Local authors spread the love of disc golf with new book

Two Asheville-area authors are promiting their book, The Definitive Guide To Disc Golf, with upcoming books signings. The book has received and endorsement from the Professional Disc Golf Association.
Two Asheville-area authors are promiting their book, The Definitive Guide To Disc Golf, with upcoming books signings. The book has received and endorsement from the Professional Disc Golf Association. Photo courtesy of Ryan Pickens

If you’re looking to get into disc golf, you can meet the men who wrote the book on it. The authors of The Definitive Guide To Disc Golf have two upcoming events in May promoting their book and the sport they love.

Co-author Ryan Pickens has been a professional disc golfer for about seven years now and used to teach the sport at Mars Hill College. Justin Menickelli, the book’s other author, teaches disc golf at Western Carolina University. Pickens says they both realized there was no comprehensive text on the subject to supplement their curricula. “This was really a no-brainer for the two of us to team up and work at trying to put together a book that is comprehensive in nature, can serve as a higher education textbook, but is written in a way your avid reader is gonna pick it up and enjoy reading it.”

Pickens says, once you learn some basic techniques, you can enjoy disc golf virtually anywhere, noting, “Disc golf is an amenity that a number of parks and recreation departments have. A lot of time you don’t have to money to play on a course and the discs are pretty cheap, about eight to 18 dollars. And you can get by with only having two or three discs.” He says there are about 13 disc golf courses in the Asheville-area. He notes portability is another advantage of the sport. “Your frisbees fit in any briefcase, any piece of luggage. I’ve played in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and other countries. And you find yourself in these public parks you probably would never have gone to if you weren’t playing disc golf.”

Pickens says disc golf is on the rise, noting the Western North Carolina Disc Golf Association is about 300 members strong with frequent tournaments. But he envisions much bigger milestones on the horizon, “One of our goals is to have disc golf [be] as legitimate as other sports out there. We’d love to see it in the Olympics, and love to see courses all over the world.”

Pickens hopes his book helps play a part in the sport’s ascension to international popularity. The book is off to a good start, having received an official endorsement from the Professional Disc Golf Association and also a deal with Innova, disc golf’s largest manufacturer. Innova will bundle the book as part of its disc golf starter kit. Pickens says the publisher, Triumph Books, is helping get the book on shelves of major bookstores and it’s starting to get a good word-of-mouth buzz.

The book is broken down into three sections: An introduction and history of the game; the science and aerodynamics of disc golf; and the various techniques associated with the game. It retails for $19.95 and can be found online and at bookstores.

You can also attend two upcoming events featuring the authors.

Pickens and Menickelli will be at Pisgah Brewery Company (which has its own nine-hole disc golf course) on Thursday, May 19 from 4-6 p.m. The event will serve as the book’s official launch party and will feature a putting clinic, book signing and culminate with a round of disc golf at 6 p.m.

The authors will also have a book signing at the Asheville Barnes & Noble on Sunday, May 22 at 5 p.m.

You can find more information about disc golf and Asheville-area events on the book’s Facebook page.

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About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at dhesse@mountainx.com.

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