I DISCovered disc golf in the winter of 2008, while I was planning a road trip to visit my parents in Fort Myers Florida. Because my wife, Loriena, and I own a landscape company (Beautiful Blooms Landscape and Design), we are very busy in the summers and wouldn’t have much free-time to visit with my parents who lived only 25 miles away. So we made an effort to visit them in Florida every other year where they lived 6 months of the year. I don’t really enjoy flying so this usually became a 20 plus hour drive from Wisconson. After doing this a few times with only 1 over-night, I realized we should make the driving part of the trip and visit new places, odd attractions, and do some activities to keep us fresh and break up the 24 hour drive. So I started by doing some research, I came up with a few things to do on the way to Florida, one stop in Indiana was the World’s largest Ball of Paint. We chose maroon and gold for our Alma mater the University of Minnesota. Go Gophers!
The next stop was in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, where I found a park called Freeman Lake Park, which listed Frisbee golf as one of their amenities. I don’t recall ever having heard of Frisbee golf or disc golf before that moment so it intrigued me since my wife and I both were golfers. Before we left I had purchased 2 discs for me and 2 discs for my wife (DX Shark and Valkyrie) and we set out on our first adventure with disc golf. It was January 1st and we were met with a closed park entrance due to Christmas in the Park decorations still being setup. As much as I want to say I was thoroughly impressed . . . I wasn’t because it was mostly open but mostly because of the goofy scenarios Little did I know that is something that happens all the time with disc golf. Regardless I did enjoy throwing the plastic around and remained hopeful I might find some better courses (I come from a golf background including maintaining some of the most expensive resorts and country clubs for many years where everything is perfect all the time). Also little did I know that Freeman Lake was in the top 25 or so courses in the country.
We arrived in Florida, I spent countless hours on the laptop researching the sport, watching videos, and checking out DGCR, I signed up for the PDGA, and I played a few more courses in Florida . . .not too much to speak of in terms of quality but it was still throwing plastic with unique terrain and obstacles like snakes and saw-tooth palmetto shrubs which will tear you up if you are frantically searching for your new plastic. I hit a couple more courses on the way home in Chattanooga Tennessee and The Sinks course gave me some hope. It revived my hope that there were better courses out there (which to me as I later learned, meant heavily wooded). I tried to find one more course along the way but it rained the entire time from Chattanooga through Kentucky so we just drove straight home from there. I even remember seeing (or believing I saw) an orange disc on the side of the highway. I could have been going crazy with my anxiety and new obsession for disc golf or maybe someone threw an orange disc or forgot it on their vehicle and it ended up on the northbound lane of the I-65 next to Lover’s Lane in Bowling Green Kentucky. Either way I was hooked and disc golf was all I was thinking about these days. It was new to me and when I find something I like I do it obsessively.