Not long ago, I discovered that one of the metroparks near me not only has a golf course, but a disc golf course! My boyfriend Greg had never played disc golf, though his brother had left his discs at Greg's house when he moved to Seattle. Thus, since we had discs and a conveniently located course, I insisted we had to go. The metroparks are quite large parks much like state parks with a lot of land to hike through, rivers for boating, picnic areas, playgrounds, and apparently golf courses. (The one closest to me also has a family water park that costs a little extra, but is still an awesome deal.) It's $5 to get in for the day, or $25 for a year pass that will also get your car into other related metroparks. I was tempted to get a pass for my car, but we took Greg's car, and he wasn't interested, so he paid the $5 and we set off in search of the course.
Thankfully, it was relatively easy to find with a large sign pointing the way to the parking nearest the course. (There were lots of parking lots and picnic areas. If it weren't for the sign, we would not have found it.) The weather was clear and not too hot, plus, as is usual for disc golf, the course was mostly shaded. The course promised to be a pretty simple one without too many curves and bends with low pars, and was very well maintained . Naturally, Greg and I started at the amateur concrete platforms, but I thought it was nice that we were given the option of challenging ourselves.
The amateur level proved to be enough of a challenge for both of us, though we did get par on one hole each. Every course had a wooden sign with a map showing where the basket was, and we could even see it most of the time from where we started, but that didn't matter. I've never figured out how, but I almost always hook left when I throw. Turns out so does Greg. Though there was no wind, it proved to be a struggle to keep our discs from veering off into the woods.
At one hole, the first in a clearing with thick brush on either side that went up to my shoulders and beyond, we could hear a couple of guys tromping around looking for their discs. We would have played through, but the guys had left a baby carriage sitting in the middle of the green. After a few minutes waiting for the guys to find their discs and continue playing, Greg and I decided to skip that one and go to the next hole. As we walked by the baby carriage, we were highly amused to find it filled with spare discs and beer. Reduce, reuse, recycle, folks!
Disc golf courses usually follow the general rules of golf with pars, putting, and such, and generally also have 18 holes. Not this one. We got to the 18th hole, and I expected to end up right next to our car as usually happens when I play. Instead, we were directed to the 19th hole. Then the 20th. In total there were 24 holes on this course, and the 24th was not by the parking lot. We had to walk down a very long, very straight corridor-like path in the woods which dumped us back in the middle of one of the earlier holes. We eventually tromped our way back to the car, but the route was far from straightforward. We must have missed something, I just can't think where.
Greg enjoyed his first foray into disc golf and agreed to go again sometime. Maybe next time with friends. And a baby carriage.
Not too long after that adventure, in keeping with the golf that isn't real golf theme, Greg located a pirate themed mini-golf place that we had to check out. There are two courses, one relatively flat and the other hilly and more difficult. The flat one has three holes on a pirate ship, so naturally, I picked that one. On the first hole, I got a hole-in-one. Greg did not do so well. In the end, I beat him, but not by much, and we were both well over par. As we walked out, he vowed that he would beat me at something one of these days. I suggested bowling, but he said no. Apparently, he's even worse at bowling than fake golf. I'm sure his quest will lead us on many more adventures. Stay tuned!