11-year-old Illinois twin sisters hooked on disc golf

Angelie (left) and Giavana Hill pose next to the Non-Stop Disc Golf truck. (Photo: Ray Hill)

There have been many famous twins throughout history.

These twins have been involved in all facets of entertainment, from sports to world history and mythology.

In recent memory, twins such as Tiki and Ronde Barber (football), Jenna and Barbara Bush (daughters of former President George W. Bush), and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (acting) have made their marks among famous twins.

Could Giavana and Angelie Hill be next?

Let’s not rush these two. After all, at 11 years old, the Joliet, Illinois residents are still dealing with fifth grade, let alone worrying about becoming famous.

Though if they have their way, they might be some of the next generation of top women’s disc golfers. The two — who recently became members of the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) and received back-to-back numbers — will play in their first tournament Saturday as part of the Women’s Global Event.

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Women to be featured this week on Rattling Chains

Don’t be alarmed by the different look of the website. It’s for good reason, I assure you.

This week is a special week — and one that we as disc golfers need to embrace and help push.

Why?

There aren’t enough females playing disc golf.

And that’s a shame.

This sport is extremely fun and it works so well that people of any age, gender, race or anything else can play it. And with the proper work, anyone can become quite good.

Some of the finest disc golfers I’ve ever seen are female.

At the Vibram Open last year, I had the chance to watch some of the very best professional women — Val Jenkins, Sarah Hokom, Paige Pierce, Catrina Allen and Sarah Stanhope. The list can go on and on.

A few years ago — based on my stellar scores during the first round of a tournament — I was paired up with four women in the second round.

To say they thoroughly whipped me would be an understatement.

But what a difference. They were competitive, yet kept things loose, offered some advice and were extremely nice to be paired with, despite me not being so good.

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Weekly disc golf wrap: News and notes

Another weekend of good weather, at least in these parts!

So I hope you got the chance to get out and play and take advantage of it!

I was quite amazed with the response on our 9-hole course story this past week, so keep the comments coming on that one! We appreciate it.

Speaking of 9-holers, I had the chance to play one Friday. It was pretty wide open and I’m sure it’s the type of course that 9-hole detractors point to when talking about how they aren’t great. Still, at least it was throwing and there were baskets!

Anyway, there’s been some good stuff in the mainstream media this week, so check out this week’s golf wrap.

May 6

  • Frisbee golf coming to Beverly Park (Beverly Hills, Mich.)

May 5

  • Trumbull MetroParks Celebrates New Pavilion, Disc Course (Trumbull County, Ohio)

May 4

  • Disc golf provides cheap, exciting thrills (Auburn, Calif.)
  • Want to play? Just pick up a disc (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
  • Discover it: They’re in it to spin it, and members of Muscatine Disc Golf Club hope they can get more people to do the same (Muscatine, Iowa)
  • AHS teams dominate state disc golf meet (Austin, Minn.)
  • Moore Report: Frolfers these days (Anchorage, Alaska)

May 3

  • Westchester Lagoon Disc Golf Hearing Looks for Solutions (Anchorage, Alaska)
  • Give it a whirl: Disc course in McDonald expands facilities of Johnston Woods (McDonald, Tenn.)
  • Westchester disc golf course out of bounds (Anchorage, Alaska)

May 2

  • Disc golf event set for May 12 (Bowling Green, Kent.)
  • June 14 public hearing set for disc golf plan at Whipple Beach (Baxter, Minn.)
  • Disc golf course closure is topic of public meeting Wednesday (Anchorage, Alaska)
  • Disc golfers would clean up trails (Barrie, Ontario, Canada)
  • The Attempt to Save Westchester Disc Golf (Anchorage, Alaska)
  • An olive branch from Anchorage to its disc-golfers? (Anchorage, Alaska)
  • Canyon County looking to open 9-hole disc golf course near Lake Lowell (Lake Lowell, Idaho)

May 1

  • Annual disc golf tournament held in Edmond (Edmond, Okla.)
  • Disc golf product Bushwhack Apps wins top prize at Startup Weekend (Madison, Wisc.)
  • Cleanup revives free course’s original vision (Trinidad, Colo.)

April 30

  • Disc golf tournament pits pros, amateurs in growing sport that doesn’t cost fortune to play (Memphis, Tenn.)
  • McDade Park boasts 18-hole Disc Golf course and more (Houston, Texas)
  • Locals start young professionals club (disc golf course creation mentioned; Kenai, Alaska)

If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj [at] rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

May 5: What’s in your bag?

Kelly's bag carries a lot of things!

This week’s “What’s in your bag?” feature comes from Kelly Littlefield, who calls three courses in Colorado “home field.”

But it’s not the courses that Kelly calls home that makes the bag unique. Nope. It’s that Kelly names every disc. Not only are the discs named, they are after race horses! In fact, it’s a superstition.

The drivers

It can be funny, however. Kelly says someone may call after finding a lost disc and might say “Is Van Gogh there?”

Kelly calls Optimist Park (Fort Morgan, Colo.); YMCA of the Rockies (Estes Park, Colo.) and Badlands (Federal Heights, Colo.) as home courses.

Good stuff, Kelly. And thanks for sharing what’s in your Fade Fly or Die bag!

Discs:

  • Innova Pro Valkyrie 174g – Chocolate Candy II (Me like some Valkyrie!)
  • Midranges

  • Innova Pro Valkyrie 168g – Chocolate Candy III
  • Innova Pro Valkyrie 150g – Ghostzapper
  • Innova Champion Valkyrie 171g – Dust Commander
  • Innova R-Pro Wahoo 169g – Bumble bee (Best swimmer in my bag!)
  • Innova Pro Beast 167g – Bee Bee Bee
  • Innova Pro Vulcan 167g – Van Gogh )My newest addition and instant favorite!)
  • Innova Pro Destroyer 172g – Dobber
  • Innova Star Spider 175g – Real Quiet
  • Innova Star Skeeter 175g – Winning Colors
  • MVP Proton Ion 175g – Dotted Battle Cow
  • Vibram Soft Summit 174g – Blue Man
  • The rest of the stable for another day!

