In The Bag With Disc Golf Chris

In The Bag With Disc Golf Chris

A number of you have recently requested that Rodney and I record In the Bag disc golf videos.  We review putters and talk about discs constantly, but we haven’t given you a good feel of our bag build-out.  Both of us have been adjusting our bags since last season, but we’re finally in a place where we’re essentially set for the 2017 season.  This is my In the Bag video.

We’re giving you three options:  You can watch on YouTube, listen on the Just Throw Podcast or meet up with us at Burchfield Park and see my bag in person!

YouTube:

Just Throw Podcast:

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Discraft Machete Review

Discraft Machete Review

The Discraft Machete is designed to provide consistency and confidence in all situations.  It does the job well.  The Machete is an overstable distance driver that will cut your score no matter the weather conditions.  Discraft sent us a Machete to test and review and we quickly concluded that it lives up to its name.
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Disc Golf Course Design: Inscribing Lifestyle into Underutilized Landscapes

Disc Golf Course Design: Inscribing Lifestyle into Underutilized Landscapes

There is no argument that disc golf is increasing at an unprecedented rate. New courses are constantly in development and Steven Dodge even predicts that disc golf will be considered ‘conventional golf’ in the 2020’s. The question then begs, with the quick increase in courses and relatively short existence to study courses and their layout, have we been optimally designing the courses?

Clearly there are amazing success stories such as Flip City in Michigan which I had the pleasure to visit this past summer. Then there are the stories of less than successful courses such as Polliwog Park which was closed for lack of safety. There are, of course, design experts who have created amazing layouts, but what happens when we can’t (reach important stakeholders early in the process? Can we improve even more on the expert designs? And most importantly, how can a course be designed that will encourage disc golfers of all types will want to return to and play over and over again?  Master course designer John Houck talks about the importance of “replayability” over the years and is currently seeking alliances with licensed landscape architects to bolster the legitimacy of projects with land managers.

Michael Plansky has a few ideas. In fact, he wrote an entire Master’s thesis on designing disc golf courses by taking advantage of land that is not used to its full capacity. He published this work into a book called ‘Disc Golf Course Design: Inscribing Lifestyle into Underutilized Landscapes’. He provided us with a copy of the book to read and review and we were amazed by the toughness of the study and the depth of history provided.

Here’s the catch, Michael steps away from only designing through experience and empirical knowledge of what disc golfers like. In true academic fashion, Michael takes a multidisciplinary approach including theory from environmental design, sociology, athletics, and statistics among others. You may ask why this matters. This matters because disc golf is not just a game, disc golf is a way of life, a “lifestyle sport” if you will, and the reasons that we love disc golf transcend boundaries of play into large life themes.

disc golf leisure and playThe book begins with a history of disc golf which allows you to understand the evolution into the game we have today. There are many commonalities between this chapter and The Definitive Guide to Disc Golf, but of course there are many unique pieces. One outstanding ability Michael has is flowing sections of writing together not only so they feel natural, but to add value into the lesson. Chapter 2 delves into the psychology behind play and leisure activities and builds upon the history of disc golf that had been presented earlier. The concepts of leisure, along with with its history, have a large impact on how we respond to a disc golf course. This is built upon by introducing landscape architecture and urban design theory. This is where Michael begins to hint at how we can view course design in a larger scope than disc golf alone.

A crucial aspect of Michael’s study is researching why disc golfers enjoy disc golf. This may seem trivial, but it’s not; every disc golfer loves disc golf for different reasons and those reasons manifest themselves within the courses themselves. Michael spent time at four disc golf courses near Los Angeles, conducted the surveys himself, and analyzed the results. I’ll let you read the book yourself to get the details, but a number of themes emerged and the prominent themes differed between courses.Attraction to disc golf

Michael concludes the book with a chapter that makes specific recommendations on course design. Again, I’m not going to give away his secrets, but the recommendations cover optimal course distributions, landscape characteristics, cultural development, and course features. Combine these recommendations with the course routing categories that he provides at the beginning of the book, and you’ve got a number of seriously powerful ideas that may help your course become a gold standard.

disc golf course routing layoutsThe book is loaded with visuals to help present the ideas in each section. As you have seen above, the visuals range from rough sketches, to tables and comprehensive diagrams. Not only does this give an academic work a nice feel, but it allows you to truly comprehend the information that he describes. And in case you’re the type of person that wants to see every detail, there is a full resource section in the back that contains all the data, surveys, references and more!

