Disc Golf Stories, No. 5

I first met Juliana Bower (now, Juliana Korver PDGA #7438) in 1998 at the Fountain Hills Thrills disc golf tournament held at Fountain Hills, Arizona, directed by Dan Ginnelly.

Between rounds on the first day as lunch was being served, I spotted her and said hello. I knew who she was – the 1998 Women’s Disc Golf Professional World Champion (later, to win that title 5 times) – and she was kind enough to sit with myself and a friend, Mike Milne, to eat and talk.

Fast forward to the year 2000. I was at the ‘Toboggan’ disc golf course at Kensington Metro Park, in Milford, Michigan, a newly designed course created to accommodate a large field of players registered for the upcoming 2000 PDGA Disc Golf World Championships.

A random draw doubles event was scheduled, which, to my surprise, was hosted by none other than Juliana Bower. As I recall, she had just switched sponsors from Innova to Discraft and was in the area to promote the tournament.

I drew Mark Ellis as a teammate and the two of us played well enough to win a prize disc each, as payout. I selected a chartreuse colored, maximum weight 176 gram Discraft “Cyclone”. It had a double-stamp, featuring the Discraft Doubles Series logo printed twice; once in blue sparkle, with a full-spectrum stamp offset on top.

Disc Golf Stories, No. 5

Given that this was a doubles event, and that my prize disc read “Discraft Doubles Series” – and was a double-stamp, I asked Juliana if she would sign it twice. She smiled, and laughed as she signed her second autograph on my souvenir.

Disc Golf Stories, No. 5

The disc remains in mint condition after nearly seventeen years of storage in a plastic bag.

Make Your Shot Count Disc Golf T-shirt

Make Your Shot Count Disc Golf T-shirt

Given that the standard par in the sport of disc golf is three, it then follows that the shortest distance between two points is an ace (a hole in one). Make your shot count and enjoy disc golfing with this t-shirt, available in many colors and a variety of additional styles!

Disc Golf Sunrise Wall Clock

Disc Golf Sunrise Wall Clock

Customize this disc golf wall clock to make it your own by selecting frame color (natural bamboo, black or white) and hand color (white, black, red or aqua). With a diameter of 10.25″ and a depth of 2″, it has a quartz clock mechanism (AA battery not included) and a built in hook for easy hanging. Have a nice time!

Disc Golf Basket iPhone Case

Disc Golf Basket iPhone Case

If you enjoy the sport of disc golf, consider treating yourself to this colorful iPhone case featuring the silhouette of a basket. Available for a variety of different models, it’s extremely durable (shatterproof) and allows full access to all device ports. It’s super-bright colors are embedded directly into the case for a long life. Select between Snap or Tough styles.

Disc Golf Stories, No. 4

Following four hours in the car from Ann Arbor, myself and two disc golfing buddies stopped near Ludington to enjoy a relaxing swim in Lake Michigan. It was a sunny summer day on the Friday before the 1999 Michigan Disc Golf Organization (MDGO) Championships, and, after 45 restful minutes in the water, we made our way to the Mason County Park in time to participate in a late-afternoon Mace Man doubles event.

Many players had gathered to pay $10 for a chance to play in the random draw team competition. I’d personally been looking forward to this weekend for some time and was excited to be in Ludington, having played the courses only once before. Several folks were complaining, however, expressing concern that, with the newly crowned disc golf world champion, Ron Russell, in attendance, that the deck was stacked and that their entry fees were simply a donation.

That didn’t bother me at the time. If anything, I hoped that he might be part of our group so that I could watch and learn from his skillful play. He wasn’t, but his presence at the event was clearly a point of contention for my teammate. Nevertheless.

From the starting hole, I threw first for our team, launching a monster hyzer out to the right and back left again around the tree line. My shot drew metal, skipping off of the top of the basket. My teammate’s shot finished closer, though, and I made our putt for a birdie. It was a good sign of things to come.

When it was over, we finished at -13 through 18 holes and won the event! If was great to win, especially given that the caliber of competition was so formidable, and we each received a nice payout in merchandise.

The MDGO tournament itself was scheduled for two rounds on Saturday, with a final round on Sunday. I played in the Am-1 division, rather poorly as I recall.

Anyway. Following play on Sunday, it became apparent that no one had claimed the $160 ace pool. In making preparations to conclude the event, the Tournament Director (TD) announced that ace pool monies would be awarded to whomever could make a jumbo putt, to be held shortly on basket number 18 on the “Beast” course.

