Chip Shots: Disc Golf is the Best Sport You Haven’t Played (Yet)
Disc golf is a sport whose time has come, and that’s why I am dedicating one of my Chip Shots Blogs to this great activity. More and more people are participating, and Maine has one of the highest rates of players per capita. In addition to a great local course in Orrington, DR Disc Golf (features an 18 hole course, and a par 3 nine hole course), there are dozens of other courses located primarily in central and southern Maine.
There is even a professional men’s and women’s circuit run by the Professional Disc Golf Association, and the 2015 PDGA Pro Disc Golf Worlds were held recently in Pennsylvania, with live coverage offered on YouTube and thousands of fans in attendance.
I was introduced to this fantastic sport a few years ago by a friend of mine, and I’ve come to enjoy it as much as “ball” golf. If you have never heard of disc golf (formerly known as Frisbee golf), you are certainly not alone. According to the Disc Golf Association (DGA):
“Disc golf is similar to regular golf; however, instead of using golf clubs and balls aiming for a hole, Disc Golf players use golf discs and aim for a Disc Pole Hole, a pole extending up from the ground with chains and a basket where the disc lands. The object of the game is to complete each hole in the fewest number of throws, starting from a tee area and finishing at the Disc Pole Hole.”
The great thing about disc golf is that it takes half the time of golf to play and costs far less. In Maine, all courses are private and generally charge around $5.00 for a round of 18 holes. To play, one only needs a few discs, which cost around $17 each (or you can rent them for $1 each). Another appealing aspect of disc golf is the fact that the courses often weave through woods and fields, making it a great way to exercise and spend time in beautiful natural settings.
Then there is the camaraderie of the regulars, which can be found at every course. When I started playing at DR it was first with a small group of friends. As I got more involved and started playing in the singles and doubles rounds held on the weekends, I met more people and to a person they were all welcoming and willing to help me improve my game.
Disc golf is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and for good reason. It’s a healthy, fun activity for people of all ages and I encourage you to learn more about it then go play!
Disc Golf Enters the Digital Age: TOBU Discs Revolutionize the Game
Since many Maine disc golf courses are heavily wooded, players find themselves spending extra time searching for an errant disc in trees and undergrowth. With a disc being far more expensive than a golf ball, losing one is a big deal and can be very frustrating, since players grow fond of the discs they throw on a regular basis.
Enter TOBU (Japanese for “to fly”), a start-up company located in North Carolina. They are producing the most technologically advanced discs in the world. Featuring a water-resistant housing that can carry different modular units, the discs may be equipped with a variety of electronics. Most notably, they carry a Bluetooth-enabled tracking device that makes them the world’s first trackable discs when paired with a smart phone app for both Android and iPhone. It also features a beep and blinking light, making it easy to locate.
I first learned of TOBU on Facebook, when they launched a KickStarter campaign to fund the company’s first disc, The Charge (a very beginner friendly fairway driver disc). I made a donation, and in return received a first-run version of the disc. It’s a great disc to throw, and features a high-quality medical grade plastic that’s very durable, UV resistant, and anti-bacterial. It will hold its shape over time, even after multiple impacts, which allows it maintain its true flight pattern.
The coolest thing about it, though, is the Bluetooth technology and the TOBU smart phone app that allows you to track the disc, keep score, and measure the distance of throws, to name just a few app functions. I’ve tried it out; it works well and is a lot of fun! I can’t wait to throw it this winter in the snow (yes, us die-hard disc golfers play virtually year round), as I won’t have to worry about losing it.
TOBU has just come out with their second disc, the Kyng Roller, and has also released a new modular unit that features a powerful LED light that will make the disc perfect for night play.
Chris Martin, founder of TOBU, had this to say about the company, "TOBU is dedicated to growing the sport of disc golf by providing the most technically advanced disc on the market. With our modular design, the possibilities of what your disc can do are unlimited. We can’t wait to get the rest of our ideas to market!"
For additional information or to purchase TOBU products, go to: www.tobudiscs.com.