Today on Blogcritics
Home » Is Disc Golf Still a Sport if You Bring a Chair?

Is Disc Golf Still a Sport if You Bring a Chair?

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

When I first started playing Disc Golf one of the things which attracted me to the sport was the relative informality. It wasn’t a big production or a big expense like traditional golf. No $300 clubs, no big bags to lug around, no caddies, no tee-times, no carts, no huge greens fees. You just went out with friends in a nice, natural environment, carrying a few discs with you and had a good time.

Well, that was 25 years ago or more and times have changed a bit. Now there’s a pro tour with people who actually make a living playing disc golf. There are more and more private courses and even private clubs that charge membership and greens fees. Following in the tradition of regular gold there are even a growing number of disc golf vacation resorts. There are professional promotors and course pros who make a decent living. I’ve even seen major disc golf events on ESPN from time to time.

Along with that has come the parephernalia, and the merchandising and even product sponsorship. Companies pay Ken Climo to put his name on products and he and a few other top players attract respectable sponsorship deals. We’re not in Tiger Woods land yet, but it’s a far cry from the days when the world champion lived in a van parked at a local course. This increased level of professionalism filters down through every level of the sport. There are even tournaments which have a dress code.

After taking too much time off I no longer have to worry about endorsement deals or the responsibilities of fame, but when I do have time to play I encounter the new more respectable veneer on the sport more and more. People still go and smoke dope in the bushes by certain holes, but now they have more discs, fancier clothes and take the game far more seriously in a lot of little ways.

Something which caught my eye at a recent tournament is the advancement in disc portage hardware which has taken place in the last few years. Here I am with my nice little shoulder bag from Wall City that I bought ages ago, and I feel positively obsolete in the face of modern disc golf bag technology. My bag is easy to carry around and holds about a dozen discs with sleeves on the outside for two putters. I’ve always thought that’s about enough discs for any course. 3 or 4 long range drivers, a couple of rollers, 3 or 4 discs for approach shots and a couple of putters. What on earth more do you need?

Well, it seems that today’s disc golfer needs to carry enough discs to throw a different one for every shot in a round (that’s 30 if you’re a god and 60 if you’re a spazz). That means a bag the size of a small suitcase – way too large to carry on a shoulder easily without becoming a hunchback. So the new bags have complex harness systems like the patented Proline QuadShock system which let you carry the huge bag on your back without collapsing under the weight – sort of like high tech backpacks that ride handily at waist level. They feature massive, padded shoulder straps and belts and fast-release clamps and insulated water bottle carriers and storage compartments and they can hold 30 or 40 discs with ease – each in its own individual protective sleeve. This is, of course, assuming that you don’t mind looking like a complete dork while playing what used to be a nice simple sport. And they’re not cheap. $50 or more for the bag itself, plus another $50 for the strap system. You could buy a couple of decent golf clubs for that price.

It gets worse. For some players carrying their massive arsenal of discs is too much to handle even with a harness – they’ve got to have wheels. As far as I can tell no one is commercially mass producing wheeled disc golf bags yet, but more and more players are following a simple design to make their own wheeled bag/carts which are depressingly reminiscent of wheeled golf bags from traditional golf and start with the same basic hardware.

The standard design begins with a relatively inexpensive steel Golf Bag Cart or a fancier aluminum model like the Bag Boy Express. To this you add the accessories which appeal to you the most. In most designs the essential addition is a wire bicycle-style basket to put various junk in. This is accompanied by either a rack to hold your disc bag, or in one design a series of layered folders to hold and display discs. Another popular addition is a cooler or a water jug or even a pony keg for refreshment needs.

There’s one accessory you can add to your rolling basket carrying device which really spells the demise of all the things which make Disc Golf a sport – a folding chair or stool to sit on between shots. This really says everything about the decline of the game. First, it means that the competition and exercise aspects of the sport have lost all meaning for you. You don’t even have enough motivation to stand up between shots. Second, it suggests that you expect to be playing in a group that moves at such a slow pace that you’ll need a chair to sit in while you wait for other players to complete their endless putting rituals and celebratory dances. It means you’re one of the guys in the group of 8 I get stuck behind who stretch a 90 minute round into 4 hours and never let anyone play through.

What makes Disc Golf appealing is that it’s faster paced and less sedentary than traditional golf. It’s got the same appealing mechanics, but it’s more exercise in less time. The courses are shorter, you move yourself around and you don’t have to spend a thousand dollars on hardware and the right clothing. Slowly that’s changing. When you have to carry so many discs you need a bag with a harness or a wheeled bag cart or when you need a chair to sit in between shots, the game has lost a lot of its charm. I’m all for improving the game, but a billion discs, a rolling bag and a chair doesn’t make you a better player.

