Sunday, March 27, 2016

Redemption Round

You hear that?
That's the sound of a year going by without a blog post.  I take my share of the blame for such failings, but there are reasons for my absence. Good reasons.  For instance, one generally has to be playing disc golf in order for there to be something to post about it.  I haven't been so fortunate.

Let me take you back...

The year is 2013.  My wife and I were living only a couple miles from Jiggs on one side and a course on the other.  Life was good.  But life changes.  Late that summer, I made the move to the east coast to pursue an advanced degree.  Graduate school is difficult and time consuming, but I was excited and hopeful!  See there is an immediate difference between states in the west and states in the east... size.  They pack so many states in here it is amazing I don't accidentally cross state lines when I go for a walk.  My plan was simple.  Use my time here as an opportunity to explore as many courses in as many states as I could possibly fit in.  I reasoned that I could easily add ten states to my total.  The Cold Lampin' Course Map was going to look awesome!  I had three years in which to do it.  I graduate this May.  Know how many new states and courses I've added to my tally?

Three courses and two states.  That's all.  Pretty depressing really.  Part of the problem is available time.  I count pages read in the thousands now.  That means no time for disc.  I have had internships and summers back in the midwest.  That means no time for new courses.  I have experienced the birth of my first child (YAY!).  That means no time for sleep, much less discing.

Another problem is the east coast itself.  There may be a ton of states out here, but their course options are paltry.  Last I checked, Rhode Island has two courses.  Two.  I live in Jersey, and in Jersey traffic, I have little opportunity to travel with any kind of efficiency.  My driving range is limited, so my course selection in this already limited area is even moreso.

But let's be honest.  These are all excuses.  The bottom line is that I had a goal.  My timeline for completing that goal is almost finished, and it looks like I have failed.  But sometimes life gives you a +1 life mushroom.  Circumstances of life have conspired to keep us here for additional time.

That means I have an opportunity.  An opportunity to take advantage of my location and accomplish the goals I had set out to do.  It will not be easy.  My weekends will not necessarily be free time and my work days will be just that.  But maybe.  Just maybe I will be able to fit in some disc.  I hope it to be true.

So keep your eyes on the Cold Lampin' Course Map page.  Hopefully you'll see some numbers change.  Until then, Lampers, stay frosty.


"So I'm back up in the game, running things to keep my swing... Return of the Mack"

Friday, March 06, 2015

Disc Golf & Reflection Questions-Does Society define pop culture or vice versa?

Some of you may know that I am participating in a U.S. History teachers cohort program through the Minnesota Historical Society and as a part of the program each participant had to write a blog post relating to pop culture and education and I thought I would re-post what I submitted for that blog on my own personal one. Enjoy. Here is also a link to that blog.

Disc Golf & Reflection Questions-Does Society define pop culture or vice versa?
At what point does something move from the realm of folk culture to pop culture? As I have been teaching I have been slowly sharing my seemingly “nerdy” passion for the little known sport of disc golf.  You may know it as “frisbee golf” or “frolf”. I fell in love with this sport as a young, carefree sophomore in high school and didn’t know that it would soon become an amazing pastime and somewhat of an “obsession” in my life according to my wife.Uploaded by Awesome Screenshot Extension

If you are curious about the brief history of the sport of disc golf you can follow this link. The basic idea of disc golf derives from its original counterpart golf. The idea is to get the disc in the basket in the least amount of throws as possible. Last week in the professional disc golf world there was a rather large tournament called the Memorial Championship that is played just outside the Scottsdale, AZ area and is considered the official start of the professional disc golf touring season.  The Memorial Championship tournament this year was broadcast live on YouTube from a newly founded crew known as

Friday, January 16, 2015

App Review: UDisc Disc Golf App

Let me tell you a story. I was playing a casual round of disc golf with my good friend Diggs. I believe we were most likely at Acorn Park because this story was from when we were in college. We tended to play disc golf when we were stressed or just needed a break from the grind of the college workload. We also usually keeps score...for bragging rights mostly. I don’t think we have ever placed a side bet on any hole or round. I don’t know that we would ever be against that but...we just didn’t. I usually kept score on a blank envelope or random piece of paper that I could find in my car.

