As I'm sitting at home, three days removed from the birth of my little girl, I'm mindful of the help and support that the Disc Golf Station wives have given us. My wife, Chelsea, Clint's wife, Kelly, and Wallace's wife, Jenny have all been instrumental in helping Disc Golf Station take care of the day to day shipping of orders, the restocking of inventory, and the much needed help while we are at tournaments.
My wife especially has taken a very large role in not only raising my son (and now daughter) but in making sure packages get shipped out on time each day. Disc Golf Station is truly a family owned and operated business. We're not a corporation and we don't have employees outside of family. DGS is run by the Stanleys and the Hendersons. I take pride in this!
I am looking forward to a time when my son (18 months old) can actually help with the store. Right now, he loves it when we get restocking orders because his favorite thing in the whole world is to spread as many discs out all over the place as soon as possible. On a recent tournament order, he removed and spread out over 20 discs in about 2 minutes. "Thanks for your help little buddy," I said. But honestly, I meant it. He was helping in the only way he knew how. He loves "fizz-bees" and that makes me excited.
Anyways, a big thank you to our supportive family here at Disc Golf Station, most of all to our wives that put up with the business and with us!
When playing solo rounds of disc golf, listening to music is a nice way to simultaneously relax and get pumped up to make that next great shot...or to refocus after that not-so-great toss. This is also an excuse to brag about my highly refined taste of music and tell you about some of my favorite rock albums of all time.
Here's my Top 5 Rock Albums for Disc Golf:
Disclaimer: This is my list. If yours is different as surely it will be, feel free to post yours in the comments.
Honorable Mention: De-loused in the Comatorium - The Mars Volta, The Black Album - Metallica, Rage Against the Machine (self-titled) - Rage Against the Machine
5. Between the Heart and the Synapse - The Receiving End of Sirens
This one of the original and best post-hardcore/experimental bands you'll ever listen to. The Receiving End of Sirens put together a masterpiece with "Between the Heart and the Synapse" featuring a favorite of mine, Casey Crescenzo on many of the lead vocals. (Casey also shows up in this countdown a little later.) There is not a weak track on this album but my favorites are "Planning a Prison Break," "The Evidence," and "This Armistice." Youtube this stuff people! Seriously, I can't say enough about the state of mind this album will put you in. Highly melodic and catchy but never trite, you'll be singing this poetry long after the music stops.
4. The Used (self-titled) - The Used
Wow! What a debut album from the pioneers and perfectors of the screamo-but-not-emo genre. "A Box Full of Sharp Objects" introduced me to the beautifully abrasive screaming and super high singing of lead singer Bert McCracken. Just TRY to sing along for one song. I bet you can't scream and sing back and forth like he does...but it's sure fun to try. This album is full of songs for all energy levels...especially HIGH energy. Every song is worth listening to, no need to skip around here. "Poetic Tragedy" is a must. Truly an incredible first effort from a band that is still around and still making good music. But this is probably every fan's favorite album.
3. Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading - The Dear Hunter
The lead singer/creator of The Dear Hunter is Casey Crescenzo, formerly of The Receiving End of Sirens. Casey needed an avenue to better express his creativity and explore a different story lyrically than would have fit with TREOS. The end result: pretty much everything I love about TREOS but with a concept series of albums. It's not possible to listen to this record and not get many different lyrics and melodies stuck in your head. For days. In a good way, not a Bruno Mars way. If you've never heard of the Dear Hunter, listen to "Red Hands," "Where the Road Parts," and "Black Sandy Beaches." If you don't like these songs, you probably don't understand great music and can go back to listening to Nickelback. (Sorry folks, just speaking my mind...remember you can always make your own list)
2. Sing the Sorrow - AFI
I first started listening to AFI during my freshman year of college at Sam Houston State. This became the anthem of that year and the years to follow. It's one of the most fun albums to sing along with at the top of your lungs. I have very fond memories of a car full of my best friends hollering it out to "Sing the Sorrow" driving down the highway. There are great "band" vocals on this record that make it very easy to participate in the music rather than just listening. Much of the lyrical content is dark, contemplative, and emo...but not lame. This album has one of the best opening tracks ever with Miseria Cantare (The Beginning). Davey Havok's hauntingly melodic vocals will keep you coming back for more. The was my first AFI album, their previous two albums and following two are just as good and deserve your 15 bucks.
