Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Where the Frisbee Landed

Post No. 1: Frisbee Friends

After I started playing Frisbee-golf in Byrd Park in the summer of 1976 I soon grew to love the game. Still, as my Frisbee friends and I played that first course around a lake in a public park I certainly had no sense then of how important the game itself would prove to be for me in time. Now, over 36 years later, I still play on Sunday mornings and on weekday afternoons, when I can and weather permits.  

So, in all those years of throwing Frisbees at trees in the park (no baskets, we still throw at objects), I’ve thrown a good number of different flying discs. In use, some of them became favorites I remember fondly. Some even earned nicknames.

Ol’ Crush No. 3 was an orange Super Pro Frisbee (133 grams) that was the only disc I used in winning two consecutive singles tournaments in 1979. That has to  make it my all-time favorite of many Super Pros I’ve had. I still use one for most of my putts.

Had an orange Eclipse in the late-'90s that I called Tom Matte, after an old football player from yesteryear (Baltimore Colts), who played various positions on offense.

With the evolution of the game, new styles of discs have superseded some that were in wide usage 20 and 30 years ago.  So some of my favorite models from yesteryear can’t be easily replaced today, because they aren‘t being made anymore. 

Now I usually carry five or six discs with me as I play. Each is used for a specific type of shot. Most of my fellow disc golfers carry more equipment in their golf bags than I do. Toting a dozen or more discs is not unusual. 

Before taking up Frisbee-golf, originally with two friends, Larry and Stew, I hadn’t had more than a casual interest in throwing and catching flying discs. I surely had never thought of a Frisbee as a piece of sporting equipment, like a ball or a bat. Yet, once there was a specific target to aim at, instead of just tossing it back and forth, I fell in love with throwing Frisbees and watching them fly.

For those who've never seen disc golf it's played much like its predecessor, ball golf. We tee off at an appointed spot and keep throwing until we hit the designated target. The player who accomplishes the feat in the fewest shots wins the hole. Like other terms from ball golf, "hole" is used, but there are no literal holes in the ground.

When we designed our first nine-hole course, Larry and Stew were both better than I was at the game of Frisbee-golf. Eventually, I caught up.

-- Art and words by F.T. Rea

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