Love at First Flight

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Love at First Flight started as a hashtag campaign on Instagram. Its goal is simple: showcase the diversity of disc golf through the players and how each of them discovered the game. Women, men, beginners, pros, from all walks of life. These are their stories.

Brittney Rizen

November 25, 2019

Brittney Rizen

“My boyfriend has been playing disc golf for probably 6-7 years. For a long time I just let that be his thing… but he would invite me to come along and play. I quickly became obsessed and started doing my research to learn more about the sport. I’m in love with it!

It’s helped me immensely with my anxiety. I’ve also recently been trying to reach out to more women in my community to try and get them involved!”

 

 

Caleb Joung

November 1, 2019

Caleb Joung with Team Innova’s Alex Russell

“I was introduced to disc golf my freshman year of college, but I didnt really understand how the game worked. I played probably twice, but I didnt have my own discs so I didnt go out to play much. My school recently got a disc golf course on campus that was designed by Innova just this year so me and a couple friends started trying to get into it. We watched a lot of Jomez, and we just wanted to get better. The competition and just fellowship of going out and playing was probably what made me enjoy disc golf. Learning the game and how discs fly was also a fun part of it. I just wanted to keep buying more discs. I go to Columbia International University in South Carolina. I can’t wait to play with my guys.”

Danita Rucker

October 18, 2019

Danita Rucker at a Throw Pink Women’s Clinic

“I used to work with Regina, and for the whole summer she’s been trying to get me to come for the ladies’, I guess roundabout, or whatever. So I told her I was coming today and I’m having an awesome, awesome, awesome time! Had no clue what disc golf was. She said, ‘You know, disc golf?’ I’m like, ‘Uh no. Never heard of it.’

So I’m enjoying it! One of my friends worked in San Diego at the Olympic Training Center. And she said, ‘Oh yeah! They were trying to make that an Olympic Sport.’ Still no clue. So this is good. I’ll have to come back out more!”

 

LJ Linder

August 30, 2019

LJ Linder with Team Innova’s Philo Brathwaite

“Worlds was 🔥
I was a big track star and basketball guy in high school, so I never saw myself picking up disc golf as well. My friends told me I was scared to play because I would never want to play a sport I was worse than them at. So I took that very personally. I looked up to guys like Rick and McBeezy aka Paul because they had that same killer mentality you see in Kobe or Tom Brady and I just went for it. 
Now I’m sponsored by a local pro shop and better than all my friends after 2 years and I’m looking to be up there with the top guys in the next 2 years to come.”

Kevin Whittaker

July 12, 2019

Kevin Whittaker with his brother Kado

“My dad used to play recreationally in the 90’s. But lost touch with the sport until about 5 years ago when our small town (Gold Beach) got a course. Ever since then we’ve been playing consistently. Between the two of us we’ve ran 6 unsanctioned events so far. Kado jumped into the sport just recently this year. We’d occasionally throw a disc back and forth and I was surprised with how well he could throw and the spin he put on the disc for being so young. Got him out on the course and it was game on from there. Lol I never have to ask him to go play, he’s always ready to go. He sees me and first thing he says, “We Throwing?” 😅 I take him out to play with me every time I go, so he is always playing with the big guys and watching their throws and taking little bits of techniques from everyone. His game is constantly growing and evolving. I am really proud of him! 😁” 


Stephanie Nicole

June 14, 2019

Stephanie Nicole

“My husband and I played a course called Woodsboro in Maryland. I first would just walk but I decided to play a game and after that I never stopped. I watch disc golf videos of pros, and try to perfect my form. We travel for work a lot, so its a blessing to be able to play soo many different courses in the country🤘🤗🤗🤗 We even had a disc golf basket at our wedding on the beach🤣🖤Disc golf is life🤙
Everyone doesn’t start off great. It took practice but im soo glad I started, because it is soo fun. I love bringing my friends who haven’t played before, especially afterwards when they like to play to🤗 you just never know till you try right?🖤

Shelby Lynn

April 5, 2019

Shelby Lynn

“I started playing with friends and just fell in love with it. It’s great to have an activity that takes me outside and all over the Bay Area checking out different courses. My boyfriend and I actually went to Tahoe for our anniversary this year to celebrate by playing at Bijou and the new Donner Ski Ranch course.

I love watching Jomez, and I’ve especially loved following along with female athletes like Hannah McBeth and Kona Panis. Makes me so happy to see them put in work.”

