Wysocki extends NT points lead; Hokom takes women’s crown

By Steve Hill – Rattling Chains staff

Elevation? No problem.

Bum leg? Not an issue.

Course record? No big deal. Twice.

Ricky Wysocki earned his third National Tour event of the season this past weekend at the Great Lakes Open. (photo courtesy of PDGA Media)

That sums up Ricky Wysocki’s performance at this past weekend’s Great Lakes Open National Tour Series event, where the Prodigy phenom racked up his third NT victory with a three-round 32-under-par 154.

Prodigy teammate Garrett Gurthie shot a 23-under par 163 to place second, and Will Schusterick and Devan Owens tied for third place with 22-under 164s. Paul McBeth rounded out the top five with a 24-under 165, which took place at the much-revered Toboggan Championship Course at Kensington Metropark in Milford, Michigan.

As has been the case in the other events he has won this year, though, this one was all Wysocki from the first day.

After Owens held the lead briefly with a course-record 52 on Friday, Wysocki bested the score later that day with an 11-under 51. Wysocki then took that one shot lead and extended it to six by throwing a 1077-rated 50 – breaking his own Toboggan course record, all while playing through a calf injury – on Saturday.

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Wysocki looking to pad lead, win third NT event of season

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

Four down, four to go.

With four PDGA National Tour events in the books, it’s still anybody’s game when it comes to claiming the championship. Four tournaments remain and the top five players are quite close to one another.

national_tour

There’s one thing to remember, though. Only the top five of of the first seven events for each player, as well as the season-ending Vibram Open will count in the final standings. Therefore, the current rankings could jump around as the season moves along.

Four events remain, including this weekend’s Great Lake’s Open, which runs Friday through Sunday in Milford, Mich.

The tournament will run one round per day at the Toboggan Championship course at Kensington MetroPark.

Ricky Wysocki, who has won two National Tour events this year, is on top of the standings with 363.5 points. Just behind is Nikko Locastro with 362. Dave Feldberg (334) is third, followed by Will Schusterick (318) and Paul McBeth (290). McBeth didn’t play in the last NT event, however.

Wysocki is the top-ranked player in the Disc Golf Rankings, an independent ratings system devised by Vibram’s Steve Dodge and sponsored by Prime Discs, Vibram and Rattling Chains. Wysocki was also recently named the 2012 Male Player of the Year.

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Discraft’s Ace Race delivers with a lot of fun

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

With Discraft’s Ace Race in the books, let’s take a quick peek at this year’s tournaments.

I don’t know how many of you participated in one of these events this year. For me, it was the second straight year I played in the tournament and it was equally as fun.

This year’s Ace Race ran from August to October and had 347 events held throughout the world. A few weeks ago, Rattling Chains writer Steve Hill wrote about the event on a more broad level.

The Ace Race disc. (photo by P.J. Harmer)

For those who didn’t read that and don’t know about the Ace Race, it’s a small and fun tournament where players have more chances at aces. For your entry fee ($25), you get two discs and some other swag.The player pack this year was well worth the money as each person got the two discs, a mini, a pair of 80s-style sunglasses and a stainless steel water bottle.

The discs are the only ones you can use during the tournament.Each player throws them at each hole, counting nothing but aces and metals, which is how many times you hit metal somewhere on the basket, but without slamming an ace.

In the end, the person with the most aces wins an excellent prize package of Discraft discs.

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Breaking up is hard to do

We've had some good times together, haven't we?

By P.J. Harmer — RattlingChains.com Staff

I know separations can be messy.

And I hope this one won’t be. After all, we’ve been so good to each other over the past few years. I’ve coddled you, at times. When you went storming off into the woods or slammed yourself up against a tree, I ran after you and wanted to make sure you were safe and sound.

You were one of my first, too.

Oh that special moment. The first time I felt your wonderful underside and gripped you as I stared down a beautiful fairway.

It was love at first touch.

I remember the feeling of knowing I had you all to myself, too. You had this Buzzz to you. You were oh so pretty and when I really needed help, you were always there for me.

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‘Non-Stop’ opportunities, growth on professional tour

It's a non-stop tour for four PDGA pros this summer.

Tens of thousands of miles. Four professional disc golfers. One van.

No, this isn’t the premise to the newest goofy Adam Sandler film. Actually, it’s the framework for the Non-Stop Disc Golf Tour, and it is serious business.

