Way back in the day, January of 2014, I started playing disc golf. They were dark times, full of despair and malaise. It felt like the land was covered in a grey blanket almost every day. The rulers of the land forecast bleak times ahead. Travel was somewhat limited because it cost a lot to fuel our transportation.
Who knew what the future held.
So, it wasn’t that long ago. It was a somewhat hard time, as gas prices were still pretty high. Weather was a PITA in Mississippi, since it was rainy and overcast almost half of the first three months of the year. I had picked up the Innova starter set for myself a couple weeks before Christmas and saved them until the holiday to open and play around with.
My local course is a mix of wooded and open holes, with the first 9 traversing a wooded area without underbrush. This makes it ideal for disc golf, and it is fantastic. Not much in elevation change or long distances, but a great way to start out. However, as new to the sport as I was, you can imagine the number of times that iconic sound rang out as I maneuvered through the forest. Add to that sound the short distances I was throwing, and it combined to be disheartening somewhat.
Growing My Bag
I did not resign myself to just dealing with those three discs, all of which were between 150-160 grams. I knew of the Internet, Al Gore’s invention, and headed there to find more plastic. My next few discs were an Innova Glow Champion Mako, a DX Dart, a Champion Tern, a Blizzard Champion Dominator, and a Discraft ProD Challenger. Some purchased online, and some at sporting goods stores. All are good discs, but I was still having troubles on the course.
My elbow hurt something awful after every round. I attributed it to an untreated injury sustained shooting my bow to get ready for deer hunting season. Heat, Ice, and muscle rub were used after each round in an attempt to ease the pain and swelling. Youtube videos of disc golf tournament rounds showed several pros throwing a forehand rather than the backhand that was causing the pain. So I took to the field one day to practice the forehand, and have been using it ever since.
On the Disc Golf Answer Man podcast, questions are asked often about how to get better because a disc golfer is stuck at throwing 300 ft. Those players have reached a plateau in their game. When I learned to throw the forehand, I finally got off the beginner plateau. I threw farther, I could work the discs on better lines and put myself into better positions. My elbow didn’t hurt as much and I could play more often.
After hitting the next plateau, I was content with where I was as a disc golfer. I just enjoyed getting out there and throwing. Being outside was reward in itself, especially when I was playing with other disc golfers. A former college classmate played as well, in fact, he was the one who turned me on to the sport. My job in early 2014 left me with Monday’s off, so I could drop the kids off at school and play at least two rounds. During that time, I came the closest ever to shooting an under par round when I shot a +1(55) at a fairly easy course.
I wanted to get better, like anybody, but knew that I would always be a recreational player. Tournaments weren’t even on my radar, other then Youtube videos. I played in a few minis with the TDGA, but was reluctant to join for a while. I just kept chucking those discs whenever I had the chance. After the first six months of playing, reading, and watching disc golf, I was thoroughly hooked.
Check back regularly as I expand on this series with more on how my disc golf game has evolved over the past two years.