Disc golf enthusiasts in the Upstate have no shortage of options to choose from in order to enjoy the sport that has been growing in popularity since the 1970s. As far back as the 1920s, people have been throwing discs at targets in a golf-like game, but it wasnt until the late 1960s, when a California parks and recreation supervisor petitioned Wham-O, the makers of the Frisbee, to supply discs for a tournament, that the seeds of the sport were planted.
Ace in the Basket: Upstate Disc Golf Courses
Wham-O executive Ed Headrick took notice of the growing popularity of the game and included it as an event at Frisbee championship meets, and eventually, after patenting the chain baskets that are still used today in disc golf, he left Wham-O to start the Disc Golf Association, a precursor to todays Professional Disc Golf Association, in 1976.
Forty years later, there are thousands of courses across the U.S., and hundreds more in locations all over the world, including one in Mongolia and another in Togo, West Africa. The discs have developed over the years, evolving from the Frisbees that are thrown in parks and at the beach to smaller, heavier discs that have variations in shape and weight for different kinds of throwingbut with many free courses and minimal equipment investment, disc golf is a sport that can easily be enjoyed by almost anyone.
Here in the Upstate, there are plenty of options for enthusiasts. There are courses and clubs for players of all levels, with the Grand Central Station course in Central being described as the longest and most difficult course in the Upstate. The Upstate Disc Club has involvement at seven courses and nearly 650 members on their Facebook page. The 27-hole Holsten Creek course in Inman is the newest course in the region. ”It being new and tournament quality, thats my new favorite,” says Woodruff disc golfer Glenn Riser. ”But I also love the Tyger River disc golf course in Reidville and the Pipeline off Canaan [Road] in Spartanburg.”
Four Upstate courses are ranked in the top 12 in the state by Disc Golf Scene: Century Park in Greer at #2, Grand Central Station in Central at #4, Sertoma Field in Walhalla at #8, and Timmons Park in Greenville at #10. In addition to the many public courses available, colleges and universities in the region also have courses for intramural teams and recreational play: Furman University in Greenville, USC Upstate in Spartanburg, Clemson (though not officially sanctioned by the university) as well as the Clemson University Outdoor Lab in Pendleton, Wofford College in Spartanburg, Erskine College in Due West, and Lander University in Greenwood.
No matter where you live in the Upstate, a course is bound to be close by. If youre already an enthusiast, challenge yourself with a new course, or get started on a course near home. In addition to the courses already mentioned, here are some other Upstate courses:
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