Tag Archives: Disc Golf

Disc Golfing Up North

This weekend was Memorial Day weekend, and while it was a bit cold, we went up to Petoskey for some camping and….some disc golf!  And a great course was found and played while up there, Kiwanis Park in Harbor Springs.

At the top of a hill Arbor Springs dead ends into the park.  And that hill is a precursor to the hills you’ll find through the course.  It looks like the park is used for sledding in the winter, and maybe other park-like activities, but for the most part I imagine it is used for the great course there.  According to the Harbor Springs website, the course is taken care off by the city as well as local disc golfers, and you can tell.  The course is really clean, which is great because I don’t understand why people assume it’s okay to throw their trash anywhere while they play, and the signs for each hole are great.  I mean look at this…

 

You get an aerial view of the hole, out of bounds marked, a flight path (sometimes two…), and even an arrow pointing to where the other hole is.  They also had clear paths between each hole, some lined with tree limbs.

Having been about nine months since I’ve gone disc golfing, it was a good day for me.  The majority of the holes were in the woods, and were less than 200 feet, keeping us on a short game that focused on putting.  I was usually able to get up to the putting area within one or two, depending on the placement of trees and the choice of disc.

I found myself overthrowing my target and having to backtrack to get to the basket.  This came from misjudging my disc choice.  I have a Discraft Avenger driver, which is great for a long distance throw, I can cover a lot of ground with it and it flies extremely straight.  However, this can be bad when assuming that you won’t be able to make it to the basket because of trees.  Yet, when you throw, the disc whistles past the trees and the basket and ends up landing at the pad for a hole you’ve already done.

This happened a couple of times.  I need to not always assume I’m going to hit a tree.  I also need to know what my discs do.  I need to know that the Avenger flies straight, and the Starfire will turn toward the left.  I also need to be confident in my choice when I get the disc out of my bag.

Overall, I was pretty happy with my performance.  I only had one hole that I really screwed up, hitting multiple trees and letting go of the disc way too soon.  But, I was able to recover on the next hole with a score of two.  I ended up being only one behind my father-in-law, which I was pretty proud of.  I kept myself as close to par as I could.

There were only a couple of people at the course when we played.  There was a large group ahead of us, but we quickly overcame them by hole 11.  We did have to wait for this couple that randomly started at 10 and then jumped over to hole two.  I guess I could see getting confused because hole 10 is right next to the parking lot, and hole one is somewhat hidden.  It took us a couple of minutes to see that it was near the clubhouse but off in the shadow of some trees.  However, the holes are really obvious.  There is a pretty big sign stating what hole you are on.  So, I’m not sure if they just wanted to change up the course or felt like it would be too much to search for hole one(oh, there was a big map near the parking lot as well…), but we had to watch them.  It’s not a big deal except that the guy decided to be cool and throw a couple of discs.  And then we had to watch his girlfriend whiff a disc into the woods.

It’s great to be back outside disc golfing again, I’m hoping to get out more often.  There are some new courses around Kalamazoo I need to check out, and there are some great ones up in Grand Rapids I need to get back to.  Thanks for suffering through an extremely long drought of posts, but I’m going to try to get back on here more often.

Aim for the Chains

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I know you thought of this before…

Remember all those times you were out on the course, threw a disc, and then had no idea where it went?  And remember talking to your buddies about coming up with some sort of tracker that would make it easier to find your disc?  Be it a sound emitting device, a light, or a marker that you could use your phone to track.  I’m sure you had thought of something like this.

Well, check this out! RFID finder

 

They have a picture of it searching for your keys, but that sticker is a perfect size to stick to your disc.  I’m sure it wouldn’t weigh much to mess with your disc’s flight.  I think this is more of a concept that an actual product.  But it would be pretty sweet…

What have you thought of to help you find a disc?

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Smartphone Apps

Do you have an Android or iPhone?  Do you use it while you are disc golfing?  Would you like to?

Ever since I got my phone I thought it was the perfect companion for disc golfing.  I could use it for pictures, sometimes post here on the blog, and obviously have a way for people to get a hold of you while out on the course(like when you are in the middle of wedding stuff and want to get away for a little bit, but still want to be accessible) .

