Change Your Course

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Disc golf is a refreshing, challenging activity for all fitness levels

By Scott Wilson | Photos by D.W. Moore

One of the fastest growing sports in the Lynchburg area isn’t played on a court or field. It’s free and you can play it on your lunch break. If you haven’t tried disc golf yet, you might want to give it a shot. “I think there’s something for all ages when it comes to disc golf,” says Trevor Freitas, Athletics and Aquatics Supervisor with Lynchburg Parks and Recreation.

How to Play
Disc golf is a lot like regular golf, played on a nine-hole or 18-hole course. Except instead of using clubs and balls, you use discs (heavier and smaller Frisbees). The goal is to get your discs from the tee to the basket in as few throws as possible. You can throw the disc any way you want: overhand, underhand, sidearm—or anything else you can come up with. It usually takes about an hour to play an 18-hole round.

Like golf, you will have to navigate around obstacles: trees, tough hills, even ponds and creeks. Finding your way around the course is fairly intuitive, but if you are unsure where to go look at the diagram located at each hole: there’s an arrow that shows you where to go next.

The game is free to play, but you have to provide your own discs. Freitas recommends getting at least a “driver” disc and a “putter” disc. You would use a driver for longer distance shots and a putter around the baskets. Locally, he says Play It Again Sports is a great place for beginners to buy inexpensive discs. Make sure you bring a good pair of walking shoes as well.

Where to Go
Lynchburg Parks and Recreation runs two 18-hole courses, at Peaks View Park and Sandusky Park. The course at Peaks View offers two sets of baskets on each hole, to suit people of different skill levels. Freitas describes the Peaks View course as being moderate in difficulty, and Sandusky as moderate to high. Both courses feature holes in the woods, so you will have to navigate around some trees.

One great thing about disc golf is that you can play it year-round. The parks are open from dawn to dusk every day. Freitas says he’s seen plenty of people out playing in January and February on nice days.

A sign at the newer Sandusky course offers thanks to the Peaks and Creeks Disc Golf Club and the Liberty University Disc Golf Team for putting in countless volunteer hours to make that course a reality. LU Disc Golf Coach Steve Bowman helped design the course as well.

There are also disc golf courses located at LU, the University of Lynchburg and Randolph College that are open to the public.

Why It’s Exercise
You might not think of disc golf as a great way to exercise, but you will get more health benefits than you realize.

“You’re doing something to take your mind off the actual exercise part of it,” says Freitas.

Playing a round means about an hour to 90 minutes of fresh air—and it also gets you moving. You’d be surprised how many steps you will clock in 18 holes, going up and down hills.
Freitas says you should expect to burn about 200 calories just from walking around the course.

Some people take it to the next level. “I’ve seen people out there that are looking for more of a cardio workout.

They’ll pick up their disc, throw it, they’ll run or jog to where the disc landed,” says Freitas. “There are people who go out of their way to make it a workout. But most people walk it.

It’s very low impact on the joints.”

Learn more about the Peaks View and Sandusky Park disc golf courses at www.lynchburgparksandrec.com.

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