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.