I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m digging the Rattling Chains blog so far. It’s well-written with new content just about every day. In the short history of disc golf on the web, that combination has been as rare as a Ken Climo three-putt.
In others words, practically non-existent.
In joining the Rattling Chains team, I’m hoping my particular contributions will give readers another reason to check in on a regular basis. If my personal experience and observation of other disc golfers over the past couple decades is any indication, improving one’s play and one’s scores (and finally beating that smug ‘friend’) tends to result in more fun as well.
I intend to focus on posts that help those new to the sport learn how to do things the right way from the start, and more established disc golfers how to play better.
And I’ll also be bringing a decidedly more seasoned perspective to Rattling Chains.
Most of the other writers here are still oozing with the kind of excitement and enthusiasm that comes from recently having discovered disc golf (ahhh, good times).
They’re still in that phase where they’re discovering some wonderful new benefit each time they play, think about, or read about disc golf.
Don’t get me wrong — I still ooze disc golf, and after all these years I still occasionally have ‘discovery’ moments.
But I’m used to it by now.
I’ve played the sport since the late 1980’s, during which time I played casually for a few years (at the University of California at Santa Cruz, before I even knew baskets existed!), then competed in the PDGA Advanced division for a few years, then started my slow climb up the ranks in Open.
As an amateur player, I eventually figured out how to win tournaments, and will share those insights in this space.
When I made the move to playing Open and began competing against the best the sport has to offer, I realized that the formula was quite different. But I figured it out — over the course of many years — and finally began to win there as well.
The point is, I’ve enjoyed the journey at least as much as reaching goals I had set for myself. I learned that I get great satisfaction from helping others realize all the benefits that disc golf has to offer, as I have. So much so, in fact, that I started a business call School of Disc Golf, where I’m able to do exactly that.
Readers will get a close look at my teaching methods and philosophies through most of my posts, and in particular through an ongoing case study using none other than Rattling Chains lead blogger P.J. Harmer as my subject.
You may remember his post from the past week where he shared his mission to elevate his PDGA player rating to 700 by the end of 2012. When I read that, my passion to help players improve kicked in and we figured out a plan to work on his game together and blog about it, hopefully progressing toward and beyond his goal.
(Don’t tell him yet, but once he passes 700, he’ll be even more obsessed with reaching 800, then 900, then 950 . . . )
Both P.J. and I will post about the experience as it progresses, and hopefully readers (even those who think they can’t learn anything through the trials and travails of a sub-700 rated player) will pick up some tidbits that can be applied to their games as well.
Although, in P.J.’s case, we’re starting with some basics about technique and form, most of my posts will tend to be more toward the mental aspects of disc golf. Focus, game management, and the many ways we can improve our performance without increasing driving distance or putting accuracy (although those are worthwhile pursuits) are my particular obsession.
One of my favorite golf-related quotes was famously uttered by Bobby Jones, a ball golfer known for creating Augusta National (home of The Masters) and also for being one of the best players of all time. He said:
“Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course…the space between your ears.”
Bobby Jones spoke those words from experience, as his natural talent took him only so far in his career. He didn’t reach his full potential until he embraced the mental side of golf.
My goal is simple — to help disc golfers find that same pat, reach their full potential and have as much fun as possible doing it.
Jack Trageser is the founder of School of Disc Golf and will be writing with RattlingChains.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.