1. Ride the Lightning - Metallica
Song for song, this is my favorite Metallica album. Picking a favorite Metallica album is like picking a favorite child though...you shouldn't do it because you love them all in their own way and for different reasons. "Ride the Lightning" deals with the topic of death, each song explores different death experiences. The standout song and fan favorite has to be "Fade to Black," a sad story about suicide that features one of my favorite guitar solos of all time. This album was written and performed by many fans' favorite lineup of Lars, James, Kirk, and Cliff. This 1984 masterpiece concludes with one of their best instrumentals "The Call of Ktulu."
Like my list? If not, comment with your own top 5! It's harder than you might think to narrow it down.
Happy 4th of July weekend to everyone! Thank you to all of the troops out there that continue to keep our way of life safe. I've got a few moments with the computer at my in-laws get-together so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on making time for my favorite game.
Disc golf is by far my favorite hobby/sport/activity but these days I'm finding it increasingly hard to make time to play. With a one year old at home, I just can't be gone like I used to. If I'm out playing with my frisbees, my wife is at home alone with the baby. Oh yeah, did I mention my wife is pregnant with #2 and we live in Texas...and it's summer...
I'm not going to lie, I feel like I'm going through a mini midlife crisis. I'm realizing that I'm not able to do everything I want to do and where I'm seeing that most clearly displayed is disc golf. This is the first time I've had trouble accepting the new role of parenthood. I love my son more than anything and don't mind the extra work to care for him, or to get up late at night, or to change the nuclear bombs that go off in his diapers. But the one fact-of-life that has taken time getting used to is the decreased ability to make personal decisions regarding my time. My decisions get made for me by our budget and our family needs.
It's the control freak in me, I guess. Am I the only control freak here? Maybe this is the death of my control freak. Maybe that's a good thing.
I just can't wait until we're in cooler weather and the baby is older so he'll enjoy going out more. In the meantime, I'll just have to man up.
My advice to all of the dad's out there: MAN UP! You're disc golf game might suffer a little temporarily but c'mon, there's no substitute for that little child that squeals "Dada" as he runs up to hug me as hard as he can.
Last Sunday, my brother Wallace, brother-in-law Clint, and brother from another mother Brandon went disc golfing at a new course in Trophy Club, Texas. As we stopped at the front gate office to pay our dollar to enter, the nice old man guarding the booth simply and sincerely asked us those six perplexing words..."y'all here for the flag burning?"
Confused, I politely said "Excuse me?" He repeated the question. Loving America like I do and not wanting to be included in some hate rally I quickly said "No sir, we're here to play disc golf." He replied "Oh ok, well the Girl Scouts are burning flags today in the same location." Wow!!!
Immediately and intuitively, I knew that the Girl Scouts were learning how to properly dispose of a flag but it was just too funny. I paid our dollar and drove into the park.
The new course at Trophy Club is a nine-holer designed by the Funkytown Flyers disc golf club from Fort Worth. It's still in development so I'll reserve judgment on it yet. There was a mix of hole type and length. What I noticed though was that this park area has room for about 100 more holes of golf in there if they'd allow it.
There was something supremely unique about 30 little Girl Scouts reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before torching Old Glory. Honestly, the smell was disgusting and likely unsafe to breathe in but we all know that the only proper way to dispose of something is to light it on fire.
On that note, go buy some Girl Scout cookies and play with your frisbees!
See ya on the course,
P.S. - What is your favorite flavor of Girl Scout cookies? Don't act like it's not Thin Mints!
Ok, so not really but my birthday is March 12th (Wallace's too...) and I am getting my wife to go play the disc golf with me. My mom is going to watch the baby for a few hours tomorrow morning while Chelsea and I go out to Haslet Community Park to play disc golf together...something we haven't done in...uh...2 years.
This is counting as a birthday gift. I promised to not "coach" her the whole time and just let her play. Very hard to do. I'm a teacher, coach, disc golf enthusiast, OCD, and controlling by nature so that's going to be tough. But really I'm just looking forward to going out to the course with my best friend and enjoying some great disc golfin' weather.
