JUNIORS Competing for WORLD Title
Film yourself to play better Putting tips from Ricky Throws that wonâ€™t wreck your elbow
CONTENTS Publisher Jeremy Rusco Editor Chris Walker Magazine Director Kelsey Barker Project Contributors Doug Bjerkaas Bobby Brown Art Director Jacob Torkelson Marketing Director Laci Rusco Design & Production Picante Creative Photography Stu Mullenberg Writers Zach Hacker John Robinson Jessie Wagoner Chris Walker Copy Editor Zach Hacker Marketing Victor Acosta Tayler Lyons Cassi Olinger Ronda Henery Advertisement Design Dan Ferrell Margie McHaley Phillip Miller Katie Potter Digital Edition chasinthechainsmagazine.com Subscribe chainsmagazine.com the asin @ch info More information sinâ€™ Cha the Chains Magazine 517 Merchant Street Emporia, KS 66801
The right discs
A league of their own
CONTENT 6 Eyeing the world title Esquivel seeks world title
12 Everyone can get better Danny Lindahl gives techniques that will help you improve 18 Q&A with the pros Top touring pros answer questions during the Glass Blown Open Pros Panel
22 The right discs Insights into selecting the right tools for your bag
26 Past, present and future Today’s pros that were yesterday’s Juniors; Today’s Juniors that aspire to be tomorrow’s pros 30 A league of their own The Next Generation Disc Golf Tour 34 Help grow disc golf Stories on projects that helped grow the sport 40 #dynamicdiscs Hashtagged disc golf moments
46 2017 PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships Results for each category
Wow! It is hard to believe that we are already more than halfway through the year and gathered here in Emporia, Kansas, for the PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships! With this being the first year to separate the junior divisions from the other amateur divisions for the world championships, we have high expectations for making sure that this event is nothing but spectacular for all of the junior competitors and supporting families. There is something extra special about juniors being involved at the competitive level of our sport. There are few things more exciting than seeing a youngster get excited about playing disc golf and making that long putt or throw-in from a distance! The players in this competition are sure to be some of the most competitive players at the highest level in the near future. At Dynamic Discs, our mission is to Grow Disc Golf and promote the sport in a positive and professional way to sustain long-term growth. We are dedicated to doing the right thing and taking care of our customers. I believe that if you have had any interaction with our staff, you will feel how passionate we are about these things. Hosting the PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships for 2018, 2019 and 2020 aligns with our vision to grow the sport. We feel that we can give these competitors an unforgettable experience that will last a lifetime and keep them engaged in disc golf because of these positive and unforgettable experiences. Being crowned a world champion is certainly an important aspect of this event, but even more importantly, it is about being a true supporter of all the competitors and keeping a positive and professional attitude all week! Thanks for visiting Dynamic Discs in Emporia, Kansas, for the PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships and be sure to cherish your time together with friends and family! n
Jeremy Rusco Owner & Founder Dynamic Discs
Chasinâ€™ the Chains 5
By Zach Hacker Chasin’ the Chains Staff Writer
Photos by Stu Mullenberg
Isaiah Esquivel had his summer planned out long before school ended.
The Emporia, Kansas, teen is on a mission. He not only has a chance to claim a Junior World Championship, he could do it in his hometown. “I’m gonna try my hardest this summer — push myself,” he said. Carrying a 927 ranking into Memorial Day weekend, Esquivel said his plan was to spend a full week working on each aspect of his game leading up to Junior Worlds. A full week on putting, a full week on upshots, another on driving — it’s all in a day’s work for one of disc golf’s stars of tomorrow. »
“Every day I’ll get up, eat breakfast, go out and play for an hour or two, take a break to come in and have lunch and maybe sit down for a bit, then get back out there and play for a couple more hours,” he said.
An early start It might seem obvious that someone who has been turning heads in the disc golf world since he was 10 years old was introduced to the game early. He had a good role model in developing an appreciation and love for the sport — his father, Lupe Esquivel.
He is no stranger on the amateur circuit. A processing technician at Hill’s Pet Nutrition by day, Lupe has been playing mainly C- and B-Tier events since 2011, racking up three career victories and posting a 928 rating — a mark which was higher before Isaiah started playing Juniors. “I’m at the point now where I’m caddying for him instead of playing myself,” Lupe said. The elder Esquivel started his disc golf journey about 10 years ago, playing with his three brothers about once per week. Within a couple years, his game had improved to the point he decided to start entering some tournaments, which put him out on the course a little more often. Isaiah started going with him whenever he went out for a practice round at one of the several courses in Emporia. At that point, it didn’t take long for son to show interest in one of his father’s favorite pastimes. “At first he thought we were just going to the park to have fun,” Lupe said. “Then he started to realize we were throwing discs around and wanted to try it. Once he started, he picked it up pretty quick.” For Isaiah, who was only about 9 years old at the time, it was as simple as wanting to join in with his father. “I’d see other people playing and I just wanted to play, too,” Isaiah said.
He’s ready About a year before playing in his first tournament, the true lessons started for Isaiah. With the help of his father and mentor, he was taking his practices seriously and learning not to play to win, but to play positional disc golf. As he learned what he needed to do from each placement around the course, Lupe said his scores started to reflect his marked improvement. “When I started to see him progress from being 12 or 13 up on the course out at the middle school to even, I said, ‘you’re ready to play a tournament,’” Lupe said. That first tournament was the Trilogy Oppna in Emporia. At only 10 years old, Isaiah said his only goal was to go out, have fun and figure out what he needed to work on going forward.
All he did was go out and win the Junior IV Boys division of the tournament with a tworound total of 122 — 39 strokes better than his closest competitor. “I just felt overjoyed,” Isaiah said. That initial victory caught the eye of several people at Dynamic Discs, and it wasn’t long until they asked him to join the team. The call was a moment his father said he will never forget, and one in which Isaiah said he was “really excited — shocked.” So far, he has been happy with their partnership. “I like being on their team,” he said. “I love to support my team and their products.”
