It wasn’t the best weekend here in Kalamazoo for disc golf (Friday was nice, but Saturday and Sunday was all rain), but that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t go out and half some fun! And that is exactly what I did, I went out on Friday and Saturday. Saturday was an adventure because it started to rain when we got to the first pad, and it didn’t let up, so we only did 9 holes 8 and 1/2 holes because we were soaked. Friday was also an adventure because I took my friend Josh, who has never gone disc golfing before, and what’s the best way to learn but to teach, so put on my instructors cap and took Josh under my wing to be introduced to the glory that is disc golf!
Josh has been wanting to go for a while, but is always busy. So, when I got a text from him that he wanted to out to the course on Friday, I was excited! In fact, I was so excited that I jumped in the in-laws van and picked him up as soon as he was ready. Which, turned out to be a little bit of trouble, because I didn’t eat a snack and that hurt me a bit later on the course. It’s cool though, because we had a great time and I think I converted him to the dark side.
For the sake of not wanting to pay a fee (talk about that soon), I took Josh over to the Oshtemo course, which is free. It wasn’t too hot or too cold, though it wasn’t really sunny either. But the wind wasn’t bad. I don’t think the wind really effects that course too much, because of all of the trees, but for the sake of talking about the weather, it wasn’t that windy either. There were quite a few people out on the course, so for the first couple of course we had to wait at each pad, but for whatever reason, once we let this one guy past us, the waiting cleared up. Maybe people only did 9 holes? Or maybe they started doing really well? Who knows.
By the way, one thing that I want to ask is: why is it that every time I go out and there are people playing, they always throw from the closer pad? There is usually two pads for people to start on, obviously one closer to the basket than the other one. I always play from the one furthest from the basket, it adds a challenge and I think that is where the pros play from. Why wimp out and play from the one that is 20 – 30 feet closer to the basket and isn’t behind some trees? Seems like if are good at disc golf you would want that extra challenge. I mean, I guess if you are just out there to say that you disc golf (I guess it makes you cool in some circles? Don’t ask me. I don’t have a huge following on this blog or see it on tv or very much on the web, so I don’t know how cool it makes you to say you disc golf), then you would probably want to play from the easiest pad just to get the game over with. But, as someone that isn’t very good (but trying!) I hate waiting for a group of kids throwing from that pad, walk the couple of extra feet and come back here with me and see why disc golf is challenging and fun.
Anyway, it’s fun taking someone new out on the course and teaching them how to disc golf. You have to try to teach them that throwing a disc is kinda similar to throwing a frisbee, but not really. Josh did a pretty good job. He did have a bit of a discus type throw. You know, where you curl your arm around the disc and then run up to the edge of the pad and whip your arm out. But it worked. It just hooked to the left quite a bit. It was cool though to watch him realize that and see him compensate for it. I didn’t want to over burden him with a bunch of things that I have read about disc golfing, so I would just give him small bits of advice, kinda tell him why I am doing what I am doing. Also, the guy we let ahead of us was pretty good, so that was cool to watch and see what he did.
I believe that Josh had a great time. He said that he can see what people do it: being out in nature, enjoying the quiet(unless I screwed up), not having to spend that much money, the calmness it usually creates (again, unless I screw up), and just the fact that you are having fun. I believe that I will be taking him out to a course again.
On Saturday I went to Robert Morris Park with my cousin-in-law’s fiancé, Nate. Which, has gone out before, a lot, actually, so no teaching but still fun to do. If you have been following this blog, then you know that I had a nice run in with Robert Morris Park last week involving the paying of fees. So, this was a good test to see if it is easy to find the box you have to pay in. I guess if you call a yellow post that looks like a cement post you use to stop people from hitting something, then I guess yes. However, if I didn’t know I was looking for that, I wouldn’t have known that was what it was. I would have thought it was a cement post you use to stop people from hitting something. Anyway, we did pay the fee (which wasn’t listed anywhere near the post, we just guessed and paid a couple of bucks). And as soon as we got out of the car, it started to rain. And rain, and rain, and rain. Luckily, the first nine holes are pretty much covered by trees, so it wasn’t that bad.
Nate is similar to Andy in that he throws left-handed, so it was interesting to watch. The unique thing about Nate is that he did the majority holes overhand. Which was surprisingly effective. Especially for some of the really wooded holes, or when the hole dog legged to the right. The disc would flip over and head that way. I might have to give that a try.
I had some good holes, more than bad ones, so that means I am improving, which is great. But, it’s hard to tell because of all of the rain, that definitely made the game(again, I don’t like calling it that, but haven’t thought of something better. What do people say when they go golfing?) interesting. The discs got really muddy and slippery, and made you try to aim away from the mud puddles that were forming around the baskets. I guess that forced you to be better at putting, because picking your putter up out of the mud is not fun.
The weirdest thing about Saturday was the fact that the 9th hole was missing a basket. Now, I know they went through and changed the course up some time the last month, but as of two weeks ago there was a basket at the 9th hole. However, when Nate and I stood at the top of the hill where the pad is for the 9th hole, I couldn’t see the basket. I assumed it was down there and we threw our discs, but once down there, the basket was no where to be found. The couple that was playing ahead of us was also looking for the basket and they asked me if I had seen it. I pointed to the places where the basket has been, usually past the nasty little pond that seems to suck up a lot of discs and has some mean geese protecting it, and where they had recently put it, which was currently a suspicious hole. The hole looked pretty fresh too. Did they plan on putting it somewhere else and then get scared off because of the rain? I don’t know, but considering that we have to pay to play there, I would like to be able to count on baskets being at the end of each hole.
I’m not bitter or anything…