Did you ever want a new sport? I do like finding out about different sports. Some are great to watch and learn about. They can open up a whole new world for you. So, when a whole new sport arrives in your locale, maybe you should take note.
Where I live in Melbourne’s Outer Eastern suburbs the council has allowed the installation of a Disc Golf course. It is simply a fusion of Frisbee and Golf. You throw the disc over distance to put it into a metal basket. Lowest score wins.
Had a Go, Did The Research
Due to Lockdown cricket was on pause till November. More than enough time for me to go and have a try. The experience was not epic. I used the frisbees I had at home. They were not up to the task. Par was 37. I shot a round of 56.
A quick google search later and a whole new world opened up to me. You see, Discgolf as it is known, is big in the USA, Canada and Europe. In the US Discgolf has been around since the early 1980s. I knew about it. I did not know just how big it has become.
On YouTube you can find many of the current professional Discgolfers. Yes I said professional. They get paid. In fact, Paul McBeth who is a five time world champion, signed a contract for 10 million this year. That’s Basketball money, Baseball money, NFL money.
Discgolf In Australia
Is it that big in Australia? Not yet. There are 86 Discgolf Courses in Australia. 19 in Victoria, 21 in New South Wales, 18 in Queensland, 17 in WA, 5 in South Australia, 3 in Tasmania and 3 in the ACT. Australian Disc Golf’s website (http://austrliandiscgolf.com) holds a fair bit of information for those wanting to know how to get involved.
How hard is it to get started? Well that depends on how much you want to travel and spend. If you are like me and live walking distance from a course it wont be hard at all. Getting the right discs is very important. Do not make the same mistake I did. A normal frisbee will not work. Or worse, you may use a frisbee disc that will get damaged by the basket.
Yeah the basket is made out of steel. They are quite the ornament. Think of the biggest pot plant holder. With chains and no plant. Robust and able to survive the occasional run in with a tree branch. That is what you throw the disc into.
The Cost Is Low-ish
Basic Discgolf starter kits begin around forty dollars. They come with three or more discs. If you want the fancy discs, like the ones the professionals use, you are forking out $25 - $30 for each. Add postage and handling on that and the price rises. This is is nowhere near the cost of cricket gear, tennis racquets or the fees to play soccer. But you will want more discs.
Yes you can get discs from your local discgolf club. Also there is a company in Queensland that make discs. You can keep it all in Australia if you want. However, my cousin is a flight attendant and when he gets back to flying to Los Angels I will be asking very nicely for him to pick up a few parcels for me.
Discgolf is a great pastime. If you have a course close to you it is great fun for all. Very inexpensive to get started. Requires a simple skill set. Can be played by almost anyone. For those wanting something different I rate it as a great activity.
Phillip Hall has been too long in Melbourne to see AFL in the same light as those back in Fremantle. East Fremantle born and bred, he would love to see the Dockers back in the eight. But would settle for just beating West Coast twice a year.