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Disc Golf Pro Tour is Back! Here’s What You Need to Know

Disc Golf Pro Tour is Back! Here’s What You Need to Know

Some much-needed good news came to the Disc Golf community today when Disc Golf Pro Tour (DGPT) made the big announcement that they will return to Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) Elite Series sanctioned play this June. The Tour came to a grinding halt on March 13, 2020, in the middle of the Waco Annual Charity Open in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Disc Golf Pro Tour’s announcement came on the same day as the PDGA update that 23 states and 11 countries are now available for PDGA sanctioning. While we’re starting to see sports and other businesses open up again, COVID-19 is still a major concern and both the PDGA and the DGPT have presented detailed plans outlining new policies and best practices to keep players and staff safe during events. 

The Disc Golf Pro Tour will restart in the Midwest in Emporia, KS, with a brand new event — The Dynamic Discs Open on June 26-28. The San Francisco Open and Portland Open have both been canceled in order to stay in alignment with local government guidelines. The Portland Open will be replaced by another new event — the Preserve Championship in Clearwater, MN on July 3-5. The Jonesboro Open has been rescheduled to Oct 1-3. With these changes, the DGPT will continue to have an Elite Series consisting of 11 events, as originally planned. The Tour also plans on keeping 7 of 9 original Silver Series events for a schedule of 18 total events in 2020. 

To protect the safety of players, staff, and volunteers, the DGPT has outlined a detailed three-phased approach to resuming play. When the Tour resumes in June with Phase 1, there will be strict precautions in place. The Phase 1 guidelines include:

  • Spectator-free events
  • No caddies
  • Sanitization of common surfaces and hand sanitizer available during play
  • Enforcement of social distancing measures, requiring all players, staff, and media to stay at least 6 feet away from each other at all times 
  • Group sizes will be limited to three
  • Field sizes will be reduced for speed of play and to allow for better social distancing

The DGPT will also provide optional COVID-19 testing for all players. If any player shows possible symptoms of COVID-19 or has come into contact with someone who has tested positive, testing and a negative result will be required in order to participate in the event. 

Once state and local governments declare that it’s safe for gatherings of 50 or more people, Phase 2 of the DGPT safety procedures will go into effect. During Phase 2, limited spectators will be allowed and players will be grouped into foursomes. Testing, social distancing, and sanitization procedures established in Phase 1 will continue in Phase 2. 

While it will be quite different than what we’ve seen in past years, we’re unbelievably excited to see the Tour return. As a DGPT partner and with several members of our Savage Squad participating, we’re unbelievably excited about this news and for the future of Disc Golf. We can’t wait to follow the coverage and cheer everyone on while social distancing in our homes.

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Hannah McBeth talks about being a woman in pro disc golf

Hannah McBeth talks about being a woman in pro disc golf
In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb. 5, Savage is highlighting some of our favorite female athletes [like Ultimate player Jenny Fey and Spikeballer Tori Farlow] in some of our favorite sports throughout the week. Next up: PDGA rising star Hannah McBeth.

Hannah has been competing as a professional disc golfer since the end of 2017. When she's not traveling the world  competing in events with her husband (five-time World Champion Paul McBeth), they're relaxing at home in Goode, Virginia with their German shepherd, Harrison. You're up, Hannah!

Savage: How did you start playing disc golf?
Hannah McBeth: I was dating someone who played the sport. He and his friend group would play every weekend, and after watching them throw into trees/water/rough for hours every Saturday (they were beginners) I got tired of watching and wanted to learn for myself. I immediately fell in love with it! I loved how you could do it by yourself, and didn’t have to rely on having a team or signing up for a league.

