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Activity gaining ground locally

July 15, 2012
By CRAIG HOWELL , Weirton Daily Times

I have several friends who, especially over the last three years, have been trying to convince me to pick up golf.

They say it will get me outside some, provide me with some exercise, and, above all, they tell me it will help with my career.

I did try a little bit in college, taking a golf class for a physical education credit, but it just never really appealed to me at that point. Plus, I had a really bad hook.

In recent years, I've noticed an increase in another activity; similar to golf but one where you don't have to carry around a bag full of clubs or risk losing your expensive golf balls in the high grass or water hazards.

When I was a kid and in Cub Scouts, we had one of our week-long summer camps at Brooke Hills Park.

One year the camp coordinators had set up a new attraction. It was unlike anything I had ever seen.

They called it Frisbee Golf. The idea was very similar to regular golf, but with a twist. You threw a frisbee through a type of obstacle course with the intention of putting the frisbee into a type of goal with the fewest throws.

It was a great little activity for us kids, and even some of the adults who tried it out.

I'm sure there are some really funny photographs out there somewhere from anyone who might have been at the Cub Scout Camp that year.

I don't think I had seen anything similar since while growing up, but the idea has been making its return over the years, and now there are actual courses being set up in local parks.

As you will read in today's edition, a new "Disc Golf" course has been established at Tomlinson Run State Park.

The 18-hole course opened up a couple of weeks ago, and joins courses also in existence in Chester, East Liverpool and Steubenville.

It is the second course to be established in one of West Virginia's state parks. Another course is already in operation at Pipestem.

I have yet to try out any of these courses, but I definitely like the idea. It's something to do for a couple of hours on a weekend or in the evenings after work. It also gives you a chance to enjoy the outdoors while looking around one of our local attractions. Oh, by the way, it's also free to play, so you definitely aren't going to rack up the expense of regular golf or another sport.

All it takes is the ability to aim and throw a disc.

Setting this course up has, I'm sure, taken a great deal of work and dedication, and I hope our residents appreciate everything those involved with the project have done.

They deserve a lot of support for bringing something new to the area, and I hope people get some use out of the course this summer.

From the sounds of it, disc golf is a great activity for those who might want to get a group of people together for an afternoon. It's something just about everyone can do also, so it's also a chance for families to spend time together.

You get to play a game, take a walk and look around one of our local state parks, enjoying the sites and sounds of nature.

Some of the holes on the back nine, for example, are surrounding by cliffs and streams for those looking for an extra challenge. The front nine has been described as a nice spot for beginners and is located near the park entrance.

Oh, and there's another bonus for this new offering. It's something else to put on the list of things to do in our area.

I hear that comment all the time from all types of residents in our communities.

People say they're bored because there's nothing to do, so they drive to Pittsburgh or Columbus or Morgantown.

Some of our younger residents cite this as one of the reasons they can't wait to leave the Ohio Valley.

Well, I would have to disagree. Just because we may not have major attractions like in some of these metropolitan areas, it doesn't mean there is nothing going on.

Whether it is going to our local festivals (like Follansbee Community Days or the Weirton Greek Festival), taking out some paddleboats on Schenk Lake at Oglebay, going to some batting cages or even taking a drive to Moundsville for the new zip line there, we do have things to do if people would only take the time to look.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

 
 

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