Have you ever gotten your disc golf discs stolen? Stolen disc golf discs are the “ivory trade” of disc golf.
Are you tired of getting your disc golf discs stolen? How about walking in to the local used sports equipment store and seeing your stolen disc golf discs for sale? More than once I have introduced myself to some disc golfers on the course and the response was something like “Are you TooNA?? I just saw some guy throwing a bunch of your discs!” Many times I have asked myself why someone would help themselves to my personal property and there is no appropriate answer. It seems that some people are so cheap that they will not spend 10, 15 or 20 dollars for a disc. Thinking about it I have come to the conclusion that there are several ways to avoid getting your disc golf discs stolen.
For starters, write name in large letters on top of the flight plate. Use a large permanent marker. Some people swear by the color red as far as staying power. If someone else is throwing your favorite disc golf disc they are exposed immediately as soon as they remove the disc from their bag. In order for someone to sell your disc they will have to clean off the entire flight plate leaving it blank and conspicuous looking.
Yet another way to avoid getting your disc golf discs stolen is to buy one disc for showin and one for throwin. If you like that tournament stamp on your disc which came with your players’ pack then get another one. Why? Because you are going to write your name in big letters on any disc that you throw with a big Sharpee. Hang one on your wall and throw the other one.
Do not buy a disc with the stamp on the flight plate cleaned off. If someone wrote their name on the flight plate the thief probably cleaned off the stamp and the person’s name with acetone. If you had a unique stamp that could also reveal a thief he would want to dispose of that. Very few people have a disc with no stamp on it. Yeah it could have a bottom stamp but those are rare.
Do not buy used discs from one of those “used sports equipment stores”, Craigslist, Ebay or those “brick and mortar joints” similar to Play It Again Sports stores. Like the ivory trade, we have to shut the market for stolen property down. Giving these people a market to sell stolen discs will not help at all. Those used sports equipment stores do not care where the stolen goods come from.
Do not buy a disc from a known disc thief. This will only encourage someone to steal more if they know they can count on their customer base. Disc thieves do not care who they steal from. If you don’t think they steal from you when they get the chance then think again.
Remove or obscure the manufacture’s ink on the bottom that displays weight and type of the disc. If the person who has your disc cannot tell someone what they have it is that much harder to sell.
Get a custom disc made. Certain discs can be custom made with your logo or your name. If your name is imprinted on the disc it will be harder to sell. The thief may move on to easier prey – discs that are easier to sell without your stamp on them. Another way is to dye your name to the top of the flight plate.
Write your google voice number on the bottom. If someone should find your discs google voice is a great way for them to get in touch with you.
Have designated individuals retrieve your discs. In SoFLA we are not allowed in to many of our area park’s lakes and ponds. Anyone in the water is trespassing.
Return any disc that you find. Either by leaving the disc at the front office or gatehouse. Bring the disc with you to the Weekly Sunday Doubles mini tournaments , or Contact the owner of the lost disc yourself and make arrangements to have it returned. There is a lot to be said for the disc golfer that returns the lost or stolen disc.
These suggestions will lessen the chance that your discs will get stolen. If all disc golfers adopted these suggestions the stolen disc golf market could be shut down. Add a “return all found discs” pledge to your Disc Golf Code Of Ethics. Share this post with the locals you disc golf with. The more people that become aware of the situation and take steps to prevent it the better.