Disc golf player Logan Wells livens up the sport with his custom-disc business, Surf City Discs and Dyes.
“I was completely terrible at it,” he admits. “They handed me a driver, but you had to throw it the right way for it to do what it’s supposed to do. Every time I threw, it went high in the air and immediately to the left into the woods.”
That disastrous first attempt didn’t deter Logan. He decided that he wanted to get better at the sport, so bought three discs and hasn’t stopped playing since. He attended his first disc golf tournament in November, only seven months after playing for the first time.
Disc golf is similar to traditional ball golf but uses discs instead of clubs and balls. Players start from a tee area and throw a disc down the fairway for a basket instead of a hole. There are generally four types of discs: distance drivers, fairway drivers, mid-range discs and approach/putters. Each disc is designed to behave a certain way. The object of the game is to play each hole in the fewest number of throws. The player with the lowest total throws over the entire course wins.
The popularity of disc golf continues to grow, and the pandemic may have played a role. Not only is disc golf played outdoors, but it is also both an individual sport or group sport, making it accessible to people who were looking to social distance.
Wells plays at the Surf City Disc Golf Course, a nine-hole course that offers some beginner holes but mostly challenging holes that require a specific shot shape. The course is managed and maintained by the Surf City Parks and Recreation Department.
“It’s a great course, and it’s definitely a technical course,” he says.
Since Wells first began playing in 2021, he’s also entered several tournaments.
“When I played my first tournament, I was just starting out, but I wanted to go all in,” he says. “I put myself out there. Playing with more experienced players gave me an opportunity to learn new techniques and improve my game.”
For Wells, disc golf is not only a fun sport, but also a stress reliever. Obviously, when you are first learning to play, it might not seem like it; even seasoned players prepare themselves for hitting trees and missing the basket.
“You’re going to get a little frustrated from time to time, but ultimately, you go out there, you’re in nature, you can just get away for a couple of hours,” Wells says.
Learning how to play disc golf, or improving a technique, is as easy as searching for YouTube videos, Wells explains. “You can search for beginner how-tos, how to throw a specific type of throw, etc. Taking discs to an open field and throwing several shots different ways will allow people to practice throws and see what the disc will do without worrying about keeping the disc in the fairway or hitting trees. There are also Facebook groups dedicated to disc golf; some sites let you post a video of your throws and other players will critique your form.”
There is also a Disc Golf Pro tour where professional players go to different courses throughout the year. Sometimes pro players will host clinics to help people learn the sport and throw better.
In addition to finding a passion for the sport, Wells also began customizing his discs, teaching himself several disc dyeing techniques.
Discs are made of different plastic depending on the manufacturer. Discs can also come in a variety of colors. Discs that are best for dyeing are white or clear in premium plastic; however, premium plastic discs that are lightly colored can still dye. Dyeing the discs gives them a lot more character than an off-the-shelf disc and can also help differentiate your discs from other people’s. It also makes them easier to spot in the woods.
Wells’ custom-dyed discs have gained local attention, and now he creates them on commission, or you can find him in between tournaments and membership events selling them to other players. Wells also has an Instagram page @surfcitydiscsanddyes, where people can see his posts and reach out if they are interested in a certain disc.
The process of dyeing discs can vary significantly depending on the desired outcome. For most of his designs, Wells’ process uses a medium that can be a latex paint additive. A disc can also be dyed using shaving cream, acetone, denatured alcohol, lotion, shampoo and conditioner. He uses Pro Chemical and Dye to mix with the medium to get the desired color for dyeing. The discs sit for a while to give the disc time to absorb the dye. Wells uses a heat lamp to speed up the dyeing time, but it also “adds to the crispness of the dyes,” he says.
In addition to dyes, Wells can use a vinyl cutter to create custom logos and dye them on the disc.
Want to buy discs?
To see Logan Wells’ custom-dyed discs, visit his Instagram @surfcitydiscsanddyes
For more information:
Surf City Disc Golf Course
The course is located at 102 H2O Place in Surf City.
Photography by City 2 Sea Media