My Ten Thousandth Smile While Playing Disc Golf
Posted on Apr 14, 2016
We stood on the 1st tee at a course in Ft. Worth, TX. It was my home course. I had played this hole more times than I could count and butchered it more times than I cared to remember. It was about 275’ down a walking path in the woods. The fairway, and I use that term loosely, was never more than 10’ wide. Every tree promising to ricochet my shot deep into the underbrush. The basket was barely peeking out from behind a large oak as one last reminder that this hole was not going to be gotten easily.
My playing partner was standing on a disc golf tee for the first time in his life. He had thrown a Frisbee a handful of times. I was feeling nervous for him. I wanted to suggest that we start on a different hole so he wouldn’t be immediately discouraged.
I reviewed the handful of tips that I gave him and stood back ready to console him and tramp off into the deep, dark to find his disc. He let it rip with a grunt. He released the yellow disc early and it began its way to the darkness nowhere near the prescribed path. I lost sight of it but was training my ears to pick up a clue to its final destination. My senses were focused to track the disc so that we wouldn’t lose it forever. I caught sight of a bright streak much further away than I expected. I was a bit confused.
As my mind was trying to integrate this new information, I got more input. The sound of chains. Total confusion now. I sprinted down the fairway to get a better angle. His yellow driver was there resting in the basket like it was a rainy Sunday afternoon. As my chin was dragging the ground, he innocently asked “Is that what you are supposed to do?”.
His first time on a disc golf course. His first hole. His first throw. His first hole in one. My ten thousandth smile while playing disc golf.
As with any new activity, early success is crucial. If something is difficult, and you aren’t otherwise inclined, it will most likely be dismissed. Disc golf is easy to get the hang of and easy to see rapid improvement.
There is no preferred body type. There is no previous sport you could have played that will make you better. The development of skills comes only with practice. The one that practices more will have more success. It really is that simple. The only difference between the first timer and the world champion is the amount of practice.
Can that be said about mathematics? There is always someone smarter. Can that be said about basketball? There is always someone taller or more athletic. Can that be said about writing a book? There is always someone more creative.
There is no giant cost associated with beginning. One disc is all that is needed and the courses are almost all free. There is no commitment of half of the day. A full round takes less than 2 hours and I go out for just a few holes all the time.
What objections are left? Disc golf is simple to learn, cheap to begin, easy to improve and amazingly fun.
Who knows, maybe your first shot will be a hole in one.