Friday, September 29, 2023

Disc gold course opens

Mataeo Smith

Whether it be a hobby or professional endeavor, Disc Golf offers entertainment for all.

A nine-hole, standard three Frisbee golf course has been designed in the fields behind the field house, beginning only south of the parking next to Temple Beth Israel, folding over the service road, along the waterway, alongside Chip Cummings Field and back out to the parking garage toward the west of the field house.

Disc Golf is played similarly to traditional golf according to Recreation Sports and Programs Director Melissa LaMere. She said the game is open to all skill levels.

Discs, pencils, scorecards, and sanitizing spray is available at the storage box near the first tee for students who do not have their own materials,” LaMere said.“The course is available for open use, and periodically the Recreation Department will host events such as tournaments and instructional lessons. The course is open year round. I personally have played a few times, and admit I need more practice.”

Disc Golf is played like conventional golf, however with circle golf plates rather than balls and clubs. One toss, or “stroke,” is checked each time the plate is tossed and when a punishment is caused. The objective is to play each opening in the least strokes conceivable. The player with the most reduced all out strokes for the whole course wins. The opening is finished when the disc stops in the golf basket. Players are instructed to never throw when players or other park users are within range. Students who choose to play are encouraged to always give park users the right of way. And to be aware of their surroundings and environment at all times.

“I’ve been playing disc golf for about six years, and competitively for the past three,” disc golf player Jose Deondarza said.  “It’s a great recreational outdoor activity that challenges me to do better every time I go out. It’s also a sport that I can do with my sons, who are 16 and 18 now. The camaraderie in the sport is great, and the level of competitive tournament play has been amazing fun.”

Deondarza first picked up disc golf when he was looking for something active to do with his sons, who were 10 and 12 at the time. He had seen the disc golf course and baskets in Cadyville, before and the Town of Plattsburgh let individuals try out a set of discs for free, so the family gave it a try. When the City of Plattsburgh hosted a doubles tournament in 2017, Deondarza and his children didn’t hesitate to enter. Thirty teams, divided across three divisions pertaining to competitive players, community players and players partnered with a business or agency, went head-to-head on the fields of Cadyville Recreation Park.

Deondarza said Disc Golf is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. According to The Professional Disc Golf Association, 70,000 new members have registered with the organization via its website within the past three years. The top players can earn 10,000 in prize money at a tournament. Professional Disc Golf Player Paul McBeth, a 5 time world champion,  signed a $10 million, 10-year contract with Discraft Feb. 24.

Deondarza taught his sons that Disc Golf can be treated as a hobby or a passion. He said its up to students to pick which game they would like to play.


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