Disc golf’s popularity takes flight

Barrforweb.JPG
Chico State senior Chris Barr, a music education major, plays disc golf at the Peregrine Point course off of Highway 32. Photo credit: Matthew Vislosky

Disc golf is a sport for all ages and a recreational activity that can stick around for quite some time.

Disc golf has many similarities to regular golf and uses most of the same ideas. There is an 18-hole course with baskets as the holes, where players try to shoot in the disc within a certain number of shots.

It is also has some differences. In disc golf the player carries a bag with specialized discs that include drivers, mid-ranges and putters.

Each disc reacts differently when thrown. Some go farther than others, but there are some that fly straighter and go shorter distances.

With disc golf’s popularity on the rise, there are a number of cities that offer courses.

Off of Highway 32 In Chico is a course called Peregrine Point, which was established in 2011 and was designed by The Chico Outsiders, according to dgcoursereview.com.

Grant Barr, a sophomore at Chico State, has been playing since he was young and still loves it, he said.

“Disc golf is one the most laid-back sports around,” Barr said. “It’s cool because it is a two-sided sport. You have your mental game and your throws physically.”

One big difference between regular golf and disc golf is the price of the equipment. Discs sell anywhere from $12-20 each.

“As far as equipment goes, it is so much cheaper,” Barr said. “You can have your three main discs — a driver, mid-range and putter for under $50, which is reasonable.”

Disc golf is easy to get into because there are plenty of parks that have baskets, Barr said. One of his favorite places is a nine-hole course at Oak Way Park on Nord Avenue.

“I started playing about seven years ago, and I can see myself playing disc golf for years to come,” he said. ‘It never gets boring.”

Chico State has had a disc golf club since May 2012.

Back when the club first started, it was known as the Chico State Chainbangers. Now it are known as the Chico State Disc Golf Club, said Brian Ellis, the club’s president.

“We kicked off our club with a music and putting competition,” Ellis said. “This event garnered over 50 participants and was the first time disc golf was represented on campus.”

The club tries to have at least two events a year.

“So far we’ve had a Bag Tag tournament (and) fundraiser and our qualifying tournament for the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships,” he said.

Northern California has some of the best courses around like DeLaveaga in Santa Cruz and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Ellis said.

“We have a pretty good variety of world class courses,” he said.

Disc golf has been a part of Ellis’ life since 2007, and he started playing competitively in 2011.

“I had some friends take me out to play and was instantly obsessed with trying to improve my game,” Ellis said.

Disc golf provides positive experiences for the players that participate in the sport Ellis said.

“Enjoyment can come from having a good shot and playing with new friends,” he said. “Or simply appreciating the beautiful environments that accompany many of the disc golf courses around the world.”

Matthew Vislosky can be reached at [email protected] or @MattVislosky on Twitter.