A thank you and farewell to all

Not that this should be a shock to anybody, but the end of Rattling Chains has obviously happened.

However, I needed closure on this part of my life, as well as for the site, considering I still see e-mails asking about it.

announcementI had a time in my life where I was unemployed. This blog provided so many things for me. One, it allowed me to find one of the greatest games in the world. Though I don’t get to play as often as I’d like, I do still try and get out and throw plastic. I’m not an active PDGA member as I don’t plan on playing tournaments or anything, but I still support what they are trying to do.

Maybe, one day, I’ll get back into it. I do think I might subscribe to the magazine, though, as I miss that.

But for the time Rattling Chains existed, I fully believed in the cause. I wanted to bring a journalistic-style of blogging to the disc golf world. It’s something I still think can do well, if done right. As the site grew (and it did so nicely), we had a fun little staff who did some wonderful work.

Thing evolved, but when you try and grow and there’s nothing coming back, it gets tough. I didn’t play enough disc golf to have a full-fledged connection to it. The other main writers were doing so much with but just a thank you. Though, I can’t lie, I still hope to get out to the West Coast and play a round with each of the main players some day in the future.

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A tournament at the Chasm more than delivers on expectations

The Chasm.

The Chasm.

By Matt-Jackie Bertram – for Rattling Chains

We’ve all been to parks or hiking trails or fields and immediately had those disc golf lines appear before our eyes.

We’ve all stared down a line of trees and thought, “That would be a really fun fairway to play.” Maybe you’ve even been lucky enough to set up a few safari holes or played a round of pirate golf in those areas. But chances are you’ve never thrown a disc across raging rapids, or down 200 feet of sheer cliff side.

Unless, of course, you’ve played in the Steady Ed Safari, held at Ausable Chasm in the far north of New York State.

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Not an easy layout.

Sponsored by DGA, the Steady Ed Safari wrapped up its sophomore outing on September 21. More of an event than a tournament, Ausable Chasm provides a full weekend of disc golf, camping, and hiking tours through the chasm proper, if you choose to stay. The property also boasts a permanent 18-hole (soon to be 27) course, named Campgrounds, which is used for some casual glow golf on the night prior to the main event and also for one of the tournament rounds.

The other tournament round, however, is the main reason for attending.

The crew at Ausable Chasm builds a Frankenstein of an 18-hole safari course up and down and over the chasm itself. Some baskets involve a 10-minute hike down the cliffs to take your second shot. Others require a raft to ferry you across the rapids to reach your lie. And one hole makes use of a vacant boathouse that contains the basket at the end of a challenging par 5.

Does that sound like an interesting round of golf to you? It should.

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January 20: What’s in Your Bag?

This edition of What’s in your bag comes from Josh Rogers, who calls Dacey Fields Disc Golf Course in Franklin, Mass., his home course.

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Rogers, of Bellingham, Mass., said he gets better each time he plays the par-62 course, a tightly wooded and low-option one. The tees are all natural as the course is still young.

As for his bag, he uses a Bass Pro Shops Extreme Qualifier 360 Angler backpack. It’s not fully converted, but it holds a lot of items with minimal impact on his shoulders.

The bag carries 14 discs. These include:

  • Latitude Test Material 2 Bolt (168 grams)
  • (4) Innova Beats in three plastics (randing from 162 in DX to 164 in champion and 168 in star)
The contents in the bag of Josh Rogers.

The contents in the bag of Josh Rogers.

  • Latitude 64 Trident (170)
  • (2) Latitude 64 Opto Rivers (172)
  • Vibram Obex (174)
  • Discraft Buzzz X (175)
  • Discraft Buzzz Z (177)
  • Latitude 64 Pure Eze Line (172)
  • Latitude 64 Zero Soft (172)

Also in the bag:

  • PDGA Rule Book/Competition Manual
  • 2013 inBounds Flight Guide
  • 2012 Marshall Street Flight Guide
  • Scorecards for the Pyramids Course at Marshall Street
  • Marshall Street Mini
  • Two Towels
  • One multi-knife
  • Two golf balls
  • One blue, one black pen
  • Permanent marker
  • Innova Pencil from my first tournament
  • Coin purse
  • Rain jacket
  • Umbrella

Want to submit your bag and contents? Here’s what we need: A couple of photos of your bag and discs. Put together a list of everything you carry in the bag — from food to discs to anything else. Then maybe give a paragraph or two about your bag and if there’s anything you do between casual and tournament rounds etc. Finally, don’t forget your name, location and home course! Cell phone photos are fine, but please try and make it as high quality as possible. Grainy shots might not be able to be used. E-mail all of these things to pj@rattlingchains.com with the subject “What’s in my bag.”

MVP Disc Sports announces surprise offshoot brand, Axiom Discs

By Steve Hill – Rattling Chains staff

The busiest young manufacturer in disc golf just got busier.

After a week-long social media campaign sprinkled with teaser photos and vague hints, MVP Disc Sports on Friday announced the formation of a new, separate brand called Axiom Discs.

AxiomDiscs_pyramid-text-logoBilled as “the new style of science,” Axiom Discs will still contain MVP’s signature overmold technology and be produced and distributed by the Michigan-based company.

So how does this new venture differ from the typical MVP output?

