Getting Ready for Your First Round of Disc Golf
So you want you want to learn to play disc golf? I mean, you can throw a frisbee so you figured frisbee golf would be no sweat. Well, you've already made two mistakes and you haven't even stepped on the course. First of all, don't call it frisbee golf; that's a dead give away that you have no idea what you're doing. The sport is called "disc golf" and referring to the discs as frisbees is not just wrong, it's insulting. Your second mistake is a little something called hubris, meaning excessive pride or self-confidence. If you're expecting to be able to pick up a disc and starting flinging it around like a frisbee you're in for a rude awakening my friend. But don't worry, read on and I'll give you a crash-course into the wonderful sport of disc golf.
For those of you who don't know, disc golf is essentially the same as regular golf, expect that instead of hit a ball into a little hole, you throw discs into a cage or basket. Rather than having different clubs, you will actually switch out the discs to suit your situation. After each throw, you'll walk to where your disc landed and take your next shot from there. Repeat this process until you are able to land the disc in the cage. As a beginner, don't get too caught up in the rules and technicalities of the game. For example, don't hesitate to move out of a difficult spot like in the thicket or behind a tree. Just focus on having fun and improving your game.
The first, and absolute most important piece of advice I have for you is to find someone who knows their way around a disc and learn as much as you can from them; in person. I can give you tips and techniques until I'm blue in the face, but I can't watch you throw and tell you exactly what is wrong with your technique. A buddy who can mentor you in real life is going to make a bigger positive impact on your game than all the articles and videos on the internet combined. Plus, it's just more fun when you have someone to play with.
Hopefully, you've found a friend or two who can lend you some plastic (that's what the cool kids call discs) or point you to a local shop. There are hundreds (thousands?) of kinds of discs and each one has different strengths and weaknesses. I'll try to keep this simple so you don't get overwhelmed. Ideally, you're going to want a driver, a mid-range disc and a putter to start with; Innova and Discraft are the most reputable brands out there so use that as a starting point. Those starter packs that they sell at big chain sporting goods stores are fine, not perfect but they'll work. Remember, how you throw is 100 times more important than what you throw.
"Stop making this so complicated, just tell me what discs I should get already!" Well, since you asked so nicely; for beginners, I like to recommend the Innova Leopard for a driver, the Innova Roc for mid-range and the Innova Aviar for a putter. Is that simple enough for you? If you only want to pony the dough for one disc, go with the Roc, it is a fantastic all-around disc that is also very beginner-friendly. On some short courses, I use the Roc on 90% of my throws (not counting putts).
Enough about what plastic to throw, in the next article in this series I will give you an introduction to actually throwing the discs.