Saturday, July 09, 2011

Highbridge: Disc Golf Mecca

I am supremely looking forward to everyone's thoughts that are forthcoming. I has taken a little while to decompress and really look back at the experience, and I'm happy to share my thoughts now. My immediate reaction in the days after Digg's greatest bachelor party ever was one of suprise. I was taken aback at the actual size of these courses and the skill necessary to have an enjoyable round. I would suggest that anyone visiting the "Disc Golf Mecca" be prepared to be challenged both physically and mentally.

My home course is one of easy pars and open fields. In tha days leading up to our trip I had become complacent and satisfied with my game. I felt I had a high level of accuracy and a decent amount of distance to my drives. I have never had a "big arm" but I thought I was pushing my distance farther with every round. Our first encounter with the Woodland Bear dashed those misconceptions like so many eggs upon a rock.

The Bear requires pinpoint accuracy and distance to spare. I spent the next several hours searching the woods throw after throw. Though I wasn;t the only one, I felt that all my years of playing the game had been for nought. However, through this great humbling experience, I found a new love for my Teebird.

I was already throwing my beloved fire engine red on tight shots at home, but the Bear forced me to turn to it for each and every drive. I shortened up my reach back and aimed for the fareway and started seeing some results. By the time we reached the Woodland hills holes that were used to substitue the unplayable Bear holes I was regaining my confidence.

Still, the experienced affected my entire trip. I couldn't get a decent grip on any disc and I was second guessing my release with every drive. It wasn't until Gold that I stopped messing with my grip and just started tossing the disc.

Looking back, I wasn't prepared for the trip. I wasn;t ready for the blow my confidence would take, but I truly made strides coming back. I've changed my focus on drives in a way that has made me more accurate and smooth. I'm finally leading with ther hips and throwing further (not by a ton, but I still haven't reincorporated the reach back). My putting is extremely solid and I'm looking forward to continuing my improvement over the summer.

Most importantly, I had a great time with great people. I can think of no better way to celebrate with Diggs than with some of the best, most challenging disc golf I have ever played.


Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Before & After

In a couple days, I will be heading to the Twin Cities on a mission trip. Therefore, the importance of brevity precludes my complete address of the Highbridge trip at this time. That being said, "Whoa! That was an awesome trip!"

I wanted to review the anticipatory poll put up in June. The question: Which Highbridge course are you most looking forward to playing? The options included the Bear, Woodland Green, Blueberry, Granite Ridge, Highbridge Gold, and the night course. Highbridge Gold won, receiving two votes, Woodland Green received one; and the Bear received one, though if I heard it right, the one who voted for the Bear quickly reversed his vote upon playing it.

This month, we will revisit the trip, inquiring what course you most enjoyed playing. As you may have noticed, our list is demonstrably shorter. Appears as if our eyes were bigger than our arms, or more accurately our timetable. Please think back on it, decide based on experience, layout, etc.

We'll backtrack the trip together (seems I'm not the only one interested in writing up the trip). Harcum, we missed you. You are required to go with us next time! I'm out!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Top 5 Innova Discs Perscribed by Urbwes

First of all, my Highbridge post is forthcoming. It will be filled with musings about the amazing experience and the lessons I have learned. I'm excited to post but I thought I would follow the "top innova" thread first. (That being said, I recently started concentrating on my footwork only and not reaching back quite so far and my distance has already shown a marked improvement. The motion feels more fluid and has more snap behind it. I'm excited to test my distance threshold in a field once the Marshall winds stop knocking baskets over!)

Back to the post at hand....

My game started almost purely innova (with a slight blemish called the DC Rattler which shall be forevermore forgotten). I've been slowly moving more DC heavy, but I still cling to certain "favorites". My top five is populated either by discs still in the bag or ones that have only been usurped for reasons I will disclose in good time. So, without further delay, my top five innova discs.

5. DX Roc
I must put the DX Roc on my list for one reason: I have had the most runs at the basket with this disc. I've made my longest "putt" with a white DX Roc (now a "hand me up" to my dad).
Back in the 'ol SC days I had a Blue 174g Roc that was the best touch disc I have ever thrown. It would glide with ease and almost always land under the basket. Alas, my putting game was horrendous, in part, becuase I never had to putt! The only caveat I have is the wide range of exerpiences I have had with the DX Roc; my first was a dream, the second a Red tinted nightmare, and the third took a long period of breaking in before becoming the "touch" disc I know and love.

4. DX Beast
I have a DX beast in my bag that I use for one purpose: Long anhyzers. I took the stamp off with acetone for fun so it looks really sleek. I love this disc since I've basically lost my forehand release in that last few years. If I release it on a slight anhyzer at low speeds it will hold the line all the way to the ground, and If I really snap it flat it will blast out of sight to the right (I'm RHBH). It used to be my "water disc", but now I don't know what I would do without one in my bag.

3. Champ Wraith
This disc is my new "go-to" driver. It's taken a short period of breaking in, but I can manage a long, smooth S-curve with this disc. Perhaps the best reason to promote the Champ Wraith is the fact that I was one errant throw away from "parring" the longest hole in the world! The only disc in my bag that goes farther is my DC Z Nuke, but I'm not ready to cede "go-to" status. The wraith, for me, is easier to control and has a comfortable rim (not a big fan of those fat rims on heavy duty drivers). I have a fairly weak arm at this point so I don't need an uber-high speed disc to gain my max-d. I would also have to give a +1 to Diggs DX Wraith, but with one complaint. I had one that flew amazingly, but after only a half-season it started turning over way too much. I couldn't get the thing to come back. The champ plastic doesn't present quite as wide a turn as the DX, but I'll sacrifice it for durability.

On a side note, my friend Kyle from way up north was starting to break 300' in his second season of discin' last year and hit a new high of around 340' with his purple Champ wraith (called the "Grapes of Wraith"). I Heartily endorse this disc!

