Club disc order is in!

Ordered on Monday afternoon, our club disc order from Lightning Golf Discs showed up

This is a whole bunch of golf discs, which turns into fun when folks start throwing them!

This is a whole bunch of golf discs, which turns into fun when folks start throwing them!

on Wednesday. I really wanted to go out to a field and throw them all, but instead I sorted the discs out into everyone’s individual orders, which are now ready for pick-up. In addition to the 52 discs we ordered, Lightning generously threw in some sample discs that we will use as prizes for our glow league.

After getting all these discs sorted, I went out to play glow golf with Jason. On hole 13 there was a small, pinpoint glow next to Jason’s drive. Closer examination revealed that the source was a larva lightning bug (actually a beetle). After handling so much Lightning glow plastic destined for our winter glow league, it seemed fitting to see a lightning glow beetle destined for over-wintering. Hopefully, today I will get discs to you all and we will all throw together at glow league on the 7th of November.

Sharp Springs Disc Golf Course – signature hole

The Sharp Springs Disc Golf Course is a really impressive place to play disc golf. The

Look at all the landscaping associated with the #1 pin - this is a sweet course!

Look at all the landscaping associated with the #1 pin – this is a sweet course!

course is well maintained, well signed, well designed, and major fun!  It has open holes, wooded holes, long holes, short holes, but the signature hole for this course has to be #9. You tee off from trees perched above a pond, drive across the pond to limestone outcroppings that embrace the pin. I have played holes that have made me laugh, that were sadistically difficult, or just had beautiful flight paths. Sharp Springs #9 is short, but it is beautiful and the disc flight, while straight, is beautiful as it spanks out of the trees into the open above the pond. A very fun hole to play and I believe the signature hole of the course.

Smyrna#9plus

Cottonwood Disc Golf Course

This is a private course in a swanky neighborhood. I obtained permission to play this 9-

The basket may be old, but it still catches discs nicely. Hole #3

The basket may be old, but it still catches discs nicely. Hole #3

hole course by asking in person. This course has some bizarre quirks: tiny tee pads (where they exist), very old and short baskets, play across a road, the ‘fairways’ for #3 and #5 intersect, and the tee pads are very close to the baskets. The holes vary from short with right angle turns to crazy-long bombers. The score card has map. Without the map you will be lost – navigation on this course was not intuitive for

At times this course feels like you are playing in someone's backyard.

At times this course feels like you are playing in someone’s backyard.

me.

It was fun to go back in time and play a funky course that receives no special maintenance or love. It really makes you appreciate just how good course are today.

The future of disc golf?

Blake throws his Boss/Aviar fearlessly over water!

Blake throws his Boss/Aviar fearlessly over water!

We have all heard that disc golf is moving to pay to play, manicured, long-arm courses. Today I visited the future. It wasn’t scary, I was surprised to find that the future will

Charlie pointing out the basket way in the distance

Charlie pointing out the basket way in the distance

be fun!  This visit to the future was at The South Highland Sports Club in Mayfield, KY. There are some things that take some getting used to: like wearing fancy clothes with sleeves and a collar because we are at a country club and driving around little carts because the holes are so mighty that it is too far for a human to walk. Another aspect of the country club scene is that ball golfers do not recognize us

This does say $5 disc golf - nes c'est pas?

This does say $5 disc golf – nes c’est pas?

as golfers – this is both a compliment and a slam. Another strange aspect of this new culture was having to get blatant about the $5 Halloween Golf Week special – they wanted to charge us $10 per person – even though the flyer at right was in sight of the cash register. C’est la vie – in this strange new future-of-disc golf world. Yet another difference in the future is that the course made our discs and hands sticky – like something had been applied to the course and we were getting it all over ourselves and our discs. Golf course managers would be well advised to recognize that disc golfers have a much higher chance of being exposed to turf chemicals and that they would be well advised to protect their customers. As you can tell from the bon mots above, for some reason French vocabulary was very important on the course. The words: laver, fromage, and pisser all were extremely important to this round. All these differences from my typical golf culture caused me a malaise that showed up in my first few throws. Eventually, I came out of it and began to play disc golf and thuggish disc golf it was. I threw a blizzard Dominator on most of the long holes and a Lightning #1 driver on the rest. Even my approaches were made with drivers – it is a good thing we weren’t playing the longest tees. Power (well, as much power as I can muster) distance throws were the order of the day. A problem with emphasizing power is that accuracy can go to heck and that showed as I took 5 out -of-bounds penalty strokes. The DGA baskets seemed to repel my putts, which also hurt my score. I think I could have played this course with four discs, however, I have been told to expect to lose discs on this course – so I guess you need to bring some extras just in case. Our threesome lost zero discs, but all three of us threw into water (but just barely into the water).

I think I have made a good case that this course was different – but of course, it is the future! Or if you prefer: “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose“!! The thing that stayed the same is disc golf is fun. Being challenged is one of the things that makes disc golf fun, and this course had lots of challenge. Another thing that makes disc golf fun is being outside and hanging with your friends. I had a great time at this course and would like to play it again.

I hope that courses like this never become the norm. I prefer courses that are less manicured and wild. I also like the idea that disc golf is free. Any kid who can ride a bike to course can play. I also hope that courses like this are successful, because they will push disc golf in new directions that we currently can only imagine and possibly make better disc golf citizens of us all. The future awaits!

Lake Benson Disc Golf Course

View from first tee, note the Innova basket down by the lake.

View from first tee, note the Innova basket down by the lake.

On 24 October 2013, I had the opportunity to play the Lake Benson Disc Golf Course in Bon Aqua, TN. For an open and short course, it was very fun. In no small part that was due to the very creative use of elevation differences. On the day I was there, I had the whole place to myself and really enjoyed the experience. This would be an awesome course for a new golfer.

The course is a little difficult to find  because the Lake Benson Christian Camp is hard to find. The course is an amenity on the privately owned camp. As such, obtaining permission to play is a paramount issue. I began this disc golf journey by emailing info@lakebenson.org. They seemed happy to have me play their course, and I was happy to play it!

Poop! Hit a car

It is Fall. The crisp weather and fresh wind feel good. I was in the middle of a weird round. My discs were landing near or on the fairways and then hiding like Easter eggs. It was getting frustrating to drive, spend 10 (or more) minutes looking for my disc, find it in good position, finish up for a par. Anyway, I finally made it to 18 sitting at 1 over for the round. While in the tee box sizing up the hole I noticed a bright red Dodge Charger (brand-new) parked on the grass on the between the dumpster and the ball field – I did not think it an issue and grabbed a high speed, overstable driver and let loose. The drive left my hand and felt good it made it past the big tree on the right and then flipped over and started on a bee line for the car.

NO! NO! NO! But I could not make it stop. Luckily it hit the ground a few feet from the car (sigh of relief) and then skipped into the grill (POOP!) of the car interrupting the driver’s lunch. Luckily there was no damage and the driver was very nice and even mentioned that parking on the grass was a possibly bad idea. I said the way I am throwing today parking anywhere in a 350′ radius may be a bad idea.

So, no one got hurt (except my ego) and I will live to throw another day. On one hand I was scoring the best round I have ever thrown at Harrison Road – on the other hand I have had bogey-fests that were much more pleasant. Ultimately, it is about having fun. Even though I did get to meet the driver of the car and find out that they were very nice, I would not recommend throwing discs into cars as a way of having fun or meeting people.

hole 18-bad drive