Forget Bolf, Let's Talk Frolf: The Disc Golf Thread

Red(s)HawksFan

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Maybe RHF has a longer term perspective on all this, but to me it's almost shocking how big and polished the pro tour has gotten over the last few years. If you'd asked me 5 years ago if disc golf would ever become popular TO WATCH, I think I'd have laughed. But between the sport semi-exploding for players during the pandemic, along with better video production, and now spectators paying for tickets to attend events live, there appears to be a ton of momentum bringing this sport up on to a much more popular and visible platform. I wonder how far it will end up going?
Having watched the game evolve over the last 25 years, it is mind-blowing to see where the pro game has gotten. I agree with your assessment that five years there's no way I would have predicted it would be where it is. There has always been this optimistic sense in the game that the big break for the sport was just around the corner, but it never seemed to come. Now it's happening at a relatively whirlwind pace.

I think it's more than just pandemic related growth, though that is a huge factor. The pro tour found a deep-pocketed benefactor just before the pandemic when Todd Rainwater (an heir of this guy) bought DGPT. He invested to good deal of capital into the tour and DGN which exponentially increased the professionalism all around. Live coverage used to be 2-3 cameras with one guy "producing" from his basement, now they've got a dozen+ people working every broadcast and are still expanding. Then three events into his first season is when COVID hit. I think without that investment the sport would not have been ready to handle the boom.

I'm currently in the Quad Cities (IL/IA) to play the US Masters major. It's not quite on the level of Worlds or DGPT since it's just the older players, but already I'm seeing a big time bump in the professional feel and look of the event compared to the last one I played in 2019 at Maple Hill. We had a video crew fly their drone over us as we practiced yesterday which is a new experience for me but obviously S.O.P. for the hole previews for coverage. So I guess it's not just the investments in DGPT but there's clearly a trickle down effect starting to happen.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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Thanks RHF. Interesting to learn about the funding source.

Best of luck this week in your competition! We have a 2 round singles tourney this Sunday where I live. Hoping my 55 year old knees can cope with 2 rounds going up and down our local community ski hill course. UDisc tells us it's the equivalent of climbing and descending 70 stories/round. Will your competition make it to YouTube?
 

Import78

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Thanks RHF. Interesting to learn about the funding source.

Best of luck this week in your competition! We have a 2 round singles tourney this Sunday where I live. Hoping my 55 year old knees can cope with 2 rounds going up and down our local community ski hill course. UDisc tells us it's the equivalent of climbing and descending 70 stories/round. Will your competition make it to YouTube?
Tis the season I guess. We have a tournament this weekend as well. Two rounds, one Saturday and one Sunday with optional glow and mini courses as well, also on a ski hill. Glow is a lot of fun but I might give it a miss this year since my shoulder gets cranky if I play too much and a 36 hole day and an 18 hole day might be a lot to ask, especially since I'm playing league on Thursday and probably a practice round Friday.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Will your competition make it to YouTube?
There will be post-produced coverage on Youtube of at least one card (MP40 lead, maybe FP40 too?). Ace Run Productions is shooting but I don't know if it will be on their channel or the PDGA's. First round feature card is Joe Rovere, Brad Schick, Patrick Brown, and Chris Sprague. Maybe if I shoot the round of my life, I can slide on to coverage of a later round (fat chance).

Good luck at your tournament, and @Import78 too, if you play.
 

Import78

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There will be post-produced coverage on Youtube of at least one card (MP40 lead, maybe FP40 too?). Ace Run Productions is shooting but I don't know if it will be on their channel or the PDGA's. First round feature card is Joe Rovere, Brad Schick, Patrick Brown, and Chris Sprague. Maybe if I shoot the round of my life, I can slide on to coverage of a later round (fat chance).

Good luck at your tournament, and @Import78 too, if you play.
Thanks, I played pretty poorly though. Probably put up two of my 5 worst rounds of the year. Some bad luck on rollaways (about 300 feet worth on 3 putts, I wish that was an exaggeration). But if I hit the puts they can't roll so it's on me. Still, finished third and won the doubles league so it wasn't all bad.

Went to GMC with the wife on the weekend. Had a great time. I tried to follow the lead MPO card but it was a mob scene so I wound up following the chase card instead which was a far better experience. Spent almost the whole final round about 15 feet away from the players as opposed to 15 feet and then five rows of people away. We were about 5 feet from Matty O when he drove on 11 on Saturday for the eagle. Just a crazy shot.

The FPO lead card was also a great follow both days, roughly comparable in crowd size to the men's chase card. Easy enough to see and stay quite close. Some very impressive stuff from them as well. I followed the first card on Sunday which was Paige, Julianna Korver and Raven Klein. They were obviously out of the running but I think there were only about a dozen in the gallery and they finished up in time to catch the lead card on hole 7 and followed them the rest of the way. Chatted briefly with Paige, Paul and Kristin after their rounds, the wife got some autographs and took some pictures and we were home in time for supper.
 

McDrew

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I started playing tournaments this year. 6 so far. Range of ratings from the high 600's to the mid 700's. I think MA3 is still the right place for me for now.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Thinking of taking this up. Do I just buy a kit, read the rules, and show up? Or should I practice with a disc golf discs somewhere (some playground, aiming at targets?) first. Do I show up and get matched with other players who won’t mind a newbie? I used to throw for distance and trick shots, so I do have those skills, but never tried this.
 

SumnerH

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Thinking of taking this up. Do I just buy a kit, read the rules, and show up? Or should I practice with a disc golf discs somewhere (some playground, aiming at targets?) first. Do I show up and get matched with other players who won’t mind a newbie? I used to throw for distance and trick shots, so I do have those skills, but never tried this.
I'd definitely play casually before trying a tournament or anything organized. You shouldn't really need to interact with strangers: find a friend who's interested in throwing a round, find a course near you that's not too busy, get some discs, and go throw a round. If you know anyone who's played before that could be helpful, but it's definitely not needed.

