Ozark Mountain Warm-Up 2014

OMWarmUp2014

It’s looking like we are going to decent weather for this Sunday’s Doubles Event at Ozark Mountain.

Highs near 50 and Mostly Sunny, which is pretty good for what we’ve been getting these last few months.

 

Just to be clear, the event this Sunday is a “Bring Your Partner Doubles” and not apart of the “California Doubles”, we’ve been running around town. Here’s a picture of a hole which was hole 11 on akitas run. We are making changes to the course and this will probably become hole 10 again.

Lotys of water on the courses this time of year.

Lots of water on the courses this time of year.

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John E McCray PDGA #9852

John E McCray 2014 Disc golf Tour.

 

About 15 years ago I had the pleasure of playing a round of disc golf with John E McCray, in Daytona Beach Florida. For those of you who do not know John E or haven’t seen him play, it doesn’t take long to understand a few things about John, You get what you see as he can’t hide his intensity or passion for the sport of disc golf.

JohnEPointImage2014021695143221

 

 

He’s the kind of guy that will help show a new player around the course or the next up and coming pro in his area by practicing/training with him, teaching him what he knows, giving him a ride to the league or tourney. John is relentless in his training and know how to separate it from playing casual or playing in an event, so when he gets to the course on game day the gloves comes off and the game is on until the last putt is thrown. He won’t root against your shots during the round ( he doesn’t have to) but he won’t let up when he’s up by ten either. This is my type of guy, he’s the same kind of player I used to be and why our relationship is so good and has lasted so long.

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I had heard of this guy before, he’s the guy that gives Ken Climo and every other opponent something to think about when t hey see his name on the list of those registered.
He’s the type of guy that brings it (his skills and determination) from the first hole to the last, every time he laces em up and does so with a huge smile on his face. Don’t take it personal, he’s playing he course and never letting up. He doesn’t know how to put in the second team when he’s up by ten with three to go,, it’s not in his DNA. He’s looking for course records every time he plays..
I use the term laces em up, because John is a soccer player at heart. From the moment I met him I knew this guy,,,, it was like looking in a mirror. It was so apperant for me to see this guy was one of those soccer players I grew up playing with and against from the age of 5-20.
During those 15 years of playing soccer and other team sports, I went to war with my teammates time and time again. I always gave it everything I had, I tried my my hardest because I didn’t want to let the team down. I learned early in life how to play as a team but also how motivate myself and the team to get what we wanted and I wasn’t afraid of failure. At 7 or 8 years old all I thought about and wanted was to win games with my team.

What I developed through the game of soccer and from my soccer coaches was the same thing john developed, it’s to accomplish what you set out to do,,,, your goal ( both literally and figuratively). Not one soccer game, league or tournament I ever played in did I NOT go into thinking about winning. It’s why we were there, why we signed up, what we had trained for, went to sleep thinking about and woke up thinking about.

If you didn’t grow up playing a sport like soccer with the kids from your neighborhood and parish, (in cities like Tampa or St Louis, where soccer moms get into fist fights) you might not understand this, over the top attitude about winning. From that first encounter in Daytona playing with John E, until my recent trip this winter to Florida, I can assure you one thing, John E McCray knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

Theres a big difference between playing on a team and playing for yourself, is the outcome is all on your shoulders, you get all the glory but you also need to take the defeats. I just heard a guy on the TV say this about golf in reference to Rory’s meltdown yesterday ” if you don’t own the defeat you cannot fully embrace the victory”. Transitioning for some from team sports to individual sports can be difficult, but for guys like John and I, we like that kind of pressure, it drives us to train harder and to be more prepared then your opponent.

