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The tao of disc golf

The first time I set out to play disc golf was during a company outing around ten years ago.
Your columnist winding up for a shot. Katie Demois photo/ Campbell River Mirror

The first time I set out to play disc golf was during a company outing around ten years ago.

My colleagues and I were handed cheap promotional Frisbees then dropped off at the course on Toronto Island.

Within a hole or two, most of us realized we didn’t have the proper equipment, so ended up spending the afternoon drinking beer and wandering around the beaches.

It wasn’t until ten years later that I found myself giving the sport another try.

This time I was in Revelstoke, and a couple friends and I decided to play on a lark.

We rented three discs each – a putter, a mid-range, and a driver – then made our way around the nine hole course at the foot of the ski hills.

To be fair, the results weren’t that much better with the upgraded equipment – my drives were careening into the bushes, my approaches weren’t going anywhere near the basket, and I was taking two-or-three shots to sink a putt – but I saw a promise in the game I hadn’t previously.

I bought a few discs, and started frequenting some local courses every now and then with a pal of mine. Success was sloth slow to come, but my buddy and I were quite encouraging to one another, and we enjoyed the opportunity to get out of the house.

When either one of us were able to toss a disc into a basket from a distance of more than 10 or 12 feet we were elated.

Before I knew it, I was hooked. I wanted to play all the time. But free time was hard to regularly synchronize with my disc golf partner.

One lunch, I decided it might be worthwhile to go play a few holes – they’re still called holes, even though technically baskets might be a better name – on my own.

Although I felt a little out of sorts, kind of like one does when eating in a restaurant by themselves, I soon lost myself in the simple act of tossing the disc in the general direction of my target.

I played the first ten holes of the Campbell River course the first day, and a couple of days later I came back and played the back nine.

It’s been about a month since that first solo game, and I’ve probably spent more lunches on the course than off it over that time period.

Has my game gotten any better? A tiny bit. My drives are slightly straighter, and I’m hitting putts with a tad more frequency, but I’m still nowhere near as good as some of the enthusiasts I see on the course with specialized backpacks filled with colourful discs.

I do get quite a boost when I’m able to make a good shot though. It’s a little triumph for the day which carries into life off the course.

When I’m afforded a chance to play with a pal lately, it’s a banter and laughs filled romp, but I will still continue to enjoy the quiet satisfaction of moseying around solo.

Toting a pair of orange discs – a mid-range, and a putter – I trot from hole-to-hole muttering to myself, psyching myself up, and forgetting about the rest of the world.

A nice walk in the woods is quite meditative, but adding on a tiny bit of concentration every few moments truly takes one away in a manner I’m not sure I’ve experienced before.

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