I should start by telling you I am not an athletic person. I am most comfortable in front of a computer testing an application or researching how to do something on my computer. But, last year I started playing disc golf with Greg and just fell in love with the game. It is similar to golf as you play 18 holes except that you use discs instead of golf clubs. The discs are typically a bright color to help you find them on the ground or in the woods! Yep you end up in the brush and wooded areas. I find it to be a lot more fun and less stressful than golf! In Western New York, a lot of our parks have an area dedicated to disc golf. It is a wonderful way to walk through some beautiful parks while getting an overall workout. Most of our courses are free. So for a little investment in equipment you can start playing a new sport. We find all ages on the disc golf course and for the most part everyone is friendly. To learn more about the game and scoring go to the official website of disc golf.
I began the sport with purchasing a beginners disc golf bag. You can often purchase them with 3 discs, a towel, and a beginner’s video. To start out you should purchase 3 discs: distance, mid-range, and a putter. I will talk more about these discs later in this posting. Below is a picture of my first bag that met my original playing needs. I would recommend you start with this setup to see if you enjoy the sport. A beginner’s bag provides enough room for a few discs, a water bottle, towel, and a few more items in the front zip and mesh pocket.
Below is a picture of me getting ready to play Chili. I am wearing my tally counter golf clicker as I need help remembering how many throws it takes to get to the basket. Yes, I rarely make it in 3 or 4 throws. But to my defense I play from the pro or the men t-pads so it takes me awhile to get to the basket! Basically I throw wherever my husband is starting as I do not throw from the designated “women’s t-pads”. If people catch up to us, we let them play through. I am still working on my throw for better distance. I have improved my distance throw from 70 feet to about 100 feet. As I continue to work on my overall release strategy I will continue to improve my distance.
Since I really enjoy the sport and am trying to improve my game, I found I needed a professional level bag. This allows me to better organize my discs and carry more items. Below is my “Fade Crunch Box Disc Golf bag” that I love! There are two zippered pockets on the left side, a divider in the middle part of the bag that holds up to 15 discs, a marker disc pocket, and a side pocket for your water bottle. It has a padded shoulder strap to make it easier to carry. Plus a golf towel snap is located on the front of the bag. And there is room to pack a bottle of bug spray. Best part, this bag only weighs 20 ounces before you load it up!
There are a wide-range of discs that include different weights and speeds. As you progress in your skill-level you can use different discs. As a beginner you may want to start with a slower disc since you can control it more easily. Faster discs should be used when you have more experience. At a very foundational level there are three types of discs. A driver is used for long fairway drives. This is a great disc for your initial shot(s). As you get closer to the basket you may swich to a mid-range disc since it provides more control and accuracy for shorter shots. A putter is used for short controlled upshots to the basket. There are not any hard and fast rules as you will have different go-to discs depending upon the situation and how you throw. As a beginner I started with the following discs. Distance Driver: Archangel 8/6/-4/1. Mid-Range: Shark 4/4/0/2. Putt & Approach: Aviar 2/3/0/1. These are great discs and I still use them.
The discs have numbers on them to represent speed, glide, turn, and fade. If you throw right-handed turn is to your right and fade is to your left. Speed measures how fast a disc will go and ratings are 1 – 13. Discs with higher numbers are faster and will go farther in the wind with less effort. Slower discs provide more stability because they have a blunter leading edge. Glide represents how much loft a disc maintains through the air. Glide ratings are 1 – 7. If you are looking for more distance, you should look for a higher glide rating. Turn measures a disc ability to bank to the right during the initial part of flight. A disc with a +1 rating is more resistant to turn over; whereas a -5 will turn over more; -2 to -5 make good roller discs. Fade refers to the disc tendency to hook to the left and is rated 0 – 5. If a disc has a rating of 0 it will finish the straightest, whereas a 5 will hook hard at the end.
Below is a picture of me throwing my Archangel distance driver at Chili.
Below is a picture of Greg putting at Parma. Isn’t the scenery beautiful!
The below disc numbers tell you it is a mid-speed disc, with good glide, will turn more during the initial part of flight, and it will finish fairly straight at the end of flight.
The below disc numbers tell you it is a fast disc with good glide, will not turn too much during the initial part of flight, and has a decent hook at the end of flight.
It is a good idea to have a marker disc. Having a marker disc is helpful for several reasons. If you want to switch to a different disc while playing a hole, you drop your marker disc in the location where your disc landed. This way you can switch to a different disc while ensuring you throw from the correct location. For example you might switch from your distance driver to a mid-range disc or to your putter. If you are playing with several people, you may mark your spot allowing you to walk away to move out of another player’s sight distance. When someone is aiming towards the basket you do not want to be a distraction by being in his/her view. Greg and I like to practice in an open park. I use my marker disc as my starting point when throwing my distance discs to measure how far I am throwing.
You can see in the below picture that the marker disc is much smaller than a distance disc. Greg is placing his marker disc down in order to swap out his driver disc.
Last year I bought a Champion Boss driver disc because I liked how it looked. At that time I did not know that the number 13/5/0/3 meant it is a very fast disc and hard to control! I am still learning how to throw it correctly. So as a tip do not buy a disc because you like how it looks. Take a look at the numbers to make sure it makes sense to purchase.
We often go to an open park to practice our distance throws. As you can see in the below picture I am throwing fairly consistent except for one outlier disc… and that is my Champion Boss driver disc!
When I started playing the game, I wore my favorite sneakers, Asics, as I wear them for walking, working out, and cycling. I found with disc golf we were going to courses that has similar terrain to hiking trails. This led me to purchase a pair of Merrell Women’s Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoes and I absolutely love them for disc golf. They are comfortable, fits like a glove, and require no break in time. The first time I wore them for 7-hours walking 2 courses without any problems. You do not want to wear hiking boots as they will be too high and will become uncomfortable. But hiking shoes are perfect. They have more traction if you need to climb any hills or get into any brush. Plus the extra support for your ankles is great since you may be shooting from some unusual places depending upon where your disc lands!
The second part of this story will introduce you to two professional level disc golf courses near Rochester, New York. They are called Chili and Parma and both have their own challenges. The last part of this story is about Greg’s competing in the amateur division of the 38th Annual Rochester Flying Disc Open. We will blog about his experiences and the pros that came to town from all over the country. It was a great time to watch the pros – it is amazing how far they can throw a disc!
Light and Refreshing Peach Protein Smoothie recipe
After spending the afternoon playing disc golf, it is nice to have a light and refreshing peach smoothie!
Ingredients I like to use….
2 cups skim milk
½ cup no-fat plain yogurt
2 cups sliced peaches (frozen or fresh)
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
A few timesaving tips I hope will help you….
Frozen sliced peaches will make the smoothie thicker and colder. You can also add ice if you are using fresh peaches. Depending upon how sweet you like your smoothie you may need to add sweetener. This can be honey, orange juice, sugar, or artificial sweetener. I would make it first, taste it and then decide if you need to add a sweetener. I would add as little as you need to maintain the natural flavor of the peaches.
Here is how I prepare the smoothie… but feel free to experiment….
I place all ingredients into a blender that makes 2-large smoothies. I really like this blender because it came with four travel cups and if I want to make one smoothie, I can make it in the travel cup.
Blend until ingredients are crushed and mixed. Pour into tall glasses, garnish with fresh sliced peaches and enjoy!