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Mix it Up: What Is Disc Golf Anyway?

Sometimes you need to mix up your workout routine with something fun and different – which is exactly what I did yesterday. The Boyfriend and I headed to Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station, Virginia. It’s more expensive to visit this park ($10/car), and it’s definitely further than the state park near his place, but the disc golf course is definitely superior. While I love being outdoors, I really don’t like having to climb through prickly plants to look for my frisbee (especially when I’m usually looking in the wrong spot).

What is disc golf?
Imagine golf. Now, imagine using a frisbee instead of a ball and club. Then, instead of playing on fields, imagine playing on a wooded path. Obviously I’m simplifying it just a tad, but that’s pretty much what it is. If you become a more advanced player (which I’m not), you can use different types of frisbees as putters and drivers (as with golf), but for beginners like me, you play with one frisbee the entire round of disc golf.

Is it fun?

I really enjoy it! I was skeptical when I first tried it, because I’d only heard some of my nerdier, not athletically inclined high school classmates talk about the sport. I thought, could this be a decent way to exercise if so-and-so can do it??  (I’m trying to reform my snobby ways- I promise!) If you’re not into being outside, it’s not going to be your cup of tea. If you’re open-minded, and like being in the woods, you will really like it!
Is it really a good workout?
This really depends on how you decide to play. If you want a super low impact workout, you can walk between tees, and – assuming you play 18 “holes” (your goal is actually to get the frisbee in a large basket) – you will end up hiking just over one mile. If you jog between throws and tees, you can get a really good sweat going.
We played two rounds yesterday. I ended up walking the first round, and running (most of) the second, for a total distance traveled of about 2.2 miles.
Price – $$
I give disc golf two dollar signs. It’s actually more expensive than you would think. The discs are usually around $10-15/each, and you would need at least one per person. Some people use carrying bags, but neither of us do. Some parks are free, especially during the week, but the courses aren’t very common, so you should probably expect a drive and an entry fee. Once you get past the initial cost of purchasing the equipment, you’re really only paying for entry to the park.
Skills needed
Disc golf doesn’t require you to be able to run a 10K without stopping. One of the great things about it is that you can go at your own pace, and you don’t have to be in incredible shape to give it a try. I haven’t perfected my throw, but you’ll definitely want to have some very basic frisbee throwing skills. And, when I say basic, I mean knowing which side of the frisbee goes up 🙂
Groups or solo?
This is definitely a sport that is more fun when done with a partner or group. You can play solo, but you would only be competing with yourself, which leads to one silent hour in the woods.
Who won?
Obviously not me! I would’ve listed it first, and probably as the title of this post, if I had won!
I did, however, improve my score by 25% the second round!
For me, beginning a sport is about improving every time, and not getting so frustrated with your initial results that the sport isn’t fun. Yes, it’s great to be competitive (I know I am!), but it’s also important to be realistic.
I hope you consider giving disc golf a try!

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