My first introduction to Disc Golf was over the phone with my brother just under 20 years ago.
“Disc. Golf.” he repeated slowly.
“What do you mean by discs.” Confusion.
“Discs, like Frisbees.” he was getting slightly irritated.
“Oh, Frisbee Golf” Clarity?
“Yes but they call it Disc Golf” it had been a short conversation and he was already sounding tired.
“What sort of clubs do you use?” I asked.
“You don’t use clubs just different types of discs, drivers and putters.” He explained
“And no ball” I asked hopefully
“No, Ben, no ball, you have to get the discs into the holes but the holes are called baskets.” the tiredness in his voice was there again.
So the long and the short of it is that you throw these discs (e.g. Drivers, Mid-Range and Putters)
Into these Holes or Baskets.
A few months later I was standing in a beautiful and forested park in Portland, Oregon holding a bunch of discs. It was a cold 8 o’clock in the morning. My first couple of attempts at understanding the flight of the drivers was suspect. But after only a few holes I began to get the gist. After nine holes I was eager to do more.
18 holes later I noticed that I had cut my thenar space (the webbed skin between your thumb and index finger) but I didn’t want to stop playing so my brother suggested I try underarm. After a few disastrous flights, flurries of leaves, broken branches, and multiple shouts of ‘fore’ I began to get the hang of the underarm style.
If you enjoy throwing a Frisbee but never liked catching them and enjoy walks in a forest then you will soon get the hang of disc golf.
But there is a catch. No courses exist in Ireland. So my brother made an attempt to bring the game to Ireland. On a holiday in 2006 he got as far as having meetings with the Dublin Parks Superintendent, Dublin County Council, Limerick Parks and County Council, Coillte, Private landowners in Counties Dublin, Wicklow and Limerick, members of the Irish Sports Council and finally the then Minister of Sport at the time Martin Cullen.
Each time he sparked a great deal of interest and potential sites were discussed but in the end nobody was prepared to back the idea financially. Eventually, partly due to frustration at the bureaucracy he was encountering and the fact that he lived in Portland, Oregon, he threw in the towel and gave up on his dream.
But now there is a new champion of the game in Ireland. My brother has been in contact with him and they have made more progress.
There is a very real chance that we shall soon see the first Irish Disc Golf Course.
If you are interested in finding out more about the route to Disc Golf in Ireland you can follow their Facebook page here… Disc Golf Ireland
As of April 2014 Disc Golf Ireland have received a grant from the Professional Disc Golf Association. This funding will be put towards Ireland’s first disc golf course. They have also found an ideal location for Ireland’s first course.
But they need more funding so if you have a few euro to spare please donate here.