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.

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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.


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.

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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

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.


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.

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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.


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!

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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.”


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.

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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.


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.


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.”


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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