Archive for category: News

Workday at Northampton DGC

Tomorrow from 9am-12pm there will be a workday at the disc golf course in Northampton. If you enjoy playing the course please come out with a pair of work gloves and any hand tools you might have, to lend a hand! Our local public courses get installed and are maintained by a fantastic network of volunteers (most times) so pay back your love for disc golf in the form of some service!

We will all likely be playing a random doubles round after the workday. We hope to see you there!

3rd Annual Pioneer Valley Classic Registration is Open

Pure Flight will host its third annual Pioneer Valley Classic on April 16th this year. It will be a PDGA C Tier and NEFA sanctioned event. The story lines behind this year’s event will focus primarily around Micah Franzman and whether or not he can go three in a row at Noho. He has won this tournament two years running and is waiting for somebody to be able to knock him off the throne. This year will also mark the first time that I will be able to compete in the event and I don’t want to make this TOO public but Micah, I’m coming for you bro.

The Pioneer Valley Classic is the first event on Pure Flight’s 2016 calendar with Bousquet (date TBD), and Crane Hill yet on the horizon. This event is special for a number of reasons. To start, it is the 14th year that Northampton State Hospital DGC has been in the ground and this event serves as a celebration of the hard work and dedication of its volunteers. Big ups to Jason Johnson, Andy Neal, Felix Harvey, Isaac Bromberg, Juano, the now relocated Bucket and many more for their efforts in maintaining the course over these past 14 years. The PVC is also one of the first NEFA/PDGA events of the year, every year, giving players the opportunity to jump right into the tournament season and measure themselves against their competitors while shaking of the winter rust.

Northampton will always be a course near and dear to the hearts of those at Pure Flight. It represents a number of early memories for the company’s management team. It was here that I cracked my head on a sheet of ice on hole 16 when I was just 15 years old playing with my dad. It was at Northampton that Jeff and I would come with our friends to play the closest course to us while in High School and it was also here that I met Chris Barden and Drew Gardner in 2009. The duo was out shoveling tee pads on a snowy winter day while I was there alone practicing. We joined forces for a round and the rest is history. Chris and Drew are now integral parts of Pure Flight as well as the Western Mass DG community.

There are a number of reasons to come out to play the PVC and I’ve only touched upon a couple. Find your reason and come join us for the start of the 2016 tournament season!

By: Pete Charron

Pure Flight’s Online Store is Paused

All payouts from the New England Disc Golf Championship and the year long NEFA standings have been paid out. If you’re reading this and believe that you were supposed to receive money but didn’t, make sure to contact us at [email protected]

You should also contact us if you’re looking to pool your earnings this year into a big ticket item such as a basket or bag of some variety. We’ve had a few requests for Grip C-15 bags and will put in an order at the beginning of next week for these so if you’d like one as well, let us know! We also will be putting in small Innova and Dynamic Disc orders so let us know if you would like a basket or something else from these companies. There have been a number of requests for stools as well, so we will be restocking these.

At the moment we have paused our store front to not allow customers to check out. We apologize for the inconvenience but have noticed an inconsistency in our live inventory that needs to be worked out before allowing customers to shop online with us. If there is something pressing that you need, please just give us a shout and we will be as accommodating as possible.

We hope the leaves have only served as aesthetic beauty and haven’t concealed any of your favorite discs this fall! Best of luck to those in New England competing in team challenge, it’s the start of cold days but hot competition between friends representing their home courses. Lastly, please don’t think differently about me because of that terrible line ^