2. DX Wolf
Just like Diggs, this is a long running disc in my bag (though not as old as his Orange one). Currently I only carry two types of midranges (Z Buzzz for Hyzer, X Buzzz for straight, and DX wolf for anhyzer). I would say it acts much like my DX Beast, but on the mid-range scale. This thing also floats out of sight! At my home course we designed a hole under a low lying canopy of trees that border both sides of a narrow alley of grass (think the Blue Ribbon signature hole). I find I can simply release the Wolf flat slightly to the left and it will follow a slow line to the right edge of the fairway where the basket is found. An awesome "touch" disc.

1. Champ Tee-Bird
Those of you who went to Hybridge will attest to this. I rely heavily on my "fire engine red" Tee-Bird. There is no better disc in my bag when I need to place a disc in just the right spot down the fareway. As long as I'm on my game releasing well and aiming, this disc just finds the fareway. I recetly bought a TL in my effort to reduce the different molds I carry (it's a straighter Teebird for those that don't know) and I like it as well. It basically acts like my well-used Tee-bird right out of the box. Everyone should have a Tee-bird in their bag.

Other noteworthy Innova plastic in my bag:

Champ Destroyer: Thumbers and the occasional forehand shot for my weaker arm

Champ Sidewinder: Used to swear by this disc but I'm just geeting used to it again after suffering at the hand of the nauseatingly different Star Sidewinder (they aren't even close!)

In response to some of the other posts (IMHO):

The skeeter is a waste of time: is it a putter or a mid? it can't decide and does both poorly.

The Rhyno was my *cough* first putter and I loved it until I met the aviar which I loved until I met the DC Banger...

The Stingray: I saw J "The Muscles" Chaffin go from promising disc player to habitual disc "burner" with the Stingray. No dice with this disc

The Champ Spider is one of my greatest disc golf regrets. I've seen that disc do amazing things in the hands of Mid Range King and Diggs. I've just never gotten around to throwing one myself

The Aviar: I pulled mine out yesterday for putting practice and I was sinking more gimme range putts with it that my GT Banger. It might make a resurgence...


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Top 5 Innova Disc's perscribed by the Mid Range King

In keeping with the recient blog posts, I'm following suit with my own list of Innova's Top 5, count'em Five of my favorite discs.  I would also like to extend a warm Cold Lampin welcome to some of our newest contributers, JVR and Harky. This blog started as a place to just rattle off random thoughts about disc golf about five years ago.  Who  would have thought that we'd still be keeping up with it let alone adding new contributers to the mix. I'm so excited to see where this blog will go in the future. Glad you all are along for the ride.

Response to Harky's previous post:
Of those you recomended, I've thrown the Boss, KC Aviar, Beast, Valkyrie, and the Roc. So I can speak to those discs. The Vulcan is too new for me, TL: well I got a Teebird & DC Stalker so a TL is no use at the moment, Skeeter: no experience but I have talked to two different Wes' about their Skeeters and they both agree that the disc is absolutely terrible. (Urbwes feel free to discredit my opinion, if I misspoke) I would not recomend that disc. Stingrays & Rhynos, I haven't any experience with those discs so I'll leave them alone.  Thanks again for the thoughts and post, it's generated lots of thought and posts.

On to the List of my picks for Innova's Top 5 Discs:    In no perticular order....

5) Champ Spider (Mid Range) This disc (origionally the DX version) has a special place in my heart because it's the disc I cut my teeth on and subsequiently created the handle MidRangeKing from. Great disc for long hyzer shots.

4) Pro Starfire (Distance Driver) This disc also had special powers for me in the sence that it did the exact opposite of what it was ment to do. Originally it is supposed to be a relatively straight disc with some fade towards the end. However, this disc for me became my huge anhyzer disc and never seemed to burn back left. Curse the retched giant bush on hole 7  at Acorn Park that took this disc from me.

  3) Champ Valkyrie (Distance Driver) One of the most consistant discs on the market. Get's me huge distance, with relatively little power. I have never played a round without one.

2) Star Wraith (Distance Driver) Some guy wrote "Ballin is a Habit" on this disc. I had grown quite fond of this disc. Huge distance, with predictable fade. However, you need a power arm to throw the Star plastic. Sadly this disc is no longer with us. Probably floating down the Missouri...Diggs or JVR if you see it in Omaha Pick it up for me.

1) DX Aviar (Putter) I haven't had too many different putters over my disc golf career (I can offically call it a career b/c I got two tournaments under my But the DX Aviar has been a consistant part of my game. It's a predictable straight shooter with consistant fade. Once you break the disc in it becomes more understable which has caused me to expand my horizons to other putters.  But a classy edition to any bag nontheless.

Other notable discs that didn't make the list....but should be included.

* DX Dragon (Distance Driver) Floats on water nuff said.
*Champ Roadrunner (Distance Driver) Huge S Curve.
*Champ Teebird (Fairway Driver) Consistant slow fade.

I could add a few more...but if I were to play a round consisting of only Innova Discs these are the disc's I'd bring to battle.  As always free to comment with agreements or disagreements.

Until my Highbridge Post...Find some Dry grass and go practice.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Top 10 Innova Discs 2011 ~ A Response from Diggs

Before I get going here, a few notes. First of all, the trip to Highbridge was AWESOME!, if not a bit rainy. More on this later. Much later. When I finally recover from the awesome-ness coma.

Second, we here at Cold Lampin' would like to extend our welcome to long-time friend and new-time blogger, Harky. Harky hails from the state of Wisconsin and may be able to offer us some fresh insight from a discing mind not influenced by Minnesota discing (fun side note: the first time I disced with Harky was down here in Omaha, my first rounds down here).

Now on with the show...

A recap of Harky's selection includes four distance drivers, three mid-ranges, a couple putters, and a fairway driver. A nice mix of discs with some variations on new and older discs. Solid selection, though I seem to differ on a number of these.

