Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Growing Disc Golf Through Local Media

Every disc golfer has dreamed of seeing disc golf on TV. When players spark debates about growing disc golf, much of the discussion centers on having disc golf featured on ESPN. While we will see an occasional ace or fantastic shot featured on SportsCenter Top 10, it’s important to consider coverage on other media outlets and local news stations as helpful to our sport’s growth as well.

Troy Widden and Greater Binghamton Disc Golf are currently experiencing the benefits of local television coverage for the growth of disc golf in their area. After working on installing a course in their area and meeting resistance due to lack of funding, Troy shares about the turning point in their planning process: “We got a call from the county parks director today saying that the county executive saw [the disc golf story] on TV last night and wants a course installed by next summer at the park at which we proposed.”

If you’re interested in growing disc golf in your area, contacting your local news outlets is a great and often overlooked way to garner more interest and create more exposure for your tournament, course or project. Each time disc golf and its supporters are featured in a positive fashion like Greater Binghamton Disc golf, it not only helps them out, but it helps to grow disc golf everywhere.

Read the full story here:
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Disc Golf Answer Man Episode 171

In this episode, we answer questions about rules violations, beat-in discs, when to retire your putter, and much more.

The audio only version can be found here.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

So You're Going On Tour - Now What?

Guest writer Courtney Elder provides some insight into what tour life can be like, as she visited a few events earlier this year in a media capacity.
For most of us who have been bitten by the disc golf bug, going on tour and getting to play for a living might sound like heaven on earth. Getting sponsored by a well-known company and having their support on the road is invaluable, yet can tour be a reality even without this backing?

The answer is yes, with a certain expectation in mind: if you choose to tour on your own, be prepared for some challenges and to spend a lot more money than you might think. Let’s use a real-life example to give a little more insight into this type of commitment.

Does No Sponsor Equal No Problems?

Let’s say that you’re killing it at your local tournaments and it’s clear that you have real potential to make a name for yourself by going on tour and competing across the country. Having a solid disc golf community in your hometown is awesome, but what if that doesn’t quite translate while you’re on the road?

Deciding to tour and essentially “do it yourself” without a sponsor means a number of things. First and foremost, you’ll be paying all of your own entry fees. You might be used to paying $70 or so for your local B-tier, but get ready to fork over up to several hundred per event when you’re on the road. Unless you do well enough to cash, that’s money that you’re not recovering.

The Nitty Gritty Of It

Earlier this year, my husband, two kids, and I went on a “mini-tour” to provide some media coverage at a few events. Some of you might have seen us at The Gentlemen’s Club Challenge and also at The Memorial. Not ever having embarked on this kind of trip before, our journey was similar to that of a first time touring pro. While we weren’t playing, it still gave us insights into how unglamorous tour life can be.

It was amazing how quickly we got used to a 10-hour car trip, and at the same time, it really hit home for us what it means when people talk about tour being a grind. You spend a ton of hours on the road, and even though you’re just sitting in a car, it can be exhausting. For those of you that have a vehicle with good gas mileage, traveling from your hometown to several events and back can easily cost a few hundred dollars.

Now here’s where it’s about to get real everyone. On the way from Portland, OR to Las Vegas, NV we had car trouble. We were running on a super tight schedule and didn’t have time to get the car checked out, so we had a super sketchy drive through the desert into Phoenix. After spending half the day in the dealership lobby, we got to pay $600 to fix the car, or else be in jeopardy of not making it home. That certainly wasn’t factored into the tour budget.

Food And Lodging

Go back to the scenario of a golfer going on tour for the first time who isn’t super connected to the nationwide community. Many times people luck out and can find a living room to crash in, but if not, you’re paying to sleep somewhere. We didn’t have much luck finding a place to accommodate two adults and two crazy kids, so we opted for the motel route. Spending less money on a room seems smart, right?

