No matter how you rank disc golf in your life, it helps the sport’s growth

Last week’s poll question got me thinking a bit.

I have a lot of things going on in my life. Personal and professional things aside, there are many things I enjoy doing or being a part of. Whether it be out hiking and finding geocaches, to summer softball, to community events and hobbies such as photography, I keep myself busy.

harmer_sigAnd then there’s disc golf.

I discovered this sport in 2010 when a friend encouraged me to go play a round. Two of us joined him and another and played our first round at Joralemon Park in Coeymans, New York. It was an interesting course to first be introduced to the sport as the wooded holes are difficult.

Alas, we played the shorter version, so that day we only got a brief introduction to that course.

It took me several months to pick up a disc again. But once I did, I realized how much I liked the sport. So, I bought a few, started playing here and there and, before I knew it, I was living it a little too much. Tournaments and all that, getting mad when I didn’t do what I thought I should have done and, basically, becoming too competitive.

I knew where it was heading — being too competitive. Thankfully, I got it under control quickly and realized I wasn’t going to be the next big thing on the National Tour.

Still, I have friends who eat, sleep and live disc golf.

It’s something I just can’t do. One of the main reasons is because I don’t have a good course anywhere near me. If I did, I’m sure I’d play a whole lot more than I do now. But I still don’t think I would have changed my own answer in that poll.

If you remember, we asked where disc golf ranked in your life. There were 119 people who voted. Of that group, 73 (61 percent) said it was their favorite outdoor activity and 31 people (26 percent) said they were obsessed, with nothing ranking higher.

That means 104 people (87 percent) of the 119 who votes place disc golf on a high level in regard to their life.

As for me?

I was the lone person who voted “something I dig doing when I have the chance.”

That has to sound rather odd, doesn’t it? A guy who founded and runs one of the top disc golf blogs out there isn’t somebody who rushes to to a disc golf course every waking moment.

I often try and combine hobbies on a disc golf day, such as photography. It allows me to slow down and see a different side of the game.

Nuts, no?

I enjoy this game. A whole heap, actually. I love getting out and throwing plastic, playing a few rounds with friends and competing in the occasional tournament.

But I look at this game in a whole different picture. It’s great exercise, it works muscles I don’t always use and it’s allowed me to meet and be friends with people I never would have met otherwise.

Still, it’s a game in my eyes. I’m never going to get to a top level. I’ll practice when I get the chance, but I have so many interests, it’s hard to commit to playing so often. In fact, I usually try and mix other things in when I do a disc golf trip with the hopes of maximizing a day.

The gas prices don’t help, either.

However, I also think it gives me a different viewpoint when it comes to this blog. I can see things in a little different of a light because I’m not always so involved, per se. I research a bit more. I absorb more things. I try to make sure I understand things a lot more.

Sometimes, when you are extremely vested in something, it’s tough to remain objective and focused. One can become blinded by something because they are so involved. Don’t get me wrong, that’s understandable. I get like that with some things on my personal blog, too. Or with other hobbies and interests.

That being said, I still love a weekend getaway filled with disc golf. Whether it’s tossing minis somewhere or playing four rounds in two tournaments, I can usually really get into the trip.

But I am totally in awe of some of you with how much you play. I truly do think it’s awesome and it really proves how diverse this game is and will continue to be. We all do our part in growing this game, no matter how it’s done. These polls we run aren’t just something to fill space – it really helps us look at the game in a different light and sometimes, such as with this poll, it really gives us something to think about.

So keep on chucking that plastic as much as you do. Whether it’s an obsession, your favorite outdoor activity, or something you like to do every once in a while, rattle those chains and keep growing the sport from the ground up.

P.J. Harmer is the founder and executive editor for Rattling Chains. E-mail him at: pj@rattlingchains.com.

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0 thoughts on “No matter how you rank disc golf in your life, it helps the sport’s growth

  1. I totally agree with your approach to disc golf. I voted “A sport I enjoy playing” so I was in the minority as well. Perhaps it is because I am 52 years old and only been playing for 1 year, but more likely it’s because I’ve “Been there, done that”.

    In my earlier years my hobby was shooting sports. Before long I was competing every weekend, directing local and state matches, and shooting in State and National Championships. I had time for nothing else. After about ten years I realized that it had all become work and I wasn’t enjoying myself. I “retired” and have never looked back.

    So now I am careful not to not my hobbies become work. But I suspect that if I’d discovered disc golf while in my twenties or thirties I would have gone at it a whole different way…

    Mark

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  2. Thanks for your post PJ,
    Last week’s poll, but more importantly the comments some people left really helped me clarify where disc golf stands in my life. I thought disc golf needed to be my #1 thing in life, but having read a comment about the importance of family, it snapped me out of a selfish competitive spiral and back to reality. I realized that I enjoy time with my family #1, and disc golf is something fun to do when I have time… and this realization might have saved my marriage.
    DW

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  3. Great post, P.J.

    I have many interests too. I’m a Jack of all trades type. It bugs the hell out of me. A while ago I decided to make an attempt to refuse acquiring more interests. I was half way through the memorization of a Rubik’s Cube formula when I began to wonder why I was wasting time with something like this.

    I know why now. I’ve had an internal struggle to simply be good at one thing. Being a “Jack” has many positives, but also has dangerous negatives when you have an obsessive personality. Some of the negatives are wasted time and wasted money. That’s not good when you’re a family man.

    Disc golf is the one hobby I have that includes my family, but also encompasses all of the interests I’ve decided to keep in my life like writing, reading, photography, videography, camping, exercising, crocheting and traveling. That’s why I appreciate it and rank it pretty high in my life. I know I’ll never be a highly ranked pro, but I also know disc golf will always keep life interesting.

    Yeah, I said crocheting. It’s awesome.

    Like

  4. Pingback: No matter how you rank disc golf in your life, it helps the sport’s growth | Keystone Disc Golf

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