Growing the sport Isaiah has himself on a strict practice schedule as he prepares for the Junior World Championships, but he is also helping grow the sport. Lupe has held leagues in Emporia for several years and now, with Isaiah’s help, they’ve opened up a beginner’s league — one in which Isaiah serves as an instructor. Though he is young, his advice to those trying to pick up the sport would be wise words for a new player of any age. “Know what you did during your last round and work on the things you weren’t as good at,” Isaiah said. “Have fun, too.” Chasin’ the Chains 9
“As far as playing so much, I really only play for the time with him on the course,” Lupe added. “As far as getting better, find someone on the course who is a little bit better than you and ask them to help you out. It’s not necessarily about playing all the time.” Isaiah was even able to pick up some good examples of how to play well during this year’s Glass Blown Open. His father made a deal with him that if he got all A’s and high B’s on his report card, he could take the entire week off from school to play in the tournament. Though his playing schedule interfered some with being able to watch his favorite players — Eagle McMahon and Simon Lizotte — he was still able to catch some examples of how they go about their business on the course. “I’d say his style is closest to Eagle or Simon,” Lupe said. 10 WWW.CHASINTHECHAINSMAGAZINE.COM
saiah esquivel Eyes on the prize
Isaiah has a few years before he’ll be able to compete alongside his idols in the sport, but he’ll have a chance to add something to his title which neither of them can boast on the pro circuit — World Champion. Last year, he finished in third place in the Junior III Boys division at
the Amateur and Junior World Disc Golf Championships in northeast Iowa. In 2018, he will be on his home courses but will also be competing at a level higher than he did previously. Lupe said it is tough to say how Isaiah will stack up against the field, but he believes his son has a chance as long as he can keep his mental game on point. “It’s going to come down to whether he can beat himself,” Lupe said. “He went last year and took third, and I know he was disappointed in that — but that was without much practice. We only got a couple days and hadn’t even played all of the courses before the tournament. This year he’ll be much more prepared, but there will be some really, really good, talented kids coming to town.” A title would complete just the
first phase in a three-part plan of what Isaiah hopes to accomplish as an amateur. “The first thing would be to win a world championship, then get my own signature disc, then go on tour,” he said. For most children who have yet to enter high school, those might be lofty goals. But for someone like Isaiah, who seems to have as much perspective as he does skill beyond his years, they just might be well within his grasp. He has 13 victories to prove his formula works. “Ever since I’ve been winning, people take me as pretty good,” Isaiah VIDEOS said. “But I don’t worry Isaiah Esquivel so much about winIn the Bag ning. I just want to go https://www.youtube.com/ out there and play and watch?v=7PIfAowXALk have fun.” n
Chasin’ the Chains 11
Everyone can get
BY CHRIS WALKER PHOTOS BY STU MULLENBERG
How technique will help you improve.
Have you met Danny Lindahl yet? If not, he is the newest member of the Dynamic Discs social media team, and his passion is to make players better. His unique ability to understand throwing form and convey clear, simple instructions through his videos has resonated with people across the world. He went from waiting tables to YouTube sensation, which opened the door to him landing his dream job at Dynamic Discs. Danny likes to keep his videos short — preferably less than five minutes. “I try to break every step down,” he said. “I want people to watch my videos and then go to the field, then you should be able to find your mistake.” Danny gives tips below to juniors — or really anyone — wanting to improve their game. To see Danny’s videos or submit a question, go to dynamicdiscs.com.
“I want people to watch my videos and then go to the field, then you should be able to find your mistake.”
Q: What can juniors do to improve their game? A: The biggest thing juniors can do is film
themselves. A person can think they are doing it right but the video will show what is actually happening. What you feel like you are doing and what you are actually doing is never the same thing.
Chasin’ the Chains 13
Lots of times, people will go and try to fix a mistake. They think they fixed it, but it will feel like a different shot. But, really, the muscle memory is taking over.
Q: How often should you film yourself? A: Once a week.
Q: What makes discs go far? A: It’s all in the elbow. It’s the unfolding of the
arm and elbow that puts the spin on the disc. I see people who want to put more spin on the disc so they curl their wrist around the disc, but that just pulls it more to the right. You don’t want to curl your wrist, but focus on the unfolding of the elbow.
Q: You talk a lot about the reach back. What do people need to know? A: If you have reach back correct and have
timing, then everything else in the disc golf swing falls in place.
Reach back, turn your shoulders all the way from the target, but make sure the disc can see the target. Reach wide, so then you can pull straight forward and through your chest. Reach back timing and then stretching out like a rubber band creates the momentum.
Q: As you pull the disc through, what is important? A: On the pull, it’s important to get
your elbow in front of your shoulders then pull the disc. It will have a bigger range of motion.
Q: What do you see on footwork? A: Footwork is also the big thing
I see. They will turn completely backward from the target then try to turn forward to throw. You don’t do anything in life throwing backward. So you don’t want to do it in disc golf. You want to walk sideways in the throw and not backward. 14 WWW.CHASINTHECHAINSMAGAZINE.COM
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Q: How does body type and physique make a difference in play? A: In disc golf, arm length is everything. It’s about lever-
age. The taller you are equates to how much distance you have. But with that being said, the proper technique is what can help players. If you look at pros, there are all different sizes, but they have learned techniques and how to use their bodies to throw similar distances.
Q: What advice do you have for parents when they are playing or coaching their kids?
A: I see parents caddying for their kids; parents try to
micromanage their game. Kids need to develop their own game and parents need to let them. Parents need to try to help their kids think critically about the golf shot they are throwing, because the result of their child’s actions will push kids to learn more.
Q: What is your advice on disc selection for juniors or new players? A: They need to avoid the high-speed, big-rimmed drivers.
I would suggest throwing the slowest disc you can. Throw it at full speed and learn the disc.
Chasin’ the Chains 15
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Slower-speed discs are more forgiving if you throw nose-up or nose-down. Breakout is a good disc. If you can get the nose down on that, then it will go a long way. But if you try to throw a Trespass, it’s going to fly the same way nose-up or nose-down.
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Q: What do you do in the field work? A: I will focus on one thing and throw every disc in
my bag that fits that shot and line. If I am working on accuracy, I like to throw my mid-ranges as far as a I can. Then I try to land my drivers on top of that. I like to throw as much as possible. That is how the people that are good got really good. The repetition builds the muscle memory, but you want it to be the proper technique. That is why it is so important to film yourself.
Q: How do you determine if you should be throwing a junior disc or a regular-size disc? A: If you put a disc in your arm and, from the el-
bow, it doesn’t reach the base of your hand, you’re too short to throw a full-size disc. Dynamic Discs offers a junior set that are good to begin with.
Q: Any final thoughts? A: Don’t settle for where your shot is at, but push
yourself to get better and better. Practice can lead to significant strides. n Chasin’ the Chains 17
TOP PROS Answer Your Questions
Top touring pros answered questions during the Q and A Pros Panel as part of Glass Blown Open. Participants were Paige Pierce, Ricky Wysocki, Nate Sexton, Simon Lizotte, Nate Doss and Paul McBeth.
