Cover Story: Hot Game

Just Like Real Golf, Only Better

 
Matt Borgerding



For several years I've been aware that people played a form of golf with Frisbees. Some friends played it, but I never had the equipment and I didn't know how to play, so I never went.

Plus they insisted on calling it "disc golf" instead of "Frisbee golf." I found that pretentious, until someone reminded me Frisbee is just a brand name of discs. As for the equipment involved, you only need a disc — not the regular kind but a heavier one with a harder edge so it'll fly farther. (Tip: Don't buy green.)

A little research uncovered at least eight free courses in the Cincinnati area. Have you ever been in a park and walked past what almost looked like a tall trash can, only in the middle instead of a place to put your empty pop can was metal chains? That's the hole (or bin).

Somewhere near each hole is a small rectangle of asphalt, dirt or concrete.

That's the tee-off area. Beside it is usually a picture of the hole showing you perhaps the best route — doesn't really matter if you can't aim — and a par for the hole.

A good rule of thumb is always double the par. Also, if the picture of the course shows a tree or two directly between the tee-off area and the bin, aim for the tree(s). It's the only way to avoid hitting them.

Once you've gotten this far, you have to pick your disc. Just kidding — beginners carry only one. But there are people you'll encounter who you might call "baggers" who actually have, as in normal golf, multiple putters and drivers for different parts of the hole. These people will always try to play through and laugh at you as you comb the woods for your disc.

One thing to know about the rules: They're similar to ball golf. Lowest (best) score throws first from each new hole. After everyone has thrown once, farthest from the hole throws next. Continue until everyone hits the bin. (For complete rules and directions to area courses, check out www.pdga.com.)

Unlike ball golf, there are no scorecards with miniature pencils to keep track of your number of throws at each hole. But I have seen empty beer cans in many of the hole's trash cans. Maybe that's why I'm beginning to like the sport.

Investment in your new sport: around $6 for the disc; courses are free. Scoring: only if you want. Beer: Yes, please.

WHO: You playing disc golf. · WHEN: All summer. · WHERE: Burnet Woods, Clifton, 9 bins; Embshoff Woods, Delhi, 9 bins; Miami Whitewater Forest, Harrison Twp., 9 bins; Mt. Airy Forest, Mount Airy, 18 bins; Winton Woods, Greenhills, 18 bins; Woodland Mound Park, Anderson Twp., 18 bins; Banklick Woods Park, Independence, 18 bins; Miami University, Oxford, 18 bins. · TICKETS: Free. · INFO: www.pdga.com

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