But, I also thought that there had to be some cool apps that would work specifically for disc golfing.  The main one I wanted was a scorecard.  Something that you could track your scores, maybe even save your scores so that you could see if you were progressing at your favorite course.  Another one would be a map of the course you are at.  I know that some courses have paper maps or a posted map of the entire course, but a lot do not.  And if you are going to a brand new course, it’s a pain to try to find the first hole and also try to track where the next one is.  When we were up in Ludington playing on the Beast it was a real pain because there wasn’t a map, in fact we ended up doing some extra holes because of the weird design of the course.  Therefore, an app on your phone that could easily pull up the course you are on and show you where you were in relation to the next hole would be perfect.

I will admit that I never really looked for those apps, I just assumed that there wasn’t one.  For the scorecard, I thought about just getting a regular golfing one and using it, but most of the ones I had found were real specific to golf or were not free.  I’m not one for paying for an app, because you never know if it’s going to be worth it, and usually there is a free one floating around somewhere.

Well, after reading a post on Reddit about this exact topic (What android apps do you use for discing?), I found a couple they suggested and have given them a try.  There still isn’t a disc golf map app yet, but there is a decent scorecard app and even a flight chart app.

Easy Scorecard image

What it looks like when you enter in the throws for a hole.

Easy Scorecard is a free app that is exactly what it sounds like.  You can use this app to enter in your scores for a course, it gives you stats, and is pretty easy to use.  There is a pay version that looks like has some more features.  This scorecard is both for golf and disc golf, so some of the features might seem weird for disc golf, but overall if you want a way to track your game with out using paper and pencil this is the way to go.  For one thing, you’ll be able to easily read it instead of trying to figure out your buddy’s weird handwriting.

Joe's Flight Chart

Just a piece of the flight chart you will have on your phone

 

Joe’s Universal Flight Chart is a useful app to have when you are shopping for a new disc.  Covering just about every disc you can, the chart has different ratings to judge your disc.  The app allows you to add “dots” to some of the disc to filter the chart to your specific needs.  It also has a search feature in case you see a disc and want to know the different stats on it.  Though not as visual as the chart I posted last week, this one covers more than just Innova.

I also downloaded the Innova disc golf app, which as you can guess covers all things Innova.  You can order discs, accessories, and other Innova products.  The app is basically a version of their webstore.  Maybe good to use if you are out on the course and lose a disc and want to order a replacement right away?  If you have a different reason for using, please let me know.

Those are the three I have downloaded so far.  The reddit post mentions some more, one to help you track your discs and using a google app called “My Tracks” to crudely map out a course.  I think the My Tracks app is just a way to map out anything, so it’s not specific to disc golf.

Do you know of an app that I didn’t mention or maybe have a review on one of the apps I did?  Let us know in the comments section.

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Innova Flight Path charts combined

I found this on Reddit and had to share it.  Redditor TemptationsPage combined all of the Innova Flight charts into one big one.

Innova Flight path

Thanks to TemptionsPage from Reddit for combining all of the Innova Flight Path charts into one big chart

I like this chart better than trying to figure out the numbers Innova uses to describe what their discs do.  Seeing a visual path of what a disc is made to do definitely helps when purchasing a new disc.  Innova’s flight paths feel accurate.  I know when I took my discs out into a field and threw them without any obstruction, they generally followed these paths.  Obviously, you have more control over the path, depending on when you let go of the disc and how much power you put behind it.

Do you use these charts?  How do you decide what disc you want to buy?

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Taking a dog on the course

I have gone by myself, I have gone with friends and family, and I have gone with kids, but before now I have never gone with a dog.

I have seen people do it, I have heard about my brother-in-law taking their dog with them, and now that I have a dog I was wondering if it was time for me to take her with me.

However, I have some questions about it.  The first thing for me is, how is this not a tease? I mean, we teach our dogs to fetch.  How will they know what to do with a disc when they see their owner throw it?  In the past, when I was out on a course and someone had a dog with them, they are usually with a group of people and the dog is on a leash.  For the most part, I think someone in the group is not discing, so it isn’t a problem.  Yet, how does the dog not want to chase the disc?  Or what do you do to keep your dog from not picking up someone’s disc?

