Wednesday, July 30, 2008

GroovyTuesday in St Louis




After working all day uploading Items to our new retail Store ,I decided to meet up with a couple I had met at the park a few weeks ago around 6:00
Greg and Trudy were in town from Oslo, Norway visiting his parents and wanted to get a few Gateway discs, a Bag and to play a disc golf course.
We took the 30 minute ride from Endicott to Woodland Park in Collinsville, IL..

This is a great park with every shot as picturesque as the last. There's a creek a lake, some woods, some hills, it was a really fun time,
Greg who was born in the states and moved to Europe at age 11 is a masters age player who has played many courses and has won a few European championships in his day had this to say about the course. " Wow,,, this has to be in my top 5 courses of all time!, I really like the terrain and the variety of shots".
The proximity of the baskets to the water seemed to spark his interest and from what I can tell, he really liked the challenge.
Early in the round both of our discs wound up in a dingle berry patch, but we both came out smiling and saved par :)
Trudy, who is new to the disc golf scene, seemed to be in need of a lesson.
Giving lessons to new players is up their on my list of things I like to do in my spare time. She was quite responsive to the instructions and before long was throwing about twice as far as she was on the first few holes and getting pretty accurate on the lay- ups. Her putting from 20 and in was solid, she said it was her best time ever playing disc golf, which made me feel pretty good.

On the ride out and back we discussed a lot of different topics including political parties, gas prices and what others in Norway and the rest of Europe feel about America:

What I learned was gas is $16 a gallon ( needless to say theres not much joy riding or cruising for chicks).

There are 4 main political parties that get to vote and a dozen others that can have there voices heard in certain situations.

contrary to what the media might want us to believe, It seems Europeans still LOVE America, even if it's just to visit!

He says disc golf in Norway ( and most of Europe) is really only Played as a serious sport and there are not many who will head to the course with a 12 pack and just one disc.

So we stopped by the shop on the way back where they were in disc golf heaven checking out the tye dyed shirts and discs and cool pictures everywhere. The grand finally at the shop was when we turned off the lights to check out all the glow discs in the shop!! seeing about 1000 discs and glow stickers all over the shop when the lights went off had them oowing and aaahing like kids at a fireworks display.

It was getting a little late for most over 40, but I asked them anyway about getting some food and maybe a drink.
After a quick call to his parents, we were on our way to a cool little restaurant in Soulard called Joannies pizzeria, for some ST Louis style THIN crust and Provel cheese. They complimented the appetizers of Toasted ravioli and Stuffed mushrooms, but Gres was not to thrilled with our local micro brews, ( even though they still seemed to go down pretty fast :)). The Barbecue pizza with cilantro, red onions, black beans and chicken had their taste buds in a different place then they have ever been before.

Down the street a Grateful dead cover band called the shwag was playing to a packed house of 300 dancing hippies with another 100 outside that were just dancing in the streets like it was Haight Asbury in the 60's.
The bad rocked a Zeppelin song and a Jimmy Hendricks song between 30 minute jam sessions of a wide array of dead covers.
Ive seen the Shwag quite a few times as the lead guitarist from the Naked Groove Tim Moody (the band featured on our upcoming Ozark Mountain DVD used to play with them for the last 3 years).
The new lead guitar player wasn't too bad but IMHO he's not Tim!

We all had a really good time good time and when it was over and I was dropping them back at their car, Greg said " thanks for the groovy Tuesday" Trudy Gave me a big hug and said thanks for a wonderful time.



My Thanks go out To Greg and Judy for getting me out on the town with my newly made friends, courtesy of the disc golf world! The pleasure was all mine!

Despite the many hurdles Gateway has had to jump through to get where we are today, Its this part of the disc golf community that I enjoy the most and what keeps me going, week in, week out!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Super-Slow Motion Video

Here is a link to a really cool video of Barry Schultz, Nikko, Justin and George.
Its from Hole 18 at Jefferson Barracks:

This link is a video clip from the upcoming 2008 St Louis Open DVD.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9vsnxcTAyk

The split screen slow-motion that shows all 4 players different techniques for the same 350 controlled turnover is pretty slick and comes on in the final minute.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How to advertise and promote a gdstour event

GDS tour events are great for helping new clubs getting started.
NO up front money is required for these events which are geared towards Amateur dic golf players.
We would rather gdstour events be for AMATEURS ONLY but are pretty flexible in format.