Friday Minute Clinic Update.....We had shot video for a minute clinic this week but when we got inside for editing the wind noise was just too much to handle. Remember my OCD nature...I just couldn't stand to put up a video with that "wind blowing across a microphone" sound throughout the video. We'll get back at ya next week with a wind-free (hopefully) Friday Minute Clinic.
Go play some disc golf this weekend...and bring a friend!
Hey America, how's that winter storm treating you? Local schools here in Fort Worth have been closed since Tuesday due to very icy roads...and as I write this, we're getting blanketed with big, fluffy flakes of snow...headed toward 5 inches since yesterday. It's cold!!! Especially for a Southerner!
Ok, today's Minute Clinic is about Falling Putts. You know who you are (most of the time) and you know what you do! We want to help! First off, for those that don't know or didn't realize, a falling putt is when you do NOT demonstrate balance inside the putting the circle. The putting circle is 10 meters or 32 feet 10 inches. Inside this circle, you MUST fully demonstrate balance behind your lie when you putt. That means after you release the putter, no part of your body can land in front of your lie (or mini-marker) period. It's not good enough to simply tap your foot down behind your lie as your momentum takes you toward the basket. Same thing if you happen to be kneeling when you putt...if you land in push-up position, you've fallen on the putt.
What happens if I "fall" when I putt?
First, your card will issue a warning and you must re-putt. Anything after that counts as a penalty stroke so it can really add up if you have built in this bad habit to your game.
Watch the video to for a few quick tips on how to eliminate falling putts from your disc golf game!
Happy Friday everyone! Hope your week didn't drag on like mine did. I need some serious R&R this weekend...including some time out on the course. Disc Golf is often the release I need from a tough day/week/whatever.
Our next installment of the Friday Minute Clinic focuses on backpack straps for your bag, how they can make things easier out on the course, as well as a demonstration of how to attach the straps to your bag.
Monday, I went to HasletCommunityPark for some disc golf practice and hopefully an ace.Martin Luther King, Jr. Day turned out to be that perfect, sunny, chilly-but-not-cold day.It was around 55°F and beautiful with strong winds out of the south.
My wife and 8-month old accompanied me.The 9-hole course at Haslet is gem.It’s perfect for mid-range and putting practice so I decided to try a new practice idea.So here it is:
My practice idea:
Choose a mid-range and putter combo and make them go head-to-head with as many other combos as you like.For me, I chose the following combos from my bag and extra discs at home:
So which combo do you think would win?(Bearing in mind that most holes are between 180 and 220 ft)I had my money on the Zone/Voodoo Combo because I love the Zone for these types of shots and in the wind I trust the hyzer line with an overstable disc.
Before, I get to the results….the best part was on Hole 7, I tagged an ace with the #3 Hyzer.
It was a soft but tight hyzer line that went in!I’ve replayed the shot over in my head a hundred times since and it still excites me.Some people are all down on aces and think they are overrated…whatever!Getting a hole-in-one is thrilling everytime whether I threw it or not.
Well, here were the results for the 9-hole par 27:
Meteor/ Banger - 22
#3 Hyzer / Crosshair – 23
Stalker / Voodoo – 24
Warrior / Wizard – 24
Zone / Voodoo - 25
Wasp / Banger – 26
Oracle / Ringer – 26 (Only 4 of the round was on the last hole and was because of a dinked 10 ft putt…I was almost more mad about this than I was excited about the ace…almost)
This was a lot of fun, low pressure on my mental game.I got an ace out of the deal and I found that I can throw my Meteor, an understable mid, in the wind a lot better than I thought.
So my advice to you is this:go find the shortest, easiest course around and make your mid/putter combos battle it out for your bag!
We caught up with Bradley Williams, disc golf pro from Austin, Texas, after his latest victory at the 2010 Fly Ink Open. We asked Bradley about his life, disc golf career, and goals for the new year and much more.