By way of confession, I've not thrown the TL, Boss, Rhyno or Skeeter much (fewer than 20 times each), and I've yet to throw the Vulcan at all, making my analysis tainted. Yet, all such lists necessarily are. Yet, I think my top 10 may still prove valid and (hopefully) useful. What I am including that Harky did not was a preferred plastic-type for each of my ten, obviously influenced by my own preferences.

And here we go in no particular order...

10. KC Aviar X (putter) - a softer gummier version of the classic Aviar, it sticks in chains well and feels comfortable in the hands. Has a tendency to get a bit too floppy in very warm weather. This is the only putter on my list as (aside from just the classic Aviar, Innova's putters hold little sway with me).

9. Champ Spider (mid-range) - Very dependable with good distance for a mid-range. Even doubled as my putter for a time.

8. DX Wolf (mid-range) - More of a sentimental pick really, but my beaten-in Wolf is by far my go-to disc for slow, sharp, short Anhyzers

7. Champ Teebird (fairway) - Until the DC Stalker came out, this was my favorite steady-eddie type disc. Clean and predictable lines and easy fade.

6. Champ Sidewinder (distance) - Not a big fan of many of the other understables under a 10-speed, I can be sure to pull a big turn, while not auto-burning like the Roadrunner.

5. DX Wraith (distance) - Fast and prone to turning over, but without the instability of the Beast. I throw this one far.

4. Star Destroyer (distance) - Just plain fun to throw. She's fast.

3. DX Roc (mid-range) - It's the classic. A bag shouldn't be without one.

2. DX Dragon (distance-ish) - It's a floater and only comes in 150 class. It's nice for those huge flip-turnover shots (and water throws that have a high pucker factor).

1. DX Valkyrie (distance) - Can't leave the world's distance record holder off, can you?

Great idea, Harky. Feel free to respond as you will. I'd be interested to hear other contributor's thoughts, as well. Though, may I suggest that we narrow the field to top 5? Ten just leaves so much room!

Until later, keep that lamp cold. Meet you back at the chains...


Monday, June 20, 2011

So,...Whats in your bag?

I have seen a lot of pros listing what they throw and what is always in their bag.
I thought it might be fun to hear what is in all of yours.
Here is your opportunity to give us your "professional" bag status.

Get your bags out and let us know...

Whats in your bag?

My Top 10 Recomendations For Innova Discs 2011

This is a list of what i consider being the top 10 Innova discs to have in your bag.

I wrote this to be understood even by beginners. So if you want to recommend this information to any one just starting out, be my guest.

Innova uses a simple rating system to describe their discs.
Speed: 1-13 This is simple, higher speed rating = faster disc = farther throw at top speed.
Glide: 1-7 This number determines the average glide time. More glide = more distance.
Turn: 1-(-5) This number represents the discs tendency to turn or resist turning Right with a normal right handed backhand throw(RHBH). +1 is resistant to turning and a -5 will turn more sharply.
Fade: 0-5 This is the degree of fade to the left at the end of the discs pattern during a RHBH throw. 0=minimal fade, 5=maximum sharp fade.

As for plastic quality, if you are serious about the game and your accuracy, i recommend going with the Pro plastic or any of the Star plastics. If you are more concerned about durability and how long the disc will last and less concerned about grip or subtle accuracies, then i recommend the Champion plastics.

We will start with the highest speed drivers and work our way down to putt and approach.

> Boss distance driver: S=13  G=5  T=(-1)  F=3

> Vulcan distance driver:  S=13  G=5  T=(-4)  F=2

> Beast distance driver:  S=10  G=5  T=(-2)  F=2

> Valkyrie distance driver:  S=9  G=4  T=(-2)  F=2

> TL fairway driver:  S=7  G=5  T=0  F=1

> Skeeter mid-range:  S=5  G=5  T=(-1)  F=1

> Roc mid-range:  S=4  G=4  T=0  F=3

> Stingray mid-range:  S=4  G=5  T=(-3)  F=1

> KC Aviar putt and approach:  S=2  G=3  T=0  F=2

> Rhyno putt and approach:  S=2  G=1  T=0  F=3

These are just my opinions and i would love to hear your opinions and feedback.

Coming Soon....... Discraft Top 10

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It is Time!

Tomorrow we depart. We six intrepid discers from four states will brave great distances, flooding rivers, and even Wisconsin in our search of disc golfing nirvana.

The destination: Highbridge Hills SC
The task: Golf the whole of all Highbridge's five 18 hole courses and one 9 hole night course from the long tees... in a day and a half
The people: Dear members and friends of the SCDGA
The excuse: My bachelor party
The purpose: Fulfilling a desire of half a decade to explore the bounty of Highbridge
The time: Now!

My fellow discers, we are about to embark on the fulfillment of dreams! This will represent the culmination of this season in my life and the beginning of a new epoch in discing for us.

Gentlemen. It is time.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Highbridge or bust.

Once again, it has been too long since I've posted to the website. Don't let the lack of postings fool you, however, I am seriously excited to play at Highbridge! I've been playing as much as possible to get my arm ready and I'd like to share a few of the specific things that I think have elevated my game:

- played a tournament (sure it was only 10 people, it was snowing, and I payed the worst round of my life but I'm only the better for the experience)
- took a disc golf tour with my friend Jacob (we visited Brookings and Sioux Falls during that heat wave so we didn't end with the Pipestone round I was expecting)
- more driving range with a concetration on the reach back. I'm trying to create a more consistent reach back that stays tight to my torso as I pull through. I think the slow and methodical work has helped.
- This week, in preparation, I plan on lost of putting practice. I did that every round last year and I still haven't hit my putting confidence on last fall.

I'm excited to play and also to see how everyone's game has improved. I know that time has improved my play in many ways and I'm sure to pick up a few pointers this weekend!


