For some, disc golfing is a lot of fun
Jerry Rosa takes a few steps winds up and whips his arm forward launching his disc well across the field in Red Deer’s Kentwood neighbourhood on Saturday.
“Good shot” others in his foursome encourage.
Welcome to disc golf, a sport that is gaining in popularity and offers a cheap alternative to its club and ball namesake.
Rosa, 36, has been playing disc golf for nine years.
“It’s fun and it’s cheap,” he said. “I like the competition.”
Asked to rank it against golf, which he also plays occasionally, he says: “For fun level, it’s definitely disc golf. Ball golf can definitely be frustrating.”
There is much disc golf has borrowed from the more widely known form of golf.
For instance, the small plastic 15-centimetre discs are, like golf clubs, designed for different distances and situations.
Experienced disc golfers often carry up to a dozen different discs.
There are thick and sturdy driving discs designed to cut through the wind and get as much distance as possible. Others are designed for mid-range shots, like a golf five iron and are called approach discs. There are even putter discs, meant to cover the last few metres to the hole, which is a basket contraption with hanging chains to break the disc’s momentum.
A friend introduced Pat Christie to it at a Pine Lake private course.
“One you get into it, you just start getting addicted quickly,” said the 43-year-old.
The inexpensive nature of the sport and the opportunity to get outdoors for a little competition between friends are major draws. It is also a good sport for all ages.
Discs cost anywhere from $8 to $30 depending on quality.
There are many differences in discs besides weight, they can be designed to be over-stable or under-stable and some are designed to rise.
Holes range from about 100 to 500 feet, and like regular golf, are pay threes, fours or fives.
“An average player with toss about 250 feet once you get used to how to throw properly. A good player can throw well over 300 feet.”
Brent “Buddha” Robinson has been playing disc golf for more than 20 years.
The most difficult aspect of the game is mastering the different shots, he says. Players often must manoeuvre their discs around trees and play the wind accurately.
Red Deer now has two nine-hole disc golf courses, the other is in Victoria Park in Anders. It was a healthy-living initiative of the local Primary Care Network, a partnership between Alberta Health Services and more than 60 local doctors
There are many others across the province, including a pair of course in Sundre and courses in Olds, Nordegg and Three Hills in Central Alberta.
There are regular competitions, the largest draws about 100 disc golfers to Canmore over the May long weekend.
In Red Deer, the sport is in its infancy. The Central Alberta Disc Golf Association has been formed but only boasts about 10 members so far.
Christie said new members would be welcomed. Likewise, any who wish to try the sport can contact the association and arrange to go out.
For information go to www.cadga.ca