Disc golf: a (free) afternoon with nature

the players have discs.  Golfers throw the discs from the tee area to the “hole” which is nothing more than an elevated metal basket located roughly 50 to 100 yards away.

The terrain can be rough.  Clearly, the game is not meant to be easy and tossing a disc into a patch of pine trees and palmetto bushes is half the adventure.  For me, it was more than half the adventure -- it was the entire experience.  For Zach, he always seemed to carefully direct his disc around the vegetation only to have it land gently in front of the “hole.”  And at every hole, the score was usually like this: Zach - 3,  Caitlin - 12.

After the first six or so holes, I finally decided that it was in my best interest to simply “putt” my way to the hole because I had consistently aim for the water and tree trunks that stood at least six yards from the tee area.  By the last hole, I was finally warming up to the game, though.

I didn’t feel like a hippie when we finished, but I definitely felt closer to nature.  After all, I’d spent nearly an hour fishing my disc out of a pond with a stick, stepping in anthills and mud, and of course, continuously retrieving my disc from a nest of palm fronds and pine needles.  One of the best feelings though was the fact that I didn’t have to spend a dime!

For a list of disc golf courses near you, visit pdga.com.

“It’s pretty hippie-dippie,” he said as he turned the steering wheel, pulling off the paved road and onto a dirt path.

What I really wanted to do that afternoon was just throw a Frisbee back and forth, and when I called my friend Zach to see if he’d be interested, he suggested disc golf instead.

“Just throw it,” Zach said as he skillfully thrust his arm across his body and released a perfectly floating disc into the sky.

There I stood in a community park holding a heavy, rubber disc looking around and feeling completely inadequate.  Sure, I’d thrown a Frisbee before but this was much different.  It was heavier, slimmer, smaller and looked as if it would cause quite a bit of damage if aimed for say, a car window, a lamppost, or even my head.

The game is similar to traditional golf but instead of a set of clubs and balls,

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