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Double Dipping

I just got back from throwing 36 holes with my man, Jiggs. What with the departure for the ultimate bachelor discing experience a mere week away, we needed to put in some work. And since neither of us had put in a double yet this season, we needed to get going on that.

My first round was pretty solid. I wasn't coming away with the birdies I needed, but I wasn't dropping fours either. It was a nice steady round, necessary for building up the confidence. We rested for about 10 min before starting in again. Apparently upon our return, my muscles decided to take a nap and my accuracy went out the window. We did finish strong however, making me feel pretty good about the trip. Obviously, Highbridge is another beast altogether, with nothing around here comparable in distance or difficulty, yet I think it'll be a great time, all I was hoping for. My DX Wraith is rocking Amadeus, and I can't wait for my arm to get accustomed to the Nuke. All very promising!

I have another round with Jiggs on Monday and I might throw in some putt practice before we go, but other than that, we're ready for the trip! See ya'll soon!


Oh yeah, and I get married in 60 days. Boom!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Discover Wisconsin: High Bridge Hills Edition

I found this neat video on the history of Highbridge while doing some research on the current poll question that it up. Enjoy. It has a touristy feel to it but good futage none the less. I'm getting Pumped!! Follow the Link cause it wouldn't work to embed it right here sorry for that one.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Got Game

Well, the results from May's poll is in. When asked what part of their game they thought was the most solid, participants (all four) were split. We had 2 votes for mid-range shots, while we had one vote for driving accuracy and cold lamping respectively.

With no votes cast for distance driving or putting, our poor, intrepid group seems to miss out on either side of the "drive for show; putt for dough" adage. Not only can we not drive far, we cannot close holes well. I suppose it is good then that our approach games are solid. And if the work on the course does not work out, we can always cold lamp with the best of them! I would call this fairly accurate, though, from what I know of our members' games.

On to the next poll!

This month, in preparation for the Bachelor Weekend of the Century, we will explore which course we look forward to the most at Highbridge Hills Sports Complex. While Gold may have an inside track, don't count out the night course.

This month should have some solid posts coming, including the King and I's Memorial Day trip to the new South Sioux City course (surprising stuff, let me tell you) as well as eventual recaps from the Bachelor Weekend trip. Stay tuned, ya'll!

Meet you back at the tee...


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Manhatten Project

I finally took the Nuke out for a walk the other day. It was getting late in the day, and I decided my time would be better spent destroying my arm getting ready for the Bachelor Weekend of the Century than playing a few holes. I hit up the local baseball diamond to do some drive work.

Seeing as I had had the Nuke for awhile now and hadn't taken it out of the bag yet, I figured it might be a good time. Not going to lie, it was all it was cracked up to be. If I feel comfortable enough with the disc, someday I may write a review on it, but for now, let me just say that it was a very positive first impression. Very fast out of the hand, decent fade, and not a whole lot of turn to it, making it a very predictable disc (at least in the few times I gave it a whirl).

We should have more to report next week as the King and I will be hitting up the new course in South Sioux City (and maybe a trip to the good ole' sentimental course?). Otherwise, I'm pretty sure that my discing focus will continue to be on the trip to Highbridge coming up in less than a month now. Boom!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Hummel Tourney That Wasn't

As a follow up to my previous post, I say, "not this time, folks." On Friday, I was able to hit up Treasure Cove DGC over in Council Bluffs (it's actually a nice course they have over there) with my local partner, Josh "Jiggs" Van Roekel. While windy and chilly, we were hopeful that the day would prove fruitful, giving last minute practice for me in prep for the tournament the next day and giving Jiggs a chance to see some decent course action before the Bachelor Weekend of the Century (official new title).

While the fruit did appear in those two regards, we had underestimated three items. Both the wind and the cold were substantially more unfortunate than we had estimated. Wind in general is a bummer, but everyone has to deal with it. Fine. But cold creates such a problem because in order to function, you have to add layers. These layers (sweatshirts, coats, etc) invariably alter throwing mechanics, and I had no desire to mess with those just when I was getting them down. And the other variable was the ground. While it had rained here for the previous couple days, I figured it would have been absorbed enough to provide fairly reliable footbing. Not so.

And so, as I arose on Saturday morn to see that the temperatures were lower, the ground remained soggy, and the wind blew stronger. Therefore, I declined to enter the tournament. I didn't like it, but that's what happened. I will certainly get up to Hummel as soon as I can. I'm pretty excited to throw a wooded course again.

I'll be sure to give you my impression of the course once I play it, as well as other course reviews from around the area. Also on the docket, South Sioux City has introduced their first disc golf course this month! I was able to confirm that the course is up and playable. That being the case, the King and I should have a chance to hit that up during Memorial Day weekend, and hopefully our old home, Sertoma. I'm pretty excited for a reunion run with the King!

Finally, a big welcome to Josh "Jiggs" Van Roekel to the blog with his first post on the homemade baskets. I've known Jiggs for years. We were on the same floor in our college dorm, we played on the lacrosse team together, and has become a reliable and dare I say excitable discing partner this past year. He will be joining the rest of the crew at the Bachelor Weekend of the Century. He's a good ship. The rest of you will like him.

Have a great week ya'll. I'll meet you back at the basket.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Practice Basket

So as I was stumbling around the web looking for ways to improve my game, I came across something I found very interesting. A practice Disc Target! The first few I found were fairly inexpensive; however, the build quality seemed to be lacking. So I kept looking trying to ignore the $400 price tag of the championship style targets! I came across a few homemade types of baskets using just about anything you could imagine. Although they looked rather ridiculous I thought they would serve a great purpose in trying to improve my putting game. I kept looking around and came across this great idea to turn a plastic 55 gallon drum into a disc golf basket. Not only does it serve the purpose of creating a fairly cheap disc target it is also pleasing to the eye.

Check it out:

I am in the process of trying to track down a plastic 55 gallon drum. Hopefully it will be free! :)

Hopefully I have an update to share in the near future!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To Hummel or Not to Hummel

Tis a question...