For those unfamiliar with the phrase jumbo putt, everyone basically lines up with their putter in a wide circle around the basket, and, when the signal is given, putts all at the same time.

Given that I wouldn’t be collecting any prizes at ‘tournament central’, I made my way up the hill to the basket where we’d be putting. For approximately 20 minutes, I set up at various points around the basket and putt my blue 174 gram Aviar small bead putter.

174 Gram Aviar Putter

Occasionally, players would pass by the area, joking with me that it was pointless to spend so much time practicing from 80′, suggesting that only a lucky shot would win.

Though I understood this, I did manage to find the spot from which I was most comfortable shooting, given the direction of the prevailing breeze.

When the time came, everybody stormed up the hill and found a spot around the crudely formed circle established by the TD. I had my spot. When set, he called out, ‘On the count of 3, 2, 1, SHOOT!‘, and we all launched our putters to the center at the basket.

With colorful plastic all over the sky, it wasn’t easy to visually follow my shot, but I could see a blue disc in the air which I believed was mine, and it looked as if it was headed straight at the chains…if only it didn’t get knocked down in a mid-air collision with another putter.

As the shots came to rest, the TD and all of the players raced toward the basket to collect their missed putts from off of the grass. I did as well, though, along with another player from Indiana, had the pleasure of retrieving my putter from inside of the basket, and subsequently received my $80 share.

What a fun weekend! As a footnote, I added “80 bones” to the bottom side of my putter.

174 Gram Aviar Putter

Volcano Disc Golf Wall Tapestry

Volcano Disc Golf Wall Tapestry

Enjoy this wall tapestry featuring a disc golfer attempting a very difficult shot along the rim of an active volcano! Available in three sizes (here, medium measures 80″ by 68″). Made of 100% lightweight polyester with a finished edge. Printed on one side. Cold gentle machine wash, line or tumble dry on low, don’t bleach or iron. Couch not included.

Disc Golf Stories, No. 3

I was living in Scottsdale, Arizona during the year 1998, and had on four occasions the opportunity to travel to California to play disc golf. On the first road trip, a friend and I drove all over the state playing as many courses as we could discover. This particular disc golf story took place at the Delaveaga disc golf course in Santa Cruz.

Prior to leaving, some locals at the Shelly Sharpe Memorial disc golf course at Vista del Camino Park had suggested that we visit Delaveaga while in California. Taking their advice, it was a challenging course with a diverse variety of hole layouts and elevation changes, and to this day remains one of my favorite courses ever played.

After arriving, we played more than 2 rounds before it became too dark to continue, and also played another round the following morning.

During our first round, my friend and I were each tied at a score of 4 over par heading into the last hole, referred to as the “Top of the World” for its elevated mountain view. We approached the tee area, encountering a local player who asked if he could join us to throw the 27th hole. As we looked over the fairway below with the basket set at a distance of 550 feet, he remarked that this hole was renowned for its difficulty, and, as my friend and I had never seen this course before, such sentiment seemed reasonable.

As a side note, the world distance record in disc golf had been broken earlier that year by professional disc golfer Scott Stokely, using a Discraft 167 gram XL to throw 693.3 feet.

I had honors to throw first and aimed my 169 gram XL to the right, released slightly downward with an anhyzer angle. The shot drifted to the right so much that, for a moment, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see my disc again. But then it dipped back, turning left and floating for what seemed like forever.

When the disc finally landed, it was roughly 25 feet from the basket and almost out of bounds near the road. My friend put his approach shot near the basket, and I sank my putt to finish 3 over par.

Colorful Disc Golf Wall Tapestry

Colorful Disc Golf Wall Tapestry

Enjoy this colorful wall tapestry, featuring a tie dye graphic design with the silhouette of a disc golf basket. Available in three sizes (here, medium measures 68″ by 80″) and made of 100% lightweight polyester with hand-sewn finished edges. Durable enough for both indoor and outdoor use. Machine washable for outdoor enthusiasts, with cold water on gentle cycle using mild detergent – tumble dry with low heat.

Disc Golf Stories, No. 2

It was the summer of 2000 when Hudson Mills Metro Park hosted the PDGA World Disc Golf Championships near Ann Arbor, Michigan. To accommodate a deep field of competitors traveling to the area, six different courses were utilized, including Cass Benton Hills (Northville) and Kensington Metro Park (Milford).

