Disc Golf Adventure in Golden Gate Park
I brought a GPS device around with me on Sunday in August and recorded the longitude and latitude of each tee in the Golden Gate Park disc golf course. Then I used the new gmaps API to plot them out. The work in progress is shown below. I know...not that useful...kind of geeky...but also kind of neat.
Get more information about the course and activities at the San Francisco Disc Club webpage. They host weekly Sunday morning tournaments.
Another good resource that combines maps with disc-golf information is Google Maps Disc Golf Courses.
The NY Time had an op ed on Disc Golf on August 20th, 2005.
I couldn't imagine what possessed them until I learned about disc golf, which began as a mellow sport for both sexes three decades ago, played by hippies in Grateful Dead T-shirts who flung Frisbees into baskets mounted on poles in public parks. Today there are 1,700 courses and a pro tour that includes superb women players.
But more than 90 percent of the disc golf players, pros and duffers, are men. The best explanation I can offer for the disparity is what happened to me the first time I teed off several years ago.
Our foursome started at a tee on high ground, looking down a tree-lined swath of grass at the basket nearly 400 feet away. After we flung our discs, as we headed down the fairway, I felt a strange surge of satisfaction. I couldn't figure out why until it occurred to me what we were: a bunch of guys converging on a target and hurling projectiles at it.
Was golf the modern version of Pleistocene hunting on the savanna? The notion had already occurred to devotees of evolutionary psychology, as I discovered from reading Edward O. Wilson and Steve Sailer. They point to surveys and other research showing that people in widely different places and cultures have a common vision of what makes a beautiful landscape - and it looks a lot like the view from golfers' favorite tees.
The ideal is a vista from high ground overlooking open, rolling grassland dotted with low-branched trees and a body of water. It would have been a familiar and presumably pleasant view for ancient hunters: an open savanna where prey could be spotted as they grazed; a water hole to attract animals; trees offering safe hiding places for hunters.