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.