Last fall when I heard John E was going on tour this year, I knew what that meant. It meant, every event that John E entered into, that John E would have to be beat. John E rarely beats himself and regardless of how many strokes he may be down, “HE” never thinks he’s out of It. If theres a mathematical chance for John E to still win, then theres a good chance he might. Along with ken Climo, Dave Greenwell and Nikko, he’s one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever met in the sport and probably why ken Climo started traveling so much in the mid 90’s. ( just kidding ken)! Actually John E has a lot of respect for the champ, and often gives Ken MOST of the credit for driving him to be the best he can be. Imagine having to go head to head with Ken Climo when you first start playing and then twenty times a year every year! I was at Kens house back in 1999 playing cards the him and the Winnie crew, Ken sat out every ten or so hands and went outside in his yard, in the dark with just a porch light and threw 30 or so putts at a time every 30 minutes all night long. Having someone like Ken to play with and against when John started back in December 1995 certainly shaped him and his game and fit right into that mold of a soccer players mentality. In order or be the best you have to beat the best!!!

Johns first victory against Ken came at water tower park in Sarasota Florida after about 25 or so head to head events. John was down 6 going into a Sunday round and came out blazing, shooting a course record -13 and then followed it with a -12 and Wound up beating them Champ by 6. Quite the the feather in the cap that day for John and I can only imagine what Ken must have thought. Up until then not many players had really challenged the champ especially not in his home state of Florida.

This past weekend John E played in the Memorial Championships n Phoenix AZ. His 49 was tied for first after round one and going into the last was just a few shots back.
With a very strong field of competitors John wound up in second place and snagged himself a nice healthy paycheck of $3,000.00

While John E performance this past week came up a few strokes short of a PDGA NT win at the Memorial championships in Phoenix Arizona, John certainly set the stage for his ” it’s about time tour” !
So far this year John has already played in 6 Events and has finished 1st in 5 of the 6:
1st at Throw Down the mountain II in Brooksville FL =$800.00
1st at SW Florida Open in Port Charlotte =$432.00
1st at Barnett Park Ppen in Orlando FL = $600.00
1st at Cedar Hill Chill in Cedar Hill TX $600.00
1st at Towne Lake Pro-Am in = $500.00
2nd at the Memorial in Phoenix AZ = $3,000.00

Anyone that has ever played with John or saw him play for the first time this past week, can’t help but want to watch him play again. John E is a power player that can throw a demon 400 feet and his Wizards just as far. He rarely lays up from the tee or when putting. His confidence it making the comeback putt is off the chart. He throws shots exactly like you should, with the thought process that the results will match the intention. If he misses, there will be no cursing, no stomping, no crushing the mini or throwing his disc in the bag. He simply steps up to his next shot with the same. Determination and confidence he had with the last throw. He’s truly playing the course and wants to go low, REALLY low every time!

John E has been throwing exclusively Gateway discs for the last ten years. During this time John has been ranked in the top ten for the majority of it, has won nearly 80% of the events he’s entered. IMG952014011995110146in the bag with John E McCray

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzUgexSb_6E

 

John and was within a throw or two of 1st place at the PDGA pro worlds in Augusta GA in 2006 going into the semi final round. Unfortunately for John, there was a miscommunication about the start time on the final day. I got a call about 7:00 central ( (8:00 eastern) from Mike Barnett. “Hey Dave, where’s Johnny? The semi final rounds getting ready to start and he’s not here!” I quickly hung up the phone and called John E’s number, he answered on the first ring.

David: ” hey john what’s going on? ”
John: I’m sitting here eating breakfast getting ready to win the world championships!
David: Well Sunking just called and said the rounds getting ready to start.
John: no It starts at 9 like all the other rounds.
David: not sure who told you that but Mike said they already blew the two minute warning.
John: (after about 4 seconds of silence , he said) thanks, I gotta go!

I washed him luck and hung up the phone.
John raced to the course and eventually started the round, but not after missing 2 holes and taking quadruple bogey on each for being late.

He’s started the most important round of his career 8 over par.
Did this discourage John?
Would he have a melt down and fall a part?
Well what happened was that JohnE, without a single practice shot on the day, proceeded to birdie 11 of the next 12 holes and eventually, when the round was done shot a 54 5 under par and kept himself in the top 8.