I may or may not have been lamenting the limited discing presence in the Omaha metro. Admittedly spoiled, I have come to expect more. Options are thus...

1) a 5 min drive to a rec course with ungodly wait times during non-school hours and a marked lack of etiquette. The course is decent, but not if I have to look over my shoulder at every corner for jokers throwing in to me!

2) a 20 min drive to a lakeside course that does not incorporate the lake... or teepads... or baskets in some cases. It is also the course that ate my first favorite driver, Da Bomb. The course and I have issues.

3) a 25 min drive to another state to take part in a pretty nice course. Only issue is that unless its the weekend, the distance makes the trip prohibative.

Thankfully, they are opening a new course. Hummel Park will open itself up to our brethren. While still a hike at 25 min away, it is a step in the right direction. It's much more wooded than the holes around here, and from what I can tell, they've taken quite a bit of care in developing the course. At least as much as noob designers could.

As I was warming up with a little putt-putt action, I was approached by a leader in the local dg club. He invited me to take part in the inaugural tourney to be played this Saturday. I remember first thinking, "certainly, it was not my putting that gave him the impression I knew what I was doing." After my initial reaction, I became pretty excited to hit a tourney up again. If you're interested, here's a further look at the tourney and course:

Downside, this would also be the first day after Cammi's last final, and I'm sure she'll want to celebrate. So... do I embrace my role as her future hubby and become the always present rockstar fiance or do I forsake such things for a shot at immortality! a non-sanctioned tourney ...which I'll likely lose. Hmm... to Hummel or not to Hummel, indeed!

I'll let you know what happens in this unfolding drama. Until then, keep your woman tight and your approach shots tighter.


Sunday, May 08, 2011

In case anyone is wondering how the water temp is in Lake Valentine at Bethel? It's still pretty chilly. But Nukes are worth going in after them.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Working the Poll

As some of you have noticed, we have recently added several new features to the site. The newest of which is a monthly poll. Each month we will probe your minds that we might better know and understand our audience and authors. Last month, our question focused on the most mundane question I could think of: What brand of disc do you prefer? The results? A unanimous selection of Innova. The disc manufacturing giant was always bound to be the selection, though I am surprised that Discraft did not make an appearance.

For my part, I looked in my bag and noted that I tend to have a heavy Innova presence. And while a number of Discraft discs (including the Buzz and Stalker) are my prefered plastic for a number of shots, if I looked at the overall total of shots I take, they most often begin and end with Innova.

Please feel free to comment as to why you made the selection you did. Or if you have other comments, they are welcome as well.

This month's question deals with the strength of our games... What phase of disc golf is your strongest? Results coming at the end of May!

Til then, I hope everyone gets a little world champ lovin'


Sunday, May 01, 2011

I Wish I May, I Wish I Might…

I Wish For a Disc Golf Course Overnight. For as long as I have been playing disc golf I have been dreaming how I would create my own course….if money was no object. I’ve dreamed of someday when I’m a homeowner of at the very least having a basket in the yard for putting. Well I am possibly one step closer to realizing that dream. No I didn’t buy a house. But I did the next best thing. I bought a new disc. Not just any disc a disc that is so special that it can make a nine hole disc golf course appear…the baskets for one anyway.

Ok enough beating around the bush…I stumbled upon an amazing contest by the Disc Golf Association (DGA). Every summer the DGA sponsors a Fundraiser for the Amateur World Disc Golf Championships. The fundraiser always centers around a new disc with the Amateur Worlds logo printed on it. Each fundraiser disc purchased comes with a raffle ticket for the grand prize. A set of nine disc golf baskets!!!! This year they’ve added a new perk. A second chance to win, just write an essay saying what you would do if you won the baskets and then leave it all up to your friends and family to vote for your essay.

I did the first part and bought the disc. Here it is: DGA SP Sparkle Hurricane

The Hurricane is a Maximum Flight Driver that is one of the fastest discs the DGA has to offer. It has amazing glide and when it finds a line, it sticks to it. According to the DGA website, the SP line plastic is the professional premium blend of plastic that allows the disc to fly faster and slightly more overstable then its ProLine plastic cousins. I have yet to throw this disc yet as the weather here in Minnesota has taken yet another turn for the frigid, wet, spring cold.

I’m contemplating of at least trying to write an essay and see what happens. Having two chances is better than one right? When you have a “bad” shot on the course you take the courtesy of at least settling your mind by throwing a provisional shot. Well the essay could potentially be my provisional shot. Another blog post to follow shortly with my essay and all the info on where to vote.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Just a heads up for anyone interested...

On the frontpage, they have posted some coverage of the 2011 RE/Max Atlanta Open. The course looks absolutely amazing! With the SCDGA finally fulfilling a long-held dream of discing Highbridge, it may be time to set our sights on another goal, and this one would definitly be in the running. But you better bring a big arm! Credit to the King for finding the video. You can link over to the website on the "links" portion on the left sidebar. Enjoy!


*Update: The video is no longer on the front page, though they have replaced it with another video of David Wiggins Jr. owning Amateur Championships. Dude is 15. Ridiculous.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Return to the Familiar... & the Cold

Family business had me in the Cities this last weekend. Unfortunate business of the short notice variety. Sunday afternoon, however, allowed some time to reconnect with Twin Cities discing, a sorely missed commodity. I was able to meet up with the MRK (and a special thanks to Mrs. MRK for allowing such a short notice excursion!) at Bassett Creek in Crystal.

While not the most difficult of courses, I will say that it is adequate, especially for this point in the year. And by this point in the year, I mean that we were playing two days after a 4" downfall of snow. It was fairly cold. Bummer to live in Minny, I guess!

