Poll 21: How did you get introduced?

It seems whenever I talk to somebody, they found the game in a different way.

Personally, I had seen baskets before and knew a little about it, but actually took an interest when we found a disc while out geocaching. Two of us thought it would be cool to try at some point, but that thought died soon after.

Eventually, a friend talked me and another friend into trying it. At that point, I had no clue about a pro tour or anything like that. It was just something new to try. I was more intrigued because the course he was taking us to had several geocaches throughout (as it was in a park).

I figured, heck, I can combine some hobbies and it could be fun.

More on that in a moment. Before we get to the rest of this story and this week’s poll, let’s re-visit last week’s poll.

Last week, we asked how strong your arm is — in other words, how far can you throw? I knew some people might point out that it’s not about strength, but form. And I understand that, but I was curious to see how far people could throw. Just raw throwing.

The results we got, to me, were interesting.

For a while, I knew I didn’t throw far. But over time, my throws got longer. It felt good. I estimated distance. Some friends told me I had to be throwing 300-325 feet. So I was stoked.

But then I’d see people who could actually throw this far doing it and I’d think, wait, my throws aren’t going that far.

I invested in a 50-foot tape measure, some orange flags and paced out 300 feet, putting the flags at every 50 feet.

I found that I averaged about 200-250 feet (and usually in the 225 range). That got me realizing lengths and how they are. Measuring yourself is a way to really see what you have. Another friend was throwing what he thought was massive numbers, but once we measured, we realized it wasn’t as long.

To put this into perspective, if you can throw 300 feet, you can throw the length of a football field. If you can throw 450, that’s a football field and a half. That’s a bomb!

So I thought it would be nice to have a poll here to see what everyone else can throw.

We had 293 voters and the top spots were close — 69 voters (24 percent) said they threw 301-350 feet and 68 votes (23 percent) noted they could throw 351-400 feet.

Third place went to 401-450 feet, which drew 49 votes (75 percent). The next spot went to more than 450 feet, which had 37 votes (13 percent). In fifth, was 251-300 feet, which had 36 votes (12 percent).

That’s some distance.

So either we have a ton of strong-armed people reading this blog, or those who are noodle-armed, like me, don’t respond!

Let’s see what some readers said…

Derek O’Neil said:

I can get my max distance with a ESP Nuke SS 171g. I can get over 300 ft with my Nuke ESP 171/173g. Beginning of the year I was maxing 300-310, 1 of every 10 throws. But with practice I can consistently throw over 300 getting near 340 on my most powerful throws…

I’m starting to think that the 300-350 range is a pretty normal range for those who play on a regular basis and understand what their discs can do. I think that’s the range I’ll eventually aim for and be happy with if I get there.

Steve Huebner says:

I can generally reach 350? with my Surge SS in an open field on a regular basis. On occasion I can hit 375? but that is rare and it has to be a good throw. Although I have been playing about 4 years I am really relearning to throw this year after an elbow injury kept me from throwing at all last year. My goal is to get to 400? with some accuracy. I think if I can do that I will be super happy.

Sounds like a good goal and something to reach out for!

Derek says:

I can’t wait to see the lies people put up here for their throwing distance. -Love Noodle Arm (not a story teller)

It’s the beauty of the Internet. I wonder with many things I read, especially with distance and sports things. And knowing how I used to think with distances and what I know now, sometimes it’s a wonder! (I’m noodle-armed, too).

Kevin King notes:

I used to throw roughly 350 or so on my open drives with an Archon, but ever since picking up my Blizzard Boss, it has become my number one distance driver. I’m routinely clearing 400 ft at my course’s par 5 first hole. My home course is the longest in Canada, so I have about 7 or 8 drives where I get to really pull back and reef on the disc. I think that playing on such a long course so frequently has really helped my arm over the 3 years I’ve been playing.

I imagine playing long courses has to help. It makes you strive for those distances. I know whenever I play courses with long or long and open fields, I get frustrated because it takes me several throws to get anywhere.

Brian Buller says:

I actually just made a breakthrough in my throwing technique that allows me to throw about 500 feet.

