Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Let's Analyze The Open Division In 2020

Disc golf is certainly a unique sport in nearly every way you can imagine, so it’s not surprising that competitions are designed to give everyone an equal opportunity to do their best. While the divisions that the PDGA implements have changed over the years, by and large, they’ve always had relatively the same goal in mind: allow professionals to compete against each other and let those who are newer to the game play with others that are similar in skillset.

This concept has recently had a big bold spotlight shined down upon it as the PDGA is making a change to some of the divisional criteria come 2020. Let’s explore exactly what the change is, how it might affect you, and the real-world implications of this shift.

Behind The Scenes

The PDGA works tirelessly to ensure that they are doing all that they can to grow the sport of disc golf and provide the best possible experience for their members, and there’s no doubt that much of the conversation at this fall’s Summit has centered around that common thread. One topic of discussion touched upon the ratings required to register in the Open division for both National Tour and DG Pro Tour events, noting that come 2020, a minimum rating of 900 will be necessary.

Suddenly, the internet was buzzing as someone referenced Lloyd Weema and casually questioned if this change had anything to do with him - for reference, Weema attended 2018 Pro Worlds and competed in the Open division as a 735-rated individual, ending up in last place when all was said and done. Starting next year, players like Lloyd will no longer be able to compete in NT or DGPT events as an Open player just for the fun of it.

How Major Is This Change?

Any hot button disc golf topic will naturally have a plethora of voices on many sides of the issue, and of course, this newly dubbed “Lloyd Weema Rule” is no exception. While a handful of players are concerned that this change is naturally closing the window of inclusivity, the fact of the matter is that very few people will be negatively affected. Take a look through 2019’s event history and count how many Open players were sub-900...we’ll wait. At most, this new rule will exclude a few handfuls of players from competing in Open across all NT and DGPT events.

Disc golfers are passionate people and of course, whenever it appears like someone is going to get left out, we make our feelings known. A host of questions have come up surrounding the new rule, ranging from whether this positively promotes a higher level of professionalism within the sport all the way to inquiries about if you’ve previously accepted cash and are now prohibited from playing in Open because your rating ended up dropping.

We’d like to spark our own healthy conversation around the rule change and the nature of PDGA divisions as we know it - where do you stand on this modification? Leave a comment below and share your two cents!
Friday, October 18, 2019

The 2020 Tour Schedules - A Sneak Peek At What's To Come

For many players, the announcement of both the PDGA National Tour and the Disc Golf Pro Tour stops is better than Christmas Day. While the events largely remain the same, it never hurts to start planning for next season in advance, and having firm dates and locations months ahead of time works to bring excitement and the ability to make important decisions about the coming year.

We thought we’d take a look at the 2020 schedules and examine them in a bit more detail - there are some new changes this year that many already have mixed feelings about, and ultimately we want to ask the important question: does the coordination of these schedules work to support having more golfers on the road, or is touring full-time still too difficult for many?

Changing Things Up

Year after year, the start of the disc golf season for most is marked by The Las Vegas Challenge, an event that often shows up as part of the NT schedule. In 2020, however, it’s being run as an A-tier and instead, The Memorial, a DGPT event, will be the first seasonal event for some. We don’t see a National Tour event pop up until the end of March with the Texas State Disc Golf Championships, which hasn’t been a part of this circuit since 2014.

The end of the National Tour will also take place somewhere a little off the beaten path and will offer players an immense challenge, particularly after already being on the road for so long. The Music City Open, with a course that measures in at over 13,000 feet, occurs shortly before USDGC. Other stops, including the Beaver State Fling and Glass Blown Open, will remain integral parts of the season, and somewhat newer Pro Tour events like the San Francisco Open and Portland Open will also be seen again in 2020.

