do you feel about people who play in what seems like the wrong division, and is it wrong according to the PDGA, the TD, or you?
Thursday, February 1, 2018

Taking Trivia To The Next Level - Can You Guess The Mold?


We like to have fun with our videos, and although silly antics are often involved, we also test the knowledge and patience of some of the DD team. We selected 10 Dynamic Discs molds and put some sweet looking blindfolds on Jeremy Rusco, Robert McCall, and Eric McCabe.

Not only did they have to guess the mold but we also asked them to identify the plastic too. Each was worth one point, for a total possible score of 20. How did they do? You’ll have to watch the video to see, but we will give you a bit of a spoiler - one of the three guys got every single point possible!

However, we do think this video points to an important and interesting point when it comes to discs and the selection you keep in your bag. Often times players will get hung up on specific molds and plastics, insisting that they “have to” throw it for one reason or another. But think about this - even our own team members couldn’t discern certain molds or plastics simply by feeling them, so how much of a difference is there really between certain selections?

We’re not implying that you can just grab any disc and throw it for any shot because that’s obviously not the case. However, you might want to take a moment and consider opening up your horizons a bit the next time you make a disc order. If we can’t tell the difference, can you?