If the course has a free practice basket available or you have a friend with a basket, maybe practice some putts (or play a “best-of-10-putts” from a couple distances with your friend to make it more fun) before playing the round. But a lot of courses don't have such a thing.

You can pick up a 3-disc starter set for around $25; you'll really only need a putter and maybe a mid-range at first. Putter is a bit of a misnomer: they are used to putt, but even pros will regularly tee off with a putter if it's a shorter hole, a woods shot (especially a tunnel), etc. And many, many approach shots are done with putters. It's not like ball golf, where using a putter anywhere but the green is incredibly unusual.

You say you've thrown a lot before. What discs have you thrown? Ultimate and Wham-o frisbee-style discs are very “understable” (see spoilers for terminology) by disc golf standards, and are thrown with the nose a bit up to get the best distance, which is usually a pretty bad thing to do with golf discs. If that's what you're used to then you'll really want to focus on keeping the nose flat to down and having a pretty flat plane that your arm swings through during the shot.

So if you're coming from an Ultimate/Wham-o frisbee background or starting from scratch then it's generally best to work with putters and mid-ranges until you get your form in shape, then move to faster discs. Bad form with a driver isn't going to get you much (if any) more distance than bad form with a putter, and it's going to be a lot more directionally wild. Putters will fly the closest to Ultimate-style discs of anything.

But if you've already been throwing golf discs you can ignore that, of course.

One piece of terminology you'll actually want to know: “the circle” AKA “circle 1” is the area within 10m of the basket's pole. If you're within the circle, you cannot step/jump forward during your putt: you have to establish balance behind your lie after releasing the disc before you can step forward. If you're outside the circle, you have to have one foot on the ground in your lie when you release, but you can jump-putt or step-putt in such a way that you finish with a foot in front of the lie after release.


Long-ish terminology brief that is pretty useless when you're starting out, but if you're curious about the words people throw around and the numbers on the discs:
Terminology brief:

Types of Disc: Putters, mid-ranges, fairway drivers, and distance drivers are the 4 main categories of discs. The categories are much less specialized than in ball golf, though: putters are routinely used for long approaches and even for drives (they tend to fly very straight compared to other discs). Each category has a wider rim than the previous: that has implications on how it flies (see below), but also on how it bounces off of trees. Putters will be deflected less by trees than mids, which will in turn be deflected less than drivers. So throwing drivers in the woods is extra dangerous. As a beginner, you should consider throwing only a putter, or perhaps only a putter and a mid-range, to get your form down. Some putters are labelled as "Putt/Approach"; these tend to be slightly more overstable than plain old putters, and have some midrange-ish features (but are usually still primarily putterish).

Simon Lizotte, throwing a 492' drive with a putter during a real tour event. Most people don't throw as far as Simon, but the point is that even pros will somewhat regularly tee off with putters, especially on shorter holes or in the woods: you really have to get the “putters are only for putting” ball golf idea out of your mind.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK-26xURTj0


Stability: An “understable” (aka “flippy”) disc tends to turn toward the release hand during the primary flight, while an “overstable” disc tends to turn the other way. For a right-handed backhand (or a left-handed forehand), an understable disc will tend to flip to the right during flight while an overstable disc will tend to turn to the left (but almost all discs will finish to the overstable direction at the end of the flight). Right-handed forehands and left-handed backhands are the opposite. Overstable discs usually fight crosswinds a bit better than understable ones, especially because they can be cranked a lot harder without flipping over. Understable discs are easier for many beginners to throw well.

Avoid using just plain “stable”, as it's commonly used both to mean “flat/neutral” (ie, in between understable and overstable) and as a synonym for overstable.

Angle of release: Hyzer/Anhyzer refer to the angle that a disc is released at: a hyzer shot (what Ultimate players call “inside out”) tilts down away from the hand and will move away from that hand (to the left for a RH backhand). An “anhyzer” (outside-in) release angle has the edge of the disc tilted up away from the hand, and will fight against overstability/complement understability. Often you actually bend forward or back at the waist (rather than messing with the wrist angle) to create hyzer/anhyzer with good form.

Normally as a right-hander you throw backhand if you want the shot to move to the left, and forehand if you want it to move to the right. But if you use an understable disc and throw with an anhyzer angle, you can throw a “turnover” shot that moves in the other direction.

Flight numbers: Discs have “flight numbers” on them. You can sort of ignore these at first, and they're very unscientific: comparing numbers within one brand is somewhat meaningful, but they differ a bit between brands. But just so you know, there will be 4 numbers (if there's a 5th, ignore it). Here we see 5 4 -1 1:
buzz.jpg
They are in order:
Speed (5): How “fast” the disc is. This really means how hard can you crank it usefully. A fast disc thrown by someone with a fast arm (strength and form-wise) will fly faster and further than a slower disc. But a high-speed disc needs a fast arm to work: throwing a speed 10 disc as a beginner will be really bad.
Glide (4): How much of a tendency the disc has to glide in the air. This is the least useful number for beginners.
Turn (-1): The disc's stability during the primary flight; negative numbers are more understable (Turn right on a RH backhand), positive numbers are more overstable.
Fade (1): The disc's stability during the low-speed end of the flight.

The 5th number is just (Turn + Fade)/2 for a rough overall idea of stability.

In theory, the "Turn" number describes the disc's tendency to turn during the "Turn (High-Speed Stability)" portion of the flight pictured here, while the "Fade" number describes how it turns at the end of the flight.

But both of these are relative to the original angle the disc was released at (hyzer/anhyzer): if you throw the disc at an extreme hyzer (tilted down to the left on a RH backhand) then it's going to move hard left throughout the flight. The overstable disc will accentuate that and the understable disc will slightly lessen it, but they won't rewrite physics.
Disc-Golf-Flight-Numbers.jpg

Miscellaneous:
“Circle 2” is the colloquial term for the area 10–20m from the pole, which is useful when discussing how close your shot is but has no rules meaning.

