July 14th and 15th mark 30 YEARS since my first tournament... woohoo!!
I was a skinny (honest) little (some things never change) 16-year old at the time (1979). A local radio station had advertised the North American Series Frisbee Tournament event, so I showed up and played. There was no qualifying, and I figured I stood a chance as I had been playing catch and fetch with my family since I was eight or nine.
Each entrant received set of Wham-O Frisbees -- 119g, 141g, and 165g -- with a hotstamp of Jo Cahow doing a neat freestyle move. I remember later that summer some kid hanging at the swimming pool saw me doing a nail-delay and decided to show off. I flung the disc his direction and he promptly pulled out a pocket knife
to spin the disc on
I guess many of the big names of the day, as well as Crazy John and Hal "Baby" Kurz were there, but I didn't get to meet them.
Disc Golf was played using regular Wham-O discs (nothing else existed) and ground baskets -- kinda tough. Oh, and my best distance was about 100 feet
The top distance competitors kept their discs in their cooler to keep them rigid for best flight. I attempted MTA (Maximum Time Aloft) but don't even remember if I caught any shots. My dad and step-mom came to watch the freestyle and we couldn't believe it
My step-mom asked "How do the judges know if it's spinning? Maybe they're just balancing the Frisbee." I quickly learned a nail-delay and showed her how it's even harder to just balance the disc.
The original Swope Park Folf Course opened soon after, and the rest as they say, is history