Thanks, Jay, for sharing the real story about why we are here….
This year for vacation, we are spending a week in Charlotte, NC. Yeah…I get that look from a lot of people when I tell them our vacation plans. We are staying in a very nice little house on Lake Wylie, just outside of Charlotte. Now for the good part. We picked Charlotte because it is the home of the 2012 PDGA Disc Golf World Championships. Really.
Eight months ago, my brother took me out to play a round of disc golf. I was really no good. Now, eight months later, I’m marginally better. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, disc golf is a sport played much like golf. Instead of using clubs and a ball, you use a variety of small, flat, heavy Frisbees (or discs, thanks to Wham-O). You throw these discs at metal baskets adorned with chains. Aside from these differences, the two golfs have very similar rules.
This week, the best players in the world are here in Charlotte playing disc golf. I’m not talking about a bunch of stoners hanging out and throwing a Frisbee. These guys are really good. I’ve watched Ken Climo, Dave Feldberg, Will Schusterick, Valerie Jenkins, and Paige Pierce. What? You don’t know these names? These people make up the Dream Team of disc golf today. I’m talking Jordan, Byrd, Johnson, Barkley, and Ewing here.
I came to the largest disc golf tournament in the world to watch these professionals and learn how to play better. It is truly amazing to see what these people can do. An added bonus to learning from the pros was meeting the pros. For the most part these people are like you and me (except they are really good at disc golf). They have jobs, and disc golf is a well paying hobby. This makes them more accessible than most professional athletes. Sure there are divas in the bunch, but most of them are really cool and easy to talk to. Being able to talk and joke with the top players has made this experience even better. My best piece of advice this week was, “You can’t start off throwing like these guys. You have to learn to be smooth first.” These pros are great at what they do, but at the same time, it’s good to see that they are real people and can slam their disc into a tree just as well, if not better, than I can.
This has been a great, if unusual, vacation. I won’t be playing in the World Championships any time soon, but it’s a great place to get the inspiration to become a better player.
What Jay didn’t tell you is that he is already busy grooming Bubba for the 2030 World Championships. Check out the mini disc he got this week.