The town that I live in has a public disc golf course very close to my house. It has been there for a few years and I have thought about it, so I finally purchased a starter set of three golf discs and went to see about playing and getting some light exercise. The scoring rules are a lot like regular golf, so I already understand that.
Below are the golf discs that I bought. The idea is that one is for long drives (the darker pink one that says “FORCE”), one is for shorter approach throws (the yellow one), and one is for short “putting” throws into the basket (the pink “chain magnet” disc).
I don’t think that I am good enough to really distinguish them with my throwing, but I can throw the putter a lot straighter than the driver. They are also brightly colored because you are going to be looking for them in the bushes and tall grass.
Below is the course map that is on a sign near the first tee. The ‘tee’ area is indicated by the triangle and the ‘hole’ is a yellow circle. The course basically goes down a creek side and back with lots of trees and thorny bushes to throw your discs in to.
It’s called a tee, because the term is borrowed from golf, but there is no tee of course. You simply stand there and throw your disc. Below is a photo taken from the first tee looking down toward the ‘hole’, which is really a metal basket on a pole. The basket is to the left behind some trees in the distance.
I am really terrible at throwing a disc for distance and accuracy. Apparently I need a lot of practice. I am good at hitting tree branches and finding thorny bushes to throw my disc in to. This gives you the opportunity for scratches and punctures, so there’s that. I have several long thorn scratches on my arms and legs now – fun to pick at.
Below is a long angle photo looking down the 16th hole from the tee box to the basket. It is farther than it looks in this photo because it is shot at 200mm. This is one of the easier holes on the course.
There are a few holes that have the basket behind a pond so that you can throw your disc in the muddy water. I just take extra throws to get around the water so I don’t lose a disc. Below is a view of the basket on the sixth hole.
There is no approach to this basket that doesn’t require a perfect throw. So, I mostly just get double-par on this hole. I also get to throw my disc into those thorny bushes on the left; I am quite consistent about this.
There are a couple of easier holes that I can usually par and have even birdied once. As with golf, the scoring is based on par. If a hole is a par 3, you have three throws to get the disc in the basket to make a ‘par’. If you get it in the basket in 2 throws, that’s a ‘birdie’. If you exceed par it is called a bogie or double-bogie, or triple-bogie, and so on. I usually stop at double-par if I don’t make it.
The lower your final score the better. Par for this course is 57 and if you can throw a 57, you are a darned fine disc golfer. My first attempt was a 103, but after a few rounds I am down to a 92, so that is technically improvement. Remember, I stop at double-par on a hole, so the worst that I can do is 114. I have a long way to go to get where I can par the course
There is also a bit of wildlife on the course. I bring my camera with me sometimes and try to get a few photos. There are, of course, squirrels everywhere. They probably enjoy all of the pecan trees. Below is a squirrel on the 16th fairway.
I waited for this guy to get a little sunlight, but he seemed to like the shade. You can hear the squirrels up in the trees huffing at each other, arguing over territory I guess.
In addition to a large gray heron, mocking birds, and doves, I also see a lot of cardinals on the course. It is difficult to photograph cardinals as they like to go hide up in the thick branches, but once in a while I get lucky.
The red cardinals really stand out against the gray branches and blue skies. The mocking birds and doves just sort of blend in.
It’s a good activity for a pleasant Saturday morning anyway. I have had to climb a tree, but I have not lost a disc yet. I didn’t know this middle-aged man could still climb a tree, but I can.
Thanks for reading.