A round of disc golf…

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Launching

Last Saturday, a few friends and I took advantage of the amazing spring whether to indulge in some outside activities, after a long winter of being cooped up inside. Fans of the high competition, grueling sport of disc golf (you can call it frisbee golf, or, perish the thought, “frolf,” if you must), my friends drove out to the disc golf course at Acorn Park, up in Roseville to amble through the grassy wooded hills and marshes of the park, tossing disks with names such as “the beast,” or “the shark” at distant baskets.

My disk, borrowed from a buddy, fallen where it may...

My disk, borrowed from a buddy, fallen where it may…

It really was a beautiful day, around seventy, a refreshing breeze, spring peepers calling from the marshes and ponds nearby, I almost forgot how terrible I am at the sport. Plus, I never can remember how many tosses it takes to me to get my disc, borrowed, into the basket, let alone the scoring system. Hmm, there’s probably an app for that!  This was the second time I’d been to Acorn Park, a multi-use park in Roseville which boasts an “18-hole” disc golf course, offering many challenges, including trees, hills, and, of course, ample ponds to devour your discs. The volume of rain we have been getting in the Twin Cities lately has swelled these and it seems inevitable that someone in your group will toss one into the drink. Fortunately, we had among us someone eager to retrieve these and other discs lost in the murky depths, including a mysterious “Disc of Joe,” which after a few tosses, soon returned to the pond from whence it came, not to be seen again. For now, anyway.

As a casual interloper to the sport, if it can be called that, there seems to be quite a following in the Twin Cities. It is not too hard to see why, as an inexpensive, informal group activity that is friendly to all skill levels it can be a nice way to spend a warm spring afternoon. There is a stoner quotient maybe slightly less than hacky sack, but at least it is a way to get outside a bit. There are fair number of courses throughout the Twin Cities, at least  a dozen or so, and every time I’ve gone, I have seen quite a few other groups of millennials, mostly men, strolling around casually, attempting fancy tosses, a few even dragging elaborate caddies to organize their frisbees. Seems like it is a perfect low key activity to putter around at, chatting, and is fun even for those who are wretched at throwing, like myself. The expense cannot be beat too, as most courses, including Acorn Park, are free. The discs are pretty affordable too and you can always salvage one or two out of the ponds. I am not sure if disc golf has become more popular in Minnesota, but it might be on the rise along with craft breweries. Much cheaper and more relaxing than “real” golf, with its acres of manicured, artificial land, the Twin Cities disc golf courses are tucked into parks that can be enjoyed by all, allowing you to get a feel for the various suburban habitats of the metro; from wooded hills, to flat prairie, to marshland.

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An intrepid disc golfer attempts a recovery

I am probably not too qualified to rank the course accurately, but at 18 holes, Acorn Park is a pretty long one (not that you have to complete it all, of course!) and fairly wooded, so there are less opportunities to throw for distance without risk of losing your disc in the trees, let alone the rain swollen ponds that punctuate the terrain at Acorn Park. A day of disc golf can really build up an appetite, so I’d recommend some grub and a craft brew afterwards. Barley John’s Brew Pub, in New Brighton, is not that far away and, with its outdoor seating, would be ideal for a post-game stopover. More on this later!

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