My brother-in-law had trained their Golden Retriever to actually chase after the disc and lay down next to it.  What a great concept!  To be able to have someone there that’s sole purpose is to find your disc; it would save you so much time to have a hunter dig through the woods for your disc  Or when you might have thrown a long drive and the disc is hard to spot.   Yes, the dog would have to be unleashed and there is the potential that the dog might run off or scare another player.  But I think having an animal on the hunt to find your disc would outweigh the possible problems of an unleashed dog.

This is what I wanted.

Piper looking toward the future

There she is giving us her best regal look.

I have a pit bull puppy (a bit over a year old) named Piper that finally got to take the trek out to Oshtemo township park to partake in some disc golf.  She was extremely excited about this.  But, being a puppy and a pit bull, I thought it best to keep her on the leash.  Piper loves people.  It seems like her goal is to please people…and to play.  Fetch is one of her favorite games. Which I didn’t think about at the time, but quickly realized that this might be a bit of tease for her, as she could not chase after the discs that we threw.  And my friends found out that Piper is strong, almost pulling them over and dragging them to get the disc.  I had a hard time getting her to focus on anything else, even when I gave her one of my dead discs to play with, she wanted the ones we threw.  At one point, she got a hold of my Roc and added some nice teeth marks on it…I’m hoping I can convince my wife that I need a new one 😉

My first foray into taking my dog with me has opened my eyes into what I might need to do if I want to take her again.  I’ve been now teaching her to sit and wait until I release her when we play fetch.  She has picked up on that very quick.  I think the next step will be to either ignore what I throw or to have her sit and wait next to what I have thrown.  I’m not sure if she is completely ready to be off the leash while at the course, so it might have to be the ignoring the disc part.  I might also just want to take her to the course so much that she just gets use to it.  It also probably doesn’t help that she is a puppy, and puppies like to play.  Maybe I should bring a person along that isn’t going to disc golf and instead they can focus on Piper.

What about you?  Do you have a dog?  Have you taken your dog or a friend’s dog on the course?  What did you do to not have the dog pull out a friend’s arm?

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An Amazing Weekend in Illinois

I don’t think you could have asked for a better weekend than this past weekend to go out and play disc.  Most of the leaves were off the trees, the weather was warm, and the wind wasn’t horrible.  Plus, with it being fall, there were not that many bugs out there and considering the places we went, that is a good thing.

I was in Illinois visiting my wife’s sister and brother-in-law with her parents and on Saturday we visited some disc golf courses that I had never been to.  Fox Hill Disc Golf Course and Summit Park.  Both courses had varied terrain and some interesting holes, with none of them having any hole longer than 400 feet.

The first course was a well taken care of course, my guess is that it has hosted a tournament or two.  The neatest thing they had, I wish I had taken a photo, was the markers for each hole.  Nice tall wooden post with the hole number and length carved into one side and on the other a picture of the hole with either a circle or arrow pointing out where the basket was.  I think that was an awesome concept that more courses should think of doing.  Being able to have an image pointing out where to aim and to compare it to what you are actually seeing helps a lot.  I like the visual maps that most courses have, but those are not real accurate and for some holes you have to walk up some to be able to see the basket.  Having a picture at each hole at least gives you an idea if you need to aim at that tree to the left or the tree to the right.  I imagine it might be a pain to change that photo if you move the basket or take down a tree, but I bet it’s cheaper than having to paint a map of the hole again.

Hole 4 at Fox Hill

This was the neatest pad I have ever seen at a disc golf course.

