The internet is a funny place.
On the one hand, it is chock full of information about anything and everything, for which I am eternally grateful. I mean, I really didn’t want to pack my parents’ Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia set when I went away to college. I already had a hard enough time meeting girls, and I am guessing the shiny gold foil printing on the label wasn’t going to have them banging down the dorm room door.
But I digress.
On the other hand, the internet is a place where, due to one person’s access to a keyboard and a veil of anonymity (I feel you, Brian Williams) (I really don’t feel him), power can be easily wielded and shoved in any other person’s face.
So, just what does this have to do with disc golf? Glad you asked.
When I started playing this beautiful game four years ago, the bug bit me hard and I searched for all of the information on the sport I could. That led me to the (sometimes) friendly confines of Disc Golf Course Review.
While most users on the discussion forums at that site are exceptional, there is a weird intimidation factor that takes place regarding how far people can throw a Frisbee. (I’ll call it a Frisbee all day on this site, folks. If that’s a problem for you, move along.) To me, it often seemed like everyone either threw 500 feet (which is far, for those who are just joining us), or they claimed that they threw 500 feet because, really, who could prove otherwise?
For people like me, though, it can be a bit of a turn off. It took me forever to hit 300 feet of disc golf driving distance, and I’ve really only cracked 330 when the stars have aligned and Tinkerbell has been spreading pixie dust on the course. So, all of the big-armed talk kind of reminded me of being in the locker room in middle school or high school, where a game of one-upsmanship took place about who hooked up with the most girls, when there were indeed no girls there to corroborate a story. They were probably all made up.
In real life, though, I can’t really operate that way. I’ve never been one to take pleasure in a lie – even one as innocuous as disc golf distance on the internet – so it took me awhile to really feel comfortable admitting that I, truly, did not throw far.
After a while of hanging out around those forums, though, I started to find my voice a bit, and I spoke up for myself. I owned my lack of distance, and most people accepted it without mockery. Others weren’t as kind because, well, it’s the internet.
Which brings us here.
That’s my mission here at Noodle Arm Disc Golf – to make every disc golfer feel welcome, but also to show that it’s OK not to have a laser rocket arm.
There are plenty of other disc golfers out there who – due to either injuries, lack of practice time, or just plain ol’ poor coordination – don’t throw far. They shouldn’t be made to feel badly about that, though. I want them to feel more comfortable because, really, all disc golfers are playing a fringe sport still in its relative infancy. We should be picking each other up, not tearing one another down. Solidarity, and whatnot.
That’s my mission here at Noodle Arm Disc Golf – to make every disc golfer feel welcome, but also to show that it’s OK not to have a laser rocket arm. And, most importantly, to keep it light and prove that you can have fun without parking every hole.
(OK, disc golf might be more fun if I were parking every hole. But it’s not happening.)
What you’ll see here, then, will come from the viewpoint of a lower-powered player. My reviews of discs will always mention if I think they’ll be useful for fellow noodle arms (or beginners), but I’ll try and get them in the hands of the big guns, too, for perspective (and, with any hope, a wider readership base).
It won’t be all reviews, though. I enjoy writing, and I love disc golf. If I have something to share, I’ll share it here.
So please – whether you’re a noodle arm, throw a quarter mile from a standstill, or something in between – stick around and enjoy the ride. I’ll do my best to entertain you. Or, at the very least, avoid typos.
Steve Hill is a Southern California-based disc golfer who doesn’t throw very far. Follow him on Twitter @NoodleArmDG.