Not Your Ordinary Frisbee
By Terricha Phillips
A leisurely stroll along Ridgeland’s multiuse trail leading up to Old Trace Park brings familiar sights of outdoor activities such as dog walking and cycling. These days, beware of flying discs around the park’s new 18-hole Disc golf course.
Mark Sandefur plays Disc golf and appreciates the park’s scenic views of the forest and Ross Barnett Reservoir, calling it a “more difficult” course compared to others in the Jackson metro (take Mississippi College and Brighton Park, for example).
“I’ve been playing for less than a year with the JUDGES club, but I played Ultimate Frisbee for 10 years,” said the 24-year-old Fondren resident, a member of the Jackson JUDGES Disc golf club’s board of directors. “It’s easier to do with fewer people whereas Ultimate Frisbee is a team sport.”
According to the website of the Disc Golf Association, the fast-growing sport is similar to traditional golf. However, instead of using golf clubs and balls aiming for a hole, players use discs and aim for a disc golf basket. The basket is a pole extending up from the ground with chains and a basket where the disc lands. The goal is to complete each hole in the fewest number of throws, starting from a tree area and finishing with the disc landing in the basket. A general course is made up of 9 or 18 holes, and scoring is the same as traditional golf.
Disc golf is accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels, and today there are over 7,500 disc golf courses in the United States. The exercise typically works out the legs, arms and abdomen – at least that’s the case for Sandefur when he plays.
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Lisa Walters, executive assistant to the Mayor. “The course is very popular and is used at all times by all ages. We will have some tournaments held at our course through the Disc Golf Association as well.”
Ridgeland has no immediate plans for additional Disc golf courses at its other parks, but Walters said that could change because the city always looks to expand its quality of life offerings.
Sandefur said JUDGES hosts three weekly events at the park – doubles on Wednesdays and Sundays where players draw partners at random. On Saturdays, there is random singles play. The club’s Professional Disc Golf Association-level tournaments bring in outside players, and spectators observe new tricks.
“It’s good exercise…and I’ve gotten to meet some great people,” Sandefur said. “It’s a much cheaper and affordable hobby compared to golf. You just enjoy yourself.”
Terricha Phillips is a northern transplant from Ohio living in Jackson that loves Jesus, being a mom, reading good books and home cooking with her husband James.
Join the fun!
There are a few other disc golf courses in the Jackson metro. They are located at LeFleurs Bluff State Park (Jackson), Pelahatchie Shore Park (Brandon), Center City Disc Golf (Pearl), Gray Center (Canton) and Flying Eagle Disc Golf (Raymond).