ALL women and ALL players 15 and under are allowed to play in gdstour events and will receive 2 discs in the players package, regardless of which level event is held.

This is a great way for a club with limited resources to generate some revenue to help get their club off the ground.

Information on how to run one can be found on our website.
href="http://www.gdstour.com/amateur_disc_golf_tournaments.php">">



Here are a few ideas on how to advertise market and promote and event.

A good clean flyer with all of the pertinent information handed out to players as well as placed at regional courses helps get the message out about the event.

Making posts on club discussion boards about the event is a good thing and is where you can answer questions that can not be answered from the information on the flyer.

Doubles events usually draw rather well! (Some gdstour events are held during the week in place of a weekly doubles)

Having an event on the most popular course is a plus.

Hosting one at a new course has been proven successful.

Having the local club host a gdstour event helps in building relationships for Gateway.

3 disc players packs for a $25 fee is another great draw.
A custom stamp from a local retail business that sells discs can be one of the discs and this usually gains momentum and hels create the triangle we are looking for..

A 1 disc event that costs the player $10 is another option.

more cool pics of the disc golf course at the Ranch





El Shaddia Ranch








We designed and installed a really sweet course about a year ago at a Christian Ranch in Moscow mills about 30 minutes from the St Louis Airport:
I have been waiting for the approval of the land owner before doing much advertising or marketing for the course.
It seems word of mouth from the few players I have showed the course is already getting the course a lot of play.
This course has a great mix of holes with woods, hills and a lake.
There are open holes and really tight wooded holes and the grass is always cut.
primitive and cabin camping is available please contact the Craig at http://www.stlchristianranch.com/about.html for ore information on the course and the facility

Here are directions and a few pictures:

Take interstate 70 west from St Louis to HWY 79:
go 11.3 miles to HWY C:
Go left on C 4.5 miles to Ethlyn Rd and make a right:
Go 2.5 miles on Ethlyn to Deer Run Rd ( there will be a huge sign for El Shaddai Ranch, go right on deer run 1/2 mile to course.



1st hole tee off is over creek to the right of the 1st basket.
The 1st 3 holes are not so easy, but after that the course is really recreational.


DO NOT DRIVE or PARK OVER CREEK!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The back flipping Kid!

Here is a video of Nikko's little brother, 6 year old Jeremiah ( Baby J).
Once he gets through his back filliping stage, I'm guessing he might start playing some disc golf. Right now he says Skateboarding and back flipping are much more fun. video

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Portland Disc Golf-Stumptown Magics

Here is a link to a news clip from a Portland TV station.
BTW the Stumptown logoed discs are the Gateway Magics

http://portlandscw.trb.com/video/?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=2703840

Monday, July 21, 2008

E Magics

we are getting back into running the E again,
We now have E magic's that feel really sweet and fly a little more under stable than the first run prototype E magics when thrown hard.
they are still extremely straight for shots under 120 feet!

they are flexible and grippy!

I have a lot of pics from this weekends Extreme Disc Golf event.
I am going to go through the pics and post the best ones soon!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Directions to jackson falls in better format

Several players were asking for direction to the EXTREME disc golf event at Jackson Falls this weekend.
So here they are,, you can also check out some pics of the place on my blog.

DIRECTIONS to Jackson Falls:
Take 64 east ( towards Louisville) from St Louis to 57 south ( towards Memphis at MT vernon) turn right on HWY 24 East (Towards Nashville):
once on 24 Go east (left) on 1st exit at Goreville/Tunnel Hill exit.
go 10 or 15 miles to state rd 45 ( which is at a stop sign)make a left:
travel for about 10 minutes to Ozark General Store and make a RIGHT on Ozark RD:
across from general store.
travel 10 minutes on Ozark Rd( about 8 miles) go past Trig Observation Site:
turn on right on Street rd (Big White House), proceed down this road, it will change to a gravel road,, follow this past main campground on Right over creek bed:
disc golfers camping is 1/2 mile down on lEFT!

please bring your own food and water and pack it in and pack it out!

