Poll 36: The content at Rattling Chains

As noted last week, we are doing a two-week set of polls covering our site. It’s mainly to use as a tool to try and improve what we are already doing.

It’s also to help us understand our readers a bit.

The reality is, blogs aren’t always successful. You can’t base everything on the amount of visits or hits you get. You have to base it on your readers. Many blogs have people who visit once and never come back. Some blogs get massive hits, but the content isn’t great.

We aim to have a solid following and to them, we strive to give the best possible content. In many facets, the content on Rattling Chains isn’t available anywhere else based on what our writers go through to give you these things.

Before diving back into that, let’s check out last week’s poll about visiting the site.

Though we hoped for more voters, this kind of proved the point originally thought — the readers we do have seem to be loyal. And, in turn, we hope to be loyal to you.

Of the 76 people who voted last week, 49 percent (37 votes) said you visit the site daily (whenever a story is posted). Second place, understandably so, with 17 percent (13 votes) was when you see something that interests you.

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Poll 35: Visiting Rattling Chains

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

This week’s poll will help us, somewhat, shape the direction we plan on going with Rattling Chains.

Though we have a great group of writers, the reality is none of us get paid to do the work on this site. Therefore, when real life gets in the way, sometimes the content takes a hit.

When that happens, sometimes the load comes down on one or more of us and it becomes a burden.

But that’s neither here nor there.

All of us who write for this site enjoy the aspects we bring to readers — a journalistic way to look at the sport we love. I still believe we offer content not available in most other places, such as our in-depth pieces. Our interviews are not in a Q&A format, rather crafted in the form of an article in the format many traditional publications would use.

To do so is a time-consuming situation. We research. We interview. We write. We edit. We format.

Over the past few months, I’ve watched our site statistics. I’ve seen the type of stories that seem to get the hits and I’ve seen the ones that don’t work as well. I know what days the bigger hits will come and I know where hits come from on certain days etc.

Still, as we shape the site and we push forward, we need to know how to shape the site. For the next two weeks — today and next Monday — I’ll be doing polls that are based on the site and the reading tendencies of our visitors. In the end, we hope to continually make the site better moving forward.

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Poll 34: Favorite course

(EDIT — Nov. 13 — Please read the poll question at the bottom. This is not asking you what your dream course if money were no object. It’s asking what your favorite course is of ones you’ve already played. Thanks).

This week’s poll is a bit different.

There are no choices with this one — it’s going to be based fully on your comments on this post.

Hopefully the answers for this poll will give other players places to research and check out. Maybe there’s a hidden gem. Or one that is already well-known.

Let me not get too far ahead of myself, however.

Before we get into this week’s poll, however, let’s go back and check out last week’s results.

We asked you if you could only play one brand for the rest of time, what would it be? The results didn’t shock me as I figured the big two would be at the top and they were.

With 179 people letting us know what they would do, Innova was the runaway winner with 79 votes — 44 percent. Discraft was second with 47 votes (26 percent). It dropped off even more after that as Latitude 64 (25 votes/14 percent), Discmania (10 votes/6 percent) and Vibram (7 votes/4 percent) followed.

Other (4 votes/2 percent), MVP (3 votes/2 percent), Millennium (2 votes/1 percent), Lightning (1 vote/1 percent), DGA (1 vote/1 percent) and Gateway (0 votes) filled out the rest of the choices.

Let’s check in to see what some others said:

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Poll 31: Do you make the putt?

I know not everybody is into the pro tour. And, as the sport is continually growing, that is understandable with coverage just starting to expand as well.

This past weekend was the Players Cup, a match-play style championship. On the line was more than $20,000 in prizes for the men and $2,000 for a smaller women’s field.

That got me thinking about the way these guys play.

No matter the sport, being at the professional level goes beyond skill. It’s also mental. You have to constantly be thinking about shot selection, disc selection, your score, what you might have to do etc.

And you have to remain calm!

Let’s also remember that disc golfers aren’t paid the highest in the world. They often travel together in cars or vans from tournament to tournament, sometimes competing for small purses. The National Tour events, majors and events such as the Players Cup give the players a chance for bigger paydays.

So below, after we check in with last week’s poll, I’m going to put you in their shoes. Check out the situation. It’s a yes or no question. But I really want to see some comments and see why people chose what they did.

But first, let’s take a quick look at last week’s poll.

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Poll 30: Time at the course

I know some people out there live at a disc golf course. And I say that figuratively and, well, literally for some.

But there are some of us who just can’t do it — despite maybe wanting to.

That will be the topic of this week’s poll and we’ll get to that shortly.

Until then, let’s kick back and check out last week’s poll.

Not many people voted last week — a whopping 66. Maybe that’s why people aren’t watching the game? They are out playing!

We asked you how many events you watch per year as a spectator. I didn’t see any this year and I was disappointed to miss the Vibram Open as it’s quite the event. Alas, this might be something that needs to be worked on as a game. If people think the game is going to expand a lot without people watching, it just won’t happen.

To be fair, some may be very happy with how the game is right now — and that’s perfectly fine, too.

So how did the readers vote? Twenty-six (39 percent) of voters said they don’t spectate at any events. That was followed by 1-2 (25 votes/38 percent), 3-5 (11 votes/17 percent), and a tie between 6-10 and more than 10, which drew two votes (3 percent) each.