John went on to place T7 with Steve Rico that year, which I’m sure was a huge let down after being so close.

A few years later john he fell Ill with Lyme disease, but not before he was mis-diagnosed with gout and was put on a special diet that wasn’t very good for the Lyme disease. The improper diagnosis put him in the hospital and he nearly died. It took John E over a year to fully recover.
Did john learn a lesson from all of this?
Were these the type of life altering experiences , a fork in the rd that could break his spirits about life or the game of disc golf?

Of course not, John is not a quitter, he exemplifies the phrase of ” whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”!

The moral of these two stories is about not giving up after adversary or set backs, and is just part of part of the story of John E McCray and what’s makes him the man that he is today.

I’ve never heard him complain about what happened the day he was late day or lay blame on anyone else. He excepted the mistake as his own, put his head down and did the best he could, shot after shot, until the final shot was thrown just like he always does!

It took a while, but John overcame his illness with the support of his wife friends and family and eventually regained his strength to compete and perform at the highest level.

I know john loves the sports deep down and would play disc golf even if there were no trophies or prize money. He plays disc golf to beat the course’ to break course records and to challenge himself, but it’s also how he supports his family. If you asked him he would tell you he plays for his fans, his home state of Florida, for Gateway Disc Sports, for the future of our sport and of course for the love of the game.

JohnE is disc golf competitions poster boy!!
On the course, he’s the professional that is expected of him. Off the course he’s a husband, a father, a disc golf promoter/coach and someone (that as a parent), you’re more than comfortable with your son or daughter idolizing as their role model. Even if your a Discraft guy or an Innova guy or have a brand new company you support with your disc choices, you can’t help but finding your self rooting for john E!

Johns loyalty to me and Gateway Disc Sports is unheralded. I am so proud to have John E represent our brand, he is a extension of myself and day in and day out uses gateway discs as if he’d made them himself. Several times over the last few years I told John E it was ok to use discs from other companies that it wouldn’t effect our relationship with him and that our company has a long term plan for him. I know there are discs from other companies that could help John E the same way Niiko used discs from Gateway, Innova and discraft, to break and still hold the yearly money earning record of nearly $50k) , win player of the year three years in a row from 2009-2011 and capture the largest purse in PDGA history of $15k at the 2009 USDGC.

It’s no secret that I believe a player has a competitive advantage if he uses the very best disc from each one of the disc manufactures.

Is having a mixed disc bag good for the sport?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYfytPTs5qU

John has refused to use anything but Gateway discs since we started sponsoring him over ten years ago. I’m pretty sure that John likes being the underdog ( although he is definitely one of the favorites at every event he plays) and that throwing only Gateway motivates him at times to find that extra gear.
He likes the the role of ” JohnEGateway” vs the world and uses it to his advantage to motivate him.

Please visit John E’s website for information on his tour.

http://www.johnemccraytour.com/

John E’s ” it’s about time tour” is just that! It’s time players and fans all over the world get to see John E play and what it means to be a professional in all sense of the words.

he and his wife and kid are traveling around the country playing disc golf tournaments and running clinics and participating in league nights promoting Gateway discs.

On the road with Captain John

On the road with Captain John

If your city or course is within their travels and you would like to have John out for a clinic, I would not pass up on the opportunity to have John out for a day.

To arrange for a clinic at your home course, Jen McCray can be reach at Email me! or call 813-323-4779 just contact her and she will try and set it up for John E to show off his skills and our products and help teach players in your area a thing or three about how the game is played!

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NEW disc golf courses opening up in the st louis area!

Its been a while since i last posted but its not like i haven’t been busy.

Theres 3 new 18 hole courses I’ve been working on, 2 are already in the ground ( Wilmore in south-west st Louis and Fort Zumwalt in Ofallon MO) and the 3rd is currently being installed at Logan College in Chesterfield.