What were you at, originally? And if you have a major breakthrough and others could learn from it… want to write a story for us? Let me know if you do as I always like having other voices talk about things like this!

Marley says:

A moderate arm am I. Smart play, accuracy, and putting make up for the lack of monster drives. If I get a good head wind to assist a good throw, I may get close to 400 ft, but not much more 300ft for me on the average.

The arm may be moderate, but I would love to be able to average 300!

Jacob Keane said:

I can throw 700 ft plus with a 152 Gram Blizzard ape.. although that sort of distance is rarely needed when I leave other then to help me win our local gambling games, but our average hole here on the island is 300ft so my type arm makes it a lot more difficult than need be, haha. but I can sure cannon it out there, I threw a 600 with a Tee bird, 2009 aloha sushi classic tourney disc.

Wow. That’s some distance. So you are throwing longer than two football fields on average? That would be something I’d like to see as I don’t think I’ve seen many people throw that distance.

Brad Charles said:

I throw 480 on a regular basis. I throw star destroyers. I have been playing about a year and a half my farthest drive is 615 but that was with a pretty good wind.

Playing a year and a half and averaging nearly 500 feet on drives? You play a lot? And 615 for longest is impressive.

Now that we’ve seen what others throw, let’s get back to this week’s poll.

So my first time was on a course that had a bit of everything. The geocaches kept my interest throughout and I figured mixing the two would help. I brought another geocacher friend along and, since then, he’s become a much better disc golfer and is involved with a lot (for those who are regular readers of this blog, that other person is Darren, who works with us on the site).

That’s how I was introduced to the game of disc golf. I’ve gone through a few phases along the way, too. After first playing, I didn’t again for a few months. I played in a fund-raising tournament, which turned into a column for the newspaper I was working for at the time. But after that, it was sporadic.

I played a few rounds here and there and then got the tournament bug. Then the competitor in me took over and I got frustrated when I couldn’t do many things. I stayed like that for a while before I decided that tournaments weren’t the way for me and I needed re-invent myself and have fun.

And that’s where I’m at now. I have played in one tournament this year and am not sure how many more I will. I play when I can. I like writing about the game. I like taking photos of the game. But I’ve also realized a lot of things about the game and that all brings things together.

But in the end, I would have never been able to do all of this stuff — including the website — if I hadn’t been introduced to the game by someone else. I found it, initially, through another game, but in the end, it was a friend and disc golfer who got me interested.My interest grew from there — finding the pros, finding new courses and learning new things. But that initial thing is what introduced me to the sport.

So how about you?

How did you get involved in disc golf? A friend? Seeing it somewhere? Reading about it? Let us know and expand in the comments!

[poll id=”25″]

Note: As much as I hate to do this, we’re going to skip the weekly giveaways for a little while.

If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj [at] rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

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0 thoughts on “Poll 21: How did you get introduced?

  1. It was 1994. I was a freshman in high school and my school friend( he was only a friend inside school) brought in some discs I asked what it was he said “FROLF” we went after school and I was hooked ever since. 18yrs and still hukin

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  2. My friend Phil took me out to his local 9 hole at the time. It was fun I looked at it as something new to do instead of always playing video games lol. So I started watching videos and then I started buying discs, and haven’t looked back inthe 5 years since.

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  3. I saw it being played driving past the park 2 years before I actually played. I went to academy and checked out the disc selection once every 3 months or so just to try to get into it. I figured that all my friends are lazy gamers and wouldn’t want to play so I never brought the topic up with them. I told my brother that me and him should go play, he called it stupid.

    2 years later, my friend says he can’t go eat lunch with everyone cause he has a disc golf tournament. I was like “WUUUUUUUUUT” He was like “disc golf, it’s like golf but you throw frisbees instead of hit golf balls”. I was like ” I know I’ve been dying to play for 2 years.” Apparently he started 6 months ago at this time, he played with his cousins and stuff like that. We picked a day and decided to go play. I rushed out and bought 2 discs, DX Shark and DX wraith. Spent a whole $20.67 not knowing what I had in store. First round I was getting pretty tired cause I didn’t know it lasted as long as it did. Lots of hills and walking at my home course. We stopped early due to heat being 104.