It’s just a matter of time before someone starts producing rolling disc golf bags commercially and then they’ll be everywhere. The next step after that is bound to be some sort of golf cart equivalent. A chair or a stool and a rolling disc bag isn’t enough – we’re going to have to have vehicles on the courses just like traditional golf. Not having to walk is the the next logical step after we abandon standing up between shots. Perhaps those little cars the Shriners use can be adapted as disc golf carts, or even better one of those battery-powered Barbie cars for kids.

Don’t get me wrong. At its heart the sport is still great, but it’s maturing and maturity doesn’t always bring dignity with it. Sometimes it brings gimmickry, self-indulgence and excess and I’m seeing more and more of that on the disc golf courses these days. I’m going to stick with my shoulder bag and a dozen essential discs, and keep walking the course and standing up between shots and enjoying the exercise and being out in nature without being loaded down with a lot of hardware.

Dave

Powered by

About Dave Nalle

  • http://www.brasscash.com Jon Brakel

    I sometimes wonder what the future of disc golf holds and if we will recognize it when it comes. However, I don’t think chairs or carts are the problem. Most people use carts and chairs because after their fourth knee surgery the parts just don’t move the way they used to. Also, it is not the group of 8 that will be using the chair. Chairs are used during tournaments when you have a four-some or five-some on every hole and you get to “the back-up hole”. The backup hole is usually a more demanding hole and during a full tournament the tee will backup with a couple of groups waiting to tee off. That chair can keep your legs fresh during a day where you will play 36 to 54 holes of competitive disc golf…might even save you a throw or two over the course of the day. Will definately cut down on the amount of ice you need to use on your knees at the end of the day!

    By the way, there are only 3 or 4 “professional” disc golf promotors and they are not making a decent living. Maybe someday there will be money in disc golf, but today there are 5 or 6 disc golfers that can earn a living playing disc golf.

    Everything that I do for disc golf is as a volunteer. Maybe someday being a disc golf promotor or tournament director could lead to a career. Probably not in my working lifetime though!

    Take care,

    Jon Brakel
    PDGA Illinois State Coordinator
    Vice President Discontinuum Disc Golf Club
    Tournament Director of the Illinois Open Series

  • http://www.motodom.com MysteryDJ_Motodom.com

    Your comments are fitting for a sport that is one huge arm of the very large Frisbee galaxy that started in the 1970’s on this earth. Call it minimalism, but that is one of the beauties of all Frisbee sports, its freedom. And at so little cost, no matter what is brought, so much can be enjoyed!

    I herald the days that could be coming for disc golf. Like, “let the Tiger Woods of disc golf please come soon!” Because it IS coming. This version of golfing is too inexpensive in every way to not appeal to the masses. And hey, I’ve seen so many teens throw perfectly well throughout a professional disc golf course with one or two discs. God bless that! What are they out of pocket? Do they have $14? And in return they get to feel like Tiger Woods themsleves all day!? SO you see, it’s coming in masses.. through disc golf.

    And Tiger, um.. Mr Woods, if you’re readin’ this.. man, I’ve watched you since the news started about your talent. God Bless your Dad and Mom for getting you to such great guy status. I’m looking forward to your grand slam that is obviously coming up before you retire. Great job in 2005 majors!!!! 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 1st!! WOW. Hey why not help promote golf by also getting kids into programs of “The First Tee” for DISC golf? I watch BALL golf all the time on TV, because I am such a DISC golf enthusiast. The joy of golf transfers over man, no matter if it is with a DISC or a BALL!

    But the other side of the coin, like I said, its even cheaper to get your Ya Ya’s out with Frisbee play through simpler games of Catch and Throw, for example. Oh man, I would much rather pitch to another human being than at a disc golf basket! The basket can’t catch and return my disc!

    Oh, and every Frisbee instructor gets it, (and fearing I might be preaching just to the choir,) I’ll leave you with this thought..

    How could the world’s first wave of Frisbee instructors win a Nobel Prize for Peace? Heck, while their at it, is there a Nobel Prize for “Better Health” that they can go for too?
    ! :-)

    Frisbee instructors are teaching Frisbee to today’s youth and uniting them in one idea for a better world -that the Frisbee is a fun, handy, low cost tool, which works perfectly well for promoting better health and yes, peace all across this planet. Like a vaccination for good.

    See this for example.. http://www.motodom.com/Peace.htm about UNICEF giving nearly 10 Million youth in Iraq and Tsunami hit areas -enough Frisbee discs to give one for every two children (pairs!)and Frisbee PE lesson plans for instant classes of 20 children to use in their PE class. It is part of the larger ongoing donation called the UNICEF “School In A Box” instant school program for areas that get wiped out, but whose kids need to get right back into school, if for no other reason, then for trauma therapy.

    No doubt, as I write this, Pakistan earthquaked schools are currently getting set up for such relief. I hope so anyways.

