Sorry I missed this yesterday. The club forum doesn't get that much traffic and I overlooked it.
As Bill said, you can just show up and start playing. It's usually a little easier if you're playing with someone, particularly if it's someone familiar with the course, so that you don't have to invest too much effort in finding your way around. Most of the local courses are pretty easy to navigate, though. East Roswell Park is pretty self-explanatory, though people sometimes get a little confused after finishing Hole 3 and end up on the tee box for Hole 5, and I've known people to go through the woods to the tee for Hole 6 from the basket for Hole 4 instead of heading back along the trailers to 5. There's a PDF course map at http://www.roswelldiscgolf.org/sitebuil ... rsemap.pdf
that you can print out and take with you if you decide to head there.
As Bill says, East Roswell can be a little frustrating for players of any skill level, as it's heavily wooded; you're guaranteed to hit plenty of trees, and there's lots of places where it's not hard at all to lose a disc in the kudzu and underbrush. But with the woods comes shade, which makes it a whole lot more pleasant to play in brutally hot weather like we're having now. And all in all, I don't know that hitting a lot of trees is all that much more discouraging for a beginner than throwing on wide open holes and having the disc go half as far as you think it should and 90 degrees off the line you were trying to throw.
I live right across the street from East Roswell Park, and since I work from home with a fairly flexible schedule, I could probably be available to show you around with a little advance notice. I'm sure I could also come up with a handful of beginner-friendly discs for you to experiment with (at least, I will after tomorrow afternoon -- most of them are loaned out tomorrow to the Roswell Rec and Parks summer camp for the kids to use). If you'd like to arrange a time, send me a PM here or just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander Park in Lawrenceville might be my first recommendation for someone starting out -- both sets of tee pads, the long and short, are concrete, which helps with footing; it's relatively easy to navigate (especially if you have a map
; and much of it is relatively open (and even the wooded holes aren't as tight as those at ERP). But if you're in North Fulton or Cobb or points north and west, it'd be a pretty long drive to get there.
I don't consider Central Park in Cumming particularly beginner-friendly, either in terms of distance or navigability, but if you're up that way it is an option. Oregon Park (in NW Marietta near Dallas Highway (GA 120) and Due West Road would be another if you're in that part of town -- the first nine holes are relatively beginner friendly, at least (to be honest, I haven't played the course since it was expanded to 18 holes, though I hope to this weekend).
If you want to get a good feel for what the local courses are like, and to be able to get a lot of information about disc golf in general, you could do worse than to check out Disc Golf Course Review
-- despite the name, the message boards there have a ton of information about the game in general, and the course reviews will generally give you a picture (often literally) of what the courses are like.
Innova Discs has a very comprehensive FAQ page for folks new to the game at http://www.innovadiscs.com/home/disc-go ... todiscgolf
. Obviously the disc advice mentions only Innova products, but the information is relatively general except in that regard.
The other big name in discs, Discraft, also has a disc selection guide for new players
, as well as a lot of how-to videos on their site.
Bill's disc suggestions are also good, though I think most absolute beginners will find it easiest to start with a putter (like the Aviar) and a general-purpose midrange (like the Shark, Mako, Spider, Coyote, Skeeter or Roc (among Innova discs). If you're accustomed to playing catch or Ultimate, you'll probably find that discs like the Mako or Skeeter fly the most like what you're used to. I'd also recommend starting out toward the lighter end of the weight range (and unfortunately, lighter-weight discs can be harder to find at local retailers) -- something in the 150g to 160g range would be ideal (and you're more like to find the Shark or Skeeter in those weights). You may be one of those rare prodigies who finds lightweight understable discs to be too prone to "turning over" (pulling hard to the right and diving toward the ground when thrown with a right-handed backhand motion), but most people have the opposite problem when starting out -- even "understable" golf discs will tend to go up sharply, stall out, and dive down and way to the left.
If you want to make things relatively easy in terms of getting beginner-friendly discs, Innova sells a starter set of three discs in DX plastic for beginners that generally contains a Leopard, Shark, and Aviar, all in the 150g range. The 150g Aviar may well be too light for you as a putter fairly soon after you start, but if you like I'd be happy to trade it out for you with a heavier Aviar if you decide that's the case (I'm trying to rebuild my collection of loaner discs that are beginner/kid-friendly). You can generally get the starter sets at PGA Tour Superstore, Dick's, Sports Authority, etc. for about $25. Note that they typically also sell starter sets in the higher-durability Champion plastic, but these are more expensive (closer to $45) and are typically in heavier weights; I also think the Valkyrie (driver) and Panther (midrange) are harder for a complete beginner to handle than the Leopard and Shark in the DX set.
If you're willing to make a little more of an investment in time and possibly gasoline, you could visit one of the local shops that specialize in disc golf gear -- Disc Caddie Golf inside BP Sports Collectibles on the Marietta Square, or Disc Stalker in Lawrenceville (just around the corner from Alexander Park); the aforementioned PGA Tour Superstore has locations in Roswell (less than two miles from East Roswell Park), Duluth, and Kennesaw and has recently started stocking a selection of disc golf stuff.
Let us know if you still have questions.