“I never grew up,” says Ed Headrick, 52, a Costa Mesa, Calif. engineer with nine patents, the latest of which is a game called “Disc Golf.” It is played on a 9- or 18-hole course with a Frisbee.
Headrick worked for 13 years at Wham-O and helped to perfect the ubiquitous Frisbee by suggesting the grooves that make it sail better. He is still a consultant to the company, and his business card is a miniature Frisbee. “We develop toys we like as adults,” he says, “and, grudgingly, we let children play with them.”
Headrick will lay out an 18-hole course, which requires at least seven acres, and provide the metal baskets for $6,000. For playgrounds or backyards, a $250 scaled-down version (one hole with nine tees) is available. Disc Golf rules are similar to those of regular golf.
Headrick, who is separated and has four grown children, now devotes full time to Disc Golf. (He’s at right with his oldest son and business partner, Ken, 26.) Three free courses in Southern California are drawing thousands of players each week. “We find there is very little vandalism,” he says, “because potential vandals seem to relate to the game.” Twenty more layouts are being installed nationwide. And on Memorial Day the first World Disc Golf Championship (with a $1,500 purse) will be played in Newfoundland, N.J.
People Magazine April 25, 1977 Vol. 7 No. 16, Pg. 91
Archive issue available here.
More about Ed Headrick,
The Father of Disc Golf available here.