A “death putt” is one where a miss is likely to have very bad consequences: putting steeply downhill (so that if you miss, the disc will likely go well past the basket) or at a basket next to a stream or lake is a classic death putt. A “lay up” is a putt or approach that's more concerned with landing safe near the pin than anything else. “Running it” is the opposite: you're trying to make the putt (or approach), without as much concern for the lie if you miss. If you're on a flat field with somewhat long grass, it might make sense to run it even from pretty far away: the long grass will stop the disc from going too far away from the basket. But if you're facing a death putt downhill on gravelly dirt, you may have to decide whether to run it or lay up.

A flex line, an S-throw, and a hyzer-flip are all variations on an S-shaped flight path. For a RH backhand you might use a very overstable disc (that tends to want to move left) released at an anhyzer angle (that is banked to the right) to accomplish this: the initial angle will start off moving the disc right, but the overstable disc will rotate such that the disc will eventually start moving to the left over the latter half of its flight.

Just for fun, 3 top backhand distance throwers' form, and one pro-level forehand driver. Note how _flat_ the disc is during the throw and at release; the nose is not angled up the way an Ultimate throw would be, even on a forehand, unless they're throwing over a tree or something. It may be angled on hyzer/anhyzer (left/right) for shot shaping:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8E3kCqtKzU
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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Thinking of taking this up. Do I just buy a kit, read the rules, and show up? Or should I practice with a disc golf discs somewhere (some playground, aiming at targets?) first. Do I show up and get matched with other players who won’t mind a newbie? I used to throw for distance and trick shots, so I do have those skills, but never tried this.
Sumner, as usual, is thorough and totally correct in everything he suggested. Lot of good info there, but don't let it overwhelm you.

I'll try to keep it a bit more simple as I deal with new players all the time. If you decide to buy discs, obviously the easiest thing would be to buy a pre-packaged starter set but you may find that where you shop has a variety of individual discs. If you buy individual discs, don't feel like you need a complete "set" right away. The game can be played with just one disc, and I'd recommend no more than two to start for no other reason than simplicity. The design differences between discs really only becomes apparent as skill evolves. Mostly they'll behave more or less the same to a new player. Not unlike a new ball golfer isn't going to realize much of a difference between an 8 iron and a 3 wood; the ball probably won't go far either way. Start with a mid-range disc (speed 4-6 if they're labeled) and a putt & approach (speed 1-3) and look for the word "understable" if you can (most starter sets are understable by default/design). Those will be the most forgiving and have the easiest learning curve.

Do practice with them a bit before you try a course. All you need is a bit of open space, no target necessary. The purpose is just see how the discs behave in flight and using a little trial and error to figure out how to make effective throws. Once you think you have it down, then head to a course. IIRC, you just moved to SoCal. So most if not all of the courses near you are going to be in public parks and are free to play. You just show up, find tee 1, and go. Unless you happen to show up on a league day, you probably aren't going to find anything organized going on (and certainly no gatekeepers). A lot of players are friendly and willing to help newer players even when they're just out doing their own thing, so don't be afraid to ask.

Udisc is a great resource to start your journey. You can use udisc.com to search for not only courses near you, but also stores that sell discs in your area. Many of the stores listed will be places where they'll be able to advise you on disc selection, so long as it isn't a big box store like Dick's or Play it Again...those are hit or miss as far as clerks with disc golf knowledge. The Udisc app has all the functionality of the site plus has scorekeeping and GPS map function so you can find your way even if the course isn't well marked.

On the course, I wouldn't worry too much about the rules. Knowing you have to start the hole throwing from the tee then make your next throw from where the disc landed until you get it in the basket is all you really need to know. The finer details can come later once you're hooked. Other than that, common sense etiquette applies. Don't throw at people, don't find yourself between a thrower and their target, let faster players/groups play through, etc. Have fun with it. And please report back how it goes. Also feel free to shoot a PM if you have questions or need more detailed recommendations.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Thanks for all that advice! The “grab a friend“ part is the hardest part, since I am new in town and most of my friends are back east. I do have Pickle Ball lessons starting next week (telling you I’m an old white dude without saying those words) so I’ll see how that goes first. I am a Wham-O guy from way back, did have a three digit serial number disc stolen from my car decades ago, but have thrown all sorts of round and flattish discs in all sorts of conditions.

assuming I have any of my former skills I have high hopes for success here. In warm weather we used to play a version of HORSE on a basketball court including skips and making baskets with obstacles, so I at least once was pretty good with making the disc curve to my needs, even when pretty scuffed. We did use a ton of cheap discs due to regular breakage. In bad weather we were shooting blind at trash cans down the hall from offices or class rooms. Never had great forehand skill, but my backhand was pretty strong.
 

Import78

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Thinking of taking this up. Do I just buy a kit, read the rules, and show up? Or should I practice with a disc golf discs somewhere (some playground, aiming at targets?) first. Do I show up and get matched with other players who won’t mind a newbie? I used to throw for distance and trick shots, so I do have those skills, but never tried this.
I'd bet there's a low key league somewhere near you that would be happy to welcome a new guy and show you the ropes. If they are anything like the guys I play with they will also offer lots of advice and discs that they don't use anymore. Most people start out with 'easier' discs and progress to a point where they replace them, but have their old stuff lying around. A couple nights at league throwing my ultimate disc and I had about 15-20 discs from other players trying to get me on my way.

I'd suggest getting a starter kit, those tend to be lighter weight and throw them a few times in a field somewhere to get a feel for it. Play with mainly a putter to start until you get the form down and figure things out. It will also pay dividends when you do advance to longer discs.

