Whenever something is described as the “definitive” option, you might be a little skeptical. Does this option really serve as the ultimate option? Does it cover everything? Can it really live up to the strong name? In the case of “The Definitive Guide to Disc Golf,” we have to say the title rings true.
Written by Justin Menickelli and Ryan “Slim” Pickens, the pair had the assistance and the knowledge of many who have helped shaped the sport of disc golf including Dan “Stork” Roddick (PDGA #3). Through just the first few pages, we could tell Menickelli and Pickens didn’t focus on a beginner disc golfer as the audience for this book. They really covered something for everyone.
A copy of “The Definitive Guide to Disc Golf” was sent to us for this review and we were anxious to take a look and what was inside.
The book is broken up into 14 chapters in three parts. The Nature of the Game hits on the history of disc golf and some of the rules that are in place. The Science of the Game brings a fascinating look into the mental aspects of disc golf and also the dynamics of a disc in flight. Finally, The Skills of the Game hits the different types of throws and grips that can be used on any hole.
The Nature of the Game section isn’t just a brief description of how it evolved from the 1960s and 70s to the beveled edged discs of the early 1980s and beyond. This was clearly the most detailed look at the history of disc golf we’ve seen. If you’ve ever wanted to know just how disc golf has grown, this chapter alone is worth the purchase of the entire book. You can also get a small dose of disc golf course design and on-course etiquette in this section which continue to add value to the start of the publication.
In the heart of the book, in the Science of the Game section, is some of the most unique reading you’ll experience. Starting with a discussion on the mental side of disc golf, the authors do a nice job of balancing a deep look the topic while not making it too much for their audience. By leveraging other studies and publications, you can get a clear look at some mental tips for on the course. This goes beyond “think positive thoughts” and really dives into strategy to help keep your mental game strong.
We were also pleased to see a look at the fitness side of disc golf. Most look at it as just a fun thing to do outside, but it is a physical experience and warming up a little bit and taking care of your body can help prevent injuries or even improve your game with some added flexibility or strength. If you’ve ever wanted to know some of the best exercises (which are still easy) to help out your game, it’s all here.
Our favorite section of the entire book was the “Dynamics of Disc Flight” chapter. Physics plays an obvious role in how a disc flies through the air. The last time we took any physics lesson was about 14 years ago in high school. Menickelli and Pickens did a great job here of showing just about every aspect of a disc’s flight and why certain things happen during a flight. If the history part of this book intrigued you, the physics side of things should be the clincher.
The final part of “The Definitive Guide to Disc Golf” hits on the skills of disc golf. With details on virtually every grip and every type of throw, you’ll either learn something new, or find some refinements to what you already do on the course. Each example goes with a simple approach to help beginners understand the basics, but it also goes into enough detail for an experience player to find little details that can make a difference.
After finishing the book, it was clear this book wasn’t designed for just beginners… and it wasn’t designed for experienced disc golfers who have played for years. It is designed simply for disc golfers. Everyone. The history of the sport was a great read and the physics discussion was something anyone can learn something from. In our minds, everything else was just gravy.
“The Definitive Guide to Disc Golf” wasn’t just a few guys writing about disc golf. Menickelli and Pickens did their homework. They talked to the right people. They found answers. This isn’t just a 800 rated disc golf book. This is clearly a 1000+ rated disc golf book.
Pick up a copy for yourself at Amazon and see what you can learn about the sport we love.