The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf

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???

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Comment by Tino "SilverBack" Medina on November 7, 2008 at 10:26am
dont foget the Hot round Lou where I take your money! ahahahaha. Just kidding. ANd I will have you know, I dont laugh at you, I laugh with you. hahahehehe
Comment by Heatstroke on November 6, 2008 at 7:24am
The day that changed my outlook was the sloan tourney were I threw my bag all the way from hole 8 back to the picnic tables. I realized how stupid I looked. It came clear to me that I was putting undo pressure on myself. The fun of disc golf had been lost to me. I made a commitment to get it back. I hope the people I play with enjoy being in the same group with me. I try to encourage other people and not ride them if the have a bad throw. Unlike someone I know who laughs when my disc is going into the lake. HAHAHAHAHA. I look at tourneys this way; It costs 20 dollars (fees, lunch, breakfast) for a whole day of discgolf with my friends. Money like that is well spent.
Comment by Tino "SilverBack" Medina on November 4, 2008 at 10:02am
Ed, I love you brother. Tell me who is negative around you and I will smack them around in a positive way :). I love Poncho as my brother and I will tell you why, he more than anyone else I play with, goes to play, EVERYTIME. Him and I played in the rain, we have travelled and played, we get up super early to get in a round somewhere. He doesn't study the win like some of us, just the play. Of course he hits alot of trees and looses discs in the water, but he plays through. He is not leading in points and he doesnt care, he is playing! We all need to adopt this theory a little more. Play the game, win, loose or draw, you got to play! I am trying more and more to pick this theory as well. I love this game, I love my club, I love you guys. After reading over this whole blog, I think hte Lumberton crew needs to get together, sit in some sweat lodge, smoke some poyote, meditate and than go play a round. hahahaha. For real, if I am ever an a$$hole on or off the discgolf course, let me know. In my life I have learned that friends are what get you through, enemies or hate give you stress so I try and love everyone and all things, even the blessed, disc stealing lake at muther britt. I love you lake.....I may curse at you and piss in you, but I love you all the same. You are my friend! Hope this lightened up your day for all my boys and girls in my posse. Thats how we role in the shire!!!!!!!!!!
Comment by Mystery on November 3, 2008 at 10:23pm
The main point that I get from this blog is not about winning and losing, or about tournament play versus casual play. I don't like playing with negative people. Kharma is universal and will get them in the end, but my game and mental well being suffers from their energy. Their comments and antics do not enhance my life but cause me to look at them differently. It produces a hardness in me towards them, and that is the real damage. When they take the love for the game away from me, that is the real crime. I have found myself begging for the round to end just to rid myself of the energy. If it happens once in a while, you can overlook it. If it happens often, you can't. People need to be mindful of how their actions affect others, and some people are aware and relish that they can affect you and your spirit. It is as if they revel in your misery. If it is about winning, I would rather beat my competition on their best day than on their worst. But they are not built that way.
I enjoy playing disc golf and the commraderie within my club. I wish I could express what this game means to me and how important my club is. I love how we push each other in competition and encourage each other to give it all that we've got. It is just sad that sometimes the things that you love can hurt you the most. I enjoy playing golf with Byrdman because he and I see things along similar lines. The kharma that surrounds people will bring their energy back to them, but sometimes it is too slow to help those of us that happen to get in the way.
Comment by Christopher R Conn on November 3, 2008 at 8:43pm
I play discgolf because i love the game . it doesnt matter to me if i win or lose.
Comment by Byrdman on November 3, 2008 at 12:35pm
I will always play with you my brother. Thanks for the kind words. I always feel positive around you and struggle to play up to your game. See you soon!!!
Comment by Tino "SilverBack" Medina on November 3, 2008 at 10:39am
Whatever you decide to do, I know and we support ya. You will alwyas be our brother. I wish all people would realize, when they are negative towards others, it will come back to them someway, somehow. Kharma!! I love the friends we play with and try and avoid all drama between people. Just play and live, happily. Thanks for the comment on my game, I think challenging myself to play as well as you and some of the others has been whats really pushed me to improve. well brother, hope to play with you again soon!
Comment by Byrdman on November 3, 2008 at 9:07am
I want to say thanks to all the responses so far. Let's keep this going. I agree with Mark that competition will improve your game. If you play by yourself or with the same people all the time, your game will not improve. Tino, you have gotten even better than you were before you moved up to advanced. I think I have improved as well. I am just trying to find balance in my game. I don't want to act out and affect another player's game. I do not want to play with people who do or who may use negative comments and try to get your dander up. I agree that discgolf is not a heckling sport. I want to play new courses and not the same ones over and over. I want to meet new people and challenge myself. I want to become a better golfer. I stated that..."if this means limiting tourment play...". This was a personal statement to those I play with now. I will continue to play disc golf as long as my health allows. I may not continue to play the same local tournaments that I play now. In fact I want to play PDGA Tournaments in 2009. Talk about challenging yourself!!! I think my game will improve even more if I can keep my emotions in check. I think I am affected more by my friends' comments than someone I am playing with for the first time. The comments are more personal. I am going to try the 20 minute suggestion: Allow the emotions to channel out.
Comment by Tino "SilverBack" Medina on November 1, 2008 at 7:05pm
wow, thats a lot of writing above me. I just want to say, I thought I was supposed to play ams and was moved up by my group. I do not have "the arm" like some of the guys, but to me consistency is key in this sport. I am one that when I suck, i get angry and dissapointed in myslef (blame the course or wind or something) and normally tend to get quite. But I ma trying to overcome that. Lou once said, I'm here to play not necessarily win, but have fun...and this has stuck in my head since then. I try to have the most fun during a round and even tournys. Now the negative side, this is my first year involved with tournaments, I was elevated to advance (which is fine) but I really want to win. To sort of prove to myself that I belong. I watch points, during events, I try and figure my standings to see where I am at and what I need to do to place. I think it's my competitive side, but winning is the goal! I dont always have to win, but I try my best to place. I dont like this type of play either. Today at mazerick, I was trying rollers and just hanging out with Heatstroke and Poncho and ended up shooting a 58. Didn't even know until the scores were added up, didn't really care, was there to play and hang out. I think we all need to sit back and re-evalute our game and the purpose we are playing! To win, just kidding, TO HAVE FUN!!!!!
Comment by mark ellis on November 1, 2008 at 2:59am
The thrill of competition is so intoxicating when we play well. Yet the disappointment of playing poorly is so intense when we suck.

