Thursday, August 29, 2019

An Example of Determination and Dedication - Let's Learn More About DD Player Robbie Olson

Most of the time when you head out to the disc golf course, you run into at least a handful of players who just recently discovered the sport. Their enthusiasm is fresh and contagious, and they’re working on developing a variety of aspects of their game. It’s rarer to find, however, the people who have stuck with disc golf through thick and thin, no matter what life brings.

One such player is Robbie Olson, a DD team member who lives in Wisconsin. He started playing disc golf at age 11 and has been a PDGA member for the last 12 years. Let’s take a look into his game and see how he balances the sport with life’s demands.

Dynamic From The Start

Robbie credits his mom and stepdad for helping to introduce disc golf into his life, and he truly loved it right away because his first few times playing weren’t even with any baskets! “We picked different trees to try and hit,” he explained. “Two months later I got to finally play a course with baskets.” During his first handful of tournaments in 2007, Olson competed in the Advanced division but he soon moved to Open and hasn’t looked back since.

The next year brought a big change for him that would shape his disc golf involvement for the next decade, and then some:

“At 2008 Pro Worlds I stayed with [Jeremy] Rusco and Greg Schwartz. We hung out all week [and] I helped vend at the fly mart. The week came to a close and Rusco shook my hand and said ‘let me know if you ever need anything’ and ever since I’ve worn DD pretty much every day.

It’s an honor to represent Dynamic Discs each year, not just because I’ve always thought the logo was cool, but because I believe in the company and Dynamic Discs’ ability to grow the sport. It means a lot to be a part of the Dynamic Discs family because everyone is so dedicated to growing the sport and helping others.”

An Established Routine

Olson has been playing long enough now that he has his routine dialed in and tends to favor wooded courses like the ones used at the Mad City Open, his most anticipated event each year. So far in 2019, he’s taken home a first-place win at the Skyline Classic and ran a clinic at a local sports show. Despite working 7-5 Monday through Friday, Robbie still finds time to play several rounds per week.

What’s he bagging these days? Here are his top three discs:

“The Lucid EMAC Truth because it is my go-to midrange and I can use this disc for many different shots. The Fuzion Raider because it is so fun to throw max distance with, and is a very versatile distance driver. I can throw any shot I need off the tee with the Raider. The Hard Mercy because it’s a great feeling putter for my spin putt and it throws well off the tee.”

When Robbie isn’t on the course he often spends time outdoors running and hiking or working on cars. Between his passion for disc golf and his ability to balance it with life’s other demands, he’s a true ambassador of DD and the sport as a whole!
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!