Let me tell you, in the world of lodging you get what you pay for. Even with a super low-quality room that left us driving 40 minutes to and from the course every day, each stop on our tour cost about $300 just in motel fees.

But since we opted for a cheap room that must have paid off in the end right? What we failed to realize is that with a low-cost room we had no way of preparing or even storing food (we’re talking no microwave or fridge). There was no choice but to eat out nearly every single meal, which meant the money we saved on lodging went straight into our stomachs.

The Moral Of The Story

Now remember, we weren’t competing so we didn’t give ourselves the chance to earn any of this money back through winning. Obviously, that’s one piece to the puzzle that would be present for anyone who is seriously touring, but again, unless you’re performing exceptionally well, how are you going to offset the hundreds of dollars you spent just getting there?

The bottom line is that going on tour is so much harder than most people think it is. Not only does it affect your bank account but it adds a mental stress that’s so much different than when you’re competing at home. If you’re thinking about hitting the road for the first time, make sure to get yourself connected with others on tour. Having a support system, as well as enough money, will help you to sustain tour life and hopefully ease some pressure so you can put on your best performance possible.
Monday, May 22, 2017

Everything You Need To Know About The Trilogy Challenge

Maybe you’ve seen your local club post about an event called the Trilogy Challenge or you’ve heard it talked about on your favorite disc golf podcast, and you’ve wondered what exactly it is. Today we’re here to give you a quick breakdown of these awesome events and how they benefit everyone involved.

What Is A Trilogy Challenge?

A Trilogy Challenge is a versatile disc golf event package offered by Westside Discs, Latitude 64, and Dynamic Discs. With a scalable format, developed to make running and organizing a disc golf tournament both fun and easy, it’s the perfect toe in the water for both players and tournament directors alike. 2017 Trilogy Challenge Players Pack

For just $35 dollars each player receives a decked out players pack including one putter, one midrange, and one driver, as well as a shirt, a mini, and a reusable scorecard. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself near the top of the leaderboard, you could also be awarded a Mini Recruit disc golf basket, Micro Recruit disc golf basket, DyeMax discs, or a gift card redeemable at the Dynamic Discs website.

Why Would I Want To Play In One?

A Trilogy Challenge is a perfect event for newer players who perhaps have never played a disc golf tournament before. It’s also the exclusive way to try out three new disc molds before the stock release the following year. The value of the players pack alone far exceeds the entry fee, so when you play in a Trilogy Challenge you have already gotten your money’s worth just by showing up.

Even if you’re a veteran of the tournament scene, a Trilogy Challenge is a fun way to keep your competitive skills sharpened. Maybe you don’t have much time to tour or play anymore, but you want to practice certain aspects of your mental game. Grab your friends and create your own group to go play in a fun event.

How Can I Run A Trilogy Challenge?

Dynamic Discs, Westside Discs, and Latitude 64 have made it exceptionally easy to run a Trilogy Challenge event. The registration process takes just a few minutes and when your package arrives, you’ll find each individual player’s pack comes pre-bundled. For anyone who has spent hours putting together items the night before an event, you know that this feature makes the tournament a breeze to run.

Dynamic Discs has taken all the hiccups out of running an event by streamlining and optimizing the whole process, allowing you to sit back and enjoy your tournament with very little stress. As a tournament director of a Trilogy Challenge, the playing format is up to you. Whether you want to run a doubles event, a flex start C-Tier, or a juniors only event, you have the autonomy to shape things to best suit your needs.

Want More Info?

We’ve only just touched on the highlights of running a Trilogy Challenge, so for the full scoop, visit the Trilogy Challenge website. You’ll be able to view events taking place in your area and even register to run one of your own!
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Record Attendance for Glass Blown Open Juniors Event

After the Glass Blown Open came to end for more than 1,100 participants, the competition heated up for the junior players.

Seventy-seven youth players took part in the Glass Blown Open Juniors Challenge on Sunday — an attendance which was more than double that of last year.