 

Ashleigh Bynum

February 29, 2019

Ashleigh Bynum

“I started playing about a decade ago when I started college at the University of Kansas. Lawrence, KS has a great course that I spent my first few years on. I got introduced to the sport through college friends and have played with various friends throughout the years. Kansas City, Missouri has a great disc golf scene, and I’ve been lucky to meet a lot of people through the sport. I play mostly for fun, but every now and again I’ll do a tournament. A few years ago I did a tournament in town and took 2nd place solo on what was supposed to be a doubles tournament with a score of 69! I really enjoy the sport and am so looking forward to getting out there again when the weather isn’t a blizzard out here!” 

Brett Keene (on his father)

February 29, 2019

“My pops is 54 years old and I got him to start playing disc golf around a year ago for his health and now he gets up on the weekends and is so pumped to play. It’s crazy. He hit his first ace yesterday and I feel it should be praised so much. He raised me since I was 6 months old (I’m not his blood, he adopted me 30 years ago).

The world needs to know how amazing my dad is!”

– Brett Keene

 

 

Kat Bohan

November 16 2018

Kat Bohan

“I got into disc golf via my father in law and husband. My father in law found a disc down at the local park and we started having a go. He and my husband have been playing a bit longer than myself but we enjoy playing while we walk our dog. My husband is completely obsessed and takes absolutely any opportunity to play so I started playing more so we could do it together.
I’ve only been playing competitions since May but am gradually getting a bit better and have won 2 of the 3 I’ve played in the novice division. 
I’m currently working on getting more distance and trying to practice my backhand as I am a predominantly forehand player. My go to is a Mamba and I’ve just got my first Destroyer 😊” 

Kacy Blais

November 16 2018

Kacy Blais

“An old friend from college messaged me and I ended up tagging along for a couple rounds of disc golf with him and his buddies and I took some photos (I went to college for photography) but I ended up being really interested in actually playing. So I just picked up a few discs at the store and played my first actual course in July, and I absolutely love it! A friend just gave me some other discs to try and now I have a favorite Innova disc to flick, the R-Pro Pig! 😁 The world of disc golf is way bigger than I thought and I’m just starting to learn but I’m very excited to get better and travel to courses all over the country, someday.”

Regina Burris

October 19, 2018

Regina at the 2018 USDGC

“My name is Regina Burris and this was my first time playing disc golf here at the Throw Pink Event. I had a great time! It was a lot of energy and exercise; definitely a great way to have fun and make a difference! 
I think what makes disc golf special is you don’t meet any strangers. Everybody’s helpful! We played with two ladies we didn’t know and now we have two new friends. It seems like it’s always a great time and everyone is looking to help.

I will be playing again, though I definitely will be practicing so that I can get better.”

Carver Whitford

October 12, 2018

Carver Whitford

 

“I am 11 years old and only have 2 fingers on each hand and was introduced to disc golf very early. I have worked very hard at it but can play quite well. I’ve met so many people that are now friends even close enough to be family.

Disc golf is for everyone. I love this sport more than anything.” 

 

 

Summer Walter

September 28, 2018

Summer Walter

“I’m a digital marketer and designer 👩🏼‍🎨 living in PA with her brewer husband 🍻 and three dogs 🐶🐶🐶. I grew up playing sports and like to stay active 💪, but I struggled to find an activity I could share with my spouse 💍.

That is until we started playing disc golf together 💫! Now we geek 🤓 out over discs, try to out throw 💯 and maneuver each other, travel to new courses together 🚗 and enjoy our time together 😍.” 

 

@becomingashley (Instagram)

August 10, 2018

Follow Ashley on Instagram! @becomingashley

 

“We were at a park with family celebrating the Fourth of July and saw groups of people playing disc golf. My boyfriend, his dad, and some of his cousins started playing the very next day! I decided to try it out with them and I’m hooked!

I can throw an Innova putter straight… and that’s about it 😋 but I’m really excited to learn more about the game and try out different styles of discs!” 

 

 

Daniel Baker (on his father)

July 6, 2018
“My sister and I teamed up to get this portable basket for my pops a few weeks back! He introduced me to the sport and helped introduce my wonderful wife to the sport. I remember spending entire days playing courses sharing an orange Frisbee, and hearing tales of him creating holes on Tennessee’s campus as a college student. He fills his bag with used discs, putts with a beat-up Nova, and regularly schools me when we have the chance to play together.

Over Memorial Day weekend, he visited Columbus for 4 days and we played 85 holes of disc golf on 5 courses in the area. I’m ready for our next marathon of disc golf and memories.

