Frisbee Disc GolfWritten by The Woodlands Guide
According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, the object of the game is to traverse a golf-like course from beginning to end with the fewest number of throws of the disc at each of the goals. Frisbee golf courses are composed of either 9 or 18 'holes' or goals similar to a traditional golf course, with the disc golf course being the (much) shorter of the two making the holes all within short, walking distance. Disc golf is played much like traditional golf but, instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc or Frisbee®. The sport was formalized in the 1970's and shares with "ball golf" the object of completing each hole in the fewest throws. A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target which is the "hole". The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is a "Pole Hole"®; an elevated metal basket.
Frisbee golf, aka Disc golf and by a lesser known acronym "FROLF", is a game using a modified version of the very popular, traditional Frisbee in which individual players throw the flying disc into a basket, or sometimes the disc may be thrown at a target. Playing a Frisbee golf course is free in The Woodlands and easily accessible for those who like to get out and toss a Frisbee disc around. And while you could play with a standard Frisbee, modified discs are highly recommended. The Bear Branch Sports Fields at Bear Branch Park 18 hole, par 54, Terramont Park 9 hole, par 27, and a 18 hole, par 54 course at Stonebridge Church (gated entry). PDGA Disc Golf Course Directory Map
Frisbee Disc Golf
Disc Golf Strategy
FROLF is a user driven disc golf community which aims to bring FROLF players together. Players can track and compare their scores, view statistics such as overall shot breakdown (eagles, birdies, etc) and see how they rank against other players and their friends. FROLF course schemes allow multiple course layouts to be represented in the system. Not every FROLF course has a set par for each hole and the various schemes allow players to create their own course and par for each hole. FROLF, unlike Disc Golf, is a free-form amorphous game, played among friends in a social setting without the confines of a static course design and conformity. The game is part of a positive social interaction, and does no harm to living creatures or property. Rules change based on user preferences, and can include or exclude weather conditions, moving targets, crowds, time of day, random issues and skill levels of the players, much like Calvin-ball (see Calvin and Hobbes). FROLF is based on a friendly spirited, non-competitive, and socially interactive game. The Spirit of the game is the only standing rule, all else is up for discussion and negotiation by the players on the field. Violating the spirit of the game, while not a penalty, it can be used when discussing whether a disputed shot should be scored.
Many who enjoy FROLF, will use a large, heavy disc as a driver. A large Disc Golf Driver for example (shown below), increases distance, and might be used for the initial shot towards a given hole. Be careful as they tend to climb high and could become lodged into a tree. Traditional Disc Golf putting discs are great for going through trees. Use a small, rubbery disc as your putter and when social hazards abound; this helps in case your disc should collide with someone, it just bounces off of them and becomes a reason for social interaction (bonus points) instead of a real hazard.
Disc Golf Courses in The Woodlands
Bear Branch Disc Golf:
The most robust course in The Woodlands in terms of tees, landscape, and water hazards is located at the Bear Branch Sports Complex on Research Forest across from the Bear Branch Recreation Center. The course features 18 baskets, par 54 for the Jake Walsdorf course. The course begins with the first tee-box next to the sidewalk leading down to the pond on the south side of the park. Water is in play on a number of holes towards the beginning and middle of the round as the course snakes around the perimeter of Bear Branch Sports Park.
Terramont Disc Golf Course:
Terramont Park in Village of Sterling Ridge is home to a shorter disc golf course in The Woodlands. Opened in 2005 and designed by Jake Walsdorf this course features significant elevation changes and a lightly wooded atmosphere. This course features only nine holes so many people play the course twice. The course layout can be a bit tricky for a first-timer with the elevation changes and is partially shared with the open area so watch out for children and pets while throwing.
Stonebridge Disc Golf Course:
Stonebridge Church Disc Golf Course:
Stonebridge is accessible from both Research Forest Drive and FM 1488. This disc golf course offers disc golfers a full round of 18 holes on predominantly flat and semi-wooded acreage. Once again, par remains at 54 with a mix of doglegs and a lake that comes into play on three holes. The course is open on off- hours and weekends when the gates on FM 1488 entrance are open.
