Living the Dream On the road with Eric and Tina
Golfing for a cause: Lyme disease awareness n
World Champions answer reader questions n
Five dream courses to play n
CONTENTS Publisher Jeremy Rusco Editor Chris Walker Magazine Director Laci Rusco Art Director Kelsey Barker Project Director Doug Bjerkaas Design & Production Picante Creative Photography Stu Mullenberg Jason Dailey Dave Leiker Writers Zach Hacker Mary Ann Redeker John Robinson Copy Editors Zach Hacker Ashley Walker Marketing Tayler Lyons Digital Edition chasinthechainsmagazine.com Subscribe chainsmagazine.com the asin info@ch For more information Chasinâ€™ the Chains Magazine 517 Merchant Emporia, KS 66801
On the Road The life of Eric Oakley and Tina Stanaitis
Lyme Warrior Nikki DiSalvo strives to educate others about Lyme Disease
CONTENT 14 Professor Plastic Tomas Ekström goes from player to maker 33 Buy Back Program makes it affordable to find the right disc
36 2017 Tournament Season A look through Stu Mullenberg’s viewfinder 42 Q&A with Paige and Ricky Questions submitted by fans, answered by pros
46 Top 5 Courses to Play 52 Honors Dynamic Discs featured in Forbes and Ingram’s Magazines 62 #dynamicdiscs Instagram users hashtagging their love 68 A Look Ahead 2018 Tournament Season
Advertorial 20 Latitude 64° A look behind the scenes in Sweden
e c n e i er p
Y T I C S A S N A K Ex
F L O G C S I D
Kansas City’s largest disc golf store
Play. Kansas City’s historic courses:
Water Works Park | KCMO Swope Park | KCMO Rosedale Park | KCKS or any of the 35 courses within 30 minutes of the Dynamic Discs Kansas City Shop 2866 W 47th Ave | Kansas City, Kansas 66103 | 913-403-0710 | email@example.com | Mon-Sat: 10AM-6PM, Sun: 12PM-4PM
Hi Disc Golf fans, It is hard to look back and realize another year is already coming to an end. Disc golf has continued to grow at an incredible pace, but we still have so much to accomplish. Being a part of a growing industry with so many passionate players is something that continues to drive me and all of us at Dynamic Discs. I am truly grateful and thankful to continue to be a part of the disc golf industry, and we look forward to what is still to come. We had an incredible year again, and for that, I thank everyone who continues to be a part of everything. The Glass Blown Open was, again, the largest disc golf event in the world and, despite not being able to finish the final day of competition due to weather, we feel the event was a tremendous success. The 2018 Glass Blown Open will be something not to miss out on whether you come to Emporia as a player, a spectator or a volunteer. The Disc Golf Experience at Nissan Stadium and Pocono Raceway are special events that bring disc golf to new venues and expose the sport to new people and media outlets. While we donâ€™t know where the stadium experiences will be in 2018, we are always working on something new to bring to the table! Our commitment to quality products and exceptional customer service has remained a top priority for everyone and everything that we do at Dynamic Discs. While we are going to make a mistake from time to time, if given the opportunity to rectify the situation, we go above and beyond to ensure the outcome is positive for all. The future of the sport is bright, and our commitment to growing the sport is visible through our Grow Disc Golf Day campaign. I encourage every disc golfer to pick just one day a year to introduce a handful of new players to the sport that we all love. Check out GrowDiscGolf.com for more information on how you can get behind our efforts and be a part of the grassroots movement to get more players involved and share the same passion with you. Thanks again to everyone for an incredible year, and know that we are always striving for excellence in everything we do! We will continue to push the sport in hopes to be a part of the reason that the youth of today will become the rising stars of tomorrow and seen on major sports networks by millions! Enjoy the second edition of Chasinâ€™ the Chains magazine and as always, we appreciate your support.
Jeremy Rusco Dynamic Discs owner & founder
Eric Oakley and Tina Stanaitis are living a lifestyle some might consider unconventional. Others, however, might say they’re living out the American dream. No matter how it looks to outsiders, they are figuring it out together. The recently engaged couple is putting down roots in its own way, living and traveling the country in an RV — to which they lovingly refer as Penelope — with their cat, Spout. Along the way, the two professional disc golfers run free clinics in nearby towns and sell merchandise featuring their unmistakable WhalePants logo along with Stanaitis’ handmade Whale Sacs, which are hand dryers shaped like — you guessed it — whales. It’s all their way of helping grow and contribute to the sport they love, and carve out their own slice of the American dream in the process. “It’s always a process,” Stanaitis said. “We’re still trying to figure things out together.”
Love and disc golf
Disc golf brought the pair together two years ago when they met at the U.S. Women’s Disc Golf Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Stanaitis was still an amateur at the time, while Oakley was in his first partial year as a touring professional. But the road which brought them together was paved at a gradual pace.
By Zach Hacker Photos by Jason Dailey
Chasinâ€™ the Chains 7
Oakley first started playing disc golf as a hobby in high school. Heavily involved in soccer and other high school athletics, disc golf didn’t seem at the time like it would be the foundation on which he’d build his adult life. “Disc golf was definitely something I just did,” the Dallas native said. “Me and my buddies would be the guys who had their shirts off in the heat of summer, getting poison ivy and just being goons.” He started taking the sport seriously four or five years ago, nearly a decade after first picking up a disc. Stanaitis didn’t get the best introduction to 8 DYNAMICDISCS.COM
Disc golf was definitely something I just did.
disc golf. A native of River Falls, Wisconsin — a small town about 40 miles east of Minneapolis, Minnesota — she didn’t get any instruction when she took to the 9-hole course in her hometown. “No one would teach us how to play,” she said. “The first time I played, on the last hole, one of my buddies threw a full power driver that hit me and I had a swollen ankle for like, three weeks. Needless to say, I wasn’t really thrilled about the sport the first time I played.” A couple years later, a friend taught her how to throw and play the game. That’s when her love affair with disc golf truly began.
Her passion for the sport grew to the point she decided to make it something she would dedicate her life to full-time. After working as a banker for five years, Stanaitis quit, diving head first into touring. “It’s intimidating,” she said. “It took me a long time to be like, ‘There’s no reason not to do this. If it doesn’t work, I can always go back and find another banking job.’”
Living small The couple moved into the RV in Sept. 2016, about a year and a half after they met. Along the way, there have been challenges and learning experiences, but through it all, Oakley and Stanaitis have figured it out. Oakley does “about 90 percent” of the driving, which allows Stanaitis
Chasin’ the Chains 9
to work on her Whale Sacs on the road. She is a morning person, so she can usually get her day started and begin her workday before Oakley is awake. He’s a night person, so on the long drives he’s able to drive until around 2 a.m. when necessary. They share cooking duties, and to avoid fights over who does the dishes, paper plates have become a staple. Gas and propane keep their operation running, so learning to conserve both 10 DYNAMICDISCS.COM
— and using warm water wisely — have been key. “There are inconvenient parts, but if you know what you’ve gotta do, you figure out how to make it work,” Oakley said. The pair is not unlike other couples, however, in that they sometimes need to work through problems. Living in such a small space and often being in transit, long, drawn-out arguments and uncomfortable periods of silence are simply not an option.
“We’re both amazing communicators,” Stanaitis said. “I’ll just say, ‘Give me five minutes of your time.’ And after that, we’re good.”
