October 28: What’s in Your Bag?

This week’s edition of What’s in Your Bag? comes to us from Sean Steele, who calls the windy and well-known courses of Emporia, Kansas home.

After getting his start playing back in 1996 with some friends after football practice, Steele didn’t get overly serious about disc golf until 2010.

“I instantly fell back in love with the sport, and since then have been playing almost daily rounds with a few tournaments this past year,” Steele said.

in_your_bag

Since returning to disc golf, Steele has seen the opening of major retailer Dynamic Discs offer him a wider selection than back when he started.

“Back in ’96 you had Innova and Discraft, so in 2010 I had more options than
the Cyclone and Shark of my previous playing days,” he said. “Luckily Dynamic Discs had opened up its headquarters and I had the best selection at my front door.”

Steele in particular gravitated toward much of the plastic originating from the Latitude 64 factory in Sweden, and the company and its subsidiaries now dominate his lineup.

“I took a liking to the glide, feel, and appearance of the Latitude 64 plastics, and since then have molded a bag around that plastic with the discs that work best for me,” Steele said. “Dynamic Discs, with their releases (also molded by Latitude 64) have really hit my needs with their flat top mids and long, but easier to throw, drivers.”

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A secret ingredient of putting power

Notice that the title of this post is not “The Secret of Putting.”

There are simply too many mental and physical aspects to good and consistent putting for there to be some secret that, once discovered, instantly turns a weak putter into a good or great one.

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If anything, the best advice is the one players often like to hear the least — practice.

But we’re not talking about flour and water here. Those are major components to making bread, but the secret ingredient is yeast. Without the yeast the bread won’t rise, and if it doesn’t rise, well, it’s not really bread, is it?

Secret ingredient.

The same goes for putting in disc golf. You can propel a disc toward the basket any number of ways, and it’ll even land in the basket once in a while.

But if you want a putt that seems to zip out of your hand, go farther and hang in the air a little longer than your effort warranted, you need some nice tight spin. And believe it or not, there’s a pretty simple modification you can make that will help you get it.

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Andrew’s Travelogue: Testing the Dragon’s Lair

By Andrew Belet — Rattling Chains Staff

As noted in previous posts, my ability to play disc golf in South Korea is based solely on Facebook groups “Disc Golfers of Korea,” “Daegu Disc Golf,” and the “KPDGA Official Page.”

belet

It was through these channels that I met up with a crew to play Beacon Hill, which led to my first ace in a foreign country. I made even more friends through it, too.  I was lucky enough to have three of those friends make a long journey up to play my new course, the Dragons Lair, which now has tone poles.

Jessica and Connor took a bus from another military base down near Seoul, and James came all the up from Daegu via car. That’s about a six hour-drive, and only if the traffic is good. I’m extremely humbled and honored that they would come all that way just to play a nine-hole course. It also shows the dedication of the disc golf community here in Korea.

That being said, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Until now, the only people who have played the Dragon’s Lair are my fellow soldiers. Most of them are inexperienced disc golfers, and the ones who do have “the love of the game” are just glad to have somewhere to play.

Would my course hold up to the scrutiny of other DGers who have played all over the world?

James has played every course in South Korea and had a hand in designing or raising funds for at least half of them. Luckily for me, disc golfers tend to be a pretty chill bunch. I’m mostly hoping for honest, open feedback so I can make the course even better.

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Poll 63: Blowing up on the course

OK, folks, it’s time to really have some fun.

This poll truly only works, however, if you leave a comment at the end explaining.

poll

We want to know this — have you, or have you seen, somebody have an honest-to-goodness blowup on the course? We’re not talking just a toss of a towel or something, but a true boomer that makes people stop and stare?

We’ll expand more on that in a moment.

Before we get into the new poll, let’s check out the results and some comments from the last poll, when we asked you what your favorite season was for disc golf.

Of the 156 people who voted in the poll, it was a runaway victory for fall, which garnered 91 votes (58 percent). Summer followed with 31 votes (20 percent). Spring placed third (30 votes/19 percent) and winter was last (4 votes/3 percent).

