There is one thing that we all love about disc golfing, the one thing that you can’t take out of disc golf, the one thing that makes disc golf disc golf…the hunting of your disc in the woods!
Let me set it up for you, you are on the pad looking down a 325 foot path that dogs to the left and has deep woods on both sides. Your buddies are waiting for you and you know you have a tendency to go further to the left than you want. You pull back, throw and listen as your buddies laugh at you because you now have to hike up your socks and put your head down as you dig through the brush to find your disc.
This is a scenario we are probably all familiar with. And if you are not, I want to see it! There is no way you never had to hunt for your disc at least once. I simply don’t believe it. Unless you go to some crazy course that doesn’t have any baskets with some woods near it. Or at least some tall grass. But, part of the joy of disc golf is going to some cool parks and taking the walk in nature. I’ve been to some great courses that had me going through some nasty parts of the woods. Especially in the middle of the summer.
It adds to the challenge of the sport. You want to stay out of it. While you are standing on the pad, you are thinking about how to throw your disc. What will keep you on the green and out of those lovely woods? I know that I think about it. I have a pretty wicked hook that gets me in trouble. The woods are one of the things that stick out in my mind while I’m getting ready for my drive. I don’t want to think about it, I need to concentrate on my throw, but I hate wasting time digging through the woods, and so it stands at the forefront of my concentration. Hunting in the woods can kill your momentum. You also stand in the way of others. And god forbid you are throwing a green or yellow disc. With the sun and the leaves, you are asking for a lost disc.
I haven’t even mentioned the actual hunt.
Just thinking about it…thorny bushes, constant fake outs of leaves and sticks looking like your disc, repeatedly looking at the same spot thinking that you hadn’t looked at it yet, and the possibility that your disc might be up in the trees. Good times.
Now that I have brought up all of the “fun” of disc hunting, what about the solutions? Is there honestly a solution to this problem besides just keeping the disc out of the woods? If I could keep my disc out of the woods, more than likely it means I have a pretty good throw and then that would mean I could probably make it in some tournaments and be a lot better than I am. But, the purpose of this blog is to get better, so the answer is no, no I can’t keep my disc out of the woods. I let the disc go too early or too late, or I don’t line up properly and the disc ends up in the garbage of the woods.
But, what I can offer is plenty of experience foraging for discs!
Here are some suggestions:
Get a spotter out there, I know that it helped a lot when I went out on the Wolverine Cup. It’ll save you a ton of time, because they are out there checking on where the disc ended up. You will be surprised on how much time is saved by having someone out there pointing to the tree that your disc is leaning against.
Throw a colorful disc. I know this isn’t super practical, because you might have to purchase some new discs. But, if you have a red, blue, purple, or orange disc out in the brush under the trees, it’ll be a lot easier to see than a green disc under green leaves. Plus, the color might be a bit unique making it easier to distinguish between other people’s discs.
Stop and think. Sometimes you need to stop and think about where it could be. If you didn’t have someone out there as a spotter, it’s tougher to spot the exact spot, but you should have a good idea where it is. Go there and think. More than likely the disc is near the edge of the garbage area and it is probably just under some leaves.
But, don’t get frustrated. Walk around and look. Think about your usual path. You should have a good idea on where you usually throw. That should give you an idea where it might end up. If you have someone with you, they can help cover more ground.
As a last resort, make sure your name and number are on the disc, so that if you do lose it someone can call you when they find it.
I’m sure you all have come up with your own techniques on disc hunting while in the woods. Take a second and share with us what you do to find your disc.