New addition Oakley and Stanaitis were already hard to miss. Oakley, with his signature “flashy” pants and Stanaitis, with her bright red hair and, of course, their home full of WhalePants merchandise used to fund the whole operation, were unmistakable. Now, they can also often be seen out walking their cat, Spout. Oakley wanted to add a furry friend to their home — he said there would be adjustments, but they’d “figure it out” — but Stanaitis wasn’t so sure. She said she was an “animal person,” but was afraid of the bad smells and acts of petty vandalism pets are wont to commit. The couple was on its way to visit one of Stanaitis’ friends in Austin, Texas, when she finally agreed. “She happened to post a link about a free
cat adoption in Austin,” she said. “I was like, ‘Hey, there are going to be free cats in Austin tomorrow. We’re gonna be there.’ He was so so serious, like, ‘Don’t joke about that unless you’re serious.’” By the next morning, she’d made up her mind. They were getting a cat. It wasn’t hard to find the one who was just right for their lifestyle, either. “I had my hair in a braid like I usually do and she started batting at it,” Stanaitis said. “I was like, ‘That’s the one.’” It turned out, she was right. Spout has helped in comforting them after bad rounds or when times get tough. She has made Penelope feel even more like home. “I think we lucked out,” Oakley said. “Spout is very tolerant and she acclimated incredibly well.”
Making ends meet Like most professional disc golfers, Oakley and Stanaitis sometimes struggle to fund their lifestyle. Along with typical living expenses such as food and clothes, the couple also needs to pay for gas
Chasin’ the Chains 11
Follow Eric and Tina at: Blog: ohwhales.weebly.com Vlog: youtube.com, subscribe to Eric Oakley Facebook.com/whalepants
and propane, entry fees into tournaments and other expenditures that come along with a life on the road. Disc golf, on the other hand, is anything but a high-paying career. A single tournament can take an entire week’s worth of time, leaving little opportunities for fundraising — let alone practicing — and payouts sometimes barely cover the cost of getting there and playing. Stanaitis’ Whale Sac business has grown exponentially since she first launched — so much so they are considering upgrading to a larger RV — but that still leaves little, if any, wiggle room. What has helped are their partnership with Dynamic Discs and the opportunities they’ve created. “The opportunities are endless,” Oakley said. “The disc golf family is incredible. All of the people involved want to do whatever they 12 DYNAMICDISCS.COM
While the couple is now introducing people around the country to disc golf, it was the sport itself which brought them together.
can to help out.” One area in which both Stanaitis and Oakley felt the industry as a whole could do more is by helping grow the sport across the board, to all demographics. That’s what they are trying to accomplish with the free clinics they host throughout their travels. Along with selling WhalePants merchandise, the clinics give them an opportunity to introduce the sport to more people. “Early on we just decided to do it because we wanted to,” Stanaitis said. “Both of us liked to teach, and we both wanted to grow the sport. Then, after we got it going, it turned into a way to raise money. “We’d be out at courses and people who don’t even know what professional disc golfers are would walk by and we thought, ‘That’s who we want to reach.’”
A perfect match While the couple is now introducing people around the country to disc golf, it was the sport itself which brought them together. It has now become their livelihood and is central to all aspects of their life. After a couple years of touring together, the couple got engaged in September, proving wrong the notion that it’s a bad idea to enter into a relationship with a “coworker.” In fact, it’s been quite the opposite for Stanaitis and Oakley. Working together has perhaps made their relationship smoother than it otherwise might have been. “One thing that helps me the most is having Tina there,” Oakley said. “You just always have someone in your corner, no matter what.” “Being able to have somebody
there that gets it is huge,” Stanaitis added. “Everyone has their bad days or bad rounds. When I have a bad round and I come in and complain for an hour, he’s just like, ‘I get it. I was there two weeks ago.’” Both up-and-coming players on the professional tour, the couple believes their best days are still ahead. It would be hard to convince them otherwise. In disc golf, love, finances, travel and pet parenting, the couple has so far made it work. It all started with a leap of faith, and the belief that no matter, they’d figure it out. “We got lucky in that we were both in places where we were just able to make the jump,” Oakley said. “I think that’s something most people aren’t willing to do; they’re not willing to just go for it. n
Chasin’ the Chains 13
Tomas Ekström doesn’t have many major titles to his credit. But make no mistake, he has been a crucial part of several championships. Ekström, disc designer for Latitude 64°, had no idea how to make a disc when he started out in the late 2000s. Less than a decade later, he has helped turn the company out of a small town in Sweden into one of the major players in the disc golf industry.
By Zach Hacker Photos by Jason Dailey
he discs looked like hell,” Ekström said of his first attempt to create his own disc. “They came out so floppy. They looked like berets.” He concluded that his design was OK, but the plastic was all wrong. Since that less than successful beginning, he has perfected the art of disc-making, more than living up to his moniker: Professor Plastic.
A new love Ekström was introduced to disc golf when he was 13 years old. He became aware of the sport while hanging out at a youth house after school when one of the guys who worked there showed he and his friends how to play. He started playing more and more, eventually a small but dedicated group had a club. “By 1986, I was playing about 30 hours a week,” Ekström said. “I was starting to get pretty good at it.” Despite the lack of popularity disc golf had in Sweden at the time, Ekström turned professional in 1996. He garnered sponsorships with major companies like Reebok and earned funding which allowed him to enter tournaments in the United States and throughout Europe. He enjoyed living that life, but says now that after five or six years, he was beginning to burn out. “Then came my disease,” he said. Inexplicably, Ekström started to gain weight and was tired all of the time. He suddenly
struggled to finish a round after years of having no trouble at all. He played what ended up being his last tournament before a five-year hiatus in 1999. He learned he had a problem with his thyroid, and his hormone levels were so low doctors were unable to measure them.
A new opportunity After learning the cause of his health problems, Ekström was unable to play on tour, but he still wanted to be involved in disc golf. He’d always been particularly skilled at being able to separate the good from the bad when it came to discs. Out of that, Latitude 64° was born — eventually. “People would call me ‘Professor Plastic’ in Sweden,” Ekström said. “I would review the discs that were coming out. That’s when I started to think I should make my own discs.” It started with some drawings. Gradually, the designs became more detailed and complex with the use of computer software and 3D imaging. Eventually, molds were Chasin’ the Chains 15
made and the aforementioned unsuccessful first attempt gave Ekström and his team their first true foray into disc-making. In those early days, he was working a day job beside making discs and, with limited equipment, the quality was inconsistent. “We had a scrap rate of 50 percent at the time,” Ekström said. The discs that weren’t being scrapped were selling well, but the process still wasn’t quite right.
Becoming a leader It took a leap of faith and more trial and error to truly propel Latitude 64° into what it is today. Not getting the consistency they’d hoped for, Ekström and his team concluded technology could help fix the problem. “I went to the bank and said I needed to buy a molding machine,” he said. “Luckily, they said, ‘yes.’ None of us had ever run a molding machine before, so there was a steep learning curve. Still, that first week we made better discs than the other guys were making. Getting the machine was the turning point.” Now able to achieve the consistency for which they’d been looking, people in the disc golf world started to take notice. A meeting with Jeremy Rusco of Dynamic Discs led to Ekström designing the Trespass and cutting a deal with the Emporia, Kansas, company. The 47-year-old father and grandfather now makes discs for world champions such as Ricky Wysocki and Dave Feldberg. His discs and attention to detail have no doubt played a large role in their success. And attention to detail might be an understatement. Even with the aid of a machine, perfect 16 DYNAMICDISCS.COM
Chasinâ€™ the Chains 17
I can look at a person and see which discs would work best for their technique.
consistency is something Ekström said is “almost impossible.” “You’re working with a molten material that goes through a machine and then, when it gets cooled off, it can go through shrinkage,” he said. “When you’re designing a disc, you have to think about shrinkage. A lot of things can happen during a mold if the machine is wrong. That’s how you have inconsistencies. You try hard to get it perfect, but it’s almost impossible. Plastic is almost like a living material.”
