Monday , 18 June 2018

Joe Tries: Disc Golf

Back in high school a buddy of mine said he found an iPod on the disc golf course while he was skipping school. That was the first time I ever heard of disc golf. Right of the bat, I knew two things. It was played outdoors. And it was a lot more fun than being in school. Over the years, I heard more and more about the game and always felt like it would be fun to give it a try but I just never got a round to heading out to the course. When TownSquareBuzz kicked off this summer ‘Joe Tries’ series, it was at the top of my to-do list and I was thrilled that this was the week I would finally try my hand at Frisbee golf.

One of my favorite T.V shows is The Office and when I found out that Andy Bernard was a big fan of the game I knew it would be right up my alley. (See video at the bottom). So I met up with my buddy, James, at Wilson Creek Soccer Complex Monday night and he gave me the quick cliff notes on what to expect from the course. He told me it was a fairly easy course and definitely a good one for a beginner such as myself. Ever since I tried out golf for the third week of ‘Joe Tries’, I’ve been playing more and more with my dad and my brothers. After the heartbreaking world cup game on Sunday, we all headed out to Oak Hollow to play a round and James went with us. He was a first-timer, much like I was a few weeks ago, and played horribly as expected. Before we got started Monday evening, he told me that the two games were actually very similar except that disc golf is a whole lot easier.

I found this to be true right away. Much like I found Pickleball to be a much simpler and easier to pick up version of tennis, disc golf was the same experience. I had an absolute blast and most importantly didn’t have to pay to play and didn’t have to put on sunscreen. I sunburn easily so if I take to the golf course without it I’ll be in pain the next morning.

The best thing about my first game of disc golf is that I was able to pick it up even quicker because I have been playing golf lately. Both games are played on 18-hole courses, have birdies and bogeys, and use drivers and putters so I felt pretty comfortable.

When I was in middle school, I was pretty good at the main sports like football and basketball. In fact, as a kid I was always one of the best no matter what game we were playing. The first thing I ever remember being bad at was discus. Once basketball season was over at Dowell, everyone tried out for track and I stepped up to throw figuring my natural athletic ability would take over but sadly that was not the case. I was, in fact, one of the worst throwers and did not make the team and never attempted to throw a discus again for as long as I was in athletics. So I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous when it was my turn to throw the Frisbee and there was a group of guys in front of us and another group waiting to play behind us. I thought it would be a disaster much like that day in seventh-grade when I realized I wasn’t good at everything. I followed James’ instruction to extend my arm straight out and not up and to my surprise the disc went perfectly straight then veered off to the right, circled around a tree and stopped rolling about six feet away from the metal basket. Thank God for beginners’ luck. James handed me my putter – which is similar to the regular throwing disc except that it is designed to fly straighter and slower. From there, the rest was easy. James and I tied the first hole and moved onto the next.

After the first hole, my beginners’ luck wore off and I played like an average newbie.  I hit tree after tree and almost hit a guy playing on a different hole but I carefully avoided water hazards. That actually made me feel pretty good because I saw about four or five people in the creek trying to find their discs so I figured I at least did better than those guys. Toward the end of our nine-hole game, James helped me regain the form he taught me at the beginning and I started to play a little better. The one thing I was definitely pretty good at was putting.

I found the same to be true with regular golf. I was terrible the first time I played but I was still pretty solid in the short game.

I’ve had a lot of fun during this Joe Tries series and playing disc golf for the first time was definitely one of my favorite activities so far. It’s fun, easy, relaxing and I didn’t have to spend half the time trying to find where my disc landed. In terms of fun, golf and disc golf are pretty close in my book although I’m leaning toward golf because I love riding around in the cart and seeing how close I can get to the cart in front of me without actually crashing.

It’s safe to say I’ll be heading back to the course again. In fact, James and I will be at Wilson Creek  on Thursday for another round. Pretty soon, I’ll be the one saying, “I live to Frolf”.

See you all next week.

P.S. – This week, I went with the blue All-Star 2010 shirt I got from the NBA all-star game in Dallas last year. Next week, will mark the return of the Dallas Mavericks’ ‘Believe’ shirt I’ve sort of become famous for wearing during this series. Anyway, I’ll be back with the same shirt but a new game. What could it be? Who knows? I don’t even know. Any suggestions? Leave a comment.

-Joe Arriola,

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