Archive | March, 2013

How To Play Disc Golf [An Elementary Viewpoint]

30 Mar

How To Play Disc Golf

by Elijah Chisholm, circa 2005, age 10

Disc golf is a fun sport to play and easy too. You can play no matter how old you are, even in tournaments! There are many accessories for disc golf as well, such as bags to carry your discs, tools to get your disc out of water, and even portable baskets to practice with. Whether you’re competing in a tournament or just playing for fun, I’m sure you’ll enjoy disc golf. Before you play the game you need to know a few simple rules.

To play disc golf you will need at least one disc made for disc golf (similar to a catch frisbee, only heavier) and access to a disc golf course. Starting at the cement or dirt tee pad for hole one, throw the disc (make sure both feet are behind the edge of the tee) at the basket making sure is is the correct one. Most courses have a  sign next to the tee that shows where the basket is, and if there are two baskets close together, you can look at the circle on top of the basket, which tells the number of the hole. If your disc does not make it into the basket on the first throw, then if you have one, place your marker disc (which fits in the palm of your hand) in front of your thrown disc. You may run up to the mini (another name for the marker disc) for power from as far away as you want, just as long as you release the disc while your front foot is within 12 inches behind the mini. Keep repeating this step until your throwing disc is resting in the basket. If the disc lands on top of the basket, it does not count. However, if the disc gets caught in the chains, it counts. Also, if you manage to wedge the disc between the bars [from the inside out], it counts, but you must retrieve it before it falls out. Once this is accomplished, find the tee for thole two and follow the same procedures as hole one. Continue playing like this for every hole, or until you wish to stop.

When playing in a group, after throwing from the tee, the person whose disc landed farthest away from the basket always gets the next throw. If your disc lands in water it is considered out of bounds and a penalty stroke is added. Here is an example: The player throws his second shot and it lands in a lake. He then takes his throw one meter straight out from the waterline and throws from there even if it puts him farther or closer to the basket. Since a penalty stroke is added, this would be his fourth shot instead of his third. If his disc gets caught up in a tree, the player throws from directly below the disc. To keep score, simply add up how many times you threw your disc plus any penalties. The lower the score, the better you did!

Although only one disc is needed to play, it is wise to carry at least 3 for many reasons. One reason is in case you lose some of them, and another is because different discs are meant to fly different lengths. For example the way you can tell these apart is by looking at the rim of the disc. The sharper it is, the farther it was meant to go. The third reason is that some discs have special abilities. Some can float on water, such as the dragon. Others turn right or left, such as the stratus (right) or the Xtra (left), and then there are some that are made to endure hitting trees. Even though drivers can weigh as little as 100 grams, most adults throw drivers that weigh about 170 grams! Depending on your age, you should throw discs that have a certain weight. If you are about 5, you can throw drivers that are around 130 grams, and if you are around 10, you can throw 150 to 160 gram drivers. Being 15 or older means you can throw 170 gram drivers, but that doesn’t mean you should. Remember, if can throw a 170 gram driver about 190 feet, then you could probably throw 150 gram driver about 210!

Follow these few rules (and some suggestions) and you will be getting good scores in no time! You will get better although it may not seem like it at first. Even though disc golf can be frustrating at times, you should always play for fun.

Elijah Chisholm

Elijah Chisholm enjoys his winnings at the Little Blue Open in 2002


O to the M to the G!

14 Mar


Disc golfers have plenty of tournament choices coming up. Doubles, singles, sanctioned, non-sanctioned, single day, two day, and even one that features a particular brand of professional discs.

March 16 is the Columbus Clash. A PDGA C tier sanctioned tournament at Pawnee Park. The expansion of the temporary 9 holes for this tournament is going to be a great addition to the tournament. First stop of the Volo Ocho Tour.

March 23 in Kearney is the Cottonmill Doubles. Bring a partner for this annual doubles event. One time some guys left Alliance at 5:00am to play in central Nebraska’s season kick off tournament.

April 6 is the Showdown in Seward. A PDGA C tier tournament and the second stop for the Volo Ocho tour. Could find some discs from the Iron Man which was on March 10 and cancelled after one round due to an unpredicted snow storm. Beware the blizzard ape of Plum Creek.

