Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving

Though we know we have readers outside the borders of the United States, we at Rattling Chains want to wish everybody who celebrates it a happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the time you get to spend with family and friends!

Also be thankful for what you have!

And just in case you fill up too much on turkey, get out and throw some discs!

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!

November 25: What’s in Your Bag?

This edition of What’s in your bag? comes to us from Ken Luckenbill, who hails from the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania and calls Jordan Creek Park in Whitehall his home course.

in_your_bag

The bag in question is actually a fishing backpack, converted into something for disc golf. This came, he says, after reading an article on Rattling Chains about do-it-yourself bags. And though that article noted not to use the Spiderwire bag, Luckenbill works at Dicks Sporting Goods and got a discount on the bag, so he opted to use it. That and it’s the only fishing backpack that Dicks carries.

The work that went into the bag was extensive, but Luckenbill loved each moment. PVC pipes frame the bottom, flex PVC keeps the putter pocket upright, there are two mini pockets added to each side and elastic bands across the front keep the discs in.

Continue reading

Poll 64: The Outsiders

Before we begin, no this post isn’t about the 1980s movie.

Instead, we’re curious about something — how do people respond when you tell them you play disc golf? In recent weeks, there have been some crazy looks when people hear it from my mouth.

pollSo how about you?

Before we get to that, however, we need to go back and check out our last poll.

We asked you if you had ever had or witnessed a good old-fashioned blow up on the course? Though we didn’t get a lot of voters, we received some good stories!

Of the 70 voters, 55 people (79 percent) said yes. That left 15 (21 percent) to say no.

Some shared stories while other made some good points. So before hitting up our current poll, let’s check back to see what some readers said.

Kyle Breuer said:

Over the years that I have been playing, like most, I’ve witnessed my fair share of people blow up on the course. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a tournament round or just a warm up. Some people just do NOT understand how to keep their composure. While some of it may be due to immaturity, not all of it is. Frankly, I think it’s embarrassing.

No one is perfect. Everyone tends to throw a bad shot (maybe even a few during a single round) here and there. Personally, it’s how you rebound from those shots. Why waste a round on a blow up?

It’s a good point, for sure. But once competition comes into play and if there’s money on the line, people tend to get a little crazy.

Continue reading

Andrew’s Travelogue: International Diplomacy

By Andrew Belet – Rattling Chains staff

At the risk of sounding crude and violent, I must begin today’s submission with my explanation of how I’ve treated international situations up until now.

When I was 15, I was fortunate enough to go to Germany as an exchange student, which I loved. I joined the military right out of high school, and since then, my diplomatic skills have started at the barrel of my rifle and ended with the impact of the projectile. It’s not a fun job, believe me.

belet

This is why coming to South Korea for a year is so great; there is a phrase here that refers to Korean/American relations: “katchi kapshida,” which means “we go together!”

Truly, South Korea would be much worse off if not for us. As well, America would be much worse off without our friends in the now-prosperous country of South Korea.

For armed forces members here on the peninsula, we are constantly encouraged to go out in town and volunteer in the community. We do so, and gladly. In fact, this winter, I will be coaching the Korean Special Olympics, which is a passion of mine I’ve had since I first coached weightlifting in high school for the Montana Special Olympics.

Most Koreans regard our presence here with great respect and a spirit of friendship. Older Koreans, who can remember the Korean War, show their gratitude to every American they see, armed forces or not.

So I was quite excited when my Korean friend, HyunDo Jang, contacted me via Facebook and asked if he and his girlfriend, Shinah Kim, could come up and play the Dragon’s Lair.

Continue reading

Win some glow plastic!

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

It’s that time of the month again — our giveaway time!

As daylight gets harder and harder to see, we wanted to give something a little different. So how about some glow plastic?

The discs, glowing.

The discs, glowing.

First, though, allow us to announce the last winner — of the MVP plastic.

The winner of the MVP prize pack was Tricia Lafferty, whose Facebook entry earned her the pack! Congrats, Tricia! An e-mail has been sent. Please get us the needed info within a week, or we’ll have to re-draw for another winner!

And now, back to the task at hand.

This month, we’re handing out some glow plastic. That includes an Innova Aviar (big-bead), with some custom art by Rattling Chains crew member Darren Dolezel. We also have two glow minis — a Rattling Chains one and one from the 2011 New Jersey Jam, donated by professional Bob Graham.

I don’t have the weight on the Aviar, but if I remember right, it’s about 172.

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

The discs, not glowing.

The discs, not glowing.

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
//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js

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!

Jamaican ideals, constant innovation drive Small Axe Disc Golf Co.

By Steve Hill – Rattling Chains staff

The island nation of Jamaica – home of reggae, coastal beauty, and Olympic champion Usain Bolt – at first does not seem like the source of inspiration for a burgeoning disc golf company.

Indeed, the country boasts zero proper disc golf courses.

SmallAxeLogo

For the minds behind Small Axe Disc Golf Co., though, vacations to the country have provided a mindset and energy that they have brought back stateside and injected into their products.

Billed by founder Damon Neth as a “disc golf lifestyle and products company,” Small Axe in the past year has introduced three products to market, all geared toward, as the company’s art director puts it, the “disc-nerd” in every player.

From the Puck – an interlocking putter and driver mini set that can hold coins, first aid kits, and anything else you can think of – to Chucker’s Chalk, which packages grip chalk into a disc golf bag-friendly bottle – Small Axe is aiming to bring players products that combine innovation and function, all while maintaining the core reason most people pick up a disc in the first place – fun.

“It started a long time ago with the feeling that disc golf could benefit from a positive, joyful brand that celebrated the fun and cooperative spirit of disc golf,” Neth said.

