Saskatoon Disc Golf - My First Round at Diefenbaker Park

Saskatoon Disc Golf - My First Round at Diefenbaker Park

The first time I went to Diefenbaker Park to play disc golf, it didn't start well.

I was pretty brand new to the sport. I had my Discmania starter set and that's about it. No bag, no water bottle, no idea how to throw properly. I didn't even know how to hold a disc properly.

I'd gone with a friend several times to Reid Park. He told me to throw like I was starting a lawnmower. It wasn't really working for me.

Throws into the ground. Accidental rollers that curled back towards me. Nonexistent aim. No idea how to putt. But for some reason I kept going. I'm not sure why. I showed zero natural ability. 

Anyway, we went to Reid a few times. There were always other golfers there, but it was never packed. There weren't many witnesses to my awful throws. Then we went to Diefenbaker.

First of all, we went with two other players who were (and are) really good. I think they both had pull carts packed with discs and accessories. I had my three starter discs that I carried in my hands.

There was a lineup at the first tee, plus extra people hanging around practicing putting and whatnot. After a few minutes it was our turn. There was another group or two waiting for us. The really good guys throw and they put it close. My friend throws and it's fine, somewhere out towards the basket.

Then it's my turn. I put two of my discs on the ground next to the tee box. I have no set run-up. Every time I throw I do something different with my feet. My throwing motion is also pretty random. I don't know about aiming or what to do with my body. All I know is reach back and do a lawnmower pull.

With people watching I forget everything. I do some sort of sideways shuffle, then whip around with all my might, sending the disc high and to the right, straight into a big tree about 20 feet away. This keeps my disc from flying into the parked cars behind it. Thank you tree.

Now the two good guys know they're in for a long, painful round. So do the people behind us. I pick up my two unused discs, walk 8 steps, and throw again. This time it goes low and curves left, straight into the long grass. I have to search for my disc. At least it's far enough away from the tee that it doesn't feel like I'm under a microscope.

I don't remember the rest of the round. I'm certain it didn't get any better, but there's something about being watched on the first tee that makes me feel extra judged. After that I can relax and not worry about sucking. Since then I've played at Diefenbaker dozens of times. I don't think I ever hit that tree again. Maybe once. Still feel extra pressure on the first hole with people watching though.

With a lot of practice, Youtube tutorial videos, and in-person coaching I've developed a consistent run-up and throwing motion. I still haven't put together a really great round at Diefenbaker, but I at least have a pretty good idea of where my disc will go.

My three original discs from the Discmania starter set are long gone. I lost one in the woods. Another one was chewed up by a dog at the dog park - not my dog, it was some random Lab. It was my fault though, I knew the risks when I brought my disc to the park. I can't even remember where I lost the third one.

Once I learned how to throw a little bit I started buying more discs, which is really half the fun of disc golf for me. Researching what different ones do, deciding which ones seem right for me, and then picking the colour, plastic type, and stamp is a lot of fun. You get to be a collector, with a collection that serves a useful purpose.

Here at Bridge City Discs we have a good selection of discs to choose from. If you're starting out I would recommend one of our starter sets. They come with three beginner-friendly discs. Personally I like the Latitude 64 Beginner Retro set.

If you're anything like me it may be a rough go at first, but it becomes incredibly rewarding if you stick with it. Learning how to make the disc do what you want is just plain fun. If I keep progressing I know I'll eventually have a great Diefenbaker round. I also know that it will never be as bad as that first one.



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