Beaver State Fling could help settle the dust for the National Tour

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

And then there were two.

The 2013 PDGA National Tour has but two events remaining this season and this weekend’s Beaver State Fling could truly set the tone for the season-ending Vibram Open, which is set for mid-August.

BSFThe Beaver State Fling, which is being held Friday through Sunday at Milo McIver State Park in Estacada, Oregon, has a total of 159 players registered, as of Thursday morning. Of that total, 79 are in the men’s draw and 24 in the women’s. The rest make up the masters’ divisions.

Adding more to the storyline are those players who are still contending for the National Tour series championship are all signed up.

That includes the top five in the men’s — where five players are within 65 points of one another. In all reality, though, if nothing catastrophic happens, it’s a two-man race between current leader Paul McBeth (475 points) and Ricky Wysocki (463.5).

Should those two falter, Nikko Locastro (453) is within striking distance, with Will Schusterick (424.5) and Dave Feldberg (410) as long shots.

Take into account, however, that of the first seven NT events, only the top five will count toward the final standings. Those totals will be added to the Vibram Open finish to decide the final NT champion.

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McBeth puts on his Sunday best for KCWO win

By Steve Hill – Rattling Chains staff

Sunday just seems to be Paul McBeth’s day.

After trailing Nikko Locastro by two strokes heading into the final day of play at last weekend’s Kansas City Wide Open, the reigning World Champion shot a combined 73 over 27 holes to leapfrog Locastro and secure the win and the $2,240 payout with a 47-under par 224.

Paul McBeth earned his second National Tour victory of the year this past weekend, rallying to win the Kansas City Wide Open. (photo courtesy PDGA Media)

Nate Doss notched his highest National Tour finish of the season, earning $1,715 for second place with a 42-under 229, while Locastro finished in third with a 39-under 232 to win $1,310. Paul Ulibarri (-37, 234) and Will Schusterick (-32, 209 without Final 9 participation) rounded out the Top 5.

For McBeth, his Sunday performance followed the pattern of his other two big victories this year at the “Steady” Ed Memorial Master’s Cup and the Copenhagen Open — play solid opening rounds to stay within a few throws of contention, then play lights out on the final day to blow past the competition.

The 22-year-old said the finality of a tournament’s last day motivates him to succeed.

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The summer is arriving — time to step back and huck some plastic

By Steve Hill — Rattling Chains staff

In the immortal words of Alice Cooper, “School’s out for summer.”

Substitute “disc golf website” for “school,” and you’ll see what we’re getting at here.

announcement

The staff at Rattling Chains has decided to take a summer break, if you will, to recharge the batteries and make sure we are still bringing you the best disc golf content the Internet has to offer.

Truth is, we feel like we just finished final exams and need to blow off some steam.

With new employment opportunities, family commitments, and the desire to, you know, actually play disc golf, the day-to-day running of the site was turning into a bit of a grind. Since the handful of people behind this site are volunteers, and we all have things other than the site that take precedence, we felt it was important to take a step back, breathe, and get back to why we started things here in the first place.

The end result is, outside of our coverage of the PDGA National Tour, no new posts are scheduled to run starting this weekend until Labor Day.

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PDGA National Tour heads into home stretch at KCWO

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

With two events remaining before the season-ending Vibram Open, Ricky Wysocki has opened his lead in the PDGA National Tour and will look to widen it even more at this weekend’s Kansas City Wide Open.

It’s the 31st running of the annual event, which has 80 players registered as of Thursday morning.

kcwoThough not a massive field — it’s the second-lowest turnout for an NT event this year, ahead of just the Hall of Fame Classic — the top 10 players in the men’s standings and seven of the top 10 in the women’s are slated to play.

The standings can change quickly, though, as only the top five of the first seven events for each player, as well as the Vibram, will count in the final standings.

With fewer events remaining, however, Wysocki has established himself as the man to beat. This weekend’s event runs Friday through Sunday on four courses in Kansas City.

Two rounds are scheduled for Friday with the first at Water Works Park and the second at Rosedale Park. Round three is at Blue Vally Park on Saturday and the fourth round is at Swope Park Gold on Sunday. That’s followed by the final nine at 2 p.m. local time, also at Swope Park Gold.

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Poll 61: Disc golf plans for the summer

Officially, summer doesn’t start until June 21 in many parts of the world. But for a lot of parts, it’s also already feeling like summer.

Well, some of the time.

weekly_pollSummer, of course, is also the time when disc golf really amps up. With tournaments and casual rounds and road trips… it’s the perfect time to be involved in the sport.

So we want to know your summer disc golf plans. More playing? More courses? A road trip?

But we’ll get to that in a moment.

First, let’s check back to last week’s poll when we asked what style of putt you use. As expected, it was pretty split.

The winning form was a push putt, which received 75 of the 226 votes — 33 percent. Following that was a spin putt (56 votes/25 percent) and straddle putt (31 votes/14 percent). After that was the pitch (30 votes/13 percent), then I don’t know what it’s called, but it works for me (27 votes/12 percent). Other followed with 6 votes (3 percent) and turbo putt (1 vote/0 percent).

