aVoceBehindtheLens, Book review, Danny Nelson, Disc Golf, Disc Golf Starter Kit, Driver, Education, Frisbee Golf, Handbook, J.R. Voce, Jacqueline Sach, JR Voce, Learn to Play, Mid-Range, PDGA, Putter, Wham-O
Wham-O Frisbee Golf Handbook, the
Sach, Jacqueline. Wham-O Frisbee Golf Handbook, Kennebunkport, ME: Cider Mill Press Book Publishers, LLC, 2009. 64 pp. 978-1-60433-093-9. Paperback. $19.95.
DESCRIPTION: Whats inside the Frisbee Golf Starter Kit?
The Wham-O Frisbee Golf Starter Kit includes: the Wham-O Frisbee Golf Handbook, a Wham-O DVD (Ready, Set, Throw) and a Frisbee Golf Disc (mine had a Mid Range Driver/Approach Disc). The Frisbee Golf Handbook, by Jacqueline Sach, is broken up into five chapters. Chapter 1 covers the basics – equipment, getting ready to play, some history, etc. Chapter 2 introduces throwing the disc and when to use the different techniques in response to the terrain of the course. Chapter 3 covers the main rules to allow a beginner to get out there and play. Chapter 4 introduces some of the organizations associated with the sport of Disc Golf. And in Chapter 5 the reader is presented with key online resources to learn more about the sport, find Disc Golf courses and develop as a player.
The DVD, Ready, Set, Throw, is a twenty minute film that describes the different disc types, basic throws and rules of Disc Golf. It opens with a montage of players talking about the sport, then follows Ruby (the host) as she learns the ins-and-outs of the sport from Disc Golf Professional David Waisblum. At the conclusion of the DVD, the two meet up with another professional Disc Golfer and a “Local Straggler” who is an Ultimate player. The four of them tee off at the 18th hole to show how each competitor, based on their skill level, will approach the final basket while contending with a water hazard.
The author, Jacqueline Sach, plays Disc Golf herself and has written both the Wham-O Hacky Sack Handbook and the Wham-O Ultimate Frisbee Handbook (look for a review of this one in the future).
DISCUSSION: What does this offer the disc sport community?
The Handbook is a nice little text that offers some history of not only Disc Golf, but the beginning of the Frisbee. It also is a great gateway to learn more about Disc Golf communities in Chapters 4 and 5. Likewise, the DVD introduces the beginner to the disc golf/sports community in an easily digestible and positive way thanks to the Disc Golf Pro, Waisblum. He is a great spokesman for the sport because he isn’t flashy or eccentric, which can turn off potential new players; and he doesn’t use much technical or slang language while speaking about different elements of play. Waisblum also stresses the importance of etiquette, which castes a positive light on the sport.
I also liked how the DVD and Handbook reinforced the idea that this game can be played anywhere and for relatively little investment. A Disc Golf course is really cool, but not necessary. Overall, the Starter Kit gives a beginner a well rounded view of the basics of the sport and a disc to go out and play with.
CRITICAL EVALUATION: Does this teach me about Disc Golf?
A simple answer is, yes. The Handbook and DVD in combination are helpful for a beginner to learn about the sport. Visual learners will get the most out of the two items, but Auditory learners will gain something, too, from hearing Waisblum describe the throws or give answers to Ruby’s questions.
However, with any teach-yourself program, it is the kinesthetic learners that will need to just go out there and do it, hopefully finding someone to help them along the way. But I don’t think this should be a fault of the Starter Kit, rather it should be something to think about before purchase. Do you spend $8.99 on just a disc or $19.99 on the starter kit to get the book and DVD?
One of the flaws I did find with the instructional video is that it seems to have been primarily designed to accompany the Wham-O Frisbee Golf Flying Set and not the Wham-O Frisbee Golf Starter Set. The “Flying Set” includes Putter, Mid Range (pictured to the right, courtesy of J.R. Voce) and Driver discs along with a bag, mini marker, towel and score card, which are all mentioned in the DVD. I was a little bummed at first and thought that maybe my “Starter Set” was missing these items. But… they weren’t. I will probably want to go out and buy the Putter and Driver to complete the set, and possibly the Turn Over, Super Turn-Over and S Driver discs to see what they do.
A personal criticism has to do with how they treat an “Ultimate” player who joins the group on the 18th hole and the style of throwing a Forehand. I know they want to stress that disc golf discs are better than Ultimate discs for Disc Golf, but they make him look like a dog with his tail between his legs when his throw ends up in the water. I’ve played disc golf around my high school, college campus and in parks with my 175g Discraft UltraStar disc for years and had a lot of fun. So the sport can be played without “Disc Golf” discs.
So, my other criticism is the way they describe the stance for a forehand throw… it seems all wrong to me. The throw is coming across the body, which looks awkward and would cause issues. Maybe this has to do more with the desire to create a curved throw and not a flat throw. Again, this will be something to try out. Since I haven’t gone out and really played on a course with Golf Discs maybe my mind will be changed drastically. We’ll see….
READERS ADVISORY: Keep reading!
Here are a few books to continue to learn about the sport of Disc Golf. If you want to improve your techniques and understand more about the equipment then check out Disc Golf: All You Need to Know About the Game You Want to Play (2003) by Michael Gregory. To become an expert at the rules, as stated by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), you might pick up a copy of the Official Rules of Disc Golf. However, if you want to learn a little more about the history of the sport, peruse the pages of the Complete Book of Frisbee (1998) by Victor Malafronte, Frisbee (1975) by Stancil Johnson or the Wham-O Super-Book (2008) by Tim Walsh.
You can also go to the PDGA website to learn more about courses, events and much more.
I want to say a special thanks to J.R. Voce for taking the product photos above for my blog. You can check out more of her work at aVoceBehindtheLens.
Thank you for reading!