BY CHRIS WALKER PHOTOS BY STU MULLENBERG
What character traits do you attribute to helping win your biggest tournaments? Paige Pierce: Confidence. Ricky Wysocki: Mental focus and tunnel vision. Focusing on ourselves, being selfish and doing what you need to do to win. Block everyone out and play. Nate Sexton: Stay focused and be determined and play to my own strengths. Simon Lizotte: Luck.
How do you become a great putter? Ricky Wysocki: For me, it was finding a style that felt comfortable and most effective.
Nate Doss: When I am playing my best, I am having fun. I love playing disc golf. There are some days when I love what I am doing but just not doing my best. When I am having a blast is usually when I am playing my best golf. Find your happy place.
Paul McBeth: Confidence. When I won my first national tournament at the Memorial, I hadn’t been playing for too long but was confident in my ability to play — my game. I didn’t really know what I was doing or competing against, but I wanted to go win. I was just confident enough to go out and play and do the best I can. What are some crucial sills if you want to throw farther? Simon Lizotte: The main mistake people make is they try to play disc golf before they learn how to throw. You don’t learn how to throw with a Destroyer or any high-speed driver. It just completely ruins any finesse or touch on a disc. If you can throw an ultimate frisbee well, then throwing a disc will be very easy. Distance is not about strength at all; it’s about timing and technique, so you really want to focus on correct form. And trying too hard is one of the biggest mistakes I see out there because distance should be effortless. If you focus on timing and speed and not on power, then it can be a lot easier. How do you become a great putter? Ricky Wysocki: For me, it was finding a style that felt comfortable and most effective. It took me a couple of years to find my style. Chasin’ the Chains 19
I started with a line-drive putter and my putts would blow by the basket and I knew that wouldn’t work in the long run. My second style was more of a lob putt and that took me a while to perfect that. I would throw too high or too low — just worked on getting the nose angle and lock in the wrist control at the angle you want. It is really finding the style that you feel you can be most consistent with the best of your ability. I practice 30 minutes to an hour every day on putting. What is the important part of keeping healthy and recovery tips for someone coming off an injury? Nate Doss: I am coming back from a shoulder injury and this process has showed me what I was doing was not enough. I was just doing what I thought I was supposed to do. Seth Munsey from Disc Golf Strong came in and gave me advice and information and it was huge to get some help. If you are not doing something for your body, it will break down. I thought I was invincible and wouldn’t get hurt. Take care of your body; it is the most important thing not just in disc golf, but in life. The first recovery tip is to admit you have an injury. I injured myself at the USDGC. I hid the fact that I was injured. I took some time off, but would come back and play again and it would hurt again. The first step to recovery was admitting I was injured not
What character traits do you attribute to helping win your biggest tournaments? Paige Pierce: Confidence.
only to myself, but to the closest people in my life. It is not a weakness to get hurt. After you admit you have an injury, then find someone you trust — your doctor, talk to Seth, physical therapist you can talk with. Don’t rush it, don’t overdo it Does your mental game change from tee box to green? Paul McBeth: It is really about shutting the mind off. It’s about walking up, assessing the shot, see what you need to do and then shut the mind off and just do the shot. It’s difficult and hard to find that zone while you’re playing, but find what works for you. Keep it simple and don’t think.
Does your mental game change from tee box to green? Paul McBeth: It is really about shutting the mind off. It’s about walking up, assessing the shot, see what you need to do and then shut the mind off and just do the shot. What is your pre-round routine and what are you thinking about when you are getting ready for a tournament? Paige Pierce: I am trying to get to know the holes. We play lots of the same courses every year, so I am trying to re-familiarize myself with the landing zone and distances — trying to dissect the holes. Pre-round I will do 20 minutes of putting and another probably 10 minutes of straddle putting. Then go to the field and throw the angles that I will be throwing on that course. n Chasin’ the Chains 21
By Chris Walker Photos by Stu Mullenberg
INSIGHTS INTO SELECTING THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR YOUR BAG
Tomas Ekström is the disc
designer for Latitude 64, Dynamic Discs and Westside Discs. He recently shared his thoughts on things to consider for juniors or new players when selecting discs.
What are the things to consider when selecting discs?
Q: What do you feel are the best discs for newer players to use? A: Fairway drivers like the Jade, Diamond are very good. The Diamond is the best-seller of Latitude 64 because it fits smaller hands very comfortably. The goal was to make them shallow in the grip, fly good if you have a lower arm speed. The Diamond disc actually flies in the air and wants to stay up in the air unlike a heavy driver that is like tossing a stone; it just won’t fly.
Q: How should newer players progress through in disc selection?
A: What you should not do is look at what
A: Diamond, Gavel, Breakout and Truth
the pros are throwing and think if you go get those discs you will throw like them. The pros are likely throwing the fastest discs and the widest-rim discs. For beginners or new players, those discs are too advanced. Newer players just don’t have the arm speed for those discs. and
are all nice starter discs and made to fit smaller hands. Players might progress from like a Diamond then to Jade then to Saint and then to the Fury. Of the new discs we have produced, Chasin’ the Chains 23
and not very wide. The weight makes a huge difference, especially if you want it to fly and sail in the wind.
Q: How can you determine if a disc is right for your arm speed? A: If you throw a disc and it is just always dumping to the left and not flying, then you should try a lighter weight. The disc should fly and just sit down on the grass smooth and flat.
Q: Do you feel the technology is better than years ago and is helping juniors and new players play better? A: The technology is better and I think it is
IF YOU THROW A DISC AND IT IS JUST ALWAYS DUMPING TO THE LEFT AND NOT FLYING, THEN YOU SHOULD TRY A LIGHTER WEIGHT. THE DISC SHOULD FLY AND JUST SIT DOWN ON THE GRASS SMOOTH AND FLAT.
letting new players pick up skills faster than compared with older technology discs. Even with poor technique, newer discs can help compensate. So much emphasis is put on discs, but really more emphasis should be put on technique. I like what Simon (Lizotte) said at the Glass Blown Open players meeting: “You should only use a putter for 10 years and get really good at it.”
— TOMAS EKSTRÖM
Maverick is a great beginner and flies like an old school frisbee. The Explorer is also a fairway driver and is one that newer players can throw.
