DGA and Fly By Disc Golf are back again for 2018 to help create a unique series of disc golf experiences, all while helping to raise money for charities and push the sport forward. Fly By Disc Golf is based out of New Hampshire and will be hosting “pop-up” style disc golf events throughout the northeast all summer long. On the simplest level, Fly By Disc Golf is bringing the sport back to the communities that helped grow it originally; the land use groups, the outdoor activists, the families and of course, the friends. They also believe that keeping the sport affordable and accessible to the masses doesn’t mean we need to skimp on products and amenities, which is where DGA comes into play. Fly By Disc Golf will again be featuring Mach V baskets at each of their premier events, as well as offering DGA discs and gear on site for demo and purchase!
So what exactly does Fly By Disc Golf do at these events? Here is a list of what to expect at their events:
- 18 Incredible Holes
- A Great Mix Of Technical And Open Holes
- Member Only Events Friday
- Course Open to the Public Saturday
- Tournament Hosted on Sunday
- Huge Practice Area With Multiple Baskets
- Putting Competition
- Full DGA Line of Discs Available for Use
- Prizes and Giveaways
- Disc Golf Instruction
- Free New Player Loaner Equipment
Fly By Disc Golf will be setting up temporary world-class courses on stunning properties utilizing experienced disc golf course designers. The first “pop-up” Fly By Disc Golf event for this year will be held on May 18th – 20th at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee, HH. This property should make for an amazing tempory setup, and the perfect venue for anyone to experience their first disc golf event.
We tend to agree with Fly By Disc Golf that both of our company’s missions align in helping to try and push the sport forward with continuous grassroots growth. That growth does not come easy though, and it is companies like Fly By Disc Golf that make real impacts through their actions and objectives. Be sure to follow along on their journey, and if you are able, attend one of these spectacular events!
The “Shastashock” is a special blend swirly Aftershock created for ProLine team member, Shasta Criss. It features artwork that was created by Shasta himself to pay homage to his Santa Cruz roots, as well as his unique fun-loving style on and off the course. The Aftershock is one of Shasta’s go-to discs, so it was only right to create this limited edition version as a tour fundraiser for him. Only 200 of these specialty discs have been produced and proceeds directly support Shasta’s tour.
The JB Signature Edition Pipeline is a unique blend of material created for DGA Team Captain and 2011 Masters World Champion, Jon Baldwin. Looking for a specific look and feel, JB worked with DGA to create this limited release version of the Pipeline. With improved grip and feel, the JB Signature Edition Pipeline is easy to control and looks amazing. Only 200 of these specialty discs have been produced and proceeds support JB’s Tour.
The Banzai has the glide and speed you want out of your next favorite fairway driver. The added stability will gain your trust when thrown with power. With predictable fade, the Banzai will quickly become your new trusted choice for fairway drives. Banzai!!!
The Mach Shift 3-in-1 Portable Practice Basket is an advanced, innovative, and lightweight all-metal disc golf basket that has three different catching positions: Standard Shift, Advanced Shift, and Pro Shift.
FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50!!!
>>> DGA DISC GIVEAWAY IS BACK <<<
The DGA disc giveaway is back for one week only with the new Banzai! Simply comment on the Banzai video on the DGA Facebook page with your answer to this question: “What disc(s) would the new DGA Banzai replace in your bag?”
Visit the DGA Facebook page and check out the Banzai video featuring DGA Team Captain, Jon Baldwin. The disc we are highlighting is the Banzai, which is DGA’s new overstable fairway driver. The Banzai can be best described as the overstable counterpart to DGA’s popular driver, the Pipeline. With a straight flight out the hand and a dependable overstable finish, the Banzai will quickly become your new trusted choice for backhand or forehand fairway drives. Comment on the video with your answer to the question and be automatically entered to win one of three First Flight Banzais featuring the limited edition John Dorn artwork.
The DGA BANZAI is now approved, and just in time to be debuted this weekend at the St Patrick’s Classic CA Am State Championships! All players will be receiving this newly released Banzai in a Limited Edition Glow version in their player packs for this event.
