As a fan of all sports, I spend much of my time watching the big three: basketball, football and baseball.
But when I get a chance to play, you can find me participating in a variation of traditional golf.
It’s called disc golf or Frisbee golf, and it substitutes the golf ball for plastic discs.
The sport shares the same fundamentals as “ball golf” where the players compete for the fewest number of strokes in a nine or 18-hole game.
Disc golf began in the 1970’s when a Recreation Supervisor in California introduced the golf variant as part of a park project, and its popularity grew on college campuses throughout the decade.
The sport is incredibly easy to learn, yet takes a lifetime to master. Sound familiar?
Drives are made from a designated pad or area, and most opening drives require a running start, as players whip the disc across their hips for as much distance as possible.
And just like regular golf, many courses combine wooded and open terrains with ponds and traps.
According to the Pro Disc Golf Association, a nine-hole disc course can be established on as little as five acres of land, and a championship-caliber 18-hole course on 30 to 40 acres.
Originally, hula-hoops were used as targets for the discs, but the “holes” eventually were adapted into metal baskets with chains that stop the disc.
And similar to “ball” golf, disc golf requires the player to carry multiple discs depending on your shot.
Some specialize in a straight line of flight, some are designed to cut through wind, and others are designed for extra accuracy or glide. It all depends on your technique and the tools for the job.
Disc golfers build their collection out of distance drivers, fairway drivers, putters and mid-range discs over time.
I personally try to buy two new discs a year, and have collected nearly 20 discs so far (Not to mention the ones I’ve lost in the brush.)
Usually disc golfers carry over-the-shoulder bags or backpacks that fit five to ten discs inside.
And if you’re wondering how far you can throw a disc, you might be surprised.
According to Innova, a leading disc manufacturer, the world record for the farthest disc thrown is 836 feet.
Disc golf also provides a low initial investment to start, which is great for beginners.
You can buy a professional disc for less than $15, and you only need one to get started.
There are more than 3,000 disc golf courses in the U.S., and most are completely free of charge.
In fact, there’s an 18-hole course at Edison Community College in Piqua and a 9-hole course in Troy.
So while the sport is a bit new, I’d encourage anyone to pick up a disc and find the nearest course.