The fling's the thing at Pa. disc golf course

September 04, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, PA. - Show up at the Antrim Township Community Park any Sunday and you are likely to find a group playing disc golf on the Whispering Falls course that opened earlier this summer.

The laid-back group, known as 717 Flying Disc Club and led by 24-year-old Brad Lescalleet, gathers to play on the three-mile, 18-hole golf course many of them helped create.

"There were at least 15 people from the club that put in time, with a regular crew of about six that showed up faithfully," said Lescalleet, who lives in State Line, Pa.

The club formed in October 2004 after Lescalleet was introduced to the game by a friend of a friend, Craig Schuler of Waynesboro, Pa.


"(Schuler) took us to our first course in Hanover (Pa.)," Lescalleet said. "I love it - it's competitive, but it's only as competitive as you want. The main goal is to have fun."

Soon after the group formed, they came up with the idea to build a disc golf course because the closest course in Pennsylvania was an hour away.

"The next closest course with baskets is in Camp Hill/Lewisberry," Lescalleet said.

"We just knew that we didn't want to (drive that far) forever, especially if we wanted to get more people to play."

In March 2006, the approval process to put a course in Antrim Township Community Park began. Lescalleet said most of the other parks the club approached were not as excited about the idea as the Antrim Township Park Committee.

After presenting the proposal to the park committee and to the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors, the group got the approval to start building the course at the end of April.

"The Park Committee was supportive of the idea and helped us to polish our presentation to go before the Township Board of Supervisors," Lescalleet said. "After a couple presentations and question-and-answer sessions, the board approved the idea, and Park Committee had it put into the park budget."

The name Whispering Falls came from Lescalleet's father, Greg. There is a stream that runs through the park with tiny waterfalls that Lescalleet said "just whisper."

"As soon as I found out about the course, I've been out here every Sunday," said Wayne Nordberg, who has been playing disc golf for 13 years.

Tyson Walter, another member of the club, has been playing disc golf as long as Lescalleet.

"It's a tough course, but it's nice to have one close," Walter said. "You get some discs and you go out and play, free of charge (and) it's pretty easy."

Bill Johnston is new to the game, having started right after the Aug. 11 open house for the course.

"I was just looking for a new sport," Johnston said. "I had hip replacement surgery (and) if I can't snowboard, I can fall back on this."

The 717 Flying Disc Club has about 25 members, ages 12 to older than 55.

Players come from the Pennsylvania communities of Greencastle, Chambersburg, Fort Loudon and Bedford as well as Hagerstown.

Playing the game

Playing the game of disc golf is not all that different than regular golf because the end goal is to get the object (the disc) in the target (a basket) in the fewest throws or strokes, said Brad Lescalleet, a member of the Franklin County-based 717 Flying Disc Club.

The disc itself is smaller in diameter and harder than a regular flying disc. One type of disc has more beveled edges for longer shots, while an other type is rounder and easier to control, he said.

"It's great watching a disc fly through the air," Lescalleet said.

Although disc golf is generally a singles competition, there are team competitions as well, the most common being doubles.

For the singles competition, players go out on their own and record their own scores. In doubles, two players are on a team and the best shot of the two is where both players shoot from after each throw, said Wayne Nordberg, a club member.

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