Monday, August 6, 2012

His - Time for a Round of Disc Golf

       One of my new hobbies is playing disc golf. I played regular (ball) golf as a kid but gave it up around 10 years ago as I outgrew my clubs and the cost to play in the United States is far more than I am willing to play. Besides I used to spend a small fortune in golf balls since they always landed in foot high grass, never to be seen again.
This is an example of a basket that you are
aiming for. This is about as close as I have
gotten to a hole in one.
     I had heard about disc golf but had never played prior to this spring. My brother-in-law, Andy, took me out for a round at the local course at Clemson, SC and I enjoyed it a lot. I was not brilliant at it but it was a lot of fun and it was a lot easier to find a 10 inch bright disc in the long grass than a golf ball was. That was a definite plus! So after playing at Clemson and realizing there were several courses near our home in Virginia, I was hooked and decided to pick up a few discs at the local store to take home.

   So what is it about disc golf that appeals to me? First of all, just about anyone is able to play. For about $15 you can pick up a disc and start playing. There are different types of discs, some that curve to the left or right, putting discs, and driving discs that allow you to throw it much further. But a beginner can pick up a single mid range disc, go out to the local course, throw the disc around and play. Secondly many courses are free to play and the ones that do charge are still inexpensive (normally $2-4 per person). It's also good exercise as you have to walk, no golf carts here, and it's good friendly competition between friends and family.

So how do you play? Like golf you start at a designate tee area and aim towards the pin, which is a big metal basket. The lower number of throws the better. Each hole has a par value and if you can get into the basket within par you are doing pretty good. Although it is possible to get a hole in one, I have not been that lucky yet; however, I have come close a couple of time with the disc landing just a few feet from the basket.

Andy found his disc that went in the water after searching
for it for about 10 minutes. Sadly this was not the last
time we went into the water looking for someone's disc
that day!
     Each course is a little different. Some are in open parkland which is good for beginners and some are very wooded with lots of trees which requires a little more skill to ensure you don't hit every tree down the length of the hole. There are even some courses that have water hazards. Sadly, the discs do not float, so if it goes in, you will have to either abandon it or go in and try and find it on the bottom of the lake, river etc. 

     Back in May, my brother-in-law Andy, my father in law and I went to a local course to play. We learned that it is almost impossible to find a jet black disc in the heavy brush and that it is even harder to find them in the water (so buy a bright orange or yellow disc). A total of 3 discs went into the water and lucky for us, we were able to locate and retrieve them all. If we go back to this course I think we will take river shoes so its easier to go in after the discs. That or teach those two how to keep their discs out of the water.

   I don't play every week but every so often I will head out and play a round and have fun, even when I play poorly. It really is a lot of fun and worth giving it a try, so why not plan a day out at the local disc golf course? If you need help finding one give this website a try

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