Other random thoughts:
As with ball golf the quickest way to improve is the short game/putting, but it's not quite as much fun. Drive for show, putt for dough as the man said. You can get a portable basket and practice putting. There are apps for it as well, but you don't really need them. I spent 15 minutes a day for a few weeks and it really helped sort things out.

Find a league/group and send them a message that you're new in town and trying to learn the game. It's more fun with a friend, plus then you have someone to help find your shanks.
 

SumnerH

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Thanks for all that advice! The “grab a friend“ part is the hardest part, since I am new in town and most of my friends are back east. I do have Pickle Ball lessons starting next week (telling you I’m an old white dude without saying those words) so I’ll see how that goes first. I am a Wham-O guy from way back, did have a three digit serial number disc stolen from my car decades ago, but have thrown all sorts of round and flattish discs in all sorts of conditions.

assuming I have any of my former skills I have high hopes for success here. In warm weather we used to play a version of HORSE on a basketball court including skips and making baskets with obstacles, so I at least once was pretty good with making the disc curve to my needs, even when pretty scuffed. We did use a ton of cheap discs due to regular breakage. In bad weather we were shooting blind at trash cans down the hall from offices or class rooms. Never had great forehand skill, but my backhand was pretty strong.
You can play a course alone, you don't need a friend. I'd personally want to play at least one round, even alone just to have some idea what it's like, before showing up to a low-key league night. But that's purely personal taste: I imagine a lot of other people would be more comfortable showing up totally green to a club night than playing a round alone.

Also, there are both full-round leagues/clubs and putting leagues; a putting league tends to let you meet more people quickly (they're often indoor, sometimes at breweries or restaurants) if that's a goal.

RedHawksFan is 100% right that you don't need a full set—the 3-disc sets are usually just a putter, mid-range, and one kind of driver or the other and are pretty cheap and you don't need to think about it. But you'd be just as well served just getting a putter or two and a mid-range. If you do that, I'd recommend getting either an Aviar or a Judge as your putter, simply because those are incredibly common and you can find cheap 5-packs of them, so if you do get hooked you can get a whole stack of the same thing to practice putting with. The Buzzzz SS is a fined beginner mid-range, but there are a lot of other good options as well: if you find a store, ask the clerk for a good understable mid-range for beginners.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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I've never been to an official disc golf course but I want to say the last few posts have been hugely informative and has taught me this is not the same sport I played in college. Back then there was an unofficial 18 hole course that went around the entire campus with dorm doors, light poles, etc. as the holes and was a par 72. Everyone was a one disc player, usually the 165G Wham-O. Whenever I'd make it to homecoming we'd try and throw as much of a round as we could given the festivities but it got to the point the campus added so many new buildings the course that we used to know was no longer playable.
 

SumnerH

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I've never been to an official disc golf course but I want to say the last few posts have been hugely informative and has taught me this is not the same sport I played in college. Back then there was an unofficial 18 hole course that went around the entire campus with dorm doors, light poles, etc. as the holes and was a par 72. Everyone was a one disc player, usually the 165G Wham-O. Whenever I'd make it to homecoming we'd try and throw as much of a round as we could given the festivities but it got to the point the campus added so many new buildings the course that we used to know was no longer playable.
The disc changes are huge. Just looking at the profile it's easy to see that (a) Disc golf discs fly further and faster; and (b) they would be very painful to play catch with; they're made for throwing only. Especially drivers.

And it's easy to see why putters are the easiest discs for Ultimate players to adjust to.

Ultimate disc (Picture is an Ultrastar, but the 165g Wham-O frisbee is similar), nicely rounded to be catchable:
ultrastar.jpg

Putter, still round-ish but flatter and more aerodynamic:
putter.jpg

Midrange is starting to get pointier:
midrange.jpg

Fairway driver:
fairway.jpg

Distance driver, wide pointy rim that's really hurty to try to catch:
distance.jpg
 

Sausage in Section 17

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Thanks for all that advice! The “grab a friend“ part is the hardest part, since I am new in town and most of my friends are back east. I do have Pickle Ball lessons starting next week (telling you I’m an old white dude without saying those words) so I’ll see how that goes first. I am a Wham-O guy from way back, did have a three digit serial number disc stolen from my car decades ago, but have thrown all sorts of round and flattish discs in all sorts of conditions.

assuming I have any of my former skills I have high hopes for success here. In warm weather we used to play a version of HORSE on a basketball court including skips and making baskets with obstacles, so I at least once was pretty good with making the disc curve to my needs, even when pretty scuffed. We did use a ton of cheap discs due to regular breakage. In bad weather we were shooting blind at trash cans down the hall from offices or class rooms. Never had great forehand skill, but my backhand was pretty strong.
Once you've got the basic rules down and have thrown your discs a few times to know what you are currently capable of, if you have just a bit of self-confidence, and are comfortable introducing yourself as a beginner, you can just try to invite yourself into a small group or foursome for a round. If folks aren't into it, you should pick that vibe up quickly, but disc golfers in general are a pretty inclusive bunch, and most intermediates are happy to give you a few tips and coach you a bit when you're just starting out. :rolleyes:

Honestly, I think you'll be surprised if you try this, that you suddenly have a small group of discing pals who you can call, or just glom onto when you show up at a course. I've been playing for years, but when I show up at a course I've never played before, I will usually look for a small group and ask if they can show me around the course, as some courses aren't too intuitive, and its helpful having a local to point you to the next tee, or tell you where the OB is. Also, if you look on FB, you can probably find the pages of any local courses/leagues in your area. If you join on FB, you can connect to locals who play, and find out when events are happening, etc.
 
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Import78

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I don't know if anyone has played glow, but I went out a couple of times and had a lot of fun. Some friends hooked me up with some glow discs and a blacklight to charge them. Another guy had a stupid bright flashlight to give the fairway a bit of light and put on the basket when people were close. Considering it gets dark around here by 6:30 or so (and only getting earlier) this was great. Highly recommend.