Growth Ekström has taken what was once a small operation and turned it into one of top disc golf companies in the world. That growth is evident when one sees how quickly Latitude 64° discs fly off the shelves. “Before, when we released a new disc we’d make 3,000 to 5,000 for the first batch,” he said. “When we released the Sheriff, we made 20,000 discs in the first batch and those were gone in two weeks. You can only make so many discs in 24 hours.” Despite all of his success with Latitude 64°, Ekström still considers himself more of a disc golf player than a designer. With that in mind, he said the most important thing to remember is for each individual player to use a disc that works for them. “I can look at a person and see which discs would work best for their technique,” he said. “One of the biggest problems I see is, people are reading about discs and seeing what Ricky Wysocki is using or what Paul McBeth is using and they run out and buy those discs. A lot of times that is suicide for a new user. People need to stick with what they’re comfortable using.” n
Exploring Clover Cliff Ranch A New Disc Golf Destination It’s a short 20-minute drive from Emporia and is complete with eighteen pristine Veteran baskets. This beautiful disc golf course provides open holes and can be very windy. With hills and valleys that offer a variety of elevation, it’s a challenging experience for experts and beginners alike. After your round is done, you can cozy up and experience the old-fashioned hospitality that Clover Cliff Ranch Bed and Breakfast has to offer. As an elegant late Victorian era empire-style stone home, it boasts beautiful design elements with themed rooms.
826A US Highway 50 | Elmdale, KS 66850 | www.clovercliffranch.com | 620-343-0621 Chasin’ the Chains 19
The numbers Latitude 64° started in a 250-square-foot basement. The Latitude 64° factory is now more than 30,000 square feet.
E H T D N I H BE A F O S E N E SC
F L O G C S I D Y R O FACT l town in here is a smal Skellefteå. Sweden called people About 30,000 s is industriou live here in th isphere — orthern hem town in the n e precise. .7502° N to b at latitude 64 by the are hardened e er h s lk fo e Th hard, rs — working te in w k ar d long, mobile and de on a snow going for a ri ount of y the small am trying to enjo ss. stumble acro daylight they offers of December The middle of sun. our window only a four-h es, it only er finally com When summ This seems ree months. th t u o ab s st la oted disc to find a dev ce la p ge n ra es like a st eless, here li nity. Noneth lf go c is golf commu st d world’s bigge e th f o e n o also factories. itude 64° ce where Lat la p e th is is Th was born. st an ittyehouse was ju The first war r founders Here, the fou t. en em as b d, Svante bitty avid Berglun D , m ö tr ks E ted the (Tomas Åström) crea an h Jo d an Eriksson d dreamed to k in 2006 an ac b cs is d t rs fi idn’t take too rld. Well, it d o w e th n o take speed. gs to pick up of us long for thin that all four as w am re d e “Th y,” Prodom our hobb fr g n vi li a could earn said. “We omas Ekström T er n ig es D uct ay we are 25 at stage. Tod th d se as p y quickl
Chasin’ the Chains 21
The quality Making discs is a tricky business. One-tenth of a millimeter wrong and the discs don’t fly correctly. Checking every single disc is essential.
The ingredients Finding the right ingredients, mixing them right and processing them correct is a delicate matter. The recipe is highly confidential information, though.
employees. I still remember the exhilarating feeling of getting an order for 15,000 discs from the US. An order size of that amount is not raising any eyebrows nowadays.” It hasn’t all been a walk in the park, though. Usually when dreams come true, there is a lot of hard work behind the success. At the beginning, there were three discs released. They were well-received and the disc golf community wanted more. When Latitude 64° partnered with Dynamic Discs and Westside Discs to produce discs for them, the pace picked up. Now there are more than 500 unique disc products in different plastics. And as quality is the motto, no matter if the disc is for a world champion or beginner, it is evident a lot of trying, testing and finetuning has taken place. “We are proud to be able to offer products to everyone,” Ekström said. “At the same time, we have never backed away from the fact that quality should be the
The looks Off to the stock stamp station. Nils Holmgård finds the right foil for the right disc and makes them look good.
The hard work Paulina Ögren, sales assistance, packs a box of discs with care. Nobody likes a warped disc or scuffed foil stamp.
Robert Lundqvist, product manager, and Linus Åström, machine specialist, discussing important disc matters.
essence of Latitude 64°. Our discs must look good, feel right in the hand and fly right no matter the skills of the person throwing it. I hope this is the reason why our customers keeps coming back.” The everyday struggle of making the best discs in the world is real. Making one good run of a mold isn’t
enough. Consistency is the key. “Our discs fly like intended, and our discs should fly the same when someone buys another one of the same mold,” CEO David Berglund said. “When we hear people talking about this, we know we are doing this right. Consistent quality is crucial for us.” n
Bon voyage A boatload of discs approved by CEO David Berglund is ready for a trip over the pond. Hope they all find a loving and caring home.
Chasin’ the Chains 23
TRI-FLY Disc Golf, Inc.
Chasinâ€™ the Chains 25
GOLFING FOR A CAUSE
DiSalvo strives to educate others about Lyme Disease
WARRIOR BY MARY ANN REDEKER & JOHN ROBINSON
or almost five years, Nikki DiSalvo only knew she was sick. Suffering from seemingly unrelated symptoms ranging from fatigue, visual disturbances and digestive issues to cardiovascular and neurological issues, DiSalvo received an equally broad range of diagnoses. Lupus, multiple sclerosis and a panic disorder — each was a false description. Finally, in Nov. 2015, she learned the true name of her illness. Lyme disease, caused by bacteria carried by ticks, was to blame for each of DiSalvo’s symptoms. “When the doctor called and said the Lyme test was positive, I was really surprised,” DiSalvo, disc golfer and graduate student at Emporia State University said. “There was an element of relief that we finally knew what was going on.” DiSalvo can’t recall exactly when she was bitten by a tick, but imagines it was during one of the many rounds of disc golf she and her husband, Derek Savory, played in upstate New York. Going from being able to play multiple rounds in a day, DiSalvo said she isn’t able to play disc golf like she did before the diagnosis. “I used to play, on average, three to four rounds a week plus tournaments most weekends,” she said. “I do get out when I’m able to. Sometimes I will just play three to four holes and know that’s all I have in me for the day, but I probably average one to two full rounds a month now.” DiSalvo said living with Lyme Disease is a daily battle for her. “I have ups and downs,” she said. “It’s incredibly variable and highly unpredictable. I can go from being relatively well and functioning one minute to not being able to get to the bathroom without crawling because I’m so dizzy and nauseous the next. My baseline is different than it was before I got sick, so that even on my ‘good’ days, I have various issues Chasin’ the Chains 27
with lightheadedness, fatigue and neurological issues. It’s the flares that really get me and take me out of commission for days on end sometimes.” Looking to educate others and increase awareness of Lyme disease, DiSalvo and Savory started Lyme Warrior Disc Golf. “Not a lot of people know about Lyme disease,” Savory said. “Maybe they remember seeing a commercial for it, but nobody really knows what it is. They say, ‘Oh, it’s Lyme disease,’ and they walk away. We were ignorant of it as well when we first got into it. “So, to get people talking about it in disc golf — because disc golfers are a group of people who have a high risk for it — if you keep repeating, ‘be careful of ticks, be careful of ticks,’ it becomes background noise.” In an effort to craft a memorable message, the organization commissions a different artist each month to design a custom Lyme Warrior disc. It also distributes cards reminding disc golfers of the proper way to remove ticks and ways to avoid Lyme disease. 28 DYNAMICDISCS.COM
“Our ‘War Paint’ tick spray has been a huge seller all summer and we’ve had wonderful reviews of its efficacy,” DiSalvo said. “We’re absolutely overjoyed that people are beginning to take Lyme Disease and its co-infections seriously, especially in the disc golf community where people are at such high risk. “We’ve been lucky enough to have amazing friends on tour like Eric McCabe, Paige Pierce, Zach Melton, Tina Stanaitis, Eric Oakley and Johne and Jennifer McCray, who support what we’re doing and have done so much to help us increase awareness by advocating for our products, talking to others about Lyme and re-posting things we post on our Facebook page.” The Facebook page for Lyme Warrior Disc Golf can be found at facebook.com/lymewarriordg, DiSalvo’s blog can be found at www. ivegotlyme.com/2017. “We post a lot of practical information on our Facebook page,” DiSalvo said. “I try to make blog
posts regularly to document my progress. We still have artists donating their designs every month that we make into beautiful DyeMax discs. We’re also planning the 2018 Lyme Warrior Open tournament and it’s going to be pretty spectacular. We do our part by talking to people about Lyme, and we’re always glad to offer whatever help and advice we can.” Living with Lyme Disease hasn’t been easy for DiSalvo, but she hopes to continue to educate others about the effects of the disease. “Derek and I really want to thank the disc golf community for getting behind this effort, get-
ting the conversation started and supporting Lyme Warrior DG in every way,” she said. “There are people who purchase the new disc that comes out every single month unfailingly, people who have bought bulk supplies of War Paint for their events, and people who consistently buy our fundraiser discs for the 2018 Lyme Warrior Open. There are also people who mention Lyme Warrior on Facebook and repost our informational posts. We’ve been overwhelmed by this support in all of its various forms, and we’re so grateful to be a part of the disc golf family.” n
Johne McCray and Derek Savory pose at a Lyme Warrior tournament.
