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I think everyone has had this scenario happen to them once and awhile: you just threw your disc and the shot didn't go exactly as planned and lands about four feet off the fairway. Initially, you are not to worried because you saw 'exactly' what tree or bush your disc just landed by. After you patiently wait for your friends to finish their shots, you proceed to place where you thought you saw your disc land. Low and behold, your disc is proving difficult to find. Did it take a nasty bounce or role? Did it grow legs and walk away or did the disc golf gnomes claim another prize? Is your local disc golf course the edge of our universe and you cherished plastic pal just slipped into another dimension or did you simply go blind? If these kind of random thoughts go running through your head as storm of frustration seems to take hold of your cool demeanor; just take a deep breath because some of these following tips may just help you save your sanity.

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A lot of my fellow disc golfers seem to think I am someone who possess a prowess for locating stray plastic, but I think I just pay good attention to details. But out of the respect of my peers, I have typed a "do and don't" list that may help locate and prevent lost discs.

Tip #1: color choice

DON'T: throw tie-dye or colors that blend into your surroundings. Reds, oranges, and yellows for fall is a no-no. No greens and yellows for spring and summer; and yes, it doesn't matter how bright they are. No white for snow(duh...), dried leaves, or courses with a lot of litter(sad, but true.) Tie-dye is NEVER a good choice. Not only are they more expensive, but tie-dye acts as camouflage, no matter what the color combo. Purple is surprising a bad choice also. Purple tends to fall under what us painters and designers call the "shadow color" category. Also, anything Purple breaks down in the sun faster than any other color. Purple is on the opposite end of the visible light spectrum from the color of the sun’s rays.

DO: throw colors that do not occur in nature. Unless you are playing in field of amazing wild flowers, these colors would be blue and bright pink. The more saturated the color, the better (like a ‘true’ blue, having no lightness or darkness added to it.) A really hot pink works well too, since it catches the eye (why else do girls wear it, but other than to call attention to themselves.) Blue is perhaps the best in my opinion, because even people with partial color blindness (1% of all males, .01% of all females) can pick it out amongst a back drop of slurred oranges, greens, and yellows.

Tip #2: attitude

DON’T: get mad. The more worked up you are, the less likely you are to find your treasured possession. Anger tends to throw off you concentration. It also causes you to do things like kick up leaves that may bury a disc even more. Everyone loses discs. I thing of it in two ways; either the disc is meant for another, like an estrayed lover; and if it weren’t for lost disc, I would never find someone else’s treasure, thus making my day.

DO: stay confident that the disc will be found or that you will be fine without it. I tend to carry duplicates of disc I like to throw, so I am never hard press to find my missed place shot. When you stay positive, you can concentrate better, thus remembering the mental picture that you took of your disc as it sailed into the thick. Always be happy to help a buddy locate their lost disc. It helps the game go along a little faster and I can’t count the number of times I found a lost treasure for myself when searching for my friends. Also, placing your number will make sure a good Samaritan can return it to you. Keeping your cool will also allow the shank-of-a-shot not to effect the rest of your game; further more, I feel as if God sometimes just places the disc right under my nose for not cursing him for my poor display of skill.

Tip #3: be smart

DON’T: inflate your game. I see way too many people taking risky shots when they know they have never accomplished such a feat before. If the game is on the line, and you want to tomahawk over a thick of thorn bushes, when the logical approach is to throw a hook shot or lay up, and you know that your tomahawk is weak, DON’T THROW THE DARN SHOT! It’s rude and frustrating for everyone to have a game lag because some rooky wants to experiment on a difficult course. Go with what works! There is a time and place for experimenting with throwing techniques and difficult courses are not it.

DO: ask for help. Ask for advice on a difficult shot. Ask a friend to spot you. Ask a friend for help early on in the hunting of a lost disc, before it gets too late. Ask any adjacent fairway dwellers “You guys didn’t happen to see where my Destroyer went?” And if you are someone who will not leave the course until you have found your lucky disc, make sure you let the group of disc golfers behind you play through.

Tip #4 scan

DON’T: look everywhere frantically. You are not driving a car, so stop looking 20 feet out in front of you. You need to concentrate on an area or radius, so stop zigzagging or walk in around in unlikely places.

DO: scan the ground slowly in front of you about 5-6, swaying your head side to side. Do more of a spiral pattern or small circles rather than a straight line. Always look in the branches of trees and bushes. Look under disturbed leaves, but try not to disturb them yourself. Go back to where you threw from and try to repaint a mental picture. Try to envision where a bad bounce or role would end up. And finally, picture the worst and best possible locations where your disc may have ended up. I have found my disc in both locations a number of times.

Sorry for the lengthy list, I told you I pay attention to detail. Hopefully these types will help you locate you lost loved ones.
Great advice! I used some of this today to locate one disc halfway in a ivy covered tree and once in a giant thorn bush but it didnt get in there from a risky shot!!
Using Splatter Vision can help...particularly when scanning up in the trees.
One tip I can offer is always look shorter than you think it went and then work forward ,discgolf being one of the more 420 friendlier sports memories arent as good as they could be.i just had a broken in pro destroyer pull what i call a david copperfield ,you watch it land ,you go to get it and it just not there.
I'm all about throwing discs all the time and I never cared about color...in the sense of getting my favorites because of the terrain. I want bright pink discs and throw colors I KNOW contrast with course I'm on. I never understood why anybody would want to throw a tie-dye disc, I can't tell you how many times I've gone hunting for one of those (more so than any other color). Nice tips, sometimes the obvious needs to be pointed out to all of us just so we can gain focus again.
I don't concentrate so much on the spot, I check the angle from the tee pad thats easier to remember, and as said before, they are usually shorter than you think.
Excellent post
Here's a couple more tips for not losing plastic:

When playing near disc eating schule, the player with last honors should volunteer to spot. Then everyone should go spot his drive. This actually speeds rather than slowing play overall.

Instead of turning your back on a bad throw to indicate your disgust, watch it land. Even when a disc is going off in the thick stuff, sometimes you'll catch a second glimpse of it. Don't be a drama queen. Watch your disc.
Stop throwing Innova. No joke. I can say in all my days I have found very few Discraft discs off the fairway. I can also say that 99% of the discs I find, anywhere, are Innova. I golf everyday and I rarely lose discs to anything but a raging river at at Victory Park.
Always mark it on something unusual.
Remember to look up as well as on the ground, even rollers hop up into the bushes!
Use discs that are the color you can find. Clue: Nothing on the course is Pink...
You gotta listen too....hearing what the disc is crashing through...is very important.
Having a few too many cold ones can also lead to lost discs,hard to find them when you can barely find yourself.

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