Anyway, MRK displayed his usual command of the mid-range game. I provided my customary erratic drives, complete with an insufferable short game (another post for another time). MRK counted himself the victor at Bassett Creek yet one more time. But truth be told, it was absolutely wonderful to get out with the King. As he mentioned in his previous post, there's just something about playing with someone who will push you that will truly bring development, and with it, a sense of satisfaction. I have disced with all of you on several occassions. We've shared aces; we've shared lost plastic; we've cold lamped together. I greatly miss playing with my Minny brethren. In Sunday's round, I found a small amount of resolution in my discing soul.

I can't wait to play with you all at Highbridge this summer. 'Til then, work those hyzers, add a shot or two to the bag, and for goodness sakes! Practice your putting! I'll catch ya'll on the flip side!


Friday, April 15, 2011

For the Love of the Creek...and the thrill of the fade.

This last week I had the opportunity to play a course that I really don’t give enough credit for being a good course to practice on, Crystal, Minnesota’s very own Bassett Creek Park. I tended to avoid this park because it only offered 12 holes to play and while in college we simply wouldn’t want to drive all the way to Crystal only to play 12 holes. Nowadays it’s really not that big of deal since I live relatively closer to the course.

Bassett Creek Park offers a variety of different holes in which to practice all types of shots. I really like the mix of open holes with the occasional shot that causes a person to wonder why they even play this crazy game. It makes you really plan out your shots and where you need to place your discs on the course. I also like this course because it a fairly quiet park and allows for a steady pace to play your round.

Ok, to the point of my post: I was planning on doing my usual routine that I follow when I play by myself. Throw the i-pod play list (maybe a post on the play list later) on and play like I’m in a tournament. However, today (Tuesday) was different. I actually was invited to play a round with a guy named Chris who was a great partner to play with. I would say that he had more refined skills than I but they weren’t so advanced that I felt out of my league.

I hear on sportscenter all the time that teams will usually play up to the potential of the team they are playing. Well I did that when I played with Chris. Originally he wanted to challenge me for a bag tag but since I didn’t have one he just asked to play with him. I definitely stepped up to the plate and made some great shots. My drives were consistent and in great spots on the fairway. Great second shots and results were close par putts. My putting was still shaky but luckily I didn’t need to use it much since I am the MRK after all. One bright spotlight that I’d love to share with everyone is that on hole eight I had about a 70 foot approach shot with a slight wind at my back. I decided to just go for the chains and see what happens. Well it paid off. I threw my aviar with a slight hyzer and let the wind do the rest. “Chained out?” Is that the proper term? I know they say “holed out” in ball golf. Oh well. the disc hit the chains and didn’t come out of the basket. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Ordinarily I would have probably jumped and hollered but I kept it professional (for the kids). Just a classy Tiger Woods fist pump instead.

Small triumphs bring great rewards. I ended the round back on earth carding a fricken 6 on hole 11. I strongly dislike that hole. But overall, it was great to play a round with a partner and the unofficial competition and competitive nature to be unleashed. Chris was a great partner we talked about the disc’s we liked to use and compared notes on the shots we were taking. So Chris I know you won’t read this but Good Luck at The Valley Open this weekend and the Doubles tourney as well.

For the rest of us: Play well, have fun, and when in doubt. Just go for the might get lucky.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Surprising Days

Ever have those rounds that just come out of nowhere? The type of round that reminds you of why you enjoy the game, erasing memory of all those throws that make you wish you played another sport. I had one of those this Tuesday.

It really was shaping up to be a bit of a downer. My usual partner had just informed me that he wouldn't be able to join me at our standing Tuesday tee time. Still at home, I milled around for awhile until I decided that while it was too late for a full round, I could at least get in some putt practice or some driving. I was even going to stop by the local field to throw since it was the first windless day in recent memory. Instead, kids were still playing baseball, denying me access to the field. Bummer. I continued on towards the course where I find the conditions perfect... except all the other people who thought the same thing. Even the practice putting area was full. Literally, a dozen people! Double bummer.

Well, I had come all the way out there, I might as well play a few holes. Approaching the first tee, I see that it was indeed late in starting a round. So late that while the course was absolutely packed, only one group stood ahead of me. As I waited for them to clear out, another group came up to the waiting area. Figuring I might as well not play alone, I asked to join them. I figured that since one of them had a Hawkeyes shirt on, I was probably in good company.

One thing I really enjoy about our sport is its capacity to allow you to meet new and interesting people (someday I'll have to tell you about Ron... but he wouldn't like that). These guys were decent. They were on their second round of the day, and at least one was on his second six-pack. Coming over from Council Bluffs, they were going to make the most of their time in Omaha. They played well. But it was just fun to be in their company. I enjoyed my round quite a bit.

It also didn't hurt that I put together my first decent round of the year. Though I wasn't converting my birdie shots, I was the epitome of consistency. I forget who it was, but there was a fullback about whom it was said, "If you needed two yards, he'd get you three; If you needed four yards, he'd get you three." That was my day. I had good drives, good approaches, and I didn't even really need to putt all that much. Aside from one brick on my birdie try at hole 6, all my other putts were misses from outside the 10m mark and generally on line. In all, while I still haven't been able to convert my birdies, I made par on everything. Not spectacular, but when you're still shaking off the cobwebs and adjusting your throw, I was very satisfied that throws were going where I wanted them to go. Oh sweet bliss!

All in all, I had a great day on the course! I hope ya'lls seasons are going well. I hope to see you soon. Keep on rockin' in a free world.


postscript. I was able to get a slice of Cunningham Lake DGC, and I shall have a review up at some point.

second postscript. I also haven't forgotten about the tourney schedule, but that'll have to wait at least a week. Sorry. If you see something in Iowa (Des Moines area) you could make, let me know. Maybe we could hit it up together!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A Change in Programming

If you've visited the blog recently, you'll have noticed a change of scenery. I've been messing with the layout a little bit. Let me know what you think of the new look and what else you'd like to see around here.

