Thursday, June 13, 2019

Falling In Love With Disc Golf - How Did You Get Your Start?


Nowadays, most kids are exposed to a handful of sports in school, and whether it be baseball, soccer, basketball, or football, it’s a safe bet that every kid in America has played or at least watched one of these activities well before they hit puberty. Some parts of the country may have other sports in the mix like lacrosse or hockey but rarely do we see a huge group of kids exposed to disc golf at a young age.

It’s something that many people are trying to change, and between the #growthesport movement and various individuals working to promote disc golf within their own schools and communities, we’ve come a long way. The fact of the matter is, though, that for the last few decades at least, people started falling in love with disc golf as adults.

Exceptions To The Rule

Of course, we can’t say that disc golf and adulthood go hand in hand - take Paige Pierce, for example, who started on the course with her dad at age 4. Naturally, this allowed her years of practice and has certainly helped her to get to where she is today. DD team member Steven Jacobs first dabbled in the sport during junior high, and while he didn’t get competitive until a few years later, he certainly started playing far sooner than many others. A part of the Dynamic Discs family for the last few years, AJ Risley has been disc golfing since age 10.

We often see disc golfers proudly showing off their children making putts in diapers on the family basket or posing their newborns with minis in their tiny hands, and without a doubt the sport is moving in the direction where so many more kids will be able to determine if they like disc golf right alongside learning how to ride a bike.

Is Later Better?

While it’s natural to think that the more time you have with a sport the better you will be, that’s not always the case. Dustin Keegan is currently rated 1019 and didn’t pick up disc golf until he was 20 despite living right next to a course for much of his childhood. Making a huge impact on the 2019 season, Missy Gannon didn’t play disc golf until her adulthood, and even then, had to give it multiple tries before she finally took to it.

Some might argue that adults can pick up the game just as easily as kids can, especially since they have more years of experience understanding how their body works and can learn about disc molds and flight paths with ease. However, being able to learn and practice your craft from a young age may bring just as much value to the table.

We want to hear from you - do you think it makes a difference when it comes to skill level and the age in which you learn how to play disc golf? How old were you when you first started the sport, and how has that influenced your current success? Let us know in the comments below!
32 comments:
  1. I am a Park Director in Huntingburg, Indiana. My son brought it to my attention that there is a big interest for a disc golf course. So, I brought up the suggestion to our park board. We purchased 3 Veteran Baskets and placed them at 100', 200', and 300' close to golf driving range to see if there would be any interest. There was!! So, a few months later a group of young leaders in the community joined the yearly group called The Leadership Academy in our county. These young people came to me and asked if there was a project that the park needed but wasn't able to take on, what would it be. So, I gave them a few suggestions. The decided on the disc golf course. They only wanted to put in 9 holes but I told them if we were going to do it, it will have to be 18 holes. The Leadership Academy participants agreed. They raised enough money to put in the 18 hole course. We used Dynamic Disc Veteran baskets. Also, we hired Dane Prevo and Nick Fest to design the course. These two guys have designed some of the top courses in Indiana. Well, we completed the course in November, installed bridges in early April of 2019 and had our first sanctioned tournament on April 28th. That is when I played my first 2 rounds of 18 hole Disc Golf. I had previously played about 24 holes. I was hooked and have been playing ever since. So my son Aaron Altstadt got his father of 58 years young to start playing disc golf. I had to play in our inaugural Huntingburg's Niehaus Park Disc Golf Tournament sponsored by local businesses and Dynamic Disc. I've since joined the local Dubois County Disc Golf League. What fun it is!! Thanks

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    1. Playing in the tournament was the first time I played 18 holes. I played both rounds....let's just say I stayed below 100.

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  2. First time i ever played was on one of the oldest course in Maine called Beaver Brooks. The hole time I was asking which was the putter mid and driver. After that i found out a buddy of mind was building a course and needed help. So as I'm helping jim with the course him and some of his buddies that have been playing for a while started teaching me the game. Now 6 years later I'm still loving the game. It has been some of the best therapy for me and I've met some of the nicest people through this sport. Last year I've lost my Father and this game and the people surrounding Maine disc helped me through one of the toughest times in my life.