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Disc golf Zen

(photo by P.J. Harmer)

By Lou Garcia — For Rattling Chains

Thinking of nothing

Standing in nowhere

Calm

Peaceful

Zen

The air that once filled the winds gust

Now fills your lungs

Waiting

Patient

Ready

Eyes open you see it in your sight

You know what to do

Exhale

Believe

Trust

In a moments time all that could be done

No longer matters

Slow

Paused

Timeless

expect nothing other then fate

What will be…

Will be

Lou Garcia is a disc golfer based in New Jersey. 

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

Win some MVP discs!

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

OK, folks, it’s time to give away some more plastic.

And we have a couple of nice discs to give you this time, but before we get to that, let’s clean up our last giveaway.

You can win these MVP discs!

You can win these MVP discs! (photo by Steve Hill)

The winner of that awesome Rattling Chains prize pack was Erik J. Barzeski, whose twitter entry earned him the pack! Congrats, Erik. An e-mail will be sent and please get us the needed info within a few days, or we’ll have to re-draw for another winner!

And now, back to the task at hand.

We have two MVP discs, slightly used by Rattling Chains staffer Steve Hill for review purposes. Outside of that, they are slick and ready to add to your bag! So, hook it up and enter to win!

The discs:

  • An MVP Resistor (pink)
  • An MVP Volt, proton plastic (green)

The winner will be chosen at random by RaffleCopter at the end of the giveaway.

How it works: To gain entries, you have to do the items below. The first is mandatory — a comment on the blog — and you have to answer a question, which you can see when you click on that option. PLEASE answer that question as last time some people didn’t do so. We do this to make it fun and interactive.

Once you do that, the other items unlock and you can see what is there. You can earn more entries by tweeting each day, too. If you click on the tweet button under that option, there’s a tweet ready to go for you! Just make sure you’re already signed in.

Even better for those of you who follow us on social media or entered last month’s giveaway, the entries should be quicker and easier!

Enjoy and have fun! Good luck!

Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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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!

Disc golf lingo: Many groups have their own dialect

In a recent round at DeLaveaga, I paused briefly to tell my friend that his last throw had tons of “E.V.,” but I held the comment for later when we noticed a large group of marauders was quickly gaining on us. So naturally we…

What’s that? Not exactly following my meaning?

jackDon’t worry, you’re not behind on the latest disc golf lingo — at least, not yet.

Most of those reading this are well acquainted with the fact that, while disc golf borrows a great deal of terminology from its stick-and-ball ancestor (par, birdie, drive, putt, etc.), the sport has a lexicon all its own as well.

Words like hyzer, anhyzer and thumber, and terms like “chain music” and “high-tech roller” mean nothing outside of disc golf (or at least disc sports). And words like “chunder” and “schule” — while they can be found in a standard dictionary — have very different applications in the world where golf meets flying disc.

These words and phrases serve as an instant bond between people who might otherwise have zero in common. Picture, for instance, a 55-year old clean-cut professional type visiting a course he’s never played before during some free time on a business trip.

As he arrives at the teepad of a blind hole, he encounters a couple of long-haired, dreadlocked, hemp-wearing locals. The locals offer to let him play through, and the traveler asks them where the basket is located. One of them replies “If you throw a big anhyzer over those trees on the left and can get it to ‘S’ out at the end, you’ll be putting for birdie.”

Different as they might appear and even be, in respect to the other aspects of their lives, the visitor and the locals understand each other perfectly well on the disc golf course. We’re all members of a subculture that, while steadily growing, is still far from the mainstream, and our lexicon of unique terminology is one of the true identifying marks about which those not yet part of the clan remain completely ignorant.

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Andrew’s Travelogue: Building the Dragon’s Lair

As I said in my last travelogue, while South Korea is small as countries go, it can still be difficult and time-consuming to travel anywhere. This is largely relegated to the Seoul area.

