In the wide world of sports, some games have roots that run through other continents, cultures, centuries; competition at any level requires an investment of time, talent, and money. If we ourselves decide to play, it takes commitment -- physical and psychological commitment.
And then there’s Frisbee golf. Because sometimes a game is just a game.
Consider disc golf the friendly, second cousin once removed from the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Frisbee golf is a walk in the park, in our own park – Hahmongna, to be exact. In fact, the Oak Grove Disc Golf Course in Hahamongna is where it all started, back in the early 1970’s.
You’ve got to love a sport invented by a chap nicknamed Steady Ed, an employee at the Frisbee manufacturing company, Wham-O. You’ve also got to love a sport where the standard uniform consists of cut-offs and trainers, and your initial equipment investment can be less than $20.
From a distance, it seems the game is mostly walking, talking, a toss of a disc now and then, and occasional shouts of “Woo-Hoo -- Yeah!”
That’s pretty much the way it is up close and personal, too.
It’s sorta, kinda like golf, in that you follow a specified route and try to hit the targets (called “holes,” but they’re really standing baskets) along the way in the fewest possible throws. Players tee off using a disc called a “driver.” Depending on how close to the hole the driver lands, a player may follow up with a mid-range or a putter disc. Some of the throws include mandatories, or if you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about, “mandies,” in which the disc must fly through the air following a particular path – between two oak trees, for example.
Ask any of the weekend players why they play disc golf, and they’re likely to say pretty much the same thing.
"It's a good reason to get some fresh air and hang out with my buddies," says Michael Inglish of La Crescenta. "It's a nice walk mixed in with a little mild competition."
Maybe that’s why disc golf continues to grow in popularity, most particularly in this past decade. There are more than 3,000 courses worldwide.
And since disc golf doesn’t cost much money to play, or promise the players much money in return -- even in tournaments, likely it will keep an easy-going, laid-back profile.
"It's fun way to shed a few pounds," laughs Steve Miguel of Los Angeles. "I meet up with my friends, get out of the house, and it sure beats the gym."