I started playing disc golf when I was just a kid. My older brother discovered the sport when he entered university. For him, it was a nice hobby, something to do with friends when they were bored or had any rare free time. For me, it was the craziest thing I had ever heard at seven years old. It was golf, but with a disc, a flying disc! How wonderful. Maybe I was an especially naïve kid, but back then it looked so cute, so precious that I got so incredibly excited about a little thing like that.
So I fell in love with the sport. Actually, that happened much later. First, it was just a childish obsession. Maybe I just wanted to be like my brother, and maybe I wanted to be better than my brother, whatever. The point is that it was enough to make me take the sport as an important part of my life. The obsession grew and grew just as I did. By the time I was a full-on teenager it was an understatement to say I was in love with the sport. I will never know if I had any talent for it but I practiced so much and I worked so hard that I might as well had been the most talented disc golf player in the world.
Of course, I had my competitive side, and I never hid from it. So it was just logical that I ended up in tournaments again and again. Every single year, several times a year, from little local contests to the most prestigious events in the world of disc golf. My parents were slightly confused because that particular sport is not what you usually hear in the news or in movies as the passion of someone that goes down in history. But they certainly supported me and were proud of my achievements. Now, the most confusing moment was when I signed up to the First Bizarre Disc Golf Championship.
Yes, that was its real name. Yes, it truly was a bizarre event – and a little more than that. From beginning to end it only got weirder and weirder. The invitation came in a cake. No, it didn’t have words on top, it literally had a letter buried inside the cake. Did I mention it was delivered by a person in a monocycle wearing a tuxedo? Anyway, the day of the championship we had private transportation: it was a train. A train in the middle of the suburbs. I don’t know, and I’m not going to overthink how the thing worked, but it looked like a train! I had no idea the leaders of the disc golf world had so much money.
All the participants were taken to a hilariously decorated gold course – in every corner, and it was covered with propaganda against golf, which was very different from disc golf. Before I was completely sure of what was happening, we were starting. It would be 9 holes, each one weirder than the last and the prizes were going to be a complete surprise. We started with difficult challenges. First, the targets were moving. Second, we had to be moving. Third, we were being moved – people were carrying us as we tried to hit the targets.
Then they unleashed the bizarre. The organizers of the event started bringing out costumes. Great, realistic, complex and all weird costumes… for the players. I had to get dressed as a clown, as a ghost, as a nun, it was all so much fun. Of course, it was fun in the way that you laughed uncomfortably and looked around helplessly wondering if everybody else was as uncomfortable as you were.
Back to the real game, it was difficult to pay much attention to the scores. I wasn’t doing perfectly, all the laughing had my stomach hurting and made it difficult to stand straight and aim. However, I was nearing the top of the game, and we were past the first half. Then again, of course things started getting weirder. As we continued to play, for one hole, we had people running after us, spraying us with water relentlessly. On the next hole, the target was surrounded by fire. Real fire! An if that wasn’t wild enough, the heat distorted what we saw and nearly everybody failed that hole. I, luckily, seriously it was just luck, hit it and moved on to the top three.
Finally, it was the second to last hole and my entire body froze for a second when I realized that the bizarre distraction was going to be my greatest weakness – they brought out puppies. So many puppies! All kinds of dogs, of all kinds, colors, sizes. All of them running wildly as the players attempted to hit the targets. Sometimes the dogs would catch the disc and that was the end of it. Sometimes the dogs would chase the players and they couldn’t help but run. There was a puppy taking a nap on the target at some point. No one was heartless enough to disturb the puppy. I didn’t even try, to be honest. I dropped everything and went straight to the ground to play with the puppies. I completely failed. However, there were more surprises.
“Alright! It’s over, ok! Where’s the whole nine?!” One of the professional players, frustration overflowing from him, asked.
“Oh, I think we forgot that one.” One of the organizers replied as they all moved around picking up puppies.
“What do you mean you forgot?” A talented little girl with an attitude asked.
“Did anybody plan hole nine?” An organizer asked and received casual negative shakes of the head in response. “Sorry.”
“What about the prize?!” The athletic woman who had been holding the first place asked exhausted, she was still wearing part of the costumes and looked like a mess.
“I don’t know, you can take a puppy if you’d like.”
The absolutely careless answers of the organizers of the event were surely planned, it was all planned. But I couldn’t help to laugh until I cried and took two puppies home with me.