Savage: What's unique about being a woman in the world of disc golf?
HM: I love being a woman in professional disc golf. Our sport is continuing to grow every year and there are lots of women taking it seriously and wanting to move up to pro. The atmosphere for women’s disc golf is really positive, especially at the beginner/amateur level. The camaraderie and competitive drive in pro absolutely exists, but there is also this strong support felt between all of us. Disc golf is different than any other sport I’ve played because it isn’t a team sport. Even though we are courteous and tell each other “good shot” or “nice putt,” everyone is mostly focused on and looking out for themselves. We all want the sport to continue growing and improving, and I think a lot of pro women have been inspired to start working harder and practicing more.

Savage:  How do you think being female in disc golf compares to other sports?
HM: All the other sports I have played have been women-only team sports, but in disc golf I’m ALWAYS practicing with guys. This encourages me to be the best I can be and not shy away from challenges or harder practices, but it can be challenging if I’m not keeping my pride in check. A professional male out-driving me on every hole doesn’t intimidate or bother me. It’s taught me to take the focus off others and be mindful about my own game and practices. Their mistakes don’t bother me and my mistakes don’t bother them.

I choose to surround myself with positive, patient people who want to see me succeed. I don’t think every woman in disc golf has that opportunity. I know sometimes women go out with their significant others and are easily discouraged by the difference in skill level. Maybe their guy isn’t as patient, or the course is super wooded, or the discs aren’t right for them, etc. I would encourage those women to get involved with other women who play the sport! It can be so much more fun. That's what I did when I started playing. I found a women’s league and it made disc golf fun, not frustrating.

Savage: What are some of the challenges of being a woman in disc golf? 
HM: There are challenges in every sport for every athlete. The focus should be on what you do with them. Right now, one challenge is with tee pads and tournaments setting fair pars for our division. I have played on several courses that were considered “too hard for me.” I have been told multiple times (remember, I haven’t been competing long) “getting par here is going to be like a birdie, so you’re most likely going to get a bogey+.” When you go through experiences like that you learn to focus on what you can control. For me, I can control how often I practice, my training habits, and my mentality. I can’t control unlucky kicks, unfair pars, difficult fairway designs, or long tee pad locations. That's how I tend to look at any challenges I tend to face as an athlete in disc golf.

Savage: What are your thoughts on bringing more women into disc golf?
HM: Being an athlete for as long as I have, I know for a fact that if someone finds enjoyment in a sport or activity, they are going to make it a priority in their life. In disc golf we call it “catching the bug.” The issue is there are limited resources for women looking to improve. We have too many women climbing up the ranks with poor form in putting and driving. When they move into a wooded course they can’t keep it in the fairway, or when they move from wooded to open they don’t have the distance they need. We need more resources (coaching) and training opportunities (pro clinics) so the women in the sport can continue to have fun and play, but also improve if they want.

Savage:  What are your hopes for the future of the sport?
HM: My hope for the future of the sport is that more people would take themselves seriously as professionals. It’s important to take practice, workout, and nourishment seriously. We also have many incredible athletes in the sport who aren’t getting appropriate sponsorships or opportunities because they don’t know how to self-market effectively. I think everyone is hoping the sponsors will come to them and give them a big opportunity, but in reality, we could educate ourselves on brand deals and marketing more. I have seen several companies offer free or discounted product to disc golfers in exchange for social media posts when in reality these athletes could be asking for more.

Savage: Who are some of your favorite female disc golfers?
HM: My all-time favorite female disc golfer is Elaine King. Elaine is a straight-shooter on and off the course. She isn’t afraid to tell it like it is to help you succeed, even if you’re about the throw your disc (as a five-time world champion she’s allowed to do that). When Elaine compliments you, you know you can trust what she’s saying and it feels so incredible. She has a big heart for women coming into the sport but is also a very tough competitor to the ones who have been here for a while. She has proven that it is possible to be completely focused and competitive while at the same time remaining kind and courteous to those around you. My second favorite is Kristin Tattar. She has overcome so much adversity in life and every time continues to quietly work hard and push herself. Her work ethic is the most inspiring part of her game to me, and I am so excited she is our current U.S. Women’s champion.

