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!

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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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.

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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
//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js

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.

SmallAxeLogo

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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