Avid Disc Goflers may have noticed the Disc Golf Course in Research Forest, the Maersk Line DGC. This is a private course is described as a short private course on Maersk Line company property featuring 9 tees playing to 6 baskets. Other area disc golf courses include River Plantation. and a pay course in Spring, Tx.
This is where the similarities between the traditional game of gold and disc golf end. Frisbee golf courses typically only have trails versus paved pathways, and the "greens" are generally not manicured or maintained to the same degree as a course at your local country club. Frisbee Disc Golf courses are au natural, and will likely include some or all yet not limited to the following: trees, rocks, ditches, and members of the outdoor insect, and animal group. The holes, or basket goals are comprised of galvanized metal and stand about 4' tall or more. The discs come in a variety of sizes, weights and designs. A 9 hole Frisbee golf course can usually be completed in less than 2 hours and includes a wide variety of hazards such as ponds, trees, hills, and other natural and man-made obstacles. The history of disc golf is thought to be closely tied to the somewhat mysterious history of the recreational flying disc (especially
Wham-O Inc.'s trademarked Frisbee's) rumored to have been invented in the early 1900's (not exactly as demonstrated in Back to the Future III *). Disc golf has roots in the late 1960's, when it seems to have been independently started in various locales and by different people. Two well-known figures in the sport of Frisbee golf are George Sappenfield and "Steady Ed" Headrick who coined the term "Disc Golf" and introduced the first formal disc golf target or goal with chains and a basket, the Mach 1. In 1975, Headrick formed the first disc golf association, the PDGA, which now officiates the standard rules of play for the sport. The sport has grown in popularity at a rate of 12-15 percent annually, with nearly 3,000 courses in the US. The game is now played in over 40 countries worldwide, primarily in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia.
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FROLF Player Roles
Since FROLF is a social game rather than a competitive game, individuals typically take on specific roles to support the continuous progression of play. Discs can end up in trees, on 2nd story porches, bounce or land on top of cars, in the beds of pickup trucks as well as various water hazards. For these situations you need a "Climber". The Climber accepts their role as accidental disc loss recovery crew. Arguably the most important and most used member of the team. The Climbers chosen task is to climb trees, houses, or whatever object, or even reach out and grab the disc in mid-flight. Intentionally throwing a disc into an obstacle relieves the Climber from any recovery responsibility. Keep the rules in your favor. If you can't make long drives, then keep your called shots short. If you can't putt, then make the holes longer in distance with more hazards.
Additionally, FROLF is a game that can be played wherever you are.This may include areas where other people are enjoying the same space. Occasionally, a disc will not go where it was intended, and will collide with an innocent bystander, someone's yard, a car or other man-made obstacle. For these situations, you may need a "Negotiator." The Negotiator must be confident, solid, quick-witted, socially interactive individual who is not afraid to fix situations caused either by themselves or by others in the group. The Negotiator must be able to discuss concepts of the game with a potentially irate individual, who may or may not share your same sense of a socially interactive sport. Good Negotiators will have an opportunity to include various individuals into the game allowing for bonus points and a larger team
* The Frisbie Pie Company did not distribute outside New England. Baked goods in the 1800's were distributed within relatively confined areas, due to their perishable nature. However, it is conceivable that a Frisbie tin might have ended up in Hill Valley, California, in a bundle of household goods, and been used for baking homemade pies. Although the Frisbee disc and the Frisbie pie tin have different spellings, the brand names were pronounced the same. The Frisbie Pie Company was a business firm in Bridgeport, Connecticut which was founded in 1871 and delivered baked goods in the United States geographical region of New England. "Marty looked down at the pie plate still in his hands. He whipped it at Tannen with his best frisbee toss. And the plate sailed straight and true, right into Tannen's gun hand! / The gun went off. Buford's gang backed off as the bullet sailed through Doc's hat."
—From Back to the Future Part III by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 128)
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