Disc Golf Makes its Way to Summit

While his day job is a dream job for anyone who loves sports, working as a TV Host for CBS Sports, Resident Adam Zucker finds his additional sports passion through a fast-growing game across America — Disc Golf.

Also known as “frisbee golf,” Zucker has been “hooked” on the game for quite some time, and nowadays finds himself playing Disc Golf in Summit, having just participated in “Glow Night” at the Muni. He recently spent time with the publisher to chat about the sport.

Tell us about Disc Golf. What is it and how did you get involved with it?

Disc golf is a great way to spend an hour or two walking around, no matter how good you are.  As a sport, it is very much like golf, with a tee pad and a target (a basket with chains to help catch the disc), and you’re trying to complete each hole in the fewest strokes (throws) possible, but disc golf is objectively easier, quicker, and cheaper overall. You can play a round with just one disc, but as you get better, you start filling up a bag with discs ranging from putters to mid-ranges to fairway drivers and distance drivers for advanced players.  On glow night, we focused on fun with shorter holes, and gave out putters and mid-ranges.

I got into it when I was casually playing Ultimate (frisbee) while living in Wilkes-Barre PA and was invited to try disc golf at a nearby park that had permanent baskets in the ground.  That was nearly 25 years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  Shortly before COVID, I teamed up with Gretchen, Mark and the amazing crew at Summit DCP to run what became an annual event at “the Muni,” starting with borrowed baskets and a disc vendor, followed by a great event sponsored by the Junior League of Summit where over 200 people showed up and I ran out of discs!  At that point, I had become sponsored by Dynamic Discs and we have since ordered discs that have the Muni logo on them.  So it’s been very grassroots, which is consistent with the sport’s history.

Has it been growing across the county?

Like crazy.   Oak Ridge Park in Clark is home to Union County’s first 18-hole disc golf course.  It is free to play and takes about 90 minutes to two hours to complete depending on your group size and pace.  The county has been a great partner, helping us get concrete tee pads and we are in constant communication about maintenance or any issues.  No tee times are required, which is the case for almost any standalone disc golf course.  We have several gatherings per week and a couple PDGA-sanctioned tournaments a year as well.  While that is an “open course” like the Muni because of the original golf footprint, Greystone Woods in Morris County is one of the top five courses in the state, out of approximately 60.  That is where you can really learn how to craft your shots because of all the trees and, thus, directions in which you need to be able to steer the disc.  I would recommend starting from the red tee pads but keep an eye on your disc!!

How did the event go at Summit Golf? 

Very well!  We had about 50 players tee off in the hour following dusk, including some young volunteers who had helped the DCP staffers make the place glow, and players ranging from local first timers and families to regional regulars and pros (yes, pros) who love glow events and are great ambassadors from the area disc golf community.  We got great feedback from both ends of the spectrum and look forward to the next one.

How can the neighbors participate or get more information? 

Simply go to the Muni!   We throw from the golf tee pads, either the turf, cobblestone or grass just in front, and there are baskets set up on every hole, away from the green.  For an added challenge, I’ve encouraged experienced players to take a penalty stroke for any disc that ends up in the golf bunkers or on the “ball-golf” greens.   Anyone disc golfing should follow normal golf etiquette.

What did we miss?

Brayton Elementary has been running a very successful after-school disc golf program, and I’ve been working with Washington Elementary to bring disc golf to gym classes and other events as well.

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