Photo Focus: Dec. 30

(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.)

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Trapped. (photo by Karen Greenberg)

This image was taken at Emerald Park in Mesa, Arizona.

The course features a grassy hill, with this gate in the side of the hill. The gate restricts access to a huge water drainage pipe. The disc in the photo was rescued from behind the gate a couple of weeks before this image was taken.

We have decided this disc wants to live in the dungeon, as I call it, because it seems to be attracted to that gate for some reason. When I threw the disc on this shot, it was bent, trying to fit through the gate to go back “home” from where I rescued it.

My family, which includes me, my husband, my two daughters and both of my parents, play disc golf as many weekends as we can. We were introduced to the sport in October, when my brother came to visit. We love the fact this is something our whole family can do.

— Karen Greenberg

Techie info:

  • Camera: NA
  • Aperture: NA
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  • Focal Length: NA
  • ISO: NA

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!

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Wishing everybody a Merry Christmas and a great holiday season

christmas

We at Rattling Chains would like to wish everybody a great holiday season.

Enjoy the season and the time with family and friends.

And if you aren’t buried in the snow, how about hucking a disc or three?

We would also like to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to visit us as often as you do. We have had fewer stories this year, but we still try to bring the best we can to you.

We’d like to wish everybody who celebrates a Merry Christmas and to everyone, a wonderful holiday season.

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 andlike us on Facebook!

Preparation makes a local scene stand out

Autumn rounds often extend into the night, meaning it's time to tape lights to the discs. (photo courtesy Flying Lea Disc Golf Club)

Autumn rounds often extend into the night, meaning it’s time to tape lights to the discs. (photo courtesy Flying Lea Disc Golf Club)

By Tim Engstrom — for Rattling Chains

People come from out of town to play our courses here in Albert Lea, Minnesota — especially a championship course called Oak Island DGC.

It doesn’t hurt that our city is at the junction of two interstate highways, so travelers like to get a round in on their way to other destinations. As a result, it’s interesting to see how adaptable other disc golfers are compared to us locals.

We have a pretty good local scene here. In the summer months, we have a random doubles league on Monday evenings and a singles league on Thursday evenings. Our crew of competitive disc golfers — about 15 regulars and another 10 now-and-then types — travel to tournaments in the region. Our courses host tournaments, too. So we meet disc golfers in town and out of town.

It's common for players at Oak Island to play from the ice. There is no OB with winter rules. (photo courtesy Flying Lea Disc Golf Club)

It’s common for players at Oak Island to play from the ice. There is no OB with winter rules. (photo courtesy Flying Lea Disc Golf Club)

What strikes me about the Albert Lea disc golfers is how prepared we are for the occasion, no matter what it be.

An autumn round goes into the night? Guess who has flat lights for their discs: Albert Lea discers. Most likely, one or two of them are selling lights to others. The tape is free.

Disc goes in the water off Oak Island? Guess who has a retriever: An Albert Lea discer. Oh, it needs extra string? An Albert Lea discer has it covered. It’s too far out, and the water is ice cold, far too cold for wading? An Albert Lea discer comes to the rescue with some waders.

It snowed? Albert Lea disc golfers pull sleds that hold their bags.

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Andrew’s Travelogue: Politics and disc golf — the whole mess (part 2)

By Andrew Belet – Rattling Chains staff

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part column on Andrew’s experience participating in and organizing tournaments under the Korean Professional Disc Golf Association. Get caught up on part one here.

The man almost solely responsible for the rise of disc golf in South Korea is the great Sung Bae Kim. He has done more to get disc golf recognized in his homeland than anyone I’ve ever known.

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Kim and his dedicated crew have really worked on what I think is something the disc golf community needs to emphasize: youth activities. Whatever disputes players have with the way KPDGA runs tournaments, no one can say anything negative about their handling of expanding the Korean youth’s knowledge-base and skill set when it comes to disc golf.

Kim is also no slouch when it comes to competition. He often participates in the tournaments he holds, and frequently wins in the masters or grandmasters divisions.

Known for his international travel, he has also competed in Japan, Taiwan, Israel and tries to make PDGA Worlds every year. At the 2013 Worlds, he placed 15th overall in senior grandmasters, shooting a 56 in his final round.

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Win this great pack for the holiday season!

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

The holiday season is upon us!

And with that, I was trying to figure out a good giveaway for this month. I dug deep into the prize vault for a pretty loaded packet. There’s all sorts of stuff in here as I wanted to have a good prize pack to celebrate the holiday season.

December's giveaway!

December’s giveaway!

But … before that, I need to announce the winner of last month’s giveaway, the glow discs.

The winner of the glow prize pack was Luke Turnbull, whose comment entry earned him the pack! Congrats, Luke! An e-mail will be sent. Please get us the needed info within a week, or we’ll have to re-draw for another winner!

Anyway, on with this month’s giveaway.