Even if you cant make it down to play in the event, you should try and come for one day or the other to see this Majestic place in the Shawnee National Park.
We will be Hiking 18 baskets down into a canyon for this once in a lifetime event.
The camping is wide open with some of the coolest camp sites I have ever seen.

Sorry for such a late notice, but if you can make the trip, It will be well worth the time.

MOre pics of Jackson Falls!




After climbing up a 50 foot wall face I was really tired and wondering if I had the strength to get back down. Luckily repelling doesn't takes as much strength, but it still requires concentration.

If your into Rock climbing or bouldering you will be in love with this place.





just a few more pics, I hope this isn't boring,, its a really cool place

More Jackson Falls






Heres a few more pics of Jackson Falls.

EXTREME DISC GOLF Jackson Falls, IL






DIRECTIONS to Jackson Falls:
Take 64 east ( towards Louisville) from St Louis to 57 south ( towards Memphis at MT vernon) GO on HWY 24 East (Towards Nashville):
once on 24 Go east (left) on 1st exit at Goreville/Tunnel Hill exit.
go 10 or 15 miles to state rd 45 ( which is a stop sign)make a left:
travel for about 10 minutes to Ozark General Store and make a RIGHT on Ozark RD:
across from general store.
travel 10 minutes on Ozark Rd( about 8 miles) go past Trig Observation Site:
turn on right on Street rd (Big White House), proceed down this road, it will change to a gravel road,, follow this past main campground on Right over creek bed:
disc golfers camping is 1/2 mile down on lEFT!

please bring your own food and water and pack it in and pack it out!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

disc golf philosophy 101-4 ( putting)

When I teach a new player to putt (RHBH), it's usually 3/4 straddle right foot pointing towards the basket, pushing off with the left foot, throw or flick nose up hyzer from a cocked wrist creating a fair amount of spin, aiming a bit above the target, allowing for the disc to fall and fade a little left.
This trajectory gives the disc the most chance of hitting chains and or falling into the basket.
I also suggest using a firmer putter than most players would think they need for putting,,, and of course it should be a Wizard, Warlock or Magic!

I'm pretty sure 1/2 of putting is how it feels in your hand! Different players have different oils or dryness in their hands, which is why we make so many different surface complexions on our putters not just flexibilities!
Even though we only label our putters SSS (2), SS (4) soft (7) and medium (9) there are variations of runs as well as discs that fall between these numbers that will surely match just what you are looking for in a putter.
I wouldn't get so hung up on thinking you have to have max weight for your putter, as a 168 gram putter is plenty heavy enough, even for windy days and will stay up in the air longer too!!!
Ever wonder why you keep putting low?
Maybe your disc is too heavy!!
I'm willing to bet most players miss more putts low than left right or high combined???

The trick to becoming a good putter is to make sure all of your practice and game time putters are close to the same weight (within 2-3 grams).Its better to have different models than different weights when practicing, espcially if you using Gateway putters as the difference between the 3 is not that much from 30 feet and in!

Anyone that wants to get 5 practice putters all the same weight for $40 or 10 for $70 (that dont mind X outs or missed stamps) can email me for information on this special "dave deal" ,,,,,,,,david@gdstour.com

peace out, and check out the Ozark DVD trailer below!

Disc golf on Network TV ( show me St Louis)

On Monday we met Courtney and the Camera crew out at JB to film an episode of "show Me ST Louis".
We did a similar one on Disc Golf about 3 years ago That aired about 8 or 10 times.

Heres the link!

http://www.ksdk.com/life/programming/local/showme/story.aspx?storyid=150079&catid=78

Monday, July 14, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

disc golf philosophy 101-3

Ok while I'm waiting to head for Jackson Falls to help design a temp course for an event in Southern Illinois next weekend, I thought I would talk about the past present and future of disc golf.

When I first started traveling and playing in disc golf events back in 1983-84, I was asking the same questions as todays up and coming pro's.
" what do we need to do in order to play for more money"

I always heard people say, "corporate sponsorship", "getting it on TV", later in the mid 90's I heard "we need ESPN, ESPN 2 out hear filming and reporting" and such.

