What’s up everyone! Ty Tannatt here, bringing you our first ever blog post spotlighting who and what Wander Disc Golf is all about. I’ve had the entrepreneur spirit my whole life and I finally pulled the trigger on putting a few of my favorite things together – disc golf, travel, hats, and giving back. I’ve been called “hat boy” since elementary school because I wore my hat on the way to school while riding the bus every day. Not much has changed since then as I still love to rock a hat every chance I can. So, I thought to myself why not start my own hat and apparel company where I can rock my own awesome designs? Thus, began the search to figure out what to put on said hats and apparel.
I’ve long been wanting a company to come along to expand the scenic side of my favorite sport, disc golf. I love artistic drawings of nature and how they give me the drive to get outside and move around. In particular, I enjoy the drawings of our country’s national parks. There are several companies out there who do a fantastic job of supplying well made, durable products based on artistic depictions of these parks.
The lightbulb went on in my head and I thought to myself why is no one doing this for the beautiful disc golf parks we have around the country? What kind of brand would spotlight these parks and courses? What kind of name would highlight the diversity and density of the parks and courses? How do I include my passion for traveling into my business venture? Boom. All of a sudden Wander came to me.
Obviously, the word “wander” is synonymous with walking, meandering, traveling, etc. It was the perfect fit for my goals. Starting a company on my own with no experience whatsoever, combining the love for travel and disc golf, creating opportunities for myself, my family, and our ambassadors to venture to new places all while supporting my favorite sport. I’ll get to create awesome designs to put on my favorite attire, my hat! Last but certainly not least, I will be able to give back to organizations that can make an impact in local disc golf communities and, probably even more importantly, the mental health community.
The reason I’m doing all of this is because the sport of disc golf along with some other factors have helped me through my hardest times. I’ve suffered through anxiety, depression, and OCD throughout the majority of my adult life. I’ve always felt a bit out of place except for when I’m involved in sports. I believe my mental health issues were the result of my sporting career coming to an abrupt halt after my high school senior year baseball season. I had been involved in at least one sport every year since I was 5 years old. I was no longer part of a team. I was no longer participating in athletic events. I lost my identity when I went off to college. I was a minnow in a lake as a college student. No one knew who I was, my achievements, my personality. I was scared. I was anxious. I missed home and the comfort of seeing the same people day in and day out. These circumstances lead to some debilitating thoughts and actions. It was hard to get out of bed. It was hard to go to class.
I ended up taking the 2nd semester of school off and tried to focus on recovery. During that 2nd semester of school I was re-introduced to disc golf. I had played a few, very casual rounds beforehand but never a true full 18 holes until my first year of college. I was lucky enough to have some friends accompany me to Turkey Creek in North Liberty, Iowa for a round. After a few holes I felt the competitor come out of me. It was like I had taken a sip of my first Coca-Cola again (my favorite soft drink). My eyes lit up, I was able to relax for the first time in months, and I was back in competitive mode trying to outduel my friends. I don’t remember the scores of that first round or any subsequent rounds that year, but I’m sure they weren’t the greatest. But as many of you know, the first time you pure your drive or make a long putt (or what feels like a long putt at the time) you are hooked for life. I specifically remember purring some Innova Star Beast forehand shots and I couldn’t get enough.
I knew this game was meant for me and I knew it would help me get through my issues. I’ve continued to play since, some years more than others, but I’ve really given the sport my full effort the past 2 years. I feel at peace when I am playing and everything that is stressful, sad, painful eases or completely goes away. So why not completely dive in, start a business, and hope I can make an impact? That’s what I told myself and here I am getting ready to hopefully bring you something you can relate to and support.
Wander Disc Golf will be more than a disc golf company. It will be more than an apparel company. It will be a lifestyle, bred from the passion and love for the sport of disc golf, the beautiful land it is played on, and the community of people involved. I want to breed that passion in everyone and share the fantastic scenery of disc golf in hopes that someday you wander to a disc golf course that you never thought you would find yourself at. Hopefully we can use the sport and our company as a way for people to heal or to find themselves.
That’s why our mission is to give back as much as we can to the local disc golf communities, local mental health organizations, and to our ambassadors. Because, in my opinion, there is no better way to find yourself than to get lost. So, go on, get out there and Wander. I guarantee you will find out something about yourself.