Interesting note... I hadn't checked around the admin features in awhile, but I happened by our stats page, and noted that while we don't really write for anyone other than ourselves, we are apparently not the only ones reading. We have had viewers from Canada, Great Britain, China, Japan, Russia, and several other countries. Why they would want to visit our blog I will never know. But we're global, baby!

On another note, tournament schedules have been released, and I'd be interested in hearing if you all are looking at for the summer. I will release the tourney schedule for my area soon. Let me know if any of you would be interested in joining me for one!

Friday, April 01, 2011

First Round of the Season In

Verdict... I suck!

As always, the first round is always the "show how far you've fallen" round, so this was to be expected. Add to that the seasonal winds, and oh boy!

Couple items of note:

1) I went with a friend of mine who lives down here in Omaha. He is going with us on the disc weekend, and I have invited him to be a contributor to our humble blog. Figured some fresh juice could do a body good.

2) Tried the new putt for the first time today. It was hitting during practice but fell apart on the course. I'm a bit interested to see where this will go. New drive hasn't been sighted in just yet, but we'll get there.

3) We were thrown into twice by the same group. We had some words. They didn't do it again. Yes, I am your resident BAMF!

4) The wind was so bad I straight burned my Groove without meaning to. This is too early in the season for me to be able to put that much on it just yet. I credit the wind.

5) I hear the Twin Cities is having some river cresting issues. Hopefully, it's nothing too serious.

All I have for now. Until next time, listen for the chains...


Ok, that tagline was HORRIBLE!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In Response to MRK's Previous Post on P2P...

Thanks for the post, King. I started writing this as a comment, then got a bit long-winded. I hope you don't mind me posting over already, King.

I think I have made my position clear on the pay-2-play model. All in all, I am for it. The upkeep is the big sticking point. Too often a course will go in with the best of intentions, however, the way it was pitched to the city includes a start up cost and nominal upkeep that would differ only slightly from the work already done on the parks. However, this pitch does not take into account typical degredation of any facilities and courses often go into disrepair. Case in point: Hansen Park who still has the UFO flying saucer pins! This is where pay-2-play can come in and rescue the situation.

My fear, however, is that this will become a slippery slope. Currently, the Twin Cities courses switching to p2p are the higher tier ones, those who are used in regional level tournaments. But if this should then be applied to courses throughout the metro, I would reconsider. I believe a universal p2p model would be too much of a departure from the ethos of the game.

The difficulty with the Twin Cities in particular centers around the multitude of civic entities. These models are applied to So St Paul and Inver Grove Heights. But what about Roseville, Crystal, White Bear Lake or Plymouth? What happens when they see the $30k raised by So St Paul last year and decide they want to raise $30k too? You then saturate the market with p2p memberships that are good only for those civic areas. If this continues to be a trend, I would hope that an overall vision is cast for p2p in the area that includes more of a universal membership in the Cities, as well as free courses.

Knowing Mike, I believe he has the best interests of DG in mind when he sets this up. However, he is also in business and such things tend to have a way of clouding issues. Let us hope that we do not deviate from our roots to the point that we lose sight of our identity.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Pay To Play Debate Continues....

I found this article in last Sunday's Pioneer Press and thought I'd pass it along. I am giving Nick Farraro complete credit for this. I'm simply re-posting this for conversations sake.

Inver Grove Heights may implement fee for disc golf course

City may OK agreement with vendor
By Nick Ferraro
Updated: 03/25/2011 10:56:27 PM CDT

Flinging discs at North Valley Park in Inver Grove Heights soon could come at a cost.

The city council on Monday will consider entering into an agreement with a vendor that would collect a user fee for the park's disc golf course. The switch to pay-per-play — a rarity in disc golf — would give the city a yet-unknown amount of revenue for maintaining and making improvements to the course, city officials say.

Last year, the city asked users to voluntarily pay to play the 18-hole course, which opened in the early 1990s. Annual $30 passes were available either online or at the community center, but many players either ignored the fee or weren't aware of it, said Tracy Petersen, the recreation supervisor for the city's parks and recreation department.

"It was difficult, because we didn't have staff down there to monitor the park and enforce (the fee)," she said.

The city in recent years had discussed implementing a daily fee but always ditched the idea after considering the cost of staff time needed to collect it, she said.
The one-year agreement between Inver Grove Heights and Fairway Flyerz is similar to the one neighboring South St. Paul entered into with the Little Canada disc golf retailer this week.

Fairway Flyerz staff would sell annual and daily passes, disc golf accessories and snacks in a temporary building at North Valley seven days a week. The retailer would keep all revenue generated from its on-site retail sales.

The city and vendor would evenly split admission revenue made during the season, which runs from April to October. Admission would be $5 a day, or $30 for a season pass.

There are a couple of differences in admission requirements between North Valley Park and Kaposia Park in South St. Paul. Disc golfers younger than 21 would be allowed to play for free at North Valley; in South St. Paul, there's no admission charge for those younger than 18. South St. Paul also charges an extra $10 to nonresidents who buy a season pass.

South St. Paul last year began charging to play on the 24-hole course at Kaposia Park. The fee had its share of critics, including one vandal who spray-painted "Don't pay to play in a public park" and "This is bull—— I pay taxes" on a temporary building where the fees were collected. This season, South St. Paul will get less of the revenue. Last year, the city took 90 percent of admission sales, or just over $30,000. This season, it will be 50 percent.

Mike Snelson, owner of Fairway Flyerz, said his nearly $10,000 cut in admission and retail revenue last year was not enough to cover his operating and startup costs.

 "I took a loss, and that was expected," he said. "But the initial agreement was put in place with the understanding that it could be adjusted."

Chris Esser, South St. Paul's director of parks and recreation, said city officials are "very pleased" to see the extra revenue.

