Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Maw 'N' Paw

Disc golfing friends of mine came up with an idea one day. This husband and wife, after a ton of hard work, now have their idea splashed on the front page of Discovering The World. 

The Maw 'N' Paw disc golf towel is awesome. Sure, maybe I'm a little biased, but after using one for a while I can truthfully say that it's the only towel I will ever use.

Innovation is everywhere in our sport and this couple, who are obsessed with disc golf like the rest of us, found a way to bring innovation to something that's usually a simple rag we stuff away in to our bags.

This tie-dyed cotton towel has a shammy patch sewn on to one end allowing a player to not only dry their hands, but to completely dry their discs too. They come in two different styles and are also decorated with a cool embroidered basket.

Living in the northwest I've been able to truly test this product out. The cotton side does what it should. It gets the mud off of my discs and dries my hands. Then, the shammy addition completely dries my disc so that I don't have to worry about slippage.

I'm proud of these fine folks for pulling this off. Congratulations you two!

Check out to pick one up. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Field Practice

Holy cow, I'm sore.

The sun came out to say hi this weekend and I took full advantage of its presence. On Saturday I drove down to SeaTac Disc Golf Course and played a full round with my wife and her cousin. Sunday was devoted to field practice.  

I mentioned my plight before regarding empty fields in this area. It seemed impossible to find an open area without human targets when blue filled the sky. Well, I may have finally discovered my secret throwing ground.

The practice session started with choosing which discs I was going to throw out of my bag. I went with two Elite Z Nukes, two Star TeeBirds and a Champion Leopard.

I stretched for a while and then threw some easy upshots to the area I wanted to tee off from. This swath of grass looks like an old football field that hasn't been groomed in a while. The field goals are vintage and there are no bleachers in sight. 

Standing under one of the goal posts I looked out at the other one across the field and wondered if the distance was regulation. I believe the measurement between football goal posts should be about 360ft. I felt like I would never reach the other side.

And I didn't.

I probably drove 50 times and stopped, because I was tired and didn't want to push it. I thought about hitting up Terrace Creek Disc Golf Course afterward, but figured it wasn't a good idea considering how my entire body was feeling.

The beginning of the session was sort of weak sauce. I wasn't warmed up yet. I finally started snapping off some good drives near the middle of the session and toward the end I was petering out.

I worked on so many different aspects of my drive, but the one thing that seemed like a constant hindrance was my footing. The soft ground made me feel heavy and the unkempt grass below my feet made me feel slow. Of course I realized I was reaching for excuses that justified my inability to get any of my discs to land near the goal post. 

Reality quickly took over. I am slow. I am heavy. 

But I'm getting faster and I'm getting lighter.

The highlight of the weekend came on Saturday and was easy to pick out. Pictured above is hole 14 at SeaTac DGC. According to Disc Golf Course Review this hole measures out to be 545ft and is a par 4.

I hyzer flipped my 169 Elite Z Nuke through all the trees and landed in a prime spot for an easy upshot. I nailed my second-shot line and made the chains sing with my putt. I never thought I would shoot a three on this hole... just like I think I will never reach that other goal post. Hmmm... 

I love inspiration.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My New Plastic

Are you one of those disc golfers that needs to hold back when buying new plastic? I am. If I had the money and storage space I would probably buy a ton of discs every month. I didn't used to be like that though.

I hadn't purchased anything for a while. The baby was sleeping, the beer was cold and it was a Saturday night, so I figured it was a good time to hop online and make a few purchases.

I went with a 171 Star TeeBird, an X-Out 173 Champion Leopard and an X-Out 169 Elite Z Nuke. I bought the TeeBird from Disc Nation and the other two from Marshall Street.

When I first played the game I remember using a couple of Innova discs, but it wasn't until I tried a Discraft disc that I felt like I could finally get some distance. With that mentality stored away in my mind I started buying only Discraft discs when I picked up the sport again later on in life. Eventually I justified it by thinking all manufacturers have discs that will fly the way you need them to, so why not stick with one company in order to keep yourself from buying a bunch of discs with similar flight patterns.

Silly me.

Deep down there was a part of me that wanted to throw every disc in every weight just to see the differences.

I finally gave in to my desire and I'm now in the process of mixing up my bag with anything I feel like trying without any company loyalty.

I'm not sponsored, so I shouldn't restrict myself.

The sun is supposed to make an appearance this weekend, so I'll be getting out to give these three some flight time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Free Innova Discs: Scam?

I propped myself up against the couch the other night and waited for the whiskey to take effect. I wanted a solid night of sleep, because lately my mind has been racing – and our 1000-year-old cat has a ritual of getting up from her bed, clawing her way out of our room to eat and drink and then clawing her way back into her bed. Then, what seems like 20 minutes later, she does it again... and again... and again.

