Disc golf in central Oregon is a leisurely way to spend some time

by | Nov 18, 2021 | Disc Golf

BEND, Ore. – Disc golf is like regular golf, only instead of using a tiny ball to hit a tiny ball into the tiny hole a few hundred yards away, you toss a tiny frisbee into a metal basket a few hundred yards away. Games are scored the same way, shooting below the level is a good score.

And sometimes it brings with it all of the frustration that can be seen on the golf courses.

“You try to throw it really hard and you end up swinging it,” said Josh Cockrum, explaining how much like golf, even the slightest inconsistency in throwing motion can have dire consequences on the course. “But if you have good form and really smooth mechanics, it helps to get more throws.”

Since March, when the pandemic closed schools and canceled sports, Cockrum and younger brother Ben, both students at Bend’s Mountain View High Scool, have been going to the Pine Nursery Park class to see who’s turning their disc in the chain-bound metal can basket with the fewest throws.

“I think I have the upper hand right now, I’m older, so a little bit stronger,” said Josh. “Usually it’s a good fight.”

Ben added, “It’s fun when you’re not doing sports or anything.”

There is no shortage of disc golf courses in central Oregon: between Pine Nursery and Rockridge Park in Bend, Hyzer Pines in Sisters and Juniper Hills in Madras, there are no fewer than 10 courses with either nine or 18 holes, as on the Disc Golf Course Review website.

“I probably play two or three times a week,” said Will Brandt, who enjoyed a solo session at the Pine Nursery. “When it’s nice outside and you’re in Bend, it’s hard not to do anything outside. I usually drive out here in the afternoons when it’s not too hot. “

There are no green fees like there are golf courses. Anyone who owns a disc can play in the local courts. Disc golf is a sport that is suitable for all skill levels. There are several clubs such as the Central Oregon Disc Golf Club, which competes in tournaments year round. It’s also a leisurely sport that resembles a walk in the park.

“I just enjoy being outside, taking my dog ​​with me, going out and doing sports,” says Brandt. “It’s a challenging sport because you chase, chase, and find your target, but as long as you throw it appropriately it’s usually pretty easy to find pretty easily. It’s a sport where you can get out and just play comfortably with your friends. “

Like golf caddies lugging their clubs across the course, disc golfers carry several dozen discs in their pockets. There are four main types of discs that a disc golfer will have in their arsenal.

The standard discs are a distance drive, a disc with a wider rim and a sharper nose that can cover the greatest distance; a fairway driver, less potential but a straighter flight; Midrange, smaller rims make the disc helpful for narrow fairways and approach shots; and putters designed for throwing shots into a basket.

There are four standard methods of throwing a disc, the most common being the backhand, a standard frisbee throw with a side arm or flapping motion, and an overhand, tomahawk throwing motion.

A pairing between the disc and throwing style helps lower the players’ scores on the court.

“I think there is an advantage in learning both forehand and backhand throws because you can shape the discs (flight patterns) in different ways and there are different shapes to make on those holes,” said Josh.