We walked away even in the world of lost discs at this course.  For the most part the course had a pretty basic layout, half about in the woods, half out in the open.  However, with it being fall, there were a ton of leaves on the ground, which were the cause of us me loosing a disc.  But, I’ll back up to how we broke even.  On the fourth or fifth hole you are throwing on a long hole with the basket hiding a bit behind some saplings. But, on the right side of the hole is a wooden fence housing some sort of warehouse.  I wanted to try out a disc I had found on a previous outing, a Discraft XL (now, don’t get mad at me about finding this disc and keeping it, there was no name or number on it).  It’s a great disc, and it flies straight until the end when it cuts to the left.  It just doesn’t help when you let go too late and it takes off to the right and goes right over the fence into a bunch of garbage brush.  I was willing to just give it up, I didn’t pay for it.  But, Mario (brother-in-law) commented on how great the disc is and that it is worth the time to hunt it down.  So the hunting began.  Took us about twenty minutes to find a white disc in a bunch of green and brown weeds, but we did.  During the search, we found a Championship Boss.  Which I was very happy to take.

Now on to how we I lost the XL again.  This was near the end of the course, probably hole 14 or 15.  Again, it was a fairly straight hole, however it was in a heavily wooded area.  And on the right, instead of fence, it was a couple of small hills (probably as tall as I am) with a lot of trees growing on them.  I wanted to give the XL some more love and drove it toward the basket.  It was flying fine, yet I had let it go just a smidge to the right, so it kept on that path and cut through some of the dead leaves still hanging on the hill trees.  It ended up going through a patch of brush and not coming out the other side.  We had been having some luck of our discs not stopping at the first contact of leaves hanging from trees, they would just push past them and continue on their path.  So, we assumed this was the case for the XL.  Those damn leaves that blanketed the hill.  At first I wanted to blame them for hiding my disc.  But, after hunting all over that hill and not seeing it anywhere.  There wasn’t a lot of places for it to hide.  The trees and bushes that were on that hill didn’t have much on them, especially close to the ground, to make it difficult to see.  And besides the piles of dead leaves, there wasn’t anything else there to make it difficult to search.  I now blame the disc.  I believe it was cursed and wanted to slow me down by losing itself twice.  I was not sad to leave it there for some poor soul to find.

Skill-wise, I think I did really well.  Most of the holes were par 3 level holes, and I kept myself at about 4 on every hole, hitting a three on a couple.  My putting has improved, from what, I’m not sure.  My long game has actually improved the most.  I will assume that is from my working out a bit more (army = a lot of push-ups) and I was able to say that my drives kept up with Mario (who has been discing a lot longer than I have) and my father-in-law.  One of my putts I am very proud of.  I was probably ten to fifteen feet from it, but I had two big trees in between me and the basket. There wasn’t much space between the two trees, yet I was able to slice my putter through them and have it land right in the basket.  It was a great shot.

I still needed to work on my control.  I had a couple of throws that were just plain bad.  I know that at the last minute my concentration would move on to something else causing me to let go to early, or to late.  Especially when there would be one or two trees right in front of me.  I would focus on the basket or a tree further up the hole, and at the last second I would look at the tree right in front of me and smack my disc right into it.

After the first course, we hit up Two Brothers Brewing Company in Warrenville.  A great place in between Fox Hill and Summit Park.  It was a little hard to find, the only sign for the place is on the door and it looks like a warehouse on the outside.  The only way we could verify that it was the right place was from the smell.  But, if you are into beer, I recommend it.

According to the PDGA website, Summit Park is a challenging wooded course, and one commenter on the webpage said that on many of the holes you just have to throw it and hope it doesn’t hit a tree.  These are quite accurate, even with it being fall and many of the trees having lost their leaves, you still had a lot of holes that bent crazy ways hiding the basket.

The park is really nice, has a lot of soccer fields, a mini-golf course and a pool.  The disc golf course follows the wooded area around the park, only peaking out on a couple of the holes, having you throw along the wooded line as well as the soccer fields.  The trees are bad.  Seems like they only cleaned up some areas to give you a decent fairway.  Otherwise, you are just throwing around the trees, even when you are putting you have to constantly worry about the trees, some right on top of the basket.  They also have a number of holes that follow what appeared to be a snowmobile path, with a lot of trees and the narrow path being your fairway.  On those holes the basket was so far hidden to the left, you did have to just throw the disc and hope for the best.

