A Washington couple is hoping to help people learn to play disc golf through their new supply store.
The Aces & Eagles store at 1170 W. Fifth St., Washington, isn’t expected to officially open until mid-November, but for now the owners Stacie Ledgerwood and Joshua Smith-Moore plan to stay stocked with starter kits to help people get started.
The sets are about $20 and include a driver, mid-range and putter disc. “If you need something, call us,” said Smith-Moore, adding they will meet customers at any number of area courses, including Washington, St. Clair, Union and many of the ones in St. Louis.
Smith-Moore said area players currently have to drive 30 minutes or more for disc golf supplies. Now they will have an option much closer to home.
“We wanted to bring something we love, home,” said Ledgerwood.
“There are a lot of people who are really into (the game),” Smith-Moore said, noting he and Ledgerwood play at least five times a week.
Smith-Moore learned how to play in college. Then he became a professional motorcycle racer for 13 years. After he retired from racing, he became a personal trainer with an emphasis in physical training.
“I did that because I wanted to help people and now I’ve found a sport where I can help,” he said. “We don’t want to watch people waste life. We want to get people out and about.”
The couple noted that retail stores sell disc golf supplies, but those supplies aren’t custom to each person. Since the store will be focused on disc golf supplies, people will be able to find the right disc custom to their throw.
“There’s a little bit of skill involved,” said Ledgerwood.
A basket will be set up in the store so if a customer needs help, Smith-Moore will be able to help correct their throw or find the right disc.
For example, Smith-Moore noticed Ledgerwood always threw her disc to the left. So he tried to correct her throw, but when he couldn’t do that, he found a disc that naturally swerved to the right.
“It changed the entire game for me,” she said.
Smith-Moore said it’s important to know that not every disc is the same. Ledgerwood said it can be overwhelming when presented with the variety of discs. They’re hoping to eliminate that feeling for players by guiding them to the right fit.
They said the game has a big learning curve, which is why they’re planning to incorporate a buyback program. The couple is hoping to cater to the younger crowd as well.
Since they understand that cost will be a big thing for kids, they will have a three-disc set.
“We’ll offer packages they can actually afford,” Smith-Moore said.
Aces & Eagles will carry Innova’s full line of disc golf and ultimate frisbee supplies, and MVP, Axiom and Gateway products. The store will carry a line of accessories, in addition to the discs, including portable baskets for rent, bags, backpacks, carts and towels. The store also will have dog toys.
Eventually, the couple said they might even make their own accessories.
Smith-Moore added the store also will sell some of the harder-to-find items that a lot of people don’t know exist.
Right now, the couple is waiting on display racks to come in so Smith-Moore thinks it will probably be mid-November before they officially have a grand opening.
Eventually, they would like to offer free clinics where they can teach people how to play. They’re also planning to host some tournaments and leagues.
The events will be posted on the calendar at acesneagles.com and on Facebook at Aces and Eagles Disc Golf & Frisbee Supply.
Smith-Moore said his advice to beginners is to just get out there and play.
“The main thing is pick up a single disc and play,” he said, adding it can take beginners around two weeks to really get into the sport. But he warns players not to buy a lot or even expensive discs right off the bat.
“Start cheap and have fun,” he said.
Smith-Moore said the sport is a great way to strengthen muscles and can be played year-round.
The couple said they are excited about the new disc golf course in Washington. The first nine holes at Burger Park recently opened.
Smith-Moore the course is not super challenging and “everybody can play.”
Both Ledgerwood and Smith-Moore grew up in Washington and attended high school together. They reconnected after Smith-Moore returned to the area after college.
The store is located in the same studio as Shattered Glass Designs, which is operated by Smith-Moore’s mom, and Signed With Love, Ledgerwood’s other business.
Depending on how well the disc golf supply store does, Smith-Moore said they might move it to a separate space in spring.