Chasin’ the Chains 29
1. Lucid EMAC Truth
2. Lucid Criminal
3. Prime Judge
4. Lucid Sheriff
5. Classic Blend Judge
6. Lucid Defender
7. Classic Blend Slammer
8. Lucid Convict
9. Lucid Escape
10. Lucid Freedom
11. Prime Truth
12. Lucid Trespass
13. Fuzion Sheriff
14. Lucid Justice
15. Classic Warden
1. Opto Compass
2. Opto Caltrop
3. Opto Gladiator
4. Zero Hard Dagger
5. Opto River
6. Opto-G Gobi
7. Opto Anchor
8. Opto Diamond
Fairway Driver (Lightweight)
9. Opto-G Bryce
1. VIP Fortress
2. BT Hard Harp
3. VIP King
4. VIP Ahti
5. Origio Harp
6. Tournament Fortress
7. BT Medium Harp
8. BT Medium Crown
9. VIP World
10. Gold River
10. VIP Harp
11. Opto Ballista
12. Opto-G Sarek
11. B T Hard Crown
12. Tournament Ahti
13. Opto Bolt
13. Tournament King
14. Opto Claymore
14. VIP Sword
15. Opto Saint
15. BT Soft Harp
don’t like a new disc?
Buy Back program makes it affordable to find the right disc
BY CHRIS WALKER
isc golfers love to buy discs, but the love can quickly fade when a new purchase doesn’t perform like a player wanted. For many, those disappointing purchases are put on the shelves to maybe try again in the future. National Sales Director for Dynamic Discs Jamie Rusco knows it can take a lot tries to find the right discs, which can also mean a lot of money. That prompted Dynamic Discs to start a Buy Back program in the United States for Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64° and Westside Discs. The program is available at more than 200 brick and mortar stores and it lets purchasers try a disc for 14 days. If they don’t like it, they can bring it back for full store credit and exchange it for another disc from any manufacturer. If they try another disc from Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64° or Westside discs, they have another 14 days to try that disc. “We want people to find the right discs and to keep them coming back until they do,” Rusco said. “The goal is to keep them swapping through the family until they find the right discs.” Rusco said the feedback from the retailers has been positive. “I believe it gives some people the peace of mind to try a new disc, and we have had a couple people benefit from it and return their disc for a new one,” said Clarence Cowan of Out of Bounds Discs in Cibolo, Texas. Chris Whirrett, owner of The Disc Store in Omaha, Nebraska, said “When someone is on the fence about trying out a Trilogy disc, the reassurance that they can exchange the disc if they don’t like how it flies almost always convinces them to give it a try, and they are rarely ever disappointed with the results,” said Chris Whirrett, owner of The Disc Store in Omaha, Nebraska. Rusco has enjoyed seeing how the Buy Back program builds traffic to retail stores.
“Disc golfers want to connect with other disc golfers.” Rusco said “When people can go to a retailer and can tell them what they liked or didn’t like in a disc, the retailer can offer a couple more options that might better suit them to help find the right disc faster.” The only stipulations are that the disc needs to be returned with no ink on it and a receipt for the store. Those discs that come back are sold at a discount on an isolated rack, and those discs are also available for the Buy Back program. “We want to give people a reason to walk into stores, and this program gives people peace of mind,” Rusco said. “We hope to gain a customer for life through our Buy Back program,”
Tahoe Mountain Sports
Flyin’ Lynx Disc Golf Shop
A-GAME Disc Golf
Rapid Fire Plastics Disc Golf Store
Hillcrest Country Club
Flying Finch Disc Golf
The Nati Disc Golf
Play It Again Sports - Grand Rapids
Expedition Supply, Inc
Disc Golf DC
Art Smart’s Dart Mart & Juggling Emporium
Play It Again Sports Beaverton
Pipe Dream Toys
Messina Enterprises, LLC dba Play It Again Sports
GR Hobby & Disc Golf
Disc Caddie Golf
The Drop Zone
Triple Play Records
Play it Again Sports Evansville
Epic DIscs and Designs
Fly Line Discs
I Fling Plastic
Only The Best Discs
Boise Disc Golf
Play It Again Sports - Greenville, NC
Other programs that received plenty of interest this year were Special Edition and Prototype discs that Dynamic Discs released. “This year we released the Prototype Sheriff, SE Slammer, and SE Criminal to Buy Back locations and the response was overwhelming,” Rusco said Special Editions are new molds and are only available at Buyback retail stores. Typically, only 3,000 copies are produced and each retail store only gets 10 copies to sell. They come out a month before the standard release of a disc. That limited supply created lines and retail stores having the their busiest days of the year. “I sold out in the first hour and people are hounding me to get more back in stock.” said Steve Koepsel of Disc Golf Sports Center. Caleb Jones of Texas Chain Society said his store had people waiting for hours for the new release. Rusco said 2018 will have more Special Editions released from Dynamic Discs. It is likely Latitude and Westside will also be doing special editions in the coming year. n
Dawg City LLC. DBA Dawg City Disc Golf Saint Cloud
Tees Tees and More
Tall Firs Disc Golf
Disc Golf 365
Premier Design Disc Golf
Iowa Bike and Fitness
Disc Golf Station
Redding Disc Golf
Iron Lion Disc Golf Supply (Des Moines)
Infinite Discs Idaho
Brewers True Value Hardware
OTC Disc Golf LLC
Metzger’s Outdoors, LLC
Ultralight Adventure Equipment
Blue Bison Sports
Play it Again Sports Palatine
Hometown Disc Golf
Go Disc Golf Shop
Hyper Drive Disc Golf Rebound Sports
Gary’s Shoe Repair
Birdcage Disc Golf
Southland Disc Golf Gym
Play it Again sports
Third Coast Discs
Chain Society Discs
Fresh Disc Golf
Smokin Aces Disc Golf
The Beaten Path
Halo Disc Golf and Sports
KWs Disc Golf LLC
Cory’s Bicycle Shop
Play It Again Sports Jonesboro
DZDiscs @ Drop Zone Extreme Sports
Bittersweet Ridge Disc Golf
Busler Enterprises www.buslerlubricants.com
Discover Disc Golf Ace Home and Garden Center
Replay Sports Gear
Hales Landscape Supply
Steamboat Springs CO
Play It Again Sports McKinney
Disc 2 Basket Disc Golf Shop
Play It Again Sports
ChatVal Disc Golf
City of Bryant / Bishop Park
Martian Disc Golf Supply
Iron Works Cycling
Big Stone Gap
Play it Again Sport
Out of Bounds
Bridgeport Flight Club
Lake Amador Resort
Play It Again Sports
The Disc Golf Experience
Play It Again Sports Springfield
Southern Home and Ranch
Play It Again Sports
Mojo Cycling of Newton
4G Force LLC dba Play it Again Sports
Fantasy Flights / The Inn at Lucky Mud
Mountlake Terrace WA
Play it Again Sports Spokane
Marshall Street Disc Golf
Play It Again Sports #10020
Appalachian Disc Golf
Play It Again Sports
Titan Disc Golf
Play It Again Sports
RVA Disc Golf Life
PIAS Oro Valley
Johnson Family Sports LLC - PIAS 11634
Play It Again Sports
Play It Again Sports
Palisade Discs & Gifts
Paper or Plastic Sports and Games
Star Par, LLC dba Star Par Discs
Disc Golf Today
Play It Again Sports - Fort Smith
Play Enterprise LLC
2nd Time Sports
University Book and Supply
Disc Golf Colorado
Bad Family Discs
OTC Disc Golf L.L.C.
