Recently defended my dissertation in psychology at the University of Alabama. Roll Tide. Through the doctoral journey, disc golf has been a constant source of support in navigating mental health. Disc Golf Association and the team members have been rooting me on through thick and thin. As someone who uses American Sign Language as my primary language, it has been a thrill to do Steady Ed proud in growing the deaf disc golf community nationwide. To date, I have hosted the largest deaf disc golf event and continue to find ways to promote deaf disc golf thanks to your support. Look forward to seeing all yall learn some sign language and reach out to your local deaf disc golfers to continue growing the sport. As a newly minted doctor in the ranks of psychology, I recommend you get out to the course and throw some DGA plastic. Doctor’s orders. Btw, Team BL for the win.
5 Favorite courses
5 favorite discs
Closer look: 5 Favorite Courses
1. Lincoln Park – Springfield, Illinois
This is where I helped design the course and grew old on. Always a sentimental place when I return to my stomping grounds and try to tear this course up and see how it evolves over the years. Fantastic group of people too if you’re ever up in the neck of Abraham Lincoln’s neck of the woods.
2. Sandy Point – Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin
Closest to heaven we’ll ever be. When you step foot onto this course, the world drifts away as you try to keep your disc on course, away from the trees, and lost in the wilderness for the next 3 hours. If the final two holes are installed, you are in for a treat with the lake and a jolt of adrenaline. Even more during Labor day weekend as you get 100 spectators, lawn chair and all, to see if you can clear the lake on the final hole.
3. Hiestand park – Madison, Wisconsin
One of the smallest parks I have ever had the pleasure of playing 18 holes on and each hole feels separated from one another. Once you’re off the fairway, you’ll realize just how close you are from another hole. Fantastic piece of discin’ carved into this land. The amount of traffic this place receives is so insane even with pay the play. Stop on by the local shop across the street and pick up some of DGA gear there.
4. Inverness – Birmingham, Alabama
For the uninitiated, Inverness is my ultimate destination in Alabama. Imagine a remote wilderness with some incredible elevation within a stone’s throw from civilization. Hard to believe that nestled within the hustle and bustle is a small slice of paradise. Beware, bring your own toilet paper, or stop at any of those commercial businesses before you take the last mile to the course. The first two holes are daunting and by the time you arrive to hole three, you’ll be huffing and puffing. From there on, the piece of property consists of moments that take your breath away.
5. Sipapu – Vadito, New Mexico
Travelled to 12 Deaf National Disc Golf Championships all over the country in the past 19 years and running. Of all of the traveling I have done to attend these Nationals, Sipapu Ski Resort (2008 Deaf nationals) is a place I’m hoping will win another bid just so I can return to paradise and get some more licks at that mountain.
Closer look: 5 Favorite Discs
Blood red Opaque Proline Squalls for the 300’ range. Straight or slightly anhyzer. The distance on these things while comfortably gripping these with my small hands is a hidden wonder. Straight, Tried, and True. The ultimate wonder for the one disc rounds.
SAIL!! – I have small hands, so the grip on this disc is extremely comfortable. I’m partial to the soapy or sparkle feel. I also have a chump arm so it’s tough eeking out extra disctance. For that additional glide with my small arm, the Sail becomes my most trusted driver. I can flip it flat, left, or right and shape the desired shot necessary on the course. A hyzerflip is a thing of beauty when executed just right. Especially when the jaws drop on my fellow players as I rip a 300’ hyzer touch in the woods with nary a ninja branch coming into play. The only downfall for the Sail is a stiff headwind. This is where I switch up with a Squall for a consistent 300′ straight shot or the Hurricane if I need something beefier to take on them Santa Ana winds.
Hurricanes. I bag two First Flights for their incredible glide. Sparkle Hurricanes for the headwind. Wishing they were more common in being a lil lighter in 165-169g. The reliability as they glide and fade is a much needed component when you’re looking for a driver with a consistent hyzer.
Tremors – Since the addition of Tremors, I have gained confidence in using touch discs for up to 260′. The prolines are great from a standstill. As you get older, the disctance gets a little harder. That and still a chump arm. Them proline tempests have replaced my driving putters with confidence. The use of SP tremors have a consistent glide that goes where you point it. Left, straight, or even right depending on your touch. I have been noticing myself smile more as the SP tremor will glide the way I intended for. What are you waiting for? Let us share the love of all that is Tremors.
Beadless Steady’s – Them BL’s, ooh whee. When I made the switch from beaded putters to Beadless, my 200′ and in game took off. I often think the approach shot is the hardest part to conquer. Not so much anymore with them BL’s. True story, one of my friends remarked how dominant I became once i picked up some BL’s and even made a gif capturing me make a putt from outside the circle with them BL’s. – Type in “Schafer” and locate them BL’s for the win!
Strongest part of your game? What needs work?
Public Relations, Hosting tournaments, and Mentoring other deaf disc golfers the intricacies of disc golf when they express interest. Being available to translate and tutor Deaf disc golfers so they improve their chances on the required rules test and gain better knowledge on the requirements. Oh yea then playing the game , I like throwing touch shots through the trees with my sail. I definitely need more work on my mental game. College and Work get in the way of this guy’s chance to have fun.
Best tip for a new player?
I feel like I need to channel some inner Mr. Miyagi here. Daniel-San, two discs here. One disc far. One disc short. Basket far, use far disc. Basket short, use short disc. Two discs here.