Disc golf in uncharted territories with the X-Series
Have you ever dreamt of playing disc golf somewhere other than your local disc golf course? Thanks to people like Ralf Rogov and his team, the Estonians have had plentiful options for it! We're talking culture centres, TV towers, shopping centres and many more! Want to hear more about how it's done! Let's dive in!
Ralf Rogov, the man behind the legendary X-Series - please explain, what the competitions represent?
The X-Series is a disc golf series. X-Series courses are built in locations that the average person wouldn't typically visit. The competitions mostly have short holes and many are just PUTT baskets. On all PUTT holes you must use four (4) putters:
- If you hit all 4, 4 = Hole In One, i.e., a score of 1.
- If you hit 3 out of 4 = Birdie, i.e., a score of 2.
- If you hit 2 out of 4 = Par, i.e., a score of 3.
- If you hit 1 out of 4 = Bogey, i.e., a score of 4.
- If you don't hit any = Double Bogey, i.e., a score of 5, and you move on.
We also want to popularize the sport of disc golf.
How did the X-Series start? How insane and possible did you initially think the idea was?
About 5 years ago, with a scarcity of courses in Tallinn, the idea emerged to take baskets somewhere and organize a one-time competition. Result? People liked it. Then, in winter we thought - why practice putting in a sports hall? Let's have a putting competition in a big sports arena instead. Done. Today, we've played in very different places, and organizing a competition in a shopping center is no longer a novelty!
How many X-Series have there been so far, and what's the wildest place you've had?
In five years, we've organized more than 20 X-competitions. One exceptionally wild and extreme place is on the horizon this December! We get to use a ship. A ship with 12 floors – it's going to be an EPIC competition.
Where have X-Series taken you?
We've been to Tallinna Linnahall / Tallinn City Hall, Estonian Open Air Museum, Stroomi Beach, Saku Suurhall, T1 Mall, Patarei Prison, Tallinn Old Town, the so-called Lasnamäe airfield, Rotermann Quarter, Tallinn City Hall Surroundings, Tallinn TV Tower, Haapsalu, Tallinna Kultuurikatel / Cultural Hub, and Viru Shopping Centre, which is happening this weekend.
What does an X-Series competition offer to participants? Why do people still attend them? What is their charm?
The charm of X-Series is that people get to play in places they wouldn't visit otherwise. The allure of X-Series lies in its diversity; there's always something exciting ahead.
How does the idea for the next X-Series competition location come about?
I can't answer that :) The idea just materializes by itself.
What does organizing such an event look like, how much work, how many helpers?
Without helpers, this event doesn't happen – that's a fact! It depends on the event, but the preparation and pre-work for one event usually take about a month on average. However, there are also competitions that require 6 months of preparation (Vanalinna Open and Haapsalu 100).
What, in your opinion, has been the coolest X-Series competition so far?
My favorites are still Vanalinna Open and Kultuurikatel.
In which places do you dream of doing the next X-Series competitions? The craziest idea that's lingering in your mind?
At the end of this year, we're heading to a large ship. AND one crazy idea is still there, but it remains a secret until all approvals are in place.
The next X-Series competition is at Viru Keskus, a large shopping centre in the middle of Tallinn; what makes this one different from the rest of the series?
What makes this competition special is that while we've set up 50 disc golf baskets in different places, there are 40,000 regular visitors at the same time (throughout the day).
If there's anything else you'd like to mention, feel free to add.
I would like to express my gratitude to three major sponsors who have supported me on this journey from the beginning: Sportland, Dynamic Discs, and Latitude64.