Tag Archives: Leopard

Practicing Disc Golf

Yesterday was my first “official” day of practicing disc golf.  You may ask yourself, how do you practice disc golf?  Wouldn’t it just be easier to go out on the course every day?  The answer to that is, probably.  The best way to practice would be just to do it.  But, I’m sure any master of their craft would tell you that you should probably break the craft into pieces and do each piece until you get it right.  So, if I would like to be a master, I should break the craft of disc golf up into pieces.  The pieces? Putting and the drive.

I have read from multiple places that putting is the most important part of disc golf.  I’m sure it’s the same way for regular golf as well.  The skill of being able to hit the chains on the basket from 20 feet away is something you wish you had when you are standing there staring at that basket.   Getting the disc in from that distance would save you a throw and give you some bragging rights 🙂  I think that most people can throw a disc far, but it takes some skill to not have to get your disc a foot from the basket to putt.  So, you practice throwing your putter into that basket.  I don’t have a practice basket, but I should be borrowing one soon from Paul, so I won’t go into that practice yet.  But, I can cover the drive part.

If you have been following this blog, you know that I am having a problem with letting go of my disc too soon.  For whatever reason, my hand just lets go and the disc hooks to the left a lot sooner than I want it to.  I can usually get warmed up and by the end of the course I’ll have more control over my grasp, but by that point the game is over and I am way over par.    So, until I get that basket, I want to practice on my drive and I want to know where I am putting my disc.  If I want the disc to go straight, I want to have the confidence of knowing that the disc is going straight.  That’s the same for if I want it to go left or right.

Yesterday I went to the park with my discs and started throwing them.  There was a clear mark for my “tee” and there was a tree pretty far out in the distance that I aimed for.  I threw all of them, even my chipped Beast (I have  pro beast too).  I have never done that before, so it was interesting to see where all of the discs would end up.  My practice was two-fold, I was able to test where my discs would fly and I was able to practice my control.  I found that my Pro Beast would go the furthest and that my Roc and Leopard would go the next furthest.  Now, I could go into a lot of detail about the plastic and the differences between Pro and DX, but I’ll save that for later.  Right now I just want to say that it was great to see what would fly, where they would end up, and if I had the control to put them where I want.  Near the end I started to have that control, but I think I need a lot more practice.

Any practice advice?  Do you have a favorite disc that you use?

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A little of my disc golf history, part 1

I believe now would be a good time to share with you my humble beginnings as a disc golfer and maybe a little of why I do it.  I think it’s good to discuss how you started out, that way you know where the start is and maybe figure out the path you are taking.

I do remember my first time out on a course, it was in the fall of 2006.  My now brother-in-law, Mario, had been talking about disc golfing for a while, at the time he had been doing for a long time.

My leopard disc

This is my Leopard disc, as you can see it's pretty well worn, but that just makes it better.

I think he use to go all the time during the summer, but I’m not sure and since this is my blog we w

on’t go into his disc golf history.  (Maybe I’ll interview him sometime, just to give this blog a different voice)  Anyway, the point is that he is good at it, likes doing it, and wanted to share the experience with us.  So, Mario, my father-in-law, me, and maybe my other brother-in-law, Win, all got up early and drove over to Oshtemo.  Mario had a lot of discs so he shared them with us, I think we each grabbed two discs, a driver and a putter.  And started to tough our way through a challenging course.  Probably three hours later we walked out of the forest, muddy and in love with the sport.

It didn’t take long for my father-in-law and myself to go to Dunham’s  Sports and pick up a disc golf starter pack.  The pack came with a driver, mid-range, and putter.  In fact I still have them: Leopard, Shark, and Aviar.  (Actually, I don’t have the Aviar, I think that one disappeared in Grand Rapids)  We then started going to the Oshtemo course on the weekends.  I loved those three discs and it probably took another year before I bought any new ones.

My Shark Disc

This is my Shark Disc, again, a little worn, but can't go wrong with that. As of late, it's been my favorite.

The course has changed a bit since then.  It used to have a lot more trees, and if you go out there now you’ll see the stumps where they used to be.  They must have gotten a lot of complaints, because those trees where in some really hard spots, forcing you to throw low or really high to get around them.

I remember watching Mario throw some amazing throws, the type of throws that amaze and anger you at the same time.  It was like he had a remote or a string to guide them around the trees.  He made them look easy, and watching the way those discs flew was beautiful.  I still get amazed by how the discs float in the air, it’s like art.  Anyway, the important thing was that he gave us pointers and helped us figure out how to do those throws.  Not saying that we did anywhere as good as he did, but at least we hobbled our way through the course.

I discovered that my friend Paul liked to disc golf, so I would go with him every once in a while, and I even brought my then fiance with me.  It just got into my bones and spirit.  Maybe it’s why people hike or hunt, to be out in nature, away from the computers and traffic and daily grind of life, but whatever it is, you do feel really peaceful out there.  It was that place in my head I would go to when working at a retail bookstore or going to college started bringing me down.  I’m not saying that I didn’t get frustrated out there, trust me, when you think you have thrown an awesome throw only to have it slam into a tree truck, you are as far from peace as you can get.  But, you just have to let that stuff go.

We only went to Osthemo that first year getting into disc golf.  I don’t know if it was because we were familiar with it or if it was the only one we knew of, but either way that was the course we used until my fiance and I graduated from Western Michigan and we moved to Crystal Lake, Illinois (not the camp that Jason haunted), but a northwest suburb of Chicago.

That is the end of part 1.  Part 2 shows how my love progressed for the sport and how I was able to watch a competition and meet some great athletes.

Until tomorrow, I ask, what is your first disc golf memory?

My two babies

What is that saying? You always remember your first. Well my first was triplets, yet the two stuck around. I must be doing something right...

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