My efforts with getting a disc golf course installed within the st louis city limits started nearly 20 years ago when I set up a temp course in Carondolet park and ran an event.
after all these years the city finally saw the light and the Wilmore course is up and running, Its a well manicured park with a JB / Sioux Passage feel.

The Fort Zumwalt park was installed last week for a 2 month soft opening, when the city of Ofallon parks and rec will pull the baskets once they begin installing the christmas tree lights for the winter wonderland.. The course will re-open for a grand opening in March of 2014, so they will be cleaning up the holes a lot better and installing Concrete tees over the winter.. If you play this course please understand that there will be a lot more work done before the course is officially opened, but your feed back is more than welcome.

Now on to the jewel of the 3,, Logan College in Chesterfield ( which I first started the disc golf course idea for in 2002) will rival any course in the world once its full completed.

I’ll go out on a limb and say this course will give Carrollton Park in Bridgeton and Foundation park in Centralia as the best PARK course out of the 51 I have been a part of designing and installing and the nearly 700 i have played. ( Ozark MOuntain Akitas Run and Spencer Davis still tops the list
but I may be too partial)
The magnificent course lay out covers about 60 acres of land, plays around 3 lakes and a creek. There are a nice mix of holes in the open, holes in the woods and plenty of elevation. Par on the course is looking at around 66 from the long tees to long pins with lots of course management needed to shoot under par. Short tees and shot pinswill play at around 7500 and will give more birdie chances for the average disc golfer.

Plans are for a soft opening in about 2 weeks with a grand opening later this fall.

I will add some pics and scorecards of all 3 course later this week so check back soon.

if you have any questions or need directions please visit our website or check disc golf course review.

Practice routine and training ( finesse and touch)

OK, so how many of you tried reducing the number of discs in your bag and spent the last few weeks practicing off the course?

For those that took this advice,, hopefully you are seeing improvement in your game and we are ready for a few more practice routines.

Lets start with Finesse:

Do you have a catch disc, ( 140-165 gram , 24-28 Cm diameter discs) .
80% of the time I ask a disc golfer to play catch as training they look at me like its a waste of time.
Trust me learning to control a disc nose up with hyzer is a very vital part of short drives and laying up, not too mention those 60 foot RUNS at the basket.

All right, if you don’t have a catch disc take a super soft or lightweight putter and find a partner.
Start off with a little stretching ( one of these blogs I’ll go over a stretching routine :) )

Now stand about 50 feet a part and throw the disc with only enough speed to land at your partner.
Since the catch discs are not going to fly dead flat at 50 you’re going to have to put a little hyzer and nose up on the discs to control. You should do your best to create a decent amount of spin on these shots. Throw about 20-30 passes and then step back about 25 feet, throw another 20-30 and step back another to 100. Hopefully you or your partner isn’t having to run all over the place. but if you do think of it as getting a good work out. Now from the 100 foot distance you should be trying hyzer all the way, hyzer flips turnover all the way low trajectory high trajectory. in fact try any way you can to get the disc to stay close to your partner. Try rollers, tomahawks side arm,, every shot you have with the catch disc.

For those of you having trouble controlling a catch disc, the main thing to remember is the spin has to match the speed, you cant have a whole bunch of velocity without enough rotation. If your throw had off axis torque ( also known as wobble, turbulence from not having a clean release.) you may want to work this out form the 50 foot range , maybe even move into to 25 so you can make successful passes back and forth.

I’m sure theres some of you out there who despite my 40 years of experience with frisbees and discs feel that a playing catch wont improve your game. the opposite is true, without the ability to control a catch disc chances are you’re not maximizing your full potential as a disc golfer.

Whats good about playing catch with a partner is you can get in about 200 throws in an hour, when it usually takes over 2 hours just to get in 50.