This is quite a packed pack, so to speak. We have all sorts of goodies we are giving away. The contents are as follows:

  • 2 Rattling Chains minis (1 Zing Snipe, 1 Zine Aerofoil)
  • Rattling Chains bag tag (only 20 were made)
  • Avery Jenkins signed Topps Allen and Ginter card
  • HyzerFlip t-shirt (Large)
  • Discraft bag (given at the 2011 Ace Race)
  • Vibram Sole (174g)
  • Innova X-Out Champion Sidewinder (170)
  • Innova X-Out Star Mako (180)

Pretty sweet pack, right?

So what do you have to do? The same as each month. 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!

Ben Franklin and disc golf — the wisdom shines through

“When in doubt, don’t.”

Golf had barely made its way to the United States during Benjamin Franklin’s lifetime, otherwise I’d be inclined to think the above quote, taken from his Poor Richard’s Almanac, came to him while playing a round.

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I also believe that Franklin, if born into a world where both ball golf and disc golf existed, would undoubtedly have chosen the latter. Add that to the long list of reasons why he is by far my favorite among the founding fathers.

I could write an entirely separate post listing and elaborating on the reasons he would favor disc golf — chief among them its accessibility to people of all classes and the endless intriguing flight path possibilities of a flying disc. But that’s for another day. Let’s focus on that quote, and how it applies to disc golf.

When in doubt, don’t.”

I like to think the best interpretation of this nugget of wisdom in the golf world is this: In order to execute any shot successfully — and especially the most difficult ones — 100 percent conviction is a must. You can’t be waffling on which way to play it and expect things to turn out well. Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Example 1

You’re 30 feet away from the basket with a downhill putt, where the terrain continues to slope down behind the basket, with a lake at the bottom. You know this hole well, and as you approach your lie you think of the many times you’ve hit this putt and others like it.

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Andrew’s Travelogue: Politics and disc golf — the whole mess (part 1)

It’s been quite a busy time here lately.

I’ve touched on it before, but I reason that I should go into a bit more detail with this next bit — one of the hardest parts of serving in the military is being gone all the time. I don’t mean just being deployed and away from your home and family, I mean being gone even while you’re deployed.

For instance, my unit just got back from more than a month in the field. Granted, “the field” in Korea is a bit more luxurious than “the field” in the states (i.e. hot showers, chow hall, even laundromats), but the fact remains you are out in the boondocks for more than a month. You are practically devoid of communication with the outside world, and do nothing but training, training, training. It’s a gigantic inconvenience, but one we have become accustomed to accepting.

Some of us, of course, work harder than others (photo by Andrew Belet)

Some of us, of course, work harder than others (photo by Andrew Belet)

The KDPGA (Korean PDGA) hosted its biggest event — the Korean National Disc Golf Championships — in late September.  To say I was excited would be an understatement.

(Editor’s note: Andrew submitted many stories to be run over time. This one was written before the championships took place). 

While my rating is still well below 900, I figure it’s about time to give it a run at Intermediate. Hopefully, I can win it all and become an intermediate national champion! There’s one for the resume!

I had heard, in year’s past, Korean nationals filled up quick. Not wanting to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I e-mailed the secretary of the KPDGA, who speaks excellent English. I even let him know I’d be out in the field when the registration opened and he assured me he would e-mail me the signup form and hold a spot for me. So, everything was gravy. Or so I thought.

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Photo Focus: Dec. 2

(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.)

A gimme birdie, but a shadow ace. (photo by Jack Trageser)

A gimme birdie, but a shadow ace. (photo by Jack Trageser)

Hole No. 7 at Pinto Lake Disc Golf Course in Watsonville, California sits on an upper meadow, with a fairway mowed out of tall native grasses and other flora. It’s nearly flat, with no trees between tee and basket, although oak branches droop in front of the tee pad on the right side, limiting the right-hand backhand hyzer route and forcing players to use a lower trajectory than they might like.

This makes it seem longer than its 317 feet. Finally, out-of-bounds runs along each side and behind, providing plenty of opportunity to get a bogey or worse on a hole that would otherwise be pretty innocuous.

This picture was taken on a 70-degree Saturday morning in mid-November, with the fairway close-cropped and still dry like the Summer. In the background you can see the 4×4 posts that mark the out-of-bounds line (along with rope you can’t see), and the rough beyond.

My drive followed the exact path I envisioned when I launched my new Vibram O-Lace with full power on a low, flat line. It followed the OB line on the left until 50 feet or so from the basket, then faded right, stopping with a short skip a couple of feet from the cage.

It was immediately apparent that my drive had resulted in a gimme birdie, but when I drew closer I noticed that it was also an ace — of sorts. A shadow ace, with the disc sitting on the bottom of the shadow of the basket’s cage. My buddy congratulated me and promptly handed me a shadow $5 bill.

– Jack Trageser

Techie info:

  • Camera: NA
  • Aperture: NA
  • Exposure: NA
  • Focal Length: NA
  • ISO: NA

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!

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.

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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.

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