“DGA is excited to announce the release of its new fairway driver, the Banzai. This new disc can best be described as the overstable counterpart to the DGA’s popular driver, the Pipeline. The names for both discs are derived from the iconic Hawaiian surf break, the Banzai Pipeline.
The Banzai has the glide and speed you want out of your next favorite fairway driver, with the added stability that will gain your trust when thrown with power. With predictable fade, the Banzai will quickly become your new trusted choice for fairway drives. Banzai!!!
Comparable flight numbers are: Speed 8, Glide 4, Turn, 0 Fade 3.
Prototype Alert!!! The disc golf season is upon us and it is time for another addition to the DGA lineup. This awesome new fairway driver will be available Tuesday Feb 27th, at the Memorial Championship FlyMart in limited quantities. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to own one of these super limited edition discs! If you won’t be there, be sure to tell a friend who will be! Limited quantities available!
With blue skies, temperatures above freezing, and my wife and two daughters having plans away from home, I decided that this past Saturday (January 27) would be a day for me to check out a few new courses that I had yet to play. So I got in the car, accessed my UDisc app on my smartphone, and I was off!
Apart from my health, my discs and backpack, a working vehicle, good weather and a little bit of money in the bank? My UDisc app is the most important tool in my course collecting arsenal. UDisc allows users to filter course maps by only showing courses that remain unplayed, and works with Google Maps to drive you to just about every course in the world. A tool that has helped me find hundreds of courses, saving me countless hours of time behind the wheel. If you do not yet have the UDisc app on your smartphone, what are you waiting for? It has changed my disc golf travel for the better…and then some!
My first stop on the day was Sandy Point County Park, Northwest of Lakefield, Minnesota. I knew that an individual had been working to secure baskets at this Park many years ago, starting with an object course until said funds for baskets could be raised. But those funds were never raised, so the course never happened. But before asking UDisc to remove the course from their directory, I wanted to confirm things with my own eyes. Upon arriving at the park, I promptly got stuck in the snow. A local pulled in behind me with his pick-up and took pity on me…pulling me out of my predicament, then refusing to accept money as a thank you. And as a regular user of the Park, he confirmed that the disc golf course on the property no longer exists.
Then it was off to Wahpeton, Iowa, on the shores of West Okoboji Lake, to visit Lakeshore Center at Okoboji. While traveling past the property in a driving rain (and in a hurry) last October, I could have sworn that I saw a basket in a field on the property. So I decided to see for myself if I was seeing a mirage…or if a course actually existed on the property. After arriving on site, I did indeed see a basket. Then two, then three, then four! I found staff down in the main office, who confirmed the presence of a nine hole course on their property. They encouraged me to throw a round, and even gave me a map to help guide my way. All of said course information is now on DGCourseReview and UDisc.
Staff at Lakeshore Center at Okoboji were amazing, so helpful! Don Reed, Site Manager, was particularly enjoyable to speak with…telling me about the history of the property and its “$10 million view.” You won’t find the property listed on any hotel/motel search results. But if you are ever looking for a cheaper place for you and/or your family to stay while visiting the area, consider contacting the Center at 712-337-3313 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If my experience on the property is any indication of how they treat their guests, I think you won’t be disappointed.
After the excitement of discovering a place to disc golf that none of the major disc golf course directories knew about (I’ve added between 75-100 courses to DGCourseReview over the years…probably 100+ to UDisc), I headed over to George, Iowa to check out a course I only learned exists within the past few months. George DGC is a short course, 2,175 feet over nine holes, shoe-horned into a community park and campground between several other uses. Holes 1 and 8 seem as though they might create periodic issues between disc golfers and other park users, but Hole 2 (photo above) shocked me a bit. Having right-handed players essentially throwing their tee shots out over the road in/out of town and a residential property…with the ball field lurking on the left as their disc slows down and turns left. And as a left-handed back-handed player, it is all but impossible not to land a drive on the road, on the ballfield, or in the neighbor’s yard. I would hate to see community pressure to pull said course from the ground, after the first car/person is struck by a flying disc.