Thanks,

Pete and the PF crew

2015 Edition of Crane Hill Open goes smooth

Crane Hill Putting
The 2015 edition of the Crane Hill Open featured the most players it has ever seen with 130 people competing over the weekend. There are a number of reasons for the increase in participants, first and foremost is the growing popularity of disc golf in the area. Everyone collectively pat yourselves on the back if you continue to expose this sport to new people-because it’s working! There was also a switch from a Pro only day and Am only day to a Pro/Am1 day and all other Am day. This helped enormously but also drew the ire of a number of disc golf die hards who were shut out of the event due to it selling out in 12 hours! As a tournament director, these are the types of decisions that are very hard to make but that you ultimately must stand behind and learn from, whether they were good or bad. In this instance, I would make the same decision again although as the DG landscape in New England shifts towards bigger pro fields the decision may not be as simple next year.
This year’s Crane Hill Open saw it’s first Massachusetts’ resident winner in the MPO field. Kyle Moriarty needed one playoff hole to knock off the other titan from Team Crane, Chris Howard. The duo have found themselves battling all year on the tournament scene and this chapter went to Kyle. Moriarty joins Craig Cutler, Jasin Bayer and Jason Dore as Crane Hill Open champions. For those that don’t know all these guys, that’s 4 states represented by 4 winners of the 4 Crane Hill tournaments – New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts. Will New York, Vermont, New Hampshire or Rhode Island continue the trend next year? Kyle was joined by fellow Champions, Wendy Boutin (FPO), Mike Zorovich (MPM), Mike Phaneuf (MA1), Mich Guerin (FA1), Brian Kynard (MM1), Karl Molitoris (MG1), Evan Marcyoniak (MA2), Mimi Herrick (FA2), Adam Morrison (MA3) and Kim Ricciardone (FA3).
I would feel remiss if I didn’t mention more exciting happenings. One of those things is the 15 person MPM field. This should be a trend in the coming years and will be something for tournament directors to consider moving forward. There is a plethora of feelings surrounding age protected divisions at 40+ since many can still compete at a very high level (at least in New England) and large MPM fields can detract from bigger MPO payouts. Bigger MPO payouts not only reward the happy winner and those immediately behind him but it increases the sex value of the sport. I’ve always believed that both bottom up and top down development is necessary for disc golf at and the former point is a top down model for the sport’s development. Put like this, if Kyle takes home $500+ for his win instetad of $350, that money registers that much more in the minds of amateurs aspiring to continue their DG development. One only needs to listen to a few pop songs to recognize the importance that money has in shaping the adolescent’s mind of what is cool. Disc golf has long operated outside of those confines but will not and can not gain commercial success if grassroot scenes continue to neglect the importance of growing payouts. That’s a small tangent and I’m plenty prone to go down a wormhole or two.
Another exciting event at this year’s Open was the new putting competition unveiled. The competition spotlighted the brand new two basket putting area at Crane Hill. It featured a 4 minute time clock and 8 stations where two putts were to be taken from each. Each station had a point value assigned to it and the qualifying rounds went all day long. The best eight qualifying scores proceeded to a bracket style competition where the 1 and 8 seed battled to see who would play the winner of the 4 and 5 match. After all the dust settled it was the 7th seeded Assistant Tournament Director, Jeff Fleury, who beat out the upstart 1st seed Jason Lasasso in a hard fought championship bout. Sunday’s event was less high scoring due to the natural fall off in talent level between the two days but the drama was no less. 12 year old Michael Thompson defeated New Hampshire resident, Brian Betit, in the championship to earn himself a share of the Crane Hill Open Putting Champion.
I should not write more, but I definitely can. I will spare those reading and leave you with this. I continuously feel rejuvenated with the disc golf “bug” after the Crane Hill Open. It’s a blessing to call this course “home” and the community that has embraced it is more amazing than the course itself. Thank yous are not enough but are undoubtedly due. Thank you to Davis Johnson, Dan Hale and Jason Johnson for their contributions as the creators of the Crane Hill DGC. Thank you to Steve Merrill, Ken Wagner and countless others for their hard work and commitment to the course. Without the effort from the community the scene surrounding Crane would not be what it is today. Last, but of course not least, thank you to the players. Thanks for coming, competing, smiling and contributing to what keeps me smiling, the furtherance of this beautiful sport.

Crane Hill Travels to Cranbury

This Saturday, the Crane Hill disc golf team travels to Norwalk, Connecticut for a showdown with the Cranbury Park team. Cranbury finds itself looking to scrape back to 3-3, while Crane tries to keep its road record flawless and move to 3-2. The match seemingly only carries significance in regards to the teams’ psyches moving towards finals. The most important pieces of the A pool puzzle have apparently fallen into place already. Borderland stands at 0-5 and will be relegated to B pool next year while there’s talk of Warwick forfeiting their final two matches (at NASA and at Maine). Right now this seems to be very likely and would result in Warwick ending the year at 2-4 along with the likely 2-4 record of Burgess, possible 2-4 record of Cranbury and possible 2-4 record of Crane Hill. Despite the potential for a three way tie for 7th place, Warwick would be relegated based on percentage points. On the other end of the standings, the two teams that beat Crane at home are poised to end the year at 5-1 and earn byes in the first round of finals.

