Discovering disc golf in Second Life

Disc Golf, The Raven’s Nest, March 2021

I’ve written about golf in Second life in these pages a number of times; whilst hardly a fan of the game in the physical world – I tend to be firmly in the Arthur Myers camp that “to play golf is to spoil an otherwise enjoyable walk” (Lawn Tennis At Home & Abroad, 1903, and often quite apocryphally attributed to Mark Twain as “golf is a good walk spoiled”), I do enjoy the occasional round with Caitlyn in-world. So, when Kali Rose recently invited me to pay a visit to The Raven’s Nest and try a round of something called disc golf – which I confess I’d never actually heard of before – it seemed like I should hop over hop over and try things out.

A full region utilising the 30K private region bonus, The Raven’s Nest is home to the Rose family (private residences are located on the south and west sides of the region, so do please keep that in mind if you visit) and also to Her GeekSpot brand and store, which has been rather neatly as a film studio lot. The disc golf course takes up the majority of the region, offering a good means to explore.

The Raven’s Nest, March 2021

Disc golf is essentially “regular” in-world golf, but with the club and ball replaced by a Frisbee-style disc and the hole by a basket you try to throw your disc “into”. Like golf, it can be played over 9 or 18 “holes”, with The Raven’s Nest offering the full 18.

The landing point for the course is the clubhouse on the east side of the region. Here, those wishing to play can join the local group (required, and needs a free in-world group slot). Once the group has been joined, players can obtain a disc and control HUD from the game vendor, and if they wish, a scorecard and game notes from the neighbouring givers. The HUD provides the means to play the game and also personalise both your disc and gameplay elements; however, if you prefer, it can be ignored and the game enjoyed directly through the disc itself.

Disc Golf: get your Frisbee into the basket

Note that once received, the disc must be worn while in close proximity to the vendor in order to activate it. Discs will remain valid for 24 hours after activation, so if you get interrupted in the middle of a round and as long as you return within that time, you can continue playing without having to re-start.

Each tee takes the form of a square, grey base,  the number of the hole on one side, indicating the direction towards the basket.The first tee is located on the deck at the back of the clubhouse. Baskets are quite low and can be a little hard to locate from a distance – so you may need to cam a little to spot some as you continue around the course.

Once at the tee for a hole, walk onto it and select your required club (generally the driver)  via the HUD (or by clicking your disc and selecting it from the dialogue). This will trigger a particle wind speed indicator alongside your avatar together with a direction of throw indicator itself.

Winding up for a throw

You can adjust your direction of throw to compensate for the wind by using the LEFT / RIGHT cursor keys (or A/D if you prefer); when you are ready to “throw” move the mouse pointer over the terrain or the tee base and press and hold down the left mouse button.

This will cause you avatar to prepare to throw your disc, and display a power indicator – the higher this gets, the more power will be applied to your “throw”. When you are ready, release the mouse button to “throw” your disc.

The flight of a disc is indicated by a line. By default, this is white, but you can use the colour button on  the HUD to select a preferred colour for it, your disc and the landing marker (handy if you part playing with friends).

The landing marker, a large arrow, indicates – as if the name doesn’t give it away 🙂 – where your disc landed. If you hover the mouse pointer over it, a teleport sit icon will be displayed, indicating you can teleport directly to the marker. Also, the colour button on the HUD allows you to toggle whether or not the marker, wind direction indicator, etc., are displayed.

Additional strokes are played the same way, with the ability to use the wedge for “chipping” up towards a basket when reasonably close to a basket and the putter when particularly close to it. Throughout it all your scorecard will track your shots and keep score, and when you’ve completed a round, you can return to the clubhouse and see if you’ve set a new course record.

My disc heads towards the basket (to the right of the tree, atop the old well)

Whilst playing, and if you use use an over-the-shoulder camera view by default, you might want to centre your camera up when playing to get an more accurate view of the ground pointer. Also, if you have double-click to teleport enabled, you might want to turn it off – an accidental click will have you routed back to the clubhouse – and be sure to avoid the local train (when it is running), which winds its way through the course!

I do have a couple of minor niggles: the holes are all par 3, no matter what their difficulty – which appears to be baked into the game;, unfortunately. Where this course is concerned, some of the signage could be clearer (it’s not obvious where the first tee is,  for example). However, this doesn’t overly interfere with things.

Playing a round of disc golf lets you discover the rest of The Raven’s Nest

Golf games are fairly common across SL, but disc golf is just that little bit different, and The aven’s Nest offering an interesting means to get to know the game, offering as it does the opportunity to explore the region whilst playing, maybe try out a little fishing afterwards, or simply sit and relax at the water’s edge. My thanks to Kali for the invitation.

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