The last month has been a hard one for me. Constant rain and soggy ground make for miserable disc golf. Two of the last three weekends were spoiled by the stormy weather. Three of the last four weeks have held precipitation gatherings at least one day of the week large enough to keep standing water around until the next gathering. Even the folks over in SoCal have had to deal with some inclement weather this winter. Unbelievable!

The good thing about the days in between was that they were beautiful, sunny, mostly warm days. Veteran’s Original DGC is a great course to play during the winter months. With only a few holes that are in the open, soggy ground doesn’t come into play very much. I normally use it during the winter months since I can play a loop that doesn’t include those open holes and keeps me on pine needle covered ground.

Chance Encounter

Early on in this blog, I was looking for putting advice. I’ve never been big on trying to contact any of the top professional disc golfers, but I felt I needed something from the best. Just some tidbits that might point me in a good direction. I don’t remember how many responses I got, and the only one may have been the one I’m about to mention, but Jay “Yeti” Reading responded with some great advice.

All putters are basically shaped to be a point and shoot type of disc with similar speed and fade. Once you find a putter that FEELS great in your hand, then it boils down to being able to replicate the mechanics of your particular chosen putting style. So with form being ultra important, a particular putters stability may also compliment ones style.

The bolded section is what really impacted me. I went on to choose the Prodigy Discs PA4 as my putter of choice, and haven’t looked at another putter since. Sure, I throw putters like the Dynamic Discs Fluid Warden and the Westside Discs VIP Harp, but for purely putting, it’s only the PA4. What this is to point out is that that piece of advice was our first contact. That sounded a little science fictiony, but whatever.

The second was last year when Jay and Des did a giveaway on their Facebook page. I ended up winning a free pair of Keen shoes. I was able to choose what I wanted from the Keen website, and I went with the Keen Nasu WP shoes. They were a just released waterproof shoe designed for disc golf. I have to say that they’ve been amazing.

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The third contact was just recently when one of the PDGA email newsletters included a link to my interview with video guru Jamie Thomas. I can’t say for certain that that is how Jay found my blog and took some time to read a few articles, but I’ll just daydream that is the case. Being such a great person, Jay contacted me through my blog’s contact page and we traded a few emails. He was nice enough to send me a care package that included an Innova Atlas and a signed Yeti Aviar.

Innova Atlas

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Jay also sent along the information about the EDGE program and how it can help with getting disc golf in schools. I’ll be passing that along to the TDGA club board at the next meeting. I was at the club board meeting this month but didn’t bring it up due to business that was already needing attention.

Mid-Range Videos

I’ve been getting more mid-range discs for my video series. I recently picked up an MVP Matrix and Gateway Element from Star Par Discs in Tupelo, MS. I’ve got a really good collection of discs to start out with. Between my normal bag of Trilogy mids, I’ve picked up a few Prodigy, one Discraft, the previously mentioned Matrix, and also an MVP Tangent, and tack on a used Buzzz that I’ve had for a while to the group.

One of the things I’ve been doing is playing with camera settings on my phone. I have a Samsung Galaxy S5 and have recently figured out some of its capabilities that were previously unknown to me. The first of which is that it will record video in 4K. That may not seem significant, but it really can make a difference if you want to have the clearest picture available. The other feature that I learned about was the ability to record at 1080p at 60 fps. The motion is much smoother and you don’t miss near as much in the motion if you want to slow it down for a slo-mo section.

Again, battling the weather has hampered my recording, plus the fact that I do it all during my lunch break during the week. I have been able to capture some action using a time-lapse app to help me create an intro for my videos. It’s not fancy like what Jomez or CCDG have on theirs, yet, for my channel, I think it captures the feel of what my blog and channel are about. Take a look and let me know what you think! This is just the intro segment that I’ve come up with, not a full video.

 

Filming Tournaments

This Saturday, March 25th, I hope to be filming a Weapons of Grass Destruction series stop in my hometown of New Albany, MS. There is some call for thunderstorms all day Saturday. I’ll be using a borrowed camera again, so if it’s coming down really hard, the filming may be nixed. I would hate for that to happen, but I’m not going to take the chance with equipment that isn’t mine.

I’ve been comparing cameras for the last few weeks, and have my choices narrowed down to 4 cameras that I would like to buy. The firstΒ two are in the same Canon lineup. The HF R700 and the HF R800. Both record in 1080p60 with just some minor differences. The other two are the Sony HDR-CX455 and the HDR-CX675. Both record at the same resolution as the Canons, with the 675 having one major upgraded feature that I would really love to have. It has simply put, the lens with a built-in gimbal stabilizer to greatly reduce jumpiness in the footage.

I already have the Rode VideoMicro that I’ve been using with my phone to get better audio when I’m recording. That has been confirmed by Jamie Thomas, who viewed a test video I uploaded to Youtube. That was a 4K recording test, but I wanted his opinion of the audio, to which he gave a big thumbs up. What I’m concerned about is the ability of the cameras to use that Rode mic because it is not battery powered. My fears have been alleviated somewhat by knowledge of an inexpensive battery powered mic that provides very good audio, the Takstar SGC-598. Being only around $30, it’s going to be purchased no matter which camera I decide to buy.


 

Have fun on the course! Throw long and enjoy nice weather if you have it!

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