Ah ha moment # 1
I have always tended to be into looking at statistics when it came to playing sports or watching sports. I always kept track of my baseball stats in high school. I don’t know why? They weren’t that impressive...but to me they were cool to look at. As I began to play more and more disc golf and more and more courses in the Twin Cities area I felt the need to want to keep track of my stats. So I got smart and ditched the random pieces of paper/envelopes and purchased myself a ninety-eight cent pocket notebook. You know the tiny ones that you see stashed above the drivers window visor in your grandparents car so they can keep track of the gas mileage. That worked great...until it started to rain. Most people stop playing when it rains during a casual round. Not my group of friends. We embrace the elements elements, especially in Minnesota. My notebook wasn’t waterproof. It would smudge and fall apart when it got wet. Not ideal.

Ah ha moment # 2
Over the winter of my sophomore year of college I got a PDA for Christmas and proceeded to install a golf scoring program. It worked great for the stats I was taking. It tracked scores from each round as well as the number of putts at each hole. No more paper and pencil score cards.

Two ipod touches later and then FINALLY a smartphone...

While looking for great free apps to use while playing disc golf and there are an umber of them I want to share with you what I think to be a great app for keeping score of your disc golf rounds on a smartphone I discovered it last year while playing a league round with some people. They were talking about a new app that just came out that can track your scores as well as a few other cool features. It’s called Udisc. It’s available on iOS as well as android devices.  I purchased it on a whim. I am one who doesn't normally pay for apps on my iphone.  

Here is what All Things Disc Golf had to say about this app in their review.  Also a link to UDisc’s website.

Here is why I like this app:
*You can pull up a scorecard for almost any course that you play as long as it is registered on the PDGA website.
*You can start on any hole during your round and the app will allow you to skip ahead to that hole and then it will wrap around through all the holes.
*The app will keep track of your score and putts as well as gives you options to mark any OB penalties.
*Option to create a course map based on GPS location. If there isn't a map for the course you are playing you can submit that everyone else can use it too.
*Coolest option in my opinion: A feature that allows you to measure the distance of your throw and it can be separated for each disc.
*If playing with multiple people it will give the correct order of who should drive first based on the scores from the previous hole.
*The app will allow you to use GPS to find the closest course based on your location and give you directions to that course.
*It also has great social media upload capabilities. If you have a great round and want to share it with everyone. You can do that.

I used this app for 95% of my rounds last year. I think it is a great app and would recommend it to anyone who is on the fence about purchasing it it. It has never been glitchy for me out on the course. It’s easy to use so you aren't spending all your time between holes filling in scores. All around great app.

Check it out for yourself.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Newest PDGA Member #69480

I hope this newest post finds our readers or those happen to stumble upon our disc golf blog site in the beginnings of a Happy New Year. Also being that the Land of 10,000 Lakes is currently the Land of 10,000 Frozen Lakes, I find it enjoyable to just think about disc golf and actually write some thoughts down. I hope to post fairly regularly this year on all sorts of various topics. My competitive disc golf season is relatively short so I will focus my posts on various course reviews and disc reviews and other random thoughts relating to disc golf as I see fit.

I participated in an Ace Race event last fall and in the players pack I received a discount card towards a PDGA membership. I was like "Sweet...I can renew my membership at a discounted price!" After playing the event and reading the fine print on the discount card I found out that it was for new members only. At first I was disappointed but I know that the Ace Race is supposed to be a fun event that ultimately can introduce new people to the sport so I see what the PDGA put them in the players packs. So it got me thinking...

Present Day:
I have a child who likes throwing the disc around a lot. He has mini’s randomly thrown around his play area. He also really enjoys just being outside and really enjoys walking around the disc golf course when we go as a family.  Therefore, I decided it was time for him to officially have his own PDGA number. He may not totally appreciate it now or ever but just in case he squeaked in getting a number under 70,000. I find it amazing that just 3 short summers ago I purchased my own PDGA membership and was in the 52,000 class. Wow how the membership numbers have grown.

I write this post for two reasons, first is that I really hope that someday my son will want to play this sport that has been a part of my life for the past fifteen years. I have spent many hours playing, practicing, watching videos, and talking disc golf with a lot of people. I hope that he will enjoy the simplicity the game has to offer and also the challenge of competing against the course every time instead of other competitors.

I write this knowing I don’t want to be one of those parents that forces his kid to play every sport even if they don’t like it. I am fully aware that there is more to life than disc golf. I have even come to the realization that he may not even ultimately like the game. It will be a sad day but I will get over it.

Second reason I wanted to share this is just to brag and say that my son is now a PDGA member...I know he is barely two...but hey we gotta start them early right?