Travel Takes Its Toll

Attempting to play disc golf full-time and attend nearly all of the NT and DGPT events is a huge challenge, because not only can you obviously not hold a day job while traversing the country, but the sheer amount of time that you’re away from home is mind-boggling. There’s no doubt that the PDGA and DGPT crews have worked hard to ensure that the 2020 schedules make sense from a logistical standpoint, but we wonder if the stops still make it a bit rough to fully take the plunge into professional play?

For example, the 2020 Texas State Championships will be held from March 27th to 29th with the next huge event a short 130 miles away. Sure, some will fill their time with A-tiers during this 18-day wait before the Jonesboro Open on April 17th, but if that’s not in the cards, is nearly three weeks too much time to kill on the road? Most players can’t or don’t want to go home for that period of time only to come back out again, and yet each day that you’re not on the course trying to earn money, you’re instead burning it by eating out or using gas while sightseeing.

There’s no question that the 2020 tour makes a lot of sense when looking at both the NT and DGPT schedules, but we want to hear your thoughts. What changes could be made to make going on the road even more attractive? Are some events too close together (check out the dates of the MVP Open and Green Mountain), or are things looking pretty manageable? Drop us a comment and share your opinion.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Meet the New Face behind The United States Amateur Match Play Championship: Scott Reek

At Dynamic Discs, we love match play because anything can happen. Players with lower ratings can beat higher-rated players, and the damage from taking a big number on a hole can be limited to just that hole, as it only counts as one hole lost. Each hole in match play is almost like a new match or a new opportunity to compete. The United States Amateur Match Play Championships has brought disc golf match play to the national stage, and today, we're excited to announce that Scott Reek will be taking over the leadership for the USAMPC moving forward!

Scott is no stranger to the disc golf tournament scene, as he has played in over 220 PDGA tournaments, but he brings a wealth of Tournament Director knowledge as well, having directed over 140 PDGA tournaments. Scott's passion for running events is evident as he has run events like the PDGA Masters World Championships, Midwest Amateur Championships, and the Kansas City Wide Open. Reek began playing disc golf in the mid-1990s and ran the Kansas Disc Golf Association before joining the Air Force in 2003. Before moving back to Kansas City, Reek was the President of the Appleton Area Disc Golf Club in Wisconsin, which is one of the most densely populated disc golf scenes. Upon returning to Kansas, Scott took the reins as President of the Kansas City Flying Disc Club. Scott also has history with Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64, and Westside Discs, as he served as General Manager of the Dynamic Discs Kansas City retail store and is a sponsored player for Latitude 64.

Doug Bjerkaas, the Events Director for Dynamic Discs, is thrilled to bring Scott on board for these events. "The USAMPC is positioned for a ton of growth as Scott Reek takes charge of both the spring and fall editions of the event in 2020! Scott has a great deal of TD experience. He also has the added experience of running local and state match play brackets each of the last two years. He is passionate about match play and has already shared with me some exciting changes to be implemented next year," Bjerkaas shared.

We can't wait to hear about some of the changes and improvements that Scott will make to the USAMPC, and we're thrilled to see it grow. Please join us in welcoming Scott Reek to the Dynamic Discs family!
Monday, October 14, 2019

A Look At Unique Courses - Are They Kitchy Or Can They Offer A Real Challenge?

By and large, the general layout of an 18-hole disc golf course hasn’t changed much in the last handful of years. Even as far back as two decades ago, you could say that the overarching style of play is similar among courses around the world, with the exception of difficulty and natural obstacles, of course. However, as the sport is becoming more and more popular and top players are absolutely shredding these layouts, we’ve seen some changes.

Some course designers have opted to utilize a wide range of objects in order to offer more of a challenge or at least a bit of visual interest if nothing else. Private landowners will sometimes use old cars to spice things up while other elements may not always be by choice, like the reason for hole 12’s fitting name “The Kitchen” at DeLaveaga. But what about when specific elements are intentionally placed, or an event is played at a location that’s not really meant for disc golf at all?