Smoky Mountain Discs
Disc Baron (Happy Discing Inc)
Crema Cafe LLC
Chasin’ the Chains 35
2017 Tournament Season When it comes to photographing disc golf, there is no one better than Stu Mullenberg. Enjoy the following photos from Beaver State Fling in Estacada, Oregon and 2017 Professional World Championships in Augusta, Georgia.
Chasinâ€™ the Chains 37
ANSWERED World Champions Paige Pierce and Ricky Wysocki answer questions about the sport they love. Questions were submitted from fans on Trilogyâ€™s Facebook page.
Photos by Dave Leiker
What is the best on-the-course snack for long rounds? And, do you consume water or sports drinks? Question from Mike Sepulveda Paige Pierce: I really love the
Mango Apple Chia bars that Kind makes. Another good one is the Larabar Bites, chocolate macaroon is the best, in my opinion. As far as drinks go, there is nothing I would rather drink than Humm Kombucha, which is a fermented tea with active cultures that helps your digestion and at the same time; tastes so good. Ricky Wysocki: This is a good
question for me as I am a big snacker. Seems like I am always snacking on something, but my go-to snack has to be granola bars. I am big into Clif Bars and the dipped yogurt bars. Water has always been my main drink of choice. I do like to spice it up a bit sometimes and, when I do, I like Humm Kombucha and green tea.
What is the best way to improve your game? Is it field work or playing casual rounds? Is there such a thing as too much playing, or practicing too much? Question from Grant Goodner PP: I would say the best way
to improve your game is to simply practice, but practice with a goal in mind. There is a thing as pointless practice, so I would say to make sure Chasinâ€™ the Chains 43
you have an intention in each shot and each angle you are working on. That way you know if and when you messed up and how to fix the next one. RW: I feel like, if I’m working on a certain
aspect of my game, consistent practice on whatever I’m having trouble with helps — just trying to build positive muscle memory and training your body to do a certain motion. The best way to achieve that is by practicing this multiple times a day and multiple days in a row.
What advice do you have for the average player who throws 300 to 350 (feet), to be able to start throwing 400 to 450-plus? Question from Keith Kazanowski PP: This is the question I hear the most.
I think it’s relatively simple. Use your entire body to propel the disc. It is not as simple as reaching back far and throwing hard. You have to put your weight into the disc and explode through your release point. RW: Work on reach back. The majority of
people don’t maximize their power because they aren’t getting a full reach back. So, I like to do video examination if I’m having trouble with my form or, in this case, reach back. Timing is everything with distance. Focus on reaching back slow and pulling forward fast.
What are two or three suggestions you would give to improve consistency and hitting lines? Question from Gene Sorg PP: Consistency comes from repetition.
Practice, commit and focus. Those are the three simplified steps that will help you to be more precise on hitting lines. RW: This answer is similar to the one above.
The full reach back is only half the battle. Now, in this case, to achieve the certain angle of release at the end of the throw, you have to train yourself to reach back on the same angle you plan on going forward on. 44 DYNAMICDISCS.COM
What do you do either before or during a tournament to prepare yourself mentally?
What are your favorite three courses? Question from Dana Orlando PP: Maple Hill Disc Golf Course in
Question from Lionel Ducluzeau
Leicester, Massachusetts, Nantucket Disc Golf Course in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and the Jarva Disc Golf Course in Stockholm, Sweden.
PP: The mental game is different
for everyone. I just make sure I know how my discs are flying and that I am committing to my release on the putting green. If I am doing both of these things, my mental game will fall into place. That way there is no thinking, just execution. I feel as though I am having my best rounds when I mentally black out and just let my body take over. RW: I, like, try to isolate myself.
This allows me to focus on me, and what I’m doing is the most important. As everyone knows, no one is going to play for you. So me keeping to myself allows me to avoid hearing other people’s gameplan or hearing negative thoughts about what your buddy does/will do on a hole.
What are some tips to keep your energy and stamina up during the second round? I shoot 5 - 10 strokes worse on the second round. Question from Tanya Hooper PP: Coffee. Ha ha! Really though,
I try to challenge myself to keep my energy levels and excitement up. I try to out-do myself on every shot and push the limits of what I think is feasible and what I am capable of. RW: For me, I build my stamina
before an event. I normally play two to three rounds on the tournament course a few days before the event so by the the time the tournament approaches, the one round a day feels easier.
RW: Milo McIver (Oregon), Brew-
ster Ridge (Vermont), Disc Golf Terminalen (Sweden)
If you weren’t playing disc golf professionally, what would you be doing instead? Question from Chris Koppelman PP: I would be teaching disc golf or
working at the Dynamic Disc warehouse in Emporia, Kansas. RW: I did go to a trade school and
became certified in HVAC, so I’ve been interested in that ever since. n
Chasin’ the Chains 45
TOP COURSES TO PLAY
Disc Golf TOP5 DESTINATIONS Chosen by Eric McCabe 1
Milo McIver Home of the PDGA National Tour event, The Beaver State Fling, in Estacada, Oregon. The course plays alongside the Clackamas River and features massive pine trees, tight fairways and beautiful views. A true championship-level course. While you’re in the area, make sure you check out Pier Park — it’s such a beautiful piece of property and overall a MUST play if you’re in the area.
PHOTO COURTESY OF PDGA MEDIA
PHOTO COURTESY OF PDGA MEDIA
Maple Hill Home of the Vibram Open located in Leicester, Massachusetts, and very popular among the top touring professionals, this course is a pay-to-play and designed on a Christmas tree farm. There are three different layouts you can choose from: a shorter, more beginner friendly course, all the way up to the Gold Layout that even the top pros struggle to score on from time to time. Decent amount of elevation, a few ponds and tighter fairways make this course a must play! Bonus, Marshall Street Disc Golf Shop and Pyramids DGC is right across the road and well worth the stop as well!