Think you know Bradley, you might be surprised at some of his answers...check out the interview here:
The World Series is upon us. And excitement is at fever pitch in Texas as well as the Bay Area. The Texas Rangers (yeah, still hard to believe) and the San Francisco Giants will play Game 1 of the 2010 World Series featuring two of baseball's best pitchers in Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum. Lee has been unbeatable in the postseason and Lincecum has been dominant as well.
Rangers fans don't know what to do with themselves. We've waited for this for a long time. I can remember going to games as a kid in old Arlington Stadium as well as the newer Ballpark in Arlington. The cotton candy, peanuts, soda, ice cream in miniature baseball helmets. Bringing your glove in hopes of catching a foul ball. Ah, the memories. Many of which were soured due to our bad luck of drawing the Yankees in postseason play. We went through many bad pitching years in the post-Nolan Ryan era. BAD.....
Well, all that is behind us now...including the Stankees. Sorry New York folks. Sorry Philly folks, San Fran sent you packin' early too.
Grant's World Series Prediction: Texas in 6
Oh yeah....on to the best part...I will be at Game 4 of the World Series! Game 4 is in Arlington on Halloween. I plan on wearing a white yeti costume with a Rangers jersey over it. If you see a Yeti at the game in the upper deck, it's me.
Have fun watching the World Series, here is the schedule:
TEX @ SF
TEX @ SF
SF @ TEX
SF @ TEX
SF @ TEX
TEX @ SF
TEX @ SF
See ya on the course...but not during the World Series,
A huge part of disc golf is knowing what and how to throw. The other part is execution. If you want to work on execution, then you need lots of repetition and practice. That part is easy, what we really need is to work on the mental side. Here are 3 things to think about when you are playing disc golf that can help you win the mental game.
1. Play the hole before you shoot.
Don't just walk up to the hole and try to fling your drive as far as possible. Stop for a moment (even 5 seconds helps) and ask yourself how you are going to play each shot. (Let's pretend you are right handed) If you step up to a right curving fairway and the basket is 390 feet away but you can't throw backhand anhyzers very well and your sidearm consistently hits 320 ft and maxes out at 350 ft, you need to play the hole for 3. You should NOT expect to birdie this hole. Your max distance, perfect shot, once every other month sidearm still leaves you 40 feet short. You've left yourself with a chance for a long putt (assuming you were also accurate). What usually happens though is you try to overpower your disc to get it that extra 20 or 30 feet and sacrifice accuracy.
While, you may occasionally get that long drive to be accurate and then follow up with a long putt, you need not pressure yourself to deuce this hole. PLAY IT FOR 3! Take an accurate 300+ ft drive. Throw your putter the next 80+ ft to leave you a gimme par putt.
You have to be honest about your abilities and limitations and play within them. On longer holes or more technical holes, you need to think SHOT PLACEMENT. Stepping up to the tee, ask yourself: "where do I want each shot to be?" Place your shots mentally, then try to execute accordingly. Don't just slam your disc down the fairway and hope for the best.
2. Lines, angles, disc selection
Think about what line or shape you are going to try to throw as well as the angle of the disc (hyzer, flat, or anhyzer). Here is an example in my own game. Hole 3 at Arcadia Park in Fort Worth, Texas is a 305 foot slight hyzer with woods lining the left side of the fairway, open field to the right. I can throw my Stalker basically straight at it with enough hyzer angle to handle the speed. My max distance with the Z Stalker is just enough to get it to the basket. Or I can choose to throw my Z Force (a much faster and more overstable driver) on a wider line. The better choice is the Force and this is why: the line I'm throwing on is totally clear (the open field to the right). The hyzer angle I'm throwing on with the Force will bring the disc to the ground and not fly past. Because I can throw my Force past the target on a normal shot, I can use more of a hyzer line (but not quite a hyzer spike) to get me to the basket without risking blow-bys. The Stalker is not a bad choice but just not preferrable when I know that I can more easily turn the Stalker over drastically decrease my distance along with the possibility that if I throw it right down the pipe and it finishes left even a little early I'm in the woods praying for a clear out to save a par.