Get anywhere near Seoul, and you will find yourself with a serious travel headache, unless you grew up in Asia, mostly because of the sheer density of the population.

belet

About 90 percent of South Koreans live in Seoul. That’s not around Seoul, or the greater area of Seoul, that’s in Seoul. Pretty wild, no?

Now, being as far north as I am, and seeing as how we are somewhat restricted in our freedom of travel, I quickly deduced that making 3- to 8-hour round trip to play disc golf every weekend wasn’t going to work. I’d end up broke or insane, or perhaps both.

So this left me with one logical solution — build my own course!

Luckily, my barracks are in a rather nice part of the base known as “Dragon Valley,” and I figured I could pretty easily cram a 9-hole course in with no problem. I began scouting the area while I did morning physical training and, with the aid of Google Earth, came up with a delightfully challenging layout.

course mapdragons lair

The course layout.

That was the easy part.

The next step would be the real kicker — cutting through the red tape and actually getting permission to build the course. This turned out to be a bit more difficult than I thought. My first stop was at Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) for a meeting about getting a few bucks to install baskets and signs, and for them to help me get permission to use the land.

Three minutes into our meeting I was duly informed that, thanks to sequestration and severe budget cuts, they wouldn’t be able to supply me with anything. In fact, they were so short-staffed they couldn’t even go with me to meet the higher-ups for permission to use the land.

They tried their best to help though, making a few phone calls on my behalf and sending me on the way to meet the people I needed to meet. But, for now, this course was going to be built with my blood, sweat, tears, and, perhaps most importantly, my money.

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Photo Focus: Oct. 7

(Photo focus will run every few 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.)

The fall can be a great time to get some cool disc golf images.

When I’m out disc golfing, I’m usually looking beyond the throws and scores.

Often, my camera will be with me as it’s normally just a casual round. The fall with all its colors makes for some good disc golf photos.

While I realize it’s possible that it’s harder to find certain discs, it’s also a cool time to use nature for photos.

The above photo was pure luck.

I through an errant shot and it ended up, like normal, among some trees. It bounced off at least one and then landed. We had no idea where. We looked for a bit before I finally spotted it.

This is exactly how the disc landed. Could it have landed any more perfect for a photo?

Of course I had to snap away before pulling the disc up for the next shot.

One of the most important things I’ve learned about photography and disc golf is you should always be ready to take photos of the different things as you never know when something will make itself available, much like my Buzzz did.

— P.J. Harmer

Techie info:

  • Camera: Canon 7D
  • Aperture: f/4.0
  • Exposure: 1/500
  • Focal Length: 17 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!

Put the Sharpie down and back away from the basket

Dear Disc Golfer,

Congratulations, you hit an ace! I am sure it was a crowning achievement in your plastic throwing career, and something you’ll tell your grandchildren about many years from now. We’re very proud of you.

Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, allow me to let you in on a little secret: No one cares.

steve

OK, OK, I’m sure someone cares. I bet if you send your mom a text message she’ll respond with a smiley, and the group you were playing with that day probably pitched in for a frosty cold one. So there is some care.

But you know who doesn’t care? Everyone else to ever play that basket, or anyone who has to walk by and see your signature on it.

That’s right, I’m talking to you, Mr. or Mrs. Basket Signer. We’re all happy about that ace, but did you really have to deface an innocent sheath of metal with your poorly scrawled Sharpie? Couldn’t you have given high-fives to your friends and moved on, or perhaps signed the disc with which you hit the ace?

No.

Instead, you had to vandalize a valuable, and very visible, piece of equipment that is the cornerstone of our sport. Your arrogance and need for attention has caused an eyesore. In a sport that already has enough stigmas, you are adding another to it by needlessly putting graffiti on a piece of the course.

It’s just a disc golf basket, you probably thought to yourself. Everyone does it. It’s part of the game.

No, it isn’t.

You know what it is? Bad karma. I bet within the next day or two something awful happened, like you lost your perfectly seasoned Buzzz in a ravine, or you caged a gimme putt to lose out on cash at league night.

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