The People's Tribune

Twin Pike Family YMCA Opens Disc Golf Course

Visitors and members of the Twin Pike Family YMCA now have another fun activity to enjoy at the facility grounds – disc golf. 

But what exactly is disc golf? 

According to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), “disc golf is played much like golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, though, players use a flying disc or Frisbee. The sport was formalized in the 1970s and shares with golf the object of completing each hole in the fewest strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, fewest throws).” 

To play the game, players must throw a golf disc from a tee area to a target, which is the “hole.” In most cases as with the YMCA, that target is an elevated metal basket. 

Visitors will find the well-marked, numbered tee areas between the YMCA and Wallace Memorial Park has nine holes. 

“As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive throw from the spot where the previous throw landed,” the PDGA explains. “The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer. Finally, the “putt” lands in the basket, and the hole is completed.” 

Disc golf has been around for a while, but how many people play the game? A lot. 

Currently, the PDGA boasts more than 120,000-lifetime members across 54 countries. Although the Twin Pike YMCA’s course has only been open for two weeks, several people have already enjoyed the course. 

“A very nice 9-hole course,” one disc golfer said of the course. “It was fun to play. I’m glad to have a course in Pike County. I really liked the layout.” 

The fun Twin Pike Family YMCA course starts in the open field and winds its way up through the wooded area behind the facility. 

According to the YMCA, the course was designed to accommodate all skill levels. 

“Tees range from 177-feet to 440-feet from the basket,” Activities Director, Shawn Geralds told the Tribune. “A big advantage that our course has over other wooded courses is that we placed a huge priority on clearing extra limbs and brush so that players will have an easier time finding frisbees that fly off the fairway.” 

When asked what prompted the YMCA to build the course, Geralds told the Tribune it was “something that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy.” 

He went on to say he believes the sport will continue to thrive in the region. 

“We wanted to be able to offer the community something fun, free, and promotes healthy living,” Geralds continued. “A disc golf course was the perfect fit for the space we have available. Disc Golf is a very rapidly growing sport. Many courses are being built, but having a fun, well-designed course so close to home will definitely cause disc golf to grow in the area.” 

But building the course still took considerable effort, planning, and a partnership with the City of Louisiana. 

“Most of the work for the course involved clearing space for the five baskets in the woods,” Geralds explained. “We wanted to ensure the safest space possible for all players, which required a lot of groundwork and analyzing of the path of play. The City of Louisiana was a huge help with the initial building process. We were very fortunate to be able to partner with them to have trees and brush cleared. This helped to keep our installation costs down and not have to charge participants to play.” 

Those wishing to play will need to bring their discs. Twin Pike Family YMCA CEO Gerald Ogletree said they’re working on getting some discs but didn’t have a time frame. 

“It’s similar to how golfers like to have their own set of clubs,” Ogletree told the Tribune. “Disc golf players usually bring their discs. We’re still working on getting some discs, but we’re not quite there yet.” 

Luckily for those wanting to try out the game, one disc is all that’s needed for a basic game, and they cost between $10-15. A starter set of three to six discs can be purchased at most sports stores for around $28. 

“We are super excited for this addition to the community,” Geralds said. “We encourage players to sign in at the front desk or call at 573-754-4497 so that we can track usage of the course, but it is completely free and open to the public!” 

No matter your age or skill level, if you’re looking for a fun way to enjoy the outdoors with family, friends, or simply want to enjoy some quiet time by yourself, check out the new course at the Twin Pike Family YMCA. 

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