This is not your fathers Frisbee.
In fact, as Jeremy Standifer will emphatically tell you, it’s not a Frisbee at all. That familiar plastic disc, first brought to market in 1958 by the Wham-O company, was such a hit among baby boomers that the trade name “Frisbee” became the generic term for any and all such flying toys. The sight of a disc flying back and forth between friends, or between human and canine, has become almost a required feature of any public open space.
It seems inevitable that someone along the way would figure out how to tie the sport in with another extremely popular game, golf. Of course, the true origins are shrouded in mystery, but one popular story has it that an avid golfer, stuck with the kids on his golf day, thought that he might keep them busy in the playground if they played “golf” with their Frisbees. The idea seemed to take off, and in the 1970’s courses began appearing around the country, using anything from lamp poles, fire hydrants, to hula hoops as targets. The targets evolved into today’s chain-and-basket goal(picture). Today there are over 3000 disc golf courses nationwide.
Golf discs are smaller and heavier than traditional “Frisbee” type discs, giving them less of a “float”, and greater distance. They are also divided into three general types, the “driver”, designed for distance, the “mid-range” disc for accuracy and control down the fairway, and the “putter”, which flies slower and more predictably for close-in shots. For the truly obsessive player, there are specialty discs available for any given situation which may arise during play.
Jeremy, along with friends and business partners Chris Kelley and Don Oliva, love the sport so much that they decided to make it their business as well as their hobby. As founders of Life Disc Sports here in Rockwall, they supply everything one would need to get started. “The beauty of disc golf is that you can get started for as little as twenty bucks. Try doing that with ‘ball’ golf. Most courses are free to play, and we have one of the top-rated courses in the state right here in Rockwall.”
Indeed, the course at Harry Myers Park offers eighteen holes, or more accurately, baskets of varying degrees of difficulty. From wide-open expanses to impossibly narrow passages through the woods, there is challenge enough for the most seasoned player, as well as easier line-of-sight fairways for the beginner. Woods, streams and lakes offer plenty of visual distraction from the fact that you are actually getting healthy exercise.
“Anyone who wants to try disc golf can come down to Myers Park any Sunday morning, and we’ll be there to help get you started. We can set you up with a starter pack of three discs, and give you a quick lesson. Or you can just come and watch, but we think you’ll want to get involved pretty quickly.”
To learn more, check out Life Disc Sports online, or the Rockwall Disc Golf Association website.