What else?

  • Two aluminum Tampa Buccaneers water bottles
  • My cell phone with Avery Jenkins wallpaper
  • One pack of Eclipse spearmint gum
  • One large Shamwow towel and one small Shamwow towel
  • One 18 Rabbit Nibblin Apricot granola bar (It’s a wifey thing, don’t ask!)
  • Four Trails Best Beef and Cheese sticks (Reason for the flossers)
  • Bag of Bigs Zesty Ranch Sunflower Seeds (The best seeds, period!)
  • Golden retriever, sharpie and pencil
  • Kleenex, sun screen, ibuprofen, Napoleon Dynamite vanilla lip balm and Hot Spot hand warmers
  • Usually three pounds of change (I scrounged up enough change to buy a disc once!
  • Official Rules of Disc Golf & Competition Manual

Want to submit your bag and contents? Here’s what we need: A couple of photos of your bag and discs. Put together a list of everything you carry in the bag — from food to discs to anything else. Then maybe give a paragraph or two about your bag and if there’s anything you do between casual and tournament rounds etc. Finally, don’t forget your name, location and home course! Cell phone photos are fine, but please try and make it as high quality as possible. Grainy shots might not be able to be used. E-mail all of these things to pj [at] rattlingchains.com with the subject “What’s in my bag.”

What’s a 9-hole course worth to you?

Nine-hole courses can be as scenic and as challenging as 18-hole courses. (Note, this image comes from an 18-hole course)!

Is a 9-hole course worth anything?

It’s amazing to hear someone say that a 9-hole course isn’t worth the land it’s on. But I’ve heard that — more than once.

This came up recently on one of the local club’s message boards. There was discussion about a 9-hole course and one of the area players was quite adamant about the waste that is a 9-hole course.

Someone asked about a possible course and if it would start as a 9-hole layout. They were told that it would be 18.

A response came about “it must be” 18 holes. And that “most people” think the 9-hole courses are a joke. Nobody plays or cares about them. And, of course, no tournaments.

And being this person said it, it must be the truth, right?

What followed was some banter where people defended 9-hole courses and, of course, couldn’t sway the naysayer.

Apparently, it’s a mental exercise for people to argue in favor of a 9-hole course, he noted. Yet, his brain doesn’t have enough cells to argue with “this sort of craziness.”

Then, as if this was a court case with closing arguments, it was noted that “Disc golf courses have 18 holes. Period. More than 18 is even better.”

Quite the interesting situation, I’d say.

The benefits of a 9-hole course are easy enough to explain — it’s a place for people to play, it gives options, you can get through a 9-hole course quick enough and, if in a good spot, it can be just as challenging and scenic as an 18-hole course.

The fact that one person feels his opinion is the ultimate say on this matter doesn’t irritate me. That happens in everyday life. But the realization here is that 9-hole courses do have their place in this game.

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Company Closeup: Big Hyzer Bag Company looking to make its mark

In the world of disc golf, bags are becoming more and more important to players.

For those taking the game a bit serious, especially.

It’s not likely, after all, to see a professional-level player — or many amateurs, for that matter — carrying a small sling bag that carries four or five discs.

No, the bigger bag is becoming more and more prevalent, especially for tournament players. Bags need to do more than carry discs, though. There has to be enough room for snacks, drinks, towels, jackets and anything else.

How about a stool?

Those tournament days can get long and with backups on some holes almost inevitable, one might want to sit down.

Enter Big Hyzer Bag Company.

Owner John Chamness, an amateur-level player from Huntsville, Alabama, has been playing the game seriously for eight years, but has been involved with the game since 1985. That’s when his step-father used to take him to the original University of Alabama-Huntsville course where the targets were concrete cylinders used for storm sewers. At that time, they just used standard freestyle Frisbees.

Coming from that point to making bags that he hopes will compete in an already competitive market was a long road for Chamness, the 2007 Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) Volunteer of the Year.

The concept of Big Hyzer Bag Company came in 2007 when Chamness and his friend, Will Kelly, went to an A-Tier event at the SportsPlex in Athens, Alabama. Another friend, Chad Smith, was on the final card with pro Steve Rico and the duo wanted to support Smith.

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Review: PDGA app for iPhone

With smart phones becoming so prevalent in everyday life, many disc golfers have seemingly ditched the pencil-and-paper scoring in favor of applications for their phones, whether an iPhone, Android or Blackberry.

The ease of being able to tap a number on a screen and making sure there’s no mathematical issues helps make these apps even more popular.

This app is solid and easy to use.

I used to own an Android and had a few apps on there that I enjoyed. Within the last year, however, I swapped to the iPhone and couldn’t find a scoring app as much as I liked the one I had for Android.

That meant I purchased several. Others have done the same, so I’ve been told. There are a couple of us who plan on writing some reviews on these apps. We’re still looking for someone who might be willing to do some Android/Blackberry reviews, too.

The latest app I messed around with was the official PDGA app, which as of now is only on the iPhone. Hopefully it will appear within other formats soon as it seems like it is a pretty sharp app, from my tests.

Let’s take a peek at the app (I am using version 1.0.9, which was released Feb. 2).

Overview

First, the app is connected to the extensive courses database the PDGA has and that is one heck of a great tool. You can search for courses near you and get the skinny on said courses, which is a valuable thing.

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