Q: What weight should new players look for? A: They should look for a light disc, like 150 - 160 grams or maybe even lighter and rim should be comfortable in the hand 24 WWW.CHASINTHECHAINSMAGAZINE.COM
Q: Talk about forehand and backhand shots and how disc selection plays into that? A: I believe for new players, they should learn one shot like backhand and get really good at that. Then, after you have mastered it, then move on to learn the sidearm. It takes a lot of time to develop technique and to be good. What we see is players doing both forehand and backhand without really mastering either. You see more people throwing forehand because the pros do it and then players think they should also be doing it so they can be like the pros. But, what no one is telling you is, if you are doing it wrong, it will hurt you. Sidearm can really hurt your elbow since there is more torque on your elbow and eventually wreck your game.
Q: What do you feel is the best disc you ever developed? A: Fuse is the best disc ever developed. Fuse needs good snap and good technique, then it will fly forever. n
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YESTERDAY’S JUNIORS... Former PDGA Junior Champions PAIGE BJERKAAS #33833 When and where did you win your junior world championships? I won Junior Worlds in July of 2010 in Marion, Ohio.
What is a lasting memory from when you won your junior championship? A lasting memory I have at Junior Worlds was Liz Lopez caddying for me during the final 9, while Eric McCabe and Paige Pierce watched. What is your best tip for a junior who wants to compete at the highest level? A tip I have for juniors wanting to compete at the highest level is to work hard. You don’t want to look back on your experiences as a junior and think, “Man, if I would have just done more fieldwork and putting, I could be one of the best right now.” If things don’t end up going your way, but you practiced and put everything you have into it, then you can leave happy.
RICKY WYSOCKI #38008
When and where did you win your junior world championships? I won my Junior World Championship at the Mid Ohio Worlds in 2010. What is a lasting memory from when you won your junior championship? I remember practicing and playing for like 6-8 months thinking about how cool it would be to be a World Champion and eventually doing it; never gets old to relive. What is your best tip for a junior who wants to compete at the highest level? I think the hardest step to make is taking it from a passion and hobby to a job/career. Some kids/people have the mindset and some don’t. You have to find out the answer to that yourself.
NATE SEXTON #18824
When and where did you win your junior world championships? I won the <19 division in 2003 in London, Ontario, Canada. What is a lasting memory from when you won your junior championship? Most of my memories from the trip are centered around traveling to the event with my Dad. Flying into Detroit and driving into Canada. Eating poutine (a Canadian favorite, French fries with gravy and cheese curds!) and seeing the local area. I remember practicing the courses and meeting a bunch of other kids who were really into disc golf! What is your best tip for a junior who wants to compete at the highest level? To play at a high level as a junior you’ve got to practice and play a lot of disc golf! I think making sure you’ve got a good group of family or friends to play with is important to keeping the game fun, and important to help you get to tournaments to test and improve your skills.
VALARIE JENKINS #17495
When and where did you win your junior world championships? I won Junior Girls 15 and Under at the 2001 Amateur and Junior World Championships in Nashville, Tennessee. What is a lasting memory from when you won your junior championship? It was a few years ago, so I don’t really remember too many things from that tournament... I believe that I won the putting competition between all the women during the event which happened inside the host hotel there. I also remember how fun it was playing with the girls in my group that week. We had our parents caddying for us, but they were solely there for support so it was truly just about us playing and having fun no matter what. Like in all other sports, kids can burn out if there is too much pressure put on them from their parents so I hope parents keep in perspective that this is the foundation of their child’s career in the sport, and it should start off with parents cultivating a positive and encouraging mental game. What is your best tip for a junior who wants to compete at the highest level? Although I grew up in the sport, it wasn’t until I was around 15 that I started playing competitively. I had played in a few tournaments that year in Advanced because there were no other junior girls in my area playing. I was a good player at the time and I remember having to make the decision to play Advanced or Juniors. I decided to play Juniors because it would be my first time ever competing with other girls my age. I know that there are still players having to decide what division to play, especially for the young girls, because our divisions are relatively small. I’m glad that I was able to finally compete with girls my age at that time, and with all the divisions available I would recommend that to the young girls playing. This may be the only opportunity to have your division available with the appropriate competition, and I think they should take advantage of that opportunity.
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...TOMORROWâ€™S PROS So who will be named the top Junior Disc Golfers in the world? The 2018 Junior Worlds will be in Emporia, Kansas, and everyone competing will leave with amazing memories, but only a few will claim the top honors. On the following pages are some of the sponsored players to watch from teams Dynamic Discs and Latitude 64.
CYNTHIA RICCIOTTI #75029
Hometown: Columbia, MO Career Wins: 10 Bag: Dynamic Discs Commander Backpack Favorite Course: Swope Park, Kansas City, MIssouri Favorite Disc: Dynamic Discs Lucid EMAC Truth Beginner tip Start simple. Disc golf isnâ€™t all about distance. If you keep your form and discs simple to start out with, it will improve your game in the long run. You learn how to trust both yourself and the discs. Most memorable moment My most memorable disc golf moment is winning the 2017 GBO in Intermediate Women. This was the first major win of my career and gave me a huge confidence boost on my game. What separates Team Dynamic Discs? I think what separates Team Dynamic Discs is the family atmosphere. From the moment I was on the team I was welcomed with open arms from everyone like I had been here for years. Truly amazing!
MIKAEL HAKALA #51479 Hometown: Turku, Finland Career Wins: 13 Favorite discs Stiletto Spark Anchor Caltrop Career highlights 2017 Finnish Champion (U18) 3x Finnish Doubles Champion (U18, U16) 2nd place 2017 World Team Championships 2nd place 2016 World Championships (U16) 2nd place 2016 World Championships doubles (U19) 4th place 2016 European Championships (U19) 1st place 2015 EuroTour (U19)
ANNA BANKUS #78922
Hometown: Wilkes-Barre, PA Career Wins: 7 Bag: Dynamic Discs Sniper Backpack Favorite Course: Sellersville DGC Favorite Disc: Dynamic Discs Lucid Breakout Beginner tip Make sure to follow through. Take your time. Most importantly have fun and enjoy the sport! Most memorable moment Getting to play doubles with my brother on the same card as Eric McCabe and Denise Cameron at my home course. What separates Team Dynamic Discs? Team Dynamic Discs feels more like a family than just a team.
DREW PALMER #57385 Hometown: Denver, CO Career Wins: 9
ELIJAH HOGAN #72527
Favorite discs Latitude 64Âş Havoc Dynamic Discs Trespass Dynamic Discs Truth Dynamic Discs Judge
Hometown: Souderton, PA Career Wins: 11 Bag: Dynamic Discs Backpack Cart by ZUCA with Ranger Favorite Course: Little Lehigh Parkway Favorite Disc: Dynamic Discs Lucid Verdict
Career highlights Winning the 2014 High Plains Challenge A-Tier in Menâ€™s Rec
Beginner tip Throw midranges and putters for a long time (until you improve your form). Most memorable moment My first ace. I aced hole 3 at Prospect Park just before the 2 minute warning for round 3 at 2017 Am Worlds. What separates Team Dynamic Discs? Everyone on the team is fun to be around. They are encouraging and supportive.
