When Jamie Ezra Marks, Chief Creative Officer at Akers Media Group recently asked me if I could photograph a bit of disc golf at a nearby park, I answered him the way any normal person would:
"What the h*** is disc golf???"
Well, now I know, and if you read on, you'll know as well...
is it still played the way it was back in the early 1900s?
Let's be clear. I played Frisbee about as much as any baby boomer who went to college in the 1970s. Sometimes it seemed like that was my major. And over the years, I was familiar with various flying disc games such as Frisbee Golf and Ultimate Frisbee.
Still, it surprised me to learn that, not only has disc golf survived, but it now seems more popular than ever, with official courses in parks scattered all over Florida.
Participants are everyone from weekend warriors having fun, to serious professionals fighting over prize money and huge trophies.
I wonder if any of those dudes back then had a dog named Ashley Whippet?
Now, I'm not disputing their facts, and yes, throwing tin lids into a circle does sound like a lot of fun, but what's funny is, in one fell swoop, the history of the sport then jumps ahead to the 1960s and 70s!
Hippies to the rescue!
If you want to understand the current rules and learn the state-of-the-sport, check out the official site of the Professional Disc Golf Association.
Yes, I have to admit, I did a double take the first time a disc golf player referred to GOLF - you know, actual golf, real golf - as BALL GOLF.
But, they take their sport very seriously, so I'll give them a little slack.
Without going into great detail, suffice to say the rules of disc golf are very similar to, a'hem...ball golf.
You play in groups, you take turns teeing off, holes have different lengths and various obstacles, you have a set of discs for different situations, and you try to get your disc in the hole - or in this case chain net baskets - in as few shots as possible. Each hole has a par, and low score wins.
In fact, the similarities are so strong, many disc golf tournaments are played on actual golf courses.
Ball golf courses, that is.
The shoot, part of client Akers Media Group's ongoing request for ecotourism images - you can read my earlier blog post on the subject here - took place at Mount Dora's Lincoln Avenue Park, a quaint wooded area next to the city pool, located north of the downtown tourist district.
By the way, all of the festivities, the players showing up and allowing me to photograph them, were made possible with help from Ben Champion, director of the Florida Disc Golf Foundation, so many thanks to Ben and all the disc golfers that participated.
If you're in or near Lake County and would like more information on our local scene, here's the Lake County Disc Golf Club's Facebook Group Page.
Now, as I've mention in an earlier post about this client, the actual final photos from these shoots will have to remain privy to me and them - for the time being. What I've posted here are either outtakes or behind-the-scenes shots.
Do you have any experience with ecotourism, either creating photos or video to promote it, or simply with the industry itself? I'd love to hear any stories in the comment section below...
I am also continually looking for models and talent that might be interested in being featured in some of these shoots. I'd be happy to give you more information about what's involved and the use of the photos. Message me for details...
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All photos and original content ©Steven Paul Hlavac. All rights reserved.