This book is a serious disc golf course design book. It holds an enormous amount of knowledge and value for anyone who is excited about course design. Even if you’re not into course design, you stand to gain incredible insight from the concepts that have been presented. I’ve mentioned before, both in this article and in past content, I believe that disc golf needs a higher amount of comprehensive studies and data to flourish and the process and conclusions that Michael Plansky has presented in ‘Disc Golf Course Design: Inscribing Lifestyle into Underutilized Landscapes’ are shining examples.

‘Disc Golf Course Design: Inscribing Lifestyle into Underutilized Landscapes’ is available here on Amazon.

 

Or you can also purchase though the following locations:

 

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Disclaimer:

Some of the links on this site are Amazon affiliate links and we may receive a small commission from products purchased using these links.  We still give our honest opinions and will never recommend a product unless we truly believe in it, but your support helps us to continue to provide disc golf related content.  Thank you!

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Best Disc Golf Store Online

Best Disc Golf Store Online

You want to buy a disc, but you’re not sure which online disc golf shop is the best. I get it, I’ve bought a mountain of discs in my day and I spend hours researching before each disc golf purchase. With the number of new internet disc golf stores it can be difficult to research them all.  

Below, we provide a guide that we hope helps you decide which disc golf shop is best.  We also make a few Best-in-Class recommendations below each category for you to check out.

Important Disclaimer: We are NOT affiliated with any of the online disc golf shops in this article and we have NOT been paid or incentivized in any way to recommend a best online disc golf store or even to include a listing.

The best way to start is to decide what factors are important to you.  Below I’ve listed a number of characteristics that the best disc golf stores have in order of importance to me.  At the end we offer a handy directory of best disc golf stores online.

Trust

What is the point of spending even a few dollars if you can’t trust a merchant to get your order right, or especially delivered to you? Trust also goes beyond delivery. Do you trust the information or reviews on the site? Do you trust that the site will take your payment and not freeze in the middle of a transaction? Do you trust that the company won’t spam you or share your data?

Honestly, I have not yet found a disc golf shop online that I haven’t trusted.

Support

If you already know exactly what you want and have no troubles ordering, then you may not care about support. However, there have been many times when I have needed to ask questions. Response time is important as well as willingness to help. If I have had a positive experience communicating with a company, then I am more likely to repeat a purchase just in case I run into trouble.

The best support I’ve received has been from Infinite Discs and Marshall Street.

Selection

By selection, I don’t mean who has the most different products in stock. I mean the shop that has exactly what I’m looking for. If you’re new to disc golf or just experimenting with new discs then this may not matter much. I’ve been throwing for 15 years and when I need to replace my putter or my main driver, I know exactly what I want in color and weight. Unfortunately this often comes down to chance of having what you’re looking for so I don’t judge stores based on them not having my exact preference, but it’s a huge bonus when one store continually has what you need.

Marshall Street has earned my past two orders, but Infinite Discs and Disc Golf Center also frequently have the exact disc(s) I need.

Price

Price doesn’t matter to me within a few dollars and I rarely see a difference of more than a dollar or two unless I’m buying in Bulk. I’ve checked many stores and very few offer bulk discounts, but many offer free shipping or on flat shipping rate. Ultimately, while I’m a fairly price sensitive buyer, price is usually so close that it’s not often a large factor in my purchase choice.

The two exceptions here are that Marshall Street offers free shipping over $50 so I’ll place combined orders with my disc golf friends, and Disc Store which frequently offers coupons for return shoppers.

