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Frisbee golf beginning to take hold in local area

September 8, 2016
By Jeremy Izzio - editorial@westfieldrepublican.com , Westfield Republican

Disk golf, also known as Frisbee golf or frolf, is one of the fastest growing sporting activities in the world and with many courses in the local area, it may be worth your time to give the burgeoning sport a try this summer.

Originally played during the 1960's in California, the sport has taken off worldwide in the past decade as the number of disk golf courses in the world doubled, according to "Disk Golf Course Review."

Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc much like the traditional Frisbee.

Article Photos

Submitted Photo
Pictured is the Pole Hole at Chainbiters at Brown’s Farm hole No. 3 in South Dayton. Disk golf is one of the fastest growing sporting activities worldwide with many courses available locally.

The sport was formalized in the 1970's, with the object of completing each hole in the fewest strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, fewest throws). A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target which is the "hole." The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is called a Pole Hole. The trademarked Pole Hole is an elevated metal basket with chains to catch the disk during its flight.

As with traditional golf, as a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive throw from the spot where the previous throw has landed. Depending on the course, the trees, shrubs and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer.

Finally, the "putt" lands in the basket and the hole is completed.

Another parallel between disk and ball golf are the highs and lows a golfer will experience while progressing through a course. Sinking a long putt, hitting a tree halfway down the fairway and losing disks in hazards all contribute to a round of disk golf.

One major difference between the two sports is cost. While traditional golf involves greens fees, cart rental, possible club memberships and expensive equipment, disk golf is a relatively cheap activity the whole family can enjoy the first time out.

"Financially, I just couldn't continue to golf now that I have a family, mortgage, etc.," said Brocton native Christopher Frank. "I was an avid golfer, too. I played golf in college and maintained memberships for years after graduation. The costs really added up. I'm talking thousands of dollars per year in memberships, cart rentals, equipment, club house minimums and more. You don't realize how it's adding up until you step back and take a hard look.

"That's why I made the switch to disk golf," he added. "For about $5 a round, I can disk golf anytime I want and the cost is minimal. Once you buy the disks, which range from very affordable to top-of-the-line, you're set for life. Granted, you can always lose a disk, but compare that cost to lost golf balls and the difference is amazing. Plus, I can take my family with me to disk golf. That wasn't possible with traditional golf. The greens fees alone would've been too much. Not to mention the equipment cost for a family and the kids outgrowing clubs quickly. My family went with me once and now it is something we do nearly every weekend."

Locally, there are multiple courses open for play.

Chestnut Ridge's "The Ravine" course runs alongside, over and through a deep ravine formed by a small creek. Most holes are played entirely inside the woods, and as such, the course tends to reward accuracy more than power. Overall length of the course ranges from 4,712 to 5,683 feet depending which tee boxes are used.

Chainbiters at Brown's Farm in South Dayton is open for members, leagues and special events. The course has a good mix of open areas and woods with elevation, ravines, camping, fishing and swimming available. Overall length is 3,146 to 8,830 feet.

Brocton's Shipwreck Bluff is on the shores of Lake Erie. A diverse range of holes will challenge golfers of all skill levels. Besides a diverse mixture of holes, the course offers a scenic view of Lake Erie. Overall length is 4,200 to 5,200 feet.

Evangola State Park in Farnham went through a redesign in 2015 but is now reopened. Overall length is 3,842 to 6,556 feet.

Depending how far you are willing to travel, the options of courses are becoming more diverse each year. To find more information on courses near you, www.dgcoursereview.com has a wealth of information.

So what do you need to get started? Most disk golfers recommend trying the sport with a friend who owns a good collection of disks first. If you don't know anyone who disk golfs and are still interested in getting started, do your research and invest in entry-level equipment first. The basics needed to get started is a mix of discs (putter, mid-ranges and driver), a bag and the desire to get outside and participate in one of the fastest-growing sports around.

Information on local courses courtesy of www.dgcoursereview.com.

 
 
 

 

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