Disc golf gaining popularity at NHS

As the fall sports season winds down, an easy way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors is the rapidly growing sport of disc golf. To play disc golf, you only need a few discs that are around eight to ten dollars, and a trip out to the renowned Nantucket Disc Golf Course in the State Forest.

Mike Harter, Director of Youth Programs at Nantucket Disc Golf, a non-profit organization, describes disc golf as, “almost exactly like golf. 18 tees, 18 baskets. The goal is to get your disc into the basket in the fewest amount of strokes.” However, unlike golf, disc golf requires minimal equipment, and the admission is free. It is also a much more relaxed environment than many other sports, although competition can become intense. Harter also raved about the local course, built in September, 2014 by John Houck, who is an incredibly well known disc golf course designer.

“Paid disc golfers say this is one of the best courses in the world,” added Harter. Nantucket Disc Golf hosts a major pro-level tournament annually, drawing in some of the top players who are very impressed with the course. The course has recently even been reseeded and conditions are improving constantly. Harter wants to start a Nantucket Disc Golf Club for high school students, and will be posting sign ups in January 2018. People who are interested can email Harter at mike@nantucketdiscgolf.org

Sophomore Jackson Milne, a disc golf protege and a regular at the course, is one of the few students who plays disc golf from Nantucket High School. Milne plays about two times a week, and agrees with Harter that “the course is one of the best in New England.” Milne comments on the rapidly growing popularity of the sport around the United States and encourages the creation of the club for NHS, saying, “I think a team or club would be great for the high school. There are many courses in Massachusetts and also one on the Vineyard.”

Another opportunity to play is during the annual Nantucket Disc Golf Open every September when top disc golfers travel to the island to compete. As Milne stated, “This year Paul McBeth, a four time world champion, attended along with 2016 U.S. champion Jeremy Koling, and more world class disc golfers,” said Milne. Milne also stated that the tournament has junior, recreational, and intermediate divisions.

A die-hard, experienced disc golfer, Ron Lefebvre, is an avid supporter of the excellence of the course and wants to see more students coming out to play. Lefebvre looks forward to more learners getting out on the course.

As Lefebvre conveyed, “We are always trying to encourage young players to come out and play. It’s pretty non-judgmental. Everyone playing knows what it was like when they learned how to play.”

He urged that no membership is needed, playing is just simply fun, and it’s a great environment.

“There is good camaraderie out there and you always cheer for someone who made a great shot,” remarked Lefebvre. To get started, Lefebvre said to begin with a couple of discs, then once you learn the different flight patterns you can increase that amount. He says some discs fit differently for different types of players because everyone throws differently.

“We joke around about Harry Potter and how the wand chooses the wizard,” stated Lefebvre.  For inspiration, Lefebvre says to visit YouTube to watch tutorials on how the game works and to watch the pros.