Site Usability

Pretty sites and well-designed pages are great, but I am quite tolerant when it comes to site appearance because disc golf is still growing and many disc golf stores invest more in quality operations than a nice looking website. As long as I can navigate and find what I need without a sophisticated search, then I’m satisfied. Issues that I am not tolerant about include:

  • Pages repeatedly not loading
  • Information that I have entered into forms being erased
  • Popups

Disc Store and Gotta Go Gotta Throw are two of my favorite sites when it comes to navigation with Infinite Discs and very close. I’ve noticed many newer disc golf shops launching with a heavier focus on aesthetics and usability, for example HyzerShop

Reward Programs

As surprising as it may sound, I don’t place enough orders to take advantage of rewards programs.  However, if you order frequently or you’re able to combine orders with friends then reward programs can be a huge factor and can help retain your loyalty.  Infinite Discs and Marshall Street both have great rewards programs, but one of our friends has hit the maximum discount through Disc Golf Center so I’ll add to his orders occasionally.

Supplemental Information

This is another feature that I rarely use because I research my discs from many sources before purchasing anyway.  However, information about each disc can be quite useful especially if you’re placing larger orders to test new plastic.  For example, disc reviews and ratings can help inform on your purchase and especially comments from other disc golfers who have experienced the particular disc as those tend to be more honest and less promotional.

Infinite Discs has by far the most robust system of supplemental information.

Select The Online Disc Golf Shop Right For You

Now that you know what to look for in a disc golf shop online, check out our Best Disc Golf Stores Online directory to find the the shop that fits you best.

 

Don’t forget to follow the DG Puttheads on Facebook to catch all of our posts and for other great content!

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Disc Golf Putters for Beginners

Disc Golf Putters for Beginners

What is the best disc golf putter for beginners?  These are the top putters for a new disc golfer to try.

  • Discraft Challenger
  • Innova Aviar
  • Black Zombie Chainsaw
  • Dynamic Discs Warden
  • Westside Swan 1 Reborn
  • MVP Atom
  • Latitude 64 Pure

Why Are These Disc Golf Putters For Beginners?

We’ve tested each of these putters extensively and found they have characteristics that we believe are beneficial for new disc golfers.

disc golf beginner puttersMost beginning disc golfers benefit from high glide putters that allow them to focus on their putting form instead of generating power.  These beginner disc golf putters also show flight characteristics that are mostly stable (straight) to slightly understable (turn right when thrown right-hand back-hand).  Overstable putters (fade left when thrown right-hand back-hand) can give new disc golfers difficulty, but putters that are severely understable can result in developing bad putting habits and may slow progress.

Just to be clear, there are many other putters that will work great for beginners, but these are the putters that we most commonly recommend to new disc golfers based on their preferences.  And just for the record, these putters are not exclusively for beginners, they work great for advanced disc golfers also.

Beginner Friendly Disc Golf Putters

There are specific reasons why we commonly recommend this list as the best beginner disc golf putters.  Read on to learn what makes each putter a great choice for a beginner.

Discraft Challenger

The Discraft Challenger is slightly more overstable than the other putters on this list.  However, it is a slow speed with high glide and extremely workable.  It should feel comfortable for most putting styles and feels like a traditional putter with the blunt nose.

Innova Aviar

The Innova Aviar is one of the most popular putters made and is often the first recommendation for a beginning disc golfer.  This is one of the most versatile discs available and it comes in many variations to suit your evolving putting style.  The Aviar is the quintessential disc golf putter.

Black Zombie Chainsaw

The Black Zombie Chainsaw is not very well known, which is unfortunate because it is a wonderful disc.  It has the top flight plate of a Gateway Wizard, but it is straighter and doesn’t fade as hard.  The Chainsaw still has just as much glide as the Wizard, but it’s much easier to shape your lines.  It’s also a faster putter than most on this list which makes it a great option to use as a driving putter. 

Dynamic Discs Warden

The Dynamic Discs Warden is a fairly straight putter with incredible glide.  This allows a beginner to easily toss it toward the basket with little effort.  The high glide of the Warden also give it finesse so you will be able to bend the flight path in ways other putters won’t allow.  The Warden is also not considered understable which may give it extra consistency which makes for a great beginning disc golf putter.