Of note not all glow plastic holds a charge worth a damn so caveat emptor.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I don't know if anyone has played glow, but I went out a couple of times and had a lot of fun. Some friends hooked me up with some glow discs and a blacklight to charge them. Another guy had a stupid bright flashlight to give the fairway a bit of light and put on the basket when people were close. Considering it gets dark around here by 6:30 or so (and only getting earlier) this was great. Highly recommend.

Of note not all glow plastic holds a charge worth a damn so caveat emptor.
I've played quite a bit of glow over the years. There are a couple courses around here that continue their weekday evening leagues all winter by switching to glow. Blacklight is definitely the best way to charge the glow discs. Bright flashlights have always been discouraged though. For one, it harms your night vision which makes it harder to spot the glow of the discs when the light get switched off. For another, lighting up the fairway/basket was considered "cheating". We always hang a couple glow sticks in the chains or put glow in the dark tape on the pole so we can find the targets (same with the tees).

It's a good time for sure. I prefer to only do it once in a while, myself. Recommend to everyone to give it a try at least once though.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Three pack picked up at Dick’s along with a helpful staffer suggesting some local courses. Took them out to a local ball field yesterday and practiced throwing them. They don’t seem to travel as far as my old Wham-Os did, but they do seem to fly more consistently, which I can work with.

I didn’t go all out, since OOB there would have been fenced off nature preserve, or quite scuffy pavement, but I did about 25 reps of three in each direction (with wind towards a small pile of leaves, into wind towards a trash can), until I felt:

A) a sense of repeatability
B) my shoulder saying “hey, you aren’t 30 anymore”

Will repeat the practice effort again over the weekend. Meanwhile, Pickle Ball starts Tuesday.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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I've played quite a bit of glow over the years. There are a couple courses around here that continue their weekday evening leagues all winter by switching to glow. Blacklight is definitely the best way to charge the glow discs. Bright flashlights have always been discouraged though. For one, it harms your night vision which makes it harder to spot the glow of the discs when the light get switched off. For another, lighting up the fairway/basket was considered "cheating". We always hang a couple glow sticks in the chains or put glow in the dark tape on the pole so we can find the targets (same with the tees).

It's a good time for sure. I prefer to only do it once in a while, myself. Recommend to everyone to give it a try at least once though.

Yeah, glow can be a lot of fun. I'll also endorse using blacklight flashlights, the glow in the dark lasts like 5x longer and is much brighter to begin with. If you pair that with some good glow tape (3M makes some) you can make pretty cool designs on your discs. One group I played in allowed for the basket to be spotlit before the drive (this may have been when we had no basket markers), but it's most fun when the drive happens in the dark, and you're just watching this UFO-like object tracking in the dark until it hits something unseen on its path.

Funnily enough, as long as your technology for glow works, it's easier to find your discs at night than during the day. They just stand out among everything else.
 
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SumnerH

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Three pack picked up at Dick’s along with a helpful staffer suggesting some local courses. Took them out to a local ball field yesterday and practiced throwing them. They don’t seem to travel as far as my old Wham-Os did, but they do seem to fly more consistently, which I can work with.
Awesome!

Keep working at it, with proper form they'll go a lot farther than a Wham-O. The top pros drive 500'+ consistently with control, and the world record on flat ground with a golf disc is over 1000 ft (with a tailwind).

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkH3SMyloRY
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Three pack picked up at Dick’s along with a helpful staffer suggesting some local courses. Took them out to a local ball field yesterday and practiced throwing them. They don’t seem to travel as far as my old Wham-Os did, but they do seem to fly more consistently, which I can work with.

I didn’t go all out, since OOB there would have been fenced off nature preserve, or quite scuffy pavement, but I did about 25 reps of three in each direction (with wind towards a small pile of leaves, into wind towards a trash can), until I felt:

A) a sense of repeatability
B) my shoulder saying “hey, you aren’t 30 anymore”

Will repeat the practice effort again over the weekend. Meanwhile, Pickle Ball starts Tuesday.
Out of curiosity, what three pack did you get?
 

Import78

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That's one of the more common ones I've seen. Looks like prices have gone up a bit, but I suppose everything else has too. Still, they work just fine. One thing to note is that the way they fly may change a bit as they get used more (or if you hit a couple of trees). Flight patterns can also change depending on how hard you throw as well.

Turns out there are lots of things that change disc flight. I wouldn't worry about it as you're learning, just don't be surprised if your discs change how they fly over time.
 

Import78

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Appreciate the insight. I was going to allocate those changes to my arm getting more swole, but I guess that's not what it's going to be
Your arm strength will have an impact for sure, but your form is more important. I'm pretty sure I'm a fair bit stronger than Paige Pierce for instance, but I'm equally sure that she can out throw me by a fair margin. Throwing more will improve your form, when I switched over from Ultimate the hardest adjustment I had to make was the nose angle. I had to think about rolling my wrist forward a fair bit to stop the disc going too high, stalling out and fading hard left. This is less of a problem with putters/midranges which is one of many reasons most people suggest playing with a putter to start with.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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As I78 said, those should be just fine. With Innova, and basically all the other brands too, they have a variety of plastics that they use, which have different levels of grip and durability. The DX plastic that your discs are made of is among the grippiest and least durable. So if you play regularly with those three discs, probably after about a year or so their flight characteristics may start to change. Innova also makes Pro, Champion, and Star plastic discs, with a few other splinter varieties as well. If it turns out that you like any of the three models in your starter pack, you can probably find them in a more durable plastic as well. Or, if you are shopping in the future for additional discs to add to your bag, you might experiment with some of the other plastics. Most people end up choosing Star or Champion plastics within Innova, because they’re much more durable and last a lot longer. Some players like the grippiness of the Pro or DX plastics, so that’s just another factor to consider as you learn the game.
 

