Those of us who are addicted to disc golf, which is usually anybody that plays, try our best to introduce as many people as we can to the sport. I mean, it’s easy to play, cheap to play, gets you outside, is a great outdoor activity, and the list goes on and on. Some of the hardest to get involved for some players is their family. If you have young children, then it’s not so hard since their so open to doing stuff with their parent.

I’m fortunate enough that two of my three children enjoy playing disc golf on occasion. They haven’t developed the passion for it like I have, but I feel it will happen eventually. On the 21st, my employer had its annual meeting for the whole company. That entails a meal, a presentation, some giveaways, and then an early go home time for the whole company. Its generally looked forward to by everybody, especially getting off of work a couple hours early on a Friday.

What I took it as, was a great afternoon to go play disc golf. The weather had cooled off, rain earlier in the week had settled all the dust from a month long drought. And to top it all off, I could spend some time with my middle child, and younger daughter, Mackenzie. She tends to feel left out being the middle child. Tough as nails, yet soft as cotton, we struggle to find a balance with how to handle her at times. It just all worked out to be a great opportunity to have some one on one time with her.

Some Daughter Discs

I took time Thursday night to choose a few discs for her to use for our round. Having 50+ discs helps for this, and it also helps that I don’t throw a lot of overstable plastic. I prefer neutral plastic having a slower arm speed. This means most of my discs are great for newer players. I have some slightly overstable discs in my bag, but they are generally there for when I need to cut through a headwind.

After looking at the discs that I have in storage, I went with the following discs.

 

She likes the Buzzz because of the tournament stamp on it. It’s from the 2015 3rd Annual Buzzz Stampede that was held at Tombigbee State Park. I traded for it one day many moons ago, and haven’t ever used it myself. I loaded it all up in my trusty Infinite Discs Small Bag, and went to work that Friday looking forward to the afternoon’s outing.

A Daughter Discing

Picking her up from school, she said she had forgotten that I was picking her up that afternoon. We both had a change of clothes, and put on our comfortable wear at the pavilion restrooms. She must’ve been excited since she kept running off in front of me as we walked across the river bridge to get to the course.

Mackenzie is the middle child of our three. I never really believed in how people talked about the middle child being so different than the other two. The last two or three years, it had really developed. I think she needs a little extra attention, and disc golf is something she sort of enjoys. She did tell me the other day that she would like to play disc golf with other kids her age, and not just with me. I’ll have to file that for further referencing when we hit the park.

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What made it a good afternoon was she enjoyed it. I didn’t fuss, instruct much, try to correct her, or get irritated at anything she did. What I did do was compliment her when she made a good throw, laugh at bad ones, laughed even harder at my bad ones, and most importantly, let her do her own thing. There was only one thing I repeated, and that was to put the disc she wasn’t throwing back in the bag. Mainly because I didn’t want her to leave one laying somewhere and us have to stop and go look for a disc.

For a 10 year old, she can throw around a hundred feet easily. Considering our home course doesn’t have multiple tees or pin positions, she didn’t have to wear herself out throwing each hole. We took it easy, and had no rush on our time. For only playing nine holes, it was a good hour spent with her. The front nine of the course meanders its way through a lot of large trees, and is pretty tight when looking at the holes that parallel each other. It makes it easy to play the front nine and stay close to the bridge and parking lot.

tt-dgc-front-9
A rough sketch of the front of the course.

 

Throw and Hope

I would love it if my whole family takes up disc golf as an occasional sport we play. It’s something I will work on until I can’t throw a disc anymore. My hope is my daughter wants to go out and play more often. The shortest hole on the course is ~200 feet or so. While the trek isn’t as long as some championship level courses, for a 10 year old, it is really long at just under 6,000 ft.

Last year, I talked with some fellow TDGA members about doing beginner tees on several of the area courses. We discussed just using ground level markers to create natural tees in the 125 to 180 foot range. Not only would this be a good thing for kids to play from, but it would also give true beginners a place to start from without the embarrassment of throwing 5 or more times on a 300′ hole. After playing the half round with my daughter, that discussion is now smoldering in me again.

If/when I can get the short tees in place, there could be an increase in the interest of younger players that get out to the course. Not only my home course should have these “beginner” level tees. Any course not designed to be a championship or technical style of course needs somewhere for beginners to throw from. The next time I take my family to the park, hopefully it will be to play a round from short tees that they can enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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