Well we had 26 episodes of Disc TV on the empire network for a season a 4 or 5 years back and then it was syndicated on Mav TV last year. It seems this created a lot of exposure to people who had never heard of disc golf, as we received many calls from people who saw our companies advertising on the show.
We were contacted by Dupont who helped us create our Evolution line of polymers which is the exact same thing as star, it came from the technology used on golf ball covers!
We received calls from parks, private land owners, players who started playing after seeing an episode or 2. I was very excited about this new found business that was coming from the show, but I had limited amounts of cash flow to spend on advertising.
I needed to grow the company with machines, warehouse space, I only had so much to spend on advertising!!
The thing about this show was the 2 or 3 leading disc golf companies never advertise on the show at all,,, I wonder why not??
It couldn't have been because it was too expensive, after all I was rubbing nickels together hoping for a dime and still doing a little advertising on the show.
I'm not sure how much the pdga spent with the networks, but it would have seemed like money well spent!!

Since the producers of the show and network needed advertisers to keep the show going and the companies inside the game didn't see the value or had other reason for not advertising, the show quietly went off the air.
Keeping this show running was a big opportunity that literally slipped through the disc golf communities fingers.

Well disc golf in general never took a hit, only the opportunity for growing the sport through the fast lane of network television and developing the money needed to support a professional tour.


Disc Golf is currently growing like wildfire at the recreational level, mostly because of word of mouth, but at the Professional level, we are really leveling off and even on the decline in some areas. I went to an event in Louisville in 1986 that had 105 pro men, this past year I think there were only 25 in the mens pro division there.

All in all, neither the game of disc golf or the existing manufacturing companies need Disc Golf on Television and I have heard some say they don't even WANT it on TV.
I wonder why not,,, well not really!

Some players liken it to bands like REM ( "once they went mainstream, they were never the same"), some players like the ability to play without tee times and the mostly non-conformist anti-establishment disc golfers of the past 25 years, like their ability to be one of the " guys in the know" and their revenue from disc selling at the course or through a club or few local accounts.
The death grip on the grass routes of disc golf needs to let go in order for disc golf to get a little more mainstream.
I have seen a physical change in the look of the everyday disc golfer, its younger and more athletic every year and it will keep heading that way!
There's a sense of "out with the old in with the new" attitude all the way up from local clubs to the board of the PDGA!! to quote Bob Dylan ( I think) "Times are a changin"

I am not here to blame anyone for holding back the game of disc golf!
Its obvious its not really being held back at all, especially when it comes to new courses, new players, new equipment and even new companies. The only place its really not growing is in the pro Division, which really only effects around 1000 players in the world, which is like 1/10th of 1% of the people who play the game/sport!

It was great that disc golf was on TV for 26 Episodes and then an attempt to show the reruns was made, but the reality is, it was way ahead of its time.
In order for a disc golf TV show to be successful without support from those with a vested interest in advertising during the show, we are going to need a lot more recreational players than we have right now,,,,like 100,000 times more players.
We are going to need 25,000 more disc golf courses to to get 10,000,000 players, thats 4,000 new players per new course.
If we get 25,000 new courses and 10,000,000 new players, we will also get 50 new disc golf manufactures.
ok,,,, thats 25 years of work ahead of us, but you get the point, even if we put in 2,500 new courses, doubling the current amount, maybe we could have 10 new disc golf manufacturing companies who would want to advertise on a disc golf show to get market share,,,, wait,,,,, Do I want to have to compete with 10 new companies for shelf space, custom stamp jobs for events?,,,,,Hmmmmm,,, what am I thinking??
Why do I want this? who would want this??
I'm doing OK for an under-capitalized small company and the future is looking bright, do I really want more disc golf companies to compete with for that (getting ever so scarce) disposable income???
Well,,, the answer is of course YES, I do, but does anyone else that makes disc golf equipment?
I think more manufacturing companies will only produce more advertising and marketing of disc golf, not JUST for their own disc golf equipment, but for the game of disc golf in general. It's really hard to advertise, market and promote disc golf products without helping do the same for the game!
I am under the impression that our company will continue to get a slightly larger piece of the pie each year.
With that assumption wouldn't I want the entire pie to grow as well?
Who wouldn't??? Maybe I shouldn't??

