App Review: Disc Golf 3D

By Steve Hill and P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

If you’re like most disc golf junkies, you probably want to play more than you do. But life — work, family, inclement weather, whatever — gets in the way and keeps you off the course and indoors.

Have no fear. Disc Golf 3D is here.

Nuclear Nova's newest game -- Disc Golf 3D.

Nuclear Nova’s newest game — Disc Golf 3D.

Recently released by software company Nuclear Nova, Disc Golf 3D is available for download for Apple platforms and, for this disc golf junkie, was easy to get hooked on.

I had the luxury of enjoying the game on an iPad 2.

I eased into the fray by testing out the game’s practice mode, where I was presented with a selection of discs from which to choose. Using familiar speed-glide-stability ratings, I was able to play with animal-named plastic like Antelope (driver), Manatee (mid-range) and the aptly-named Sloth (putter).

Once on the course, players are treated to a flyover of each hole that serves to show the lay of the land and basket location. While the graphics aren’t flashy, they are serviceable, with trees that shake to emulate wind and varying levels of blue for water. Honestly, though, you won’t be playing this game for how it looks. You’ll be playing for the fun factor.

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Three causes for taking extra strokes in disc golf — and how to avoid ’em

By Jack Trageser — Rattling Chains staff

After playing the seventh hole at DeLaveaga the other day, it occurred to me I had already had three bogeys. To loosely paraphrase Ice Cube from back in the 1990’s, I was givin’ out strokes ‘like government cheese!’

Then, in keeping with my longstanding practice of pondering why the bogies occurred rather than simply lamenting the fact, I observed each was attributable to one of the three reasons players take extra strokes in disc golf — bad execution, mental errors, and bad luck.

school of disc golfIf you haven’t thought of your disc golf game from this perspective before, it might be worthwhile to check it out. Bad luck (and good luck!) will happen when it happens, and luck is impossible to control (although often times bad luck is set up by a bad decision). Errors are another thing entirely.

Knowing which type (execution or mental) you’re more prone to commit will help you know which area of your game requires more work in order to improve performance and consistency.

To make it clearer, here are the details of those three bogies at the start of my recent round:

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Photo Focus: Jan. 29

(Photo focus will run every two weeks or so on Rattling Chains. The idea is to focus on disc golf photographs submitted by staff members and readers. To see the guidelines for submitting a photograph for this feature, click here.)

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Disc golf is a sport consistently growing to new heights. It’s a sport with a variety of differently styled courses around the globe. And it’s the sport we love so much.

A friend and I decided to take a trip to Sandy Point Resort Disc Golf Ranch in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin. It was a four-hour drive to Northern Wisconsin to play a round. My disc golf group and I love traveling around the Midwest, finding new courses on which to challenge one another.

With our first round coming to a close, we stepped up to hole No. 25 with high hopes. A huge American flag was in the background of the basket. There was a pretty wide fairway and the hole measured in at about 250 feet. But with a handful of scattered trees, the drive would be nearly impossible to reach the basket without finding wood.

Originally, this photo was only going to be of the flag. But, I thought to myself, I should draw a connection between disc golf and America. I had to make sure I got the right result and I believe I did just that. With the basket complimenting the flag, I thought this image had a lot of symbolization. It displays a unique expression of patriotism and shows how great this sport truly is.

Techie info:

  • Camera: Sony SLT-A55V
  • Aperture: ƒ/4.5
  • Exposure: 1/50
  • Focal Length: 30 mm
  • ISO: 125

– Kevan Greunke

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

Poll 44: Building disc golf courses

OK folks, it’s poll time.

The sport of disc golf is something that people look at on different levels. There’s the one-disc player, casual players, kids, tournament players, local pros and top pros.

weekly_pollThere’s probably more there, too.

But the essence of furthering this game goes beyond playing or beyond giving somebody new a disc. The game has to be out there to grow. Though this is a fast-growing sport, there are still a lot of people who have no idea what the game is.

One big thing is the lack of courses in some places.

Despite being able to tell people what the game is all about, or have them throw a disc in an open field or to a portable target, there needs to be more courses. Because as fun as this game is, if you show somebody and they then have to drive an hour or more for a course, the odds are probably more against that person not playing again than going and playing.

All courses have a place. Whether it’s a 9-hole pitch-and-putt to a well-designed 27-hole championship course. Still, they have to be built.

But we’ll touch more upon this below with this week’s question.

First, lets check back to last week’s question when we asked what your favorite type of disc to throw was.

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Professor Rizbee’s Disc Golf 101: How to be a better tournament player

By Allen Risley — For Rattling Chains

In my 30-plus years of disc golf experience, I have played in hundreds of organized events, including weekly doubles leagues, course monthlies, PDGA-sanctioned events and world championships. And I’ve organized and run a lot of those, too (except for the world championship. I don’t know if my therapist has enough appointments for me to take that on).

As I’ve been playing and organizing, there are certain truths that have become evident – truths about how to conduct oneself as a tournament player for the best possible outcome for all. Now, this is not a list of how to help you win a tournament – there are enough articles and blog posts out there that purport to be able to do that.

Instead, this is a list of ways that you can enhance your own tournament experience as well as that of those around you. Sure, some of these tips might actually lead to you scoring better and maybe even winning, but the real aim here is to make everyone’s tournament experience more pleasurable, because if we’re not working, we might as well be having fun, right?

Sign up as early as possible. Why do that? Why not wait to see if the field is going to be good, or interesting? Well, what if everyone did that? Would anyone ever sign up? By signing up early, you can be the reason that others jump in – a leader, not a sheep.

Pre-registering for a tournament makes it a ton easier on tournament directors. (photo courtesy Allen Risley)

Pre-registering for a tournament makes it a ton easier on tournament directors. (photo courtesy Allen Risley)

Also, signing up and paying early helps out tournament directors by making money available for them to buy the trophies and player pack items, pay for insurance, or pay park fees. Many TDs burn out after a running a few events, and one reason is that they drive themselves crazy worrying about whether they’re going to lose their shirt because no one is signing up for their event. Help out the TD.

Show up on time. Most events list a start time, whether it be for check-in, the player’s meeting, or for the start of play. Know what those times are and be there on time. It’s even a better idea to be a little early. Why? Show up late for check-in and you might lose your spot in the tournament. You also put the TD in the position of worrying about filling your card, shuffling cards and players, etc. – all the things that raise a TD’s blood pressure and lead to burnout.

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Finding go-to discs is never easy

OK, it’s time to get a little personal.

What’s your go-to disc? What disc can you not live without? If you’re playing on a cold winter day and your favorite disc hits a tree and cracks into small pieces, which disc would leave you devastated over your loss? More importantly — what kind of discs are the go-to ones in your bag?

jenny_cookIt all depends on who you ask. But, what’s more interesting is, why?

In the beginning I only knew of a limited number of places to go and purchase discs and, as a female golfer, I didn’t really know what to purchase. So I would try a wide variety and, eventually, the ones that qualified made it to my bag. Then I’d play another amateur tournament, do well, and bring home more plastic. The dilemma would return yet again. Do I make new friends with these discs, but keep the old? Mix them up? Or stash the new ones in my back up bag?

It seems like the brand that made it to my bag first and most often (because of accessibility) was Innova with a peppering of Discraft. I do wish, however, that with all of the friends I made when I first started playing, that one of them would have spoken up about the plastic I was throwing. That’s not to say I couldn’t figure out for myself that, as a new player with slower arm speed and less snap, I shouldn’t be throwing an Orc.

It would have saved me not only from the aggravation of trying to get the disc to fly straight but it also would have saved me from forming bad habits. Such as forcing the disc into an anhyzer in order to compensate for less snap and finally make it land ahead of me on the fairway, instead of it quickly crashing down left into the woods.

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Product Review: DGA Elite Shield disc golf bag

By Jack Trageser — Rattling Chains staff

After using the DGA Elite Shield bag for more than a month, it is my favorite bag ever, as well as the best accessory product ever marketed by Disc Golf Association. Time will tell whether it passes the all-important durability test, but it seems to be very well equipped in that regard as well.

It should be mentioned right that one’s preference of disc golf bags — like the golf discs they are designed to carry — is a highly subjective matter. Most significant in this regard is size. Some prefer the minimalist approach — a bag that is as small as possible and meant to hold a few discs and maybe a water bottle. Others have a rather different philosophy, and represent the “If there is even the remotest chance I might need it, I will carry it” school of thought. These folks want to carry 30 or more discs, two wardrobe changes, enough food and water to survive in the wilderness for 10 days, and seven miscellaneous pockets and straps full of other stuff.

The DGA Elite Shield bag.

The DGA Elite Shield bag.

I prefer something between these two extremes. I want room for about 14 discs, a large water bottle, and the outer layer of clothing I’ll remove halfway through the round. I’d also like several convenient storage pockets for my snacks and little stuff, too. And, now that I’ve gotten used to backpack-style straps, my bag must at least include that as an option as well. Finally, I like to keep the cost reasonable — $75 or cheaper.

Keep in mind these personal preferences when I say that the Elite Shield bag by DGA is the ideal bag for me.

The company is best known for its dominant share of baskets installed worldwide and its pioneering status in the sport (perhaps you’ve heard of “Steady” Ed Headrick, the PDGA’s first member, the father of disc golf and the inventor of the Pole Hole catching devise?), but DGA also markets its own line of discs, apparel and accessories.

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Poll 43: Your favorite type of disc

We’ve talked about discs before, but it’s time to find out what your favorite type of disc is to throw.

And by type, we don’t mean plastic, rather the range.

weekly_pollBefore we get into that, however, we want to visit last week’s poll and see what some people had to say.

Last week, we asked a simple yes or no question — should there be dress codes at tournaments?

It seemed like this would definitely invoke some thoughts and opinions as it seems like something that is sometimes talked about at tournaments among different levels of players.

Of the 145 people who cast a vote, 62 percent (90 votes) said yes, there should be a dress code. The no vote had 55 votes (38 percent).

Some noted they voted yes because they see something small being helpful, others thought there should be some bigger parts to the rule.

Let’s see what others said.

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Ice Bowls a great way to experience tournament play on a lighter level

As clouds dotted the sky and a light breeze chilled the air on a 55-degree day in San Marcos, California, I couldn’t help but think one thing:

Not bad for an Ice Bowl.

steveSuch is the luxury that comes with Southern California living, an “Ice Bowl” in which a mild threat of rain showers makes players look skyward every few holes, then get back to business.

But, more than the weather, what I took from the 6th Annual San Marcos Ice Bowl, held January 6 at Montiel Park, was that the aforementioned business was actually quite casual, especially for what is dubbed a tournament.

Sure, there was a player meeting and scorecards were passed out. There were backups on tees and people wanting it to be quiet during a putt.

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Finding entertainment from the disc world on YouTube

It’s been a while since we’ve run a post full of YouTube videos.

Originally, the YouTube feature was supposed to be a regular thing on Rattling Chains. Though it hasn’t worked out that way, it’s nice to do some surfing on occasion to see what’s out there.

The turn of the year is usually a good time to check things out as many people seem to upload trick shots or compilations of aces and things like that as a year-end sort of thing.

These videos are always pretty entertaining.

While it’s true that most of these people probably take multiple shots to get the result, it’s still pretty impressive they get the shot done at all.

Either way, they are still entertaining.

So sit back, enjoy your day and hopefully you have the time to check out some of these videos as they are quite fun to watch!

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