Roots of Flight

Roots of Flight

Join Gabe LaBounty, PDGA #90668, as he seeks out the multitude of untold stories of the early days of Frisbee Golf, and traces those influences to the modern day game of Disc Golf. Produced in conjunction with the Disc Golf Hall of Fame, this podcast works to preserve the spirit and the stories of the pioneers and trailblazers that have given the sport its wings.

Episodes

March 30, 2022 51 min
Local clubs are the lifeblood of disc golf, and the examples of NEFA and SFDGC from the regional to course level show just how strong the foundation of the sport is. Steve Hartwell, PDGA #2465 and founder of the New England Flying Disc Association shares how NEFA
almost made itself obsolete, and Ross Hammond, PDGA #9510 shares the impact of the San
Francisco Disc Golf Club on the sport as a whole.

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This is the one where Dan “Stork” Roddick won a car in 1974. Jim Palmeri, PDGA #23, takes us through the early history of the American Flying Disc Open, possibly the earliest disc golf-focused event that still runs today as the Rochester Flying Disc Open.

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Hosted, written, and produced by Gabe LaBounty – IG & Twitter: @grizzlygingerdg

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Part I gave us the evolution of course design through the lens of John Houck and Dee Leekha. For Part II, we talk more with Dee about why designing courses is important, and with one of their students, Leonard Muise, PDGA #3974 about the grittier details of making a course work.

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Hosted, written, and produced by Gabe LaBounty – IG & Twitter: @grizzlygingerdg

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Without course designers, there would be no disc golf courses, and without courses, there would be no disc golf. Like many aspects of disc golf there are countless people out doing the work and a few out-front pushing things forward. John Houck, PDGA #1688 and the #1 course designer in the world, and Divya “Dee” Leekha, PDGA #38087, tell us how design evolved and has started becoming a profession in which you can make a living.

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If you follow professional disc golf, you know about the Memorial Chamionship in Arizona, but do you know the people being memorialized? Roots of Flight talks with Flying Disc Museum curator and Arizona disc golf organizer 1980-1990, Mike “Hubie” Hughes, PDGA #1438 and his successor, Dan Ginnelly, PDGA #3591 about the origins of the Memorial Championship, the Shelley Sharpe Memorial, and the Brent Hambrick Memorial.

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Disc golf stores are more than just a place to buy your discs. Tom Monroe and Snapper Pierson of the first two episodes are joined by Dan Mangone to give us a fuller picture of the impact disc golf store owners have on the community by providing several valuable services.

Follow Roots of Flight on Instagram and Twitter @rootsofflightdg

Hosted, written, and produced by Gabe LaBounty – IG & Twitter: @grizzlygingerdg

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Early in the life of disc sports, disc golf wasn’t the only game in town. Juliana Korver, PDGA #7483, takes us through her experience with the current overall flying disc disciplines, and shows us how similar to and different from disc golf they are.

Follow Roots of Flight on Instagram and Twitter @rootsofflightdg

Hosted, written, and produced by Gabe LaBounty – IG & Twitter: @grizzlygingerdg

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Disc golf took on traditional golf rules and had a bit of a head start on the other Frisbee disciplines, but the way specialized rules developed to adapt play for golf discs was not always easy. We hear from Hall of Famers Dan “Stork” Roddick PDGA #003 and Ted Smethers #1159 who guided the way as the heads of the International Frisbee Association and the PDGA, respectively.

More on the history of the PDGA Rules: https://www.pdga.com...
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You cannot trace the origin of disc golf in the South without Tom Monroe, PDGA #033 who was one of the earliest people to make money with disc sports. He takes us through his early years touring for Wham-O, and how Frisbee spread around the American South.

Follow Roots of Flight on Instagram andTwitter @rootsofflightdg

Hosted, written, and produced by Gabe LaBounty - IG & Twitter: @grizzlygingerdg

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Disc golf was Frisbee golf first, and the widespread availability of discs and courses can be directly attributed to the wide reach Wham-O had from its seat in Southern California. Dan “Stork” Roddick #003 guides us through how Wham-O’s International Frisbee Association spread Frisbee competition across the world and “Snapper” Pierson #691 gives us insight into SoCal disc golf play and the mainstay that is Morley Field in San Diego...
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Individuals can have a huge impact on disc golf, but local organizations that maintain the courses, run events, and actively share disc golf with others are the lifeblood the sport. Pittsburgh Flying Disc and the San Francisco Disc Golf Club founded by J. Gary Dropcho #2734 and Greg Quiroga #12362, respectively, are two of the most successful clubs today, despite starting almost 20 years apart.

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"Steady" Ed Headrick (PDGA #001) became the founding father of organized disc golf after quitting his executive position at Wham-O in 1976 and founding both the DGA and the PDGA, but little is known about Ted Smethers (PDGA #1159), the man who worked under Headrick and later took the reins of the PDGA to take the pro tour and rules organization to the next level. This talk with Smethers reveals a power struggle between one ...
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March 31, 2021 49 min
Unlike the disc golf target, golf discs have undergone dramatic changes from the very first Frisbee intentionally thrown at a tree. The most important change was the introduction of the beveled edge in 1983 with Dave Dunipace #987 releasing the Innova Eagle/Aero. Dave and Jeff Homburg #1025, the PDGA technical standards chair, take us through the evolution of the golf disc from the playful catch Frisbee to the wide-wing drivers we ...
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February 23, 2021 46 min
The disc golf pole hole target is the most recognizable symbol in the sport. It has largely remained unchanged from its original design in 1976, but there have been several innovations in target technology over the years. Gabe talks with Dan "Stork" Roddick #003, Jeff Homburg #1025, Scott Keasey #19655, and Dave Dunipace #987 to trace the evolution of the disc golf target from trees to the modern pole hole.

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Although disc golf has developed through a few twists and turns since being established as a competitive sport, there are tournaments that have been running since before the PDGA was founded. Gabe discusses what keeps these events running longer than the sport’s governing body with three bearers of the tournament director torch: Kate Bierman (nee Schwartz) #51615 and Billy Engel #44458, the two most recent TDs of Oklahoma’s Norman ...
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Disc golf has come a long way from its origins in the 1960s, but it’s still a young sport at 43 years old. While the pioneer generation of a sport ages, we have a unique opportunity to tell their stories and remember the Roots of Flight.

Jeff Homburg (PDGA #1025, Disc Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2012) gives us a broad overview of how disc golf sprung up in the late 1970s. We explore Guts Frisbee, the wind in Oklahoma, how Steady Ed d...
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