Chasinâ€™ the Chains 47
Disc Golf Terminalen Skelleftea, Sweden, is not just the home of Latitude 64° Golf Discs, but also one of the best disc golf complexes in our sport. There are a handful of different 18-hole layouts on the property, one of which was used during the 2015 Scandinavian Open major disc golf tournament. This course is by far my favorite course I’ve ever played. It’s a well thought out designed, true championshiplevel course that will test every shot in your bag. It begins with the only true Par 6 hole I’ve played, and doesn’t get much easier from there. July to August is the best time to visit and get some rounds in, seeing how Skelleftea is so far north, (Latitude 64° - clever right?) the sun never really goes down, so you can enjoy a round of disc golf about any time you wish.
PHOTO COURTESY OF LATITUDE 64°
Frizbee.at Disc Golf Allgaeu - Ofterschwang, Germany - While only open for play from May 1 – Oct. 31, and the lack of difficulty on the actual course, it’s so worth the trip for the stunning views, culture and historic value the property holds. Hole 1 has the absolute best view of any course I’ve ever played. Outstanding views of the Allgaeuer Alps throughout the course truly makes you appreciate the hard work that has gone into getting this course installed.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FRISBEE.NET
Chasin’ the Chains 49
PHOTO COURTESY OF PDGA MEDIA
Emporia, Kansas This, in my opinion is a must stop for all disc golf enthusiasts. Emporia is arguably the No. 1 city for disc golf. Within a 20-mile drive of town, you can play around 15 different courses. Home of the largest disc golf tournament in the world, the Glass Blown Open, you can have the opportunity to play these courses and more. This small town really takes pride in not just its courses, but the sport in general. The parks department is constantly working on beautifying the parks and willing to lend a helping hand with constant requests for new basket locations or tree work. Emporia, KS...aka Disc Golf USA! n
• • • LONG SLEEVE SHIRTS • • • NEW! 2.
• • • PULLOVER HOODIES • • • 3.
1. NEW! Dynamic Discs Plaid Flannel Shirt (Men and Women) More colors available. Our Price: $29.99 2. Dynamic Discs Stacked Long Sleeve Dri-Fit More colors available. Our Price: $19.99 3. NEW Dynamic Discs Prism Fleece Pullover Hoodie (Men and Women) More colors available. Our Price: $44.99 4. Dynamic Discs Be Dynamic Trees Hoodie More colors available. Our Price: $34.99
• • • ZIP HOODIES • • • 8.
5. Dynamic Discs Bold Pullover Hoodie (Men and Women) More colors available. Our Price: $29.99
6. Dynamic Discs King D’s Hoodie Sweatshirt More colors available. Our Price: $24.99
7. Dynamic Discs Full Zip Soft Shell Hooded Jacket More colors available. Our Price: $59.99 8. NEW! Dynamic Discs Eagle Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt More colors available. Our Price: $34.99 9. Dynamic Discs 1/4 Zip Lightweight Fleece Pullover More colors available. Our Price: $29.99
• • • PULLOVER JACKET • • • 9.
10. Dynamic Discs OGIO Torque Pullover Jacket More colors available. Our Price: $59.99 11. Dynamic Discs Fleece Jogger Sweatpants More colors available. Our Price: $24.99 12. Dynamic Discs Rain Pants Classic fit rain pants from Dynamic Discs. Our Price: $34.99
13. Dynamic Discs Marled Knit Beanie More colors available. Our Price: $14.99
• • • PANTS • • • 12.
14. Dynamic Discs Pom Beanie Stocking Cap More colors available. Our Price: $14.99 15. Dynamic Discs King D’s Solid Knit Beanie Stocking Cap More colors available. Our Price: $14.99 16. Dynamic Discs Be Dynamic Fleece Beanie More colors available. Our Price: $14.99
• • • BEANIE & STOCKING CAP • • • 15.
6 2 0 - 2 0 8 - D I S C
( 3 4 7 2 )
w w w . d y n a m i c d i s c s . c o m
Dynamic Discs found itself in the mainstream spotlight this year after receiving national recognition. ngramâ€™s Magazine named Jeremy Rusco as one of 50 Kansans you should know. Forbes Magazine selected Dynamic Discs to compete in its Main Street Awards. The company won the 2017 award for Community Engagement. Dynamic Disc was also featured in several statewide television commercials by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and Westar Energy. It is Ruscoâ€™s hope that the increased mainstream attention on the company and disc golf will help bring attention and grow the sport. On the pages ahead, we are republishing those stories with permission. n
Chasinâ€™ the Chains 53
I NGRAM ’S M AGAZI NE
KANSANS You Should Know 2017
The heart of America covers 82,277 square miles. It beats to a rhythm of excellence kept by these 50 Kansans. hen we talk about the inappropriate mental imagery conjured by gross generalizations, can any descriptor be less accurate than lumping every resident of a single state into a label like “Kansans?” Think about it: 3 million individuals live in the Sunflower State. They represent all age groups, every ethnicity and religious belief, any income level you can imagine and — despite what the journalistic punditry would tell you — various stripes of political beliefs and value sets that make Kansas much more than the blot of red portrayed in the quadrennial election watches on cable TV. They are united, however, by certain qualities. For one, their presence in the state indicates that most have not only declined, but flat-out rejected, the siren song of the big, coastal cities with their big, coastal social pathologies. They share a history of entrepreneurship, self-reliance and independent character marked by a stellar work ethic, a willingness to take risks and determination to try again if they’re bucked off of the horse. You’ll see those qualities showing up again and again in this year’s 50 Kansans You Should Know, a collection of bankers, educators, researchers, lawyers, musicians, philanthropists, manufacturers — people from all walks of life whose individual paths have led them to their places in this vast state, and to positions where their work and their interests improve the quality of life for friends, family, neighbors and strangers alike.