3. Don't grumble...recover!
When your shot doesn't go as planned, don't embarrass your friends and family by yelling, cussing, throwing your bag, or whining like an overgrown baby. Say to yourself: "Time to go to work" or "I can recover" or "I can still save the par" or "I can still make that putt." How many times did you mean to lay your putter up right under the basket but instead you left it 25 ft short. Well, don't start grumbling and complaining about your shot...as if you have already missed the next putt. Speak positivity into your game about how you are going to nail the putt anyway. I don't need no stinkin' drop-in or SOMETHING to keep your attitude lifted. Plus there is nothing worse than that guy who blows a gasket when he doesn't throw a pro level shot on every stroke. RELAX. Get over your mistakes and oopsies and try to make the next shot a good one. Getting ticked off will only make things worse and make you look stupid.
Football is here! Fall is almost here! You can start to feel summer slowly give way to fall and with it we get to enjoy clearer fairways from the dying of the vegetation, cooler temperatures, dew on the ground for those morning disc golf outings and most importantly (ha...) FOOTBALL.
So grow your beard, pump some iron, or something else to indicate your manliness. Football season is upon us and it's hard to deny the pull of a Sunday filled with eating and watching strong men grab each other. Truth be told, college ball is becoming more interesting than the pros. College is more variable with that anything-can-happen atmosphere that is often missing from professional games even with the increased parity of NFL teams in the last couple of years.
What I really need to do is play more disc golf. I'm getting dad-gum rusty. Thanks to my 4 month old son...he just doesn't understand anything about priorities.
Hey everyone, keep on playing with your frisbees (yeah I said it) as much as possible and enjoy the arrival of football. How 'bout them Cowboys...oh yeah, they are a constant source of disappointment. [cries a little inside]
We got an order from Discraft today and have uploaded many more discs to our inventory, notably the Z Nuke. The Discraft Nuke is a must-have, very very fast driver. If you haven't thrown it, you will be amazed at the speed and extra distance you will get.
On to more important things than disc golf. On the ninth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the United States, I think it's important to take a moment to remember those that died that day, the heroes that participated in the rescue efforts, and the men and women that have since sacrificed their lives to protect our country (and others) from future attacks.
Everytime I see footage of the towers falling or the firemen running through streets clogged with ash and debris, I have to remind myself that it actually happened. It doesn't seem real. Surely, this didn't happen. There's no way a street in the United States could be so fraught with peril and urgency. But it did happen. And we'll never be the same. I can't even come close to imagining the suffering experienced that day or since. My heart goes out to the families affected by the events of September 11th, 2001.
It's been called the "Pearl Harbor" of our day. And maybe it is. It's a day that lives in infamy and will continue to give us pause each year. To remember that day and to hope for a better future. Here's to the future and to the memory of our brothers and sisters that have gone before us.
Posted by Disc Golf Station on 8/10/2010
Woe is me. Ever been discontent with your game? Ever wish you could get out to the course more often? Ever wish you could win Worlds like Eric McCabe? Ok, ok you get it.
Lately, I have had a lot of things keeping me from playing more…a 3 month old baby for one…
My favorite first born son, Gideon.
Ok, so that’s my first good excuse. My next is that Disc Golf Station has kept me very busy this summer. Thanks to everyone who get their disc golf discs, bags, baskets, etc at Disc Golf Station. We aim to please and jump at the chance to impress new customers!
Next excuse…I’ll be moving houses soon, that’s always a beating. I hate the moving part of moving. The task list is endless and nothing is ever finished. It’s also gonna be hard to leave this house, it was my first that I owned myself. Oh well, onward and upward.
So, I’ve signed myself up to get brutalized by the Advanced Division for the first time. This weekend, the Fahrenheit Fling tricks otherwise rational disc golfers into playing all day in the Texas summer sun and heat. The 36-hole tournament is being held at Veteran’s Park in Arlington, Texas. This silly clip art doesn’t do it justice, I assure you.
(Was going for an old cowboy that was really hot from the summer sun...searching for "hot cowboy" in Google is not a good idea...)
Anyways, I’m not really ready for the Advanced division yet but due to scheduling, I’m going to go for it this weekend. The Advanced and Recreational divisions will play two rounds on Saturday while the Pro/Open and Intermediate groups will play Sunday. I can’t play on Sunday so I was left with Advanced or Rec.
