MIAMISBURG, Ohio – Doug Lowe remembers playing a game at family picnics involving flying discs and throwing them at stationary objects such as trees and telephone poles.
He and his opponents would keep track of how many throws it took to hit the selected target. Doug later came across the sport of disc golf in its full form. Originating in the 1970s, it is now one of the fastest-growing sports in the world and Doug is proud to say he competes as a member of the Professional Disc Golf Association.
Disc golf is similar to golf except that a disc is used instead of a ball. The courses are located in public parks so it is free to play. Players “tee off” at concrete or rubber pads at each of the holes, often 200-350 feet in length, and attempt to land their discs in a metal basket called a disc pole hole. Just like traditional golf, the player with the lowest cumulative score wins.
“There is nothing like hearing your discs hit the chains before dropping into the basket,” Doug said.
Doug, who is a mortgage help desk analyst for PNC Mortgage in Miamisburg, has scheduled himself to play in a series of tournaments throughout the year to determine the best local players in various divisions. Last month, he competed in the Bowling Green (Ky.) Amateur Championships, the largest amateur tournament of the year.
“You can’t go to my desk and not know about my love for disc golfing,” Doug said. “I have pictures all over my desk. Disc golfing is a tight-knit community and is very supportive. The players work on getting new courses on the ground, maintaining and improving them. Everybody knows everybody. There are new courses popping up all the time.”
Doug said that he occasionally will get some practice in during his lunch break at a course located about a five-minute drive from the office.
You could call the sport a family affair. Doug and his 12-year-old son play in the Tourney for the Troops Doubles Tournament, a yearly event that raises money for the Wounded Warriors Project. He said that the time spent playing on the public courses has also helped him lose 50 lbs.since last fall.
“We play year-round,” Doug said. “I’ve played in zero degrees with a little bit of snow on the ground.”
Doug Lowe shows what the sport of disc golfing is all about.
Doug hopes that more people will learn about disc golfing. Recently, another player’s hole-in-one made the Top 10 plays of the day on the national sports news.
The sport has really grown in the last couple of years. We’re waiting for that one big break and get it out in the mainstream to get it over the hump and explode.
Doug Lowe has played more than 200 rounds of disc golf.
A lot of people don’t know or have seen baskets at their local park and they don’t know why they are there. I’ve seen some people use the baskets as a grill. I hope to change that.
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