Another commonality among them is that they stand out for their successes and achievements. Within their respective fields, they have set standards of excellence that the rest of us can look to, can aspire to and, with a little elbow grease and a little luck, can perhaps even exceed. That’s the nature of the cycle of success; it inspires more of the same in those who witness it. Ingram’s annual 50 Kansans You Should Know program was conceived to foster that awareness, to recognize and promote those who have excelled. Their example lights the path to a better state, one that works for everyone who bears that label — Kansan. Bob Adrian, Berger Company, Atchison Matt Allen, City Manager, Garden City Joe Bain, Cure & Bain, Goodland Reese Barrick, Sternberg Museum, Hays Deb Beachner, RFB Construction, Pittsburg Laurie Bisogno, Competitive Swimmer, Olathe Jerry Boettcher, Boettcher Enterprises, Manhattan Ken Brown, Tennis Coach, Independence Amy Button Renz, K-State Alumni Association, Manhattan Chris Callen, Builders Plus Construction, Wichita Brent Chapman, Master Angler, Lake Quivira Ramin Cherafat, McCownGordon, Olathe Steve Coen, Kansas Health Foundation, Wichita Jim Correll, Independence Community College Marcia Cox, Cox IT Global Solutions, Manhattan Ashley Cozine, Cozine Memorial Group, Wichita Tom Dondlinger, Dondlinger Construction, Wichita Brett Erckenbrack, Cloud County Community College, Concordia Susana Eshleman, Children International, Overland Park
Jeremy Rusco, Dynamic Discs, Emporia
emarkably enough, it started with eBay. Jeremy Rusco made his first sale in 2005, and just like that, Dynamic Discs was born. His college hobby at Emporia State has blossomed into a manufacturing and retail enterprise, selling the necessities of disc golf at three locations, staffing a distribution center and, since 2012, coordinating production with a Swedish company specializing in their manufacture. “I never thought Dynamic Discs would be my full-time job or career, and never had ambitions for it to be anything more than my college hobby,” he said. Of course, a lot of 12- and 16-hour days were required to give the company its national profile in the sport, but now, Rusco says, “I’m blessed to be working with the best team in the industry and love that I consider each and every one of them my friends.” Disc golf, he says, is the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. — there are more than 5,000 courses nationwide — in large part because it appeals to all ages, abilities, and walks of life, and doesn’t require the skills of an Olympic athlete. Lou Gehring, The Foundation for Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Merriam Ed Gerhardt, National Guard Museum, Topeka George Hansen, Enterprise Center, Fairway Ron Holt, Kansas Leadership Center, Wichita Steve Irsik, Irsik Farms, Ingalls Bob Jevons, 3D Square, Kansas City Ken Johnson, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center Amanda Kiefer, Federal Home Loan Bank, Topeka Cindy Lane, USD 500, Kansas City
Stanley Sheldon, Musician, Lawrence Rick Standard, R.M. Standard, Leawood Kara Tan Bhala, Seven Pillars Institute, Lawrence Montie Taylor, Great Southern Bank, Parsons Catherine Trieschmann, Playwright, Hays Sheree Utash, Wichita Area Technical College Brett Walton, Waltons, Inc., Wichita Don Werner, Werner Wagon Works, Horton Terry Woodbury, Public Square Communities, Leoti n
Diane Lee, Swindoll Janzen Hawk, & Loyd, Hutchinson Myron Leinwetter, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, Rossville Brian Lang, Lang Diesel, Inc., Hays Rob Million, Puma FC, Overland Park Gary Oborny, Occidental Management, Wichita Mike Pompeo, CIA, Wichita Steve Radley, Network Kansas, Andover Steve Revare, Tom’s Town, Leawood Dave Rindom, MGP Ingredients, Atchison Dave Robertson, Koch Industries, Wichita Ron Ryckman, Kansas House, Olathe Chasin’ the Chains 55
FORBES M AGAZI NE
FORBES ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF
Inaugural Main Street
EW YORK—Forbes, in partnership with Canon USA, Inc. powered by MAXIFY printers, announced that Dynamic Discs, Missouri Star Quilt Company, WaterMark Corners, The Rusty Rose and LogicPrep have won the first-ever Forbes Main Street Awards. The Forbes Main Street Awards were designed to champion the positive impact of small businesses that are leading the way forward by taking big steps for both their businesses and their communities. 56 DYNAMICDISCS.COM
The following is a list of the 2017 Main Street Award recipients: 1. Missouri Star Quilt Company won for Best Brick-and-Mortar Adoption of E-Commerce: Using YouTube and its e-commerce web site, Missouri Star has gone from being a neighborhood quilt store to being the world’s neighborhood quilt store.
2. won for Best Community Engagement: Dynamic Discs has grown from a startup to the second largest manufacturer of disc golf equipment, bringing in millions of dollars and the world’s biggest disc golf event to the small town of Emporia, Kansas.
3. The Rusty Rose won for Best Paid Marketing: Employing professional photographers and paid models, The Rusty Rose of Plainview, Texas, created marketing campaigns for Instagram and Facebook that it says sell 80 percent of the items posted. “Our customers know items sell out quickly,” says owner Andrea Glenn, “so they act fast and we ship fast, keeping them coming back for more.” 4. WaterMark Corners won for Best Social Media: Thanks to a clever, weekly giveaway program on Facebook, WaterMark Corners — an Illinois-based gift and stationary store — dramatically increased its social media footprint and the store’s sales.
for Forward-Thinking Small Businesses
5. LogicPrep won the Audience Choice Award: Headquartered in Westchester, New York, LogicPrep Education mentors students to understand who they are as scholars and people so that they can find their futures — and change the world. The winners are featured on Forbes.com (See: www.forbes.com/ feature/mastering-main-street) and will appear in the December 12, 2017, issue of Forbes magazine. Each winner will also receive an engraved award and a Canon MAXIFY MB5420 Wireless Small Office All-in-One printer, a printer designed to meet the needs of smaller businesses by delivering high-quality, low-cost prints.
“The five companies who won the Forbes Main Street Awards are driving positive change for their businesses and the communities they serve,” said Forbes Small Business Editor Loren Feldman. “Forbes is excited to partner with Canon USA, Inc. to share the compelling and inspiring stories of these companies — all of which are true small business owners — in its first annual editorially driven awards program.” “The entrepreneurial spirit and accomplishments that each of these small business winners exemplify make Canon so proud to support the first-ever Forbes Main Street Awards,” said Michael Duffett, Vice President and General Manager
of Printer Marketing Division of Canon USA, Inc. “It is the technological advancements and reliability of Canon MAXIFY printers that make them essential to such innovators, and we look forward to witnessing the work they create with our solutions’ assistance.” n
By Forbes Corporate Communications Forbes Staff
Chasin’ the Chains 57
Five Questions for Jeremy the past year, 1 InDynamic Discs started receiving some mainstream honors and recognition. You were named among 40 Kansans you should know by Ingram’s magazine and was one of 20 businesses to compete and won in Forbes Magazine Main Street Awards.
How do you feel about this recognition and do you feel it signals disc golf being more recognized and accepted as a mainstream sport? A: The recent Forbes recognition for community engagement is something the Emporia community should be very proud to have received! The Glass Blown Open & World Championship events we host in Emporia are a community effort to a large degree, and the community 58 DYNAMICDISCS.COM
acceptance of these events are part of the reason the events continue to grow and attract players to Emporia throughout the year. Yes! I absolutely feel this is a sign of disc golf gaining popularity and being accepted more as a professional sport, which is a great indicator of more exciting things to come. More communities should take notice of the year-round financial impact disc golf has made in Emporia, Kansas, and find a way to cultivate and grow their community into a disc golf destination. Over the last couple of years, you have been adding new team members to Team Dynamic Discs. You have sponsored players of all ages across the country. Q: What qualities do you look for and how do you decide who will be sponsored player for Dynamic Discs? A: When selecting players for Team Dynamic Discs, we really look for the complete package: high-level play is a great benefit, but we also seek out players with character and integrity who are making an impact in their local disc golf community and/or online community through clinics, videos, service, etc. Team Dynamic Discs is a family; we treat our sponsored players like family, and we search for players who share that mindset. We don’t tolerate lone
wolves or players who constantly seek to incite drama with others; instead, we love to hear stories of our team members helping people and being extremely approachable. Q: What performance by one your team members impressed you the most in past year? A: While many Team Dynamic Discs members have been successful at different times throughout the year, Paige Pierce stands above the rest with an absolutely dominant year. Paige has amassed 20 wins in 25 events — including her fourth PDGA World Championship in 2017 — and is the top female player in the world. She has also conducted clinics and other events designed to grow the sport of disc golf. Paige is a true champion and a fantastic person, and Dynamic Discs is thrilled to have her as a part of the DD Family! Dynamic Discs had many new releases this year. Many of the new discs and special editions got sold out on the first day and had lines of people waiting at retail stores. Q: How do you feel about this type of excitement around new releases and do you have more in store for this year? A: The hype around new products has certainly been exciting, impressive and humbling at the same! It is exciting for the customer, for the retailers and for us as the brand
behind the products! As online business becomes more and more of the consumer’s daily routine, we have worked hard to find ways to drive traffic and sales through our buy-back retail partner stores. Most of the exclusive products offered through here are only available for walk-in retail sales at these stores and the feedback around what these have done to support brick and mortar business has been exceptional! We understand the importance of keeping brick and mortar disc golf stores in business and want to do what we can to help support the businesses that support Dynamic Discs. It seems like when a new disc comes out there are also similarly released ones by Latitude and Westside.
