June 9: What’s in your bag?

Brian Buller's bag.

This week’s “What’s in your bag?” feature comes from Brian Buller, who calls Enterprise Community Park in Redding, Calif., his home course.

And on a round, Buller doesn’t just carry his discs. He’ll make sure of a cheap cigar or two and he’ll never be seen without his Star Boss, the disc which got him his first ace — a forehand skip around a tree.

Let’s check out the rest of Brian’s bag.

  • ESP Nuke (signed by Gregg Barsby)
  • Star Boss
  • Champion Boss
  • Blizzard Champion Boss
  • Champion Wraith
  • Champion Beast
  • Champion Tee Bird
  • CryZtal Z Buzzz
  • Star Roc
  • KC Pro Roc
  • Super Soft Warlock
  • Super Stupid Soft Warlock
  • Super Stupid Soft Wizard

The discs Brian Buller carries.

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.”

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Avoid overconfidence and playing up can be a valuable experience

Darren putts during the pro event last year at the Jersey Jam.

By Darren Dolezel — RattlingChains.com Staff

It turns out, there is such a thing as overconfidence in disc golf.

The closest course to me during the week is the course at the Rutgers Douglas Campus in New Jersey. I play the course at least three times per week, and likely average about three rounds per day when I play.

So to say I know the course would be an understatement.

Last year, at the New Jersey Jam, I tied for fifth in the Am3 division. The second day, despite scrutiny from some friends, I spent the extra money and played in the Open division, despite likely having no chance to place. However, I felt the experience was invaluable.

It’s my belief that I actually played better than I normally would have because I was playing with those of a higher skill level.

Despite shooting just four strokes worse than I did during the amateur day of the tournament, it didn’t even bother me that I finished last in the tournament. I did this because I love the game and wanted the experience.

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To play better disc golf … be a sponge!

By Jack Trageser — RattlingChains.com Staff

I’m speaking to all disc golfers here, but primarily to those of you who really love to play, maybe even 2-3 times a week, but still feel like you could get way better.

The Am2 players who want to move up to Am 1, the Am1 players who want to start challenging the pros, and the rec players eager to see your scores go down.

When you think “Be a Sponge” you probably think I mean something like “Soak up all the advice you can,” or “Watch the top pros whenever you can.”Though neither of those pieces of advice are bad, I’m thinking the opposite sponge metaphor.

The first thing to do when you want to get better disc golf scores is to wring out all the potential you currently have, even as you work to improve and expand your skill set. In any sport, when you hear about an athlete that maximized his or her potential, or overachieved, it’s usually in reference to someone with an average physical game but an extraordinary mental game and strong desire to get better. They squeeze the most out of their physical potential (like wringing out a wet, heavy sponge).

I’m not saying you have to dedicate yourselves to disc golf, a fitness regimen, or anything like that. Just use your head. Figure out ways that you waste strokes during a typical round, and eliminate the waste. Squeeze it out. I address specific ways you can do this in this piece, and in more detail at School of Disc Golf, but you know which areas you need to focus on most. Here are some basics to get you started:

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Spreading the disc golf word isn’t always easy

Four-year-old Ethan gets some help from his father, Joe, Sunday at a local event.

By P.J. Harmer — RattlingChains.com Staff

Sometimes, it’s not the most simple of tasks to get an area interested in disc golf.

For more than two years, a few people — spearheaded by one person — have been trying to get a disc golf course at a local park. Though originally accepted with open arms, it’s recently battled red tape and silly “roadblocks” in the quest to get the course in the ground.

Six-year-old Rylie sends a disc into the basket.

The worst part of it is that we’ve already raised a whole heap of money.

Alas, until the red tape can be cut, we’re stuck. The area is ripe for this game, too. There are a lot of younger athletes who have shown interest in the game. And once a few of them got involved, we have no doubt it would continue to grow.

Especially with having a good course at a nice park. Even if it had to start out as a 9-hole course with a couple of tee pads on each hole, it would be good.