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  3. First time was in my 40's i had heared there was a disc golf course in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. All i had was an ultimate disc, so i took that and as i was going around another disc golfer noticed me, called me over and gave me some of his discs to use. The we did a found and he showed me the basics... Yep that was it for me, i have been hooked ever since am 54 now

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  4. I would think starting at a younger age might be better than starting at 53 like me. I didn't know disc golf was a thing until a vacation last summer in Colorado. After playing that round in July, me and my wife were hooked! We have been playing every chance we get. But I feel like I've missed out on so much, I'm playing all the time. This is a great thing because I needed the exercise and this doesn't feel like exercise and I'm having a great time chasing those disc through the forest. I haven't quite reached a rating where I feel comfortable competing with my 50+ age group, because these guys are good but I am having a blast with the recreation and novice divisions. We are taking vacations just to play new courses now. We love this sport!

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  5. After 22 years of ultimate I recently picked up disc golf in my early 40s. I think I had an advantage over other friends who started around the same time since throwing a Frisbee has always been pretty natural to me. I feel that ultimate has drastically influenced my disc golf but disc golf has also improved my throws in ultimate as well. I can see that I will be winding down my ultimate career very soon and look forward to a disc golf career that's just as long.

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  7. Played my first round of disc golf in 1977 at Princeton university (target course) with a fellow ultimate player (we used lids).A month or so later we decided to 'design' a target course at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.Second time we played it we met Jim Powers who was instrumental in getting an 18 hole course installed on the same property we we using ! This became Sedgley Woods.

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  11. I started playing in 1998 at age 47. I wish I would have started when I was much younger. I am hooked on the sport. I only throw about 225 feet. The younger you start throwing the further you can throw. I love it!

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  12. There is no doubt that starting a young age is the best way to excel in the sport. Especially if you get good instruction and develop proper mechanics. The down side could be burn out. I came to disc golf at 52 unfortunately. Played basketball all through school, in college and until last spring when I suffered a severe concussion while playing pick up ball. Bought a starter pack and went out and was hooked. My 20 y/o son is now hooked too. Something we can do for years to come. Very thankful that I have a place to place my competitive drive.

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  17. started about 11 years ago. The town where I live installed its first 18 hole course around 5 before and convinced me to try. Since I was a kid had thrown Frisbee street disc and remembered in the mid 70s as a teen seeing the cool tricky courses in magazines and always wanted to try. Playing with players 1/2 my age at 49 years old distance was a challenge but the camaraderie disc golf creates was awesome. Years past kids moved on and games played reduced to about one a year. Then at 60 years old my jobs Healthcare program required that I exercise for my health. Now I'm playing 3 to 4 9 hole rounds a week. I shoot way above par. My distance throws are half what they used to putting still needs tons of practice but its a joy to get out and play. Try new discs.(Just picked up my first Dynamic disc a pink Freedom today and can't wait to try it in the morning) hone my skills and just enjoy this awesome sport till someday in the hopefully distant future when my legs fail me. Then I hope to play again on those great disc golf courses in the sky.

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  19. I hadn't played a game in my life until I was 40 (this year). My good friend got into Disc Golf a couple of years ago and had fun with it, but I never really got into it until one day he basically shoved a bad in my hands filled with discs and took me to a local par3 course. That's all it took, I was bitten by the bug. (I think mostly mosquitos and a bee, but also by the disc golf bug.) Because I work from home I was able to buy a basket and now practice every day on work breaks. I lost almost 30lbs. so far from it and have got my entire family (wife and two kids) out to parks now. I became a PDGA member (#142076) and I can't wait to play my first tournament even though I know I'll never be that good. It's just fun to get out and enjoy a sport with friends and family!

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  24. I started playing just a few months ago. I was invited to go throw at a local course. I threw horribly the whole game. But I did manage to get a couple awesome throws out of it. I wasn’t hooked yet. I could do with or without the game. It wasn’t until I tossed in a 150-180 foot forehand luck shot that I got hooked. My friend that invited me was so stoked for me, and I was just shocked that I DID THAT. And since, I’ve played several different courses, in a couple different states. As it is snowing where I live now, I can’t wait til I can get out and play some more.

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