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Throw Yourself Into a New Sport the Whole Family Can Enjoy: Disc Golf

April 10, 2017 02:00 PM

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​​Remember playing Frisbee as a kid? Now you can take that experience to a new, competitive level with your friends and family with disc golf.

Disc golf is one of today’s fastest growing sports, and has been a formalized sport since the 1970s. There are more than 2,500 disc golf courses in the United States, and Pennsylvania is home to many professional and recreational disc golf courses at state and local parks.

A golf disc, which is a Frisbee-like object, is thrown from the designated tee toward a target (the basket). Like golf, the object of the sport is to complete each basket of the course in as few strokes (throws) as possible.

One point is counted each time a throw is made. As a player progresses down the course, each throw is made by placing the lead foot on the spot the disc landed. The hole is completed by having the disc come to rest in the disc basket.

Sounds fun, right? If you need another reason to try disc golf, keep in mind that it is a healthy activity for people of all ages and fitness levels that can be enjoyed by yourself or within a group.

This sport can be played all over the country, on varying terrains and lands. People throughout the state can play in both open fields and wooded areas.

Pennsylvania’s local parks and state parks can help you explore this sport and improve your game. Our parks are here for your use and offer a convenient way for you to try out disc golf or just have some outdoor fun with family and friends.

Here are a few state parks that are known for their disc golf resources, such as impressive courses and educational opportunities:

Codorus State Park

The site of the 2005 state championships, Codorus State Park’s disc golf course is rated one of the most challenging courses in Pennsylvania. The course is just inside of the entrance to the Marina Day Use Area and affords stunning views of the lake.

The 54 holes have paved tees and are spread through fields and forests. On the west side of Marina Road is a nine-hole, mini disc golf course for children. During the summer, golf discs can be purchased at the marina concession building.

Gifford Pinchot State Park

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Gifford Pinchot State Park is home to two 18-hole disc golf courses -- one on the east and one on the west side of the park. In the Conewago Day Use Area, Boulder Woods is a fairly level course that is great for families. In the Quaker Race Day Use Area, Quaker’s Challenge Course has recreation and pro tees in a challenging, hilly course.

Moraine State Park

An 18-hole disc golf course is in the Lakeview Day Use Area at Moraine State Park. The championship-level Lakeview course opened to the public in 2005 and features spectacular views and scenery on the course with fairways covered in grass, ferns, and moss. The course is mostly open with many well-positioned trees.

For more information about the park’s disc golf resources, visit the Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society website.

Tyler State Park

One of the top ranked courses in the country, this 36-hole course at Tyler State Park begins at the Upper Plantation Picnic Area. Course maps with rules and scorecards are available at the park office and at the Upper Plantation Picnic Area parking lot.

The Bucks County Disc Golf Alliance offers tournament, clinic, and league information for the park.

Disc Golf Tips

When playing at a state or local park (or anywhere else in the state), keep these safety and etiquette tips in mind, so you and others can enjoy the game safely:

  • Never throw when players or park users are within range
  • Remain quiet and avoid unnecessary movements while others are throwing
  • Stand behind the player who is throwing until throw is complete
  • Allow faster groups to play through when possible
  • Remove disc from the hole after completing the hole
  • Pick up trash and put in proper receptacles
  • Leave the course as you found it (do not alter the course -- trees, bushes, etc.-- in any way)

Find even more state parks and local parks that have courses and resources to support you as you try the sport. Also, visit the Disc Golf Association’s website for more information on the sport and videos showing you the basics.

Now go practice your Hyzer shot, and enjoy playing in the Pennsylvania outdoors!

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