TYLER AHRENS #88278
Hometown: Gig Harbor, WA Career Wins: 2 Bag: Dynamic Discs Ranger Favorite Course: Horseshoe Lake DGC Favorite Disc: Dynamic Discs Lucid Convict Beginner tip Just play, have fun, and enjoy disc golf! It is easy to overthink, so practice as though you have never won, but play with confidence like you have never lost. Take the time to learn from others with more experience. It will help you improve greatly. Most memorable moment My most memorable disc golf moment was playing in both singles and doubles at a tournament in Bremerton, Washington and placing first in both. What separates Team Dynamic Discs? Members of Team Dynamic Discs treat each other like a family. They support each other and cheer on teammates as they play. I also really appreciate how they work hard to grow the sport. Growing the sport is important to me and is a focus I have for the sport of disc golf.
EVAN JONES #59247
Location: Wilmington, Delaware Career Wins: 11 Favorite discs Air Diamond Opto Pearl Pure Career highlights Getting to play my first tournament as a member of Team Lattitude 64.
TRENTON WILBANKS #69256 Hometown: Choctaw, OK
Favorite discs Defender Bio Fuzion for my less stable of the 3 to hyzerflip, Fuzion for the middle of the plastics, Lucid for the stable forehand or backhand drives. Justice Lucid for short upshots to the basket, very stable and reliable. Verdict Fuzion for longer upshots, straight to fade very reliable. Caltrop Zero Medium my go to putters very reliable stable putter and feels great in the hand while putting. Career highlight Finishing top 5 in most of my tournaments.
Story by Zach Hacker
a LEAGUE of their
own Amateurs at all skill levels now have a place to show off their talent on a regular basis.
That place? The Next Generation Disc Golf Tour. “There are a lot of professional tours, but there was nothing really out there for amateurs,” co-founder David Feldberg said. The idea for an amateur tour which keeps player rankings and puts the best disc golfers from around the country against one another on a national stage was the co-brainchild of Synthya Whitaker. While Feldberg was sidelined from the pro tour with a neck injury, she leaned on his past success running tournaments in Arizona as proof he was the right partner for the venture. They gave it a try with a 12-event tour in 2016, which Feldberg said was a big success. Out of that, Next Generation Disc Golf was born.
How it works The Next Gen Tour consists of several local tournaments which serve as qualifiers in three divisions throughout the country — which is divided into eight regions. Competitors at the local tournaments are able to qualify within their region, with the best players from each region converging at the end of the season for a national tournament.
Chasinâ€™ the Chains 31
You have to become part of it to realize how
Feldberg said one of the best aspects of the Next Gen Tour is that anyone, regardless of their rating or skill level, can advance to the NG premier tournaments. There will be one premier event per region with $30,000 in players packs and prizes at each of those events. The top three players with the lowest scores — regardless of division — qualify for nationals, but so too do the top seven overall best performances for the year no matter the division.
up against all other players in your region in your division. This will include an updated page on the NG website. The top seven best performances in each region on top of the online payout will be granted the golden ticket — an invite to the National Championships in Fountain Hills, Arizona. So, you can actually qualify for nationals at any one qualifier. The online payout will be more than $20,000, and this is included for free with no extra entry fee. “We’re trying to put everyone in the nation together kinda like in Amateur Worlds,” Feldberg said. “But instead of using participation points, we’re using skill-level. At the amateur level, we don’t really have anything where you can participate all year.” Last year’s national champion, Chris Keseloff, won a Kia Soul and
Best Performances? In addition to everything from above, Next Gen has added an online payout and national qualification for everyone based on their best performance in an NG event. So whatever your average PDGA rating is for that event, you will be stacked 32 WWW.CHASINTHECHAINSMAGAZINE.COM
is now a touring professional in the 2018 season. This year Next Gen is giving away a 2018 Jeep Renegade valued at $23,400 and a total tour value of $937,000. The Nex Gen serves not only as a way for hobby players to hone their skills, but also provides an avenue for aspiring pros to reach their goals. The top 16 players from last year’s national tournament are currently in a year-long tryout with Latitude 64, which sponsors the tour. Most importantly, Feldberg said, is that the competition is fierce. “When you’re playing with amateurs, people think you’re not as good as the pros,” he said. “But when the top amateurs, when they’re on, there is a very small window between them and the pros.”
Changes As with anything in its first year, there were some kinks to work out on the Next Gen Tour. Feldberg said he and the rest of the team took feedback from the more than 3,800 participants from 2017. “We want to provide a good experience,” he said. One of the biggest complaints, he said, was that all players received in hand at the qualifier tournament — even winners — was a player pack. Players who won received a free entry to regionals, but there was nothing to hand the top finishers. This year, there is a payout for the top five players, and custom-made trophies
fun it can be to be competitive with everyone. will be given out at each qualifier event. Also, all Next Gen events are PDGA sanctioned this year. Organizers also added two lower divisions for people in the 800-900-ratings, and the addition of the top-10 regional scores qualifier give everyone a chance. If they play a great round, they qualify for the national tournament. “So, even if you aren’t one of the top-rated players, you’ll have a chance to qualify for nationals and to win the car or at least thousands of dollars in prizes,” Feldberg said. Perhaps one of the biggest changes veteran players will notice is to the Nex Gen Virtual Challenge. With entry into a C-Tier Next Gen Tour event, players can also enter their scores in the virtual challenge, allowing them to see how their qualifying rounds stack up against everyone else in the country. This is different then the online regional payouts, as you are competing against everyone in the tour — not just the players in your region. Last year, Feldberg said the process was confusing as they used the Disc Golf Course Review rating system, which differs greatly from the PDGA ratings. This year, Next Gen has partnered with PDGA, which is hosting the virtual tour and rating players according to its system. “It’s a good chance to measure yourself against everyone in the country,” he said.