Westside Swan 1 Reborn

The Swan 1 Reborn is the most understable putter on this list.  It’s perfect for a beginner that doesn’t have much power.  Since it is available in multiple different plastic options, the Swan 1 Reborn fits well for both spin and push putters. As the beginner player matures this disc becomes a go to option for longer putts.

MVP Atom

The MVP Discs Atom is one of the straightest discs we’ve ever thrown.  Even better, the Atom also has high glide and it is often difficult to find a high glide putter that is straight.  The Atom uses MVP’s overmold technology giving it a great feel and the added benefit of the overmold’s gyroscopic effect.  The Atom is also a smaller diameter putter than most putters which often feels more comfortable as a beginning disc golf putter.

Latitude 64 Pure

Latitude 64 Pure ReviewThis is another extremely high glide putter.  The Latitude 64 Pure is known for finesse and ability to find any line.  It’s a beadless putter with a flat top and low profile so it fits comfortably in many disc golfer’s hands.  The Pure has just a little more fade than the Atom which can add confidence to a longer putt.

 

After you’ve tested these beginning disc golf putters, consider trying these overall best disc golf putters.

We also provide other resources such as disc golf putting tips for your putting progress.

 

If you found this useful, please follow the DG Puttheads on socials for other great content!

 

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RPM Discs Tui Review

RPM Discs Tui Review

The RMP Discs Tui  has a flight that resembles its stamp; intricate, beautiful and precise.  RPM discs has been manufacturing discs for many years but has only recently begun selling them mainstream.  The Tui is their first putter and fills many needs on the disc golf course.
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A Story of Disc Golf Strategy

A Story of Disc Golf Strategy

If you’ve read any of our articles up to now then you probably know that we preach strategy. Many of our strategy articles are theoretical so that you can apply the strategy to many different situations. To change it up, I thought I’d provide a concrete example of how strategy plays out on our local course.

Rodney and I made it to the course last week to take advantage of the warm February weather. After playing conservatively over the past couple months due to wind and cold weather, we did two things slightly differently to get our arms ready for the season.

The first was match play, which is a game type where the player who wins the hole gets one point regardless of how many throws he or she wins the hole by. Match play encourages riskier play when you end up in trouble since total throws isn’t considered in the score. We wouldn’t normally take extra risks in a scoring round, but the goal was to push ourselves into practicing shots we wouldn’t normally throw. The second was the decision to drive aggressively on each hole, just for practice.

We played Burchfield Park’s Devil’s Den short tees to long baskets. Hole 11 starts with a slightly downhill fairway for about 350 feet followed by a steeper drop. After about 500 feet the fairway takes a slow rise back up to the basket (pictured in the featured image above) for a total of about 740 feet. This a great hole to unleash a bomb of a drive… but this comes with a serious risk. Here’s a rough layout of the fairway, see if you can identify the risks.

Devil's Den discgolf hole 11 diagram

The large pine on the right encourages you to throw left unless you have a 500 foot hyzerbomb (and I do not). However, the fairway immediately tightens after the downhill.

I threw a beautiful s-curve with my Ballista and dropped it halfway down the hill to the left side of the fairway. Rodney threw a clean drive just short of the top of the hill in the center of the fairway. Our instincts told us that I had the clear advantage with the longer drive, but the hole played out differently.

burchfield park devil's den disc golf
Chris throwing from the rough on hole 11

I was halfway down the hill so my long approach would be entirely uphill through a tight fairway. Rodney had a longer shot ahead but he also had a 15 foot elevation advantage and could hyzer around the low hanging tree branches.

We couldn’t see my obstacles from Rodney’s lie so it looked like I had the advantage. Since we were in match play, Rodney chose a risky second throw trying for extra distance but clipped a branch resulting in an early drop to the left in the rough about 50 feet ahead of me. I wasn’t able to hit the small window in front of me and after hitting a large branch I ended up about even with Rodney. From there we threw the hole evenly.

The lack of strategy should be clear here.

  • First, if you can drive 500 feet consistently then you’ll have a large advantage going for the bomb, otherwise laying up will likely give you an advantage due to the elevation. I gained no advantage with a drive that was 50-75 longer here.
  • Second, knowing your opponent’s lie will better allow you to decide if you should go all-out or play conservative. Had Rodney known my lie was poor, he probably would have won the hole by throwing a safe shot.
  • Third, know your playing field. We both should have played that hole differently knowing that a drive down the hill results in a difficult second shot.