The best part of the surprise gift? Judging from the picture, my mom apparently encourages playing disc golf in the house now – can’t wait!”

Toni Brown

June 15, 2018

Toni Brown

“My husband is a local non sponsored pro. I caddy for him during his sanctioned and non sanctioned events. He’s been an amazing teacher as I just threw my first disc roughly 2 months ago. I’m already hitting 30ft putts and my short game is on point even though my drive off the tee needs improvement. I’m in the process of trying to start up my first women’s club as we don’t have one here yet for women and there’s a few I know who are interested.
I often accompany him to the local tournaments and follow and watch how it’s done. 
I think the sport is extremely fun and I love the technical aspect of it. I’ve played many sports .. fast pitch softball. Basketball. Volleyball. Bowling. Track. I find disc golf the most challenging and rewarding being it’s based more on a personal level. You don’t depend on how good your team. It’s all about how good you are so it pushes one to work harder to achieve their personal goals within the sport.
Another reason why I play disc golf is its a great way for me to keep active and keep going. Keep my strength up and keep me healthy though I get worn out quick and have a hard time keeping up at times. I still play as much as I can.
There’s a family like feel also within the disc golf community that is rarely seen within any sport. Everybody is encouraging and supportive and respectful no matter your age. Gender. Race. Social background. Etc. Out on the course everybody is equal. That’s hard to find anywhere these days.”

Ken Maitland

March 30, 2018

Ken Maitland


“I used to play at Huntington Beach back in the 90’s just for fun. Only played a few years then; didn’t play again for 20 years -got busy with family and stuff. I’ve been working at home from a desk now for the past 5 years and have gotten out of shape and a bad back. I got sick of just sitting and being out of shape. So I went back to the course just to get out of the house and fell in love with the sport. How in the world did I wait so long to come back? 
I got my son, my sister and several other people into Disc Golf. I’m now playing at least 4 times a week and travel around to different courses. 
I’ve played courses all up and down California and Oregon and can’t wait for more states to check off my list.
I’m healthier than I have been in a long time and am loving life.” 

Claire Porrata

March 8, 2018

Claire Porrata

“I’ve only been playing disc golf for a little over a year, and the sport has changed my life in so many ways already. I had always been athletic, so when an old friend (boyfriend at the time) of mine took me to play I knew that disc golf was something I could really commit to long term. The first time I played at Founders Park in Dallas, TX, I was so enthused by how much fun I was having that I threw my shoulder out! 😂
I decided that I needed to really build a solid foundation, and I didn’t give myself a time limit on that, so I spent about 6 months throwing from a standstill, and throwing almost every single day. Since then I’ve moved up to Colorado to follow some personal dreams and self improvement goals, and I hope to be playing more tournaments at the professional level by 2019.”

Kevin Meyer

March 2, 2018

Kevin Meyer with his children.

“Well I started playing 15 years ago as a teen but sadly drugs and alcohol took a hold of me for the next 13 years.  After going into recovery and getting my life straight I met my future wife and had 4 kids. While taking the munchkins to different parks around different cities I rediscoverd my love for the disc.  Little did I know that my kids would be way more interested in my discs than any playground we took them to. I now have 8 yrs clean and sober, am married and have the best wife and kids in the world, and I have replaced my substance abuse with a completely new addiction….disc golf!!”

Barclay Wiggs

February 16, 2018

Barclay and Eli Wiggs


“Eli just started learning spelling. He decided discs are his learning tools – just last night he told me “I-N-N-O-V-A, Daddy, Daddy, this disc says Innova!” Me: Yep buddy, they all do….
We play because Eli is hooked – there’s nothing better than watching a kid do what he loves. Added bonus: I get to play disc golf too.”



Chelsea Jacobson

February 9, 2018

Chelsea Jacobson

“A few years ago my (now) fiancé and myself had to move in with my mom back in our hometown when the place we were renting fell through. They have a disc golf course there (Perry, OK) and my fiancé at the time was working at Academy where they sold the discs, so he bought some and we used that as a way to get outside and be active.
We kept playing and once we bought our house and moved back to Edmond we started going to the disc golf course at Mitch Park.
Now we have a decent set of discs, a bag and a portable putter in our backyard!”

