If I was making a list of questions I get asked in the pro shop, “What do you do with the lost and found discs?” would probably be in the Top 5 of the list. It is a valid question. Many pro shops keep them forever; some sell them after a certain amount of time. Today I’m going to share our procedures with lost discs and how you can get yours back (if you lost one here in 2020). We’ve got 320+ discs currently sitting on the wall and we’re out of space. These are just lost since March!
First things first, I want to give a huge shout out to people who turn in discs instead of keeping them 👏. That’s an argument that will be had until the end of time. I’m a turner-inner no matter if there’s ink or not, because I like getting my discs back, and if we all turn discs in, then we could all get them back. I've been a disc golfer for the last 10 years, I’ve lost my fair share of plastic and turned in my fair share. I want your discs to go home to you, because I know how valuable a reliable distance driver can be.
Once Sabattus Disc Golf gets a disc turned in we put it into a basket behind the front desk. Every Thursday afternoon I call the numbers on those 10-30 discs that good samaritans have turned in. Why do I wait a few days to call? Because people don’t remember by the weekend that they have a disc here if I call on a Monday. After working here for two seasons I know that if I call on a Thursday I get more people coming in to claim their discs that weekend. My whole goal is to get them back to you the easiest way possible.
When I call, I like to talk to a person if I can. But I will always leave a message if it’s available to me. I tell you the company, disc name, plastic, and color. For example if you lost a disc I would say “Hello this is Sabattus Disc Golf calling Nate Sexton to let you know that someone turned in your Innova Purple Champion Firebird. If you’d like to get it back you can come pick it up on our lost and found wall. Have a great day.” If you’ve lost a disc here in the last 2 years you’ve likely heard that message. I’ve left it literally 500+ times so I’m pretty good at it by now.
Once I’ve made that phone call, I then tag your disc with a little yellow sticker with the date. This is to let me know when I called. At the end of the season as I take the discs down from the wall, I leave the more recent ones there. I want to give folks a fair chance to get their discs. If someone lost theirs in December I want them to have more than a couple of weeks to come get it. If you lost it in June, well that’s 6 months since I called.
If you heard my message and come in, please bring an ID with you so I can make sure you’re grabbing your disc. If your buddy wants you to pick up his disc (happens frequently) just shoot them a text to show me.
“Andrew, what if I live out of state and I lost a disc there?” We’ve got you covered there too. If you came up for a weekend and lost your disc and I call you, call back! If you make an order with us, we’ll ship your lost disc back to you along with your purchase. I’ve called people from Florida to Hawaii and we’ve gotten them their discs back this way. Don’t think it’s lost forever just because you can’t make it up to Maine.
Now it’s starting to get close to the end of the year. In January those discs will come off the wall and go into boxes and into the basement. What will I do with hundreds of unclaimed discs?
When the pandemic hit in March and we were allowed to remain open (through a window only, and cashless) there was suddenly an influx of people who had never played and wanted to rent discs. The Covid restrictions put in place by the State of Maine said that we couldn’t do rentals, and these people didn’t want to spend too much to try out a new sport. So we let them have some of our old lost and founds to keep. Many of the people have since kept playing, so thanks for introducing a new wave of players with those lost and found discs.
We still had hundreds of discs from the last year or two and we decided to donate them to local schools. I’ve been in touch with many of my teacher friends and the discs will be going to Bowdoinham Community School, Lewiston High School, Winthrop High School, Maranacook High School, Medomak Middle School, and Pine Tree Academy. These 6 schools are getting about 100 discs each for their Physical Education programs. Sabattus Disc golf is donating about 600 discs to schools this year!
It’s our way of growing the sport. This donation helps save costs for PE programs that will only need the baskets now. So don’t feel too bad if your disc never made it back. There’s a chance that you’ve helped grow the sport inadvertently, and the kids thank you for that. I know I wish I’d been exposed to disc golf at a younger age, these kids will have that chance.
Here are some happy recipients picking up the discs for their schools.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397
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I’m a sports management student at USM and for the most part I don’t like pay-to-play sports. I’d argue that they’re detrimental to the growth of the sport, target rich people, and ruin the fun nature of sports.
But disc golf is different.