We’ve all heard Mark Twain’s description of the game of golf as “a good walk spoiled.” Clearly, he wasn’t referring to disc golf, although one could argue that disc golf might spoil a walk even more so than regular golf, especially the day after when it’s nearly impossible to lift your arms.
Legend has it that the game of disc golf was invented by a camp counselor who thought it would be fun to teach kids how to play golf with Frisbees and baskets. From there, the game grew into what some consider a “frat-boy slacker” game, complete with special Frisbees for each hole (putters, drivers, etc., just like in regular golf). But here’s the thing: We’ve played disc golf, and we’re not slacker frat-boys, and we think it’s really fun. Some might even say it’s a bit addictive. Luckily, upstate New York is home to one of the best disc golf courses in the country: Joralemon Disc Golf Course in Ravena.
The object of the game is to try to get your disc in the basket, or “hole”, with as few throws as possible. Just like in regular golf. And, like golf, courses are set up with 9, 18, or 27 holes. The Joralemon course has 27 holes, all them with tee-off pads (usually a big concrete square upon which a disc golfer can stand and throw) and situated in various types of terrain. Techniques vary, based on the distance from the tee pad to the hole and the terrain, so it’s good to play your first game with someone who knows how to play and can walk you through the manoeuvrings and machinations. You might even get a hole-in-one (it actually happened to me the first time I played, at the very first hole. Beginners luck. It was all downhill from there).
If you’re interested in spoiling a good walk with a few rounds of disc golf, check out this nifty disc golf website, which breaks down the Joralemon course by photographs of each of the 27 holes. Here’s a sneak peak at a couple of the more picturesque holes: