McBeth edges Brathwaite for second consecutive Masters Cup title

By Steve Hill – Rattling Chains staff

As far as the 2013 PDGA National Tour Series goes, the third time was a charm for Paul McBeth.

Paul McBeth putts during the final round of the “Steady” Ed Memorial Masters Cup on Sunday. McBeth rallied for his first National Tour victory of the season. (photo courtesy PDGA Media)

After second place finishes at the season’s first two NTs, McBeth emerged victorious Sunday at the 28th Annual “Steady” Ed Memorial Masters Cup in Santa Cruz, California, edging out fellow Southern Californian Philo Brathwaite with a three-day 18-under-par 198.

Brathwaite placed second with a 16-under 200 at the famed DeLaveaga Park. Nate Doss, Nikko Locastro, and Steve Rico each shot a 14-under 202 to tie for third place.

The win marked the second consecutive year McBeth won the tournament title, but he never led this year’s installment until almost halfway through the final round.

After Locastro shot a 1074-rated round to open play on Friday, Brathwaite responded with an 11-under round Saturday, which was unofficially rated at 1087. Heading into Sunday’s final round of 24, Brathwaite held a one shot lead, but he said he knew anyone — or anything, including the course — could be nipping at his heels.

Continue reading


Poll 56: The courses on which you play

One of the great things about disc golf is the variety in many things associated with the sport — discs, baskets, terrain, courses etc.

But courses — that’s a place where the variety kicks in.


Woods, open fairways, random trees, crazy mandos, island greens — you name it, it’s probably out there.

With this poll, we’ll be discussing types of courses — but we’ll get back to that in a moment. First, let’s travel back to last week when we asked where disc golf ranked in your life.

Not surprisingly, it seems to rank highly with people. Not always as the No. 1 be-all thing, but high in an overall sense of where you see the game. As with many things in life, this poll showed a variety of answers and reasons why.

Of the 119 who took part in this poll, 61 percent (73 votes) said disc golf was their favorite outdoor activity. Second was obsessed  nothing ranks higher, which garnered 31 votes (26 percent). That answer was followed by a sport I enjoy playing (10 percent/12 votes), just getting into disc golf (2 percent/2 votes) and something I dig doing when I have the chance (1 percent/1 vote).

Let’s see what a few people had to say:

Continue reading

Commentary: Get courses looking good to make them last

Working on a fresh piece of land is like having a blank canvas, which makes disc golf course design an art.

jenny_cookAs a result, when designers and contributors take the time for the careful design and implementation of the course and any type of course modifications — big or small — players get an unforgettable experience.

In the current world of disc golf course design, there are several aspects of design that can greatly increase the reputation of a course. There are many courses around the world that have made adjustments to their aesthetics, which increase the playing experience. For example, a hanging basket at the edge of a riverbank or a well-placed rock formation along a walkway to the next hole can make memories. General upkeep and monthly maintenance quickly increases the novelty.

Standout courses

Milo McIver State Park in Estacada, Oregon, is home to one of the best courses I have ever had the opportunity to play. I speak of this course from my experience of having played the original layout as well as the tournament layout (two courses) for the Beaver State Fling. From wide fairways and fir trees
that dwarf the baskets and people who play among them to nicely grooved tee pads and the overall scenery, this course is a must for your bucket list. The result of such attention to detail and thought is a disc golf course to which very few in the country can even compare.

Continue reading

Santa Cruz locals could give top dogs a run at 2013 Masters Cup

By Jack Trageser — Rattling Chains staff

Every year in April, Santa Cruz, Calif., is not only the Epicenter of Disc Golf — the self-imposed label given in 1989 after the nearby Loma Prieta earthquake — but the center of the PDGA professional disc golf tour as well.

DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course has hosted a National Tour event every year since the tour was established, and the 28th annual “Steady” Ed Memorial Masters Cup has drawn the sport’s best talent for about 20 years before that.

Paul McBeth, shown at the Texas State Championships, is leading the National Tour through two events. (photo courtesy PDGA Media)

This year’s event runs April 26-28 with one 24-hole round each day.

If you follow the tour, you’re familiar with many of this weekend’s competitors. Young guns such as Ricky Wysocki, Paul McBeth, Will Schusterick and Nikko Locastro will all be there, as will veteran champions Ken Climo, Dave Feldberg, Nate Doss and Avery Jenkins. And there are plenty of other names you’ll recognize as well, such as Philo Braithwaite, Paul Ulibarri, and Josh Anthon.

You know all about these guys already, and they’ve proven that any one of them can step up and win on any given week. Josh Anthon is a Northern California player who knows DeLaveaga well. Nate Doss grew up and honed his craft here, and Wysocki and Schusterick are always good bets.

This is the third stop in the eight-event National Tour. Schusterick and Wysocki each have wins in the first two events. Despite that, McBeth is leading the tour with second-place finishes in each. Wysocki is second, followed by Locastro, Schusterick and Feldberg.

On Saturday, after the first round is in the books, and even Sunday, when it’s down to the last 24 holes, there are bound to be some names you might not recognize on the top cards.

Continue reading

Photo Focus: April 23

(Photo focus will run every week or two 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.)

Cap (photo by Kevin King)

John Barnes throws during a long-distance competition. (photo by Kevin King)

I played in a tournament last June, along with a bunch of friends. We took part in the festivities, which included a long-drive competition. I thought I’d try to take some shots of the guys as they unloaded.

I personally like taking shots from low angles because it makes the subject seem a little more imposing.

John Barnes went up for one of his drives and I captured the moment at the exact time when the disc eclipsed his face. I thought it was a cool effect. If you look close enough, you can see the spotters out in the field.

This shot was taken at Baker Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It’s the 17th tee and we were throwing into the field.

— Kevin King

Techie info:

  • Camera: Samsung ES73
  • Aperture: ƒ/3.5
  • Exposure: 1/750
  • Focal Length: 4.9 mm
  • ISO: 100

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

Poll 55: Ranking where disc golf is in your world

As spring continues to grow in many parts of the disc golf universe (though we realize Mother Nature has decided to keep her snow season in parts of the United States and elsewhere), the sport becomes bigger in many people’s lives.

For those who skip playing in the winter or snow, this is probably the time of year where the itch to get out on the course is really big.


So we’re going to find out where disc golf ranks in your life.

But, first, we want to go back to last week’s poll and check out the results and see what some readers had to say.

Last week, we wanted to know where you thought your game stood. Were you still improving and getting better? Maybe you’ve already peaked? Or, maybe your on the way down?

It was a poll we hoped would bring out some good thoughts, comments and explanations. But one thing is for sure — not many people think they are at the top of the mountain yet. And that’s a good thing.

Of the 116 people who voted in our poll, 93 percent (108 votes) said they were still getting better, followed by on my way down the hill, which gathered 4 percent of the vote (5 votes). Finally, 3 percent (3 votes) said they were at their peak.

We appreciate the honesty, that’s for sure.

Continue reading

Book Excerpt 4: The environmental impact of disc golf vs. ball golf

Followers of this blog know I’ve been working on a book project where my productivity has been on-and-off, depending on the demands of my day job. I’ve posted a few excerpts here in the past, all of which were pulled from the initial chapter, which sets the theme for the entire book.

It’s my assertion that golf is a wonderful game with numerous benefits, but the traditional version with clubs and balls is fraught with significant barriers (such as the cost and time required, which have been covered here in previous excerpts).


The goal of the book is to broadly publicize the sport of disc golf to the masses, and in such a way that its true properties rather than the tired stereotypes or over-simplifications are understood. I share the conviction with many others that once this happens, participation in disc golf as a recreational activity will explode. Interest in professional disc golf as a form of spectator entertainment may follow but, frankly, that is not where my passion lies.

This excerpt is a discussion about the contrast between what many consider to be the unacceptable environmental impact of ball golf course development and maintenance and the relatively invisible footprint of disc golf courses, which are nearly always adapted to existing natural surroundings or already developed suburban parks.

For a specific example, consider the resources consumed in placing a ball golf course (many believe the just water required to keep the grass green is an unconscionable waste) in the middle of a desert wasteland. A disc golf course on the same piece of land, on the other hand, would involve nothing except strategically placed targets and tees. Virtually no manipulation of the landscape whatsoever.

I hope you enjoy the read, follow the links and share your thoughts with us.

Continue reading

A one-time plea for a good cause — and have a chance to win!

I won’t utilize this space too often for personal things, but this is one I am passionate about and it gives our readers a chance to win some pretty cool things.

Let me give a bit of a back story, however.

harmer_sigOn August 17, 2007, my father lost his battle with lung cancer. It was a painful time in my life and for those of you who have lost loved ones, I’m sure you can relate. Not a day goes by where I don’t miss him or think about him. It was the second time he battled cancer and he just didn’t have it in him to beat it a second time.

Since then, I’ve been highly involved in our local Relay for Life.

Each year we have a small team (usually fewer than 10 people) who do our best to raise money for the cause. We usually manage to have upward of $2,000 raised for our team, which is solid for a small group. Some bigger teams don’t get to that level.

I’d like to keep up that trend.

Besides hoping the disc golf community may be interested in helping, I also want to make sure I maximize the people having the chance to win these items. I’ve even thrown in a bit more — just for the Rattling Chains readers.

Continue reading

Photo Focus: April 16

(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.)

Russell Jessop of Fredericksburg throws a drive during the Virginia Team Invitational disc golf tournament in Spotsylvania. (photo by Kevin Morrow)

Russell Jessop of Fredericksburg throws a drive during the Virginia Team Invitational disc golf tournament in Spotsylvania. (photo by Kevin Morrow)

March 24, 2013 — in Virginia.

This image was taken at the Virginia Team Invitational. The image is of Russell Jessop, throwing from the fairway on the 945-foot seventh hole at Hawk Hollow Disc Golf Course. This was during the final match play.

The weekend started nicely with cool, but sunny weather by the end of the first day. Day two started cloudy and the matches were moved to an earlier start because of rain in the forecast.

During the day, the temperature kept dropping until the time for the final matches to start. By then, a few flakes of snow were falling. By the seventh hole the snow was coming down hard. But the players finished and Russell was able to help Team Spotsy defeat Team Seneca, 5-4.

— Kevin Morrow

Techie info:

  • Camera: Nikon D2x
  • Aperture: ƒ/3.5
  • Exposure: 1/500
  • Focal Length: 135 mm
  • ISO: 1600

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

Poll 54: Your game and where you’re at with it

Let’s realize something when it comes to sports — and it can be a hard truth to accept.

Sometimes, you reach a point where you will not get too much better — the peak. Whether it’s because of age, talent, physical ability or whatever else, sometimes you just get to a point and that’s it.

weekly_pollThere’s a reason we have professionals and amateurs in sports.

If everyone could get to a certain level, there would be many more millionaires in our society. How many of you dreamed of being a professional baseball, football or basketball player at some point of your childhood?

Odds are quite a few.

Alas, reality set in. Now we do whatever we do to get by in this world and disc golf is part of that.

Disc golf is no different than any other sport in the regard of peaking.

But we’ll touch on the rest of this poll below. First, let’s head back to last week’s poll and get some results and see what some people had to say.

We asked you if regulars at your course present a good image of disc golf to newbies and other park users. The high majority of the votes pointed to yes with 73 (70 percent) of the 104 voters saying yes. However, 31 (30 percent) of the vote went to no, which isn’t a good thing, folks.

Continue reading