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ozark Mountain disc golf pictures

Here are some cool pics of the land we are scouting out for a 3rd course at Ozark!!




Ozark Mountain DVD


So we are nearing completion of the Ozark Mountain Open DVD.
Last night we spent a few hours matching the music to a few scenes and I started working on voice over script for the competition scene. ( actually looking for a good play by play voice so I can just do the color!

There are so many great shots of the course showing the elevation, water and wooded holes. Its going to be a very entertaining Disc Golf DVD with lots of cool scenery, discs flying and players having fun.

We have an instructional portion of the DVD with Justin thats really good.
Also looking to get some putting techniques in there too with Nikko, George or Boro maybe even some instruction for beginners as well.

Monday, July 7, 2008

disc golf philosophy 101-2

Ok let's see what high horse am I on this week?

Lets talk about sponsorship.

We are getting an overwhelming amount of requests for Sponsorship from players of all skill levels and from all over the country.

This is a huge compliment to me and our company as we are always looking for new players to help us advertise, market and promote our products.

I want to shed a little light on what we are looking for from players,,,, maybe you might just fit the bill and don't even know it!

While we sponsor some of the best players in the world and always seem to have a young gun or 2 knocking on the pro door, we also sponsor some players that don't travel much or play many pdga events at all!


I'll give a list of what we expect and don't expect from our sponsored players.

Expect:
1) to represent our company Gateway Disc Sports in a positive light.

2) to know our product lines and be able to answer questions from other players. this includes our flexibility documents and technical information on our disc designs!

3) to help us set up new customers through stores, clubs, leagues, wherever.
Like custom stamp jobs and gdstour events.

4)to try their best when competing and to not give up during events.
to act like a professional even though they are just playing in leagues or weeklies.
this doesn't mean to not have fun, just don't effect someone else's game too much having yours.

5) to help grow the sport of disc golf at all levels, especially towards recreational players and am players! get leads for new course design and installation.

6) be a part of their disc golf community through local disc golf club involvement and part of work crews and work days at their home courses.

7) to let other players (both new and experienced) know that not all holes are par 3 :) and if there is a safety issue on one of their courses to bring it too someones attention.

8) to feel like they are part of our company and that they can approach us with ideas and suggestions.

9) to be supportive of new players and help them learn the rules and etiquettes. help teach players how to grip and throw discs correctly.

10) to frequent discussion boards ( nationally and locally) and answer questions about Gateway and our products. also to ask us questions about things they don't understand!


Don't expect:
1) players to throw all Gateway

2) players to spend there money traveling to disc golf events out of town

3) players to push Gateway discs on other players.

4) players to feel any pressure about performance

5) players to bring us the scalp of at least 2 Innova sponsored players.


Ok thats enough for now, I'm heading back down to the factory to set up the midnight shift, I have been meaning to run another prototype run of E magics and might give it a shot tonight!


Thanks for reading and feel free to make comments or send topic ideas to david@gdstour.com

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Playing "Catch" helps your disc golf game!

Rarely a week goes by when I am not asked to help someone out with their disc golf game. One of my first questions is always "how much catch have you played?"
Most players that have started playing Disc golf in the last 10 years or so, rarely played catch before picking up the game. Typically these players will often lack the necessary touch needed for those 60-200 foot shots. This distances is where a lot of players lose strokes while playing. Most really good players will seldom lose a stroke from this distance and lot of that has to do with touch.
Most old school players had to learn the game with catch like discs, where HYZER flip up were the only way to keep a FRISBEE(tm) flying straight.
This is exactly how you throw touch shots, nose up hyzer where you are in control of the speed and fade!!

Training tip for the week:
Get a friend and play some catch. Try using a catch Frisbee like an Ultimate disc or freestyle disc. Each players can get 200-300 throws in an hour.
Its great use of your time if you are trying to improve on your game and confidence ( not to mention it will help keep you in shape and is also good for stretching before you lay)
Start out at about 30 feet away from each other and slowly move back to as far back as you can go. From time to time you can pick up a soft Putter and play catch with it too, just to keep you in the DISC GOLF frame of mind!

