A different experience
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 28, 2012 23:10
An unhealthy amount of my world knowledge has come from Seinfeld episodes, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
A few days ago, my friend Matt asked me if I wanted to go disc golfing with him and the first thing I thought of was “The Summer of George.”
After George Costanza gets fired from his job with the Yankees, he’s given a severance package of three months. In those three months he says he wants to “read a whole book, from beginning to end; in that order.” Then he says he could learn to play “frolf” as he calls it. “Frolf! Frisbee golf, Jerry. Golf with a frisbee!” He then proclaims it the summer of George, and if you ever get the time, watch the episode.
So after my little moment of Seinfeld association, I said I’d go and thought nothing more of it.
About six seconds into my Saturday afternoon excursion, I realized that it was no joke. People take disc golf (don’t even dare to call it Frolf) very seriously.
I was expecting to just take a standard frisbee, plop a garbage can or something like that somewhere away from us and keep throwing until we get it in, not really keeping score but just having fun.
Nope. Not even close.
It wasn’t a standard frisbee first of all, there are special discs for each throw. There are driver discs, mid-range discs and putting disks. There are disks with more fade to them, discs with less fade to them and if you don’t throw one of these things perfectly, it fades insanely. It’s also worth noting that the edges are angled very differently. If you get hit in the head with one of these, it’s an instant concussion.
We didn’t just pick a spot and start playing, either. Oh no, there are special courses for disc golf. One of the best courses in the country is apparently right in Manchester; it’s big, it’s wide open and there are few places to lose the disc. Sadly, that course was closed because of what appeared to be a cross country meet.
So we went to Tolland’s course instead where, and I kid you not, it’s entirely wooded and not a single hole is a straight shot. It’s ridiculous. My first three shots all hit trees, it was brutal.
The basket was unlike anything I’d ever seen in my life. The thing was like a chained basketball hoop with a pole going through the center and a basket surrounding it. The frisbee would either get stuck in the chains or just go right into the basket. It was pretty cool, actually. Look up a picture of a disc golf basket and see what I mean.
As for scoring, Matt had score cards, meaning that my horrendous +16 through 12 holes was documented. So thanks for that.
Regarding the “just having fun part,” it is a a great time but people can get really serious about it. There’s actually a league, the PDGA or the Professional Disc Golf Association that comes up with the official rules, rates courses and hosts national tournaments. The other players on the course with us all had official bags used specifically for carrying disc golf discs and other accessories. They looked almost like large lunch bags and had brand names on them that I never knew existed.
I have to say, it was a really fun and eye opening experience and I hope to go again.
To any of you reading this who are really good at disc golf, my apologies. I humbly admit that disc golf is not just for hippies that love throwing frisbees but aren’t athletic enough for ultimate. It’s not just an easy stroll through foliage or a beautiful park. Your game is difficult—not to mention head-poundingly frustrating—and I can’t just pick up a disc and chuck it 150 yards at a basket.
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