Pete May

January 26, 2018

Pete May

“My older son said, ‘Dad there’s a game you’re gonna fall in love with and I gotta show you the game.’ I said ‘Where is it played?’ He said ‘Over at Pendleton King Park.’ I said “Oh those things that look like chicken cookers?’
I played 30 years on the professional table tennis circuit and I only saw gyms, hotels, and airports. Now that I’ve been playing disc golf for almost 20, I’ve seen America from the ground up.
Everybody is willing to teach you a new shot, everybody wants you to score well. We all pull for each other almost against the courses, some are demonic, some are just great walking! But the camaraderie has really expanded me as, I’m gonna say a better American.
You’re not too old because the game is a skill game. If you’ll go out into an open field, first learn how to throw a regular frisbee straight. Then get a golf disc, and practice throwing one 100 ft, put a cone out there, and be able to come within 10 ft of it. And then you’ll never feel like the same person again.”

Ruby Long

January 19, 2018

Ruby’s sons Alex & Adrian

“I played throughout both my pregnancies & had the boys out on the course right away. Now at ages 5 1/2 & 10 years old, they have their own backpacks, discs, mini markers, etc, & are really starting to thrive in their games.
My older son Adrian just got his own pdga membership this year & will be playing in the St. Patty’s Day Classic tournament here in Orangevale, CA. My younger son, Alex, will playing with his brother in a Juniors only tournament in March too.
Since we enjoy this game so much as a family, I have started to fundraise to bring disc golf to my son’s school as an addition to their PE program. They attend a small, very underfunded public school, so this program is being handled completely by me. Any & all tournaments I play this year, pdga #89062, I’m going to donate anything I win to the school. We really believe in growing the sport responsibly & that disc golf is a wonderful sport for everyone!”

Seth Yeanoplos

January 12, 2018

Seth Yeanoplos 

“About six months ago, I was introduced to disc golf (no, not frisbee golf) by a friend and mentor, Joseph Pape. He gave me my first disc, an Innova Yeti Pro, which we nicknamed the “Yeany Pro”, and he taught me how to play. Since then, disc golf has become a huge part of my life. I love the sport and I love the community and I would play every day if I could. And one day, I hope to be good enough to be sponsored. I’m also glad Bree Evans is so very supportive of me being such a nerd. Disc golf rules.”

 


Kaci Montoya

January 5, 2018

Kaci Montoya

“Hi I’m Kaci Montoya from Huntington Beach, California! Of course Huntington Beach is known for being THE surf city, but It is also a huge Disc Golf Hot  spot! I can recall walking around the HB DGC with my two older brothers, but back then I was just more of a lost disc retriever and a fan.

As time went on I forgot about disc golf and just kind of wrote it off as something I wasn’t good at until about two years ago when I tried again just for fun with my brother and father. I started off slowly but over time, mainly the last year and a half, I’ve become obsessed!  I’ve worked hard and I’ve nailed a forehand drive that certainly gives my brothers and dad a run for their money.
My father and I go disc golfing about three times a week now, because he is just as obsessed as I am, and we’ve even got some of our friends pretty involved too. I love meeting new disc golfers and experiencing the unique challenge of each new course. It truly is one of my favorite things to do and I can’t wait to watch the sport keep growing and also to grow myself further as a player.”

Rick Saffeels

December 22, 2017 

Rick Saffeels 

“I was introduced to disc golf by my dad when I was in 5th grade and getting my first ace that day my first round with an ultimate frisbee. My dad was an ultimate frisbee thrower and taught us at a young age to love sports and learning new things. He has been my doubles partner or caddie for several events and is an awesome supporter of my professional playing over the past 3 years.
This picture is from a great father-son outing in Sublimity and Stayton and he threw a Turkey! (Three birdies in a row)
I was throwing a first run orange Colt and my dad a pink DX Roc.”

Christine Jennings

December 15, 2017 

Christine Jennings

“I started playing roughly 2 years ago and my boyfriend introduced me to the sport. My first sanctioned event was in August of 2016. So I have competitively been playing for just over one year. Fortunately I have picked up fairly quickly and have had significant results in my first year. I am active in my community especially for helping women grow and plan to continue those efforts! I also love my Innova Discs I am very excited for this next season!
The Star TL is my favorite due to the versatility ! However, the new Star TL3 is becoming a new favorite 😅 I love meeting new people and being competitive with myself, as it’s a single scoring sport. Recently, being able to help women play and develop has been a great experience 😊 It feels good to be able to help others just as other people helped me grow as a player 💕

 

Chace McMichael 

December 8, 2017 

Chace McMichael


“I started playing DG back in 2003. My best friend Jon Ellison was the catcher on our AAU baseball team and one day we were out messing around and he asked me if I have ever played frisbee golf lol. He handed me a disc and was like, ‘I know you can throw a ball but let’s see you throw this.’ I laughed and was like, ‘Dude it’s just a frisbee.’ I took the disc ( I think it was a Valkyrie ) and reached back and attempted to throw it. Little did I know what the outcome was going to be. The disc literally went straight up, left and flew behind us. He laughed at me and said, ‘It’s not a ball is it.’ From that point on I was hooked.”