April 7, in Ashland is a one round tournament beginning in the afternoon. A first of its kind in Nebraska, this Legacy Challenge provides you with four new Legacy discs of your choice. Everyone plays the round with Legacy discs only.

April 20 is the Walk The Plank tournament on the Treasure Cove disc golf course at Iowa Western Community College just across the river in Council Bluffs. The tournament is sanctioned by the PDGA as a B tier and is the first a two day, two tournament challenge. View a close up of the poster at this link, has some catchy music.

April 21 back on the Nebraska side of the Missouri River is the Spring Fever Fling hosted by the Omaha Metro Disc Golf Association. Hitchcock Park will be the site for the temporary course. This is the second part of a back to back B tier in cooperation with IWCC. As a part of the enticement to play both events you will be awarded handsomely for winning the same division on both days. $500 for winning the Open division if you win both and register before planking.

April 27 in Sidney the Panhandle Putters present a Legacy Discs Ace Run.

April 27 and 28 is the first two day tournament in Norfolk. The Jekyll & Hyde Classic is to be played both Skyview Park and the nineteen hole TaHaZouka Park. This is the third B tier event in April, and the third stop of the Volo Ocho Tour.

April 28 is the 7th Annual Lake Hastings Classic Disc Golf Tournament at Lake Hastings in Hastings. This event is hosted by the Parks & Rec department.

OMG! There are a lot of tournament options and that’s great for disc golfers. For details of any of these tournaments this link will display the tournament forum: tournament forum

Blizzard Ape of Plum Creek

11 Mar
Blizzard Ape of Plum Creek

The Blizzard Ape of Plum Creek
has only been seen in blizzard conditions.

Friday I sat at Roper Park in Lincoln selling discs for the club and promoting the Spring and Summer Saturday Morning League. At least 60 people were playing this wonderful afternoon. On Saturday it’s not as warm and we could sense a storm was coming. At Tierra Park the ground was damp and a little muddy in places during the afternoon round of nine holes.

Then comes the Seward, Lincoln, Ashland Ice Man, err, Iron Man. A tournament on three courses of 18 holes, 27, and 18 with a round trip driving distance of about 90 miles from home. Sunday morning at 5:30am while lying in bed I could hear what sounded like small slush balls hitting the roof and side of the house. No, wait, it’s the first day of Daylight Saving Time and actually 6:30am, ugh. Get up now and drive thirty minutes to Seward for disc golf at sunrise? Then another splash of slush slams against the house and the dog barks.

Plum Creek Park, 8:00am, a couple inches of snow on the ground, temperature 31°f and dropping, dew point 31°f,  barometric pressure rising, wind from the north at 26mph gusting to 40mph and the visibility is … most of the fairway. TWO MINUTES! I can only imagine those brave souls. “Hey, where’s the tee pad?”, followed by “It’s around here somewhere, let’s just make a line in snow and throw.”

Meanwhile back at home during the mid morning I head out with the snow blower to clear the driveway. The blower is small thing but can chomp through 8″ of snow. Needed to take double passes in some areas because the snow drifts were already higher than the lip of the snow blower. This will be the first pass of a double pass day with the blower. Wonder how the Ice Man tournament is proceeding?

The tournament was cancelled after the first of three stops due to hazardous travel conditions. Good thing to because the Interstate closed in the afternoon. Pictures start appearing on Facebook. Later in the day the message forum for lost discs light up with reports of missing discs. “Blue z force with bomb-omb dye on the left side of hole 12’s fairway. It’s gotta be there, just covered by snow”, and “Lost my red gold line villain. Wind carried it towards the creek edge by the basket.” And as lost disc messages goes this is my new favorite: “Pink nuke OS on hole 2, green star destroyer hole 3, blue blizzard ape on 14ish all at Plum Creek.”

These are the stories where legends begin. As you’re gathered around the campfire this summer, or at a glow tournament, this story is for the disc golfers. He has only been seen during blizzard conditions, and he snatches golf discs from unsuspecting players; beware the blizzard ape of Plum Creek.

Notice the long claw like fingers for throwing golf discs.

As the story continues finish each line with: beware the blizzard ape of Plum Creek…