A few years back I started playing disc golf. It’s just like regular golf except using weighted frisbee-type discs instead of balls and baskets with hanging chains instead of pins and holes. The sport takes time to get good at, but it’s amazing exercise and some of the cheapest fun you could ever have on a sunny day. Most of the courses are in state parks and run right through some beautiful hiking trails and glorious terrain. No other competitive sport is played in the midst of such picturesque natural settings. With Spring season right around the corner, it’s never too late to pick up this ever-expanding sport. Here is a review of five of my favourite courses to play in the Tri-State area.
Rutgers DGC, NJ
I don’t recommend playing this course on a weekday if you are not a veteran hurler. The passing students can make for some interesting obstacles. I love the Rutgers course because it plays to my strength, which is short, accurate tosses; but if you are looking for a big challenge and pretty landscapes look elsewhere.
South Mountain DGC, PA
A great course that is set over the rocky terrain of a mountainside. There are some great elevation changes and a few challenging par 4’s. It plays relatively fast, and it is decently marked. Make sure you wear some hiking boots or shoes with plenty of traction because there are plenty of rocks to climb over. The signature hole features a downhill descent under a powerline with a magnificent view of the little town far off in the distance.
Brakewell Steel DGC, NY
This is a world-class course that features alternate baskets and tee boxes on every hole, basically making it four distinct courses in one. There are plenty of holes in the woods that play for accuracy and a bunch of holes that play for distance; and some that play for both. The best hole I ever played was a long downhill toss over a plain through about a fifteen foot opening into the woods; then a fifty-foot toss over a river onto a small island with water on the other side. Wow, was that fun. This course is a pretty far drive depending on where you live, but worth it for any true fan of the game.
Harry Dunham Park and Chimney Rock Rd. DGC, Basking Ridge and Bridgewater, NJ
These two 9 hole tracks are only fifteen minutes apart, so playing them on the same day makes for a decent 18 hole outing. They are basically opposites which makes it fun too. Harry Dunham plays wide open with very few trees at all, and it is a great place for beginners. Tricky winds do come into play, but it favours drivers over midrange shooters. Chimney Rock is a course that features some of the most intense brush I’ve ever seen. Don’t throw your disc on hole #2 or you might be looking for it all day.
Tyler State Park DGC, PA
An amazingly well-kept and strikingly beautiful 27 hole course that is probably my personal favourite. There are elevation changes everywhere, making this course quite the workout too. The views are incredible, and the play is challenging and fun; a great mix of short and long, wooded and open. There always seems to be other groups playing whenever I’m there; a great sign for any course.
Well, that’s it. Go out and start playing disc golf. It’s a great way to get in shape and have some fun. Good luck and don’t hit anybody!