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Positive results Feldberg said the talent level on the tour was very competitive, and that was most obvious in the amateur events hosted by Next Gen. The players, he said, seem to play more loosely when they’re just out having fun with other amateurs rather than trying to match up with pros in a big tournament. “It’s the camaraderie of the younger amateurs,” he said. “They’re out there high-fiving each other, cheering each other on because they want to see everyone succeed. You see their true talent at these amateur tournaments.” While there may be more instant gratification in other tournaments as far as trophies and big payouts, Feldberg said the feedback he received from the players last year was that the Next Gen Nationals was one of the best experiences they’ve had on a disc golf course. “If you get caught up in the series, there is a lot of excitement in that,” he said. “You have to become part of it to realize how fun it can be to be competitive with everyone.” n
603 Commercial St. • 620-342-5871 Mon. - Fri. 8-6, Thu. 8-7, Sat. 8:00-5:30 Chasin’ the Chains 33
Help BY CHRIS WALKER
Grow Disc Golf Disc golf is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. Share the sport you enjoy by growing the sport in your area. Below are a couple of stories on projects that have helped disc golf grow in Emporia, Kansas. From one basket, to a whole course, to school clubs, we encourage you to help disc golf grow where you are. Share your stories with us so we can highlight them next year. The following stories are published courtesy of The Emporia Gazette:
16. Gazette on August 13, 20 First ran in The Emporia
s Timmerman student bring disc golf to school poria.com By John Robinson john@em
merman Elementary hen students return to Tim r, among the teachers, for the upcoming school yea s stands a new addition experiences and classmate to the playground. ns by the Timmerman It’s not the result of any pla vement projects from the administration, capital impro new n one addition. The three Board of Education or eve stand on the playground are disc golf baskets which now student. courtesy of a Timmerman ering fourth grade at the ent is River Peters, age 9, n playing disc golf since Emporia school and has bee ting embers Dynamic Discs visi September. River said he rem . the third grade at the school third grade and they really to e “Dynamic Discs cam y and er said. “They loved to pla loved the experience,” Riv e.” I can get some baskets her throw, so I decided — maybe yla Olivier, his third-grade From there, Rivers asked Ka Kim him to take his request to teacher — who encouraged an. Kirk, principal at Timmerm Chasin’ the Chains 35
“I got up with Mr. Kirk,” he said. “(Kirk) is a great principal and I did some notes and stuff — got it all planned out — and Dynamic Discs donated three baskets.” Kirk said he was impressed by River’s initiative to make the project happen. “He made an appointment to see me,” Kirk said. “He talked about what he wanted to do and how he wanted to make it happen. “He did request the donation of three goal baskets in the letter he sent down to them. We were contacted by Dynamic Discs and they said they wanted to make it happen.” Along with the new baskets, Kirk said there will also be a distribution of discs to the classrooms for students to use during recess. “My whole thing is to empower students,” Kirk said. “Give everything that you can to them to do for them and their school. Give them the support to do that and it’s a learning lesson; you can make a difference.” River said it was cool knowing he made an impact on his school and he hopes his classmates enjoy the new baskets. “We might make our own little mini tournaments up,” he said. 36 WWW.CHASINTHECHAINSMAGAZINE.COM
First published in The Emporia Gazette on October 4, 2017.
EHS disc golf club launches By Jessie Wagoner
iscs are flying at Emporia High School with the launch of the EHS Disc Golf Club. Emporia High School teacher Tyler Bosiljevac, who is serving as the club sponsor, has had an interest in starting a disc golf club at the school for a couple of years. Unfortunately for him, he had not yet been able to get the club off the ground. When Jimmy Acosta, a senior at EHS, also expressed an interest in starting a club, it seemed the timing was right. “It was just like a magnet and everything came together,” Bosiljevac said. “Jimmy had been
wanting to get it to go, I had been wanting to get it going, Dynamic Discs was ready for it to go and it all just came together at the right time.” Acosta enjoys playing disc golf and said it is a sport anyone can play and enjoy. His desire to share the sport led him to approach Bosiljevac about serving as sponsor for the club. Acosta said students can enjoy the sport of disc golf for a number of reasons. “It is a great sport to play with others or by yourself,” Acosta said. “It doesn’t matter if you have ever played before, you can pick up a disc and get started and enjoy yourself. The more you
Chasin’ the Chains 37
play and work at it the better you get.” One barrier to starting new clubs within the school system is often finances. However, the disc golf club has received support from Dynamic Discs. The Emporia company helped design the club logo, which now appears on discs provided by Dynamic Discs as well as shirts and bumper stickers. Between the starter discs provided by Dynamic Discs and those donated by Emporian Art Palafox, the club is off to a great start. The club first began meeting in September and already has 35 students actively playing with another 30 who have expressed interest but are currently playing other sports. The disc golf club will be active year round, which will give student-athletes the opportunity to play with the club between sports practices. Currently, the club meets and plays one time per week, but Acosta said additional times may be added as interest increases. The students are in close proximity to two disc golf courses — one at Emporia Middle School and another at Flint Hills Technical College. The courses provide the students a chance to get outside and enjoy the game. “It’s just nice to get out and enjoy a game,” Acosta said. “We help each other, and even if younger people want to come we are happy to help teach them.” For more information about the club and how to join, contact Bosiljevac at email@example.com. n 38 WWW.CHASINTHECHAINSMAGAZINE.COM
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Chase County’s Swope course offers a challenging and fun round whether you are an enthusiast or a professional in the making.