My next blog will be on how to create the most power out of your athletic ability! ( unless i find the time to come up with a stretching routine).

Training routines ( putting and approaching)

So in the first lesson I gave advice on “Getting to know” your discs and asked players to reduce the number of discs in your bag to closer to 15 discs than 24. While I know most probably didn’t take the advice or at least haven’t yet,,, hopefully some of you got out to the field to throw your discs and get to know them. By throwing shots in a field as opposed to on the course you get a chance to really try things you have never tried before and get a the back-to-back reps needed to hone in on ALL the different shots needed to have a well rounded game. Confidence in your discs and the shots required during a tournament is something that will certainly improve your game. If you’ve taken the advice and are working towards reducing the number of discs to a more manageable amount , your on your way to lower scores and having more fun.

Today I want to give a offer a quick routine for putting practice.

Even though putting is a lot less physical than driving I recommend a good stretching routine before every workout or round and we will get to a stretching routine soon, for now use what you know and just try and get all of your muscles loose.

For the serious disc golfer getting ready for a tournament, I suggest ONLY training with a basket that catches very well. Throwing too many putts into a poor catching target could actually hurt your game and your confidence in making putts.

Ok here we go putting routine 1.0 !

Take all of your putters and start by throwing 20 shots ( not your putting stroke, but a backhanded toss) into the basket from 5-10 feet. I know this may seem silly but the reason is simple, I want you to see how well the chains catch the discs and seeing 20 or so throws hit chains and stick will help you develop confidence it a good firm chain hit.

Ok start from about 12 feet and do a little rapid fire without going through your routine, but with a close resemblance to your stroke. This is an important part of the practice routines that helps with technique and should be incorporated into your practice sessions religiously.
Whether that is spin putting from your between your legs or from your chest or a pendulum swing push putt, do this in a more athletic nature at first as opposed to the slowed down version of your actual putting routine, get a total of 40 -50 throws in ranging from 12-24′ in sets of 5 from 12′,15′,18′ and 24′ to get the muscle memory going.

ok go back to about 12′ from the basket and go through your putting routine with each disc ( 20 shots) hopefully you have at least 10 putters which will make this a lot easier and more time efficient.

Step back to 15, 18 and 24 with 20 putts from each going through each shot with your full routine.

ok so now you’ve thrown about 120-150 putts and your feeling pretty good about your putting inside 24 feet and you want to start hitting some monster putts.
Too often I see players practicing mostly 30-50 footers and hitting a low percentage right before the round. I’d prefer you hit 90% form inside 24 right before you start taking that kind of confidence into the round.

At this point I know you cant help it and you want to hit some big putts, so spend 10-20 minutes in the 24-50 range and get it out of your system. I suggest waiting but my expereince tells me most are not going to just practice 12-24′ putts WITHOUT putting the 24-50.
BUT,,,,
Before you start throwing the longer putts i want you to try something, step back up to 15 feet and throw ( not your putting stroke but a back hand throw) about 20 shots into the chains, now step back to 24 and throw 20 again,, what did you notice, was the backhand throwing motion just as effective as your putting stroke?

If your not successful with this backhand toss from 15-24 feet i suggest working on this a bit and then we will move to 24′ – 50′ and then on to approaching and laying up from 50′-150′. You should limit the time spent on the 30-50 foot putts until you really have the under 24′ putts success rate at 80-90%.

DISC GOLF TRAINING

I want to help new players with developing a practice routine — so here’s lesson number one.

There are many shots in disc golf and they all require practice in order to improve on them.

Today I want to help you “get to know the discs in your bag”!

Lots of newer players to the game will typically have about 25 discs in their bag.
Try as I may, I have had a hard time convincing players to reduce the number of discs in their line up. In my opinion it is extremely difficult to really know the flight characteristics of 25 different discs and have the confidence throw every one of them with accuracy.

With that said … i suggest you start by reducing the number of discs you use for tournament play to 12-15. Chances are no one will do this. After all, you invested hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars in your discs and you feel compelled to use all of them.

