Monday, March 24, 2014

Where the blogs at?

I love reading about disc golf. I like hearing unique voices and love stumbling across blogs that share their experiences. I like perspectives from new players, sorta new players, sorta old players and even crusty old pirate players.

You call yourself a disc golfer do ya?
It's a tough racket. There's zero money it, there's very little feedback to know if you've pounded out another article that will slip away into obscurity. My wife mocks me for it. But at the bottom of all the reasons people write about disc golf - is that we like to do it.

I like archiving my adventure. I like the creative process. I like to write.

Jim Trotter and I spent the better part of an hour on the phone today talking about everything from insane weather, disc golf blogs, tags matches, clubs, and trying to promote disc golf (him - not me!).

Jim runs a couple small side businesses: Box4Discs ( which sells boxes for storing discs and TalkDG ( which is a news-stream that's free to post your content to - which has been one of the only ways I've been able to find other disc golf blogs. If you have dg stuff to share, you should be taking advantage of his free digest. It's free.

So just to help promote some of the guys that I personally like reading - here's a very non-comprehensive list of some guys who are keeping their own feet to the fire (in no particular order):

Your Disc Golf Hero
Lots of pictures, lots of stoke.

Disc Golf Addiction
Always brings a smile to my face.

School of Disc Golf
Blog'n since wayyy back - and always solid.

400 Bound
Great videos, great pix, and great posts.

Dogleg Disc Golf
Lots of fresh content - solid writing.

Central Texas blog

I like digging around in DGCR, r/discgolf, and my FB feed is pretty much a DG feed - but there's something special about the longer form of a blog post when somebody can really ramble.

If I forgot somebody, and I know I did - just slap it into the comments.

Peace out cub scouts.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dynamic Discs Witness Review

Put your mouse on me and push!
First off, we've got a promo code for 5% off your order at Infinite Discs (the one and only supporter of my humble blog). The promo code is: HeavyDisc so click their logo above and give them a look.

Promo should be good until June - so save some coin on your next purchase and please pay them a visit. My pitch is short and sweet: Infinite Discs has been the sole beacon of support for this blog and by supporting them, I get to bring you these enthralling reviews. Thank you and now onto the goods!

I'm no stranger to under-stable discs. The Innova Star Road Runner (167g) has been in my bag since my brother handed it down to me in the first weeks of carrying his hand-me-down bag. In the beginning of my learning curve - it allowed me to get some distance and consistency on drives even though I didn't have much power.

Slowly I learned to throw with better technique (or so I thought) and I jumped up into more stable discs. When I would try to throw the under-stable stuff the disc would nose down and god help any worms that were poking their heads up for a look around. I thought I had out grown under-stable molds - but the reality was that I was getting away with bad technique because I was throwing over-stable discs. Furthermore, I incorrectly equated under-stable discs with beginner discs. Sure a beginner will struggle less with under-stable plastic, but that doesn't mean they're not incredibly valuable to your shot selection.

It wasn't but just a handful of months ago that I went back to my under-stable discs and started working really hard on throwing them in the field. Those discs had sat idle as I had decided to just stick to forehands for my right breaking shots, but I was starting to find that the shape of my forehand and backhand was pretty drastically different. Re-learning to properly throw under-stable plastic was paying off in a big way in my technique and I started to see the value in two shots that had been completely eluding me.

DD Witness: 8/6/-3/1
Flight Path Powered by
inbounds Disc Golf
Hyzer-Flips and Rollers. Two shots that I equally love and fear. FEAR? Yes, fear. A hyzer flip can screw me two ways - by not flipping and then also by not fading. My rollers were wildly inconsistent - I have thrown them and watched them do much more harm than good more times than I can remember. They instill terror in my fledgling roller skills. That said, hyzer-flips have been some of the longest drives I've thrown and I really enjoy the beauty of that flight pattern and a shot that I use all the time.

When Alan at Infinite Discs mentioned that he had the new Dynamic Discs Witness for me to review - I was really excited. The Renegade that he had sent me last time, immediately took over as my main driver. The plastic is just amazing, I can't be effusive enough about it - DD has done it right. Alright enough already, let's get to the disc.

Fieldwork Day

Power it up and go with a full power sky annie - and it is going 350' almost the entire way breaking right, with about 5' or fade at the end. Wow. I run down to grab it, leaving my stack of other discs behind and giddy. Rollers: Smoother and easier to roll than anything I've ever thrown before - rolls straight as a arrow and drops to the ground with a little break to the left at the end. Hyzer-Flip: At first, I didn't quite hyzer it enough, so I got quite a bit more turn than I wanted, it just avoided a treeline along the right side - and skids to the ground 400' out. Adding more hyzer - I got a much more straight line out of it and consistent distance. Powered down drives: dead nuts straight w/ almost zero fade... control city.

Head wind? No chance and not at all what a disc like this is designed for. Tail wind? Yessssssss. All that glide and a bit of added stability gained with a tail wind means that you get bonus miles in the air.

It impressed me and it was really exciting. I was getting the same distance as I could with my stable drivers, but by a drastically different line. My mind was already putting this disc to work on a few holes on my home course. I left day one impressed and excited.

Game Time

I decided to throw this disc on every hole at my home course of Paco Sanchez in Denver - along side whatever I'd normally throw. Trial by fire. Over and over that annie line just stayed consistent. There's something really exciting about having a long right-turning route available to you. The glide rating of 6 is legit. It has that same hover board feel as the Renegade. 

