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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

The Mind’s Guide to Disc Golf

By: Drew Gardner

“Practical Dreamers Do Not Quit”

Though it is easy to write these things in a blog, the tips I provide will only work if they become habit. The essence of change is one of the hardest things that happens in a human’s mind. If you can discipline your mind to “walk the talk,” you can ultimately be successful in disc golf as well as life. Changing habits takes time and the journey is more challenging than the discipline its self. So take the challenge of personal change and don’t look back. The results may blow your mind.

“Practical Dreamers Do Not Quit” is a quote by Napoleon Hill, a man hired by Andrew Carnegie to study wealthy people and to write a book about why successful people are successful. Now I could write a really long blog based on these ideas but one line so far has stood out to me. Hill basically states that if a dream burns desire deep inside you, then your goals and dreams are achievable. He refers to Thomas Edison and the fact that it took over 10,000 tries to invent a lamp that could operate off electricity. 10,000 times! Such a staggering trial would drive most humans nuts. In fact most people would quit at 100 or even 10. We can learn that if the goal you set out to achieve is entrenched so deeply in your soul then no matter what, in time you will achieve it. If you notice he uses the word “practical,” meaning you need to have a realistic goal in mind. Your practical dream needs a path to start on and a clear finishing point. For a disc golfer, a practical dream may be to win a pro event. Now the hard part is getting there. Be realistic on your path and leave nothing to chance. Take the initiative to practice and learn from others. Have the ability to open up to teaching because you never know who will help you on your journey. The goal needs to be so clearly defined that when you close your eyes and think about it, you can see every detail. You can see yourself hitting the winning putt and standing at the awards ceremony while Pete hands you the trophy and purse and people are cheering for you. These visions need to be real to you before they happen. Don’t let others stand in your way. On your journey people will try to discourage you. They can’t see your vision and may be scared for you or for themselves. Assure yourself that you will succeed. You are in control of your mind, remember past blogs?
Now to practice this concept you can start small. Think of something that you want in life, a promotion, a date with the hottie down the hall or whatever it may be. Look within and determine if your desire burns deep for this and go for it. Don’t look back until you achieve this goal. This small victory should springboard you to the realization that you can do it! Do not become discouraged if you fail. Without failure we would never learn, remember Edison and his 10,000+ trials inventing something we still use today. I think back to when I started playing disc golf on a competitive level. So many times I wanted to walk away due to frustration and the feeling of walking up hill in quicksand (getting nowhere). I buried those feelings and moved on to become the player I am today, which is right where I want to be. My goals for disc golf are different and success for me will come in the future as my trials happen every day. The one thing I will tell you is that I keep pressing on, even when the hill looks like a mountain and this lesson alone will allow you to see the top sooner rather than later.
Join me next week for: “Repetition is the Key to Success”

The Mind’s Guide to Disc Golf

By: Drew Gardner

“The Best Time to Play is Now”

Though it is easy to write these things in a blog, the tips I provide will only work if they become habit. The essence of change is one of the hardest things that happens in the human mind. If you can discipline your mind to “walk the talk,” you can ultimately be successful in disc golf as well as life. Changing habits takes time and the journey is more challenging than the discipline itself. So take the challenge of personal change and don’t look back. The results may blow your mind.

You hear all the pros in any golf sport say, “you just play shot to shot,” or “take it one shot at a time.” It sounds so cliché, like it’s that easy. But what I hope you come to realize is that it is just that easy. The discipline is what is hard. Remember the last blog where I told you not to worry about things that you have no control of? This lesson epitomizes that concept. You cannot control time and in turn you cannot control what has happened in the past or what will happen in the future. What you do have control over is what is happening in the exact moment you are living…NOW! Teach yourself this concept and you will master your game of disc golf. I like to play with an extreme case of short term memory loss. Most great tournament rounds that I’ve played have a five on the card, or a couple of bogies. A lot of the times my next hole, after a bad one, is a birdie. My favorite example came to me in a doubles tournament that I played with my girlfriend, Jess. Our first hole of the event was a double bogie 5! Boo, what a way to start a round…next hole, bang the chains an ace! The 5 had been erased from my mind before the next shot, had not served as a hindrance, and I reaped the greatest reward – a tournament ace!

When I play at the top of my game, I don’t remember most of my round and it feels effortless. I have to think deep into the memory of my body to recall the shots of my round. This is mastery of this paradigm. Live in the moment and recognize that you can’t hold onto a bad shot. The first step is to bring past moments into your consciousness. Once you have, stop them by taking a breath and focusing on the next shot. This process will take time and you will only notice it a few times at first. Maybe only 3 or 4 times per round, until you shoot the best round of your life, effortlessly.

Apply this lesson to your life and let the disc golf course become a practice ground for everything that you do. Sometimes we let something out of our control have a negative effect on us for an entire day, week or even longer! Remember, if it happened in the past, we cannot control it now. Live that line and repeat it often. Let that weight fall off your shoulders and bring your total energy and focus on the now. You won’t regret it!

Join me next week for: “Practical Dreamers do not Quit”

The Mind’s Guide to Disc Golf

By: Drew Gardner

“Your Mind is Your Strongest Disc Golf Muscle”
Though it is easy to write these things in a blog, the tips I provide will only work if they become habit. The essence of change is one of the hardest things that happens in a human’s mind. If you can discipline your mind to “walk the talk,” you can ultimately be successful in disc golf as well as life. Changing habits takes time and the journey is more challenging than the discipline itself.
So take the challenge of personal change and don’t look back. The results may blow your mind.
If we take a look at a player like Paul McBeth, he has it all: skill, dedication, passion, drive etc… the one thing easy to overlook is his ability to utilize his mind in difficult situations. He doesn’t deviate from his mental game plan. No matter what the situation, he has the ability to think clearly and make decisions based on visualization of the final outcome. So often our personal decisions on and off the course are determined by outside influences. How you did on your last throw, how other players are doing, my boss is a jerk. If we can learn to keep clear focus we can all achieve our goals. As we develop as players it is easy at first to blame poor performance on outside forces, but we need to look within. We all possess one ability which no one can take away. That is, we have control of our mind. If we take the time to acknowledge this fact then our mental development will happen in strides. We can be reactive or proactive. A reactive player looks for reasons why they are not successful in which they have no power to change. A proactive player looks for solutions that they can change, they ask for help from players with more experience and don’t shy away from adverse situations. The self becomes open to change and the mind follows. Take time during your next round to notice these situations and change what you can. Leave things that you can’t change behind and move on. Apply these tactics to your personal and professional lives as well. Always remember that change takes time and can be a trying pursuit, but if you can address the small things first, the bigger things will have no choice but to follow.
Join me next week: “The Best Time to Play is in the Moment”

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 (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!