9 Things I’ve Learned By Not Playing Disc Golf

9 Things I’ve Learned By Not Playing Disc Golf

I haven’t played disc golf frequently for the past year and a half.  Some you already know that I have been working on my Master’s degree, which unfortunately takes priority over disc golf.  I am, however, fortunate enough to have a field behind my office to throw discs during my lunch hour.  While getting back to field work after taking weeks off at a time, I have recognized a few patterns and learned a few important lessons about my game.  Hopefully some of these disc golf insights can help you also.

Inconsistency Makes Improvement Difficult

Let’s start with a simple concept.  Inconsistency in almost any aspect of life is rarely conducive for improvement and his includes your disc golf game.  Inconsistent disc golfing has hampered my ability to improve and my overall disc golf skills have not improved significantly over the past year and a half. If I want to get better, I need to get out and disc golf more consistently.  My post graduation plan includes more disc golf!

Fundamentals Can Save Your Game

I have had to prioritize which aspects of my game to work on in my limited time on the course.  As a result I have lost some distance and don’t have all the shots I used to.  Regardless of this, my scores have not decreased significantly.  The reason is because my fundamentals are strong and I have maintained consistency.  I predict that I’ll begin improving again once school is out and I can play more often.

important disc golf fundementals

Your Body Changes

Each time I throw after taking time off, I notice that my form has changed.  Some of this is due to muscle memory loss, but a lot of it is from my body changing.  Gaining or losing weight, sustaining or recovering from injury, flexibility and muscular balance all affect your form.  The longer you stay off the course, the more your body changes and you may need to adjust your form when you grab your disc again.

Disc Golf Requires Muscles You Rarely Use

To be fair I have know this for a long time.  Still, sore back and arm muscles remind me of this every time I hit the course after a hiatus.  I run and lift weights frequently but nothing hits my disc golf muscles like playing disc golf.   

I Have Bad Habits

We all have bad habits in our form.  In some cases we are aware of them and other cases we are not.  I have found that taking time off can help break me of some of those bad habits and allow me to work on purifying my form.  Unfortunately you may also be likely to forget some of the good habits that are difficult to maintain, but let’s go glass-half-full here.  The important thing is for you to identify what has changed in your form and rebuild with the proper technique.

disc golf fixing form

Knowledge Is Powerful

While away from the course, I have read many disc golf articles and watched a number of videos.  The extra time I have spent researching about technique and strategy has taught me many things I would not have discovered on the course myself.  I also rediscovered lessons that I had learned years ago.  Now I have a list of form items to work on with my newly purified form and I have new strategies to improve my game.  Knowledge has the potential to propel my game beyond what it has ever been.  Of course knowing these things is only the start and I will need to execute properly when I return to the course.

New Discs are Motivating

Let’s be honest, I really don’t need more discs.  But sometimes when I haven’t been to the course in a while picking up a new disc can keep my excitement level high.  Just having a new disc arrive at my door gets me thinking about throwing and can encourage me to get in a field testing session during lunch.  Even though a field session isn’t an 18 hole round, it’s still disc golf.

Old Reliable Discs are Important

Reliable disc discraft crushWe’ve always preached and intimate knowledge of your discs.  This is even more important after you’ve taken time off and are returning to the disc golf course.  If you have a few reliable discs that you’ve thrown for many years then leaning more heavily on those discs can help you get back into your groove.  Knowing how your old faithful discs should feel in your and how they should fly will provide indications of how your throw is working.  Plus a little added consistency can go a long ways.

Disc Golf Makes Me Feel Good

Seems pretty obvious right?  Well here’s what I mean.  I don’t just feel good when I am on the course and it’s not just a matter of having fun to reduce stress.  I know an awful lot about disc golf and I love talking about discs and strategy. When I participate in something that I know and love so much, it improves my overall confidence.  I carry this confidence with me through the rest of my life and there is a noticeable difference from when I play disc golf and when I don’t.  Disc golf is a staple in my life.

Dynamic Discs Emac Truth Lessons

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Discraft Mini Disc Round

Discraft Mini Disc Round

Have you thrown any of the Discraft mini disc series yet?  Stop what you’re doing, get a mini, and go throw.  These mini discs are serious fun on the course and add a new element of challenge to disc golf.  Discraft has sent us a number of mini discs of the past month and we recently took 8 out to the course and recorded our round, you can see the video below.

Here’s what we threw:

  • Mini Buzzz
  • Mini Buzzz (Big Z)
  • Mini Nuke (Big Z)
  • Mini Undertaker (Big Z)
  • Mini Crank (Big Z)
  • Mini Comet (Big Z)
  • Mini Challenger (Jawbreaker)
  • Mini Zone (Jawbreaker)

We were amazed at the stability of these mini discs.  You may expect them to turn out of control, but they actually fly like lightweight full-sized discs of the same mold!  The do of course have a propensity to lift when thrown hard and frequently drop through the chains and cage, but you’ll be amazed by the glide.

See available Discraft Mini Discs and get your own now!

Here’s our Discraft Mini Discs Only video from the lakeside course at Kenwood Heritage Park in Cadillac, Michigan over Memorial Day Weekend:

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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.

 

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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.

Check out 616 Disc to order your new putters and receive a 10% discount with coupon code ‘DGPUTTHEADS’!

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.

 

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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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