March 17, 2009

Obscure Sports Quarterly: Watch it on the Ocho!

Well, it's that time again - another peak into what makes Mr. Cool tick. Disc Golf is often considered a "sport" for pot heads, slackers, hippies, college kids, and youth pastors. I have been two of those things in my life (shouldn't be too hard to figure out which), but am no longer either. As a professional, of some kind, I should have moved on to an adult sport - like golf or squash. However, I have chosen to spend what little free time I give towards walking in the park to stay true to my disk golf roots. It is a simple game, throw a hard plastic disc (not a Frisbee) from the tee box towards the basket. Get a disc in the basket in as few strokes as possible.

Like real golf, your love of the sport is not defined by your ability (as I'm just an average player), but by your acquiring of equipment. I've got 5 drivers, 3 approach discs, and 2 putters, and a professional grade disc carrier bag. That doesn't account for at least a dozen discs I've lost in trees, ponds, and jungles over the years. All discs, past or present, I would like to mention are sanctioned by the USDGA. That's right, the United States Disc Golf Association - we're official people. I've been throwing discs since 1991, and haven't looked back since. I throw disc with friends from work and friends from life. I've logged thousands of holes with the man who conducted my wedding and consider a mentor, and just finished 18 holes with my little brother. It definitely counts as an obscure sport, but it is addictive, fun, and my doctor considers it exercise (sucker)!


Matty said...

I'm contemplating setting up a course here at camp but I've run into a rapidly surmounting series of problems, including:

1. Lack of dics - I have 3 which doesn't constitute an arsenal.

2. I am not a good enough welder to construct a half dozen orphan-proof baskets for a reasonable cost.

3. All discs going over our east wall would be forfeited to the Russian mafia and their Rotweilers.

4. Ukrainians are genetically incapable of throwing frisbees and I think discs would be the same. I tried a short 6-hole course with frisbees and marked trees as the targets and the best kids did a par 2 in about 11.

My 2 favorite disc golf stories:

1. I saw a friend (Jason Sipes) state his intention to hit a squirrel out of the tree 20 yards away (and 20 feet in the air) - and then did exactly that... he got a 6 on the hole.

2. The details on this are fuzzy but I believe that Slick was playing at Cottonwood and in the old swamp on 17, found one of my long-lost, Sharpie tagged discs. Serendipitous.

The Coach said...

Two strong memories of disc golf:

The aforementioned Squirrel in 1!

Don't forget Manny taking a disc to the face (on 2 separate occasions). These kinds of moments make you remember that "heads-up" is not always as effective a warning as "get down!"

mr. cool said...

I'm hard pressed to think of better stories than the squirrel and our little bro getting hit in the face. I know we shouldn't laught at the misfortune of others - but that was funny - both times!

Matt, I thought about sending you some discs, and I know our group of supporters and players wouldn't have trouble rounding up a dozen or so. However, I can't help you with the Russian Mob or the genetic disposition of eastern europeans. On the durability issue, I think you'd come up with something, it has always amazed me what one can do with a 55 gallon drum.

In addition go the above stories, one of my faves: I lost a treasured driver in the 5ft brush on Colorado Mountain College Course in Steamboat. 5 days later, back in greeley, a guy calls me to set up a meeting to return the disc and play a round. He found a complete stranger's disc and 1) tried to return it 2) had another reason to play another round.

Since I wasn't drying 4 hours to pick it up - if you love something set it free - I told him to keep or pass it on. Paying it forward one disc at a time...