In My Bag, with Hugh Keene: Winter 2017 Edition

Hello fellow disc golfers,

and welcome to my first installment of “In The Bag”. I am not a big name in disc golf –actually not a name at all– although I someday hope to be. I do wish that, for beginning golfers, by reading this article you may see an example of a beginning to intermediate level bag. I would like to inform you on my selection of discs and maybe give you some food for thought about your own bags that you have either started or are thinking about starting.

Many “In The Bag” features you read in your search for disc golf knowledge tend to open by talking about putters. This is the most logical way to begin as putting is the foundation of the game. If you do not have a putter that feels good to you and is consistent then you are losing the majority of the confidence it takes to be a good putter. Bags should be built around putters in my opinion, but this mostly because making the chains clink is what gives me the most joy.

Putters

I have five putters, the most used two are my XT Nova’s.

My go-to putter is my purple and red XT Nova. I purchased it used from Show Me Disc Sports, and soon after realized I needed a complementary one in my bag. One reason I prefer it is because it weighs in at 172 grams. I like heavy putters since it seems to me that the heavier ones tend to hold the line you put them on more. Also the heavier discs sit down in the basket instead of jumping out, which is a problem at the beginning level. I only throw this disc backhand.

My next XT Nova is green with a pink rim, and it resembles a full slice of watermelon. It was a birthday present from my father, and it is special to me because it has been signed by George R. Smith #4034, one of the Innova Disc Golf Masters. He also owns Show Me Disc Sports in Columbia, MO. This disc weighs in at 175 grams and I only use it backhand as well.

In my bag I also have two DX Aviar P&A’s. I use my purple one for approach putts and only use my white one for practice. These do not reliably stay in the chains or basket when I putt with them, so that’s why I don’t pull them out very often. The purple one was my first putter I ever had, as it came from the starter pack that got me into the sport. It weighs 150 grams and I only toss it backhand. My white one is so worn down that I don’t have an exact weight for it, but from holding it I’d estimate it around 165 grams. It only gets thrown backhand as well.

My last putter is only for putting practice. It is a DX Classic Aviar. It feels nice but I would need more practice reps with it for it to become a large part of my bag. It is 172 grams and only thrown backhand.

hughsdiscs

Mid-Range

And so, onto mid-ranges I suppose.

My first mid-range is an 11x KC Pro Roc, Multipurpose. I don’t know how common it is to find one of these discs but I feel fortunate to have one because now all I can order online is KC Roc’s without the “Multipurpose” on the end. It is 176 grams and I bought it after it was well used. When I first started playing I was using this disc as my putter because I couldn’t get my DX P&A to stick in the holes. I throw it backhand and it holds it line well. I was so impressed I went online and bought another.

A 12x KC Pro Roc, Mid-Range was my next mid-range. I use it the most out of all my mid-range selection, preferring it for short straight shots and longer approaches. It is 175 grams and I throw it both backhand and forehand. It has a special type of skid at the end of its flights that I like. It is getting beat in so I will need to buy another Roc here pretty soon. I prefer my Roc’s in KC plastic because Ken Climo is THE CHAMP, but also because it feels nice on my hands.

Next I have a Champion Panther Multipurpose Disc. It is pre-flight-ratings which is sort of cool. It flies well and does not beat in, thanks to the champion plastic. I throw it majority backhand but also forehand when necessary. It’s 167 grams and I opt for it when I’m approaching through the woods and don’t want to bang up my Roc too bad.

Lastly for mid-range, I have a DX Shark. It is one of my throw away discs if I have a water shot I doubt I can clear. It is always good to have a disc you are willing to sacrifice from your bag. It weighs 150 grams and I throw it backhand. It is so light that any attempt to throw it forehand would turn it over and off course.

mids

Fairway Drivers

Next is fairway drivers. I have three, although I could always use another I suppose. All three are Leopards, one is an Echostar and the other two are DX.

