The Origins of the Name Frisbee
Ken Westerfield doing a freestyle heel kick in Santa Cruz, California, July 1977. photo: Ken Westerfield.
The beach in Santa Monica wasn't the only place people were tossing pie tins. After the Civil War, William Russell Frisbie opened a bakery in New Haven, Connecticut called the Frisbie Pie Company. Students would eat the pies and then throw the tins around, which had the name Frisbie on them. It's believed that the founders of Whamo-O heard the name of the game, and so in 1957 they released their discs with the name Whamo-O Frisbee.
Don't we all wish we could be 24 years old forever? The energy and resilience that young players bring to the court in the ultimate game is astounding. When you're out there, you tend to feel invincible until you get hurt. Unfortunately, as fun as ultimate is, it's incredibly tough on your body.
You can easily think of it as a full speed sport where you are constantly moving, twisting and putting a lot of stress on your muscles and joints. From your back all the way down to your feet, it's almost a case of sooner or later you'll get injured for most players. In fact, 40% of ultimate injuries are caused by running or overuse of the body, and sprained ankles are the number one problem that plagues players.
So, if you're no longer a youngster, or if you've been injured too many times, how can you satisfy your love of disc golf without playing ultimate? For many people, disc golf is the answer, as it offers a wide range of physical and mental benefits.
Keep your body moving
When you compare the level of activity required to play ultimate golf and disc golf, there is a noticeable difference. While golf doesn't require you to run or dive, that doesn't mean it doesn't have physical benefits.
Next time you go out for a round, try a fun experiment - whether you're using your phone or a watch with a pedometer, turn it on and see how many steps you take on all 18 holes. Playing rounds of golf is essentially the equivalent of hiking, which is enough to support a healthy body and lifestyle.
Work your core
Health experts are always talking about the benefits of a strong core, whether it's being able to maintain good posture, prevent injuries, or keep your back healthy. Thankfully, the throwing motion used in disc golf can work your core and help you work those essential muscles.
Not only is your core getting a great workout, but you are using a range of body parts every time you play disc golf. Think about how you use your quads, gluteus maximus, lower back, shoulder stabilizers and more to complete each throw you make. Playing disc golf is a total body workout similar to the ultimate sport, but without the serious injuries.
Playing ultimate requires a fair amount of mental agility, but when you compare it to disc golf, they are worlds apart. Each time you walk up to the tee, a series of analytical questions are listed that you must answer before you can throw.
✴ Based on the entire length, how hard do I have to throw?
✴ What is the wind doing?
✴ Do I need to compensate for elevation changes?
✴ Is there a line that is easier to execute than another?
✴ Which discs did I really dial in today?
Not only do you go through this process at least 18 times during the course of a round, but the subsequent shots on each hole may require the same mindset. Mental fatigue is just as common as physical exhaustion after a round of disc golf.
Mental Health Aspects
You may be tired of hearing so much news about mental health these days, but think about the relevance of disc golf to the subject. Most of the time you're playing with other people, which gives you great social interaction and maybe some friendly competition. At the very least, you're spending time outdoors with people you enjoy.
Being a part of the local disc golf community gives you a sense of purpose, pride and emotional satisfaction, which is essential to having a healthy and balanced life.