I'm a disc golfer in search of distance and consistency. I'm comfortable with my upshots when it comes to grip, stance and aim. I'm more comfortable with my putting than I have ever been. Driving is the problem at the moment and yesterday I had a humbling experience.
I was just out of high school the first time I played this sport. Huntington Beach Disc Golf Course in California was just down the street and a few of my musician friends had been throwing plastic for a while.
It was 1996 and according to my friends I needed a driver and a putter. The H.B. pro shop sold new and used discs, so I bought a used orange X-Clone and a brand new blue Magnet putter. I remember truly enjoying myself out there and played steadily for about a year or so.
Then I stopped. I don't remember why. Just because I guess.
I wish I hadn't.
In 2008 my soon-to-be-wife and I were living in Long Beach, Ca. We were driving down Studebaker one day and passed El Dorado Disc Golf Course. She ended up noticing the metal baskets and asked what they were used for. After explaining the game I asked if she was interested in trying it, and just like the time I asked her to marry me she looked into my eyes and said, "I don't know. Should we?"
Just kidding. She said yes – an enthusiastic yes, I should mention.
Now the X-Clone is shuffled away among many newer discs and the Magnet is saving my game more and more.
I started reaching the 350 foot range about a year ago while playing Eldo (El Dorado) almost daily, but I knew my form was off. When I started tweaking certain aspects of my drive I began to lose distance, but I'm determined to reach the 400 foot mark this year and in order to do that I need to perfect a smooth and consistent technique. I'm actually at a point in my game where I would rather throw in an empty field than play full rounds.
When my family and I moved from Long Beach, CA. to Edmonds, WA I discovered a few challenging things. First, winter time means winter time. The ground is wet, which makes the tee pads wet. I hate wet tee pads. If I'm not comfortable on a tee pad then I'm not throwing well. Second, people love their parks up here. If it's not raining then everyone and their dogs are walking in a nearby park, which makes throwing in an empty field nearly impossible during the afternoon and evening hours. Third, it's darker in the morning here and our bedroom window is situated in an area that doesn't receive much sunlight. That makes getting up early to go throw extremely difficult – especially when I know it's going to be 30-something degrees outside.
Even though these factors play a negative roll in my journey to become a better player I still get out as much as I can, which brings me to yesterday. The rain had subsided, so my wife and I bundled up our daughter and went searching for an empty strip of grass. We found one downtown at City Park and immediately parked. This field had a covered amphitheater-type building with a dry concrete ground that looked out on to a wide open field.
I began stretching and then I began throwing. My wife practiced too and for additional exercise my wife (Tricia, but I call her Dish) volunteered to run out and pick up the discs. We probably practiced for a good hour before it got too cold for my daughter (Olive). So, we packed it up and went home.
I was throwing a 171 Elite Z Nuke, a 170ish Surge SS, a 170ish Hurricane and I was trying out a new 150 Blizzard Destroyer. I picked a tree off in the distance and started throwing. When I reached the distance of the tree I felt like I had hit a mile stone. I went home happy and cheerfully opened my computer to see if I could mark the distance on Google Maps.
Then reality hit. 348 ft?!
I was glad to reach that distance with a few of my drives, but that means all the other drives were much shorter. Crap.
So, here it is. A new blog to document the time I spend playing disc golf. I'm on the hunt for 400 and I'm hoping to reach that by the end of the year. I'll document that process here, but I'll also get all wordy with my bad self about other topics too.
Thanks for reading.