The only story worth telling is how we Mario almost knocked out a kid on the soccer field.  Hole 16 has you behind blind spot throwing on the side of a soccer field with a basket hidden to the left in a pocket cut into the wood line.  Mario was the first to throw and after commenting on our father-in-law not getting to go out and spot for us(therefore not getting an “advantage” that Mario said he was getting) he drove it hard to the right, the exact opposite direction he wanted to go and it cut through the blind spot, with us not able to see where it landed.  We hunted all over that soccer field trying to find it.  You would think that being an open field it should be easy to spot a disc, but not so much.  We almost gave up, thinking that some punk kid took it, when Mario found it a lot further than any of us would have thought.

Mario had commented before we started that would probably end up +20 at the end of this course, which was fairly accurate for me.  I started strong, keeping up with the other two and doing about four throws a hole.  But then I got caught up in those couple of holes near the snowmobile path.  I had a hard time throwing blind.  My disc would often end up in the garbage swampy area to the right of the path.  After that, I pretty much went on a downward spiral of hitting lots of trees and easy putts.  I could only hope to hold my score, trying not to make it any larger than it was, but a couple of the holes had me hitting up to two or three over par.

It was a fun course, I would like to do it again.  Probably not in the summer time, I can’t imagine it with a lot of leaves.  Thought I guess it would be helpful in strengthening up your tight shot.

So, if you are ever in the Illinois, check out those two courses.  And if you have been there, let me know what you thought of them and if you had any tricks to doing better than I did.

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New t-shirt for a new tour

Hi all,  I’m back with a new t-shirt design for my disc golf tour of Illinois.  This tour is going to be just a one day tour, but we are going to be hitting up some semi new ones for me.  These are all going to be up in the north west area of Illinois and I’m hoping to hit up Fairfield Park in Round Lake, which has the longest hole in Illinois, 845 feet!

Some of these courses I might have already visited, but it’s been a couple of years so it’ll be nice to see if I have improved.  Illinois is where I really fell in love with disc golf, kind of hit my teen years there, you could say.  I would go out by myself and hit up the course near my apartment in Crystal Lake and have a great time.  And I would explore and see some of the other courses where like, such as Fairfield Park.  I did go there once before.  And that long hole is the last one and is something to see.  There were people camped out on the rough just chilling, it’s that long.  I think if you have a strong driver you could do it in five or six throws, I think it took me 11!

Anyway, this tour was something we talked about for a while, but didn’t really plan until last week.  So, it was sort of a rush to come up with a shirt design and then to make it.  I’m going to try this new thing (at least to me…) of bleaching a stencil on to a shirt.  I didn’t like how the iron-on transfer worked for last year’s tour, felt like a blob of paint on the middle of the shirt, so this will help make the shirt a bit thinner.  However, I’m not so sure on if people will actually get to see us with the shirts on.  The weather might be bad.  Or at least kinda cool, keeping us in coats.  But, they should be sweet shirts to wear, so it’s all good.

Here are the stencils I used…the eight bit guy I kinda borrowed from Reddit, but I don’t think they’ll mind 🙂

Text for the back of the shirt

This is the text that will be on the back of the shirt

These are the different images that will be bleached onto the shirts

 

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The Joy of Disc Hunting…

There is one thing that we all love about disc golfing, the one thing that you can’t take out of disc golf, the one thing that makes disc golf disc golf…the hunting of your disc in the woods!

Let me set it up for you, you are on the pad looking down a 325 foot path that dogs to the left and has deep woods on both sides.  Your buddies are waiting for you and you know you have a tendency to go further to the left than you want.  You pull back, throw and listen as your buddies laugh at you because you now have to hike up your socks and put your head down as you dig through the brush to find your disc.

This is a scenario we are probably all familiar with.  And if you are not, I want to see it!  There is no way you never had to hunt for your disc at least once.  I simply don’t believe it.  Unless you go to some crazy course that doesn’t have any baskets with some woods near it.  Or at least some tall grass.   But, part of the joy of disc golf is going to some cool parks and taking the walk in nature.  I’ve been to some great courses that had me going through some nasty parts of the woods.  Especially in the middle of the summer.