I'm usually searching the Web for disc golf related news, videos and blogs. Most of the time I find myself making disc wish lists while picking through sites like I love that site. I like how it's organized and how they categorize their products. They include sections such as x-outs, vintage and goobered.

They even have stock under "prototype" of a disc I helped name for ABC discs. The BeeLine. Word has it that the disc didn't pass PDGA approval, because it's just way too gnarly for sanctioned play. Apparently the disc would have turned the tables in favor of the player so much that players without the disc would just quit the game, and would be flooded with threads like, "Is Cinque on his way to being the best disc golfer in history?"

I haven't heard anything for a while and the ABC disc site hasn't been updated, so I'm not sure what's going on with it.

Anyways, I stumbled on to a video posted on YouTube regarding free Innova discs. This guy went to and apparently followed all the rules and ended up receiving some discs he had been wanting.

I was interested, but I've encountered offers like this before and usually it's some sort of a scam, or they want so much information that it feels wrong to participate. The site leads you to a site called Following some brief research I found out that after you join this site you are asked to take part in different offers from different companies and if you do everything correctly you are rewarded with points.

I guess the points are used instead of money to shop for items on If Amazon has it then apparently you can earn it by participating.

Things like this are usually too good to be true, but after searching Amazon for disc golf related items I'm kind of curious to see if this is actually legit. Free Leopards? Nukes? Tee Birds, maybe?

I'm probably going to regret it, but I'm thinking about making a new email account, Facebook, Twitter or whatever just so I can test this out. There seemed to be an equal amount of negative reviews and positive reviews about the process. Some people were complaining that after building up so many points they were banned, because they were suspected of cheating. Other people were raving about everything. Who knows? Those other people might be the person working for the site. The Web is sticky and tricky. I'm not sure what to believe yet. I won't give out the e-mails of my friends and I won't give out extremely personal information, so I'm not sure if I'll go through with it if that's what they end up asking for.

I'll let you know what happens. Have any of you ever tried it?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Poor Old Eldo

I received some pictures from my friend Dennis down in Southern California this morning. It looks as though El Dorado Disc Golf Course has lost another tree.

I used to frequent this course with a small group of guys when I lived in Long Beach. Once in a while we would notice an ill-looking tree and wonder if that one was the next to fall during a big wind storm.

This time it's the big tree that is situated near the closest pin position on hole three. It didn't take out the basket, but it would have come close if the positions were different today.

This last photo shows the dead tree with the tee position off in the background. I used to practice my straddle putt from behind this tree. Damn.

A lot of the trees on this course look like they're either old or sick. It seems like every year the park loses another one.

Thanks goes out to Dennis Clark for sending me the photos.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hips First, Head Down

I'm back.

Apparently when "they" say it's going to rain here they really mean it's going to rain at some point, or maybe it won't rain at all and don't be surprised if you see the sun for a minute, but it's probably going to rain. Well, it was great out. Some drizzle fell on my face, but not much at all. The sun even made an appearance. The worst part of the day was trudging through the brown swampy muck around hole two. I didn't mind too much though, because my new Delaveagas were keeping my feet dry.

Happy St. Patrick's day by the way. While throwing around I received a text from my friend Dennis down in Southern California. He said, "Kiss me, I'm shit faced again!"

It made me laugh, so I sent him a photo with an attached message saying, "A kiss from this mouth?"

I ended up playing 36 holes at Silver Lake in Everett, WA. I made it a point to practice throwing my hips out first and man oh man – I could tell it was something special. For a while the technique kept making me release too far to the right of where I was aiming. I wasn't grip locking it, or Danny DeVito-ing it (I like calling it that because of a scene in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest where he hurled a basketball in the wrong direction), I was simply releasing in a different direction. My arm was whipping around a lot faster than usual and I believe this adjusted the point of my release. I remedied this by situating my self differently on the tee pad.

After a while I felt like I could continue on without thinking too much about it, so I decided to add one more new feature to my drive. I started keeping my head down.

What the hell? That is certainly a different perspective. I noticed in a few self-made videos that my head stayed level as I pulled through and sometimes it was off doing its own thing. Who knows what I was looking at, I sure don't.

When I forced my head to look down and follow through with my drive I found I could watch as I ripped the disc across my chest. It felt like I was over my disc and had more power and control. When I was able to link the two new techniques together I was left watching a disc in a beautiful flight.

Silver Lake isn't really a course you go for distance on. According to the longest hole is 324ft. This fun nine-hole is really about control and putting, but when I was concentrating on "hips first, head down" I noticed I was either overshooting a hole or reaching a basket with less effort than usual.

I believe progress was achieved today.

If you want to see what my scores were for these rounds you can find me under Cinque on the DGCR site.

