For Agape Baptist Church it’s important to provide things for the community to enjoy. That’s why earlier this year the church installed a nine-hole disc golf course.
“We started to think about how we could really engage the community and bring people in, let them know that we have something to offer the community other than just church events,” said Parker Smith, Agape student minister.
The course is free to use and open to the public. It’s also the only one of its kind between Huntsville and Chattanooga.
“It’s an interesting sport,” Smith said. “It’s a different sport. When you tell people about it they get the turned head look and ask what disc golf is.”
The sport is much like regular golf, Smith explained.
“Except you don’t count strokes, you count throws. And, you don’t aim for a hole, you aim for a basket,” Smith said.
The disc looks like an ordinary Frisbee to the untrained eye, but there is a difference according to Agape music minister Brad Johnson, who has been playing the sport for more than a decade.
“There are different discs and you almost think of the disc like a club in regular golf,” Johnson said. “Most of the time people have three different discs. One is a driver, another is a midrange and the other is a putter. They all have different shapes. Once you play the course a few times and get to know it you might have a specific disc you use for a specific hole.”
The Agape course is great for beginners in the sport, Johnson added.
“It’s very accessible and it’s one of the best places to learn how to play,” he said.
Though it’s an easy course to learn on, there are some parts of the course that offer a challenge with the use of mandos, or mandatories, which direct a player’s throw through a restrictive route.
One of the course’s mandos requires players to throw through two trees.
“Let’s say you miss that shot, you’ve got to take your disc and throw it back around through the trees. If you miss the trees, you’re out two strokes,” Johnson explained.
Johnson said disc golf is a great recreational sport that is affordable for anyone.
“It’s free once you buy your discs,” Johnson said.
The game also offers a great excuse to spend time with friends.
“It’s very conversational,” Johnson said. “It’s almost like how fishing is conversational. You go fishing and half the fun is just talking to people. It’s like that with this, half the fun is going out and having fun with your friends.”
Exercise is an added benefit as well.
“You get your cardio in while you’re walking the course,” Johnson said.
Smith and Johnson say they both hope community members will come out and enjoy the course.
“We want this to be something the community feels free to use,” Smith said. “It’s out here, it’s available and it’s free. We don’t want this to just be for the church, but for everyone.”
If you don’t have your own, discs are available to rent at the church Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. until noon.
Agape, located at 78 Dick Hayes Road in Scottsboro, will host its first recreational disc golf tournament at 8:30 a.m. July 16. The registration deadline is July 1 and the cost is $10 and includes a free tournament disc, a free disc golf clinic for beginners and food and beverages for all players. Proceeds will go towards missions.
For more information visit www.agapebaptist.com.