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Chasin’ the Chains 39
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Chasinâ€™ the Chains 41
Chasinâ€™ the Chains 43
8 103.5 Cole Jonas 8 103.5 Tal Wambeke 10 94.5 Brayden Wright 10 94.5 Hunter Collins 12 85.5 Noah Higgins 13 81 Jeremiah Dwyer 13 81 Tom Shanley 15 72 Zach Arlinghaus 16 67.5 Jacob Minasian 17 63 Drew Palmer 18 58.5 Adam Osborn 19 54 Graham Vanderpool 20 49.5 Dax Estep 21 45 Teagan Stradley 22 40.5 Andrew Heus 23 36 Logan Moloney 24 31.5 Mikey Parker 25 27 Chase Luster 26 22.5 Zach Heitzenrader 26 22.5 Alex Crabtree 28 13.5 Gavin Stradley 29 9 Jack Conville 30 0 Benjamin Peliotes
82637 905 56 80428 892 61 91677 901 56 56362 918 63 84157 862 61 58738 896 58 77274 903 56 65266 926 60 93154 948 60 57385 907 57 43203 883 56 74970 891 58 87518 845 60 72445 857 62 90093 66 96614 889 62 78515 850 65 86313 795 68 68090 863 71 67700 832 70 75774 813 65 86917 671 79 79559 849 999
57 59 58 61 58 58 58 61 59 60 63 60 67 71 64 72 64 69 59 64 68 70 999
57 55 57 57 57 60 60 58 60 59 64 59 69 59 59 62 60 63 64 67 60 65 999
56 55 59 57 58 57 64 61 61 63 57 65 63 62 64 62 68 67 61 66 74 75 999
59 52 53 47 54 57 49 53 50 55 56 59 51 57 58 63 59 55 66 57 64 70 999
53 54 54 50 50 49 52 49 55 53 52 52 56 59 61 52 58 54 56 53 54 54 999
JUNIOR II GIRLS (5 COMPETITORS) PLACE PTS NAME PDGA# RATING 1 22.5 Carli Beith 85978 828 2 18 Cynthia Ricciotti 75029 819 3 13.5 Lydia Lyons 58968 789 4 9 Matti Roush 63763 808 5 4.5 Jadyn Gleason 74532 581
RD1 RD2 RD3 RD4 RD5 65 56 62 51 67 64 62 54 56 70 69 56 57 61 65 70 68 61 65 73 89 91 74 73 93
RD6 67 66 71 70 98
SEMIS FINALS TOTAL 0 27 395 0 28 400 0 0 379 0 0 407 0 0 518
JUNIOR III BOYS (14 COMPETITORS) PLACE PTS NAME PDGA# RATING 1 42 Gannon Buhr 75412 908 2 39 Simeon Schultz 79048 864 3 36 Isaiah Esquivel 77939 895 4 33 Anthony Anselmo 56579 873 5 30 Evan Scott 89394 853 6 27 Logan Plake 76846 855 7 24 Elijah Hogan 72527 800 8 21 Donovan Esquivel 88054 855 9 18 Bradin Balogh 68872 761 10 15 Billy Scott III 69215 764 11 12 Benjamin Lutz 97965 12 9 C.j. Wisor 79330 713 13 6 Tyler Ahrens 88278 736 14 0 Xaelen Nash 46192 852
RD1 RD2 RD3 49 50 46 54 55 52 55 57 55 54 56 58 53 61 53 56 56 59 54 61 65 59 61 62 63 61 64 59 66 68 56 66 71 59 71 73 66 67 73 54 56 62
RD6 52 63 55 60 64 60 63 63 66 72 72 74 76 999
SEMIS FINALS TOTAL 0 25 326 0 24 356 0 29 363 0 29 368 0 0 345 0 0 355 0 0 365 0 0 368 0 0 384 0 0 394 0 0 401 0 0 412 0 0 420 0 0 DNF
JUNIOR III GIRLS (5 COMPETITORS) PLACE PTS NAME PDGA# RATING 1 15 Hope C. Brown 62397 808 2 12 Lilly Ruthen 76364 700 3 9 Elena Badajos 59845 603 4 6 Kasey Gambee 85553 571 5 0 Anna Bankus 78922 500
RD1 RD2 RD3 RD4 RD5 RD6 60 65 58 65 67 62 62 67 75 68 70 64 73 74 84 72 82 65 74 76 85 75 83 78 78 95 99 999 999 999
SEMIS FINALS TOTAL 0 24 401 0 33 439 0 0 450 0 0 471 0 0 DNF
JUNIOR IV BOYS (8 COMPETITORS) PLACE PTS NAME PDGA# RATING 1 12 Kolby Sanchez 86512 806 2 10.5 Nathaniel Delisle 87305 779 3 9 Carter Ahrens 88279 727 4 7.5 Jai Badajos 59846 696 5 6 Braden Green 92012 734 6 4.5 Aidan Ellis 63029 649 7 3 Zachary Scott 90109 619 8 1.5 Foley Kedzior 88592 520
RD1 RD2 RD3 RD4 RD5 58 62 69 61 66 59 60 71 58 72 66 71 71 69 82 69 65 79 74 74 62 76 81 77 90 75 73 83 72 86 74 75 88 81 96 88 87 100 87 97
RD6 54 60 62 67 66 68 79 77
SEMIS FINALS TOTAL 0 27 397 0 35 415 0 34 455 0 34 462 0 0 452 0 0 457 0 0 493 0 0 536
JUNIOR IV GIRLS (3 COMPETITORS) PLACE PTS NAME PDGA# RATING 1 4.5 Virginia Polkinghorne 76009 451 2 3 Kylie Schenavar 82914 495 3 1.5 Madeline Quade 79435 193
RD1 RD2 RD3 RD4 RD5 RD6 82 91 90 77 93 71 97 102 100 104 109 82 100 110 138 131 131 106
SEMIS FINALS TOTAL 0 0 504 0 0 594 0 0 716
RD1 RD2 RD3 RD4 RD5 RD6 SEMIS FINALS TOTAL 76 77 79 69 0 0 0 0 301 81 80 76 74 0 0 0 0 311 91 81 87 77 0 0 0 0 336
RD4 48 50 47 50 51 58 57 57 63 62 63 61 60 51
RD5 56 58 65 61 63 66 65 66 67 67 73 74 78 999
48 50 51 53 53 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
386 386 388 388 391 339 339 342 345 347 348 353 366 370 372 373 374 376 377 377 385 413 DNF
JUNIOR I BOYS (36 COMPETITORS) PLACE PTS NAME PDGA# RATING 1 216 Evan Bamford 89391 947 2 210 Jacob Boerner 69704 935 3 204 Casey White 81739 935 4 198 Trevon Crowe 67172 943 5 192 Finlay Buchanan-Jacobs 55953 958 6 186 Laurenz Schaurhofer 77497 931 7 180 Alex Stoops 72470 947 8 174 Michael Jordt 77562 931 9 168 Raymond Hernandez 63412 977 9 168 Jacob Sanders 78848 969 11 156 Kyle Edwards 83815 926 11 156 Trent Smith 78073 897 13 144 Trenton Wilbanks 69256 903 13 144 Joel Maury-Holmes 34194 955 15 132 Carson Lewis 68024 953 15 132 Dylan Moyer 88222 913 17 120 Tyler Kobylarz 75731 935 18 114 Ezra Hapner 25000 935 19 108 Bryce Lawrance 59941 892 20 102 Travis Wanfalt 78244 864 21 96 Maximus Meyer 49865 915 22 90 Quinn Berkovatz 78621 917 23 84 Tommy Gunz Trujillo III 71392 920 24 78 Joe Carey 73855 909 25 72 Hunter Montagne 81035 896 26 66 Matthew Coccaro 75075 886 26 66 Charlie Holloway 74556 907 26 66 Hunter Tiecke 59579 892 29 48 Joshua Johnen 87015 853 30 42 Austin Dobbins 45863 892 31 36 Nick Olson 79149 902 32 30 Tristan Hines 80618 899 33 24 Kyle Devries 62323 869 34 18 Dylan Feldman 84447 905 35 12 Mccall Atchison 91761 840 36 0 Jason Hardin Jr. 73346 928
