I’m Howard Cohen and I created smalldiscgolf.org with the singular purpose of establishing Small Disc Golf as a fun game that millions of people enjoy.
I love disc golf, but I can’t play it indoors or at night. And, while the pros play in the rain, I don’t want to.
It was, in fact, the extensive rain where I live in Oakland, California, that drove me to figure out how to make indoor flying discs. I had already tried in vain to make a disc golf-related game, well, not one. Actually eight. But none of them were realistic enough, and whatever realism they managed to have came at the cost of playability. They weren’t good games and each one was more realistic and less playable than the previous one.
Then in December of 2022 I took a class on 3D printing at Ace Makerspace. I learned Fusion 360, mainly from Lars Christensen on youtube. I started trying to design flying discs and I tried to print them. It took a month to find a way to make a lightweight disc that flew realistically.
I have a background in software engineering, which I did professionally for more than three decades. I have five decades of experience as a woodworker and I teach have been teaching woodworking and tools certification classes regularly at Ace Makerspace for about five years.
I started playing disc golf with friends at the De Laveaga disc golf course in Santa Cruz in the late 80s. The pins were 4x4s mounted in the ground, painted green with two white stripes near the middle and the top. You had to hit the stripes or anywhere between them. The “top of the world” hole was #3. I never, ever, reached the pin off that tee. But, I did see a lot of the Santa Cruz mountains hiking around trying to find my discs.
I played off and on through the years since then, but never lost my love of the game. More recently I started watching disc golf on YouTube. I think I watched every JomezPro video they ever made, as well as all the Gatekeeper Media videos, all the OTB Skins matches, a lot of videos by the Disc Golf Guy and I follow many of the video blogs for my favorite pros. I enjoyed everything about disc golf coverage. I would often listen to it in the background when I worked at my desk.
I was never a great disc golfer. My friends were better than I was. I tried to get better but I didn’t have the strength to throw a long distance and, well, De Laveaga isn’t a short course.
I used to play a lot of games. Dungeons and Dragons was my favorite game of all time. One of my tabletop disc golf games was based on something like the game mechanics of Dungeons and Dragons – but, you know, with significantly less chance of dying.
I’ve left the software industry about six years ago and now I am a woodworker for a living, specializing in fences, gates and pergolas. It is a much calmer way to make a living.
You might ask why I put Small Disc Golf into the public domain instead of trying to capitalize on it. I wrote a blog post about why I release small disc golf under the creative commons CC0 license. The best answer is that I care more that Small Disc Golf becomes widespread than I do about making money from it. I think trying to own it would prevent it from becoming popular. And, if it ever does become popular, there may still be opportunities to profit from having developed it.
At least for the moment, I’m the world’s largest producer of Small Golf Discs.
You can reach me at hoco at smalldiscgolf dot org.