Disc golf is a burgeoning sport that is similar to a typical game of golf: Flying discs are used to tee up, drive, shoot mid-range, and putt, all with the goal of landing a shot in a ground-mounted, chain-draped basket using the smallest number of throws (or strokes, if you prefer.)
Pictured: Amateur Nick Ailes, 22, of Kingston, plays a round of disc golf during the finals of the 2013 Borderland Spring Fling held at Borderland State Park. Next
Games are typically nine or 18 baskets, and players work with a variety of discs that range in size, weight, and thickness. The discs feature uniquely beveled edges to cut different swaths through the air.
Pictured: A disc flies into a basket during a round of disc golf during the finals of the 2013 Borderland Spring Fling. Next
“You can take it as seriously, or as non-seriously, as you want,” said Jonah Kurman-Faber, an 18-year-old from Sharon, pointing out that some people are incredibly competitive, while others are decidedly nonchalant. In any case, it’s a “great time to catch up with friends, a great bonding experience, and great for all ages.”
Picured: Jeff Lingenfelter plays a round of disc golf during the finals. Next
As for the sport’s inception, it’s about as easy to track as a drive lost in the brush. According to the Disc Golf Association, it has waxed and waned in one form or another since the advent of flying discs in the late 1940s.
Pictured: Amateur Sean Echlin, 26, of Taunton, plays a round of disc golf at the first basket. Next
It wasn’t until the late 1960s and early 1970s that it started to (quite literally) take off, spurred by Ed Headrick of California, who designed and installed the first course, coined the sport’s name, invented the first target, and established the first tournaments.
Headrick founded several governing bodies, including the Disc Golf Association, Professional Disc Golf Association, and Recreational Disc Golf Association. Next
Today’s enthusiasts say they are drawn to the sport for numerous reasons, including the competition, relaxed atmosphere, and camaraderie.
“Everybody I’ve met so far, I’ve been happy to shake their hand,” said 34-year-old Tavis Dunne of Fall River, who regularly plays with his two brothers, Dylan, 26, and Kealan, 14, and their dad, 58-year-old David.
Pictured: Jeff Fleury (left) and Jeff Lingenfelter play a round of disc golf during the finals. Back to the beginning
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