    After that day, I questioned playing again, he said we could go throw at the park instead of play a round so I could learn the basics. I’m glad we did. After about 25 park visits, I was confident enough to return to the course without being made a fool of. I purchased 4 more discs between the time of my rounds. ESP Surge, Z Avenger SS, ESP Nuke(used), and a Tsunami. I didn’t like the way the shark felt so I left it at home. I generally threw my surge and avenger the most. And I did a lot better the 2nd round. The following week, I brought the topic up with my brother again, he told me again I was stupid. I told him, let’s go do your work outs and then go do mine at the park. After he saw me throw a disc 2 times a far as him, he was hooked into trying to beat me. 😛

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  4. Back in the Day…

    Alert! an old fart story is coming….

    In ’85 at Florida there is an 18 hole ball course on the campus and could play it with a student ID for $5. An afternoon of golf & beer was only a few bucks. When they closed the course for repairs & maintenance we found the local DG course.

    We used beach frisbees for the first year and I didn’t get my first golf disc until ’86. An Innova XD that I still have hanging on my wall. My first long range driver was an Innova Cobra.

    I still play a round with the clubs every now and then but I’d much rather play DG.

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  5. I was in a sporting goods store wanting discs to throw for exercise and trick shots after watching Brodie Smith on YouTube. I wandered next to a rack of golfing discs, then had to ask the clerk what the discs were for. He admitted he had played a little and I became interested in trying the game.

    With the wide selection of discs, I ended up calling Innova and a nice rep encouraged me to start out with a Leopard since it was a reputed straight shooter. I don’t want to say how much I’ve spent on discs since then, but the irony is that I stayed with my Leopard series through it all. I expanded and stayed with Sidewinders, Surge SS, and Avenger SS, all of which I enjoy, but I shoot light discs since my shoulder can’t handle the heavies on a routine basis — especially when I practice throwing a lot of discs — and I like to use what I practice with to stay consistent. I may not be a distance shooter, but I usually make up for it with accuracy and decent approach shooting. I play for fun, anyway, not to impress anyone or be a tournament champ.

    To help promote the game, I’ve given away most of my disc collection to those interested, or players who favored the particular discs I’ve had that I couldn’t throw well. I figure it has been money well spent on a learning experience for me, and I take pleasure in assisting others who can’t afford discs by giving them a boost.

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  6. During a Thanksgiving trip to Durham 2010, I was able to reconnect with a work colleague. After two failed attempts for dinner plans, he invited me to play disc golf. I had never played, had never been on or seen a course, but had a vague idea of what I thought it was all about. Even though I was a self-proclaimed Frisbee freak in high school and college, and had played some ultimate, I was not very interested in going. I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t see him for a long time, so I gave in (I shudder now, to admit that I “gave in”).

    Enter, Cornwallis Road Park. We played on a windy, rainy and cold day – and it was crowded, but I had a blast. I think I first played with an Innova Cheetah and some putter whose name escapes me. I had a hard time throwing a right-turning shot, but he told me I was playing very well, better than the first time he had ever played. I had a really good time and thought I would definitely like to do it again.

    Since I was focused on cyclocross for the rest of that fall and through winter, I didn’t play again until next spring. I bought some Innova discs (Leopard, Archangel, Stingray, Cobra, Aero, Classic Aviar – all DX) and a bag so that I could get started. I had planned on “volunteering” one of my old “Frisbee friends,” as I thought he would also enjoy it. Once my package of goodies arrived at work, a friend noticed the sender and excitedly asked what I got. I found out that I now had a local, seasoned player to foster my new habit, ahem, sport. I have not looked back since.

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  7. After surgery to repair my ruptured Achilles and well after physical therapy I was ready for some outdoor activities. My range of motion and limited strength in my leg left me with very few options as far as being active and pretty much kept me from being competitive. That was until January 2012, when a friend asked me if I’d want to go throw discs with him and some other friends.

    I remember my first drive in to town to the course, about 20 minutes away. I was nervous… Was I going to be conditioned enough to finish a round, was I going to re-injure my leg, was I going to look like a fool tossing the disc only a few feet ahead of me or worse into the woods? All those questions and more raced though my head and butterflies partied in my gut.