If it were my responsibility to go into George to “fix the problem,” with complete support from the designers and the City (Council, Parks & Rec, etc.)? I would probably make a new Hole 2 very short. Have it tee off near or maybe inside the row of trees…throwing on a sort of diagonal line through said trees (in a position where errant throws or ricochets would not send discs into playground equipment), then put the basket just a hair to the right (road-side) of the straight line between the second and third from the last trees, away from the bleachers and a hair toward the road. Might only be a ~125 foot hole! But it’s the only way I can see to take the playground equipment, ball field, bleachers and road out of play. And short = throwing putters instead of drivers. So even if somebody does pull a crazy grip lock and/or lacks skill as a player? The discs would be flying much slower…minimizing damage/injury.
My final course on the day was Rock Valley Rotary DGC in Rock Valley, Iowa. A 12-hole course installed in 2017 on the same land as a former course that had been removed after floods had damaged/destroyed it a few years ago. I thought this course was a lot of fun! Though the tee shot on Hole 5 (from the Long/Pro tee) had me scratching my head…trying to find any type of line for my driver off the tee. I ended up doing one of those “shut my eyes and grip-it and rip-its,” threading the needle on the left to hit the right edge of the hole’s fairway. Good enough to get my up and down for three. But I think it would be great if they could trim that hole up a bit more…creating a more realistic line off the tee.
So three new courses played on the day…courses 177, 178 and 179 that I have played in the State of Iowa, and courses 1,253, 1,254 and 1,255 overall. My new magic number to reach 2,000 courses played: 745
Derek Tonn is a member of the DGA’s Ambassador Team. His company, mapformation, LLC, has been DGA’s partner in the development of disc golf tee signage since 2012. And the longer our two companies have worked together, and the more Derek has gotten to know all the great folks at DGA? The more he has wanted to formally sing the company’s praises. The more he has realized that Steady Ed’s vision for the sport and his company perfectly describes his own interests and priorities related to disc golf. And the more Derek has recently been encouraged to share his story.
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Derek Tonn here. Like many of you, I am passionate about the sport of disc golf. But unlike many of you, I have channeled my passion, time and energy into combining disc golf, my professional life, and travel/tourism into a past-time of being a “course collector.” One of a growing number of individuals who work to try and play as many different course designs around the planet as we can.
For me? I do this because I love being introduced to new ideas and new designs that I can bring home with me, to help make me a better course designer, as well as to help in my effort to maintain and continually improve (from the standpoint of safety, challenge and beauty) my “first love” specific to course design: The Links of Springfield. I also “bag courses” (another nickname for course collecting) in effort to discover new places to play that most people are unaware of, taking lots of pictures and gathering lots of “intel,” so that I can add said information into course directories at PDGA.com, DGCourseReview.com and UDisc.
A main purpose of this blog will be to share information, helpful tips and tricks (everything from health and fitness to methods for saving money while you’re our “bagging courses” of your own), and ideas for better, safer course design. But I am also hoping to inspire others with my passion for the sport, via the stories I can share about all of the interesting experiences I have. All of the interesting people I meet. All of the amazing courses I am blessed to have the opportunity to play. If I can inspire even a handful of individuals to get off the couch, get “out of their bubble” or “security blanket” and explore more of this big, beautiful planet we all call home? Then I will consider this effort a success.
Disc golf, for me, began as “Frisbee golf” in the late 1970s, while I was attending elementary school in East Central Minnesota. The small country church my family attended, that we always tease was “half Andersons, half Olsons” (or you were married into one of those two families…my family was married into the Anderson clan), recruited a new pastor from California. And as our pastor got to know our youth group a bit better, he started telling us about playing golf with Frisbees after seeing people play in California. A few of us immediately made targets out of fence posts, trees and telephone poles around church grounds, and I was quickly hooked!
As things such as college and career (who am I kidding? Women!) started to distract and preoccupy a majority of my attention, my Frisbees started collecting dust. I also played a lot of golf through the late 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. However, after getting married and becoming a father, the greens fees at golf courses became increasingly difficult to afford. I rely heavily upon exercise for both my physical and mental health, so I thought I might give “Frisbee golf” another try. Only I quickly realized that I was living in the past.
