Disc golf as a future high school sport on the Central Coast?
I say yes.
I think there is a compelling case for establishing disc golf as a sport at the high school level, locally and nationwide.
Affordability is a big argument for including disc golf among high school sports. Brent Hamner spoke to the sport’s low cost during a family disc golf event at Beattie Park in Lompoc recently.
Hamner is the chairman of the Lompoc Disc Golf Committee. He is also one of the Rocket City Chainbangers, an on-line community of disc golfers who are trying to promote the sport in the area.
“You can get a starter’s kit - three discs - for under $20,” he said. “You can get a more advanced starter’s kit for under $25.”
Youth sports in this country, dearly I think, need more democratization. With such low equipment cost and easy course accessibility - many parks have disc golf courses where, I believe, the public can play for free - I can’t think of a more democratic sport than disc golf.
I believe sports at the age group club level do some good, but I also think the costs of club sports can price kids from lower income families right out of the market.
That’s a shame. Studies have shown that youngsters from low income families, particularly girls, are often the biggest winners when it comes to participating in sports, in terms of improved academic achievement and self esteem.
Participating in a club sport is often necessary for kids to improve their skill level. Sometimes it’s necessary simply for a student to make his or her high school team.
I think that it’s possible for disc golf to eventually become a club sport in the off-season -and at a relatively inexpensive level. First things first, though, so let’s get back to the case of establishing disc golf as a high school sport.
The low cost of equipment has been mentioned. Team uniforms needn’t be a big cost issue. Simple shorts and T-shirts consisting of school colors would do.
PAC 7 and Los Padres League disc golf teams could play each other on a home-and-home series basis, just as they do in other sports. A team’s home course could be at a community park or golf course. School administrators could work with park or golf course administrators to schedule competitions, just as they do with other sports.
Teams could be coed. School administrators and coaches could decide amongst themselves how large teams would be.
Another attractive aspect of disc golf is the relatively low injury risk.
For starters, it’s not a contact sport. Another point: I’m the opposite of knowledgeable about what it takes to be proficient at disc golf (kids under the age of 10 were out-distancing me when I tried some disc golf flings at Beattie Park), but the sport’s stress level on muscles seems to be very low.
You can play disc golf in your old age.
As for guidance in getting started in the sport, I have seen scores of cheerful, knowledgeable adults in this area who would be happy to guide children in the sport of disc golf.
So how about disc golf at the high school level?
I say yes.