PDGA Membership Players Pack:
Here is what LP got with his membership, a black Latitude 64 Diamond disc with the PDGA stamp on it, a mini with the PDGA logo on it, a PDGA sticker, all of 2014’s disc golfer magazine issues as well as he will receive all of 2015's too, and of course his membership card with his lifetime number on it.
Mid-Range-Prince checking out his new swag.

Until next time, Think about joining the PDGA if you aren't currently a member...MRK out.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Birdie Bash

This season I have chosen to not renew my PDGA membership and take a break from the sanctioned tournament scene for monetary and family reasons for the moment. I loved attending tournaments my last two seasons and hope to pick it back up in the future. This post has prompted the thought of another facet to the great game of organized disc golf activities. Dubbed what I am calling "novelty tournaments" For example you may have heard of Discraft's Ace Race tournaments where players get two prototype discs and try to get as many aces or (hole-in-ones) as possible in two rounds of disc golf. Super fun if you have the right course and discs. Another mini tournament that I hope to play in some day is the new Trilogy Challenge. However the event that gives this post credence is known as The Birdie Bash presented by Vibram Discs.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Gettin' Jiggy With It

As dawn broke across the Midwestern sky, my sleepy self along with my better half were already working our way southward.  She to fulfill her gainfully employed obligations; me to gain one more footstep toward my vocationally determined destination.  One more footstep to myself one day gaining gainful employ at the end of my preparatory journey.  I would be traveling much further that day.  And while my day would include painfully dreary and boring moments, others could never be considered such.

If I were to choose an hour to wipe the sleep out of my eyes, it would be the very same one in which I pulled into the parking lot of Seymour Smith Park in Omaha, over one hundred miles from where my day began.  Dew still fresh upon the ground, this is not the typical time for those of our ilk to ply our trade.  We are an afternoon-ish folk who would rather rest than experience the earlier parts of the solar cycle.  Yet here I was.  And I was not alone.  Jiggs and his firstborn would be my companions.

I had not practiced the art of the disc at Seymour in nearly a year.  I had first played the course in 2002 with the venerable SCDGA member Harky and the person who introduced us to disc golf who some here will know as the BBD.  It was the second course I had ever played.  It was the closest and most familiar course to me during my time in Omaha.  And I would now be able to play with the person I had introduced to the game at the course where I taught him the trade.

It was wet.  The fresh rain upon the ground recalling the Granite Ridge deluge of the first Cold Lampin' Weekend.  I fondly remembered it as I played with one who joined me in the experience, feet sloshing through wet shoes as we worked our way hurriedly around the course.  Unfortunately, schedules and responsibilities called us away to other things.  Things devoid of discs.  But we would have this experience.  We needed it.  Not because we required it for survival, but because life should be about more than survival.  And not because it was disc golf.  Though our compulsion to play our mutually beloved pastime is real, I would not have gone to the trouble for just another round.  But because in the act of playing with Jiggs, we were sharing all the experiences of the past year we were unable to share due to distance.  Because in that time that year was made manifest.  It is a means of reconnecting; it is empathy; it is sharing life.

I would be lying to you if I said that eighteen holes were played that day.  The clock and the schedule called to us, and divergent ways led on to ways as Frost well knows.  And telling you this with a sigh, I hope to impart that despite the imperfect throws, the incomplete round and the unfortunate weather conditions, the round was perfect.  It was perfect because we were able to play together.  And it is a perfection I wish to share with all you Cold Lampers again.

Ad Fontes!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Happy Memorial Day (week)!

Though of course, those to whom I should be directing such affections would be unable to hear such things.  I digress.  On the most Memorial of days I had the opportunity to finally get out and stretch the arm with the legally-bound family.  Due to our current transportation situation this is the first time since making the migration back to the land of my birth.  Needless to say the arm was rusty.  But who really cares.  When one has the opportunity to reacquaint with an old friend, one does not worry about whether one's whole life is in order so that one might be able to present the most positive of impressions.  One simply embraces one's friend.

And so to the land of disc we go.  Joining me were some familiar to the Cold Lampin' cadre: BroLo El Cunado (who has joined us on a couple Cold Lampin' Weekends), Mr. and Mrs. In-laws, and the incomparable Mrs. Diggs.  Our destination?  Crystal Cove in the South SUX.

It was a nice little outing.  You know, other than the thunderstorm that hit halfway through.  Despite the long layoff and unfortunate weather, I was able to have a fair amount of control.  The Money ($) Putter made an appearance and earned its name.  I hit a couple putts from outside the circle and I hit facemask on a 100 ft shot.