    So next time you see a Frisbee going through the air in a park.. join in a momentary celebration of peace and freedom in your hearts and minds.

    Let the rest of the world pause too and go, “Hmmmm. They have something there!”

    Frisbee instructors go on to teach youth how to throw a Frisbee disc straight and far for better health and social responsibility.

    Schools | go to http://www.motodom.com
    Tiger | go to http://www.motodom.com

    Cheers!
    MysteryDJ_Motodom.com

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    This is really a serious article about Frisbee golf? At first, I thought it was satire.

    Men are always on a quest to try to make an official “sport” out of everything they used to do with their fraternity brothers.

    Frisbee golf, the favorite time-wasting “sport” for supposedly grown men who don’t have any actual athletic ability.

    No offense, Dave, but I honestly can’t take this game seriously. It’s what college boys do around campus instead of going to class.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>This is really a serious article about Frisbee golf? At first, I thought it was satire. < <

    It's serious and satire at the same time. It's a feast of ambivalence. The point is that Disc Golf is in that weird half-world where it's almost a serious sport, but still mostly just low pressure fun.

    My reaction to the issues mentioned in the article is genuine, but at the same time I know they aren't that big a deal.

    >>Frisbee golf, the favorite time-wasting “sport” for supposedly grown men who don’t have any actual athletic ability.<<

    See, there you’re wrong. It does take some genuine athletic ability to play disc golf at the level people are playing it at these days. It’s not a game just for stoned nerds and hippies anymore, though they still play.

    Dave

  • RogerMDillion

    Is Disc Golf Still a Sport if Getting High Improves Your Game?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Roger I recently had a discussion of just that. Getting high does indeed seem to have a significant positive impact on putting skill, though too much weed has a negative impact on driving. It will be a sign that the sport has become too serious when tournaments start to rule on Marijuana as a performance enhancing drug.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>I sometimes wonder what the future of disc golf holds and if we will recognize it when it comes. However, I don’t think chairs or carts are the problem. Most people use carts and chairs because after their fourth knee surgery the parts just don’t move the way they used to.< <

    I didn't necessarily mean there wasn't a legitimate use for such things. But I think we're moving beyond that in a lot of cases.

    >> Also, it is not the group of 8 that will be using the chair. Chairs are used during tournaments when you have a four-some or five-some on every hole and you get to “the back-up hole”.< <

    In informal play, it's the group of 8 which will have the chair, because they expect to be moving slowly from their own size.

    >> The backup hole is usually a more demanding hole and during a full tournament the tee will backup with a couple of groups waiting to tee off. That chair can keep your legs fresh during a day where you will play 36 to 54 holes of competitive disc golf…might even save you a throw or two over the course of the day. Will definately cut down on the amount of ice you need to use on your knees at the end of the day! < <

    You've got a point there, o defender of chairs, since I've given up playing anything but doubles tournaments and minis due to the exhausting nature of a 3+ round tournament. But for me - despite my advanced age - its more a function of heat and time consumption than my knees. In fact, my knees tend to stiffen up if I don't keep moving them.

    >>By the way, there are only 3 or 4 “professional” disc golf promotors and they are not making a decent living. Maybe someday there will be money in disc golf, but today there are 5 or 6 disc golfers that can earn a living playing disc golf.< <

    There are at least 3 or 4 professional promoters right here in Texas, not to mention a score of full time course pros. More people than you realize are making a living off of disc golf, I think.

    >>Everything that I do for disc golf is as a volunteer. Maybe someday being a disc golf promotor or tournament director could lead to a career. Probably not in my working lifetime though!<<

    It may just be that you’re in a smaller market. Here in Texas it seems to be becoming awfully big business.

    Dave

  • http://disc-golf-daily-news.blogspot.com/ Jharv

    Great article. I can’t say I agree with everything in the article, disc golf is still a very inexpensive sport, but I agree that chairs and carts look bad. You’ll never see Tiger Woods sitting on his ass between holes.

    BTW, I blogged this at http://disc-golf-daily-news.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Cool site, Jhary. I’ll add it to my developing list of DG blogs. BTW, I noticed you had some info there on cheap disc golf baskets. You may have missed my article on the subject here on blogcritics. Check out Disc Golf Baskets On the Cheap – it’s going to be followed up by another article on the basket I’m building from scratch, and on some of the others I’m trying out.

    Dave

  • Ryan

    I really liked the article on this issue, and though I havnt noticed this really much here in Tulsa (and it could be because ive only played for a few years) I would really hate to see this sport come to something as commercial as golf. I just wrote an essay for my Comp I class about the effects of disc golf because of all the things that you just stated it is not anymore.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Don’t take my rantings too literally, Ryan. It’s still a hell of a lot more relaxed and enjoyable than traditional golf and a lot less expensive as well, but there’s no question that the sport is growing up.

