Usually I write about things I know when doing these blogs. I do research, crunch some numbers (sometimes too many), and I make sure I’ve got links ready to go to demonstrate my points.
This week I want to get into things I don’t understand about this sport. So I’m looking for feedback, interaction, and genuine learning. So please drop a comment in the box below if you know what’s up.
Why are there buybacks into doubles ace pots?
So ace pots are a cool thing, basically at every tournament you can put in 1 to 5 dollars to the ace pot. If you hit an ace you get all the money. If two people hit it they split it. If no one hits it, there’s usually a throw off where each person gets a disc and closest 3 take money home.
Doubles are a different kind of tournament. They are a weekly tournament with many of the same players, so instead of throwing off, the money just rolls over to the next week. If no one hits an ace for several weeks the money can start to build up to a decent sum.
Here’s where the problem comes in. Someone is going to post something along the lines of “Weekly Dubs at 4:30 at Sabattus. Ace pot is up to $350 come out and play!”
Now some places do buybacks. Where if you haven’t played in the doubles there since the new ace pot, they make you pay back for the weeks you missed. So if you missed 8 weeks you owe those 8 weeks of ace pot pay-ins on top of the regular greens fee(Maine) and dubs fees. It’s going to cost you 16+8+6. So instead of 14 you’re paying 30 bucks to play.
You don’t get to go out to all the par 3’s and shoot 8 times on them. You’ll get those same 18 chances tonight that everyone else has to hit the ace pot. You’re paying for shots that you never took. It builds up the ace pot, but why? Why care that much about an ace pot?
Why should you pay for chances you didn’t get to take?
I’m not upset about people coming to “snipe” ace pots. We’re all out to play disc golf, hitting an ace is lucky and if someone who doesn’t usually play at a course comes in to hit an ace, it happens. Regulars at a course have a better chance because they play the course more frequently.
What’s up with the distance measuring contest?
I ask how far people can throw when I give lessons. I do that because I need a baseline of where to work from. If a person is hitting 150 feet we’re not going out to work on our high speed driver throws. I believe almost everyone can achieve 300 feet. Through form work, disc selection, and hard work I think most people can do it. What I don’t understand is the desire to throw further and further after you throw 350 feet.
Maybe it’s a Northeast thing, but there are a few courses or holes where I have to throw more than 400 feet without trees. It’s what people want to know all the time though. When a much more important number is your C1 putt percentage. If you’re a touring pro, or you play on courses that have 500 foot holes with no trees then distance is crucial to your game. I don’t think most of us fall into that category so I don’t understand the flexing your distance on others online.
Players like Simon, Eagle, GG, James Conrad, sure, I completely understand that distance is a big part of their game, reaching the pin when others have to settle for upshots. But for most people 350 feet is good enough to get the job done.
In my mind the distance record is a farce anyway if that’s what you’re going for. Here’s the video of the farthest thrown disc 1108.92 feet. That’s just a disc being thrown up in the air and carried by wind. David Wiggins can absolutely crush a distance driver, but I don’t think this world record is all that impressive to be honest.
Why be stuck on one brand unless you’re sponsored?
I just don’t get the appeal to tying yourself down to a single company. I love the way my ESP Meteor flies, the D-Line P2 is the best putter I’ve ever used, and my I-Dye Champion Wraith is my go to driver. I loved the Prodigy D1 before I gave it to my brother, I putted with Voodoos for years, and when my friend let me try out his MVP Deflector I thought wow this is solid. There’s so many companies out there who make incredible discs, with new ones being added every week!
If you’re not being paid to throw by a company why give them all your loyalty and money? Trying out new plastics, different molds, it’s a joy for me. I used to get the Discraft mystery boxes on the Black Friday sales and my buddy and I would throw them all. I’ve done that with Discmania as well. I think there's joy in seeing the flight of a new disc that you don’t know.
I think limiting yourself to one company could be detrimental to your game as well. Mixed bags will give you thousands of more options for discs and plastic types. In a blog I wrote about 2020 discs in review I found out that Innova makes 155 different molds of discs. But there’s 1315 different PDGA approved molds out there. If you threw every Innova mold you’d have thrown 12% of all discs created. Try the other 88%! The best way to do this is to play with lots of people who all throw different things, ask to throw their driver. Or offer to let a friend try yours if you think it will help their game.
I used to be a snob about discs, I’ll admit it. I only threw one or two companies and looked down on the rest. Now that I work in a pro shop and I’ve seen thousands of players over the last few years I know that there’s a reason we have this many molds and plastics. Different stuff works for different people. Try out lots of stuff.
Why not write your name on a disc?
Alright this one frustrates me. We’ve got markers in the shop, which I clean regularly. I let people know the markers are there to use. I totally understand in today’s pandemic if you’d rather use your own marker. I usually have a sharpie in my bag as well (not that I get a lot of aces).
If it’s for flipping the disc, that makes sense. If you’d like to toss it a couple times and sell it I know that it sells for more without ink. But if you’re going to keep it, ink it and it’ll come back if it gets lost.
I don’t care if you come on in and have a bag full of discs that you bought somewhere else to use the marker and mark all 22 of them before your round. I think you should definitely ink your discs. It makes it easier to get it back to you. I call every Thursday to try to get people to come in and get their discs. If your number isn’t on the bottom I can’t get ahold of you to let you know where it is. So it will go up on the wall and I hope that you return to pick it up.
Well these are some of the things I don’t understand about disc golf. Let me know what I’m missing in the comments, or if there’s something you don’t understand about disc golf please let me know so we can be confused together.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397
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We’re reaching an interesting time in disc golf. Where we’ve got a massive crop of talent at the top. Plenty of other touring pros cash frequently enough without scratching the top 25 in talent and can tour with their winnings and sponsorships.
So let’s take a step back from calling anything other than a win a failure. Improvements from year to year on a course could be a win for some of these players. Finishing top 10 should be considered good for young players. The days of players dominating and winning every single weekend are basically over. Competition is tight at the top, and it’s only getting better.