So … take your big bag of discs out to a soccer or football field (that hopefully has short grass so you don’t spend your time looking for the discs) and start with a little stretching and loosening up.
If you have a partner, passing a catch disc or softer putter, back and forth, from about 50-100 feet is perfect.

Ok … your loosened up and ready to get to really know your big-bag-o-discs.
I suggest starting by throwing putters at 50% power — which should equal about 150-foot shots. Work your way to mid-ranges and then drivers for the first set of throws.

Start by trying to throw mostly straight or flat shots. Repeat the same style of throws for all of the discs in your bag, down and back or 2 reps.

On the next set of throws start imagining shots that you would use each disc for, whether that’s a turnover, hyzer, sidearm tomahawk etc.
Repeat this for at least 4 reps.
Ok, so now you have 150 or so throws in and your getting some good feedback.

Now try and see what other shots you can do with your discs that you typically do not do.
Like try hyzering your turnover discs and turnover your hyzer discs. Maybe work on throwing different heights or trajectories with your putters and mid-ranges … see what they are capable of in terms of glide and carry. Practice outside of the box.

Wind down this practice session by picking out your top 10 favorite discs — or the ones you have the most confidence. Give them 4 more reps (40 more throws), simulating the shots you would use those particular discs for during a round.

It is important that this practice session take place on a field and not on the course.

Give this routine a week or two and you will notice that by having a smaller lineup, you will reduce your errors, increase your confidence and give yourself more chances to score. In the next lesson I’ll ask if you reduced the number of discs in your starting lineup. With a manageable lineup, we can get to some more in depth training routines.

The preferred lineup for most top pros will look like this:

  • 1 putter strictly forputting (but have a backup)
  • 3 putters/approach discs – mainly for laying up and shots up to 250 feet – one for turnover, fade, and straight
  • 3 mid-ranges – ideally you would want the same rim depth and wing length – one for turnover, fade, and straight
  • The same thing goes for fairway drivers and long-winged, high speed drivers
  • The last 2 disc are specialty discs — I suggest one roller and one tomahawk
  • There is not one shot in the game that cannot be completed with these discs. To know all fifteen discs requires a lot of off-the-course training and practice.

    Having much more than fifteen discs in your starting lineup will most likely compromise your ability to have the utmost confidence with each disc.

    PRACTICE? Are we talking about practice?? PRACTICE???

    The Famous quote ( press conference) from Allen Iverson was in reference to the coach saying Iverson was dogging it in practice. While “some” highly skilled professional basketball players may think practice isn’t important and they have their skills honed in as an individual, practicing as a team is a very important part of winning championships. Last timeI checked Allen did NOT win a ring as a pro. Team sports are much different than individual sports and certainly require game plans and executing them in order to be the best, but without a serious training regiment and the willingness to get the most out of practice, you can only go so far.

    Disc golf like all other individual sports requires spending time practicing to improve or maintain a high level of play. You wanna get better at throwing a roller? Well,,,throwing 1 or 2 during your afternoon bag tag challenge a few times a week is better than nothing, but pales in comparison to throwing 30 rollers in 10 minutes in a field.

    Practice and training takes time and commitment and you have to understand the importance of working things out in practice and then bringing them to the game once you have developed the confidence.

    So you heard about a grip different than yours, or a longer run up, a longer back swing, more follow through??? You saw a guy throw over the trees on a hole at your home course that you always try to thread the needle. You want to improve you game?? Really?? How long do you want it to take to get better??
    You think you can do it while playing for score in your monday night league? Sure, you can get a little better, slowly but surely,,,,, but guys that are really good at disc golf train like true professionals. They are constantly trying new things, a new disc, honing down a hole on thursday for the upcoming event. Working these things out on the practice field and then implementing changes into your game day, require developing lots of confidence in the changes. The worst thing a player can do is lack confidence in a shot or a disc.