About a month ago,I started giving a lesson to a girl that has a great Side arm but couldn't even throw backhand 50 feet and when she did it wobbled pretty bad.
At the end of the 3rd lessons and after she had about 1000 passes with a catch disc, (her and her husband now play catch all the time) her and I were playing catch with an ultimate disc from well over 250'. She could throw Hyzer all the way, Hyzer-flip and even reverse all the way.
She says she has been playing complete rounds with just the backhand, I am anxious to see how she is progressing and looking forward to moving into more experienced techniques like Rolling, spike Hyzers and developing more power.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Disc Golf Technique Email Lesson - Luke, Part II

Luke,

On a different note, after watching your video all the way through, I noticed your thumb way to close to the rim for what I would call a good solid power grip. This can also affect the nose of the disc on release causing nose up or nose known releases because the disc is moving in your hand as you pull it through.

Try moving your thumb off the rim about and 1" or so, this will also automatically cock your wrist a bit more giving you some more rotation of the hand which can result in added spin.

Disc Golf Technique Email Lesson - Luke, Part I

David -

If you're willing to do so, I'd like to have you watch this video http://youtube.com/watch?v=smAmqLRUvrY from last year of me, particularly around 1:35, to see if you can identify the cause of my knee pain. I feel like my right knee - the pivot knee - is getting torn up and after a round lately it stiffens up and I have trouble opening the join completely or closing it completely.

Any input is appreciated.

Luke


Luke,

I really like the looks of the technique including the reach back and follow through. Everything looks really good up until “after your release” which could mean there is a slight problem right before the release. The only thing I really see is what appears to be a slightly larger-than-needed stride, causing a hesitation in your weight transfer before your hips come all the way through.

It's like you are planting and stomping, which looks to be absorbing too much of the upper body weight. This split-second stopping is interfering with what should be a smooth and fluid follow through upon release. In several of the shots your right foot jumps off the ground as it starts to rotate.

I can give you a few recommendations:

-First, you could of course shorten up the last stride a bit to see if this helps with the jarring of the leg.
-Another thing you could try would be to try and point your right foot in a slightly different direction, either more towards the target or more away from the target.

Both of these adjustments could work against your ability to throw accurate shots at first, but are worth the effort if they help keep wear and tear off you body.

There is always the possibility that you are using a shoe with TOO MUCH traction or grip. Sometimes its shorter spikes or a different pattern. Not all shoes tread patterns are meant for rotating, round spikes without larger rectangular ones on the perimeter of the front of the shoe are usually best.

Can you send me a picture of the bottom of your shoes?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Complete BP bag




Custom stamped specials

Anyone looking for a special deal on custom stamping for the upcoming event, club or to promote a company can email me at david@gdstour.com.
The deal is 100 putters for $500.00, if camera ready art is supplied.
Art should be black and white line art and less the 4.75" with no lines larger than about 1/4". ( no large solid area's unless the stamp is Less than 3")

For those who cannot get us the art we now have a full time person doing art for us at the shop. Just let me know what your idea is in the email and we sill get a cool stamp done for you and send you a proof. An additional $20-$50 may be charged for developing art depending on how long it takes!
Glow in the dark discs will be an additional $2 each and standard UPS shipping charges will apply!
don't worry about us needing a whole lot of lead time as we can usually get a stamp turned around and delivered in less than a week!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

latest run of putters

Just got into a run of Red RED Super Soft Wizards tonight!
Its been a while since we ran some true red (lots of orangish and watermelon colors lately)they are looking Pretty sweet.

Earlier today we ran White, Watermelon, blue and a green/blue in the SS wizard and will finish off the super-softs in Black.

Trying to get these wizards done so we can run some Evolution Magics.
Boro told me he threw one of the proto's all weekend in Pittsburgh and that they are money.

I'll try to get the pics of the new backpack/ player bag combo up in a bit!

About David

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St. Louis, MO, United States
I own and operate Gateway Disc Sports, a disc manufacturing and course design and installation company.