    I’ve also been impressed by how good the younger players are. Far better at an earlier age than I ever was. I think this probably comes from starting younger and playing more.

    Dave

  • http://www.motodom.com MysteryDJ_Motodom.com

    Hey Dave,
    Thanks again for the great article. All keep up hope, for either way you like to shade the game, neither one mutually excludes the other shades.

    Also, since my link was inept, here’s the correct link to the stuff about this amazing UNICEF | School In A Box Program that has given millions of Flying discs and Frisbee PE Lesson Plans not to mention schools, to millions of kids in the middle east who have been hit by either war or natural disasters.

    H.O.E.! (Heaven On Earth)

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Wow, the discs the kids are holding on the UNICEF site look like the old Wham-O ’86’ model short range approach disc/putter. I used to throw one for all my putts and short drives many many years ago.

    Interesting program too.

    Dave

  • Lyle

    Dave,

    Your shorts are showing. You need to go back and do some research on Jon; he knows more about disc golf than you currently do. You see, he actually participates at a national level in the sport. He actually knows who the promotors are, even here in Texas, and he knows about how much money they make, since he is a promotor in Michigan.

    As an acting officer of the HFDS I know many of the state promotors and I have a pretty good feel for how many are making a living at this. The answer would be none. Chris Himming comes the closest and he ain’t doin’ to well. Even Brian Mace doesn’t make a real living at it (I will admit I don’t know how much these guys make but I hear what they say about how tough it is). Yes John Houck does make a living at disc golf, but he isn’t just a promotor, he’s Innova’s regional manager (more or less) and primarily moves plastic to local promotors.

    As for the number of discs that players use, you didn’t even take the time to ask players what they use. Most players use three or four disc types, Overstable, Stable, Approach, and Putter, and then carry two or three of each in case they lose one during a round. Shazam, you’ve got 12 discs in your bag and you didn’t even try.

    Comparing the casual disc golfer with the top guys in the sport (the handlful that make a living at it) is foolish. You would actually have to go out and watch them play to realize how naive your comments are.

    One more point, go look up Ken Climo. Disc golf had Tiger Woods before ball golf did. Ken has won Worlds numerous times and dominated the sport through the 90s. And… he doesn’t whine about it when things go wrong. Tiger could take some lessons.

    Before you slam dance a “sport” or someone else who has a differenct view concerning that sport, you should know your facts. BTW – you want exercize… try speed golf.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>Your shorts are showing. You need to go back and do some research on Jon; he knows more about disc golf than you currently do. You see, he actually participates at a national level in the sport.< <

    I never said anything against Jon. I appreciated his input.

    >>He actually knows who the promotors are, even here in Texas, and he knows about how much money they make, since he is a promotor in Michigan. < <

    I know a number of promoters here in Texas too and have for years. I've been playing disc golf for a quarter-century in Texas and playing competitively in tournaments for most of that time. I'm not exactly ignorant.

    >>As an acting officer of the HFDS I know many of the state promotors and I have a pretty good feel for how many are making a living at this. The answer would be none. Chris Himming comes the closest and he ain’t doin’ to well. Even Brian Mace doesn’t make a real living at it (I will admit I don’t know how much these guys make but I hear what they say about how tough it is). Yes John Houck does make a living at disc golf, but he isn’t just a promotor, he’s Innova’s regional manager (more or less) and primarily moves plastic to local promotors.< <

    I think the problem here is our definition of a 'promoter'. I'll agree that none of the ones who make a living at it do nothing but promote disc golf, but there are a number who make a living at it between running tournaments, selling equipment and other promotion-like activities.

    >>As for the number of discs that players use, you didn’t even take the time to ask players what they use. <

    And you know this because you're psychic or standing around while I talk to people? In fact I'm perfectly familiar with what most players carry in their bags.

    >>Most players use three or four disc types, Overstable, Stable, Approach, and Putter, and then carry two or three of each in case they lose one during a round. Shazam, you’ve got 12 discs in your bag and you didn’t even try. < <

    Did you actually READ my article? That's almost exactly what I said word for word. So, as you said and I said earlier 12-15 discs in a bag. So why are they carrying bags that hold 30-40 discs? I mean, I own maybe 70 discs, but I don't feel a need to carry them all on the course.

    >>Comparing the casual disc golfer with the top guys in the sport (the handlful that make a living at it) is foolish. You would actually have to go out and watch them play to realize how naive your comments are.< <

    I didn't compare the casual disc golfer to the top pros. I was playing with pros at the tournament I took the photos at which are in the article. Again, you seem to think I'm some retard who played disc golf twice and thought he could write about it. I've been a course pro, I've sold discs for a living, I've played competitively and won tournaments, I've played courses all over the country, and I've been playing the game for 25 years. The fact that I've been unable to play 5 times a week since I had kids means I'm rusty but it doesn't mean I don't know the game.

