Jay Maynard (jmaynard) wrote,
Jay Maynard

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A walk in the woods

This evening, vakkotaur and I took our first walk around the woods, chasing plastic discs that we'd thrown more or less at metal baskets.

Disc golf seems to be a nice way to get in some exercise without it actually feeling like it. I'd first gotten interested in it from reading howardtayler's LJ, and, on his recommendation, got two discs mail-order for $20 with shipping. I figured that wouldn't be too much money if I discovered that it wasn't for me.

This evening, after spending a lot of time away from Fairmont, I finally had a couple of hours to string together. We went out to nearby Cedar Creek Park. Paul quickly demonstrated he understands the basics much more than I do; he had much better luck with both the putter/approach disc and the fairway driver. My throws went more or less at random within 45 degrees of where I was actually aiming.

We threw around the open area of the park for a while first, to get a feel for the discs and how to throw them to get them to go about where we wanted. In the process, Paul stuck the putter up in a tree. Way up in a tree. I managed to get the driver stuck up there trying to knock it down. Paul found a no-name catch disc sitting in one of the hole baskets, and I managed to knock the putter, then the driver, out of the tree with that.

After doing that for a while, we ventured out onto the course. Cedar Creek park's course designers appear to have used as their design criterion maximizing the number of trees the optimal path must thread between. There are no mandatory doglegs on any hole but #17, but I can see how following their suggested path is the straightest way to go. (#17 requires that you go down a cleared fairway about 10 feet wide through some fairly dense woods; the basket is plainly visible, and a straight shot will do well, but if you go anywhere off a straight line, you'll be in deep, deep trouble.)

I'm not going to report my score, mainly because I quit counting - after all, I know I suck, and knowing when I'm improving will, at this stage, consist of knowing that the disc will go in the approximate direction I want for more than 20 feet or so. Paul didn't keep score, but he did better than I did. Neither of us got within 20 strokes of the par 31 on the 9 holes we played. We also didn't care much; this was a learning experience, not a competitive one.

We gave up after 9 mainly because the course, which borders a lake, was alive with lots of mosquitoes, and we hadn't brought repellent. I squashed a mosquito between my arm and the leather armrest on the driver's seat when I got in the car, and need to go clean the bloody spot off before much more time passes.

I'm going to stick with it. Once I get the release consistent, I suspect my game will improve to the point that I can get around 18 holes in 25 over par or so, and that's the point where counting begins to make sense. The course is a par 60, 3814 feet long, so one round will mean about a mile's walk.

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