After seven-ish years of telling myself I would take up disc golf, I’ve finally gotten around to it! I’ll be the first to tell you: I really suck! But that’s okay. Today was only my first-ever play through of the local course, so I feel pretty justified scoring 7’s and 9’s on all those par-3 holes.
Though I’m far from great at it, I think I’m off to an alright start.
Between some trial-and-error work on the course today and some internet research this weekend, I’m getting there. Here are a few things I’ve learned from my two disc golfing outings so far:
1.) Reading reviews on discs is helpful for more than just shopping.
Beyond helping me decide what discs were worth my money, the reviews I read gave valuable tips for new players. A lot of experienced disc golfers have left their thoughts of what they would have changed when first getting into the sport. Just about all of the experienced players stated that the starter pack disc bundles are just “okay” and left advice for what they would tell their newbie-selves to purchase. In the end, this completely altered my initial purchase plan – and I am glad it did.
Originally, I was going to go with the Innova DX 3-pack of starter discs. After seeing some player advice, I decided to go to the sporting goods store and choose my discs individually. I did this based on which ones both had solid reviews and felt good in my hand. I ended up choosing completely different discs from what I would have gotten in the bundled pack!
2.) YouTube is your friend.
Seriously, before you even throw a disc, go watch some YouTube tutorials. Throwing a golf disc is WAY different from throwing a Frisbee. The way you hold it, your body posture when you throw, how you aim… just yeah. Do it. It is worth delaying your first excision by an hour to be able to see from professionals how to start right. I saved myself a lot of frustration by doing this!
3.) Start it off easy.
I knew immediately that my local disc golf course would be WAY too frustrating to practice on first-thing. It is in the middle of a forest where you can barely see the hole you’re aiming at due to all of the trees and bushes. So, as soon as I bought my discs I went straight to a park with a big open field with a single tree in the midst of it. I spent a solid 45 minutes repeatedly throwing my discs towards that tree to help get a feel for the sport. It really helped me feel the difference in the disc styles and gave me a stress-free space to work on my throwing stance.
4.) Make your first course tour alone.
If your disc golfing friends are as nice as mine are, this may seem like weird advice. In all honesty though, going through the disc golf course alone on my first try helped me a lot. It meant that I was free to take as long as I needed without worrying that I would hold others up. It didn’t matter if I had to run down the fairway to figure out where on earth I was supposed to be aiming, because nobody was waiting to throw (yes, there are that many trees in the way here).
Plus, when others are watching, I tend to commentate on my poor shots. Eliminating this for my first practice round was really healthy – it helped shift my focus from “Wow, I didn’t do that half as good as you did” to “Okay, that was my problem this shot – let’s experiment on a correction on this next one.”
5.) Just enjoy your time outside!
Relax. You’re new at this and you’re going to screw up. Until you can get good enough to enjoy the competitive aspect, just enjoy the great outdoors. Practice on your own as much as you can, but try not to be too intimidated by playing with others. They can teach you a lot, too! Like today – on the last hole I ran across a friend. In our brief time together he was able to tell me some useful course courtesy rules that I wouldn’t have known just from watching technique videos.
If you decide to hit the fairway soon, I hope you have a spectacular time!
And, as they always said on The Magic School Bus, “take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!”