A couple days ago, when I posted about my disc-golf induced injury, I received comments from Geeky Tai Tai and Nat asking what disc golf was. I promised them a post describing the game and that is exactly what I plan to do here.
Of course, not everyone is necessarily going to be interested in reading about disc golf. So, if you are not one of them, click on the link for the extended post to catch my response to a new meme floating around out there.
And off we go...
How best to word this... disc golf is pretty much just that, a game of golf using discs.
Many people would better recognize the game by the name "Frisbee Golf" or "Frolf" as it's referred to in the infamous "Summer of George" episode of Seinfeld. The only problem with this name is that Frisbee is a trademarked name owned by the Wham-O! company and, while they're renowned for making Frisbee Flying Discs, they have never -- until recently, apparently, according to their site -- made one of the types of discs preferred by disc golf enthusiasts.
Disc golf uses a type of disc made of much harder plastic than a standard Frisbee. They have a smaller diameter and a shorter height to them. The edges are also typically denser and sharper ended (bottom example, at right). These differences allow the disc to fly much farther and faster than a Frisbee. You can also do some pretty wicked aerobatics with them. The one thing you don't want to do is play catch with it. You will be in pain. Intense pain. (image courtesy of disclife.com)
Basically, you start with your disc and tee off from a tee box just like in golf. Sometimes these boxes are just dirt or gravel patches while, other times, they are a nicely defined box using wood planks to set them off from the rest of the terrain around them.
After teeing off, you continue throwing your disc until you make it in the cage which is basically an upright metal pole with about a six-inch deep, two-foot diameter basket at the bottom sitting about three feet off the ground and a foot-and-a-half diameter disc at the top. Loose chains connect the top to the basket and serve to catch and hold the disc when you throw it in.
The goal is to get the disc from the tee box to the cage in a certain number of shots, or "par." Most pars range from three to five shots. The par is determined by distance from tee box to cage as well as the overall difficulty of the hole. Pros may play all holes at just three shots regardless of distance because they are insane and like to challenge themselves. I am not a pro.
Once you get into the game a bit more, you can expand your collection of discs by buying more specialized ones. Just like in real golf where you have different clubs depending on distance and terrain, in disc golf you have discs for long-distance driving, short-distance approach, and putting. They even have some that will curve right or left or stay straight based on how they're shaped and how you throw.
It can be an intense game depending on who you are playing with. But it can also be a lot of fun and some good exercise as you're constantly moving and hiking around the course. I love the game and have taken Katie with me a few times. Most of the time, though, I get together with my dad and brother or some friends and play a round.
The best part is that most courses are free since they are owned and maintained by park districts. The only cost you'll incur is the onetime price of your disc, which can range from $8-25. The PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) Web site lists courses around the U.S. I'm not sure what sites exist for disc golfers outside the states, but I'm sure there are some.
Give it a try sometime. You might enjoy it.
A- Available or Single?
Neither. I'm married and very happily so.
B- Best Friend:
Katie. No question.
C- Cake or Pie:
I really don't know. It all depends on my mood. But if forced to choose, I may go with pie. Mmmm... cherry pie.
D- Drink of Choice:
Another tough one that is dependent on my mood. But, I guess I'll go with orange juice.
E- Essential Item(s):
My iPod and a Web connection of some sort.
F- Favorite Color:
Different shades of blue.
G- Gummi Bears or Worms?
Worms. Far more fun to eat. Ever had "dirt pudding"? (I think that's what it's called)
Is this where I live now or where I was born? What I now consider to be my "home" is Geneva, IL. But I was born in upstate New York.
J- January or February:
February. Katie's birthday is that month.
None at the moment.
L- Life is incomplete without:
Katie. Schmaltzy? Sure. But it's how I feel.
M- Marriage Date:
N- Number of Siblings:
One brother, two brothers-in-law, and one soon-to-be sister-in-law. Do the last three count?
O- Oranges or Apples?
Falling and spiders. Although I'm getting better on that last one.
Q- Favorite Quote:
Here's Sandra giving a nice literary quote and I'm about to throw a movie one at you. Sorry. "Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'. That's goddamn right." -- Red, The Shawshank Redemption
R- Reasons to smile:
I'm alive. And I'm happily married.
Fall. I'm a photographer so I love me some colors!
T- Tag Three:
Nah. I'm not going to do this. Steal at will.
U- Unknown Fact About Me:
Every time I think of something for this letter, I realize I've posted about it. So I'm not sure what to put here.
V – Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals?
W- Worst Habit(s):
Talking too much. Incriminating myself too easily.
X – X-rays or Ultrasounds?
A preference? Neither. Weird question. Make it more interesting and say "X-ray Vision or Invisibility?"
Y- Your Favorite Foods.
Far too many to even try to list here.
Sagittarius the Hunter. "I am the hunter" -- Bjork.