It adds to the challenge of the sport.  You want to stay out of it.  While you are standing on the pad, you are thinking about how to throw your disc.  What will keep you on the green and out of those lovely woods?  I know that I think about it.  I have a pretty wicked hook that gets me in trouble.  The woods are one of the things that stick out in my mind while I’m getting ready for my drive.  I don’t want to think about it, I need to concentrate on my throw, but I hate wasting time digging through the woods, and so it stands at the forefront of my concentration.  Hunting in the woods can kill your momentum.  You also stand in the way of others.  And god forbid you are throwing a green or yellow disc.  With the sun and the leaves, you are asking for a lost disc.  

I haven’t even mentioned the actual hunt.

Just thinking about it…thorny bushes, constant fake outs of leaves and sticks looking like your disc, repeatedly looking at the same spot thinking that you hadn’t looked at it yet, and the possibility that your disc might be up in the trees.  Good times.

Now that I have brought up all of the “fun” of disc hunting, what about the solutions?  Is there honestly a solution to this problem besides just keeping the disc out of the woods?  If I could keep my disc out of the woods, more than likely it means I have a pretty good throw and then that would mean I could probably make it in some tournaments and be a lot better than I am.  But, the purpose of this blog is to get better, so the answer is no, no I can’t keep my disc out of the woods.  I let the disc go too early or too late, or I don’t line up properly and the disc ends up in the garbage of the woods.

But, what I can offer is plenty of experience foraging for discs!

Here are some suggestions:

Get a spotter out there, I know that it helped a lot when I went out on the Wolverine Cup.  It’ll save you a ton of time, because they are out there checking on where the disc ended up.  You will be surprised on how much time is saved by having someone out there pointing to the tree that your disc is leaning against.

Throw a colorful disc.  I know this isn’t super practical, because you might have to purchase some new discs.  But, if you have a red, blue, purple, or orange disc out in the brush under the trees, it’ll be a lot easier to see than a green disc under green leaves.  Plus, the color might be a bit unique making it easier to distinguish between other people’s discs.

Stop and think.  Sometimes you need to stop and think about where it could be.  If you didn’t have someone out there as a spotter, it’s tougher to spot the exact spot, but you should have a good idea where it is.  Go there and think.  More than likely the disc is near the edge of the garbage area and it is probably just under some leaves.

But, don’t get frustrated.  Walk around and look.  Think about your usual path.  You should have a good idea on where you usually throw.  That should give you an idea where it might end up.  If you have someone with you, they can help cover more ground.

As a last resort, make sure your name and number are on the disc, so that if you do lose it someone can call you when they find it.

I’m sure you all have come up with your own techniques on disc hunting while in the woods.  Take a second and share with us what you do to find your disc.

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I’m back!

Hi all!

I’m back from my National Guard training and ready to get back in my disc golf adventures.  It was a great experience and if anyone has any questions about joining the guard or about Basic Training/AIT post something in the comments section and I’ll try to answer it for you.

But this blog is not about the National Guard, it’s about disc golf.  I did not get a chance to play while I was at AIT, all we had were taxi’s to take us places and they really tried to cheat you on prices.

So I’ve been out of the loop for awhile.  Which is where you come in.  Hit me up and let me know what is going on in the world of disc golf.  Any new courses you want to talk about?  Anyone go on a cool disc golf tour they want to talk about?

I did check out the Kalamazoo Air Zoo course, which I will talk about soon.  And I plan on getting out weekly now, so you should see some more action on this blog.

Also, I’m looking for good pictures of courses in the Michigan area.  I can’t seem to find any and don’t have the time to roll around the state taking pictures.  So, if you have some, give me a holler and we can share them with everyone.

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Kalamazoo Air Zoo opens up a disc golf course!

I know, I know, I write this post saying I’m going to be gone and then I come back the next day and post something…but this is going to be quick and not a lot of writing from me.

The Kalamazoo Air Zoo on Portage Road has opened up a 9-hole disc golf course around the museum.  It’s free and according to the article it’s all par-3 holes.

Nice to see a new course in the area.  If you go out there and check it out, let me know.

Air Zoo opens 9-hole disc golf course

 

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