"We gained admission revenue for the first time last year — revenue that will go toward improving our course and keeping people coming back," he said. Nick Ferraro can be reached at 651-228-2173


The more I think about pay-to-play courses the more I like the idea of "Fees" going to maintain the course.  After playing Kaposia and North Valley Park (pre-fee era) and having trouble finding the next tee-box due to lack of signage, I can appreciate the "fee" going towards course improvements/maintenance.  Where I get lost in the conversation is the paying to play at a public park issue. I really have no qualms with it. I'm just too cheap to drive all the way to IGH to play by myself.

On a side note. I'm on Spring Break right now and decided to play a round today. Temp: 38 degrees, Sunny. Felt like 45 in my opinion. Not that scores matter before May but I shot a 27 today which was 2 better than last week for 9 holes. Arm is still pretty tender and sore so 18 holes will have to wait.  I have been focusing on slow & good technique, straight drives, and quality putts.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Key Grip

I've had a couple opportunities to get out and throw this year. While I haven't been able to get working on everything just yet (it is quite a list), I have been able to focus on my grip. I'm liking it quite a bit, not going to lie. I thought I'd forward on to you kind of what I'm looking at for inspiration. It takes a bit of an adjustment, but then again, so did tucking our forefingers under the disc, didn't it?

Happy hunting; don't drown in the flood up there...


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Tension and the Terror

In the words of Josh Ritter, the "Snow is Gone"! I realize that those of you in Minnesota have yet to emerge from your involuntary winter slumber, but the rest of us are getting back into the "swing of life" (haha... get it?). In fact, I was up there just this last weekend, though on business that did not allow my any time for my own pleasures. I was surprised/horrified by the state of things up there.

Anyways, Tuesday seems to be the day for play 'round these parts. Therefore, I will likely be shaking lose the frozen bonds and returning to the sweet flow of life on the course. Yet, as the title suggests, this is not necessarily a full-fledged elation. Let me briefly mention why...

Because I am back at square one! As my previous post mentioned, I am in the midst of completely and irrecovably altering how I disc. I do so consciously, however, tension and terror remain. I will be forced to persevere, come what may, else I should have a bastardized non-form to my technique. I must embrace the whole of these changes. This resigns me to the consequences of my decisions. I will NOT like this initially. Firstly, the error of Stoicism (as C.S. Lewis calls it) reminds me that at some point in the past, I was able to throw with a certain precision with a certain power. I will not be able to match this, especially at first. I will be coming off a lay off that will have atrophied my capacities. Now add to this the added difficulties in changing a habit reinforced through endless repetition.

I am fated for frustration.

Kyrie Eleison,


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

New Year's Revolution!

Howdy ya'll! It's Diggs back for another year and another empty vow to contribute more to this fledgling little site. What is not empty, however, is my desire to get out and play again. Unlike most of you, I have been fortunate enough to have played a round this year... in February!

Out on the course, I couldn't help but consider how last year's realization compared with my hopes. I, of course, was not satiated. As plainly obvious as the previous statement is the recognition that I will never be satisfied. Tiger "Mr. Itchy-Crotch" Woods, in the height of excellence never ceased pouring over his mechanics, looking for something upon which he could improve. I am no different, save for the fact that finding such deficiencies is infinitely easier for me than it is for Mr. Itchy-Crotch.

In examining my game, I have settled on these areas of focus for the coming year. Hopefully they will all be in playable form come time for our planned bachelor party (hereafter referred to as "Cold Lamp Extravaganza"). I have no confidence that they will be. It is likely to be a long and frustrating road, but as the venerable Josh Gerth once opined, "When you commit to changing your throwing technique, you commit to the uncertainty of time that the change brings."

In no particular order...

Inward pull: I find that my pull focuses on the initial burst of arm movement, causing a dramatic difference of initial arm speed to arm speed at the release point. My goal is to emphasize effort towards the release as opposed to the initial burst. This should also have the added effect of adding more consistent releases (I might explain why in another post).

Grip: My grip is atrocious. Too many points of contact causing too many influences on release. My goal is to transition to a modified power grip.

Diversify the throws in my bag: There was a time when I was a primary forehand player, ignoring my backhand. Now, I am a primary backhand, to the detriment of my forehand. With a desire to see both throws as options, in addition to fitting in a thumber and a roller on limited occassion, I hope to increase my capacity to play a number of ways. This is likely the lowest on the priority list, as it would involve too much bifurcation of effort. However, I still like the idea of being able to competently assess my options.

Putting: Hey-hey! Ho-ho! My putting style's got to go! My floater style which has served me since the days I could legitimately say I had a disc that was "da bomb," is showing it's limits. It compromises my range and fails to be truly consistent due to the release motion. The short and skinny... too many moving parts. In homage to Dave Feldberg, I am looking to adjust to a pop-putt style reminiscent of Cameron Todd. I thought about a drive putt, but decided against.

Snap: More of it! I've realized my snap was less snap and more flick. I want snap.

And that's what we're working on this year. A daunting list to be sure. Will I master it? Not a chance in Hades! Will I be competent in these areas? Not bloody likely. But it'll be fun and frustrating!

That's it for now. Diggs out.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter thoughts that lead to Spring desires

I'd like to take this time to lay down some lines during this ridiculously cold and mundane winter season. If you are like me you look outside (especially in Minnesota) and all you see is S-N-O-W. All pretty and white which is nice for Christmas and New Years but soon after becomes downright annoying…but it is the price we pay for living in the Midwest. Turn the page from the weather report to the sports section. In the sports world you have a few things brewing. The football playoffs are well underway and a Super Bowl to be played in Dallas in a few weeks. The basketball and hockey seasons are heating up but let’s face it...the playoffs are what make those two sports exciting. That leaves us with baseball (spring training starts mid February) and well the primary subject of this very blog…disc golf.

I have been planning a series of posts that center around a few aspects of the game. A few teasers include: Top 10 Holes, First Disc/Favorite Disc, and Fantasy Disc Golf. Hope this sparks your desire for disc. I know it does for me.