I know now that school is out (or almost out) a lot of folks are going to be looking for fun, cheap, ideas for things to do.
I casually mentioned disc golf to fellow blogger Meredith (yeah, I’m not afraid to name drop, but at least I linked her) and she’d never heard of it. Immediately I changed the subject, because I’m dealing with some serious post-vacation writer’s block here and saw a topic I could write about. Really- I’ve sat down and stared at a blank computer screen twice now. I just am not feeling all that fatherly, ironic, profound, political, or anything other than “when is the next vacation”. But I digress…
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Now, I suspect that if I’d mentioned the familiar name of “Frisbee Golf”, Meredith might have known what I was talking about. Disc Golf sounds much more sophisticated and less “common”, though.
Charlotte just happens to be a Mecca of sorts for disc golf. Many communities have maybe one course within an hour’s or so drive. Charlotte happens to be home to five disc golf courses- and all of them are free to play. That’s right. Free.
Disc golf is played pretty much using the same rules as regular golf, except with a Frisbee-like disc. Each hole has a designated “par” based on distance and difficulty. One throws their “drive” from a tee area- either a concrete or grass pad, and then throws their next shot from wherever that disc lands (could be behind a tree, over water, or around rocks). Rather than a small hole in the ground as a target, the “hole” in disc golf is an elevated basket.
That’s really all one needs to know to get started. If your child can throw a Frisbee they can participate.
The only true thing you need before entering one of Charlotte’s disc golf courses is a disc of some sort to throw. The old Frisbee in the garage next to the badminton set will work, especially on a fun outing with the kids, but the serious disc golfer (and there are plenty of them out there) will usually play with a host of discs including drivers, mid-range discs, and putters- each of a different weight and plastic type. Starter sets can be found at sporting goods stores or, get this, “head shops” like Infinity’s End here in Charlotte (apparently many disc golfers also appreciate dayglow Grateful Dead posters and pipes that have to be advertised as “for tobacco only”).
The greatest resource for disc golf in Charlotte is the Charlotte Disc Golf club website. The site has links to all courses, including printable scorecards, maps, and even a “be the disc” feature of each hole, where someone has spent an awful lot of time videoing (link opens a video) each hole from a disc’s perspective.
So, once your kids have tired of the playgrounds, pools, spraygrounds, and other summer activities, try taking them out to one of the five free disc golf courses here in Charlotte. It’s like a walk in the woods, only with the added fun of Frisbee throwing.