The List

Another day of practice has sent me off into a messy mental think-a-thon. I was able to hit up my local course, Terrace Creek in Mountlake Terrace, yesterday and the swath of grass near holes 5, 6, 7 and 8 was finally empty so I took full advantage.

I knew what I wanted to work on, but I didn't know how to stop myself from working on all of it at the same time.

Here's what was going through my mind before each practice drive:

Lead with the hips.
Elbow out.
Plant foot.
Heel pivot.
Tighten grip at last minute.
Head down.
Keep left arm close to body.
Follow through.


I would look up at my disc in flight and reevaluate the "boom" part and think to myself, "That's more of a dink." Also, "I didn't want to throw it over there." Then I would replay the feel of the drive in my mind and wonder if I actually did anything on my list.

What a mess.

I ended the session with a few good drives, one of them measuring out to 346ft according to Google, so who knows how accurate that is, but most of the progress came with the determination to scale back my mental list while practicing. First things first. Lead with the hips.

For now on I'm going to just practice that to make sure I'm not strong arming my drives. Then I'll move on.

It's raining a bit today, but I just put my daughter down for a nap and my wife is home from work, so I may hit up a little nine-hole course called Silver Lake in Everett. It will be the perfect chance to play a full round and to get all swingy with my hips.

Plus, I just got some new Keens. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Hunt for 400

I'm a disc golfer in search of distance and consistency. I'm comfortable with my upshots when it comes to grip, stance and aim. I'm more comfortable with my putting than I have ever been. Driving is the problem at the moment and yesterday I had a humbling experience.

I was just out of high school the first time I played this sport. Huntington Beach Disc Golf Course in California was just down the street and a few of my musician friends had been throwing plastic for a while.

It was 1996 and according to my friends I needed a driver and a putter. The H.B. pro shop sold new and used discs, so I bought a used orange X-Clone and a brand new blue Magnet putter. I remember truly enjoying myself out there and played steadily for about a year or so.

Then I stopped. I don't remember why. Just because I guess.

I wish I hadn't.

In 2008 my soon-to-be-wife and I were living in Long Beach, Ca. We were driving down Studebaker one day and passed El Dorado Disc Golf Course. She ended up noticing the metal baskets and asked what they were used for. After explaining the game I asked if she was interested in trying it, and just like the time I asked her to marry me she looked into my eyes and said, "I don't know. Should we?"

Just kidding. She said yes – an enthusiastic yes, I should mention.

Now the X-Clone is shuffled away among many newer discs and the Magnet is saving my game more and more.

I started reaching the 350 foot range about a year ago while playing Eldo (El Dorado) almost daily, but I knew my form was off. When I started tweaking certain aspects of my drive I began to lose distance, but I'm determined to reach the 400 foot mark this year and in order to do that I need to perfect a smooth and consistent technique. I'm actually at a point in my game where I would rather throw in an empty field than play full rounds.

When my family and I moved from Long Beach, CA. to Edmonds, WA I discovered a few challenging things. First, winter time means winter time. The ground is wet, which makes the tee pads wet. I hate wet tee pads. If I'm not comfortable on a tee pad then I'm not throwing well. Second, people love their parks up here. If it's not raining then everyone and their dogs are walking in a nearby park, which makes throwing in an empty field nearly impossible during the afternoon and evening hours. Third, it's darker in the morning here and our bedroom window is situated in an area that doesn't receive much sunlight. That makes getting up early to go throw extremely difficult – especially when I know it's going to be 30-something degrees outside.

Even though these factors play a negative roll in my journey to become a better player I still get out as much as I can, which brings me to yesterday. The rain had subsided, so my wife and I bundled up our daughter and went searching for an empty strip of grass. We found one downtown at City Park and immediately parked. This field had a covered amphitheater-type building with a dry concrete ground that looked out on to a wide open field.


I began stretching and then I began throwing. My wife practiced too and for additional exercise my wife (Tricia, but I call her Dish) volunteered to run out and pick up the discs. We probably practiced for a good hour before it got too cold for my daughter (Olive). So, we packed it up and went home.

I was throwing a 171 Elite Z Nuke, a 170ish Surge SS, a 170ish Hurricane and I was trying out a new 150 Blizzard Destroyer. I picked a tree off in the distance and started throwing. When I reached the distance of the tree I felt like I had hit a mile stone. I went home happy and cheerfully opened my computer to see if I could mark the distance on Google Maps.

Then reality hit. 348 ft?!

I was glad to reach that distance with a few of my drives, but that means all the other drives were much shorter. Crap.

So, here it is. A new blog to document the time I spend playing disc golf. I'm on the hunt for 400 and I'm hoping to reach that by the end of the year. I'll document that process here, but I'll also get all wordy with my bad self about other topics too.

Thanks for reading.

- Cinque