Chapter 1: Jeremy's Story
Seven years ago, I moved to Scottsdale from Dallas and had never played disc golf. Unintentionally, I rented an apartment where my back door opened onto the course at Vista del Camino in Scottsdale. After the only friend I knew in Phoenix moved back to Dallas unexpectedly, I was pretty lonely. Sitting in my apartment day after day, I watched disc golfers out of my window and noticed that they were always smiling and seemed relaxed. I also noticed them picking up trash and dog poop that wasn’t theirs.
Eventually, I started making conversation as golfers walked by my patio. One afternoon, a regular asked me if I’d be interested in joining his group. He tossed me a disc, and that was the day my love of the sport began.
I started by playing a few holes each day. Sometimes I played alone, and other times I would join up with complete strangers. Disc golf is very inclusive, and you will regularly see people playing with different groups each time.
Chapter Two - Our Story
Almost three years ago, I began a relationship with my significant other, Kristin Lisson, and became co-parent to her two amazing children, Stella (9 years) and Jude (5 years). Over the last year, Kristin and the kids started playing disc golf. During the winter, we would ride our bikes to the small park at Los Olivos to play 9 holes. We have a great time and the kids love it.
Unlike other sports, where learning curves can be high, they are able to frequently make throws that help them feel accomplished and proud. This positive reinforcement has caused the kids to become more interested in the sport. Today, we try to play a round or two per week with the kids. They have actually become quite good and frequently get a few cheers from golfers or passersby who see them for the first time.
When Kristin and I met, we both lived and worked in North Scottsdale. Not long after, we decided to move to Central Phoenix; we wanted to raise our children in the city where they would be exposed to diversity of opinions and people.
Some days we take kites, while others we take a Frisbee. Some days we go to the playground, while others we practice sand volleyball or skateboard. We go all year round--whether it is 40 or 100 degrees.
Chapter 3: Their Story
Regardless of the activity we bring to the Park, other children and teens regularly approach us. We typically explain what we’re doing and offer to let them try, whether that’s throwing a Frisbee or flying a kite. It’s always enjoyable to see a kid’s face light up when they try something new and surprise themselves when they get it right.
Another thing we see when we visit the park is tens if not hundreds of students congregating in the park before or after school. While the park offers a great refuge for the students, there are few activities other than "hanging out" that are available to them. We believe that many of these students would be interested in an approachable, fun activity.
There is no sport more approachable and available than disc golf. It is magnetic! When the weather is 70 degrees and there is not a cloud in the sky, there is something about throwing a Frisbee that draws people in. Just as disc golf drew me in and gave me the opportunity to improve my life, I believe a course at the Park could give these 6,000 young people the same chance.