Last Sunday, the weather was unseasonably warm. Due to the dry winter day and the Lions playing a late game, Marc and I decided to hit the disc golf course. I realize some people like to read, but sometimes a picture really tells the best story. Now, enjoy some action shots of us playing at our home course:
I’ve now been casually playing disc golf now for about four years. At each of the courses I’ve played at, I’ve seen people bring all sorts of equipment including drink coolers, disc bags and gps devices. Because there are so many choices and things people tell you to bring, I wanted to share my essential bring-alongs.
First, I want to tell you, it’s ok if you only have a couple discs. My only word of caution is that if you are still working on your form, you may want to keep a backup disc or two in the car, just in case you lose one for good. So far, I’ve thrown about three discs out of bounds, one of which was lost for good.
Speaking of discs, many group players that I see have a bag full of discs and apparently know how to use each of them. As a beginner playing shorter holes, I really only find myself using two discs: a driver and a putter. My discs of choice are an Innova Boss distance driver and an Innova Aviar putt and approach. After working on my form, I find that I can drive myself to within about 20′ of the basket, which tends to be close enough to use the putter.
I also can’t stress enough just how important it is to stay comfortable. For some people it means bringing a towel to wipe sweat. I haven’t had this issue yet, but having a dry mouth can be extremely distracting for me. I like to make sure I have a full bottle of icy water each time I hit the course. For you, it might mean wearing a hat or having a little motorized fan and a spray bottle. Just remember, stay comfortable and have fun.
Lastly, you’ll need something to carry everything around in. You can buy a name brand disc bag for anywhere from $15-$250, but I re-purposed a North Face messenger bag that I used for school. I see other players using old backpacks and one guy was using a roller cooler to keep his drinks cool and kept a bag bungie corded to the handle to carry his discs.
One of the best parts of playing disc golf is the lack of judgement between players. We are all just playing to have fun. Make sure that most of all you bring a good attitude and don’t discourage others around you. Clean up after yourself and throw away your trash in proper places. Get excited but be aware of people nearby. Don’t walk through other peoples play. Overall, just be a courteous person and a good example for others.
Before moving to Michigan, I had never heard of Disc Golf, and yet somehow I logically knew it should exist. I grew up in Arizona, so I never played outside much due to the scorching heat. The closest I got to playing any organized team sports was taking tennis for high school PE classes and participating in casual doubles tournaments. When I finally did move to Michigan, I learned about disc golf from my step-dad Dave. One day he showed up at home with a pair of frisbees and said he just played at a local course. I had to know more, so I asked him the next time he went to take me.
The first time I went disc golfing (I don’t even really know if you can call it disc golf when all you have are frisbees) I was rather underwhelmed. Dave was using a large yellow frisbee and I had a smaller blue one. It was a rather breezy day so every throw was unpredictable. The park we played at was long and narrow with houses guarded by a 10 foot chain-link fence to the East and a 10-12 foot brick wall to the west. Every throw we made traveled 50 feet at best. The discs would catch every breeze and sail well off course. We only finished the first six holes before deciding to call it quits. Exhausted from chasing our frisbees all over, Dave and I headed back to the car.
On our way back to the car, Dave and I saw what appeared to be a pro disc golfer. He set his cooler sized bag of discs down on the first tee, pulled out a disc, and, after a brief warm up, let it sail. Dave and I watched it fly through the air amazed and suddenly I realized what I needed to do. After work one day, I stopped by a sporting goods store and found a disc 3-pack with two drivers and a putter. That same day, Dave had stopped by Play-It-Again sports and grabbed a driver and putter of his own to use. We were so excited to try out our new discs.
After a couple days of building excitement over our new toys, we had another chance to play at our local course. Dave and I drove down to the park and this time played our first real game of disc golf. He and I went on to play a few of the other courses in the area and enjoyed playing in the changing seasons. A few years later, Dave was taken by cancer but I still play. I’ve since introduced others to the game as well. I can’t help but say thank you to the man who introduced me to the game I love to play.