Although my rating might tell you otherwise, playing Rec. at this point is not getting me anywhere. The Advanced division however will be quite a step up in competition. My goal is to not get last. To not look terrible. To not fall down from being nervous. To not suck. Honestly, I don’t care if I get last so long as I play my best.
I’ll let everyone know how good or bad this turns out next week…until then, please hold candlelight vigils and prayer meetings for my poor ego. I’m not sure if my pride is going to make it!
Man what a great title. If you’re not sure whether to join the PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) or not, you need to read my short but oh so sweet article at Disc Golf Station, entitled How To: Become a PDGA Member.
I’ll first tell the ambivalent crowd why and show the eager beavers how. Signing up takes less than 5 minutes, reading the full article goes even faster.
For those that don’t know, I have been growing my hair out since January of 2009. This week I had reached the length necessary to donate (over 8 inches, mine was 9.5 to 10) to a charity organization called Children with Hair Loss. It’s a nonprofit organization that collects hair donations and makes wigs for, you guessed it, children with hair loss, due to cancer or other causes too. I have not had a haircut for a year and a half and in 5 minutes my wife cut it all off. Here was the process:
Not one of my finer moments...let's move on.
All the little tails
The combined tails
After a quick trip to Fantastic Sams
After a quick trip to Fantastic Sams
And now my head is not 120 degrees when I play disc golf.
See ya on the course (but you may not recognize me),
Today I went out to the Haslet Community Park Disc Golf Course in Haslet, Texas. It’s a neat little 9 hole course that is mostly open and short with a few obstacles. Some hate courses like this but I love them for the great practice they provide. I can work on my approach and mid-range game, which is where I usually struggle. Ok, on to the good stuff.
I aced Hole 2 with my 173g Discraft Elite-Z Flick on a sharp hyzer line through the gap between the trees. This is probably the most technical hole on the course (if such a thing exists at Haslet) with OB creek to the left if you overshoot. It’s a harder-than-it-looks 200 footer with more obstacles than any other hole on the course. This was one of those shots that you know has a chance as soon as it leaves your hand. The beauty of those few seconds stays with you for a while. I know I’m even more excited about disc golf now than I used to be. Bought myself a Mountain Dew on the way home to celebrate!
This is what a Mountain Dew looks like.
If you have a recent ace story, let’s hear it!
Oh yes, big restock of Lightning Discs. Added over 100 bags and over 300 discs to our inventory.
Sometimes you need a change of pace. Sometimes you need a break from just “playing lots of rounds” of disc golf. Sometimes you, no – WE, need to actually practice. When I first started playing, the concept of actually practicing rather than always playing was non-existent. I figured I would just play a lot and eventually get better. I will practice my putting via all of the disc golf I played. It’s kinda like saying “I’ll work on my free throws when I get fouled in the game.”
But practicing is boring and disc golf is fun. Yes, I understand the dilemma. Here’s the first idea to help you practice while maximizing the fun factor. (Besides at the end of the day, being better at disc golf is fun…)
Really Great Idea #1: The Two Disc Round
First off, make a buddy do this with you. Choose your favorite putter and mid-range disc, you will play the round with ONLY these two discs, hence the name. Go to whatever course you want but you can only use those two discs. For me, it’s a Pro-D Banger and an ESP Buzzz.
One round like this every other month will keep you grounded. Expect to learn your discs very well. You may be surprised at how far you can throw your putter and mid-range and the different lines that you can get but otherwise wouldn’t try if X or Y disc was in your bag. The first thing that I noticed was that I can use putters and mid-ranges MUCH more often than I used to. Ideally, you could always use a very slow, easily-controlled disc for every shot. Well, if you work on expanding the utility of your slowest, straightest discs, you will see a difference in your game. Seriously, why would you use a high speed, overstable, maximum distance driver for a 200 ft open hole? Even small arms can push that mid-range out near the 200 foot mark. Try me!
Now, feel free to get creative but I like the putter/mid-range combo because it will emphasize control, accuracy, and throwing smooth. It forces you not to overwork your discs, like I’m in the habit of doing. (Hey just boom it man!…not good disc golf philosophy usually…) Ok, get out there and try it, let me know if you see a difference.