    >>One more point, go look up Ken Climo. Disc golf had Tiger Woods before ball golf did. Ken has won Worlds numerous times and dominated the sport through the 90s. And… he doesn’t whine about it when things go wrong. Tiger could take some lessons.< <

    Again, you're not reading well. I brought Ken up in the article.

    >>Before you slam dance a “sport” or someone else who has a differenct view concerning that sport, you should know your facts.< <

    Lyle, this was intended to be a 'light' article. It's satirical as well as semi-serious. Lighten up man.

    >> BTW – you want exercize… try speed golf.<<

    I love speed DG. Play it all the time.

    Dave

  • Bryan James

    Disc Golf Promoters in Texas???

    The ones who make a living at it are

    Austins David Moody, but I think he has a real job on the side too.

    DFW’s Brian Mace, works side jobs as well

    Chris Himing – Ran himself into debt so bad he had to get a job last year. He worked his way out of most of it and is now going back to full time Disc Golf Promoter.

    Houstons’s John “Gimp” Edwards – Gives as much back to the sport as he brings in. He is not a promoter to make a living. (although he is out of a job right now)

    Austin’s John Houck, the only person who has made a living off disc golf for a number of years. However he does make his living off selling discs to all the tournaments and clubs in this region.

    There have been a few others that tried to do it, Billy West, and Mark Atwood come to mind. Even I thought about it and realized I can’t pay the bills promoting and running disc golf tournaments.

    D. Bryan James
    PDGA #5380
    Former Texas PDGA Coordinator
    Tournament Director of the Carrollton Open 1997-2005

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’ll ask David Moody if he has a job on the side when I see him later this week. I know he keeps some livestock on the side.

    I actually saw Billy for the first time in years recently. I remember when he was living off his disc-golf related earnings. I suspect he wasn’t living terribly well.

    I didn’t mean to suggest in the article that a lot of people are making a fortune promoting disc golf, but there ARE people who are at least attempting it.

    As with many of the things I mention in the article, I think disc golf is right on the borderline between the amateur and professional worlds. There are opportunities, and they are growing, so the time will come that we’ll see more and more people living off their disc golf earnings.

    Dave

  • Mark Atwood

    Hi Dave,

    I’ll go back and re-read your article more thoroughly when I’m done rolling in all my DG related cash. :)

    All in all, from my cursory glance, a nice article written in the irreverant style I enjoy. And utilize, in my own column writing.

    As Bryan said, I did try to make a go of it in a DG business as a promoter/merchant, starting in late ’02 with my company Hill Country Flyers (still the coolest logo in DG). :)

    I had a little extra cash at the time and thought if I was ever gonna do it, that was the time. I got a website, cranked up a few new tournaments, took over one traditional event, subbed for another long-running tourney, and essentially tried to eek out a modest living by offering tourney players a professionally run, quality event that gave them good bang for their buck and tried to offset costs with sponsorships, as well as line up fun things for players through sponsorship.

    I wouldn’t say that HCF was an abject failure, but the sport has simply not matured to the point where that sort of thing is viable…yet. (Oh, and will everyone please stop making assumptions about Chris Himing and whether or not he’s broke or solvent based on rumors and assumptions? That’s not a lot to ask, is it?)

    Brian Mace does do okay, as does Chris, but both are far more involved than just regional tournaments. Both of these two guys are so intertwined in the sport even beyond their state, that its a constant grind. Moreso than I was able to deal with.

    John Edwards is doing well with his regional series, and players seem to enjoy his events, although I wouldn’t make any claims about how well he’s doing financially. I’ll leave that to him and to those who are being discussed.

    Dave Moody runs a pro shop at Austin’s busiest public course, which surely helps him, and has one of the nicest private (or otherwise) courses around at his ranch oustide of Bastrop.

    You made a lot of comments about the onset of the maturity of the game in your article. What you are seeing (the “gimmickery” I believe you called it) is a natural symptom of where we’re headed, not the absolute end brought about by the sport’s growth.

    Also, the organizational side of DG, the PDGA has suffered similar growing pains, but continues to be a force for the positive growth of our game.

    Now, for the fun stuff…

    One of those pics you used was of a friend of mine’s merchandise. I’m sure that Kent Bray, the maker of FC Discarts would be happy to tell you that yes, in fact, someone has marketed ready made rolling carts, and they’re quite good. Quality parts, attention to detail and an affordable price (I’m the proud owner of one with custom embroidery…an option available on his products), are some of the reasons why people love them. (And I doubt he’d appreciate the name of the link.)

    Dave, its just another way for people to collect the toys of the game they love. Not to mention, the comfort for those of us of the over-40 crowd who don’t enjoy lugging a bag around all weekend at a 4-round, 2-day event. As for my stool (which fits comfortably on my custom FC Discart), you can have it when you can pry it from underneath my cold, dead arse.

