Does the fear of death inspire people to play disc golf? A review of Gessner’s ‘Ultimate Glory’

Cover Art D4

One of the most interesting books about disc golf is a book about Ultimate Frisbee. David Gessner, in Ultimate Glory, offers a rowdy, confessional tale about his years playing Ultimate in the 1980s. Ultimate players may be the intended audience, but disc golfers and other athletes of emerging sports—in fact, anyone who cares about a thing that many people consider ridiculous—will find this book fascinating. Continue reading “Does the fear of death inspire people to play disc golf? A review of Gessner’s ‘Ultimate Glory’”

The Brathwaite albatross as religious experience

Second shot
Philo Brathwaite’s second shot for albatross, Beaver State Fling, June 2016

In 2006, David Foster Wallace wrote an article about tennis called “Roger Federer as Religious Experience.” This essay may be the most beautiful expression of a man’s love for sport that has ever graced the pages of a newspaper.

But when I read it for the first time, years ago, as a younger, intellectually snobbier version of the man I am today, I was skeptical at best. It didn’t seem fitting for the greatest novelists in the land to be writing about men’s tennis. Continue reading “The Brathwaite albatross as religious experience”

Disc golf and the construction of happiness

Image by Mike Plansky
Image by Michael Plansky

It’s spring 1990. Mike Plansky is standing in a municipal park near Palo Alto, California, crouched like the Karate Kid with a footbag resting on the back of his neck. With an undulating motion, he rolls the multi-paneled pigskin up his spine and over his head. Dropping on gravity’s rainbow, the footbag suddenly stalls, impossibly, on the toe of Mike’s black and white Vans. Then, with a fluid jerk of his foot, he passes the footbag to his friend. Continue reading “Disc golf and the construction of happiness”

The Curious Case of Zen Disc Golf: A Review of Two Books by Patrick McCormick


McCormick’s Zen and the Art of Disc Golf, published in 2014, and his Discs and Zen, released in November 2016, can be read from multiple perspectives. Drawn to their titles, some readers may be interested in McCormick’s interpretation of Buddhism and how this school of thought can be applied to everyday life. Others may sidestep the metaphysical and treat his writing as a guide to the mental game of disc golf.

But what I found most compelling about McCormick’s work was not the advice he offers, but rather the reason he gives for playing disc golf. Continue reading “The Curious Case of Zen Disc Golf: A Review of Two Books by Patrick McCormick”

Why do disc golfers look like lunatics when throwing the disc?

About a month ago, I was clicking through photos of a local disc golf tournament when I came across a remarkable image. For a second, I didn’t recognize the person in the photo.

“Who’s this psycho Santa Claus?” I said to myself. “Waaaait ’a minute.”

Yep, that was me. (I’m the one in yellow). Continue reading “Why do disc golfers look like lunatics when throwing the disc?”