Put the Sharpie down and back away from the basket

Dear Disc Golfer,

Congratulations, you hit an ace! I am sure it was a crowning achievement in your plastic throwing career, and something you’ll tell your grandchildren about many years from now. We’re very proud of you.

Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, allow me to let you in on a little secret: No one cares.


OK, OK, I’m sure someone cares. I bet if you send your mom a text message she’ll respond with a smiley, and the group you were playing with that day probably pitched in for a frosty cold one. So there is some care.

But you know who doesn’t care? Everyone else to ever play that basket, or anyone who has to walk by and see your signature on it.

That’s right, I’m talking to you, Mr. or Mrs. Basket Signer. We’re all happy about that ace, but did you really have to deface an innocent sheath of metal with your poorly scrawled Sharpie? Couldn’t you have given high-fives to your friends and moved on, or perhaps signed the disc with which you hit the ace?


Instead, you had to vandalize a valuable, and very visible, piece of equipment that is the cornerstone of our sport. Your arrogance and need for attention has caused an eyesore. In a sport that already has enough stigmas, you are adding another to it by needlessly putting graffiti on a piece of the course.

It’s just a disc golf basket, you probably thought to yourself. Everyone does it. It’s part of the game.

No, it isn’t.

You know what it is? Bad karma. I bet within the next day or two something awful happened, like you lost your perfectly seasoned Buzzz in a ravine, or you caged a gimme putt to lose out on cash at league night.

Not yet?

Trust me, it’s coming. The disc gods know, and they aren’t pleased.

But it was an ace! you say. Surely everyone understands how exciting that is. Plus, the rest of the course has trash lying around. It’s not like my signature made it any worse.

How about picking up the trash and putting down the pen? Ever thought of that?

Or, if you still need some attention, why not take it to the Internet?

Tired of seeing baskets being marked at his local courses, Fort Worth, Texas native Bruce Pilkington started the Disc Golf ACE page on Facebook. It’s a place where people can send in photos of their ace shots and have them posted for fellow disc golfers to congratulate.

Permanent marker not required.

Writing on a basket after an ace is an unnecessary act, says Rattling Chains writer Steve Hill. (photo by Steve Hill)

Writing on a basket after an ace is an unnecessary act, says Rattling Chains writer Steve Hill. (photo by Steve Hill)

“I’m not a fan of marking on baskets because I think it could make the sport look bad with all that Sharpie all over,” Pilkington said. “A lot of people would consider it graffiti or vandalism.

“If you make a hole in one in ball golf,” he questioned, “do you mark your name on the flag?”

No, Bruce, you don’t.

And if you did, you would be quickly escorted away by course marshals and given a swift kick in the rear with those golf spikes. (That’s what they use them for, right?)

Now that Pilkington has created an Internet home for disc golfers to celebrate their achievements, word is catching on and the page is growing, snagging more than 100 likes in about a week.

And now that he has created the page, Pilkington can try and keep the vandals at bay.

“If I saw someone marking a basket, I would politely tell them to stop and let them know why it’s not a good idea,” he said, “and just to mark it on the disc and tell them about the page I started on Facebook to brag!”

And what about if you don’t have a Facebook account? Pilkington said you are still free to boast. It just doesn’t have to be to everyone.

“Just write it on the disc,” he said. “They will pull it out of the bag with a group of friends or at a tourney and someone will see the ink and will ask about it, and then brag about it!”

If only there were more Bruces in the world, our poor, defenseless baskets would be safe.

Watch out, basket signers. We’re on to you.

Steve Hill is the associate editor for Rattling Chains. Email him at steve@rattlingchains.com and follow him on Twitter @OneMileMore.


0 thoughts on “Put the Sharpie down and back away from the basket

  1. Okay, I’ve never signed a basket before after an ace. HOWEVER, we all sign the wood posts. In Wisconsin, many (and I mean many) courses do it. I think it’s a great way to show people that you aced whatever hole you played. Also, I think it’s really interesting to look at a post before throwing off the tee to see if there is new ink and see how recent someone aced it. Yes, I also put it on my disc, but the posts holding the sign, that is where I write the date and my name. To me, it’s not vandalism. And frankly, I’m going to keep writing on the wood posts.


  2. Get over yourselves! Its just a random moment in flying plastic when some metal got in the way. Everyone knows some beginner who hit the chains in their early throws, so its not like some skill level achievement thing, like your first sub-par round. Enjoy the moment, hope there were witnesses, and resist the temptation to Sharpie anything.


  3. Great topic. One of my biggest pet peeves next to people littering on the course and the existence of the word “Frolf”.

    It’s graffiti. Respect the course.


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