The Das Avonni
Story circa August 1st, 2002 | View Post


The wooden frame of the Das Avonni
To anyone not familiar with disc golf, it is more or less the hippie form of playing golf. Basically you go to a disc golf park with some friends, start at the tee, and throw your disc towards the basket. The discs are not exactly Frisbees as they tend to be made out of thicker plastics and are consequently always much heavier than regular Frisbees. Just like golf, you see where your disc lands, go to it, and throw it again. There are about 18 disc golf parks in the greater Austin area and I have played around 7 of them. To date I have no hole-in-ones, but I have been pretty close and have made a few birdies. As you can probably tell, the game is scored just like golf, and scores are typically in the same range as a normal golf game.

Building the Das Avonni

The only drawback to disc golf is that it's pretty hard to practice it without actually going out to a course. At least in golf you can purchase a small hole for your backyard for practice putting and chipping. Disc golfing companies have offered a similar product for the sport though it is obviously much larger and expensive. Because of that, I decided to build my own.

All it took was a metal pole, some ply wood, a bunch of wooden dowel rods, and some spray paint and waterproof cloths for the aesthetic.
The first part of the project simply consisted of cutting a circular top on the band saw. This was probably the hardest part of the whole thing though it turned out just fine. After this, I created the box bottom and used the drill press to make a few dozen holes around the base in which to fit the wooden dowel rods. Atop the dowel rods were narrow strips of plywood, simply to hold the dowel rods together. The entire apparatus had 1.5" holes drilled through it's center pieces in order to fit the metal pipe into it.

Finishing Touches


The finished Das Avonni sitting outside in front of my Explorer
Once the initial design was completed, and as you can see by the pictures, I hung chains from the top which ultimately ran together to form a three-dimensional parabolic shape to the basket (as is pretty standard with the disc golf baskets). In addition, 4 extra chains were strung along the Z-Axis of the paraboloid to aid in slowing down the disc once it hit the chains. All in all, the chains still proved a bit too thin for the project, but it was not that often that a disc would fly through them without stopping.

Once these chains were attached, I bored a 1/4" hole through both the top and bottom portions of the metal pole which allowed me to add lock bolts to the apparatus, thus securing the basket to the pole.

With that in place, I decided to add a bit of feel to the basket and with cans of red and yellow spray paint available in the garage, I painted the bottom portion of the basket red, and the top part of the Das Avonni yellow. Finally, the cloths that were added were actually disposable rain slickers. The material was perfect for this project as it easily stretched to my liking and was very easy to staple-gun it to the painted plywood.

Naming the Das Avonni

Anyone who is rather keen with the small disc golf world may have already picked up on where this thing got its name from. One of the leading manufacturers of disc golf products is a company named Innova (I believe pronounced in'-uh-va). Avonni is simply Innova spelled backwards. Perhaps this helps: innovA. The Das part just came from my usual game of adding such the word to a noun and pawning it off as a German influenced design.

What happened to Das Avonni?

After I had the Das Avonni in my front yard for a couple of days, I decided that I would give it to a few of my good friends (then roommates of one another), Mike Crockett, and Dreux LaViolette. I brought it over to their house and we dug a hole in the ground in which to mount it. From what I understand, the Avonni was used from time to time in the backyard until they both moved into seperate homes and then I think it was either left there or ultimately dismantled and thrown away. ...a sad fate indeed.

Can I get my own Das Avonni?

Yes. The units sell for $2000 each (or $25,000 for an 18-hole course) and can be hand crafted and delivered to you within 7 business days. We require that the monies be transferred into an escrow account before any construction begins. If you'd like one, contact me.

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