17 October 2014
Yes, I Play "Frisbee" Golf
No I Don't Smoke Pot
Over the last week or so, at least three people have pointed out the news story in which an officer asks why all "frisbee" golfers smoke pot and tries to use the driver's admission that he plays as a way to get the driver to let him search the car. Why have they pointed this out to me? Because I play disc golf (Frisbee is a registered trademark of Wham-O which does not make discs for disc golf). I've been playing two or three rounds a week for about a year now and I've progressed to the point that I can't really call myself a beginner anymore, but not to the point that I'm truly competent at the sport. Nevertheless, I've picked up most of the lingo and can talk a mean theoretical game.
Anyway, the idea that marijuana and disc golf are linked is not a new one. Here's a link to a Yahoo! Answers page discussing it five years ago. I've also listened to an interview with the president of the Professional Disc Golf Association in which he acknowledged this as part of the history of the sport before going on to talk about how the sport has evolved into the family friendly game it is today.
Personally, I've seen a good deal of variety on this. I've run into everyone from yuppies to hippies to guys with enough tattoos to look like their best job opportunity is as a bouncer to entire middle class families playing disc golf. Of the four courses I play most often three are too open or too busy for anyone to smoke in peace. The fourth is difficult enough that I've only found people serious about the sport on it. So, in the regular course of play I don't run into this.
However, I do travel out to other disc golf courses every so often when I get bored of the local courses and want to change things up a bit. One of these is outside a city in the mountains of North Carolina. Whenever I go there I make real sure that I am wearing a shirt and hat that identifies me as working with law enforcement.
Because the second time I went down there a guy glommed onto me halfway through the course who was flying high and bragging about how he always played disc golf high (except for the one time his "old lady" came with him). I couldn't get away from the guy because the course has some serious hills and I am a short round guy who by that time was too worn out to move with any kind of speed.
Now, I quite like that course, but for obvious reasons a prosecutor from Virginia can't be hanging around in North Carolina with a guy who is bragging about being toasted. Consequently, every time I start to head that way I dig through my old t-shirts and pull out one that says something like "10th Annual Southern Cooperative Law Enforcement Training Conference" with the unmistakable law enforcement eagle across the back. Then I grab my "W&L Law" hat. You can't get much more obvious than that unless you wear a uniform and a badge. Now, you say, that's got to be a bit of an overreaction. Except, at least two other times I've gone down there people have quickly put something they were smoking away.
So, I guess what I'm saying is that the officer's belief is far from groundless. Based on my experience, I don't think the majority of disc golfers are potheads anymore, but they're out there.
On the other hand, most real players carry a bag that costs between $50 and $200. In that bag they carry anywhere from 20 to 40 discs which cost about $15 each. Personally, I can't see spending that kind of money and then wasting my time being toasted while I play.
Author: Ken Lammers on 10/17/2014