By Jenny Cook — For Rattling Chains
A disc’s life starts off in a manufacturing plant somewhere in America, and for the ones that end up in our disc golf bag, each has a story as to how it got there.
Was it purchased at a local disc golf store, won at a tournament, given to you by a friend, or found on a disc golf course? Over time, some of these lucky discs become our go-to discs — our absolute favorites to throw.
So if that disc you simply can’t live without ends up in a murky pond, how long would you spend searching for it? The majority of the disc golf population probably wouldn’t hesitate to grab a rake and start scraping bottom, searching until the sun went down — or came up. I’ve even seen lost-disc flyers
posted at courses with “reward if found” written in big, bold letters.
Facebook and the social forums on dgcourseview.com also allow us to reach out to the locals with pleas, like, “I lost my disc on hole No. 4, in
the rough somewhere. Keep your eyes open for my Valkyrie please! Call if found. Reward!”
We love the plastic that’s in our bag and would do almost anything for it.
There can be risks involved in fighting to get our loved ones back. My husband once found himself in the position of raking the bottom of a pond in search of his putter — his favorite putter.
As he crossed a slick fallen-down log acting as a bridge, he slipped and landed on a branch — X-rays later that night showed he had two broken ribs and a punctured lung. Two weeks later, including three chest tubes and a
thoracotomy, he was released from the hospital. A full recovery has been made since then and up until this last July, his putter stayed in that unforgettable stench of a murky pond in Joliet, Illinois.
The blue Champion Rhyno was recently found among hundreds of other discs and, after a phone call, it made its way back into his hands. His favorite Rhyno now hangs on the wall. Two years later, the story is now complete because of that phone call.
There are other lost disc stories out there that, thankfully, do not involve losing our go-to disc.
Take an amusing thread at dgcoursereview.com. The story tells of a guy who received an e-mail from a girl with the subject “I have your Frisbee!” The e-mail included a photo of the disc being used as a plate for a sandwich.
“This is your mid-range driver in a Colorado parking lot!” the e-mail read.
Cornfields are not fun places to lose a disc.
At the time, she was on a post-grad rock-climbing cross-country trip and continued to send more e-mails with photos of his disc in different situations, such as in the car, on the beach or on an airplane.
After the second e-mail from her, the guy simply wished her well on her trip and asked for more photos. Two months later, the story continues and it is one of the more entertaining threads in the DG Course Review forums.
It sounds like he’ll get his disc back some day and hopefully he’ll post a photo of his reunion for all to see. The disc owner appears pretty laid back about losing this particular disc. Some plastic we’re OK parting with — temporarily or permanently.
Sometimes, you just have to say goodbye.
Many years ago, I was doing some driving practice at a friend’s farm in Grinnell, Iowa. This was before I knew what an anhyzer shot does in a head wind. I turned one over and watched it carry deep into the cornfield. I searched for hours for that disc. It was my first and, at that time my only, ace disc.
I later decided to call the search off and informally offer it up as a donation to the farm, knowing one day a brush hog would be by and would chop my little Pro Leopard into pieces. The friend I was visiting that weekend has since unexpectedly passed away, so in a sentimental way, I’m glad I never found that disc.
Sometimes, losing a disc is a conscious decision. A donation, so to speak. If you live in a state as nondescript as Illinois, any mountain top or canyon you find yourself near, say on a road trip, creates a great opportunity to really watch a disc fly.
If you’ve never done it, throwing a disc off a mountain top is a truly exhilarating sight and feeling. That’s why I always have a few DX discs in my hatch. Just in case.
I’ve held onto found discs of friends whom I have lost touch with over the years. I refuse to throw them or sell them, so they stay in storage. I may run into him or her again and be given the opportunity to return their plastic and maybe even rekindle a relationship.
Even new relationships or acquaintances can be born out of the return of a lost disc.
Throwing off a mountain can be quite fun to watch.
I once found a disc at a local course in Illinois. After a phone call, I found out the owner lives in California and had never been in my state. He lost the disc in Nevada.
How it ended up here is a mystery. For my minimal efforts to mail his disc back to him in California, he offered my husband and I a personal tour of Yosemite National Park, where he works as a park ranger. An unexpected but fantastic trade off! We hope to one day take him up on that offer.
You never know what can become of dialing the phone number on the back of a Destroyer you pulled out of the woods. At the same time you may never get a phone call on ones you’ve lost – or you may just hold onto hope that one day you will.
It’s completely out of our control.
Remember, too, no disc is worth a life. As innocent as your search for a lost disc seems to be going, always use caution and remember, at the end of the day, it’s only plastic. Even if it is a 10x Roc. Some stories will have happy endings, and others will not. But for the ones that do, isn’t it great to have been a part of it?
Jenny Cook (PDGA 28692) is a women’s Open-division player based in Illinois. You can see some of her disc golf photography at her website.