“It is great to see so many children and families out enjoying disc golf,” Dynamic Discs Owner Jeremy Rusco said. “To see the number of participants double from last year was just amazing.”

The day started with the top professional players from Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64, and Westside Discs giving demonstrations.  Professionals who took part in the clinic were Eric Oakley, Eric McCabe, Tina Stanaitis, Paige Pierce, Ricky Wysocki, Zach Melton, Drew Gibson, JohnE McCray, Hannah Leatherman, Zach Newhouse, A Ray, Brian Miller, Jonathan Ray, and Robert McCall.

Children moved between a putting station, two throwing stations, and a question and answer panel. In the afternoon, players took part in an 18-hole disc golf competition.

Youth ages 7 - 18 of all skill levels were able to attend the tournament.

“Being taught by the top pros was great,” said Aiden Sanchez, who had never played disc golf before. “Even though I had never played before everyone was so nice and took time to work with me.”

Makayla Allen, daughter of PDGA women’s professional player Jennifer Allen, spent the week in Emporia caddying for her mother and then participated in the tournament.

Makayla picked up a first-place win for her age group.

“I really enjoyed playing in the juniors tournament,” Makayla said “The course was fun to play and I was glad I threw well.”

“I really enjoyed caddying for my daughter,” Jennifer Allen said. “She played great and it was awesome to see so many kids learning and playing disc golf.”

Dynamic Discs will host the Junior Worlds in Emporia, Kansas, in 2018, 2019, and 2020 as it continues its commitment to teaching and growing the sport among juniors.

“Children are the future of our sport,” Rusco said. “Talent level is getting younger every year and it is exciting to see the abilities of the children.”

Tournament Results:

By Chris Walker
Chasin’ the Chains
Friday, May 12, 2017

Representing The Team From Across The Pond - Meet Sweden's Victor Nyhuus

Hard work, dedication, passion, persistence - all of these words are synonymous with the sport’s top players, yet you don’t have to be scoring 1000 rated rounds to be a part of the Dynamic Discs team. Demonstrating a strong commitment to our sport and acting as an amazing ambassador in Sweden, DD team member Victor Nyhuus embodies the disc golf spirit we love to see. We recently talked with him about his 2017 season and got to know a little bit about what it’s like to be a pro in Scandinavia.

This Year Might Be His Best Yet

Victor has been excited for months as his first event of this year is taking him far from home and into our own backyard - he’ll be playing his first GBO and will get the chance to escape the cold weather in Sweden. “It is cold and [there’s] a lot of snow here in the winter and I don’t like playing in that,” he said, and after spending time in the gym to stay active, he’s ready to unleash his talent in Emporia.

Another highlight for 2017? He’ll be running Sweden’s largest amateur tournament, The Skywalker Disc Golf Open III in June. With a field of 144 players, it filled to capacity in less than one day! Victor is a huge Star Wars fan, but we found out that there’s a deeper meaning behind his tournament’s name: “A lot of people know me as ‘Skywalker’ and that I’m a big Star Wars fan, but not a lot of people know that it is actually my legal middle name.”

How Did He Get Into Disc Golf?

It seems that this sport takes ahold of us and won’t let go, even if it waits to come back into our lives years later. This was true for Nyhuus, as his friend Robert introduced him to disc golf at age 12. They would use beach frisbees and aim to hit trees and poles at their school.

“A few years later we heard that there was actually a real course pretty close to where we lived. So we went there and tried the real deal. And it wasn’t just any course, it was Järva Discgolfpark which is one of the best courses in the world,” he explained. Boy, don’t we all wish that this epic course could’ve been the first one we played?!

Although they had fun, Victor moved on to other sports like soccer, hockey, basketball, and baseball. In 2007, he played Järva again and this time was hooked. He’s played in the Open field for many years, and is so thankful that he can represent the DD team, saying “Not being a top pro and still being on the greatest disc golf team feels huge! It’s also an amazing feeling getting appreciation for what I try to do for disc golf in Sweden.”