    In this blog today I want to be clear,,, if you play disc golf for fun and just don’t have the time to practice, than have fun at your league night, have fun in your round with your friends and have fun when you get the chance to play a tourney on the weekend. For players that want to get the most of their skills and challenge themselves to be the best they can be, its practicing and working hard that will get the best and fastest results.

    When I first started traveling out of town to compete at disc golf in 1983,, I realized a few things:
    1) I had as much disc golf skill as anyone.
    2) My 18 years of playing sports had me in as good of shape as any disc golfer I had met.
    3) my years of team sports and being a part of lots of winning teams and knowing what it took to get there all started with combining DESIRE with practice and being prepared!
    !
    So, my desire to win was also up there with the likes of Dave Greenwell, Johnny Sias and Steve Wisecup. Seeing these guys compete at the highest level and their determination to win and be the best,,,, immediately inspired me to do what was necessary in order to “HANG” with them,,,which was,,,,practice more, train harder and be more prepared than anyone else.

    I started setting goals for my training regiment which included number of reps per week for putting,laying up and drives. I set a goal to improve my game and be able to “BEAT” these guys.
    While my natural abilities had gotten me close, I had a long way to go and i knew right away that it wasn’t possible without practice and training.

    Over the next few weeks I’m going to cover many areas of training and practice routines,, from 10 foot putts, to monster rollers and even diet and cross training exercises.

    I’ll close this blogpost out by mentioning the fact that starting at about 16 years old I saw Nikko put in more time practice putting in my backyard then anyone could have possibly put in (sure may have been grounded to the yard, but he sure made use of his time there). He eventually combined his off course training which included lots of practice shots in an open field with after schools rounds of disc golf at Endicott park,,, often playing by himself and throwing 4 or 5 drives and lay ups on every hole, often 2 or 3 rounds a day. Of course Nikko started with a ton of skill but it was the hours of practice that catapulted him from a decent amateur to one of the best players to have ever played this game.

    Of course there’s always one or two guys that seem to do well without training, but most likely this isn’t you. While in Florida back in winter of 1998/99 we were at Ken Climo’s playing cards,, every time ken folded a hand, he ran outside and threw a few dozen putts. After 4 hours of card playing Ken had about 300 putts thrown. So even with 9 consecutive pdga world championships Ken was still very at adamant about his training,,,that’s why he’s the champ!

    Check back soon for some of the training methods that I have used as well as many of the other top players in the sport today.

    Disc Golf = Life Sport

    Disc Golf is now more popular than even with no signs of it slowing down.
    The PDGA has done such a great job of providing an outlet for the competitive adult disc golfer. The collegiate championships will certainly grow the sport at the college level, but not much has been done nationally to create more play among kids under 16.

    A few years back myself and other members of our club here in ST Louis, wanted to run more events geared for kids, but the board at the time wasn’t quite sure if bringing kids out to our events was a good idea. Disc golf has been long known for its counter culture side and ” extra curricular activities” that have become the norm. We actually had a vote about trying to attract kids under 16 to play at our events. At the time, the consensus was that our members didn’t want to give up their behavior in favor of more kids playing at our events. There was an effort made to run JR only events, but unfortunately after a few low turnouts the direction was abandoned.

    Over the last 10 years there has been a 30% drop in JR play in Ball golf, but more recently the number of kids playing golf has risen and is now on a huge increase as high school and jr golf is more popular than ever,, especially amongst girls.
    The PGA has several programs including First TEE and the Drive, Chip and putt competition ( based on the NFL’s punt, pass and kick) and these programs are churning out the young golfers of the future.

    Yes we ( disc golf) does have the E.D.G.E. program, but after a closer look this program appears to be more of a marketing program for one particular company. Ive tried on several occasions to donate 500 discs to the program, but my efforts were not welcome.