A Fighting Chance

Without getting into too much of a heated debate, one has to look at the last few years of tournament play and wonder if and when the sport is going to make things more difficult. When players can shoot an 18 down like it’s nothing, most would agree that something has to give. You could say that was the motivation for changes to hole 2 at USDGC a few years ago, as five wooden pillars guarded the right side of the basket.

Others argue that holes simply have to be longer in order to offer more of a challenge, but does that really enhance the aesthetic as a whole? Or, is it simply catering to those who can throw a mile so that competitive play seems that much more exciting?

Transforming The Game

Although top tier events have yet to truly shake things up when it comes to course layout, smaller tournaments are opting for more unusual settings. Our very own Bobby Brown and his trusty camera will be heading up to the Old Joliet Prison in Joliet, Illinois for the Inparcerated II - the second annual event that takes place in an abandoned jail!

While we’re not running full tournaments at each of our Stadium events, these special occasions give disc golfers the chance to throw discs in some pretty unlikely places including Broncos Stadium at Mile High and Pocono Raceway. Again, we realize that the sport’s touring players aren’t necessarily coming out to these types of events, but could we start to see unique courses become more mainstream, or are they cheesy at best?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below about unusual layouts and whether completely changing the type of physical environment is what the sport needs in order to offer more of a challenge, or whether simple changes like wooden pillars will do enough to keep 18 down scores from happening regularly. Could there be room for both, with some alterations catering to more casual players and others geared toward the touring scene? It’s a complex issue and one that we want your opinions on.
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Disc Golf Media - Are We Moving The Sport In The Right Direction?

Shortly before 2019's USDGC the event made an announcement detailing media plans the event. We couldn’t help but take a moment to think about how much the sport is changing. Ten years ago, watching disc golf on YouTube was a coveted benefit that players obsessed over, and even farther back in time, it wasn’t uncommon to purchase a DVD that highlighted a huge event during that year.

Now that technology has changed so much, it’s only natural to have much higher expectations when it comes to tournament coverage. However, it seems that with each change or new partnership, there’s a growing number of players who are becoming dissatisfied. Is this a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease, or are media efforts actually driving a wedge in the sport?

Is Pay-per-view the answer?

You may not know what we’re referencing with regard to the USDGC news, so let’s touch on that first. This year, the tournament crew decided to develop a pay-per-view situation with Fulcrum Media. For $9.99, or $7.99 if you’re a current PDGA member, you could watch lead coverage of rounds 2, 3, and 4. Commentary was provided by Jamie Thomas of SpinTV, Hannah McBeth, and the famous Ken Climo.

For those who aren’t willing to dish out any cash, post-produced coverage of all four rounds was available online, with SpinTV tackling the lead card and Jomez Pro on the chase card. They were shorter Front 9 and Back 9 videos and featured Thomas on commentary for the lead rounds and “BigSexy” once again partnering with Jomez.

Is This Progress?

A quick review of the feedback online after the news was released of this year’s media plan caused many to scratch their heads, wondering if the pay-per-view idea is a step in the right direction or if it’s actually turning people off from watching. Other well-known sports utilize this method in order for fans to watch, however, free versions of shorter coverage aren’t typically an option in these cases. After all, it is a fair question - will that many people want to pay for instant gratification when something very similar will be available for free the next day?

Some would rather put their hard-earned money toward disc purchases to bolster those companies who are helping to grow the sport, while other players are pointing to the previous quality of coverage in years past and are wondering why they would pay for something that they’re expecting to be sub-par. Sure, any change that involves money often brings out the naysayers who think that the fee is simply to line people’s pockets, but putting on a first-class live event requires more time and money than many realize.