There shouldn’t be any amazing epiphanies in this story. It simply comes down to deciding on the best place from which to take your next throw and if you have the skill to get there. I’m not encouraging conservative play with this story, but I am encouraging you to know your disc golf capabilities. Pushing yourself in practice will help you understand your own capabilities so that you can make a more informed decision during your next tournament.

Now get out there and throw!

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Discraft Z FLX Thrasher

Discraft Z FLX Thrasher

Discraft recently sent us a Z FLX Thrasher to review and compare to the original Elite Z Thrasher.  If you haven’t read our Elize Z Thrasher review yet then I’d strongly recommend you read that first here:  http://dgputtheads.com/discraft-thrasher-driver-review

Here’s what Discraft says about their Thrasher:  http://www.discraft.com/prod_thrasher_z.html

As you would expect, the Z FLX Thrasher has the same feel and all of the outstanding traits of the Elite Z Thrasher, but there are a few significant differences.  The Z FLX Thrasher is extremely gummy.  Some Z FLX molds, such as the Undertaker, are only moderately softer, but the Thrasher in Z FLX is gummier than most other Z FLX molds I’ve thrown.  This does have advantages such as an incredibly smooth release, very little bounce and greatly reduced roll.  But the disadvantages include lower torque resistance and a slightly less consistent release when using a power grip.  Although, I noticed that throws with a fan grip were still consistent.  Keep in mind that in cold temperatures the plastic will condense and will not be nearly as gummy.

Discraft z flx Thrasher tombstoneThe Z FLX Thrasher is noticeably more understable than its Elite Z counterpart.  In warm weather this was difficult because the Thrasher mold is already quite understable.  The Z FLX Thrasher turned too much for me to comfortably control on most throws over 75% even when dropping the angle.  This turn is more controllable with a fan grip as I mentioned above, but it still turns fairly heavily.  In temperatures below 40 the turn was more controllable and dropping below 30 the Z FLX plastic condensed nicely and the disc performed much better.  I didn’t notice any difference in how the different plastics handled the wind, so the Z FLX Thrasher should be a great winter option.

I found that the Z FLX Thrasher has just as much glide as the original mold, maybe even more.  With approximately 50% power I can easily throw this driver 325-330 feet.  I also found that the malleable plastic allowed me to throw extremely controlled rollers.  The roll was reduced so I didn’t have as much distance on my roller shots, but the roll was pure to its path and didn’t bounce out of control.

In the Elite Z Thrasher review we mentioned that there are many uses for this mold for a variety of players.  I feel that the Z FLX Thrasher is more of a niche disc and when used properly it will hold high value.  It should be an excellent for beginners looking for effortless distance and will be a good cold weather option for more experienced players who bag a Z Thrasher in warmer months.

Discraft Thrasher Driver Purchase Buy

 

Ready to purchase a Z FLX Thrasher?

 Check the pricing here.

 

 

Do you want to WIN a Z FLX Thrasher?  Visit us on Facebook to see the rules!  Contest runs through 2/26/17.

 

 

Disclaimer:

Some of the links on this site are Amazon affiliate links and we may receive a small commission from products purchased using these links.  We still give our honest opinions and will never recommend a product unless we truly believe in it, but your support helps us to continue to provide disc golf related content.  Thank you!

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Just Throw Podcast Mini Series

Just Throw Podcast Mini Series

If you’ve been listening to the Just Throw Podcast over the past months then you’ve heard us dropping hints about mini podcasts.  Well they’re here now!  We’ve had people mention that they’d like more content, but the full length podcasts are difficult to coordinate and then take time for Rodney to process and upload.  So we thought we’d add a few smaller pods in between the full episodes.  We also recorded video and uploaded to YouTube; here are the first two:

Collecting Discs:

 

Out Of Print Discs (Discraft Crush):

Please tell us what you think of the mini podcasts.  At this point we plan to continue since it gives us an opportunity to cover shorter topics that we may not be able to fit in to the full length podcasts.  If you have any topics you’d like us to cover, just shoot us a message!