McDrew

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I'm a huge fan of the beginner set as a way to delay worrying about discs until you've played 10-15 rounds, decide you like disc golf, and therefore want to upgrade.

Also, my hands are absolute sluts for Innova's GStar and Pro plastics. Soft and floppy are my jam.
 

McDrew

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I'm 718 rated. That isn't too good.
Threw 755 and 766 rated rounds today though. Best 2 ever for me.
 

Import78

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I'm 718 rated. That isn't too good.
Threw 755 and 766 rated rounds today though. Best 2 ever for me.
I don't know what my rating is, but congrats on beating yours! Always nice to see what you're capable of if things go ok. I feel like I rarely put it all together, but there are flashes where I wonder 'why can't I just do that every time?' That's the joy/frustration of the sport though.

We're getting into cold weather now so my game is about to go downhill. I'm quite dependent on good footing for distance and frozen mud/snow plus cold hands and bulky clothes really hurt my game. I try to play through the winter just to be active, but I have to constantly remind myself that I'm better than I play in winter. Not that I'm in any danger of making the tour, just that it's not as bad as it seems.
 

McDrew

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I feel like I rarely put it all together, but there are flashes where I wonder 'why can't I just do that every time?' That's the joy/frustration of the sport though.
I was happy because this was the first time I had multiple holes in a row where I was happy with my game. Round 1 I had 5 pars in a row. Round 2 I parred 6 of 7. Even managed to get my first tournament birdies (one each round).

Still frustrated I missed my 15 foot birdie putt on the island hole.
 

BillMuellerFanClub

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In what might be some of the most significant news of the disc golf offseason: Simon Lizotte is leaving Discmania. Has been rumored to be moving to MVP, but no announcement on that yet. It’s kind of epic to see a niche sport with free agency speculation and buzz.

View: https://youtu.be/CYvcEu9cdD0


I’d love to see what he can do with gyro overmolds. If their disc production spiked with Conrad’s holy shot I can only imagine what Simon will do for them. this could be huge for MVP.
 

Import78

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Just got the official ok on some gym space for a winter indoor putting league. Never played in one, now I'm running it. What could possibly go wrong? I've got a few games to start but I have no idea if turnout will be 5 or 30 so I'm leaving it flexible for now. Hopefully it runs smoothly. I've done some internet reading, but if anyone has any thoughts I'd be happy to hear them.
Games so far:
Horse
Relay race (individuals or teams have to hit putts from varying distances)
Challenge course (holes with crazy mandos, skip shots, basketball, scoober etc)
Horseshoes (basically the same game but with baskets at each end and putters)
Swiss Head to Head (same format as the chess tournament, head to head or doubles )
Bidding (10 shots, you pick the distance, longer putts worth more points, no points for misses, high score wins)
2=3 (2 chances from a distance, hit one you get one point, hit two and you get 3, play to a number)
Knockout (2 teams, putt from ~33 feet, miss and you have to sink a 15 footer before the next person hits a 33 footer if you don't you sit)

Also, my son found someone giving away a pool table and after I got it all arranged he decorated the room including hanging the discs we got signed at Green Mountain.
59984

The Diamond is signed by Kristin Tatar, the mushroom is apparently a limited run Passion (or Fierce?) signed by Paige and the green one is a Buzzz signed by Ohn, Kristin, Henna, Missy, Ricky, Paul and Gannon Buhr.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Putting games are really only limited by the space you have, and I suppose the number of available baskets.

I'm a fan of the game that was used in the Marksman league that Dynamic Discs used to sponsor nationwide. The minimum you need is two baskets, one a regular basket, one a Marksman style practice basket. The basics were five stations numbered 1 through 5, each player makes five attempts at each station, and each putt made was worth the number of the station (station 1 = 1 point per putt, station 5 = 5 points per putt, etc).

Station 1 = 20 feet to regular target
Station 2 = 25 feet to regular target
Station 3 = 33 feet to regular target
Station 4 = 25 feet to Marksman target
Station 5 = 33 feet to Marksman target

You go through three rounds and the highest point total wins (225 max).

If you don't have a Marksman style basket, I think you could adjust by changing station 4 & 5 to longer putts. Say 40 and 50 feet if you have the space. Or add obstacles that restrict the flight path or stance somehow (force a hyzer putt, force a straddle putt, etc).

I've also been to putting leagues where they basically set up a mini-course (6 or 9 holes) and you play it like a regular golf round, low score wins.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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If you don't have a Marksman style basket, I think you could adjust by changing station 4 & 5 to longer putts. Say 40 and 50 feet if you have the space. Or add obstacles that restrict the flight path or stance somehow (force a hyzer putt, force a straddle putt, etc).
I was at a putting league last week and they used something I'd never seen before, and can't seem to locate online anywhere. Basically, it was a hood that you placed over the top of the basket, and depending on which way you oriented the hood, there were a variety of smaller than normal basket portals or holes through which the disc can go in safely.

We used the format you describe, which ended up being a pain, because 32 people showed up for the league! Since there were only 2 baskets, we had one set up for stations 1-3, and another for 4&5. It took over 2 hours just to get everyone through twice, so I decided not to stick around for the 3rd round. I think they just had way bigger turnout than expected.
 

Import78

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I was at a putting league last week and they used something I'd never seen before, and can't seem to locate online anywhere. Basically, it was a hood that you placed over the top of the basket, and depending on which way you oriented the hood, there were a variety of smaller than normal basket portals or holes through which the disc can go in safely.

We used the format you describe, which ended up being a pain, because 32 people showed up for the league! Since there were only 2 baskets, we had one set up for stations 1-3, and another for 4&5. It took over 2 hours just to get everyone through twice, so I decided not to stick around for the 3rd round. I think they just had way bigger turnout than expected.
This?
View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UOl9B6BJ0gs


Looks interesting, might get one if the league gets good turnout
 

Bunt4aTriple

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The hat in the link is so utterly atrocious that I think I need one. They'll see me on the course and just assume I'm a stud. Then I'll throw my typical 75.
 