Let’s see what some readers had to say.

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Product Review: MVP Tensor

By Steve Hill, Jack Trageser, and P.J. Harmer – Rattling Chains staff

When I spoke with Chad and Brad Richardson, the brothers behind MVP Disc Sports, for an article late last year, I specifically asked them how their signature overmold would translate to a truly overstable disc design.

To that point, MVP had not released anything with serious beef to it, but Chad mentioned that, due to the gyroscopic nature of the overmold, their version of a meathook would have more of a forward-penetrating, transitional fade as opposed to just dumping off at the end.

tensor

The MVP Tensor.

With the Tensor, MVP’s new overstable mid-range, they nailed it spot on.

Packing plenty of stability in the beginning of its flight and a nice, late, smooth fade, the Tensor is an excellent addition to MVP’s current crop of mid-ranges.

I was able to throw a 167-gram Tensor, which is a bit lighter than I normally use for mid-ranges. However, I think the lighter weight in this case was helpful, as I was still able to get the Tensor up to its cruising speed with a little less effort. When thrown off the tee, I was getting dead straight for about 85 percent of the flight, with a solid finish right (I’m a lefty). Without sounding blasphemous, off the tee, it flew like a shorter Teebird.

But this disc is no one-trick pony. While it is overstable enough to provide a hook, it handles low lines very well and, when powered up and thrown low, loses the fade and just becomes a laser. When powered down, it can be used on short flex shots around trees to provide a reliable landing right near the basket.

The best part of this disc, though, is how it resists turning over, even when torqued with bad form. I have done it quite a few times with the Tensor off the tee, where I try and overpower it to make sure I get some distance, and rather than holding left like a lot of mids will, it will nicely “S” back to its fade. In this sense, it is extremely reliable.

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Photo Focus: June 6

(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.)

Eric McCabe at the Too Many Days In May tournament in Virginia. (photo by Kevin Morrow)

Eric McCabe at the Too Many Days In May tournament in Virginia. (photo by Kevin Morrow)

This years Too Many Days In May tournament concluded with a two-day professional A-tier event at The Blockhouse in Spotsylvania, Virginia.

Several top professionals showed up, including Ricky Wysocki, Michael Johanson, Eric McCabe and Sarah Hokom.

The opportunitiy to shoot some top pros at a local course doesn’t come around too often. Out of all the images I took that weekend some of the best shots came from the Darkside No. 17. The Darkside is not just the name of the course. It’s a heavily wooded course with a thick canopy that makes action shots difficult.

The 17th hole is great to shoot. There is a large tree about 150 feet from down the fairway, where it crests enough to make the tee pad below my shooting position.

Basically, I hid behind the tree and poked the camera out enough to get a shot. With the players teeing off directly in front of you, you get a great tee shot. There are not many courses where you can pull this off. It takes being a little aggressive in picking a spot, but on this hole I was hiding so well most players didn’t even notice me.

The best shot happened to be Eric McCabe and I was able to time his throw pretty well.

— Kevin Morrow

Techie info:

  • Camera: Nikon D2x
  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Exposure: 1/640
  • Focal Length: 300 mm
  • ISO: 800

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!

Wysocki extends NT points lead; Hokom takes women’s crown

By Steve Hill – Rattling Chains staff

Elevation? No problem.

Bum leg? Not an issue.

Course record? No big deal. Twice.

Ricky Wysocki earned his third National Tour event of the season this past weekend at the Great Lakes Open. (photo courtesy of PDGA Media)

That sums up Ricky Wysocki’s performance at this past weekend’s Great Lakes Open National Tour Series event, where the Prodigy phenom racked up his third NT victory with a three-round 32-under-par 154.

Prodigy teammate Garrett Gurthie shot a 23-under par 163 to place second, and Will Schusterick and Devan Owens tied for third place with 22-under 164s. Paul McBeth rounded out the top five with a 24-under 165, which took place at the much-revered Toboggan Championship Course at Kensington Metropark in Milford, Michigan.

As has been the case in the other events he has won this year, though, this one was all Wysocki from the first day.

After Owens held the lead briefly with a course-record 52 on Friday, Wysocki bested the score later that day with an 11-under 51. Wysocki then took that one shot lead and extended it to six by throwing a 1077-rated 50 – breaking his own Toboggan course record, all while playing through a calf injury – on Saturday.

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Poll 60: Putting style

So how do you putt?

Do you fire it away and hope for the best? Straddle? Push?

weekly_pollMaybe something totally different?

Heck, maybe it’s even something different we didn’t include in the poll?

We’ll get back to that in a moment. First, let’s re-visit last weeks poll, where we asked you if those of you who had a three-day weekend played disc golf over it.

And it sounds like most of you made it a disc golf weekend. Of the 95 people who voted, 83 (87 percent) said they did. Then there were 12 (13 percent) who said they didn’t.

Now let’s take a peek to see what a few people had to say.

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