Maybe down the line we’ll try and figure out why the numbers are this way. Until then, however, let’s see what some readers had to say.

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Poll 28: Buying discs

We’re going to discuss buying discs for this week’s poll.

But, as per normal, we’ll get to that later on.

After all, we have some interesting things to discuss in regard to last week’s poll. Courses played … how many have you all done?

I had built myself up on this one to be shocked with the answers, but in the end it appears it was quite tame.

We had 113 people tally a vote in this poll. The top spot, which garnered 37 votes (33 percent) was the 10-24 range. That was followed by 1-9 (20 votes/18 percent) and a tie between 25-49 and 100-249, which each drew 17 votes (15 percent). Taking fifth was 50-99 (15 votes/13 percent), followed by 500 or more (four votes/four percent) and 250-499 (three votes/two percent).

I actually expected more votes toward the bigger amounts, but it doesn’t surprise me that reaching the big numbers — 250 or more — only accounted for seven votes.

That’s a lot of disc golf courses, after all.

Let’s see what some of the readers had to say.

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Poll 24: How much is too much for a disc?

OK, there’s been a lot of things I’ve read about collectible discs.

I know of several people who have spent many dollars on discs to add to their collections. And I shake my head in wonder over this. But, we’ll get to that in a moment.

For now, let’s peek back to last week’s poll. We were curious how long of a break you had taken from disc golf. It could be for any reason, but since becoming a disc golfer, what kind of breaks have you taken?

We had 103 voters in this poll and the winning selection was two weeks, which scored 29 votes (28 percent). Second place went to a year or longer with 19 votes (19 percent). One month tied with 2-3 months for the next spot (17 votes/17 percent), followed by 4-5 months (11 votes/11 percent) and 6-11 months (10 votes/nine percent).

It seems people, too, had different reasons for their breaks. Let’s see what some of the readers had to say.

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Poll 8: Rounds per week

It appears disc golfers don’t overdo it when it comes to PDGA-sanctioned tournaments.

In last week’s poll, when we asked our readers how many PDGA tournaments they would play in this year, the winning answer was 3-6.

It makes me wonder if we should have just said tournaments? After all, there are doubles tournaments, non-sanctioned local tournaments and other ideas. But, it’s also interesting to see how many PDGA tournaments, because one pays the membership fee to be part of the organization.

Maybe we’ll re-visit this later in the year and make it overall tournaments and see how many tourneys people actually played in.But for now, let’s see how the vote turned out. A total of 86 people voted.

The winning selection of 3-6 tournaments received 29 votes (34 percent). In second was 1-2 tournaments with 19 votes (22 percent). Third was 7-10 with 13 votes (15 percent), followed by none (11 votes/13 percent).

It’s interesting to have the “none” vote that high. Is it that people are not playing in PDGA tournaments or none at all? Either way, it’s intriguing to me as I think it might show the more casual side of this sport and how beneficial it can be etc.

Let’s see what some people said for last week’s poll.

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Poll 7: Tournament count this year?

Before we get to this week’s poll, let’s take a peek back at last week’s answers and responses.

We asked our readers why they played disc golf. And, I have to be honest, I did not expect the winning vote — exercise.

A total of 94 people cast votes for this poll (voters were able to choose up to two answers). Exercise garnered 34 percent (32 votes) of the poll. Being out in nature followed in second with 27 percent of the vote (25 votes).

Hanging out with friends placed third (23 percent/22 votes), and competition (22 percent/21 votes) placed fourth. Relaxing and watching the disc fly tied for fifth (21 percent/20 votes).

It’s funny, because I’ve heard so many people say disc golf isn’t exercise. I’ve even heard disc golfers say that. And it makes me scratch my head. I always thought getting out, being active, walking a couple of miles and working different parts of your body would be exercise, no?

It’s not running a marathon, but it’s exercise. I’ve left many tournaments knowing the next day I was going to feel it.

So, it makes me smile knowing exercise was the top vote getter (it was one of the ones I personally voted for, along with hanging out with friends).

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Poll 6: Why do you play disc golf?

You disc golfers really do enjoy carrying plastic when you play some disc golf, eh?

Last week’s poll, “How many discs do you carry during a round?” really showed that golfers like having discs with them.

We had 468 voters cast a ballot in the latest poll and the winning selection — with 155 votes (33 percent) — was carrying 16-20 discs. In second — with 140 votes (30 percent) — was 11-15 discs.

That’s a lot of plastic!

To show more proof of that? Third place with 21 or more discs, which garnered 86 votes (18 percent). In fourth was 6-10 discs (71 votes/15 percent), followed by 2-5 discs (15 votes/3 percent) and one disc (1 vote).

The reasons for how many discs are carried differ — some carried more in tournaments, some in casual rounds (to test/break in discs). Some just carried a lot of discs. Other didn’t carry as many.

This is definitely a personal preference!

Reader Heymo says carrying 10 discs is all that can fit in the bag for now.

I’m trying to keep my bag simple and learn how certain discs fly first. … Once I have the feeling that I actually know what I’m doing with those discs I will probably branch out, but this might be a while.

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