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MrDarkHorse 03-29-2013 11:48 AM

My experience as a disc golf newb
So... I've been playing disc golf seriously for about 3 months now. I think it's a great sport, and I'd like to see it grow. I thought I'd share some insight as a relative outsider with my experience and observations.

I'm sure many people have similar experiences, but it's easy to get friends hooked on disc golf. In just the 3 months I've been playing, I've taken about 15 friends out with me, 10 of which have ended up buying their own discs. My wife has her own, and my 6 year old son even saved up some money to buy himself a Shark recently. It's infectious, and easy to get started. I live in the Austin area, so there are plenty of courses nearby to play in.

I wish there was an easier way to spend time with experienced/skilled players and ask them for pointers and critique. That's one of the things that led me and many others to seek out this site. People here have been very helpful and willing to share videos and critique my own videos and I think that's been helpful.

On the course, my experience with other players has been somewhat mixed. I've met some pretty cool people on some random pickup rounds.

But trying to find some "better" players to rub shoulders with was more difficult. I eventually found a local disc golf club, which I went ahead and joined, but my reception there hasn't been as good as I was hoping. The first mini I played in, other players seemed reluctant to be around me. (one of the guys in my group confided that they probably thought I was a cop)

I was also hoping for a little more "let's help out the new guy" reception, but instead everybody kind of kept to their little groups. At one point on the course, my group and another group (I don't think they were ams, but I'm not sure, we were never introduced!) ended up throwing at the same basket from different tees. It was extremely windy, so when I picked up my putter I held it for about 10 seconds during a big gust cause I didn't want to try to putt into that. I turned to the other group waiting and said apologetically "sorry, I'm gonna wait out this gust" to which the guy in front responded sternly "watch your time".

In conclusion, the percentage of players I've run into seem to be about 25% guys who just want to drink and/or smoke pot, 30% guys who seem to be taking everything a little too seriously and are kind of douchebags, 20% casual players or newbs throwing Grooves on 150' holes, 24% good guys about on my level that seem like good guys I'd enjoy spending an afternoon with, 1% women.

So I guess I'll just keep grinding it out on my own. I'll probably eventually go back and play in one of the local club minis, but honestly I could probably use some more rounds in casual play before I need to go throw my money away at people who don't really care to make me feel welcome anyway.

What are other people's experiences? I know I'm not the only new guy around here.

Reginald 03-29-2013 12:00 PM

Just like anything else in life, there are going to be some douchebags in there somewhere. Don't let that deter you. You will find some cool people to play with eventually. Just keep playing and get good enough to beat those dbags in a tournament! Good luck

dashiellx 03-29-2013 12:02 PM

I've been playing for a bit over a year now. I think I've experienced the same as you. I have an advantage in that my neighbor introduced me to the game and while he's better than I, he's not so much better that I'm out of my league.

I attended the weekly Triples pretty regularly last season and meet some great people who are really fun to play with and some that were a bit on the douche side.

davmer2303 03-29-2013 12:26 PM

For the most part I've met some decent guys with a few bad ones sprinkled in. But, the longer I've played my home course (Limona) The more I start recognizing the guys there. So, at this point, after playing steadily over 5 months, I'm at a comfort zone there. However, it's been a slow process. I agree with what you said above. the sport is addictive. My son, and a few other friends are fully involved now. Good luck at your club. I know time, and your continued improving play can help.

MrDarkHorse 03-29-2013 12:29 PM

Yeah I guess my biggest problem is that I'm actually the best person I know. There are a couple friends I introduced that can mostly hang with me, but I don't have anyone to learn from.

joegraham 03-29-2013 12:37 PM

You have summed up pretty much everyone's experiences in most parts of the country! You have to keep showing up, be friendly, ask questions and make friends. Definitely help out on clean up days or at or before tournies to get yourself known more. There are these kind of people in all regions and in all activities/clubs. Your goal should always be to have fun, and learn when you get the opportunity!

bfowler 03-29-2013 12:39 PM

I've been playing exactly 9 months today and I've had similar experiences as the OP except I've found the weed smokers to be about 40-45%. For a while I wondered if I was the only one except for some close friends who didn't smoke.

I have not had that many rules nazis but the ones I've encountered are cruising for a bruising so to speak. I'm talking casual rounds here too. If I want to flip my disc instead of using a marker in a casual round I will. I don't care if that's how you play in a tournament. It's a casual round.

I've also found a lot of really good players to not be really good teachers. I've found few guys who have given me good pointers. I can't imagine how bad my game would be right now (not that it's great) if it wasn't for sites like this one and DGR. People online have been extremely helpful.

doctor professor 03-29-2013 12:43 PM

When I started playing disc golf almost 12 years ago it was great. Everyone on the course was really helpful and accepting. I took a few years of and when I came back I was really disappointed at how much things had changed. I throw better than at least 60% of the people out there so I'm not looking for tips but the general attitude of folks is pretty bad. We're talking no calling four on an errant shot, not waiting for the other players to finish out holes, playing in big groups and not letting smaller groups play through. You name it. Guess that's why people at one of my courses are called the shady folks from shady oaks. Hell, I have friends that live up the hill and won't come down to play cause of this kinda scene. So my solution has been to get to the courses first thing in the morning, enjoy my nice peaceful round with a couple buds and head home un frustrated (unless I threw like crap).
Stick with it and I guarantee you'll find cool people to play with but disc golf is getting popular and with popularity comes douchebagery.

tbird888 03-29-2013 12:47 PM


Originally Posted by MrDarkHorse (Post 1926210)
...The first mini I played in, other players seemed reluctant to be around me. (one of the guys in my group confided that they probably thought I was a cop)...

At one of the weekly doubles around here, I actually had someone ask me if I was a cop. Mind you, he had a joint in his hand. I asked him "If I was, wouldn't it be better to keep your illegals hidden until after I answer the question?" Dumbass!

Hang in there. It'll get better. If you're looking for help improving, I'd look for a handicap league in your area. The one in my area is great because it allows you to compete against everyone, not just who's at your same skill level. It's also more casual so you won't have to worry so much about people keeping time on your putts, and people will help you learn the rules (and help you improve) instead of chiding you for not knowing them.

For the record, you will face wind a lot while on the course. Handling it off the tee and during putts is a skill you will have to develop if you want to play competitively on any level unfortunately. Once you learn it, you'll start enjoying it though. It's fun draining putts while others are being blown around all over the course!

The Hammer 03-29-2013 12:54 PM

FYI...many of the better players usually won't offer you help, because some people get offended by it. Someone told me the other day, that they thought we were kind of *******s because we have our own "pro clique" and keep to ourselves. The reality is that we have been playing together for a long time and become good friends. There is always wave after wave of new guys that we just don't know or play with. Unless the new guys actually approach us and ask for help, we have no idea that they are looking for help, or even know who they are. However, when someone put them self out there, we are always welcoming and helpful. Most guys I know take it as a compliment to be asked for pointers.

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