Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Disc Golfing and a Disc Flight Guide

Over the past year I've really become hooked on disc golf. The immediate Quad City area where I live is blessed with 11 disc golf courses. It's also blessed by Iron Lion Disc Golf Supply the only locally owned shop.
Owners, Chase Roberts and Jessica Argyle are personable, helpful, experienced players, and their shop provides a variety of discs, really fine locally designed and produced clothing by Hippie Golf Wear as well as other disc golf items for sale.

Myself and Felix Castro, a co-worker and friend, started a disc golf league at work this past spring. It's grown from just me and Felix meeting up to play once a week after work to at times 5 or 6 co-workers playing on a Thursday evening. Life's busy and many of the 30 or so folks on our mailing list are busy with their lives. In September I thought of putting together an Ace Race to raise some funds for charity as part of our employee annual fund drive. Lot of logistics such as no money to finance the project and no liability insurance for the event put the brakes on that idea. But, Chase suggested putting on an Discraft Ace Race. In so many ways it turned out to be the best solution, not to mention a fun event for the players! Discraft is one of the major golf disc manufacturers as well as freestyle and ultimate discs. The Discraft Ace Race has grown to over 300 events taking place around the world with more than 16,000 participants. That's been a bit of an undertaking for me this year but it wouldn't have happened had it not been for support from Iron Lion Disc Golf Supply, The Friends of Credit Island, Tom Lafrenz, John Kinser, Felix Castro, and Heather Nobiling.

Probably the greatest benefit of participating in a Discraft Ace Race is the Player Pack provides a pre-registered player with two proto-type discs that are the only discs to be used for the Ace Race. These discs are different from year-to-year and most, but not all, make it into retail outlets. This often does not occur until way after the Ace Race the discs were featured in has taken place.

There are many manufacturers of disc golf discs these days. The disc golf disc traces its origin to the Wham-O Frisbee and has been highly engineered to create at least three classes of discs: distance driver, mid-range driver, and putt and approach disc. Each disc has a different name, stability and flight characteristics as well as color, weight, and plastics.

When visiting a Disc Golf Supply shop, or visiting online shops, a disc golfer can find flight charts showing the various characteristics of a manufacturer's golf discs. This can be a bit overwhelming especially to the new player. That's a good reason to shop at a locally owned and operated disc golf supply shop that is staffed by knowledgable players and/or owners as they can direct an interested customer/newbie towards a disc that will be right for them.

Recently, I've found a blog, Rattlin' Chains, that had a post about inbounds Disc Golf. inbound Disc Golf was started by a new disc golfer, Brian Rogers, out in southern Pennsylvania who is a IT person or at least trained, and, I think, employed in that field. (You can read that blogpost here) As such he does a lot of analysis. As a new disc golfer he started questioning the differences in the nature of disc golf disc flight characteristics. As the various manufacturers don't seem to rate their discs with a universal standard, this individual developed a flight guide in as objective a manner as he could by averaging the various flight rating systems.
It has resulted in a golf disc flight guide that is available online or in hardcopy. The concept and development seems solid enough to warrant this a worthwhile addition to all levels of disc golfers resources.

The inflight guide is not inbounds Disc Golf only offering as a visit to their website will bear out. Their organization is multifaceted in that they sponsor several events and promote disc golf in various ways throughout their geographic locale and via the internet with their web presence.

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