Monday, May 12, 2014

Spicoli Gets Gnarly

It's a way of life, it's no hobby. It's a way of looking at that wave and saying, "Hey bud, let's party!"
I've often written about my obsessive relationship with disc golf. For every 20 lunch breaks I take at work, 18-19 of them will find me throwing field work at my nearby park. I probably have an auto immune disease from the amount of goose crap that I've come in contact with out there. Canadian geese are horrid beasts.

Never the less, the local high school kids often conglomerate at this park on their lunch breaks to smoke cigarettes, chase each other around and play hacky-sack. Even though I'm pushing 40, I have yet to develop the "GET OFF MY LAWN, YA PUNKS!" attitude. Unmarred by crushed dreams, financial ruin, divorce, the woes of home ownership - they have a look of apathetic optimism and acne.

I stood in the field warming up and noticing that a group of eight kids had setup shop just 50' behind me on a park bench. "Is that guy going to play Frisbee by himself?! Hahahaha."

Oh kids, I thought, it's much worse than you think.

A few rounds of warm up shots with putters and mids before I jogged out to pick them up while the thinly veiled mockery continued. I really didn't mind, I remember being 16 and having the world laid out before me, yet still being unsure of anything except wanting to fit in.

And then I started throwing the drivers and things got quiet. Long flexing backhand drives that hovered across the park got a "Duuude, did you see that?!" ... "Look, look! That is insane!" I turned around and smiled at them.

"Who wants to throw one?"

Laughter and some shoving, "NOT ME!" "Dude, you should do it!" "No way, you do it." ... "No thanks man."

"I'll throw one!" a skinny kid in a tank top says. "Me too, I want to try," his buddy with long hair and skinny jeans says.

They walk over and I quickly show them the basics. Skinny jeans actually manages to keep the disc down and gets it out 150' to the cheers of the peanut gallery. Tank top kid shanks it high and it fades hard left. I'm immediately reminded of my own first drives: the newb hyzer.  I stare at the kid for a moment, he's probably 110 pounds soaking wet. Lanky and more elbow and knees than anything. Reminds me of myself at 15 only more Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High than I ever was.

Skinny jeans walked back to the group after throwing another drive, but Spicoli stayed with me - still wanting to work it out. I showed him how to follow through, how to hold the disc and he threw more discs, making marginal improvements. I threw a few more and I can see that he was having his mind blown. "Damn dude, that's just... crazy!" The disc, to his eyes, was doing the impossible... going so much farther than makes sense. It's that feeling that had initially hooked me, the feeling that you were bending physics to your will.

A year after I started playing and I still get that feeling when I see somebody throwing huge bombs: that's just... crazy!

He thanked me (knuckle bump) and wandered back to his group and I continued throwing as his group lost interest. Ten minutes later and Spicoli is back with more questions.

"Why are the discs all different? Are some for throwing farther?" Hook, line and sinker. I explained about what the various molds are intended for and hand him another stack of discs. This time I show him how to throw forehand. ("Sick, dude! No way!!") Before he left the second time, he'd found out where to buy his own discs, how much they cost and where he can play a round of disc golf.

Welcome to the club dude.

  1. Innova Daedalus Gstar goodness with a helping of turn.
  2. Improving Backhand Distance Check out the pros to fix your issues.
  3. DD Renegade So good it goes permanent in the bag
  4. Beware the Bad Towel When things go seriously bad.


  1. Awesome! I had a 5th grade student (I teach) mock me one day, so I asked him to walk off my throw and we'd approximate how far it went. Luckily I didn't shank it...I saw him today for the first time in a few was the first thing he remembered!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Mike, hope we can throw a round soon!

  3. Fantastic little story. It started with the wife now, I might have 3 women hooked. I get them started by "it's a nice walk in the park, with a little extra exercise." I don't keep their score until they ask me too. Seeing their face light up when they get a good throw on, whether it be nice drive off the tee, an up shot, or miraculously slamming the chains from 30' out (that one gets them EVERY time), well seeing that is kind of priceless.

    1. I've been trying to cajole my wife into joining me for the last year. You'd think I was asking her to go get a tattoo on her face!