The match this weekend has most to do about momentum and jockeying for seeds 3-6. At this stage in the New England Disc Golf Team Challenge format, seeds 3-6 really don’t matter much. Two years ago (Crane Hill’s first year in A pool) Crane (sixth seed) beat the 3rd seeded Wickham on the Maple Hill Whites Course. The upset did wonders to build a rivalry but unfortunately Crane was bounced in the Semi-Finals by Cranbury. Cran then went on to defeat Maine in the finals that year. Last year, Wickham (6th seed) returned the favor at Pyramids- beating 3rd seeded Crane. Wickham then went on to win the championship in an exciting playoff versus NASA. In just recounting the last two years, it’s obvious that seeding really doesn’t matter much outside of the 1st and 2nd (1st round byes) and 7th and 8th (relegated).

These aren’t the word’s of a captain trying to rally his team, as I’d surely be failing in that fashion. This is just a true portrayal of the state of the league today. Luckily, my words aren’t needed to rally the Crane Hill team – we’re a self motivated group eager to continue our progression as players and as a team. If you were to ask anyone on the team if they were satisfied just making finals, the answer would be a resounding no. It’s nice to know that we’ll have a chance to compete for the championship again this year but 4-2 sounds a whole lot better than 3-3 or 2-4.

2013 Champions - Cranbury

2013 Champions – Cranbury

Crane Hill (2-0) vs. Borderland (0-2) Recap

Team Crane Hill made a statement to the rest of the league last weekend when they went on the road to hand Borderland a good old fashioned beat down. Crane moved to 2-0 with both wins coming on the road, a rare feat, while Borderland dropped to 0-2, losing both matches at home. The boys from B-Land have definitely dug themselves a deep hole to start the year, one that may be insurmountable in the end, as they will need to steal at least one road win against Cranbury, Burgess or Maine. Road victories are always difficult and it seems like the Easton team is an early favorite to be relegated to the B pool this year. On the flip side, Crane Hill joins NASA (North and South Shore Alliance) and Maine atop the A pool standings at 2-0.

The match between Crane Hill and Borderland started early on Sunday morning as the teams needed to get out on the course before the disc golf hungry hordes descended upon the park. Team captains, Pete Charron and Kyle Moriarty worked the best match-ups they could and left for their starting holes feeling confident. There were a few marquee matches that could have swung more momentum towards Borderland but Crane was fully committed and ready. Kelly Conroy had the difficult task of taking on the ex-Craner and great player, Nick Gross. It was a challenge for Kelly but he showed his true grit as he shared with Crane newcomer, Jeremy Binley, the biggest margin of victory that day at 5 & 4. Perhaps the best win of the day came from a name NEFA land doesn’t hear much anymore, Juano Flores. Juano walked into the fire pit against one of the friendliest and best players in NEFA, the long time pro and current New England Disc Golf Champion, Tim Walsh. Just about anybody who plays or has played competitive disc golf at a high level in the Northeast region, knows Tim Walsh-he is a fantastic player. Juano may be lesser known, but is one of Western Mass’ best and he proved every bit of it in his beat down of Timmy to the tune of 4 & 2. There were three more “heavyweight” battles on the docket. These six matches featured some of New England’s best talent and all wound up in Crane Hill’s favor. Kyle Moriarty took on Dylan Dunne, Pete Charron scrapped with Sam Henderson and Julie Ferdella battled Ashley Toomey. Kyle had a late round surge versus Dylan to win handily at 3 & 1. Pete and Sam exchanged blows back and forth early but it was consistent play from Pete that bested the accomplished, New England player of the year, Henderson 4 & 2. Julie and Ashley was probably the biggest match up of all, as both women had fantastic years of disc golf. Both surged, jumping up around 30 points each in ratings and both had a number of wins in the Advanced field this year. It would be hard to imagine both not taking the jump and playing pro exclusively next year, although that decision will of course be on them. Just like the previous matches, this big league battle went Crane’s way as a jubilant Julie avenged her 1 stroke loss to Toomey at the Maple Hill WGE event, winning convincingly 5 & 3.

When the dust settled after the singles round, Crane Hill boasted its best ever scoring spread and lead Borderland 14.5-3.5. In order to stave off defeat Borderland would have had to win every last doubles match. Of course that was not how the day ended. Crane went on to win 7 of the 9 doubles matches for a 14-4 doubles victory and a conclusive win of 28.5 to 7.5. It’s going to be hard to knock Crane down this year but there biggest and baddest challenge to date will be against their rivals from the south, Team Wickham, who travel to Crane Hill on December 13th. Crane’s roster is chock full of the same faces as year’s past but the additions of Jordan Leckey, Jake Landeck, Chris Howard and Jeremy Binley have these cranes soaring higher than ever before.

WE’RE ONLIIINNNEEEEE!!!!!

Okay so we promise to not regularly be as obnoxious as this post’s title, but this site has been a long time coming and it’s such a great relief to have finally took off. Now it’s on you to help us TAKE OFF!

