New course opens in NY

8/3/2010 by John Borelli

A new course opened in Schenectady, NY recently an got some good press coverage at the grand opening. Thanks for the info, Jeff W!

Players excited about disc golf course's debut
Gazette Reporter Date: July 30, 2010

Greg Kurtz eyed the chain-link basket ahead of him, twisted his wrist and sent a Frisbee-like disc soaring toward it. "That'll be perfect if it fades right," he began, as the disc whipped around a telephone pole that blocked direct access to the basket. But the disc kept on arcing, flying off into the woods.

So Kurtz tried a roller, sending a disc into a roll toward the basket. It careened wildly off the telephone pole, hit a rut in the ground and vanished into the Central Park forest. Okay. Third time's the charm.

He sent the disc around the other side of the pole, trying to come at the basket from the right. This time, the disc swerved tightly around the pole, just as he had intended, and landed at the bottom of the basket.

Most casual observers would assume he was cursing the pole that blocked his first two shots. But for "disc golfers," as players call themselves, the more hazards the better. "We want more control, more finesse," Kurtz said. "We like the challenge of going into the trees and finding fairways."

Central Park certainly offers plenty of challenge. Eighteen baskets have been hidden in the forested areas of the park, although a few are visible near the edges. It's the disc golfer's job to figure out how to get the disc to each of them -- and there's not just one solution.

New player Doug Stefaniak, 15, has perfected the overhead thumber, which sends a disc up over a hazard and then straight down to land in the basket. After 10 weeks of practice, he can throw a disc 250 feet using that technique.

"I really enjoy it," he said. "How crazy it is, how far and how accurate the discs are, it's mind-boggling. The way they fly, it's not something you'd think they do."

Alex Stratton, 14, had the same impression when he tried the game for the first time Thursday. His father, Mayor Brian U. Stratton, took him to the course for the official "chain-cutting," complete with bolt cutters to chop the chain stretched across the start of the course.

Alex Stratton quickly discovered the discs aren't anything like Frisbees. "It's a really awkward feeling because the discs are much heavier than a normal Frisbee," he said. "If I threw a normal Frisbee this hard, it goes straight to the ground."

But after a few lessons in how to pull his arm back like a lawn mower starter cord and release the disc low and flat, he began to have success. He declared it might even be better than traditional golf, which he plays regularly.

"I like it. Instead of using a club to do your dirty work, you get to use your hands," he said cheerfully as he flung the disc further and further.

His father likes the fact that the new sport was added without having to tear down part of the forest to build expensive new fields.
"It really is minimally intrusive on the beauty and nature of the park," he said. "That's what I like about it."

The entire project cost $8,600. The county provided $5,000, with the Schenectady Disc Golf Club raising the rest through donations.

The last basket was installed in early June. Since then, about 150 people have played the course, and 45 have joined the club's league, club Chairman Justin Hoffman said.  The club has donated sets of discs to the city, which has them available for loan at the park administration office. But serious players will want to invest in far more than the three starter discs. There's discs that go left, discs that go right, fat discs that stop early and super-thin discs for long straight fairways. Others are better in headwinds or designed for rolling along the ground.

Kurtz has 70 discs to choose from.  "You can't carry that many. It weighs too much," he said.



by scoontar on 8/3/2010 at 5:19:51 PM
Great Course!! Great Job by DisCap, and SDGC!! We have another 2 courses in the process of becoming a reality!!

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