Disc golf aka frolfing is just plain fun as hell. For those of you that don’t know what disc golf is, I will try to explain it as simply as I can: golf with frisbees. The discs aren’t your typical frisbees that get tossed around in college quads, but rather thinner, slightly smaller discs that fall into one of three categories: drivers, mid-ranges and putters.
Drivers are the thinnest, most aerodynamic of the three and are as you could probably assume, intended for distance. The discs can be assigned all sorts of ratings that govern how the disc sails. Mid-ranges are slightly thicker and are used almost like a 3 wood is in golf. Putters are the thickest of the three and intended for putts and approaches.
Unlike golf, the “holes” aren’t holes, they’re baskets. You throw a disc into the suspended chains and hope that it drops in the basket. If you’re me, it doesn’t happen as often as you’d like. Typically, courses are 18 holes, but some bigger courses have 27 or more.
The greatest thing about disc golf is its accessibility. Most courses are free or entirely reasonable (I paid $5 for 18 holes in Maine). The discs themselves are also inexpensive. The best discs are only about $16. I was able to get two drivers, a mid-range and a putter for an investment of $60. When you think about it, the average round of golf (18 holes and w/ a cart) is about $30 and some people are willing to drop hundreds of dollars on a single club. Most rounds of disc golf cost me about $9 in gas.
The game itself is just relaxing. Most courses weave in and out of the woods and so you’re pretty much hiking as you play. Disc golfers are some of the most “chill” people (I absolutely hate using that word, but I cannot think of a more accurate term); they are comprised mostly of hippies and stoners, but more importantly, they are nice and respectful of the courses (and I don’t have to talk to them about the jam scene). Disc golf is the type of game where you and a buddy can show up with your discs and a 6-pack.
I also have to say that although it can be frustrating, I never really get angry with disc golf…and I have a particularly childish problem with sportsmanship. I’m the type of person that will double-fault in tennis and reshape a racket on the ground. I am still learning i.e. I suck, but I haven’t lost it yet.
More and more courses are starting to pop up. There are now three courses within an hour of the greater Albany area. Leagues run for singles and doubles in the spring, summer and fall. I’m considering joining a league come springtime.
My friend Steve and I played at Joralemon Park in Coeymans, NY. It’s a nice course to have so close. And it’s free. We mans-gamed it through 18 holes even though it started snowing at around hole 12. By the end, we were soaked, freezing and satisfied. It took about 45 minutes to get feeling back in my fingertips, not to mention the fact that I threw a + 3,000, but I had a great time.