Psst: Our Women's Mystery Sale is running through the end of the week, with women's mystery jerseys starting at $7. Shop all the discount jerseys here.
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7 Questions with Pro Disc Golfer Alec Anderson

7 Questions with Pro Disc Golfer Alec Anderson
The Masters are cool and all, but we're really excited about the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships scheduled for April 11-14 in Augusta, Georgia. In honor of the event, we challenged Savage Squad member and pro disc golfer Alec Anderson to answer seven searing questions.

***Check out our Savage Squad Collection for a rotating selection of jerseys representing our sponsored players!***

Savage: Can you tell us how you initially got into disc golf?
Alec Anderson: I get to be one of those first generations that say I’ve played disc golf my whole life! My dad had started playing a few years before I was born. When I was born, he was big in the sport so I’ve been playing my whole life.
Savage: What's your favorite thing about disc golf? 
A.A.: My favorite thing about the sport is 100 percent the people you meet and the friends you make. I have friends all over the country now and I get to reconnect with people I haven’t seen in a while at tournaments. The before, during and after tournament antics that me and my friends do is the best! The best memories in my life are memories with my friends at tournaments!
Savage: How do you train for an event like this? 
A.A.: Training for an event like this to me is just practice, practice, practice. I’ll be practice putting every night for the two weeks before the event. Then we also arrive three days early just so we have enough time to practice all the courses. One of the most important things to me is playing the courses beforehand and knowing the shots and distances required for the holes.
Savage: Do you have any pre-tournament rituals?
A.A.: My only pre-tournament ritual is on the first hole of the tournament. Take a deep breath, relax and get ready to throw!
Savage: What do you like to wear when you play?
A.A.: I’ve been changing it up lately. I’m usually just a dry fit shirt and light sport shorts for tournaments. But the last couple of years I’ve had more success on the course and have started representing companies! Now I try to look as professional as possible, and I decided the company to help me do that was Savage Apparel! You’ll see me in their clothes all year looking professional and clean at every event.
Savage: What do you like to do after playing?
A.A.: After events, I love to spend time with friends and talk with people I haven’t seen for some time. The antics with the friends and just enjoying the camaraderie is what I love most!
Savage: Any tips for aspiring players?
A.A.: I think my biggest tip for aspiring players is to find discs that work the best for you, learn those molds and stick with them. Don’t switch the discs in your bag more than you need. One disc here or there is always fine, but changing things like your putters or most important drivers every two weeks because you had a bad day is not good mentally and not good for consistency.

I can’t wait to hit up a lot of big tournaments this year! I have a lot of A-tiers on the schedule along with some other bigger tournaments. Look for me out on the course. I have to thank my sponsors Savage Ultimate, MVP Disc Sports and Deuce Squad Disc Golf for the support this season as I begin my professional career!
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Avery Jenkins Joins Team Savage

Avery Jenkins Joins Team Savage
We're so proud to announce that the 2009 Disc Golf World Champion, Avery Jenkins has signed with Savage as his apparel partner. We first met Avery at the US Disc Golf Championship in 2015. We instantly hit it off with Avery and his story of playing Ultimate frisbee at the University of Oregon. We had just entered the Disc Golf world and he was extremely supportive of what Savage was ready to bring to the sport. 

Fast forward two years and we finally sealed the deal making Avery the first sponsored disc golf player for Savage! We have collaborated with Avery to bring his apparel line to life. Be sure to check back regularly for updates to his collection. Avery will be sporting Savage gear while he's out on the course playing, coaching and commenting.

Avery was awarded the PDGA Rookie of the Year in 2000 as his professional career took off. Quickly rising in rankings and winning majors, he won the World Champion title in 2009. Avery is still playing competitively and focuses on the growth of the sport. He's a commentator for the Disc Golf World Tour and even did trick shots with our buddy Brodie Smith

We're looking forward to a great future with Avery. Make sure you check out the Avery Jenkins Pro Shop.
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