OK, so it isn’t all serious business, but there is plenty of work involved, nonetheless.

The brainchild of 2008 world champion David Feldberg and 2010 United States Disc Golf Championship winner Will Schusterick, the foundation of the tour is simple: The two pros – along with fellow hotshots Nikko Locastro and Cale Leiviska – cross the country in an RV, holding school clinics during the week and closing out their visits with weekend tournaments. From pounding the pavement for sponsorships to cleaning up the remnants of their events, these four and their crew arrange these outings with the common purpose of growing the game of disc golf.

Passing the Torch

The genesis of the tour, according to Feldberg, came from the close relationships the players already had with one another.

“The idea of a tour this year…I think that was a combination of all of us thinking together, because we’ve been traveling together a lot,” Feldberg said. “I’ve been thinking about it for years. I’ve been building my career around the idea of being able to go to schools and teach clinics, so it works out well.”

Dave Feldberg works with another player at a NSDG clinic. (photo courtesy NSDG via Facebook)

Besides teaching new players about the game, Feldberg is also using the tour as a chance to educate the younger professionals and usher in the next era of the game.

“I just figured that it’s almost a passing of the torch,” he said. “I figured I’d take out some young guys and make sure they’re the next best.”

That torch isn’t being passed just from Feldberg to the youngsters, though.

“I think we all have something to learn from each other, even though I haven’t been around as long as everybody else has,” Schusterick said. “I’m definitely picking up a couple of their tricks and a couple of things to add and always build my game.”

Feldberg agreed that even he, as the seasoned veteran of the group, can pick up some tips from the young guys. He also sees this as a necessity to keep up with the rapid acceleration in the quality of professional disc golf currently being played.

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Helping disc sports grow: Take your disc to work this Friday

Give yourself a chance to win!

Have you participated in something where you brought something to work for one day?

A child?

A pet?

Something or someone else?

Now you have that chance again. This time to hopefully help spread the word of a sport you play and enjoy.

This Friday — April 6 — Discraft is sponsoring an event called Take Your Disc To Work Day. The idea is simple — take a disc to work or school and get someone interested in a disc sport, be it disc golf, ultimate or something else.

Do it creatively and you could win a spending spree in the Discraft store.

Get creative with your photos and you could win a spending spree! (Photo courtest Discraft)

The idea isn’t just to spread the word of disc golf, but to make it a way to talk about all disc sports.

“It’s a concept we had tried briefly years ago, before my time,” said Brian Sullivan, Discraft’s marketing director. “It’s a concept that’s brilliant. It’s a concept Pete (Chumas) came to us with and said we should take it globally.”

Chumas said he saw the idea as when Ultimate Canada did it the past few years and he thought it could work on a much bigger stage.  A former ultimate player with ties to the disc golf community, Chumas said he wants to keep seeing disc sports grow and maybe appear on television some day.

Ultimate Canada has been running something similar to this and Chumas said he had participated in that event and thought it could go global.

“I have some old friends at Discraft, and they were immediately on board when I pitched them since they had tried something similar way back before social media,” Chumas said. “Now, thanks to (Discraft) we had some prizes and celebrity judges, and could get the word out quickly with the power of social media, so we jumped in with both feet.”

Sullivan said getting involved with this was an easy decision for Discraft.

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Plastic giveaway: What’s your best story?

Somebody will win this... will it be you?

For those who don’t know me, I’m a pretty competitive softball player. I’ve been playing it since I was 17 and I’ve loved every minute of it.

I’ve run a team for that long as well — and we’ve had a lot of success. We’ve won championships, reached the finals and done all sorts of fun things.

But one thing I always remember was playing in a league as a younger player — and I was one of the youngest on the team. During those days, I listened more than anything.

Oh the stories.

Things about the days gone by. Past tournaments and league shenanigans. Great games and road trips. It was a grassroots way of playing the sport of softball.

In recent years, the style of softball I play (modified) seems to be fading some. The local leagues have dwindled and most have folded. Slow pitch has taken over, especially co-ed.

In those young days, several of the older players told me that I grew up in the wrong generation. I was a bit of a throw back on the field in the way I played and how I saw and viewed the game.

I see disc golf in the same way. A growing sport in a grassroots atmosphere. But really growing — not on the flip side, such as softball was (at least in our area).

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