Shooting for Par at University Park
Last week, I was tying my sneakers and grabbing my keys to head over to the UREC Main Gym so I could start my usual pickup basketball routine, when one of my roommates stopped me and suggested that we try the new disc golf course at University Park. UREC offers countless ways to exercise and I recently realized that I have not tried half of them.
I have been to University Park dozens of times, but this was my first time trying to play Disc Golf there. I use the word “trying” because I double-bogeyed on the first three holes. Nevertheless, the few good shots I had were enough to distract me from my unimpressive final score. The weather was perfect and I got a relaxing, yet satisfying workout after only playing nine holes. Depending on the number of people you bring and how quickly you play, nine holes will probably only take about an hour to finish.
Personally, I would compare the activity to traditional golf or an easy hike. Disc Golf at University Park could not be any more convenient. It is not only free and open to anyone with a JAC, but it is very close to campus and is essentially a year-round sport. JACard holders can check out a disc from University Park’s equipment center for free. My favorite thing about the new course is the fact that even beginners can have a great time. Each player goes at their own pace, and it is generally not as expensive or time-consuming as traditional golf. And, the course is also challenging enough for serious players to practice and improve.
After my first round, I decided to seek advice from someone with more experience. Josh McKeon, the president of the JMU Disc Golf Club, offered some tips for beginners like myself. Josh emphasized the importance of not getting discouraged, especially if you are new to the sport. “Focus on using good form instead of trying to get max distance,” he shared, “as your form improves, the distance will come naturally.” One interesting attribute of the course that I learned from Josh is the fact that it is one of the highest points in Harrisonburg. Players can practically see the entire valley and it looks particularly amazing during sunset.
The course has been open for over a month so do not waste another day. Especially now that it is warmer, it is the perfect time to use some of UREC’s beautiful outdoor facilities. Grab a few friends and enjoy this great addition to University Park!
Written by Drew Lewis, UREC Marketing Practicum Student and Sport and Recreation major (class of 2015).