Abigail Davis

December 1, 2017 

Abigail Davis


“I started disc golfing two years ago when some friends from college invited me to play and offered to let me use their discs. I fell in love with the sport quickly since it fit seamlessly into my passion for the outdoors. I am proud to be from Grand Rapids, MI where there are many courses to choose from. I still have a lot to learn and a lot of courses to discover, but I am so glad to be a part of the disc golf community. I am looking forward to many more seasons to come!”

 

Harold Duvall

2x World Champion, Innova Co-Founder, Father of Four

November 24, 2017

Harold Duvall – 2X World Champion & Co-founder Innova Disc Golf

“At San Marino High School, we had a frisbee team. That was where I met Tim Selinske. Tim had laid out a frisbee course at Lacy Park in San Marino where one would play from tree to tree. That was my first experience with disc golf.

My former high school teacher had a “pole-hole” aka basket. I learned from watching him that putting was the key to scoring well.

Two months before my first disc golf event, I borrowed my teacher’s basket and practiced putting two to three hours a night. If you’ve ever practiced putting, you know how difficult it is to practice 30 minutes let alone 2 to 3 hours. But I stuck with it.

I signed up for the PDGA the same day I signed up for my first PDGA Championship: The first Worlds disc golf event in 1982. When the championship started, while I hadn’t played years of disc golf, I felt as confident in my putting as any player out there. And by the end, I won my first disc golf title, the first World Disc Golf Championship by two to three strokes, just six months shy of my 21st Birthday. 3 years later, I won my second World championship playing with 3 Aviars and a towel.

Talent is one way to win a world championship. Hard work is another. I was not nearly the most talented player out there, but I was one of the hardest working.

My love of disc golf has been passed on to the next generation: my four beautiful kids. And while I don’t play quite the same as I did in the 80s, the decline is more than offset by the increase in friends and joy in throwing.”

Kandace Agner

November 17, 2017

Kandace Agner

“I got into disc golf in the beginning mostly because my husband Orry loves to play. It’s so much fun playing together and traveling to new courses! I was handed a Leopard and a Shark back in February and after the first round at Tom Brown Park I was hooked lol. Now we play at least one tourney a month! I have big dreams/goals to be on a lead card one day in the future!

This is definitely a lifelong sport for my family and me and I’m thankful we found disc golf. Excited to see where this journey leads me.

Orry and Kandace Agner

We’ve also donated nine baskets to our local county sports complex to start a course for our small community—the next closest course is at least an hour away! Just trying to grow the sport, share all the passion, and of course recommend my absolute favorite plastic!” – @liftingwiththeagners

Josh Jamison

November 10, 2017

“I discovered disc golf with my dad when I was in the 6th grade. Before then, on our camping trips, we would use trees as targets and throw ultimate discs to said trees. We found a course in Las Vegas and met a few guys that were passionate enough about the sport to give us a few discs. My first discs were a DX Roc and a DX Valkyrie, both of which had local club prints. (I still have the Roc).

Josh Jamison

In the following months, we bought bags, more discs, and found more courses to play. It became the go-to bonding hobby for my dad and I, even when we weren’t on good terms. We soon got my younger brother in on it and he fell in love as we did. My dad had smashed his first ace early on, and soon after his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. (He’s not one to brag). My brother and I were still scrambling for our first.

Josh’s first ace

Fast forward a few years, I applied to the University of North Texas and immediately researched for a Disc Golf Club Team. I contacted the president as I was super excited to join up. On the club, I realized how seriously players take the sport and how competitive the world of disc golf is. The president, Asher Margheim, and other players helped me develop my form, playing techniques, and deepened my passion for the sport. Two weeks before our first collegiate qualifier tournament, I hit my first ace at my home course in lewisville, TX. On the way back from our first tournament, I hit my second.

At our nationals tournament in April, I hit my third. This year, our team is growing and we will be attending the Texas qualifier next weekend, down in San Marcos! As Asher and Austin are graduating this year, Ben Dufour and I will Be in leadership positions in the club team next year.

Personally, I have taken inspiration from Philo Brathwaite and have begun to build my bag like his, with Aviars, Rocs, Firebirds, TeeBirds, and Destroyers. Innova discs have always been a preference of mine.”

Follow Josh on Instagram