InstaFace

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The transgender-participation debate has apparently arrived for disc golf:

https://www.reddit.com/r/ultimate/comments/100c8rc/we_cant_let_this_happen_to_us_by_alex_rubin_hehim/

(here's the article this is a discussion of)

There's plenty on the topic in V&N, so I won't go into it too far except to say that at the rec-league ultimate level, everyone errs on the side of inclusion, but as you get to the top of the competitive pyramid, the pressures to regard trans women as having an unfair advantage (that even the most well-trained and well-practiced cis women can't match), and needing some more nuanced line-drawing, must get tremendously awkward to discuss or try to stay open-minded about. There's frankly more money at the top of the disc golf world right now than there's ever been in ultimate, and I don't envy the people at the PDGA who have to make a policy around this when they know that they're going to be abused no matter what decision they make.
 

SumnerH

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The transgender-participation debate has apparently arrived for disc golf:

https://www.reddit.com/r/ultimate/comments/100c8rc/we_cant_let_this_happen_to_us_by_alex_rubin_hehim/

(here's the article this is a discussion of)

There's plenty on the topic in V&N, so I won't go into it too far except to say that at the rec-league ultimate level, everyone errs on the side of inclusion, but as you get to the top of the competitive pyramid, the pressures to regard trans women as having an unfair advantage (that even the most well-trained and well-practiced cis women can't match), and needing some more nuanced line-drawing, must get tremendously awkward to discuss or try to stay open-minded about. There's frankly more money at the top of the disc golf world right now than there's ever been in ultimate, and I don't envy the people at the PDGA who have to make a policy around this when they know that they're going to be abused no matter what decision they make.
Plus you have tons of a-holes calling out people like Ella Hansen for no reason other than she's not stereotypically feminine enough looking for them.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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I posted this in V&N 3 weeks ago.

I figured that was the more appropriate forum, as we often try to keep politics to threads in V&N, but it got no traction there.

It sounds like she is going to sue the PDGA, and I hope she wins. They went from having no restrictions, to suddenly having one of the most restrictive set of rules, and I agree with Ryan that this only happened because she had a little success last year.
 

InstaFace

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Yeah I've stayed out of that thread because it leads to a lot of yelling and accusations, even at those who are trying to think it through in good faith. This is probably a better place given how much it'll affect the tour, and how much people here know the context.

And yes the timing of the decision can only lead one to really uncharitable conclusions. Natalie Ryan should feel targeted. That said, it was at least nice that the PDGA was more wait-and-see, took their time and didn't stake out too aggressive a position in either direction at first. They still have a chance to be a leader on this topic for individual-competitor sports.

The biggest question in my mind when I see these policies put out is, "what did they study?". If you start from the idea that there ought to be some limits in play for competitive fairness*, but also that there should be some standard under which trans women can compete, then it's an exercise in line-drawing that is being driven by an area of biology that we are really only in the beginning stages of understanding. What "getting it right" looks like today might look like idiocy in a few years. So I'm sympathetic to those making these decisions, but if you at least are scouring the scientific literature and then conducting a study on what biological inputs go into your particular sport (besides mental and coordination skills), I'll generally defer - and I think CAS and IOC will defer as well.

From the article:
The PDGA board’s decision — a split vote — followed review of a medical subcommittee report that cited scientific research and opinion articles that conclude transgender women on hormone therapy maintain strength advantages over cisgender women.
So, OK, that's good, they're looking at the science. The report is only 13 pages, and it cites research (e.g. Hilton and Lundberg (2021) ) which notes:

- At elite levels, most of the male advantage (in times, distances, etc) comes from higher upper body strength, which comes from pubertal hormones conferring greater size, muscle mass and thus strength
- This edge increases on a percentage basis for more upper-body-strength dominated sports (studies on kayaking and canoeing) - see chart below. Golf driving distance was one of the higher ones, at ~30%.
- For a lot of the input factors like lean body mass, grip strength, etc, Men have a 30-50% advantage (studies are cited), and a year of testosterone suppression only reduces that edge by 3-5% in most cases
- Looking at the backhand drive in disc golf, it gets into the biomechanics of the impact of muscle mass, wider shoulders, torque in the pull phase, and then for forehands it adds other factors
- All of these advantages are conferred by male puberty and basically can't be attenuated afterwards
- It also cites a bunch of results from within disc golf itself; it notes, in fairness, that Natalie Ryan's throw in the Long Drive competition was 4th among women and would've been last among the men.

60780

If you were to criticize it, however, you might argue:

- There is no disc-golf-specific study on the difference in performance which justifies the chosen guidelines for testosterone suppression or blood limits, etc.
- There are currently no trans women on the tour who out-drive the women's field. The fact that Natalie Ryan can drive at a distance that's among the leaders for women is interesting but not, at this point, dispositive
- There are less-intrusive options available to the PDGA, for example, having trans women tee off from either the men's tees, or something in between depending on their own driving averages
- It says nothing about non-drive throws, which are also, ya know, a big part of the sport

I'm no biomechanics researcher or civil rights lawyer, but if they're basing their decision on arguments coming from the science, and then spent 12 hours debating 10 competing proposals before adopting their current one, I'm not sure how Ryan is going to have a leg to stand on in challenging the policy as a whole. She might do better to argue for a revised standard that just lessened the time lag from 24 months to 12 months, since studies show that there's basically no additional strength attenuation after the first year of testosterone suppression.

