Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – Disc golf provides folks a method to keep lively and outdoor

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Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Published: 07/01/2022 20:43:34

Modified: 07/01/2022 20:41:01

Rob Codman of Hancock has played disc golf since the 1990’s while living in Minneapolis.

“It’s big out there,” he said.

Codman was able to find an enthusiastic disc golf community in New Hampshire, which has grown in popularity over the past few years. As with many outdoor and recreational pursuits, disc golf has allowed people to socialize while maintaining a safe distance during the pandemic.

According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly who first took up disc golf. But Ed Headrick, who founded the federation in 1976, made two important patents, the frisbee and the disc golf polehole, that shaped the sport’s appearance today.

Since the PDGA’s inception, there has been a steady increase in events and membership, but growth has been particularly rapid since 2015.

Codman is part of the Otter Brook League in Keene and said the local league has grown a lot in recent years. The league’s home course is 18 baskets and is located on Army Corps of Engineers campus next to Otter Brook Beach.

Codman owns a painting business and has young children. He’s busy but when he has time he tries to play in the league and sometimes hosts independent tournaments. He said it’s a great community.

“Everyone knows everyone,” he said.

And now his kids are getting involved too.

Codman said there is no fee on most courses, and the equipment is much cheaper than traditional golf equipment. He said this makes the sport really accessible and good for beginners. It’s easy, just pick it up and try it.

But he warned, “Once you start, you can’t stop.”

“Disc golf essentially follows the same rules as ball golf,” Codman explained, but instead of carrying a bag full of clubs, a disc golfer has different discs that fly differently. He said the player starts standing on a tee. From there the players throw the discs and as in golf, the aim is to get the disc into the basket in as few throws as possible.

“There are a lot of good options within an hour of here,” said Codman. “New courses are popping up all the time.”

There is a course at Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative Middle/High School. Codman noted a course at Hampshire College, as well as a few around Manchester and northern Massachusetts. He said people could find them using Google Maps, and there are many.

He said the oldest site on the East Coast is in Rindge but is on private property.

But disc golf can exist anywhere.

“All you need is a basket in your yard,” Codman said.

Codman added that disc golf can be a good workout. There are hilly courses, there are rugged and challenging courses, but “it’s a nice walk through the woods no matter what,” he said.