What you’ll find here is a comprehensive blog covering everything from local players to local events to National Tour events and touring players, to equipment reviews and off the wall disc golf tales. Our blog will have a number of contributors, so if you don’t like my voice you can tune into one of our other writers.

The most important thing that can be found on this site is our shop’s inventory over the web. We’re finally breaking into the market baby and we can’t wait to make you a believer in our quality of customer service. Admittedly we don’t have the biggest inventory in the world but we make up for it with our passion for elevating this sport to a greater level. We also have disc golf apparel available that literally makes you a better disc golfer when you wear it (ahem, no guarantees though). All jokes aside, shopping with us means that you’re helping to reinvest into this sport as we’re .

Not to be overlooked is our Design and Development Department. Here is where you’ll find Pure Flight’s services for course design, program, tournament and clinic implementation. We have fashioned our company to be much more than just your standard retail shop. We aim to create everything from championship caliber courses to backyard pocket courses. In the same vein, we offer clinics for groups seeking basic instruction or for individuals trying to take their game to the next level. Our tournaments are some of the most popular in the area and for good reason, as we’ve worked hard over the past three years at providing a consistently great tournament experience.

You can also keep up with Pure Flight’s exploits through our photos and videos. Sure we’re no experts with a camera but we find ourselves doing some pretty fun stuff so feel free to live vicariously through us here and there :)

Lastly, use our contact information for anything that you may need. We’re firm believers in basic logic and figuring things out with our customers so if there’s something you want that we don’t have, call us up and we’ll see if it can be worked out.

Enjoy!

Testing, Testing, Pure Flight is Investing

Well, we’ve already invested pretty heavily in the disc golf world. For starters, we opened up a business solely based on disc sports and primarily all on disc golf. Whew! Talk about an investment. Lots of money, time, blood, tears and sweat have been poured into this business. A major component of our business model, as backwards as it may be, is to excessively donate to the disc golf community. We have taken on a huge role of sponsoring events, players, clubs and courses. Since opening up for business, Pure Flight has committed to buying 9 baskets for the Umass Amherst DG course, bought two baskets for the Crane Hill DGC, sponsored a bevvy of regional players and became a title sponsor for the Greater Hartford Disc Golf Open A-tier.

That’s money coming straight from our pockets going to the disc golf community. Why have we chosen to invest so heavily in this game? Well, sure, we own a business and as the game grows we should as well. That’s just the benefit though, why we really are spending so much money in disc golf is for the total love and passion for it. We watch every live broadcast on DGPtv, we study every result from PDGA A-Tiers and National Tour events and we play in as many tournaments as possible. It’s heartbreaking to see the best our game has to offer making just enough money to stay on the road and compete in the next event. We aim to grow the sport for the sport. These top tier professional players are doing things we could only dream to be doing. They are highly talented and like any other professional, deserve to be rewarded for it. By pumping money into the game we hope to build the pot of money these professionals are competing for. As the money grows and players become more stable on tour, there will be more high level amateurs ready and willing to take the next step in their disc golf careers. These amateurs are growing daily through the efforts of entities like Pure Flight, but also through the tireless volunteers who build courses, run tournaments and clinics and the gym teachers who introduce disc golf into their curriculum. By having the incentive of making a decent living in disc golf, these amateurs will stick with it and continue to contribute to the meteoric rise of the talent pool.

Pure Flight has in no way ignored the amateur on its quest to become a powerful disc golf brand. On the contrary, much of the money we pump into the community is targeted at amateurs in the form of CTP’s for leagues and tournaments and certainly with our efforts to get new courses in the ground. We also are transforming ourselves into a reliable source for tournament vending as well as directing. In our first year of business we ran two tournaments both of which filled at 72 people. One of these was also a PDGA B-Tier, so we’re committed to working with the PDGA to grow the SPORT of disc golf. This year we intend on running a minimum of two events, both PDGA sanctioned. We’re still in the process of working out the details but we will run the 2nd annual Crane Hill Open on the weekend of 06/22-06/23 and we will be hosting the first PDGA event ever at Bousquet Ski Range in Pittsfield, MA. Two years in business and twice Pure Flight has brought PDGA events to courses that have never seen them. There is more at work this year and we may find ourselves hosting closer to five events once all is said and done.

In closing this first blog post, disc golf is a difficult sport to form a business around. Namely because it’s still in its infancy and as a result offers roughly 3 million different avenues to pursue its growth. Pure Flight has embraced a number of these roads and as we grow we will continue to work our hardest to bring disc golf in New England to the next level.