During a once-in-a-century pandemic, I found a beautiful game that allowed for me to be both outdoors and engaged in physical activity while also reserving the right to have a couple of ice cold adult beverages in the woods. The sport of disc golf saved me throughout the pandemic process and I continue to love it now.
Earlier this year, in the brief moments America took the pandemic seriously, I was craving any reason to get out of the house for an hour or two and enjoy the slightly more dangerous outdoors. I ran over 70 miles one month just because I had nothing else going on, and it led to a pair of knee injuries so bad that I needed to take a whole vial of Alleve the next month. I had also been going through a breakup, and since all the bars were closed and I am steadfastly against drinking alone, we had the perfect storm of potential disc golf enthusiasm.
As I continued to work from home, my friend Ben suggested we go to a local park to play disc golf. Disc Golf, or wrongfully called frisbee golf, is played as you would imagine. You throw discs at those weird cups with chains in them that you have likely walked past in public or state parks. Disc Golf shares many of the same qualities as regular golf. The player who finishes the course in the fewest number of strokes wins. There are drivers, fairway drivers, midrange discs, and yes, even putters and approach discs. There’s a tee box, and each hole is anywhere from a par 3 to par 5.
There are a few things that help separate disc golf from the traditional golf we all have greater familiarity with: costs and drinking beers. After throwing a few extra discs my friends had acquired over the years, I branched out and bought my very own training set., Typically a training set will come with a small lunchbox-style bag to keep your discs. This entire set costs about $40. Imagine buying anything associated with traditional golf for $40 outside of an outlet or a second-hand store. Beyond the costs of an original set, picking up a few other discs to round out your bag, discs that fade right or further left, or lack any fade at all, can all be found from $8 to about $20 for the most expensive ones. I carry about 16 discs in my bag and only really throw about 6 of them. Also, as it pertains to cost, many public parks are free of charge and state parks are typically a reasonable amount of money. The best way to find a park you can play in is through disc golf’s official and free app, UDisc.
Beyond just all these cost saving measures, one of the best things about disc golf is the ability to drink beers as you toss a frisbee a hundred feet rather than chase a golf ball hundreds of yards. You’re basically out on the least labor-intensive hike of all time. You’re walking around a park and having a couple of Cris P. Bois as you shoot a gentleman’s +11 on the course. It’s a relaxing day at the park and you feel like you burned those extra calories as you take about 6,000 steps around the course. You don’t have to have your whole round go to hell because you got a little saucy on the back nine. The concentration demands are so much smaller for mere fractions of the cost.
The game is fun, low pressure, and low cost. It helped me at a very vulnerable time in my life. I would encourage everyone to grab a couple of discs and hit the course.