The young camper squints her eyes in concentration, pulls her arm back and flings the brightly colored disc into the air. Cha-klink! The disc meets its goal, the disc golf basket placed yards away. She high-fives her friend and jumps back in line for another turn. “It was lots of fun. I’m hoping my mom and dad will take me out to play more!” exclaims another enthusiastic first-timer.
Each week, this past summer at the Thomasville YMCA’s Camp Piney Woods, campers had the chance to learn the basics of disc golf as part of their curriculum thanks to a partnership with Red Hills Disc Golf club (RHDG), Hands On Thomas County (HOTC), and a grant from the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA). RHDG members held a workshop teaching the basics of disc golf, which were then put into action at Camp Piney Woods and a day trip to MacIntyre Park Disc Golf Course. “We are grateful to the PDGA and our local partners – HOTC and Red Hills Disc Golf – for the opportunity to introduce the sport of disc golf to our summer campers. They had a fun time and were able to experience something new,” says Tom Everett, CEO of the Thomasville YMCA.
HOTC and the City of Thomasville, with community and volunteer support from RHDG, helped install the disc golf course at MacIntyre Park in 2010 with the goals of introducing a fun, inexpensive, physical activity that would appeal to all ages; and getting people outdoors and utilizing this great community park space. HOTC and RHDG also hold two charity disc golf tournaments each year, open to participants of all ages and skill levels, at the local course: Jingle Jangle in December and Mac Attack in May. In 2012, HOTC introduced “Disc Golf In The Community”, which loans donated discs and portable baskets to local groups and organizations, and offers free clinics and workshops through RHDG.
“Since so many people in our community are members of the YMCA, or participate in their organized sports programs, it made sense to reach out to the Y to get more people involved in this awesome sport,” says RHDG Member and HOTC Board Member Allen Thornhill. With a $500 Innovation Grant awarded by the PDGA, “Disc Golf With The Y” was born. Special discs were made just for the YMCA which were used at the 6-week long camp, and will be available for check-out year-round by any YMCA member for use at the MacIntyre Park Disc Golf Course. “Our hope is that with growing interest and participation by the community, disc golf will be offered like any other sport on their roster,” continues Thornhill.
To learn more about or get involved in the sport of disc golf, visit:
Professional Disc Golf Association – a membership organization dedicated to the promotion and sustainable growth of Disc Golf. It promotes the sport through player participation, tournament development, spectator participation, course development, rules and competitive standards, media and sponsor relations, and public education and outreach.
Red Hills Disc Golf – RHDG is dedicated to the promotion and growth of disc golf in the greater Thomasville, GA area by encouraging new players to get involved in organized disc golf, develop and maintain all Thomas County disc golf courses, promoting organized disc golf events, and striving to instill community awareness of the great sport of disc golf while fostering a spirit of competition.