The sixth hole gave me problems the first two times I played it. There was just something about the deep rough to the left of the fairway that seemed to draw my drive to it like a black hole. I had no idea the first time. The second time I should’ve known better. But this time, yes, this third time would be different. I had enough power and confidence (and a brand new driver) to send my first offering over the rough and land within fifty of the cup. Without a doubt. My problems on six were a thing of the past.
I opened up my stance, focused up, took a breath and let her rip. And I knew immediately it where it was heading. With an infuriating “and now you see the native chimps bound from tree to tree” crackling and rustling, my first shot came to rest in the thicket, with my view of the hole obscured by the copse of trees that I couldn’t, for a third time, get by. The painful realization that the next five minutes would involve me digging out of a small forest to get back on the fairway stung me like the countless mosquitos that would also soon be stinging me.
Oh disc golf, you are a harsh mistress.
For the uninitiated, the sport of disc golf is a simple concept. Golf with frisbees. Instead of carrying a bag of differently sized and shaped clubs, you carry a bag of differently sized and shaped discs. You throw one towards the hole (a chain basket), then march up to where it landed, and either throw it again or throw a different disc that may be better suited at that distance. Repeat until you get your disc into the basket.
Your intrepid Business Day One columnist has been engaged in this Sport of Viscounts (my term) for just over a month, thanks to the goading of NoS Editor/Administrator Willis, but the game itself has existed far longer. According to the infallible wikipedia, 40 years in fact. Since, a diverse and dedicate fanbase of Ultimate frisbee players, hikers, rural teenagers and the occasional sports writer has kept the sport alive and the courses abundant (there are nearly 20 within an hour’s drive of Boston, for instance). Those courses, by the by, are tucked away in state parks, forests and other out of the way areas and, unlike traditional golf courses, tend to blend in with their surroundings. And by “blend in with their surroundings,” I mean “there are trees everywhere that may knock your frisbee out of the air and cause your girlfriend to outdrive you from the tee box.”
The same frustrations of regular golf apply to disc golf, but they tend to be a bit muted by the fact that the equipment is far less expensive and you’re generally dressed like you’re going camping instead of going to high tea. For instance, during my troubles on six at Borderland State Park, I was frustrated when I again found the woods, but not nearly as irate as I would be if I nailed three straight OBs on Bethpage Black. Not that that has happened to me or anything. He he he…
One note about the equipment – the discs all have awesome names. For drives, I switch between my Orc and my Archangel. I use the Hawk on the mid-range stuff and the Magnet up close. My girlfriend throws a Cheetah most of the time. You’ve got to hand it to a sport that let’s you say “Dude, put the Avenger down and try throwing a Valkyrie hyzer (“hyzer” is a term… the terms are also cool) here.”
If you’re looking for a new hobby the break the routine of spawn camping for mad MMO loot, disc golfing may be the thing for you. For some odd reason, there seems to be an overlap between People That Like World of Warcraft and People That Like Throwing A Frisbee Around. Perhaps you fit in that splendid category. See you all out there.