The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf

DISCLAIMER: This post is littered with sarcasm. For example, that first paragraph just below this? Dripping with the whole sarcasm thing. True story. Keep in mind that this is a Blog... It is a web log of my own experiences. Hence the topic being what I know the best, me using myself as a primary character and as the main example when I'm talking about something.

Did you know that on the 8th day, God created me? True story. Just ask the people on the Ann Arbor Area Disc Golf Discussion Board, they'll tell you that I'm the Lord's gift to the disc golf world. I believe Zach Vaughn was once quoted as saying that I am the greatest golfer alive, clocking in with a remarkable 1140 rating in rounds that nobody actually sees.

But this post isn't about how I came to be in the first place, this post is how I got into disc golf, because everybody else seems to be making posts about where they're from in the sport and anybody that occasionally reads the blogs that get posted on this site are no doubt sick of hearing about my field work and practice routines and other such trash.

In 2002 I saw my first disc golf basket, and a sign saying "Disc Golf" with an arrow pointing to the next teepad. Over the next hour these weird metal things were the object of ridicule for my senior year cross country team as we prepped for the Great Lakes League Championships. Yep. It was probably the dumbest thing I'd ever seen. Golf? With Frisbees? Seriously, regular golf was boring enough!

Flash forward, 2005, March. 20th birthday I did indeed ask for three or four Discraft Ultrastars to work on my forehand and my backhand break shots with. And my parents proceeded to completely foul things up by buying me this stupid Innova 3-disc box set... of disc golf discs. Parents, right? Frustration ensued. I wound up playing about once a week, to get some use out of them, until Memorial Day. On Memorial Day I encountered something totally ridiculous: around thirty guys all gathered to put in money and play for it! I'd got pretty good, I could throw almost 270 feet, so I figured I'd take their money.

Yeah, I got paired up with Chris Hoyle who at 950 (I now know as I look it up) was one of the best golfers in the area. We proceeded to lose. Badly. He was playing singles. I couldn't make a putt outside of my max range of 15 feet. There's sad, and then there's what I was in May of 2005. Then I started playing daily. Because, seriously, my knee was blown out from cross country in college and I had no other competitive outlet. The fact that so many played and for money was incredibly enticing.

And then my accident happened. I was just starting to really play well. I went from being unable to throw 270' in May, to shooting 890 rated golf in June at my first sanctioned event (not yet a member), to shooting 935 rated golf my second event a month after that in July. I had a really solid eye for putting, everything was a pitch-putt that sunk front-right chains. And then I was carjacked. The barrel of a pistol was punched clean through left eye. I was left permanently blind, a silicon band was wrapped around the eye to prevent it from losing shape. Oh, and my disc golf game went to hell in a hand basket. I was back to playing 870 rated golf.

It would take me six months just to get back to playing in the 910-20 range on a regular basis again, with the exception of one tournament where I shot over 970, tied for the win in Intermediate... and was on vicoden with my non-throwing arm (left) in a sling due to a second degree separated shoulder, brought about by a car accident. I tied with my own little brother in that tournament, and he beat me in a tiebreaker that lasted six holes... birdie, birdie, par, birdie, par... and he birdied and I parred the last one. Holes 13-18 at Vienna Park. At the time he was 16 and I was 20. A 16 year old kid shooting 970 level golf. Not unheard of, but I wish he'd chosen disc over ultimate sometimes.

The next fun episode in my disc golf life is Highbridge Hills Sports Complex. I was supposed to be a disc sports counselor for a kid's camp, but that fell through due to issues with the local university (Ashland College) which was supposed to host the kids. I ended up spending the summer as grounds crew for the courses, spending my days working and playing golf and my nights drinking and playing golf. Three months of good times. I left as a 910s level player and when I came back I was a 940s level golfer. After 13 months, finally back to where I was before being blinded in my left eye.

Naturally, I did the one thing that made the most sense: abandoned disc golf for ultimate frisbee, at least on non-tournament days. My golf game stagnated while I stopped playing any casual golf and began subjecting myself to things like... fractured thumbs, sciatica, a torn tendon in my knee, and only somewhat related: a burst appendix (playing ulty with a ruptured appendix is a bad idea). I quit Ultimate, as sciatica began to surface, in May.

In June of this year I finally started focusing on golf again. And really it has just been an upward rise since that point. My rating has gone from around 915 up to 953 (as of the upcoming update), and in B-Tier or higher events my average round rating is a 967. This past month I began to do daily field work, I've started playing in the Open division in lower tiered events to get some experience as I prepare myself for Am Nationals and other big tournaments in 2008.

If you started reading this, I'm sorry. It turned into a novelette. Hopefully it was somewhat engaging. I tend to drag on when I tell stories, probably a part of why I'm going to graduate school for creative writing. Anyway, that's all there is to me. Hopefully 2008 is eventful enough that this blog can stay somewhat interesting.

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Comment by Travis Blase on December 29, 2007 at 8:10pm
Chris, I very much enjoyed reading your post. After the first paragraph, I knew you had to be some type of writing or journalism student/graduate as well written the piece was. I am a sucker for feel-good stories, especially when written by someone with capable intellect, such as yourself.
That definitely sucks about that car-jacking incident. I hope who ever did it ended up getting their just deserve. I also hope it works out for you to get to the Memorial and Vegas, whether it is with us or somebody else. If you can't make it though, I look forward to meeting you somewhere along the tournament road in 2008.
Comment by Terry "the Pirate" Calhoun on December 29, 2007 at 6:40pm
Folks, excuse me for being an old guy . . . but can we stop the use of "gay" as a prejorative in this site? If you must use it in private, do so. But the fact is that as many as 1 out of 10 or 15 disc golfers that you play with are in fact "gay" - I have some pretty good disc golfing friends who are.

I really, really, really want this site to be friendly and comfortable to everyone. Think of how it must feel to one of your gay disc golfing friends (You have them, even if you don't know it.) to read this in here?

Comment by jharrski on December 29, 2007 at 11:11am
wow that carjackin thing suct, huh?
way to apply yourself, cya at the amnatties again if not sooner
(iceburrrg open in Tminus 7days)
Comment by Kipper~K²~ on December 29, 2007 at 10:55am
someone likes to talk about themselves yea? well most don't like to read stupid gay stuff. next time try not to be so conceited, as far as i'm concerned ur not a gift, juts an ass that likes to think he's better than everyone else and well thats just stupid.

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