RD1 RD2 RD3 RD4 RD5 RD6 50 47 87 65 49 50 50 47 86 72 46 57 46 47 84 75 48 58 45 51 86 71 54 53 48 48 87 85 47 54 46 45 88 72 51 63 47 51 86 74 51 57 46 51 87 75 49 57 47 48 90 85 50 53 45 50 87 76 52 62 47 51 87 73 50 65 47 58 90 71 54 51 47 49 94 78 47 59 50 50 90 76 49 59 45 51 87 77 60 56 49 52 86 79 50 60 49 51 88 82 50 59 49 56 98 75 47 58 48 54 92 79 53 61 49 52 88 84 51 64 48 46 92 84 56 63 50 54 95 77 54 60 50 51 91 82 59 58 53 54 92 86 50 57 51 49 94 78 58 67 52 59 91 79 56 62 53 56 95 78 49 68 54 52 95 83 57 58 56 52 94 84 56 59 53 60 97 82 48 63 52 53 98 80 59 62 49 52 101 85 49 70 52 54 99 83 60 67 53 57 101 79 55 71 50 58 102 88 57 71 47 56 95 89 57 999
SEMIS FINALS TOTAL 51 25 424 47 25 430 50 25 433 48 28 436 43 0 412 50 0 415 51 0 417 53 0 418 49 0 422 50 0 422 56 0 429 58 0 429 0 0 374 0 0 374 0 0 376 0 0 376 0 0 379 0 0 383 0 0 387 0 0 388 0 0 389 0 0 390 0 0 391 0 0 392 0 0 397 0 0 399 0 0 399 0 0 399 0 0 401 0 0 403 0 0 404 0 0 406 0 0 415 0 0 416 0 0 426 0 0 DNF
JUNIOR I GIRLS (3 COMPETITORS) PLACE PTS NAME PDGA# RATING 1 18 Alexis Mandujano 62880 906 2 12 Esther Schultz 79049 852 3 6 Bailey Petty 77331 824
RD1 RD2 RD3 RD4 RD5 58 53 55 52 54 62 55 57 55 66 68 61 60 60 69
RD6 57 62 66
SEMIS FINALS TOTAL 0 0 329 0 0 357 0 0 384
JUNIOR II BOYS (30 COMPETITORS) PLACE PTS NAME PDGA# RATING 1 135 David Oâ€™Meara 66276 933 2 130.5 Vincent Polidori 81039 935 3 126 Silas Schultz 79047 946 4 121.5 Dawson Snelling 45739 938 5 117 Jesper Persson 74796 912 6 112.5 Harper Thompson 60259 903 7 108 Jordan Smith 77952 896
JUNIOR V BOYS (3 COMPETITORS) PLACE PTS NAME PDGA# RATING 1 4.5 Wyatt Mahoney 89460 718 2 3 Judah Berman 82877 748 3 1.5 Landon Brooks 83848 509
RD1 RD2 RD3 RD4 RD5 58 50 46 52 48 56 58 51 52 49 51 54 55 56 48 59 53 57 57 47 58 58 59 55 51 54 61 57 56 50 57 60 59 54 52
RD6 48 46 45 48 50 52 51
SEMIS FINALS TOTAL 50 24 376 46 27 385 56 25 390 48 27 396 50 0 381 53 0 383 51 0 384
JUNIOR V GIRLS (2 COMPETITORS) PLACE PTS NAME PDGA# RATING RD1 RD2 RD3 RD4 RD5 RD6 SEMIS FINALS TOTAL 1 3 Hayleigh Shintaku 86094 146 126 104 125 106 0 0 0 0 461 2 1.5 Ava Meyer 83000 277 121 107 132 114 0 0 0 0 474 JUNIOR VI BOYS (1 COMPETITOR) PLACE PTS NAME PDGA# RATING RD1 RD2 RD3 RD4 RD5 RD6 SEMIS FINALS TOTAL 1 1.5 Kaidin Bell 86201 708 110 91 120 90 0 0 0 0 411
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1120 Commercial St. • Visit us at Salsast.com or HOURS: Mon-Thurs 11-8:30 • Fri & Sat 11-9:00 • Sun 11-3:00 Chasin’ the Chains 47
Junior Worlds players, families, and friends,
My wife Noemi and I started playing disc golf in Abilene, Texas, in 1996. It is hard to believe that 22 years later I am writing a letter that will go in the fourth issue of the Chasin’ the Chains magazine to be distributed at the 2018 PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships, where I am serving as the tournament director. Little did I know that disc golf would become such a big part of my life when I threw my first Lightning disc off of the tee at Cal Young Park. I just knew that disc golf would be a piece of cake and that I would likely find little interest in continuing the sport. Thirty-eight strokes over par later, I was hooked and was committed to improvement. Noemi and I tried to get our young children interested in playing over the next few years. It seemed, though, that every time we would get them out for some disc golf, a poorly planned playground located just off of the first hole’s fairway would derail such efforts and lure the kids from baskets to swing sets and sliding boards. Later soccer, little league, music, karate and an assortment of other activities would keep both my wife and I, as well as our kids’ focus, off of disc golf. This was OK…kids sometimes need to do what they want to do. After several years of very few disc golf rounds, our family moved to Denver, Colorado. We decided to try disc golf with the kids again. Our oldest had moved out of the house and our 10-and 13-year-old kids remained. They were hooked after the first round we played at Expo Park in Aurora, Colorado. A day would not go by when they did not want to go play. They even created a three-hole object course where we lived to play when they could not get to the course. Next, they wanted to play tag matches. Next, they wanted to play tournaments. This started a stretch of years where our family spent a bunch of weekends in hotels traveling to various parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and other great places to play in disc golf events. The junior divisions at these events gave us the opportunity to do something together. For this I will always be indebted to disc golf as scores of memories were created with each event we played. Each of our disc golf stories are unique. I would certainly not be here today doing what I am doing if junior disc golf divisions were not available at the many, many tournaments we played with our kids when they were young. Whether it is your kid, a neighbor’s kid, or any other kid you see on the disc golf course, encourage them to have fun and to keep playing. If they like it, sign them up for an event. Who knows where this may take them (or you). Thank you junior disc golf.
By Doug Bjerkaas Dynamic Discs Tournament Director
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Chasinâ€™ the Chains 49
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Train your body to
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A magazine by Dynamic Discs for those passionate about disc golf.