Creative Corner: Floating baskets

By Darren Dolezel — Rattling Chains staff

It’s been a while since I got creative with disc golf. Finally, I found time to make something I had been wanting to do for a while.

With a lot of discussion about urban disc golf and where we could shoot, I started thinking about all the features in New York’s Central Park. I wanted to figure out where we might be able to put a basket.

Anyone up for a round of floating disc golf? (photo by Darren Dolezel)

Anyone up for a round of floating disc golf? (photo by Darren Dolezel)

One of the things that draws me to that magnificent park is all ponds and water. That made me wonder — how could I place a basket and get a full view of the famous boat house. Then it dawned on me — a floating basket.

After thinking about it for a week or two, I broke out some tools and went to work.

As frivolous as I can be at times, I like to create stuff out of junk as kind of a way to recycle. I took an old piece of plywood from the scrap pile and cut it to a measurement of 4 feet by 3 feet. I then drilled 16 holes around the outside edges, giving me a spot to push string through. That would give me the base and the ability to attach an inner tube.

However, I still had to find an inner tube big enough to pull this off. That turned out to be easier said than done.

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Avoid overconfidence and playing up can be a valuable experience

Darren putts during the pro event last year at the Jersey Jam.

By Darren Dolezel — RattlingChains.com Staff

It turns out, there is such a thing as overconfidence in disc golf.

The closest course to me during the week is the course at the Rutgers Douglas Campus in New Jersey. I play the course at least three times per week, and likely average about three rounds per day when I play.

So to say I know the course would be an understatement.

Last year, at the New Jersey Jam, I tied for fifth in the Am3 division. The second day, despite scrutiny from some friends, I spent the extra money and played in the Open division, despite likely having no chance to place. However, I felt the experience was invaluable.

It’s my belief that I actually played better than I normally would have because I was playing with those of a higher skill level.

Despite shooting just four strokes worse than I did during the amateur day of the tournament, it didn’t even bother me that I finished last in the tournament. I did this because I love the game and wanted the experience.

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Creative Corner: Making a disc golf cart

By Darren Dolezel — RattlingChains.com Staff

I’ve seen a few disc golf carts on the market, but spending upward of $300 on something like that is hard to justify. Especially considering I won’t use the cart all the time.

So, I set out to build an inexpensive alternative and came up with what I think is a winner.

The finished cart.

In the past, I’ve seen some local professionals using hand trucks modified as a cart, or an old fashioned red wagon as another cart. My thoughts were that they weren’t as functional as I wanted them to be.

I searched and searched for something I could convert and found a feed cart at Tractor Supply for about $60. It took me a good two months before I settled for this cart, but it turned out to be the cheapest cart with the most capacity.

The first thing I wanted on the cart was a seat, so I went to a local construction supply store and purchased a shop stool for $15. I modified that to fit the cart. After a trial run, it was nice, but I wanted a seat with a back for a little support.

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Trash has no place spread around a course

By Darren Dolezel — RattlingChains.com Staff

Why do people feel the need to throw their waste on the ground?

I’m seriously sick and tired of seeing all sorts of garbage spread throughout disc golf courses and everywhere else. When I have worked all day and want to unwind, I usually head outside, take a walk and try to enjoy nature and my surroundings.

Ugh... finding stuff on the course is ugly! After this photo, crushed and in the golf bag to get rid of later.

It stinks to look at a beautiful countryside and see garbage on the ground. I’m an environmentally minded person and I don’t throw my trash anywhere other than where it belongs — in a garbage can (or, on the floor of my truck).

As usual, the weekend comes and I can’t wait to grab my bag of discs, a couple of granola bars, something to drink and head to the local course. I get there, warm up and head out.

It doesn’t take long before the excitement wears off.

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Creative Corner: Making a portable basket personal

Darren Dolezel's lit-up basket at the local Relay For Life event in 2011.

I recently came to the conclusion that I have an addictive personality.

When I get involved in something I like and enjoy, I usually jump in full force and take it to another level.

When I first got into disc golf, the first thing I purchased, besides many discs, was an Innova SkillShot portable basket. It was a good starter basket, but I didn’t think it caught discs as well as a real basket. Next came an Innova DISCatcher Sport, which turned out to be great.

However, even though it was great, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I wanted to find a way to modify the basket to make it better.

Cue the music and let’s hit the garage!

The first thing I did was get rid of the chains that came with the basket and replaced them with stainless steel chains. It’s not a cheap investment, but when you are blinded by the possibilities of what can be done, I tend to forget how much things cost. Not only did I replace the outer chains, but I also added inner chains.

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Creative Corner: Need a bag for your minis?

Darren reverted back to his home ec classes to make a bag for mini disc golf.

As a disc golfer, I have slowly developed my skills by playing on a regular basis and learning all the discs in my bag and how they fly.

Nobody told me I’d have to do the same thing with minis.

Minis?

As if it wasn’t enough to play disc golf with regular discs, now I have to learn how to throw my mini?

These shorts made for good fabric to make a mini bag with.

I was recently invited to play some mini disc courses in Pennsylvania. After doing some YouTube research, I found some short movies on how to throw a mini. I also received some helpful advice from New Jersey-based professional Bob Graham.

Add those things together and I was able to throw the minis exceptionally far.

As a bit of a disc junkie, I have accumulated quite a few different minis. And they all seemed to do different things, so I got wondering — are there mini bags? I searched the internet and found some bags for minis, but most of them were plain and simple.

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