Thanks for listening, and don’t forget, Just Throw!

 

You can subscribe to the DG Puttheads YouTube channel here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to catch all our posts and other great content!

 

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Discraft ZFLX Undertaker vs Z Undertaker vs Mini Undertaker

Discraft ZFLX Undertaker vs Z Undertaker vs Mini Undertaker

Chances are that if you’re reading this article, you’re already familiar with Discraft’s Undertaker which was originally released in Elite Z then in Big Z.  If you’re not familiar with the Z Undertaker yet, then you may want to check out our Discraft Undertaker Review first to get an idea of how the original Z mold flies.

If you’re already familiar with the Undertaker then you’ll surely want to hear about the new Undertaker offerings!  Discraft recently sent us a few of the newly molded Undertakers to test out.

The Z FLX Undertaker is extremely well designed and embodies all of the defining characteristics of your beloved Elite Z Undertaker.  The two differences that I notice are increased turn and simply the malleable plastic. 

I’ve thrown three first run Elite Z Undertakers, and each displayed more turn than later runs.  The Z FLX Undertaker flies similar to these when new, but breaks in quickly to add turn.  This is of course advantageous in in cold weather because plastic typically condenses and becomes more overstable as it gets colder.  This may also be advantageous for new players who don’t have as much power or even players who simply want a fairway driver with some amount of turn.  Beyond additional turn, the Z FLX Undertaker flies just like it’s Elite Z counterpart. It likes to hold its line and it can handle power.  The end of it’s flight is characterized by a fairly strong fade that usually drops accurately rather than fading out long to the side.

Discraft Z FLX Undertaker Cold
Z FLX Undertaker provides the original Undertaker flight path, but in low temperatures.

Obviously, the Z FLX plastic is softer than Elite Z.  Beside maintaining finesse in the cold, the softer plastic can help make for a smoother release.  Unlike the super gummy plastics, Z FLX has a consistent release and I’ve never had a problem putting snap on it.  My fingertips also appreciate the softer release, especially since I put a large amount of snap on my fairway drivers.

The Big Z Undertaker, on the other hand, is more overstable for me.  It’s not a large difference, but I notice that the Big Z Undteraker doesn’t like to turn at all for me.  Keepi in mind that I’ve only thrown one so it’s possible this one just happens to be more overstable than others, but I thought it was worth noting.

Discraft Mini Undertaker Big ZAs for the Mini Undertaker… I probably don’t need to spend a lot of time explaining the flight, because it’s a mini and minis are incredibly fun to just huck and no one really cares about their flight pattern.  Still, I’d like to mention that it flies incredibly similar to a full sized Undertaker!  It’s much lighter weight so it doesn’t like head winds and it will turn when you put power on it, but this thing sure has glide.  Throw the mini undertaker with a tail wind and it will just sail!  There’s really not much else to say, this is a tiny Undertaker replica and miniature versions of our favorite things are awesome!

It took me a while to warm up to the Undertaker in general, but I’ve come to love it and I currently bag an Elite Z Undertaker during the normal season and now a Z FLX Undertaker in the winter.  If you haven’t tried an Undertaker then I’d say it’s high time you try one.  If you already throw and Undertaker,  then you’ll absolutely want to try throwing a Z FLX Undertaker for a little extra turn or consistency in cold weather.  If you haven’t thrown a mini… for goodness sake go get one an huck it!!

Here are a few links to check out Discraft Undertakers:

Elite Z Undertaker

Big Z Undertaker

Z FLX Undertaker

Mini Undertaker (Big Z)

 

Don’t forget to follow the DG Puttheads on Facebook to catch all of our posts and for other great content!

Discraft Undertaker Elite FLX Z

 

Disclaimer:

Some of the links on this site are Amazon affiliate links and we may receive a small commission from products purchased using these links.  We still give our honest opinions and will never recommend a product unless we truly believe in it, but your support helps us to continue to provide disc golf related content.  Thank you!

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