For far flings
The city’s parks and recreation department has built a nine-hole disc golf course at Port Aransas Community Park.
The course opened a few weeks ago. It was established after a group of aficionados approached City Hall, saying they’d like to see one built, said David Hyde, director of the city’s parks and recreation department.
One of the folks was Port Aransas resident Nick Jones. He’s been playing disc golf for three years now.
“I love the game because I’ve always played (regular) golf, but as I got older, I got more and more distant from the game itself,” said Jones, 33. “I was introduced to disc golf by a friend, and I eventually started really improving my game. As that happened, I just really started having a love for the game again. I love the etiquette of the game (and) the people I get to throw with. I enjoy being outdoors, most of all.”
“I felt it would really be a great asset to the island’s recreational activities,” Jones said.
Hyde agreed, and he decided to establish a course.
“It is something a lot of cities are doing now and has taken off like gangbusters,” he said. “We had a big crowd of people out here who set up a makeshift course on their own. I just felt there was a need. … It would be cheap enough, and we had a great location for it.”
The city earmarked some money for a disc golf course in its 2016-17 budget and ended up spending slightly more than $4,800 on it, Hyde said.
The course stretches around the park’s edge, from the skate area to locations just beyond the outfields of the baseball fields and over near the swimming pool.
The game is played like golf, but instead of hitting balls, players throw Frisbee like discs. They don’t aim at holes, but at metal baskets on poles.
Disc golf has “a long and blurry history,” but it was “formalized” as a game in the 1970s, according to the website of the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), which reported it had more than 30,000 members as of a couple of years ago.
The game “is growing at a rate that is breathtaking,” the website says.
While 335 PDGA-sanctioned events were conducted in 1999, a total of 2,590 were held in 2015, the most recent year for which information was available.
The new course at Port Aransas Community Park is getting “lots and lots and lots of use,” Hyde said.
No appointment is necessary to play. Folks can show up with their discs throughout the daylight hours and play, free.
Jones and several friends meet and play at the course often.
“The finished product is great,” he said. “I hope as time goes on we may be able to plant some trees or bushes or any kind of additional objects to make the course look more fun.”