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Poll 13: What would be worth paying for?

How was the weather near all of you this weekend? The Northeast wasn’t too bad as we dodged and ducked thunderstorms and rain, but there were periods of sun. That allowed many to get out and chuck some discs!

The new poll is below and we’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s look back to last week’s poll and some answers. We asked our readers what it was going to take to push disc golf into the mainstream. We had 82 voters in this poll.

The majority of readers said a major sponsorship would be key. That garnered 24 percent of the choices (20 votes). Following in second with 20 percent (16 votes), was the choice that they don’t think disc golf will become a disc golf sport.

Rounding out the top five were recreational participation reaches critical mass (18 percent/15 votes); popularity among children and teens (17 percent/14 votes); and the popularity of the professional tour (9 percent/7 votes).

There were also some comments to think about.

Ryan Rintala says:

Imagine if a major sponsor like Nike or Adidas got involved? I mean if they came out with a disc golf shoe… and it was placed in a mainstream store like Footlocker, or Champ sports. Just the fact of a shoe being created would make the youth and people in general curious enough to look it up Google. And that is all you need, just a little curiosity created from a mainstream sponsor.

This is a great point because Keen already has a men’s and women’s shoe made for disc golf. But, Keen isn’t Nike or Adidas. And being I’ve heard other people talk about Nike and Adidas in the past in hopes for a disc golf shoe, I wonder how many people know Keen even has this shoe. Companies like Nike and Adidas getting involved with disc golf could be a game changer, for sure.

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Rattling Chains Photo of the Week: June 2

Ken "Tank' Franks (photo by Jack Trageser)

Sometimes, the “accidental” photos come out the best.

This is Ken “Tank” Franks, a professional player from Roeland Park, Kansas. The image was taken on the 13th hole at the Winthrop University Lakefront course in Rock Hill, S.C. The hole is a 432-foot downhill shot to a precise green, which is surrounded by out-of-bounds areas.

The story (from the photographer, Jack Trageser):

I arrived a couple of days early for the United States Disc Golf Championship in 2009, my first time playing in the event. I went out to practice on the course and ran into Ken. He had already played the event numerous times and graciously invited me to join him and take my time throwing and taking pictures.

I had accidentally set my camera on a setting that gave it the effect you see, with most of the colors changed to black and white, but they yellow remained as a selective color. The pic is an enlargement that focuses on the intimidating, focused look of a guy who actually has a great sense of humor and big heart, and the basket more than 400 feet away.

Techie info:

  • Camera: Canon Powershot SD 790 IS
  • Shutter speed: 1/640
  • F-stop: F/3.2
  • ISO: 80

Why we chose to use this photo:

Sometimes those “ooops” shots give you some of the best results.

Would this have been a good shot if Jack had taken it without the setting being as it is? Probably. The colors would have been there and it would be nice. But would it focus on things the way it does as it is? Not likely.

This is a really cool image. Jack notes that Ken has even used it as his Facebook profile photo for ages.

Have some great images you want to share with the Rattling Chains readers? Please e-mail pj [at] rattlingchains.com with the subject “Photo of the Week.” Please note that we can’t guarantee all images will be used. Send as many as you would like as if the photos are top notch, we’ll use more than one from you!

When sending in images, please remember to send the story about the photo, the location and any technical information possible! The story can be as long or as short as you like, but please make sure you give some details!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Searching the Tube for DG

It has been a while since I went surfing YouTube for disc golf videos.

Though I enjoy the instruction videos in the hopes of getting better, I usually look for entertaining ones. So on this Friday, I give to you five videos I’ve recently discovered.

It’s possibly you’ve already seen them all. If so, I hope you enjoy them again.

“Disc golf”

This is pretty entertaining, right here. Using a human basket, a three-hole series of disc golf. Good times.

“Disc golf rap”

Good beat here. It might not be a Grammy-winning song, but it’s entertaining at least.

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