There is a disc golf course in Balboa Park, a beautiful collection of glades, swales, and broad greens. I drive past it periodically going to meetings during the week, and it’s always busy. Who are these people playing disc golf at 11 am on Tuesday? Mostly it’s people in their 20s or 30s, fit, relaxed, and generally happy looking. I would be happy too, if it was a sunny day during the week and I was throwing a Frisbee towards a chain goal. I hate to admit it, but my first instinct is to mock these people: “You know the type—smells of pot, unwashed hair, Carhartt pants, plays disc golf.” This is what I do, I judge and mock.
Well, I’m wrong. The more I see the disc golfers, the more I think they look like a pretty good bunch of people. They have none of the pretensions of golfers, and none of the mañana attitude of hacky-sackers. Sure, they are slackers, but in the best sense. Whether they are unemployed, under-employed, or estate-moochers, they are out doing something fun, healthy, and easy-going. You don’t see a lot of cutthroat screaming or people with matching lime-green spandex team suits. Usually they are sitting on a bench and laughing while somebody tosses a disc into a tree along the course– “Bummer, dude.” If I had to play an organized sport, I think it would be disc golf. If you can play it with a beer in one hand and a dog running around on the course, it’s got to be good.
Plus, I’ve never gotten any guff from jogging through the course, though I have been interdicted several times on golf courses by golf cart-driving paid members full of entitlement and lectures. Having studied urban planning, I see golf courses as gigantic parks. I say if you keep to the path and mind your head when you hear “fore”, you should be able to walk and enjoy the landscape. Fine, I won’t walk on your green, but don’t walk on my liberties, man! Something in me wants to get caught while walking on a golf course. I mean, come ON. What am I, doing donuts on the fairway in a Camaro while snorting coke? No, that’s my mom.