    Just let the sport grow and go through what it has to go through. Enjoy what it is about it that first led you to it, and realize that in time, all things must grow, although the process can be painful, and undignified.

    Thanks for reading…and for writing.

    See ya on the course,
    Mark Atwood
    Hill Country Flyers

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Now you know, I’m in the over-40 crowd myself, but I still haven’t succumbed to the need for a cart. I do understand why some have them, however. Remember the article was to a certain extent tongue-in-cheek.

    I looked all over the web for a source for Disc Carts. Does Kent Bray have a website? Can you give me an address for it or something? I’d have liked to include a link with the article, but perhaps I’ll do a followup.

    Dave

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joanie

    disc golf resorts? Oh my.

  • Dave Nalle

    Yep, resorts. I know of two. There may be more. Check the book link above, or the in-text link in the reference to resorts to get info on one that sounds rather nice.

    Dave

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joanie

    Sheesh. Will wonders never cease. As for those folks up there who are commenting about frisbees in Iraq and Afghanistan, frisbees were given to the kids of those countries by a group called Spirit of America. Our troops taught the kids how to use them. Amazingly, a frisbee can be used for more than recreation. You can use it to hold water and food, you can use it to dig, and you can effectively thump your little sister on the head with it. Not that I’ve done the latter.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    As someone who donated money to Spirit of America I appreciate the frisbee effort, but had sort of hoped they would do something a bit more substantive for the kids in Iraq.

    Dave

  • http://www.motodom.com MysteryDJ_Motodom.com

    Wow Joanie, you’re on top of it! Seriously.
    This site honorably mentions the incredibleSpirit of America donations. What I’m REALLY impressed with though, is that our host Dave, was in the mystery of it all, sufficiently enough ahead of time to have been a donor to the cause! Whew! Hats off to you, my friend. I only first heard the story, BRIEFLY on CNN -when the discs were being shipped out! Nowadays one can google “Frisbees in Iraq,” and BAM! it comes up big time. The story was on 2 tons of Frisbees, and my math says that’s 14,000 discs? But CNN never said that they were emblazoned with the word friendship in Arabic and English! They’re way cool.

    And, anyway this site also salutes the (out of body) effort by UNICEF which has touched 5,000,000+ kids in the last 4 years, in the Middle East, with a Frisbee and a Frisbee PE lesson plan for their schools. 5 mill and counting, not 10 mill that I had previously misstated in my enthusiasm.

    In my humble opinion though, it seems a large door is open there, now. How can we follow this up somehow? Like Dave said, what if the men could have had the tools to really plant a bigger seed? Like I would guess, show the kids a 30 minute instructional Frisbee throwing DVD through laptops on top of the Humvees.. to instantly teach all the kids how to throw a Frisbee straight and far? And then hand them a one page lesson plan for all children to use in their neighborhoods, to celebrate peace with.. whenever, and wherever they can throw safely. Including creating a very functional Frisbee golf course! (Rather than a DISC golf course, and rather than nothing!) Who knows, maybe the men in uniform did do that!? And taught the kids Ultimate too. And today, the kids in Fallujah ROCK with a Frisbee!? It would seem plausible, since no city on the planet has ever been so infused with discs, and some lessons, especially with a great message like that! Wouldn’t it be ironic if the city DOES become the root of some sort of future key peace movement?

    Whoa, got a little stirred up there. “Is the mike on right now? We are live? Oh oh.”

    MysteryDJ_Motodom.com

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Actually, I read a story recently about the constitutional referendum where they shut down all the streets in Baghdad for a day so people could go vote safely. Kids went on the streets to play soccer and apparently there was at least one game of ultimate as well.

    Perhaps frisbees carry with them the spirit of the peace movement of the 60s and spread it wherever they go.

    Dave

  • http://wotis3000@aol.com Otis

    You must be joking about the disc golf carts and straps, etc.

    As a high-quality custom disc golf cart system builder myself, I find that most of what you described could be filed under the category of PROGRESS.

    You are not the first disc golf Luddite I have run across who has suggested that the sport should remain in a nascent stage and that no one should make a profit or create innovations that will advance the fantastic sport of disc golf.

    The cart systems that I build can carry every accessory known to the sport including; umbrellas, stools, disctrievers, coolers, towels, etc. The purpose of the disc golf cart system is to support the individual’s disc golf game.

    Does it advance the enjoyment of the game to lose your disc in a tree or water hazard? Or to get soaked by a sudden storm? Or to run short of hydrating liquids or other necessary supplies? Knowing that many of the challenges which one may encounter on the course can be dealt with by utilizing a superior disc golf cart system gives the thinking disc golfer more confidence and less distractions in his/her game. Perhaps the author of that rant could focus on a more relevant criticism of the modern sport of disc golf?

