After about a year of playing disc golf, a fellow thrower (we'll call him Boomer, because that's his name) called and said "I found some basket plans online for $10. Wanna split it and build a couple baskets?"
Hecks yeah! My short game sucks. A basket in my backyard could really help.
I checked out the web site for the basket. A short video shows a few discs being tossed into the home-built basket and the sound of the chains was almost enough to get me to buy on the spot. But this is 2007, surely somebody has a decent set of basket plans online somewhere for free, right? Nope, not really. I searched and came up with a few tutorials, but each seriously lacked in one department or another. Back to square one, I Paypal $10 for the eBook. This guy did his homework and the plans look pretty well thought out ... detailed parts list with item numbers for the major retailers, tools required and photos with the step-by-step instructions. But the more Boomer and I (and Jesse, but that's about the extent of his involvement in this saga, so I'll skip lengthy introductions) went over the plans, the more we started to question the durability of a basket made with chicken wire and zip ties ... lots and lots of zip ties.
I said "Give me a week. I'll see what I can come up with."
My first stop was the disc golf course to take some measurements of the real deal. Then, off to the local hardware store and one of the big box chains, to wander the aisles to see if this piece would fit into that piece. I expected to just make some minor tweaks to the basket plans we bought, but in the end, I tossed out everything but the pole. Slowly, the Hardware Basket was coming together. Total cost was about $90. Pricewise, our basket is just about right in line with the one in the plans we downloaded. For about $30 more than it would cost to build the Hardware Basket, you can pick up one of the big name portable baskets ... but the Hardware Basket has 24 chains!
How's it work, you ask? In the few short weeks I've had the basket, my putting "circle of confidence" has extended by a few feet and I've knocked a few strokes off my average. Your results may very.
Step 1: Know The Basket
Before you get started building your basket, go to the course and look at a basket. Have you ever really looked at one? Sure, we throw at them all day long, but check out the parts. Chains, S-hooks and more chains. That's the part to really check out: How the chains all come together at the bottom. Keeping that in your head as a point of reference will help when you get to that stage of your own basket. If you're feeling particularly uptight, take some measurements from the ground to the bottom of the catch basin, from the inside of the catch basin to the bottom of the chains and other such lengths. Having these on hand will let you tweak your Hardware Basket to come as close to the one you'll be aiming at out on the course. To the right are the measurements I came up with and what I used as a reference for the basket built in these plans.