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    DISC GOLF FLYING HIGH IN THE WEST

    Date:

    By Jean Anselmi

    Have you seen these strange baskets in the Stony Creek. They are not, as anecdotally reported, a fancy barbeque system for charcoal roasting chickens. These baskets mark the finishing point for each hole on a disc golf course, one of the most rapidly growing sports in the world. 

    Disc golf is very similar to golf but instead of hitting a golf ball using a club from your expensive set, you throw a frisbee-like disc. Starting each hole from a small concrete platform, you take your second throw from wherever the disc lands and keep throwing until your disc lands in the metal basket. The Stony Creek course is the only permanent course in the west. The course has nine baskets but plays as eighteen holes with three par 4 holes and fifteen par 3 holes.

    Establishing a disc golf course requires plenty of partner engagement. Samual Stoia, Committee member at Melbourne Disc Golf Club, says that the club is very conscious of sharing the park land and being respectful of the surroundings. Rules emphasise that park users always have right of way. You are not allowed to throw if there is a chance you could hit somebody. 

    Commonly, the first step in a new location is to set up several temporary baskets as a trial. A nine-hole trial course is currently running at the Heathdale Glen Orden Reserve in Werribee. Like all courses, it is designed to avoid environmental impact and is monitored to ensure the location is suitable. The club has also had some preliminary discussion around setting up temporary baskets in unused ground close to Cherry Lake in Altona.

    Compared to building a golf course, or most public sport or exercise facilities, disc golf has simple requirements – with small concrete areas forming the tee and hardy metal baskets for the hole. Sam Stoia believes that the low set-up costs and maintenance requirements, makes a disc golf course an ideal choice for local councils looking to invest in public exercise facilities. 

    Disc golf is played by men and women of all ages and the sport adapts well for people with a range of disabilities. You don’t need a high level of fitness to play, and you are unlikely to get injured. Because it is free to play and the basic equipment is inexpensive, it is easy to get started. 

    The club often runs ‘come and try’ days, advertised on their website and socials where beginner discs are supplied. Melbourne Disc Golf Club also welcomes new and interested players to social disc golf days advertised on their website

    The social disc golf days start with an acknowledgment of country and then players are grouped and given a starting tee. If you are a beginner, the club will team you with at least one experienced player. If you contact the club first, they will be able to organise a disc for you to use. So why not give it a go.  

    Melbourne Disc Golf Club
    +61 409827784
    info@melbournediscgolf.com
    melbournediscgolf.com

    ABOUT DISCS

    Like all sports, if you become hooked, you can buy more specialised and expensive equipment. Most people have a backpack they carry to store their discs. As you improve, your play can become more technical, which also means you may want to start selecting specific discs for different situations. Each disc has four numbers that represent the characteristics of the disc as it flies through the air. 

    Speed 1 to 14: A measure of the ability of the disc to cut through the air with larger numbers being faster. For example, a slower disk must be thrown harder but is less likely to fly past the basket.

    Glide 1 to 7: A measure of how long the disc can stay in the air with larger numbers staying up longer. For example, a beginner should use longer glide discs to get more distance.

    Turn +1 to -5: A measure of how much the disc turns to the right during the first part of the flight with the higher number being most resistant to turning. *

    Fade 0 to 5: A measure of how much the disc turns to the left at the end of its flight with the higher numbers will turn more. *

    * Of course, it’s more complicated – and the numbers refer to turn and flight for a right-handed, back handed throw.

    SPORTS
    SPORTS
    Kel writes about the sports, sporting clubs and people contributing to our rich western suburbs culture. If you’ve got a story to share, contact us at editor@westsider.com.au

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