The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf
1) When was the first time you ever played Disc Golf ?
It was back in the early 90s. I was in the Navy, stationed at the Naval Hospital San Diego. A friend of mine at the time got me out of the barracks and we walked down and over the valley to a place called Morley Field. It was funny cause on side of the valley was the Naval base and the other side was Morley Field. We didn't play in any tournaments or with any groups. It was a small group of Navy guys playing a couple of rounds of Disc golf on the weekends. No stress.
2) When Disc Golf was fun and innocent ?
I had gotten out of the Navy back in 2000. I was a single parent of three children. Someone told me about a place called Barnett Park in Orlando. I had bought myself a set of discs and a couple for my children. We would go play at barnett on the weekend and have a BBQ afterwards or let them skateboard at the park.
What am I talking about ? Do you remember when Disc Golf was fun ? No stress, no competition, no getting upset when a Bogey comes along or worse yet a double or triple. Do not get me wrong. I love the sport and I am doing my best to grow. But I see so many people taking the sport seriously. I can see if they are competing in the World's against other world competators. But most of us are "Joe Smoes" playing a game.
Prime example. I play with the Tuscawilla Group on Sundays. My handicap there is a 2. When I played in the Open, I shot 5, 5, 4 and then 10 over Par. Then last week, I played with a different set of discs, and just had fun, I shot one over par.
Have I got to the point where I care too much about winning my money back in "Handicap and or Doubles" play and I have stopped having fun. That is what I see (in others and in myself). Who can look over a bogey or worse and smile ?
It is like Christmas. Everyone is so wrapped up with what they need to get others and what they may get themselves, that people have forgotten what Christmas is all about.
Have I gotten that way ? Have you ? Are we so wrapped up with getting better, getting better discs, beating everyone, trying to be the best ?
What about the SPIRIT of Disc Golf ?
As a student at the University of Florida (1983-87)my roommate & I would hit the campus golf course (right next to our house) for $5 a round. When they closed the course for maintenance we discovered disc golf through a friend when we complained about not being able to play a cheap round of golf.
We used beach frisbees for the first year we played. Back then there was no internet, forums or online DG shops. If you wanted to find a "golf disc" you had to track down the local pro that sold them out of his trunk so he could make some money to make it to his next tourney.
My first discs was a Cobra and XD (which I still have). I have enjoyed playing ever since. I have been lucky in that everywhere I have lived there have been multiple courses. Gainesville, Orlando, Nashville, Bowling Green Ky & now Fredericksburg.
I used to enter tourneys but never joined the PDGA. If I had back then my number would probably be around 4500.
When I moved to Virginia my new job was at nights so I stopped playing in about 2002. But in April of 2010 I was diagnosed Type 2 diabetic. One on the many things I had to change was exercising again. So I started walking around the neighborhood. Then last April I was sitting watching TV and my bag o' discs were on the shelf next to tube. That's when it hit me. I can get some good exercise walking and be aggravated at the same time.
I didn't realize how much fun I was missing. I enjoy DG more now than I ever before. I have had to change my throw due to my age now but after researching basic distance techniques online I can throw farther now with less effort than I could before I stopped playing. I average about 5 rounds a week. Last month I walked over 80 miles playing DG (I keep a pedometer in my pocket) and well on my way to getting back in shape.
I have considered playing tourneys again but the $10 penalty fee for not being a PDGA member really irritates me. So I probably won't. I have gotten the impression that PDGA tourneys today are not set up to encourage REC players to sign up. So that part of DG has changed from the old days. Except for Ace Race events I don't see many organized event to encourage new players like the "World's Biggest Disc Golf Days" that were put on in the 90's.