I want to bring up two holes in particular that puts this disc in my bag permanently. Hole 4 offers up 2 obvious lines from the tee pad to make the 375'-ish basket. You can throw to the right of some trees and take the slightly longer route out and fade back to left. Secondly, a more direct line to the left of the trees that requires some right turn to keep it on line. The Witness went to the left of the trees, the Renegade went right. Both ended up sitting 5' apart by completely different lines. Of course I missed my putt, but that's another story.

Second hole was #6 (seen below) which is a downhill shot to the right 303' - which I have rarely birdied, because the basket sits right on the edge of a river - which is VERY easy to over shoot and end up wet, lost or both. A straight shot at the basket is really tight. Forehands skip into the drink. Typically I just play this hole safe - throwing stable plastic backhand that won't turn into the river right at the big evergreen in the pic below. It makes for a putt that's typically 40-50' and outside my range. I've tried a number of routes, sometime successfully, but always with greater risk of OB and lost discs when the river is high.

Basket is in front and to the right of the big evergreen. River just past it. (Pic from dgcr)
Backhand with the witness right down the gut, it starts it's turn - it does it's thing - and skids up to the bucket. I am a fan of not having to putt!

The very first round I played with my brother, he told me that discs won't matter for a while as I learn to just throw properly - then they matter more than you'll ever think possible. I think that I re-learned that little chunk of wisdom when I started playing with the Witness. Yes, you can get almost any disc to do anything you want - but it is drastically easier to find a disc that's nature is to do what you want.

Ultimately this disc will be a great option for backhand anhyzers, rollers, hyzer flips and powered down laser straight shots.

And quick update from last night's tags match. 10 mph tail wind - slightly down hill on hole 17. I reached for the Witness hoping the tail wind was enough to keep it straight. 450' by google earth's measurements and a solid 100' further than I've thrown that drive before. Let me be clear, I can't throw 450' on flat ground and I can't throw 450' w/out that bonus tail wind - but having the right disc for the conditions got me that distance. My buddy Big Mack walks up and shouts at me, "THAT WAS YOUR DRIVE?!" It's in the bag and staying there!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Infinite Discs Promo Code

Hey amigos, got a promo code for 5% off your order at the one and only most awesome online disc shop in THE UNIVERSE. They have been kind enough to send me a few discs to review - and I believe the next one is in the mail soon.

And the promo code is: HeavyDisc

Should be good until June - so save some coin on your next purchase and please pay them a visit.

They're sending me a Dynamic Discs Witness to review (thanks Alan!) and I got to see it in action yesterday by Patrick Blazek who kicked both my brother and my collective asses at CHU... he beat me by 14 strokes and I felt like I played pretty well!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Finding Balance

Zen time again! It's not too bad though, I promise.
The tee box sits at your feet as you roll the disc back and forth between your hands. Your body is loose, mind is clear and there's not a peep of concern anywhere near the old grey matter.  Step, step, step - blast off. The disc arcs, flexes, skips up within striking distance of the pin.

High fives and pats on the back - you feel your spirits soar. This is gonna be a great round!

Now your disc sits at your feet as you hold your putter loosely in front of you. You go through your routine, your mental check list, practice strokes, lower your center of gravity and quiet any inner voices. You release the disc and watch as it flies just off the mark. Your stomach drops out the bottom of your feet. Your head swims and you feel your neck heat up as your blood pressure sky rockets.

These two emotions are polar opposites: pain and pleasure. Punishment and reward. Sonny and Cher.

Is it possible to perform your best, regularly, when your emotions are swinging back and forth? Do you think these swings in physical and mental emotions help your confidence?

Let's try a strange little exercise. Close your eyes right now. Damn, OPEN THEM BACK UP! I forgot you have to read this first, so AFTER you read this - close your eyes. Imagine the feeling of missing a putt that is well within your range. Tap into the disappointment and anger. Feel it? Not good is it? Now move your imaginary self back 50' from the bucket, and imagine the feeling of a perfect shot floating gently into the chains. Feel the joy of nailing a really tough shot. Damn, that was pretty.

Now back to the miss. Feel that miss... the dissapointment. It sucks.
Now immediately let your emotions go back to the joy of the made shot. It's great!

Now feel BOTH emotions at the same time. Both together. For me it's a very strange sensation - almost like my hands are heavy and my mind is swirling in an other worldly zone.

I think that we can agree that feeling the burn of missing the shot, immediately causes a physical reaction. When I allow myself to go to the missed shot emotion, it's like my hands are heavy, my heart feels low in my chest and my center of balance feels very much in my head. Is there any way that having those emotions is going to help your game? No chance. It's exhausting and not the best state of mind for facing your next shot.

So what can we do to avoid this feeling? It's not just one thing to fix it unfortunately - and everybody is different so let's not think that there's just one road across town. For me what helps is having a thought that goes like this:

I get to take responsibility for what happens before I let go of the disc. I take my time, get into a good place mentally, stay loose, take deep breathes, visualize the flight, commit to my decision, shoot and then I'm done. I've made my shot. In or out, that's not on me. I did my part before the disc left my hand. Every player from the best in the world to me is going to have putts that don't hole out - so I'm going to consider my shot a success if I did my part, regardless of where it lands.

Making your putt is not dependent on the disc ending up in the basket. And that is just a thought from the monk Mr. Rabten HeavyDisc. And when you see me quietly weeping after my brother hits me with a "Steve Perry" right before I bounce it off the top - you can feel free to ask where the Zen Buddha is.