After coming to enjoy interlocking minis, Neth dreamed up the idea of a putter and driver hooking together as something that would be more appealing to consumers, he said.

Continue reading

Photo Focus: Nov. 6

(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.)

Disc golf hide and seek (photo by Brian Bell)

Disc golf hide-and-seek (photo by Brian Bell)

I am an older (master’s age) disc golfer who has been playing since the late 1970s. I admit my eyesight isn’t what it used to be.

On this particular day, I was playing at Kinslow Disc Golf Course in Sunbury, Ohio. I had played the course once before, but was still fairly unfamiliar with the layout. On the first round I played there, I managed to throw and lose both of the drivers that I had packed for the day (a blue blizzard Katana, pictured, and a yellow champion Monarch).

Being out of work for a good while (I am taking care of my wife, who has rheumatoid arthritis, and is recovering from several related surgeries and conditions), I was quite disheartened as I could not replace the discs. I searched for more than 30 minutes for each disc before giving up.

I had my name and phone number on the disc and would have to trust to the honesty of any player who found the discs later.

Still, I was determined it would not ruin my day! I was out in the sun and playing a sport I love! I played the rest of the round using my mid-range discs (DX Cobra, champion Super Stingray, and DX Stingray).

After finishing the round, I looked in my car to see if I had any drivers laying around. I was in luck! I had an old, first-run, Typhoon hiding under a blanket.

I started a second round. I found that I enjoyed the way that the old DX plastic felt in my hand. I also took joy in the way that the slower discs just seemed to hang in the air, with long, graceful flight paths. I didn’t even mind when the Super Stingray decided to play tree-pinball, bouncing from bumper-tree to bumper-tree on one of the holes (triple-bogey).

I got back around to hole 10 (where I lost my Katana). Determined not to lose another disc, I aimed wide of the thorn brambles. The Typhoon sailed in a lovely “S” pattern, graciously landing in the open “neck” of the course (between the brambles on the right and the trees on the left). My second shot passed the basket, but not by much allowing me to finish on the third shot. I decided to take a moment (since there was no-one behind me) and look one last time for the Katana. I went back to the tee, lined up where I had thrown it the last round and made a direct course for the place the disc entered the brambles. After climbing into the brambles I looked up in the branches (as I did 20 times before) and I found the disc! Ten minutes of work later, I had it down and was back on my way.

Later, on 14 (I think), I teed-off and when I went to make a second throw, I found my missing Monarch! This was a good day indeed!

On the next throw, my Katana caught some wind and ended up in the “rough”. When I later found it, I laughed out loud and took the picture. My only thought was “Disc golf — hide-and-seek for grown-ups!”

— Brian Bell 

Techie info:

  • Camera: Samsung SCH-I200
  • Aperture: f/2.6
  • Exposure: —
  • Focal Length: 2.8 mm
  • ISO: 50

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!

Guest post: Checking out 10 of the top disc golf courses in the country

by Jack Gaddens — for Rattling Chains

When people think about disc golf, they might picture it as something of a college quad-style hobby — and indeed that’s sometimes the general atmosphere for a lot of disc golf enthusiasts.

guest_post

Of course, you can’t actually play a proper round of disc golf on a quad, but the basic atmosphere is an appropriate description — friends playing a casual, competitive game out in the open. However, many don’t realize just how much disc golf has spread.

In fact, in terms of its general spread and fan base, it’s getting closer and closer to actual golf!

OK, so that might be a little bit dramatic. Golf has worldwide appeal, is considered a major sport, and is constantly televised. Its players make millions upon millions of dollars at the pro level, and at the sports betting blog from Betfair, fans can even take their own risks simply by speculating who might win a match!

You get the idea — disc golf may not reach the level of traditional golf in the near future or create the amount of money ball golf does. But where the two may be more similar than one might think is in the availability of courses. All over the U.S., there are now outstanding disc golf courses made specifically for this sport, rather than acting solely as golf courses that can be messed around on.

The beauty of this game is how people can look at courses so differently. Some people like long, some short. Some may like hilly or a tree-filled course. Others might want it wide open to let it fly. It’s all subjective.

So just for fun — and in case you’re traveling any time soon and want to get in some disc golf — here are 10 of the top courses throughout the U.S., in one writer’s eyes. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Product Review: Salient Prometheus

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

I’ll be the first to admit that I was skeptical about Salient Discs.

The company was first announced on the discussion forums at DGCourseReview.com, with no proper website or social media account in existence. The tone of the company’s representatives was exuberant, boasting unseen consistency and quality, but also referred to the manufacturing style of other, more established brands as “hippie engineering.”

product_review

Needless to say, without a product to hang its hat on, Salient didn’t make a great first impression.

However, it is difficult to judge a company based on forum posts without a product, so I was excited to finally receive the Prometheus, Salient’s first disc offering, and see if the hype was legit.

At Rattling Chains, we each received two Prometheus discs, both in Salient’s “Liquid” plastic line. A transparent blend with some gummy flex to it, the plastic feels excellent and, to me, a lot like Discraft’s Z FLX. It is a bit malleable, and doesn’t deflect too far off of trees, which is a very nice quality.

The other striking quality about the Prometheus, though, is its size. This thing is massive with a capital M, as Salient struck out to produce something different with a large diameter, wide-rimmed driver. With a diameter of 22.6 cm and a rim width of 2.6 cm, the disc feels like nothing else in the hand. It’s almost a dinner plate.

As a result, it is a disc that requires a bit of a learning curve. If you are looking for a disc that you will immediately click with, this probably isn’t it.

However, if you give it some time and some patience, you’ll be rewarded with some nice lines and pretty tremendous glide.

Continue reading