My two DX Leopards are both white and one is really beat in so I throw it when I need a straight shot with a bunch of turnover at the end. My newer one still turns over at the end but not as much. I’ve never had an ace in my playing experience but I have had multiple close calls with my Leopards. They are so easy to place where you want them, and everyone can throw them, or else why would they be in all of Innova’s starter packs. I love how predictable they are and how they are a low enough speed it doesn’t take enormous amounts of effort to throw them straight. I’ll be buying another one soon to replace my original Leopard and I can’t wait to try it out. My beat in Leopard is 150 grams and my newer one is 175 grams. They both perform well either forehand or backhand.

My Echostar Leopard is just as efficient and I use it quite a bit, but most often on windy days. It tends to hold its line in the wind better than my DX’s. It’s a great disc, and I am not an outstanding fan of the Echostar plastic but it is not uncomfortable but any means. It is 175 grams, yellow, and I throw it both ways.

fairway

Distance Drivers

Lastly we have to discuss distance drivers. This is a touchy section because I am still developing my long distance throwing ability so I will not be as knowledgeable about these discs as others.

My most used right now is a Blizzard Champion Destroyer. It does not have a weight as I also bought it used, but I would say around 165 grams. It is my lightest distance driver, at least it feels that way. I can whip this destroyer forehand and I have surprised myself with overthrowing and turning it over before. It gets great distance and it is so pretty when it flies. I rarely throw it backhand. Side note: This is the only disc which I have had tombstone on me.

Next up is a Pro Destroyer. My father found it and I traded him a Discraft Avenger for it. I got the better side of the trade, but he is a non-Innova person and I’m and only-Innova person. It is 171 grams and feels hefty. I only throw it forehand and it goes where I want it to. The only issue I have with this disc is that it is colored dark blue with a tie dyed rim that is tan and blue, so it blends in with any dark woods and any dry grass. I can understand why it was lost in the first place.

I have a tournament stamped Glow Champion Destroyer. It weighs in at 168 grams, and it is wayyyyy over stable. I don’t know what makes it so much more stable than my other Destroyers. I use it for shots I NEED to curve hard. It is good in the wind and, unlike my other discs, when it bumps on the ground it makes a strange hop on its edge and slightly rolls before settling so I have to be careful about surrounding hazards when driving with it. I throw this forehand.

Just a few days ago my father bought me a Star Destroyer because he knew I had been looking for one. It is used so the original design has been worn off so the disc is mostly bright pink. It is 168 grams and feels good in the hand. Alas, I have not been able to throw it since I received it because of the weather here and an unfortunate physical ailment I acquired on New Year’s Day. I assume once I do get to toss it I will do so forehand.

I have a blue Champion Firebird in my bag, and it doesn’t get used very often, because I haven’t had much practice with it. I purchased it so I would have a distance driver with minimal glide, but once I used it a few times it really liked to bite the ground and it has large bounces when the edge makes contact with the earth. I need to polish my game with this disc and see what situations I might need it for in the future. It is 175 grams and I throw it forehand.

My last disc in my bag is my clear-ish Champion Beast which I found during a local round in the woods. It acts in the same role as my Shark, it is a throw away disc mainly for water or creek shots. I throw it both forehand and backhand, although I soon intend on trading it in for something else, maybe my next Leopard.

betterdistanve

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Falling putts can lower your score

School of Disc Golf

Disc golfer’s familiar with the rules of the sport recognize the term ‘falling putt’ as an infraction that occurs when the disc is within 10 meters of the target. The rules (see 803.04 C) clearly state that a player – when inside this ‘putting circle,’ must demonstrate full balance after releasing the disc before advancing to retrieve his or her disc. This is to ensure players cannot gain an advantage by shortening the distance their disc has to travel. If this rule were not in place, putting would turn into a Frisbee-long jump hybrid, with players taking 10 paces backward to get a running start before leaping toward the target. I can easily imagine some nasty accidents as well, with ‘slam dunk’ attempts going horribly awry. Luckily the 10-meter rule prevents gruesome player/basket collisions while at the same time preserving the purity of the flying disc aspect of disc golf…

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