The recreational hobby I had known grew into the full-fledged sport of disc golf during my hiatus. Better targets (though I had previously played a few courses with baskets in the greater St. Cloud, Minnesota area before I left for college), smaller, faster, heavily discs, and hundreds of people getting together on a regular basis for leagues and tournaments. My love had been officially re-kindled! And after a business trip out to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I had the opportunity to spend a bit of time with long-time PDGA contributor Terry Calhoun (a legend, though Terry might be embarrassed by me referring to him that way)? I came home to Southwest Minnesota, fully energized to become a missionary/evangelist for the sport of disc golf. A “frisbetarian” (Steady Ed coined the term “Frisbyterian”), ready to spread the Good News of Disc Golf!
I played several courses around Southwest Minnesota for a few years (including Nehls Park, Mound Creek, and Plum Creek …which is still one of my favorite nine-hole courses I’ve played), only to have our local Chamber/CVB staff ask if I might help bring disc golf to Springfield (Minnesota). A small town of 2,100 that our family of four proudly calls home. And what player in the history of players, when presented with an opportunity to help design a course, has ever said no?! Billie Ashton came down from Minneapolis St. Paul to design our initial course, which I immediately lobbied our City to expand from 9 to 12 holes. 12 holes became 14, and 14 holes became 18 (The Links of Springfield). And over the past eleven years, I have had nine additional communities in Southwest Minnesota and Southeast South Dakota ask me to design and help install courses in their areas.
I was the “nightmare scenario” for a course designer like Billie: A local player (me), friendly with local decision-makers, who was a little too big for his britches. Thinking that, just because I knew how to throw a disc and compete/win in local leagues and area tournaments, I must obviously know a thing or two about design. I still feel bad for doing that…I hope Billie can forgive me. And over time, with individuals such as Chuck Kennedy and Steve West taking me under their wings, helping me learn more about being a course designer (not just a player who wants to say he’s designed a course), my skills have greatly improved.
I got to experience the “joy” of being in Billie’s shoes a few years later, having local players throwing verbal threats and just about anything imaginable as a result of my being asked by their communities to help introduce (or improve) disc golf in their local parks. It got so bad that I eventually soured on the entire local/regional tourney and league scene. When, months after heeding the advice of Brian Gustafson in Owatonna, MN (a great guy, and the Zone Coordinator of the Minnesota Frisbee Association‘s South Zone for years) to record every round I play to keep myself more accountable, I happened to notice in DGCourseReview.com that you could search for members of the site and sort them by number of courses played.
Now, I was pretty pleased with myself, having played 40-50 courses across Southern and Central Minnesota at that time. But when I did a member search at DGCR and saw there were individuals who had played hundreds, 1,000+ courses? Seeing how Gregg Hosfeld (Florida) and Ben Calhoun (Terry’s son, from Michigan) played their 1,000th course together down at the International Disc Golf Center in Georgia? I was intrigued. My first thought? Find the top ten Minnesotans for Courses Played, and see if I might be able to at least catch #10 someday. That, and see if I could play in several US States (outside Minnesota). A trip for work to Chicago, adding courses played in Wisconsin and Illinois, soon became me playing my 100th disc golf course. Which later became a March 2013 trip to Sioux City, Iowa that allowed me to play courses in Iowa and Nebraska (disc golf in five US States at the time). Then 200 courses played. Then 300 courses played. A full-fledged addiction had been born.
Fast-forward to February 27, 2017 when, on a work trip back to Minnesota from Sacramento, California, I played my 1,000th course in Inman, Kansas. 1,000 courses had seemed like an impossible goal years earlier, something only nine other players in the history of the sport had achieved at that time. Only it didn’t feel like the end of a journey to me, it felt like the beginning.