The Future Of The Sport

Ultimately, we have to wonder if this step toward pay-per-view coverage is simply irritating to die-hard fans who are used to getting everything for free but could pay off by attracting new viewers to the game. Or, is it a matter of simply trying something new just to see how it goes and players should be a bit more understanding? Did you pay to watch the live USDGC coverage? Was it worth it? Did you opt to not pay to watch live coverage and just waited for the free post-produced coverage? Let us know why you did or did not pay for live coverage?
Friday, October 4, 2019

Dynamic Discs Month In Review - September 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 September’s top sellers:

  1. Lucid Raider
  2. VIP-X Chameleon Warship
  3. Opto-X Glimmer Fury
  4. Retro Keystone
  5. Prime Burst Judge
  6. Lucid Vandal
  7. Tournament Gatekeeper
  8. Opto-X Chameleon Explorer
  9. Fuzion Raider
  10. Lucid Air Vandal
  11. Lucid Maverick
  12. Opto Diamond
  13. Prime Judge
  14. Lucid EMAC Truth
  15. Gold Ballista Pro
  16. Prime Burst EMAC Truth
  17. Lucid Felon
  18. Opto River
  19. VIP Hatchet
  20. Lucid Escape

September brings us nearly to the end of Trilogy Challenges, and the Vandal, Gatekeeper, and Keystone will be widely available soon! However, the releases of the much-hyped Lucid Raider and a couple of limited edition discs dethrone the Trilogy Challenge discs for September. The VIP-X Chameleon Warship, Opto-X Glimmer Fury, and Opto-X Chameleon Explorer turned some heads with their unique shifting colors. If you haven’t picked one up, there’s a chance you regret it. You can only fix it by picking one up. The Judge sticks around yet again as the only putter on the list and is joined by the only other stock midrange to make the list every month - the EMAC Truth. Fairway drivers had a great month, claiming 10 of the 20 spots, and the Raider is joined only by the Ballista Pro on the list for September. It seems like September is the month for SENDING IT! You all are probably just waiting for the winter months to work on your short game - we get it. In the meantime, KEEP SENDING IT!

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 October’s Month in Review!
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Zoe Andyke: 2018 EDGE/PDGA Educational Award Winner!

If you've been around disc golf for a while, there's a good chance that you've met Zoe Andyke. Of the people that have met Zoe, approximately 100% of them think she is just the best, and all of them are correct. Zoe has an infectious energy and a genuine love for teaching and growing disc golf, so it's no surprise that she was awarded the 2018 EDGE/PDGA Educational Award. Zoe and Dustin Keegan have been hard at work with Universal Play Disc Golf (abbreviated UPlayDG), and it has been incredible to see just how far their hard work is pushing the sport of disc golf.

Zoe has a background in teaching and has been working to teach disc golf since long before UPlayDG existed. The EDGE/PDGA Educational Award was one upon which Andyke set her sights long ago, but she admitted that receiving it for 2018 was quicker than she had anticipated. She was overjoyed at being selected for the award, saying, "Winning this award is by far my BIGGEST accomplishment in my entire disc golf career, and it's my favorite award that I've received. It signifies the community that I have dedicated my life to working hard for recognizes what I'm doing, and it also supports and encourages me to continue with my mission!"

Zoe has multiple victories throughout her PDGA career, but her passion for educating certainly stands out as her priority. One only needs to look at Andyke's schedule to understand exactly how important she believes teaching to be. She gave up the opportunity to play many of the top-tier events in 2019 in favor of teaching at new schools. About their work with UPlayDG, Andyke said, "It's important to the entire sport of disc golf! Bringing new people into our sport, teaching them how to play, and become better directly grows EVERY piece of the disc golf world, from pro all the way down."

Friends of Andyke refer to a speed at which Zoe functions as "Zoe-tron Mode", and that pace seems between absurd to nearly impossible to most. However, if you know her, you know that Andyke has no intention of slowing down. "My future plan for the organization is to continue making tidal waves of difference in the sport by educating hundreds of thousands more people to play and or get involved! [I would love] to win this award again and again, and finish my entire career with that as the focus!" Andyke exclaimed.

If you want to get involved in growing the sport at the youth level, you can visit We are so proud of Zoe, Dustin, and everyone involved at Universal Play Disc Golf!

Follow Zoe and Dustin on Instagram.