There are some players, with far greater emotional control (and wisdom) than I possess, who can enjoy playing the game even when they play poorly. I am so impressed and envious of players who have that ability. I know I don't have it yet and perhaps never will.

I do NOT view a tournament round as a challenge pitting me versus the other players in my division. I also do NOT view a tournament as a challenge pitting me versus the course. The challenge is me versus myself. I have an expectation of how well I can and should perform. If I play well (based on my expectations) then I am happy and satisfied, even giddy-win, lose or draw. If I play poorly (based on my expectations) then I am disappointed or maybe even disgusted with myself-win, lose or draw.

Some people are good at hiding their emotions. I am not. When I play poorly, even in practice, I am not a happy boy. In that situation, as a matter of fairness and courtesy to others in my presence who are also striving to perform, it is my responsibility to try not to cause harm to them. The whole yelling, bag kicking, delaying the progress of the round with my emotional response is wrong and I try so hard to avoid it. Mostly I just retreat into a shell, say little or nothing and fight to overcome my own funk.

I don't think a player has an obligation (ethically or otherwise) to be happy and jovial and fun to be around while playing. I think players have the right to be unhappy with themselves but not to overtly/purposely interfere with the others in their playing group. This is different for golf than other facets of life and games. Some games ethically allow us to mess with our opposition ( Hey, batter, batter, swing! The pitcher has a rubber arm! Heckling is just part of some games and competitors have to learn to overcome it. Heckling is not accepted behavior in golf. The whole high standard of courtesy and ethics in golf is one of its true beauties that separates it from other endeavors.)

I had a great coach when I played racquetball tournaments (my sport prior to frisbee) and he had a very wise rule that I have adopted as my own. You have the right to be unhappy with yourself. Try not to be a jerk about it. You can be unhappy following a round, based on personal disappointment, for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes drop it and return to the human race. No more pouting, sulking, griping or beating yourself up after 20 minutes. Get ready for the next round.

The ability to compete absolutely requires the ability to overcome disappointment. Or one bad round will cripple you forever.

I played a doubles tournament with a friend as my partner. He is a good player and and a good guy and I have a lot of respect for him as a player and a person. He is especially good at the skill of putting. Putting is historically my biggest weakness. My goal going into the event was not to cause us to lose based on my putting. ((I expect to drive well. I usually drive well. I did drive well. But driving doesn't matter much because driving does not equate to scoring well.)) As it turned out, I putted well (for me) and we did not even cash. I did not care that we didn't win. I didn't care that we didn't cash. I was a happy boy. I would be happy to play with this partner again. We didn't beat the other teams in our division. We didn't beat the course. But when I met my personal expectations and performed well under presssure, I was a happy boy. If I had sucked then I would have sulked and apologized to my partner for sucking and gotten over it 20 minutes after the round ended. Then I would have had a very cold beer.

That is another great thing about the game of golf. Even if you suck no one punishes you. Even if you suck you can still have a beer when you are done. I think the act of competing makes a person a better, stronger person: physically and emotionally.

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