Various side activities were also available during that week, where players and spectators alike could participate. One such event included a disc golf basket to be given away on the last day. To qualify for a chance to win the basket (worth several hundred dollars), preliminaries were held each day at every course, where people were charged $1 per shot. With any luck, their name would be added to a final list.

I thought I’d give it a try, but realized that day that I’d already spent my money on lunch. However, after rummaging through my car for a while, I found $1 in change and handed it over to the person in charge. He chuckled as I counted out the coins, informing me that many people where paying $20 at a time for a chance to qualify.

Nevertheless. Starring at the basket roughly 80’ away, I tossed my one and only shot…and made it! It was a moral victory of sorts, though I never did win the basket in the end.

Disc Golf Stories, No. 1

It was summer in the year 1999 and I was visiting a friend in Kalamazoo, with plans to travel north to a disc golf tournament in Grand Rapids, at Earl Brewer Park. We made the trek, but I didn’t play due to a recent injury I’d sustained. Instead, I followed a few groups during the two rounds, watching as a spectator.

When the last round had concluded, players were milling about as the tournament director prepared to close the competition. An announcement was made informing folks that a disc golf cart was being given away to the winner of a long putt contest, as part of a local fundraising event.

Just as everybody turned and began to move with interest toward the designated area, a second announcement was made: nobody had made a hole in one during the tournament, so money in the ace pool remained unclaimed and a shoot-off was getting underway. Not surprisingly, most everyone turned to head in that direction.

So, there I was, standing approximately 100’ from the basket, ready to take my shot. Aside from the guy in charge of the contest, I was the only participant on hand. I placed my folded $1 bill through a cutout slit in the lid of an empty coffee can, assessed the moderately strong right-to-left tailwind, took several steps and launched my running putt out to the right. My 172 gm KC Aviar was airborne…

Wouldn’t you know it, I canned the putt! A few other people were in route to take a shot, but saw that I had already made it, and walked away. No one else tried, and I won the disc golf cart for $1.

Use Your Head Disc Golf T-shirt

Use Your Head Disc Golf T-shirt

Somedays birdies can seem few and far between. However, if you use your head, you can wear a hat with chains and shoot well under par! This fun disc golf t-shirt is available in sizes Small through 3XL. Plain color t-shirts are 100% cotton, Heather Grey is 90% cotton and 10% polyester, while Charcoal Heather is 52% cotton and 48% polyester. Several other styles are also available. Enjoy!

Tie Dye Disc Golf Playing Cards

Tie Dye Disc Golf Playing Cards

Made with patented casino quality paper and a color printing process that is second to none, these playing cards are the mark of premium quality which Bicycle has represented since 1885. Easy to shuffle, durable semi-gloss cards. Each deck includes 52 playing cards and two jokers. Cardboard case included. Made in Kansas City, Kansas. Many options to personalize.

And, if poker is your game, don’t take a gamble when it comes to planning the perfect event – custom poker chips add flair to any gathering! Weighing 12 grams (0.02lbs), these clay chips have the same look and feel as casino chips. Printed with full color graphics on both sides. Choose from solid or striped edges in 12 vibrant colors. Enjoy!

Poker Chips

Frisbee Disc Golf Organic T-shirt

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The sound of heavy metal chains is music to the ears of frisbee disc golfers, putting to score a birdie! Now you can enjoy your favorite pastime in style with this organic t-shirt from American Apparel, made in the USA from 100% organic, fine jersey cotton. Several colors and sizes to select, as well as many other available apparel styles. Enjoy!

Abstract Disc Golf Basket T-shirt

Disc Golf Basket T-shirt

Rumor has it that wearing this American Apparel fine jersey t-shirt, made with 100% fine jersey cotton combed for softness and comfort, will actually improve your disc golf game! Well, it certainly couldn’t hurt, and it’s a very nice garment so why not give it a try? Enjoy disc golfing!

Disc Golfer T-shirt

Disc Golfer T-shirt

Enjoy this t-shirt featuring a creative graphic design promoting the great sport of disc golf. Plain color garments are 100% cotton, while other colors are a cotton/polyester blend of varying degrees. Several different styles, sizes and colors to select. Also, rumor has it that people playing disc golf while wearing this apparel have experienced better scores…