  • Dave Nalle

    Sorry, Otis. I was just trying to see how many totally humorless Disc Golf fans were on the net – apparently quite a few.

    Ultimately whether you use a cart or not is irrelevant. How you play and whether you have fun is what matters.

    For me it’s not so much fun to wheel a cart around, but others clearly see a benefit to it.

    The point is that this IS a rant, and should be taken as such. It’s a bit over the top, riffing on the subject of the emasculation of the sport.

    Make more carts, I hope you do well with them. I may buy one myself some day. BTW, do you have a website I can direct people to who want one?

    Dave

  • http://wotis3000@aol.com Otis

    Dave, just wanted to say that I actually enjoyed reading your article and appreciated the chance to respond. Although even the possibility that I could be referred to as “humorless” cuts me to the quick, OUCH!!!, I’ll take your remarks in the humor in which they were offered.

    Alas, I have no website to advertise my custom-crafted disc golf cart systems, but I thank you for the offer to direct inquiries in that direction. At this point, the carts that I build are relatively expensive, and only for friends who request them.

    Anyway, I certainly hope that you continue writing about the sport and look forward to reading more of your articles.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Thanks, Otis.

    I’d love to see a photo of your design. I’ve got a lot of info on the bicycle basket design and how it’s put together from someone who makes it, but I’m trying to find other designs. I might do a review of carts and other parephernalia in the future. I’m particularly intrigued by the design I have a picture of in the article where the discs are held in a flat-lying series of pouches. I like that design a lot. What is yours like?

    Dave

  • Michael Edwards

    Dave,
    Fine article, and fine responses, too. As one of the Boomer players, I see a lot of potential with the sport since the days when we were fling paint can lids, hubcaps, and just about anything that would float through the air. I’ve thrown all types of frisbees and other discs through the years, and played “at” disc golf long before baskets. I still see a lot of room for organization and improvement. Of the three courses I’ve played at in NC, there are no clubs or leagues. The courses are municipal or college courses. No one wants to take the time to organize. I would LOVE to see a private course, where attention is paid to detail, and effort is put forth to put challenges and tournaments together. Most of us don’t consider ourselves “tournament material”, but we keep practicing. If baskets were less expensive, everyone’d have one to practice with. Beats the heck out of me why someone like Wham-o does’t make a $20-$30 basket. Who cares if it won’t last a lifetime? Lastly, as soon as we get some tournments on TV, things will blast off. Can you believe there are still people who don’t know what disc golf is?! I run into them every time I try to find discs! Keep up the good work. And you litterbugs out there, please pick up your damn trash, beer cans, candy wrappers and snot rags, the people who have paid big money so you could play for free don’t like picking up your garbage…and neither do I.

  • Dave Nalle

    Of the three courses I’ve played at in NC, there are no clubs or leagues. The courses are municipal or college courses. No one wants to take the time to organize. I would LOVE to see a private course, where attention is paid to detail, and effort is put forth to put challenges and tournaments together.

    NC is supposed to have some very good high-end courses. I know they held the worlds there at one of the courses some years ago. I’m not personally familiar with courses there – the closest I’ve played are in Virginia – but I bet if you did some searching on the web you could find more of them.

    Most of us don’t consider ourselves “tournament material”, but we keep practicing. If baskets were less expensive, everyone’d have one to practice with. Beats the heck out of me why someone like Wham-o does’t make a $20-$30 basket. Who cares if it won’t last a lifetime?

    I don’t think they can get prices that low for anything that’s even close to usable. Innova used to make a molded plastic basket of dubious quality and at a low price, but it really didn’t work well and held up poorly unless you kept it indoors, which isn’t exactly practical. And even its price was still in the $60 range. I doubt we’ll ever get a usable basket at a price below $80 – which is about as low as you can get an Instep basket for.

    Lastly, as soon as we get some tournments on TV, things will blast off. Can you believe there are still people who don’t know what disc golf is?! I run into them every time I try to find discs!

    There actually have been televised DG events on some of the more obscure ESPN channels. The problem is that out there in third string cable land they can’t attract enough of an audience. Some major sponsorship and increased advertising might get a DG even moved up in the media world to where it could get more prominent exposure.

    Dave

  • AviarMarc

    Im trying to figure a way to lug cans of beer around the course without shaking them up too much, and the Disc Golf Cart seems to be the only way I can carry a cooler AND my discs.

    Great Article!

  • http://www.yourdiscgolfreporter.com Brian

    Dave,
    The things you mentioned about disc golf don’t particularly bother me, however, I’ve noticed the same problem in many other areas of life. Things that start out as just fun, and soon become a business. It’s inevitable. Thankfully, it hasn’t gotten to the point where you can’t find a free disc golf course and play in peace, without concern for what changes may be happening in the sport.

