Brightly colored discs are flying through the air lately. These discs are no normal flying saucers– oh no, they are more than meets the eye and a true “disc golfer” would take offense to someone calling their disc a “Frisbee.” The sport of disc golf is beginning to become mainstream and the Mid-Ohio Valley is no exception. While other areas of the country have long enjoyed disc golf as a favorite pastime, we are newcomers to the game with the opening of the course at the Broughton Nature and Wildlife Preserve on OH 821, and another as part of the Wood County Veterans Memorial Park in Williamstown.
The recreational area boasts an 18-hole disc golf course with holes of varying difficulty. Disc golf is played much to the same rules as normal golf. A player begins a hole at a tee box where a disc is thrown toward a target that is usually between 250 and 500 feet away. A target consists of a metal pole and chained basket, which is built for a disc to hit the loose metal chains and fall into the open basket. On a par three hole, a player would be expected to first throw a distance driver as far as possible toward the target, then a mid-range disc to approach closer to the target (if not in) and finally a putter disc from close range into the target basket.
There are many brands of disc golf discs, but all will usually have a different weight, in grams, assigned to it based on the type of disc it is; driver, mid-range or putter. The main difference between a disc and a Frisbee are:
- A disc is smaller in diameter than a Frisbee
- A disc is heavier than a Frisbee
- A disc has sharper edges while a Frisbee has rounded edges
On a disc golf course, there may be tree lines or forested areas, streams, ponds or general “hazards.” Discs are usually sold in vibrant colors and some even float on water so that a player may find his or her disc when playing. In the game of normal golf, a player may lose a golf ball and continue the round with a new ball. However, in disc golf, losing a disc is like losing a golf club so most players try to find any errant discs.
The game of disc golf is fairly inexpensive — most courses are free or low cost to play and you don’t need a cart or tee time. (Both local courses are free to play) Starter disc sets can be found online or at local sporting goods stores, some are even sold in three packs to begin your collection. Most serious disc golfers will have anywhere from 5-20 discs in their bag for various situations.
Disc golf also has its own national pro association called the PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association). The PDGA hosts Championships, Opens and Masters tournaments similarly to the regular golf PGA tour where professional disc golfers compete for various titles. More information may be found at PDGA.com.
The sport of disc golf is growing in popularity and we in the Mid-Ohio Valley are fortunate to have two of our very own 18-hole courses. So the next time you’re looking for something to do outside on a nice day, try your hand, or throwing arm, at a disc golf course. You may be surprised at how much fun you’re having while getting your daily exercise, and all for the low cost of a few brightly colored discs!