Keep in mind that we were working off back up discs here.  My main bag is back east along with most of my midrange discs and all but my trophy putters.  Negligible play time... relatively unknown course... foreign discs... a putter I've never thrown... I'm content with how I did, even though it was a fairly non-competitive round.  I was even below par until I started flagging toward the end.  It was a pretty solid way to spend the day.

Two more notes:
  1. My wife who NEVER plays with me (she honestly will only walk with me) decided to play.  The results were better than anticipated.  Not only did she improve throughout the day, she will occasionally do this little jump at the end of her throw that it is the cutest thing ever.  Sometimes the untaught techniques are the best.
  2. Those who attended the first Cold Lampin' Weekend may remember my friend Bryan.  I was able to help him celebrate him and his beloved become Mr. and Mrs.  Congrats to the awesome couple!

I'm out,

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

From East to (mid)West

Alright ya'll, with yet another finals season finished, a new time of the year begins (preferably with more disc golf than the last).  My summer will be markedly different than the previous few.  For instance, my PDGA account has not been renewed this year.  With so much uncertainty and busyness and travel in the last couple months and with so much more of the same in the next couple months, I didn't think I would find the time or resources to make renewal worthwhile.  We hope that next year will be different, but it just didn't make sense this year.  Further, the annual disc golf weekend of the SCDGA will be sans Diggs.  I hope the rest of ya'll are still able to get together for a trip, but for similar reasons, the timing and the finances just didn't make it possible.

What I am looking at, however, is a Midwest cameo for about a month or so before returning to the east coast.  During that month, I hope to connect with anyone who might be around the SCDGA birthplace during the rest of May through a fair amount of June.  I would like to see you gentlemen if possible.  I will be without reliable transportation during that time, and with my competition bag staying put out east, I'll be struggling through a meager disc schedule on backup discs.  Such is life.  But after I get back out here, things should open up a bit, allowing a more regular disc fix.

Here's what we're looking at through August:

  • MRK has already mentioned a possible trip down to throw a round or two.  This needs to happen.
  • I have a couple business trips during the Midwest trip.  One of these takes me to Jiggs' hometown.  We're going to try to get together and play a round at our old stomping grounds
  • Another trip takes me to Kansas City for a couple days.  I have not played a course in Kansas or Missouri.  I'm hoping to make both happen
  • I haven't spoken with URBWes in awhile, but if he wants to spike some more burritos, he should visit his sister during early June.  URBWes, you want a burrito
  • Harky I know is more limited in coming back (that's what you get for living in the Big Cheesy), but I wish him the best in working out a disc weekend!
  • When I get back here, I'll have about three guys to play with around here.  They aren't my Cold Lampin' Crew, but they'll do.  We'll be regulars at the Mercer course, which has gotten much better this season
  • I'm also hopeful we are able to make a trip to Tyler State Park and maybe even Warwick up north.  These are two well-regarded courses and the best around here
  • Most of you will know to whom I refer when I mention the Halo name Reepicheep.  There's a possibility I'll be able to head up to see him this summer.  If so, I'm not sure I could pass on all the quality disc around Rochester
I leave tomorrow morning for a place that was 40 degrees colder than it was here today.  I hope you are all doing well.  Catch ya'll 'round the Lamp.


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Sweet Release!

It is official.  I have now played my first round of 2014!  Only a day after my meteorological tirade, the fates heard my anguish and conspired an opportunity to express myself in plastic.  In shorts no less!  What a difference a day can make.

I, predictably, was about as consistent as a manic depressive.  My drives?  Short and erratic.  My approaches?  Untypically long.  Putts?  Missed 15 footers and made 30+ footers.  My lines were the only consistent part of the round.  They regularly went straight into trees.

It was just nice to get out.  Now let's see how the arm feels tomorrow!

Diggs, out.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Meteorological Lies

I had been reserving further posts until, you know, I had actually played a round this year.  I thought that would be today.  I was wrong.

I had the time.  I had the will.  And according to our weather reports, I should have had the weather.  0% chance they said.  There'd be no rain they said.  Now their pants are on fire.  The paradigmatic prophetic voice of our culture has (yet again) been laid low, embarrassed by reality.  Its as if the divine winds come yet again to prove to all that they are the Troll of Trolls.  Internet-bound pubescent teens haven't a chance to unseat the champ.

Why do we even try anymore?  Would it be equally successful to blindly throw darts at a board?  Why do we even allow absolute percentages at this point?  0%?  I don't think you understand that number.  Shouldn't there always be a chance, even if so minute the number is in decimal points?  Let us all vow never to invest in such absolute numbers.  It only ends in tears.