    I feel its time for the pdga or maybe a new group of promoters to spend the time energy and money that is necessary to establish JR disc golf as part of the sport.

    I’m writing this blog to start the discussion as whether or not the current organized entities in the sport are ready to do whats necessary to allow kids to play WITH us or is a separate JR disc golf the only way this will work?

    Please repost this article on your local club message board or share with your friends on Facebook and twitter and go to our website and vote on what you think is the best direction to head today.

    www.gatewaydiscsports.com

    Gateway ships19 Titan Pro-24 Baskets to new course in Evansville Indiana

     

    Photo of 19 Titan Pro baskets

    19 Titan Pro-24 disc golf baskets fit snuggly into a pick-up truck for their final journey to a new course in Evansville, Indiana.

    An article on the health benefits of playing disc golf. ( by Lily McCann)

    Discussing Health: A Fun Way to Stay Fit

    Disc golf is going from strength to strength, not only here in the United States, but across the world. Disc golf courses have been opened in countries like France, Belgium, Czech Republic, Iceland, Peru, Mexico, and many more across the planet. While the U.S. still leads the pack when it comes to the amount of courses it has, there is no denying its growing international popularity. This year’s Disc Golf European Open is expected to attract record numbers of players at spectators from both North America and Europe. It is a fun sport that provides a surprisingly high level workout when played, something that is often overlooked by people who take part in the sport on a purely recreational basis. For those of you that are unaware of the health benefits that disc golf can offer, read on to find out more.

    Navigating the Course

    In a similar way to golf, disc golf is a sport that is played over a large area of terrain. Often the terrain of courses can be hilly, or perhaps they are located in wooded areas. Walking around from hole to hole takes time, and also burns lots of calories. Walking up and down hills, negotiating obstacles in the woods, and looking around to find your disc is great exercise. Every disc golf course is different, with some being larger than others, so the more challenging the course the longer you expect to walk. At a large course you could end up walking somewhere in the region of 3 to 4 miles throughout the entire 18 holes. Just walking around the course provides a great workout in itself, but when combined with the effort required to throw the disc the workout gets even better.

    Throwing the Disc

    While you may think that not that much exertion goes into throwing a lightweight disc into the air, think again. Ok, so it is not like you are throwing a shot-put, but provides a good workout just by itself. To put it into a little bit of context, it has been measured that someone who weighs 200 pounds will burn somewhere in the region of 550 calories just by throwing a disc around while playing disc golf for 2 hours.

    When you put together the walking around and the throwing the disc involved in playing a round of disc golf, it is very likely that you will burn over 900 calories in the process. When the recommended number of calories in 2500 for men and 2000 for women, a simple subtraction reveals that you could burn off a nice chunk of your calorie intake just by playing disc golf for a couple of hours.

    A Cheap Way to Keep Fit

    Along with all the health benefits that playing disc golf provides, there is also the added bonus of it being a very inexpensive sport. The only specialised piece of equipment you really need to play it is a golf disc, and these can be bought for as little as $10. When visiting a course you may have to pay somewhere between $5 and $10 for 18 holes, and more often than not a free rental disc will be provided. You don’t need any other special clothing, equipment, or training to start playing, just simply find your nearest course and get started.

    Improving and Expanding Facilities

    As the popularity of disc golf grows, so does the need for more courses around the country. As you can see the health benefits it provides are impressive, and the inexpensive and accessible nature of the sport means it really is suitable for everyone. There is no denying the increasing obesity problem that America is dealing with, and the factors are not just down to too much salt and fat in our diets. Regular exercise is just as important and a balanced healthy diet, and disc golf provides an excellent way for people of any age to stay fit and spend time outdoors. Disc golf courses have the potential to provide years of sustainable recreation with just a little maintenance needed, at a very low cost. What’s more, disc golf courses have very little impact on the nature that surrounds them. Improving, expanding, and installing new disc golf courses in parks and recreational areas across America can only be a good thing.