It also sounded like the DGPT tour players were strongly opposed to having trans women on the tour, which is a little unfortunate (though the question's phrasing didn't give a lot of opportunity for nuance like "unless A, B or C happen"). The ultimate community is super left, and has erred on the side of inclusion for a while now (with USA Ultimate leaving it entirely up to the players self-selecting), so I'm a bit surprised to discover that the disc golf community is a lot less so.


* this is an assumption that is regularly challenged, of course. My personal line is that the factor of competitive fairness should be of almost no consequence for youth or HS sports, and probably not for college either, but once you get to professionals who have careers on the line, competitive fairness is a reasonable thing to weigh highly. There are reasonable arguments against both parts of that point of view, though.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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The question of where to draw the lines seems fraught with complexity. Does this mean that all FPO players must submit blood tests to determine testosterone, including all the feminine looking players? What if a male athlete with low testosterone is below the threshold? Can they register as FPO, or is there some other standard?

As you point out, this basically targets Natalie Ryan. As soon as one trans person has a small modicum of success, the door gets slammed on trans participation. No one was complaining much 2 years ago. Apparently it was fine to include trans people, until they win. There is so much more than sheer power that goes into being a good disc golfer, and technique is an equal, if not greater factor in achieving good distance. She won the distance championship in 2021 (but won no tournaments), and according to the stats I saw, she finished DFL this year among long drive women. Half of the MPO players who long bomb it are these skinny, beanpole, tall guys like Calvin Heimburg, Gannon Buhr, and Eagle McMahon, who look more like basketball or volleyball players. Some of the best FPO putters regularly exceed most other men in terms of putting statistics.

If the standard applied to this considered who is hurt or excluded the most by this, I fall on erring on the side of inclusion for trans people. Natalie Ryan's success is such a drop in the bucket. Maybe there are 1-2 other cisgendered women whose spot on the tour is being taken up by her, but I'm not sure if that's even true. The FPO field is usually about half the size of MPO at most tournaments, and would seem to have plenty of room for more participants. It's not clear to me who is being shut out, other than Natalie Ryan.
 
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InstaFace

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The question of where to draw the lines seems fraught with complexity. Does this mean that all FPO players must submit blood tests to determine testosterone, including all the feminine looking players? What if a male athlete with low testosterone is below the threshold? Can they register as FPO, or is there some other standard?
The policy only applies to "chromosomal male" players seeking to participate in the FPO. Note that it requires any such players to either have started puberty blockers before puberty, or be on T suppressors for 24 months; a "male athlete with low testosterone" is highly unlikely to meet either of those unless they themselves are transgender. But yes, it would seem particularly cruel if there were XX players on the FPO who, like Caster Semenya, had unusually high levels of testosterone or were otherwise intersex, regardless of how feminine they look, and the policy ignores them. If you're going to insist that some people take tests for blood levels, deciding which players must do so based on how feminine they look feels like it leads down a bigoted road (and is pretty avoidable). But I suppose the implementation details remain to be seen.

As you point out, this basically targets Natalie Ryan. As soon as one trans person has a small modicum of success, the door gets slammed on trans participation. No one was complaining much 2 years ago. Apparently it was fine to include trans people, until they win. There is so much more than sheer power that goes into being a good disc golfer, and technique is an equal, if not greater factor in achieving good distance. She won the distance championship in 2021 (but won no tournaments), and according to the stats I saw, she finished DFL this year among long drive women. Half of the MPO players who long bomb it are these skinny, beanpole, tall guys like Calvin Heimburg, Gannon Buhr, and Eagle McMahon, who look more like basketball or volleyball players. Some of the best FPO putters regularly exceed most other men in terms of putting statistics.
You're talking sense. The amount of the game that isn't determined by sheer strength is pretty substantial, and other than drive distance, Natalie Ryan is not all that exceptional in any skill among FPO players - she just happened to win two tournaments.

If the standard applied to this considered who is hurt or excluded the most by this, I fall on erring on the side of inclusion for trans people. Natalie Ryan's success is such a drop in the bucket. Maybe there are 1-2 other cisgendered women who's spot on the tour is being taken up by her? The FPO field is usually about half the size of MPO at most tournaments, and would seem to have plenty of room for more participants. It's not clear to me who is being shut out, other than Natalie Ryan.
This is a good point. If there were 4-5 Natalie Ryans who were hoovering up the top prizes and trophies all around the tour, one might be a lot more sympathetic to complaints. But as it stands, it's a solution in search of a problem. Much as the rest of the objection to trans women in sports has been thus far. The hype and fear exceeds the reality of any competitive distortion effect by at least 100-to-1.
 

Import78

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The Vegas open is on YouTube. I didn’t realize Jomez had taken over coverage for FPO as well. The two hot geese moved over as well.
Nice to see one of the signs of spring, just before the next storm anyway.
 

SumnerH

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The Vegas open is on YouTube. I didn’t realize Jomez had taken over coverage for FPO as well. The two hot geese moved over as well.
Nice to see one of the signs of spring, just before the next storm anyway.
2HG were clearly pumped to be on Jomez, too. Cat was on fire. Not her fault, and Missy and Ella played great too, but FPO without Paige Pierce and Kristin Tattar felt a bit lacking.

Game on in Waco.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Vegas was a fun watch on the MPO side, given how relatively boring the courses are. FPO less so with the two top players in the world not being there. Cat kinda ran away with it.

This weekend is an off-week for the elite tour but a lot of players are at the Memorial just outside Phoenix. The Disc Golf Guy channel has coverage of the top two MPO and top FPO cards. First rounds are starting to release this afternoon. This tournament used to be the traditional opening event of the tour, but for a few reasons (the courses specifically), the tour moved away from it. Still a big event though. I expect the most noise from the weekend will be about Natalie Ryan, since she is allowed to play this event.
 

Import78

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Just finished the FPO of Waco. No spoilers, but an exciting finish. Still have the final round of MPO to watch, but scores are tight after 2 rounds so I'm looking forward to the final rounds.