    All that was put to rest when we started playing. I wasn’t great or good but I wasn’t bad at all. The guys were all cool, offering tips and motivating me through 18. I finished that round +26 but had a blast. The camaraderie and competitive spirit was ignited in me, something I hadn’t felt in years. At the end of the round the guys asked if I’d ever play again, I answered yes, I’m down to play again right now. Haha.

    It’s been nearly 7 months since I started and now the course that I finished +26 is my home course and I can now finish anywhere between 0 to +5. I have a friend that calls me The Prodigy, and when I play solo rounds and end up playing with other random guys the question of how long I’ve been playing comes up. When I tell them since January or only 25-30 times they look at me like some freak. One guy jokingly said, you shouldn’t even be walking on this course, you should be floating from tee box to tee box. Haha.

    I don’t think I’m that good, I just enjoy playing and don’t plan on playing any tournaments until I reach my one year mark.

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  8. we used to play lazertag in the cemetery behind a friends house at night. Then during the days we started playing frisbee golf. And even though we kept an eye on the cemetery, righting headstones that had been vandalized and such, we were nicely (we were on good terms with the cops, reporting vandalism and such) told not to play there. We moved to a local park and played object golf. I still remember seeing my first real DG disc in about 87. Even though I only play occasionally, most of my friends from that time are serious golf sluts in Portland. If you live there and play a lot, you likely know them or of them.

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  9. My wife thought it would be something fun to do with the kids. So we played a couple times at the end of the summer. Then like a ton of bricks it hit! I played the next spring and was bitten by the bug! Now I play as much as I possibly can. Thou I’m still learning and just changed my grip. I’m doing ok but striving to get ALOT better!

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  10. I attended a bibleschool and some guys that was on their 2nd year there played frisbeegolf. It didn’t take a day before they started to introduse the game to us new students, but it took some weeks before they managed to talk me into trying cause I thought it looked stupid and wierd.
    And as soon as I tried it I couldn’t stop playing!

    Now, 6 years later, I’m trying to pass the joy of frisbeegolf forward to the kids and some grown ups at my homeplace.

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  11. I love telling this story…….As a Summer Camp Director back in the 90’s, one of our county wide events was the Whamo World Junior Frisbee Competiion. We had a little girl in our camp, Renee Pardo, who blew away all the competition in her age division year after year. She won the local, regional, and state conttests, to qualify to go on to the “Worlds.” There she gained an interest as a freestyle jammer, and was introduced to the growing sport of disc golf, by one of the premier disc gol course designers of our time, John Houck.

    One day after Renée returned from the Worlds, she came out to my officce to visit and said, “Hey Mr. Stan, let’s build a disc golf course on the Rec Center Property.” Since I had never haerd of it before, my response was: “what the heck is disc golf?” She went on to explain, and I went on to get permission from our Parks and Recration Director. Our diirector was totally in favor of the idea as long as it didn’t cost us any money. So…..the fundraising began…..but that’s another story.

    The funds were raised in few months, and the first disc golf course was built in Soutwest Florida in 1997, and I got hooked on the best sport ever!! Since then, there are now 4 courses in our area, my game still has much room for improvement, and I’m more hooked than ever!!

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  12. I grew up throwing frisbees on the beach. My oldest daughters birthday, 2008, I was driving home from work. I was passing by the church where I play drums and say 4 youth on the church grounds throwing colorful “frisbees” but not to each other! They were throwing at trees, signs, etc. I stopped asked them what the heck they were doing and they told me about disc golf. I bought my first basic set that day!!! I went Pro a year ago… All this time growing up with frisbees,,, I never knew there was a real sport until that day.

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  13. Often, when my son and I are playing, someone will ask which one of us got the other into disc golf. The answer is neither! Thanks go to my husband who, in 2006, brought home one of those 3-disc starter packs from Innova. Our family didn’t know anyone previously in the sport, but we’ve made all sorts of friends since we started.

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  14. Pingback: Disc golf still looking to go viral

  15. Pingback: A plan to finally get disc golf past the tipping point | School of Disc Golf

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