Q: Are these discs truly different or are they the same disc just with different stamps for the different brands? A: Yes, while some of the discs are very similar, all of our discs are different and there is no exact copy of any disc between Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64° or Westside Discs. We have found this to be important from the beginning and will keep it that way for as far out as I can see. At the end of the day, there are only so many differences that you can do to make a disc do something different. With that said, the most minimal changes to a mold can make a lot of difference in the flight characteristics of a disc. I’m really looking forward to the 2018 release schedule and know that there are a lot of discs between the brands that the players have been asking for.
When you look back on the 2017 disc golf year, what has impressed you? A: 2017 has been an impressive year to say the least for disc golf and Dynamic Discs. We have continued to grow at an exceptional rate and introduced new products to the market this year that have exceeded the expectations of our customers. Disc golf is becoming more and more of a mainstream sport on what seems like a daily basis. Communities across the world are recognizing that disc golf is an important aspect to so many communities and something that they need to support. With approximately two new courses being installed every day across the United States, it is easy to see that disc golf is growing at an impressive rate. Recently the Professional Disc Golf Association awarded Doug Bjerkaas as the Tournament Director of the Year! This speaks volumes about Doug, but if you were to ask Doug, he would give the credit to his event staff and entire staff at Dynamic Discs. Truth to it is, Doug is the one who steers the ship for our events and the one that makes sure that we are all working together to accomplish great things with our events. Doug was able to do all of this while only working part-time (one day a week) for Dynamic Discs and keeping his job with another employer. I’m excited to say that Doug will be starting full-time employment with Dynamic Discs by the time this article is published! It was impressive to see Doug, Dynamic Discs and the Emporia community do so much with our events and that only being a part-time focus for our event coordinator. I look Chasin’ the Chains 59
forward to seeing just how many more great things that Doug and the Dynamic Discs team can accomplish in 2018 with Doug coming on board full-time. Paige Pierce has impressed everyone at Dynamic Discs, with 2017 being her first year to switch back over to Dynamic Discs as her sponsor since 2012. Her great attitude on and off the course and professionalism with everything makes more people want to play the sport. She has drawn positive attention to female F I R S T C O U R S E I N I N D I A N A | E S T. 1 9 7 8
Come for the Disc Golf, stay for the CAMPING!
Largest pro shop in the state! 42 52 W E ST 2 0 0 N | P E R U , I N | ( 76 5 ) 47 3 - 4 3 42
athletes and constantly looks at additional ways to attract more women to the sport. We congratulate her with her fourth world title this year and look forward to supporting her to many more! Speaking of world champions, it was impressive to see Latitude 64° sponsored, Ricky Wysocki, defend his world title this year! There are so many good players right now that you have to perform at your best to even have a chance to win a world championship. Ricky was able to do this again while using products from Latitude 64°, Dynamic Discs, and Westside Discs! The media coverage that we have for the sport has become impressive! Tournament aces have been happening since the very first tournaments but those ESPN Sportscenter Top 10 moments were never captured by someone with quality video equipment that could be passed along to ESPN. We continue to see disc golf aces as part of the Top 10 plays of the week because we have been able to support more media at our top events. In my opinion, we are not very far away from seeing a 30 - 60 minute broadcast of our top events on some major sports networks. It will be an impressive day when we see this become a more normal occurrence, but until that day, we will continue to be impressed when disc golf gets quickly featured on the ESPN Top 10. The more visible disc golf becomes through different media outlets, the more players that we will see out on the courses looking to become the next world champions. Dynamic Discs is dedicated to growing the sport and it continues to impress me what the staff at Dynamic Discs is doing to make sure that we can run a business and grow the sport at the same time. I constantly say that we have the most motivated, most passionate, and most dedicated staff in all of the sport and I continue to believe this as they continue to grow as business professionals and even more importantly as individuals. Dynamic Discs is family and I’m impressed each and every day that I go to work and see them succeed at what they are doing to keep us moving in the right direction! n
#dynamicdiscs Show off your Dynamic Discs pride by being social. Hashtag us at #dynamicdiscs and have a chance to have your pictures featured in the next issue of Chasinâ€™ the Chains
Chasinâ€™ the Chains 63
Chasinâ€™ the Chains 65
Chasinâ€™ the Chains 67
AHEAD By Doug Bjerkaas Dynamic Discs Tournament Director
Dynamic Discs already working on 2018 tournament season.
2018 Dynamic Discs Tournament Season Dynamic Discs is excited to be hosting several PDGA sanctioned disc golf events in 2018. A major championship, a National Tour event, two B-tiers, and several flex-start C-tiers will give folks plenty of options to play in Emporia next year.
2018 Monkey Island Open (March 2018)
Course played: Peter Pan Park The Monkey Island Open (MIO) has been a local favorite for years. Traditionally, this has been a oneday event. This past year, the event was stretched to two days, allowing twice the number of players to participate. Two hundred players enjoyed the newlook MIO in 2017 and were able to take in some great disc golf at Peter Pan Park. Dynamic Discs expects 200 players to participate again in 2018 at this PDGA B-Tier event.
Dynamic Discs Glass Blown Open (April 2018)
Courses played: Peter Pan Park, Jones East, Jones West, Emporia Country Club, Emporia Municipal Golf Course, Eagle Disc Golf Course at Olpe Lake, Swope Park in Cottonwood Falls, The Farm in Olpe, Hammond Park, Flint Hills Technical College and Clover Cliff Ranch in Elmdale This is the big one! For the third consecutive year, the Glass Blown Open (GBO) is one of six stops on the PDGA National Tour. Scheduled for April 26 - 28, 2018, the GBO is sure to draw most of the top professionals from around the globe! Swope Park in Cottonwood Falls has been added to the mix in 2018 to allow for even more competitors to visit Emporia and enjoy a premier top disc golf tournament. Several flex-start, one-day C-Tier events are also held in the Emporia area during Glass Blown Open Week. A flex-start C-Tier event allows players to arrive at the course anytime between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. to play a PDGA-sanctioned tournament round. These smaller events held in conjunction with the GBO have grown in popularity each year.
Flex-start C-Tiers are planned for The Farm (private course in Olpe), Clover Cliff Ranch (Elmdale), Hammond Park and Flint Hills Technical College. Regular tournament courses that will also host flexstart C-tiers include Swope Park (Cottonwood Falls), Peter Pan Park, Eagle Disc Golf Course at Olpe Lake, Jones East and Jones West. More than 1,500 disc golfers are expected in Emporia during GBO week!
2018 PDGA Junior World Disc Golf Championships (July 2018)
Courses played: Peter Pan Park, Jones East, Jones West, Emporia Country Club, Hammond Park, and Flint Hills Technical College The PDGA awarded Emporia the 2018, 2019 and 2020 Junior World Disc Golf Championships! The recently installed nine-hole courses at Hammond Park and Flint Hills Technical College will make for great additions to the Emporia courses available for the event. The 2018 event will take place from July 10 - 14, 2018. The divisions offered will include 6-andunder, 8-and-under, 10-and-under, 12-and-under, 15-and-under and 18-and-under. These divisions will be offered for both boys and girls. Three hundred players and their families are expected in Emporia for this event.
2018 Dynamic Discs Open (October 2018)
Courses played: Jones East and Jones West This event will be held in October 2018 at both the Jones West and Jones East courses. This one-day event is expected to draw 180 competitors. Similar to the Monkey Island Open, the Dynamic Discs Open is a PDGA B-Tier event. For additional information about disc golf tournaments in Emporia, please visit dynamicdiscs.com. n
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