HAVE you ever heard of disc golf?
I hadn’t up until a week ago.
As the name eludes to with “golf”, it’s a sport − and a growing one at that.
In America, it’s booming.
In Australia, courses are starting to pop up everywhere.
And if Mildura’s Tristan Gange has anything to do with it, Sunraysia will have their very own course soon.
“It’s an awesome new activity that will get people out and about and learning new skills,” Gange said.
“Most people love trying a new sport and it’s pretty much a relaxed walk in the park while throwing a few discs around!
“I mean who doesn’t love throwing a frisbee!”
Another benefit of the sport, Gange added, was it can be played despite the constantly changing restrictions due to COVID, unlike many other sports, and participants can easily socially distance while playing.
“I think locals will enjoy it because it’s a activity/sport that doesn’t need a club or team or committee or green fees, it’s literally free and you can play it solo or with a crew,” he said, adding it can be played by all ages.
There are more than 11,500 disc golf courses in the world and the sport is enjoyed regularly by more than 20 million players.
In Australia, the most recent information shows there are more than 70 courses, with over half of them installed in the last five years.
Gange has played disc golf at more than 100 courses, not only in Australia but Canada, New Zealand and the United States too.
“In the US I played mostly with Bec (his sister), she plays too,” Gange added.
“I’ve done a couple of US road trips and that’s the best part about disc golf, you can fit a couple of discs in your bag!”
His first game was five years ago in the Snowy Mountains town of Jindabye.
Entertaining and with very little risk of injury, disc golf was the go to for snowboarders after a day on the slopes.
And now, Gange, who grew up in Sunraysia and moved back here five months ago after travelling for the past 10 years, would love to see the sport be made available to locals.
Disc golf is similar to golf, although rather than using a club and stick, players throw a disc at a basket, or target, from a tee.
As Gange shared, there’s a whole range of discs out there to purchase, starting from only $10, making the sport affordable for all.
Although all discs are typically around the same size and weight, they do come in different forms − a driver, mid-range and putter.
The course, which typically consists of nine baskets, can be established in existing parkland, at a low cost, and requires a low amount of maintenance and upkeep.
Gange and his dad, Graeme, put together a few baskets and now the pair, together with Gange’s mum, Maggie, enjoy a game together most nights in their backyard.
It’s become quite the competition, although Gange admits with a grin his mum has been able to get the better of him once.
Personally, Gange said he loved the sport because it’s such a simple sport, and even if you have a few bad throws, you can always redeem yourself the next round.
“Every round is different, you might throw it one way around a tree or on a different angle,” he said.
“No two courses are ever the same, which is also awesome.
“It’s not like other sports where the field never changes, it’s just like golf, the landscape is always changing!”
For more information on Gange’s push to bring the game to the community search for Sunraysia Disc Golf on Facebook.
By Zoey Andrews.
ABOVE: Tristan Gange is a man on a mission to bring disc golf to Sunraysia.