It feels like its been raining for a fortnight. Yesterday, we got a bit of a break, and I was just about to head outside and climb aboard my trusty Ford 3000 Series tractor and bush-hog the holy hell out this property. Thankfully, Travis Damn Quillen rang me up, and insisted I take him out and teach him a little more about the proper way to throw a disc. I am conscientious about the chores here, but, being the friend that I am, I agreed to go and help him out.
We elected to travel to Gallatin, and play a course that I believe begins in Tennessee and then winds it way through Kentucky and perhaps parts of West Virginia before guiding you into a swamp that most Cajun trappers would find too dangerous. The front nine was narrow and tree-lined, and I don’t believe there was a single hole that allowed a glimpse of the basket from the tee box. A small creek runs the length of most of the fairways, and each of the baskets on the front nine were lovingly placed in areas that , regardless of approach, you must negotiate a minimum of three or four trees. As difficult as this section of the course was, it was the garden of Eden compared to the hell-hole that is the back-nine.
As I said, the back nine is a swamp. Sure, it looks like a series of lazy pastures separated by stands of protective trees, and, being adjacent to the parking area gives the player a false sense of security that civilization is at least nearby. Hell begins at hole 11. Just a few of the nice things that await you are 28 foot electric fences, topped with razor wire that I think was surplus from the Korean war, hornet nests the size of coffee tables, 40 pound rats, winged-insects with poisonous, 6 inch stingers, pit-viper snakes, quick sand, Komodo dragons, and, I kid you not, trees that try to kill you by splitting in half and crashing to the ground as you putt. I’m pretty sure I saw a few cast members from “Southern Comfort.”
Still, and this is easy enough to understand if you play regular golf as well, it was another great outing. I won’t bore you with the details or the actual score, suffice to say a Man Rule forbids publicly embarrassing a friend like that.
But I feel the need to make the case for this sport again. On the plus side, there is the fact that anyone can learn to play this sport. Also, its free to play almost everywhere. The equipment isn’t expensive. You get a ton of exercise. You are usually in a park-like setting, so its relaxing to just be there. If you play alone, it is an awesome way to spend time pondering life’s big questions (which, by the way, I have finally answered. Yup, all of em) or maybe enjoying the Steely Dan/Sade mix you put on your cheap-ass mp3 player cuz you wouldn’t spring for an Ipod. Maybe you need to break in a pair of new shoes. Or, maybe you need to spend a couple of hours away from the stress and noise of city-life.
Of course, it is even more fun to play with people you like, or, you know, family. The etiquette involved is a lot like golf, and you can frequently hear exchanges like this between my friends and me:
“It seems you are away, my good fellow.”
“I am indeed, thank you Sir.”
“Shall I mark my spot and clear out of your way?”
“I wouldn’t have it, my friend, please proceed in my place”
“Oh, I wouldn’t dream of it.”
“Really, I insist”
So, another plus is that you get to work on your social skills. Rumor has it that some people like to carry their favorite beverages with them to enjoy as they go. One odd fact…I have yet to encounter a course where someone wasn’t roasting chiles nearby. Seriously, every course I’ve ever played has just the slightest aroma of burnt peppers which wafts its way into pockets along the fairway. This tends to make most players just a wee bit giddy. Can’t really blame them, who doesn’t love the smell of roasted Habaneros?
Anyway, after our round we met up with The Primary Wife and the kids, who were on their way to run in a cross-country meet. Both of them ran great races, and improved their time. Afterward, we stopped at a business called Cloud Nine Disc Golf. Tomorrow, I’d like to tell you about them.