I have a sort of “perfect storm” of circumstances in my life. A job that can be done from literally anywhere on the planet with electricity and access to the internet, as well as a low cost of living at home, a “good runner” of a vehicle, and reasonably good health. So I began to joke with friends that I was going to shoot for the stars: 2,000 courses played. Something no player has yet accomplished. I somewhat doubted it could ever be done. But then again, I thought I would never play 500 courses in my lifetime either. So I started sharing my countdown to 2,000 courses with friends on my Facebook posts. And as of today? I am at a magic number of 748. 1,252 courses played across all 50 US States, Canada, France and The Netherlands.
All that said? Now that you know a bit about me, know what motivates me? I want to make sure and say that this blog is not about me. It is about WE. Trying to help others by:
- Celebrating all the cool courses, all the historic courses, that are out there for us to enjoy.
- Celebrating the accomplishments of other “course collectors” who have come before me, and those who are right on my heels.
- Talking about the tens of thousands of hole designs I have played, the excellent course design work that I come across, and the occasional opportunities I encounter for making courses safer.
- Sharing occasional tips for how each of you can travel to new places to enjoy the sport we all love on less money.
- Things that have worked for me, specific to diet and exercise, to allow me to regularly play 72+ holes per day while I am out “course collecting” (bagging courses, as others like to say). 165 unique holes in 24 hours last Summer is my personal best, at age 46. And the Sun going down was the only reason I stopped playing.
I’ve never met a keyboard I couldn’t wear out, as I love to write. Love to share stories. That said, for those of you who want to follow along, I promise to do my very-best to keep a close eye on my word count. And I would love to meet and throw a round with as many of you as I can while I am on the road. Thanks for listening!
Derek Tonn is a member of the DGA’s Ambassador Team Member Derek Tonn. His company, mapformation, LLC, has been DGA’s partner in the development of disc golf tee signage since 2012. And the longer our two companies have worked together, and the more Derek has gotten to know all the great folks at DGA? The more he has wanted to formally sing the company’s praises. The more he has realized that Steady Ed’s vision for the sport and his company perfectly describes his own interests and priorities related to disc golf. And the more Derek has recently been encouraged to share his story.
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2017 Winter DGA Gift Card Give-A-Way Official rules:
- “No purchase necessary.”
- Like the DGA Gift Card Give-A-Way post on DGA Facebook page and be entered to win.
- All orders placed on the online DGA Factory Store from now until Dec, 31st 2017 will be automatically entered to win.
- Purchase does not enhance the chance of winning.
- Only residents of the United States are eligible to take part in the sweepstake.
- Void where prohibited.
- Sweepstake runs from 12/19/17 through 12/31/17.
- Disc Golf Association is the sole promoter of this sweepstake.
- Facebook is not associated with this DGA promotion.
- (1) winner will be awarded at random for a $50 DGA Gift card to be used on the DGA Online Factory Store
- Winner will be randomly chosen and notified of winning the sweepstakes on Tuesday, Jan. 2nd 2018.
- Winners name will be posted in the comment section of the DGA Gift Card Give-A-Way post on the DGA Facebook Page and on this page.
Mach Shift 3-in-1 Practice Baskets are Now Shipping. For all who have pre-ordered, your Shifts are going out as fast as they can be picked up! For the rest of you, get’em while you can!
The Mach Shift 3-in-1 Portable Practice Basket is an advanced and innovative lightweight all-metal disc golf basket that has three different catching positions: Standard Shift, Advanced Shift, and Pro Shift.
- 3-in-1 Basket Design
- Lightweight and Portable
- Heavy-duty zinc chain
- One year warranty
The new DGA Mach Shift 3-in-1 portable basket is now available and will begin shipping on Monday, Dec. 1st. Purchase yours today and Shift your game!
The Mach Lite™ portable basket is compact, lightweight, and made with the highest quality materials available. It comes standard with a stylish carrying bag with shoulder strap for storing and transporting. The DGA Mach Lite™ is a full-size collapsible disc golf target that has a folding upper chain assembly, folding basket, and folding support base. The Mach Lite™ has patented sliding link technology and a 16 chain configuration that resembles the same catching area as a permanent style disc golf basket.
The outer chains utilize DGA’s patented sliding link technology to help catch discs from all angles. The inner chains attach below the basket support ribs to make the disc rebound into the basket and locking the chain from riding up the pole.