    I do have one suggestion that I know you will love…how about instead of golf carts, to be up with technology, we start using the Segways. Then its both your transportation, your golf bag, and your chair all in one! How cool would that be watching all the lazy, I mean, technologically advanced golfers riding around on their Segways.

    BTW, you can add my disc golf site to your list you said you were keeping: Your Disc Golf Reporter.

    Brian

  • jake

    CATEGORY OF PROGRESS MY FOOT!

    GET A LIFE DUDE, C’MON. IF YOU CAN’T CARRY ALL YOUR DISCS YOU SHOULD HAVE LESS DISCS. WHAT’S NEXT, PEOPLE DRIVING THEIR VANS FULL OF DISCS AROUND AND SEARCHING FOR HALF AN HOUR TO FIND THAT ONE LUCKY MIDRANGE YOU USE TO THREAD THE FAIRWAY. GET REAL. THAT’S WHY LONG AGO THEY PUT A LIMIT ON THE AMOUNT OF GOLF CLUBS A PRO CAN CARRY. I’M SURE TIGER WOODS WOULD LOVE AN EXTRA 2-IRON AND 3, 5, 7 WOODS, 2 PUTTERS, …

    IN SHORT, GOOD PLAYERS MAKE DO WITH WHAT THEY’VE GOT.

  • http://www.flatheaddisc.com Hyzer King

    Disc golf, while still evolving, is still a cheap sport and don’t forget it. One reason people have so much equipment is that it is so cheap. Unfortunately for the die-hards wanting more money in the pro-circuit (sponsorship) struggle cause without a lot of expensive equipment in the sport, and without great appeal to the viewer, why would someone sponsor this sport? Unfortunately many of these same pros blame pot and say cause so may old potheads play the game no-one will sponsor it. Silly people.

  • Kent Bray

    I sometimes miss building FC Discarts. I didn’t actually manufacture any part of them. I purchased the parts from other vendors and assembled them. I did, however, design the assembly. I sold/donated over 100 of them in a four year period and all around the country (including one in Canada). The main reason I stopped is that the bag vendor was just too difficult to deal with, which didn’t me sense to me since I’m sure that he wasn’t selling near 25 bags a year to a single other customer. About a year ago, after several inquiries as to weather I was still selling them, I decided to try again. After running to a couple snags (one being that my cart vendor wasn’t that eager to reopen the account of a small cutomer like myself), I decided to leave it in the history books. People did seem to like them, though, even with the $150.00 price tag. Dave Dunipace even bought one from me. :) BTW, Mr. Atwood (not likely you’ll see this, but…), thanks for the props.

    Kent Bray
    Houston, Tx

  • NoStatQuo

    the thing is disc golf isnt just a activity, game or sport, its a lifestyle and certain players personality is expressed through there choice of discs and accessories. just because youger people of the new technological gadgetry era like big bags with alot of disc doesnt mean there any different of a player. leave em alone go play. and next time ya go througha round, roll a joint first….

  • Dgolfer14

    Well, I guess disc golf has sure arrived. We have a disc golf curmudgeon, already? I laugh. I play disc free, with people who drink beer and laugh and love the sport. I travel all over, it’s the same. I see a vibrant future, dude. It’s way too early for rain on this sport. Spread the sunshine.

    S

  • Jeff Kiel

    I see this article is old, but oh well.

    You are the person I don’t like to play with on the course. The one that is always concerned with other players’ equipment and choice of disc. Get a life man, or at least roll up a jibber.

  • Kevin

    I started reading this article and got to the second page before I realized it was written in 2005, HA. Man you were way ahead of your time with this one. If you weren’t crazy about all the disc golf technology in 05, then you probably really don’t care for it now.

    Personally, that’s the kind of thing I think is cool about disc golf, and why it has been rapidly becoming more mainstream. It’s super easy for anyone to start – very low cost, but it can become almost an addiction. Normally that would be bad, but in the case of disc golf, I would call it a healthy addiction. Compared to golf, the gear – even the fancy stuff is extremely low-cost, and it promotes a healthier lifestyle. Also more and more state parks are putting in paid courses, which in principal may not be appealing to some, but it is great for the local economy, and $3 for a day pass is a far cry from green fees on a regular golf course.

    Overall, this was a great read!

  • Keith

    Interesting write up, and I agree with many of your points. I should add, however, that people who bring stools, usually do so for tournaments where there’s a great deal of time sitting/standing around. Some, of course, bring them on a Tuesday round, but most players I know reserve that stuff for tourneys.

    On disc count: Most good players only throw around 6 molds, the rest are duplicates for when you loose a disc. Recently, I’ve stepped up from the bag you have to a DIY backpack mod with PVC as a frame. It was cheap, holds about 18 discs, but also has room for rain gear, an umbrella, and beer. I never had room in my old bag for more than one beer :(