Axiom Discs will feature a variety of overmold and core color combinations, as well as new molds that differ in flight and profile from MVP’s existing lineup.

While the new color combinations are a nod to the first discs the company created, MVP Disc Sports co-founder Brad Richardson said the inspiration for creating this offshoot came from the company’s line of glow plastic.

“We attribute the exotic look of our Eclipse discs to be an initiating factor,” Richardson said. “Most of our Eclipse sales are people looking for the vibrant colors that result from the brighter overmold. However, the expensive glowing agents add a lot to the cost of the Eclipse Series, so we decided to branch out from the traditional black rim to make those vivid colors available at a comparable cost to the standard Neutron and Proton series.”

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Winner, winner …

OK, so a little behind the 8-ball with this one.

But we need to announce the winner of the last giveaway.

Who won this glorious package?

Who won this glorious package?

Before we get to that, however, this will be a quickie post to give away the last items. We don’t, at this point, have a giveaway — but I’m working with a few other people right now in hopes of getting a few things together so we can make sure the monthly giveaways continue.

That being said …

The last one we did was quite a package of items.

It included:

  • 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)

Not too shabby, right?

Anyway, time to give it away.

The winner of the glow prize pack was Jordan Potvin, whose “Like” of Rattling Chains on Facebook earned him the pack! Congrats, Jordan! 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!

Thanks everyone for entering and keep an eye out for more giveaways coming soon!

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!

Disc golf course landmarks easily lend to various nicknames

By Jack Trageser – Rattling Chains staff

Players and observers have long believed that golf courses manifest unique characteristics — personalities, really — that set them apart from one another.

Unlike, say, football, basketball, or tennis, which have playing fields that adhere to strict and uniformly measured specifications, golf courses come in varying shapes, sizes, and topography. But ball golf itself has limitations (primarily, the need for a playing surface and contour that permits the ball to be struck with control and aim) which keep course design within certain constraints.

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The field of play for disc golf, on the other hand, has far fewer limitations.

Players merely need grounds that can be traversed (which is, of course, subjective based on the fitness and preference of each player) and open enough so discs can be thrown, fly free, and be located (also subjective). This high level of flexibility and adaptability has resulted in courses installed in a very wide range of locales, which, in turn, provides the opportunity for more personality associated with its playing fields than any other sport.

Still following me?

Simply put, disc golf courses have been placed in all kinds of crazy places, like thick woods, steep mountainsides, deserts — even in underground caves and on the side of a volcano, which is awesome! It’s one of the reasons most disc golfers love the sport — the essence of golf combined with all the landscapes nature has to offer.

With all that variety, and personality, it’s only natural that disc golf courses would be a breeding ground for unique nicknames and colloquialisms. Whether it be a tree, a patch of nasty rough to be avoided, or an entire hole, disc golf courses invite metaphoric description.

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Andrew’s Travelogue: Time to Train

(Editor’s note: Andrew has been submitting stories for several months and we’ve been spacing them out. Therefore, this story was written before the Korean National tournament). 

By Andrew Belet – Rattling Chains staff

September 28 and 29 are the two biggest disc golf days in South Korea.

Why? Because it’s the 6th Annual Korean National Disc Golf Championships, of course!

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I, for one, can’t wait to compete in my first PDGA-sanctioned tournament on foreign soil. Though it is only a C-Tier, it promises to have all the thrills and excitement of an A-Tier or even a Major, just because of the pride and dedication KPDGA puts into this event.

Despite being rated at a paltry 845, I will be competing in the intermediate division. Other Americans have given me a bit of guff over this, thinking I should be playing even higher, but playing two divisions higher than my rating allows seems enough for this humble disc golfer.

The course for nationals will be a temporary course set up on the grounds of the Korean National Youth Center, right in the heart of Seoul. As is appropriate for most Korean courses (save, of course, The Dragon’s Lair with our awesome 600-foot hole), the course is set up to be short and very technical.

There is also a strangely disproportionate amount of right-finishing holes. Nevertheless, it promises to be a good, yet demanding, time. There will be many Americans competing, but the only other American from my neck of the woods will be Joe, who will be entering his first tournament (he’ll be playing in the recreational division).

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In defense of the low putt

By Matthew Rothstein – Special to Rattling Chains

No low putts, right?

Every disc golfer has heard this advice at one time or another.

If you miss low, they say, you never gave it a chance to go in.

Why, I ask, have low putts earned such a poor reputation? If a putt misses too high, or too wide, did it really have more of a chance to go in than if it had missed low?

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As a result, I am writing in defense of these so-called “low putts.”

The reality is that a low putt deserves at least equal status with any putt that leaves us with more work to do before marking our scorecards. A putt that misses two feet low had every bit the same chance as a putt that misses two feet high; that is to say, not much of one.

Putting is not a game of chance. Rather, it is an opportunity to focus and execute. We should never be thinking about “not missing low” or “not missing high.” Instead, all of our attention should be on burying the putter into the very heart of the chains. Anything else is a distraction.

Of course there are other things to consider when lining up a putt. If there is cliff or an out of bounds line behind your target, you may want to take some speed off your putt. If there is a strong left-to-right wind, you may want to put a hyzer angle on the putter to make sure that it does not fly off like a kite.

That said, once you have lined up your putt and made your calculations, there is nothing left to do but visualize and execute.

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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:

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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!

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!