Playing The Sport Across The Globe

Nyhuus loves playing in Sweden with local pros like Danne Johansson, Patrik Martinsson, and Joakim Broman, and also notes that he loves playing with his wife and two children just as much. Sweden has a very strong club presence, with each course being linked to a local club in that area. Even if you don’t have time to make it out to many events, Victor notes that there’s always something going on with one of the local groups.

What’s he working on personally this year? His entire game has changed since in the last 15 months he’s lost over 150 pounds! He’s essentially having to relearn how his body works when he throws, commenting that “everything feels so ‘weird’ but in a good way.”

Victor is a true example of what we love to see in players; he has a love for the sport like nothing else and is constantly committed to improving his own game and being an ambassador to those in Sweden. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Skywalker!

AM to Pro - When To Make The Leap?

It’s a scenario seen many times throughout our sport: an enthusiastic amateur disc golfer, keen to take their best shot at the pro division, moves up too early only to find themselves back down in the amateur field the following season. It’s no one's goal to make the same old rookie mistakes, but how can you avoid an error if you don’t know it’s even an issue to begin with? We break down some of the common obstacles seen by amateur players who move up before their time, and uncover how you can make the start of your pro career a success.

Manage Your Expectations

Just because you crushed the advanced field in last week’s C-tier doesn’t mean you are ready to create a sustainable tour life by moving up to pro next week. Consider this for a moment - once you start to move up the ranks, the courses are going to challenge your weaknesses and expose your flaws. If your thousand rated rounds are all on your local pitch-and-putt course that doesn’t require much of a solid skill set, chances are your game will not translate once you find yourself up against the top caliber play we’ve come to expect at the highest levels of our sport.

Focus On Your Game

One of the best ways to stay sharp is to take your discs out into an open field and focus on the weakest part of your game. The more you understand how your discs fly in an open field, the more you will develop trust in your discs. This confidence with your tools helps build the confidence required to execute when it matters most. Trying out new discs can be fun but nothing will replace the confidence you’ve built with repetition and persistence.

Make Practice A Priority

If you have two jobs, three kids, and never travel, you may find that you have too much on your plate to support the vigorous practice and touring schedule of a pro disc golfer. Your availability and determination will decide your success. Only you can make time to practice putt, but you first need to make it a priority, just like you might with a job or a diet.

It’s a good idea to set up routines and to schedule practice days on a calendar to keep you motivated. Playing weekly leagues and placing friendly bets on casual rounds with friends can give you that added pressure of playing in a tournament. This can be especially helpful if you find yourself performing poorly when you should have the home field advantage. More often than not, this is simply a problem between the golfers’ ears, and there’s nothing in the field to simulate tournament pressure.

Do You Want It?

Most disc golfers who quickly move from amateur divisions up to pro will tell you that they want to be the best. They want to win, to tour, and to make a name for themselves. While these are great goals and are certainly attainable, it takes time. You don’t start lifting weights and immediately add fifty pounds just because your last repetitions seemed easy.

Remember to go at your own pace and make the move up in divisions when the timing is right for you. Just like with anything else in life, preparation and determination will pay off over a sustained period of time.
Monday, May 1, 2017

Dynamic Discs Unveils New Disc Golf Magazine

During the 2017 Glass Blown Open, one item that received plenty of excitement was a new magazine Dynamic Discs unveiled called Chasin’ the Chains.

“The 72-page magazine is packed with some great disc golf content,” said Dynamic Discs owner Jeremy Rusco. “The magazine combines great writing, great photography, great design and any disc golf fan is sure to enjoy the new magazine.”

Paige Pierce earned the first magazine cover.

“We are excited to have her back in the Dynamic Discs family and we are proud to have her on our first Chasin’ the Chains cover.” Rusco said.

Dynamic Discs is looking forward to producing several issues a year and it will be published in a print and digital edition. Click here to view the first edition.