December 21, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
31°F
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Not your parents’ game of golf

For most people, being active means going on a walk with the dog or spending an hour at the gym. To a group of friends from Wellington, physical activity has taken on a different meaning.

The five close friends, who have known each another since high school, devote their free time to the competitive sport of disc golf. The sport, similar to golf, is played by tossing miniature Frisbees at low, metal baskets.
Their obsession began in 2006, when Tim Krosse helped install a small course among the greenery and tall trees in Findley State Park in Huntington Township.
“Tim is kind of like the godfather of disc golf,” said Jared Herberling, one of the five disc golf friends. “He taught us all how to play.”
The group, which fell in love with the game, took its commitment to the next level. When Krosse moved out of town, the remaining five improved and expanded the course.
But, the process to do so was grueling. The team, with help from the park’s advisory board, Friends of Findley, asked individuals and businesses to sponsor their project. Teammate Adam Selzer and Krosse worked on the park’s overall layout so that, in 2010, the group could start the manual “clean up,” using their own tools.
“(We) did all the brush and tree removal for the course’s paths,” said player Gina Deveraux. “A few of us are landscapers by trade, so we had experience.”
Although the group played consistently during its development, the standard-sized course was finally ready to host games in March.
And they could not be more excited. The friends get together 6 p.m. Fridays for a two-hour league game, enjoying the outdoors and physical exercise.
“I like that it’s competitive, and that we’re outdoors hiking through the woods,” Herberling said.
Despite tumultuous Ohio weather, they play on. The teammates will dress for any season and use glow sticks when the sun goes down.
In addition to their own weekly course, most of them take their love for the game to nearby towns, meeting other players and recruiting visitors to their playing field.
“We’re going to try a new park for our anniversary next weekend,” said Deveraux, whose husband, Steve, also plays.
To learn about proper disc golf technique, the group uses online resources and watches experts in action.
“Once you see someone who knows how to play for the first time, it’s astounding,” Steve Deveraux said.
But they said that the game is simple in concept, easy and entertaining for all ages.
“The two things you have to know about disc golf (at Findley) is dress comfortably and know what poison ivy looks like,” Deveraux said.
Findley State Park is at 25381 state Route 58, Huntington Township, south of Wellington.
Contact Elizabeth Kuhr at 329-7144 or ekuhr@chroniclet.com.