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Some may find that these choices are cliché, but you can’t overestimate the mental effect that tee-off songs have. Here’s a perfect example from 2011 FPO Champion Valarie Jenkins: “If anyone has ever played in my group, they know that I am always humming a song that’s stuck in my head. Most of the time, I’m not sure where the song came from but sometimes it’s a song I just heard, so picking the right tee-off song is more crucial than one might think. Since they only play the first 30 seconds of a song, you have to make sure you like the first 30 seconds. In 2015, I chose the Taylor Swift song “Shake It Off” and when my name was called and the song was cued up… I listened to those words ‘got nothing in my brain.’ Needless to say, I didn’t play well in those first couple of rounds of the tournament. When it came to the final round, somehow they had lost the list of songs and asked what I’d like to play. I said ‘pick anything.’ This time, when my name was called and the song played, it was ‘Eye of the Tiger.’ I ended up shooting a 1011-rated round as well as the hottest round of the day for FPO.”

Subliminal Messaging As Val’s story illustrates, the words in one’s tee-off selection can play a major role in the rest of the day’s round. With that in mind, it’s intriguing to look for patterns between song requests and the game of disc golf itself. Want to head out and score a ton of birdies? Simply listening to a song with “bird” in the title like Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” or “Blackbird” by the Beatles could help you to play well, but wouldn’t an eagle be better? Both “Comfort Eagle” by Cake as well as “Fly Like An Eagle” by The Steve Miller Band are popular picks. Plenty of players opt for lyrics that include the word “win” or “winning”, both obvious choices when gearing up to tackle a tough course, but there seem to be mixed feelings about just how important the song’s message truly is. While Jenkins and others find their selection to be critical, others don’t necessarily feel the same. 2012 and 2013 MPO winner Will Schusterick said he simply chooses whatever song is on his mind at the time of the event. It seems that Simon Lizotte, MPO winner in 2014, also doesn’t put much stock into his choice: “I honestly don’t really remember the songs I’ve chosen. I don’t even remember what song I chose this year. If I had to guess, I picked a song I liked at the time. I didn’t really put much thought into that. I try to not get affected by anything when I start playing. I think there could be any song playing in the background and I wouldn’t even notice.”

GBO’s Tee-Off Origins Whether you love the idea of a tee-off song or not, there’s a good reason for it, and it stems back from the early years of involvement from tournament announcers Scott Hayes and Erren Harter. Both work at KVOE, a news, talk, and sports radio station in Emporia, and they’ve been partnering with Dynamic Discs since the beginning. Back in the day when Jeremy Rusco outgrew operations in the basement of his home, he rented space at a property managed by Erren. The two struck up a friendship, and soon after, Scott also became acquainted with the original DD crew. Harter and Hayes have been volunteering at the Glass Blown Open for years, and initially their duties included helping with a poker tournament and announcing each player as they stepped up to tee. The player’s name and hometown were the only things said into the microphone at the time, with filler music playing in between cards. In 2013, however, things started to get a little more interesting as the pair tried to personalize each player’s experience by asking them if they’d like to hear a song during their shot instead of silence. The next year, selecting a song became a more standardized practice, although it still took another year before this information showed up on the player registration form. As each individual would approach the tee, Scott and Erren would ask what song they wanted to play, wildly search for it, and hoped that it was clean enough to put on for an all-ages

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Physics of Flight GBO 2019  

The 2019 Glass Blown Open stands to be the biggest tournament in disc golf history! Over 1,600 competitors will descend upon Emporia for the...

Physics of Flight GBO 2019  

The 2019 Glass Blown Open stands to be the biggest tournament in disc golf history! Over 1,600 competitors will descend upon Emporia for the...

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