That’s a very morbid title for a disc golf blog. Sorry about that.
But it’s something that I’m thinking about, and there’s no real rules on blogs that I write for SDG. Just that it has to be connected to disc golf in some way.
There have been a few disc golfers I know who have passed away. It is always devastating to the disc golfing community when we lose someone. This week I want to talk about options for folks about what to do with discs when they die. Loved ones are often excited to get discs back that belonged to their disc golf loving friend/family member who is no longer with us.
On Thursday afternoons I call all the lost and found discs that got turned in that week. Occasionally I call and someone picks up, then they inform me that the person whose disc I’m holding passed away.
The person on the other end lets me know that they want their family members disc back or if they want it donated like we do at the end of the year. I get choked up when those phone calls are made and I usually have to take a break calling lost discs for a few minutes to collect myself. It’s only happened a few times in the 4 years I’ve worked here, but it’s powerful.
Moments like that really got me thinking about myself and my disc golf discs, and what’s going to happen to them. Don’t worry, I’ve got another 70+ years to collect discs, write blogs, miss 15 footers, and smack first tree available in a wide open field. I can’t wait to play in MPO100 someday.
There’s just a lot to think about, and since disc golf is a huge part of my life I thought what happens if I go to the big wooded course in the sky?
Disc golf is a hobby for some, but I see plenty of people who consider disc golf a lifestyle. People who think about the course when they’re at work, text their friends about plans every weekend, play in 2-3 leagues per week on top of tournaments.
Maybe you’ve heard of ‘Steady’ Ed Headrick PDGA #1, the guy who invented disc golf? He was cremated and his ashes were turned into discs that were sold to help fund the International Disc Golf Center.
I’ve got a few bags, discs (maybe 300 something discs?), baskets, and plenty of other accessories. I started playing recreationally 13 years ago and in that time I’ve amassed a small collection of throwers. I would guess 98% of my discs have hit a tree, I’m in the sport for playing not for collecting or reselling.
I’ve joked before that just in case the ancient Egyptians were right, and you can take it with you. I want to be buried with my I-Dye Wraith that I hit my first ace with. Maybe a couple putters too.
But really, I don’t want my stuff to go to waste. I foresee 3 different outcomes for what could happen. I’d really love to hear other people’s thoughts on this one, and what you would choose to do with your discs.
1. Sell Them.
I mean they’re my property and funerals aren’t cheap. Even if someone sold my discs for $5 each and the baskets for $50 and the bags for $50, that would still fetch a nice chunk of change for folks. It would also give people a chance to get their hands on some inexpensive plastic. It’s an option for sure, definitely the most profitable of the three I’m going to suggest. This takes some time and effort, especially if you’re not sure where to go to do it. Play it Again Sports or maybe a local disc golf club/store would buy all your discs. Or you’d have to post on Facebook marketplace, or Uncle Henry’s, or Craigslist. It’s a bit of a burden for your loved ones.
2. Donate them
I love that Sabattus donates the lost and found section at the end of the year. I can’t tell you how happy these Physical Education teachers are when they show up here and leave with a box of discs for their students. But I already spend a lot of time coordinating getting these discs out to new homes. And many of you aren’t from Maine, which is where Sabattus is and where we donate those discs. So I searched online and there’s another organization that does take discs.
UPlay disc golf already has a way to donate discs. You pay the shipping, but someone will get your discs. UPlay is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that does great work introducing kids to the healthy aspects of disc golf. I’ve met Zoe Andyke a couple of times and can confirm she’s the real deal. She teaches folks about disc golf, how to teach others, and UPlay is a great organization who disc golfers might not know about.
This is from their website that I linked above in “donate discs”.
They teach folks all over the globe how to teach disc golf, donate discs, and teach students.
3. Into the Trash
This is the worst option, and I’m sure it unfortunately does happen.
Right now there’s not a great way to remove the dirt and crud from used discs. Disc golf companAnies that make discs from recycled plastic (other than Trash Panda) are reusing their plastic that didn’t work the first time through a mold. So those 50 used discs in your garage aren’t something that they could use.
I don’t have the right answer for you about what to do with your discs when you die. Everyone is different and everyone has different needs and wants. Maybe you ask your family and friends to keep some, donate some, and trash some, just so you hit all 3 of the points.
Whatever it is that you do with your discs, you should have a plan and let someone know about it. Maybe share this blog with them in a text or messenger app and say something like “Don’t you dare give away my discs to Cole.” Or “Donate everything except my yellow Buzzz that I got 4 aces with. I want that buried with me.”
No matter what your plans are, let ‘em be known to the ones who will take care of it.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397