I have recently discovered that I love playing disc golf. This may sound ridiculous to many so let me explain. I started playing in December 2006. I can still remember the feeling I had after playing a few holes. Oh boy was I hooked. Then playing became an obsession. At first it was okay, I was getting my game down, meeting new people, and feeling that "first round excitement" I got that first day I played in December. A change started taking place after that first year and I didn't even notice. I wanted to WIN! Emotions started creeping in that robbed me of that feeling, that love of the game I had when I first started. I began playing more tournaments and was consumed with the "need to win". I would let anger get the best of me and would come home mad. I would find myself playing when I wasn't even into it. One day my wife responded to my banter by stating"If it's going to make act this way, maybe you shouldn't play". I had to take a long hard look at myself. I didn't begin to change really until I took a road trip with my friends to the USDGC. We stopped in Charlotte to play some local courses and the first course I played was a blast. I noticed the layout of the course, how beatiful some of the holes were; to the extent that those "early days" feelings were coming back. I had an honest, good time. By the time we played the second course the competition monster popped up again and I once again found myself at the mercy of bad vibes. My score was awful to say the least. That score determined my mood for the next few hours. WHAT!!!!
It's been three weeks and now I realize why I play disc golf. I love the game when I play against the course and not the other players. If I have a bad day and the course beats me...no worries. No worries because I am going to play the way I did that first day; with no inhibitions, with no thought to the other players, with no hindsight on good or bad holes. I am going to play the course my way. If that means limiting tournament play or isolating myself from negative people so be it. I am going to play for the love of the game, not a score. What's the point if you're number one with your club, the tournament scene, etc. if you are not loving the game???