Mark Hancock

The National Golf Foundation reported 157 course closures across the country in 2011, which outpaced the number of course openings for the fifth consecutive year.

Meanwhile, disc golf — second cousin to the venerable sport of kings — is gaining fans. Instead of using clubs, disc golfers negotiate the course while throwing a Frisbee into an elevated basket.

Of course, the object is to do so with the fewest throws. Players tally up their throws from each hole at the round’s end; the player with the lowest total wins.

Nine disc golf courses are spread across the metro. Each 18-hole park offers variable challenges from water hazards to rolling hills and long, flat sections.

Most agree the key is in the flick of the wrist. A game that doesn’t require tons of stamina or great athleticism, it offers a relaxed way to spend time with friends and family while enjoying nice scenery along the way.

Cameron Kaspereit, Oklahoma City Disk Golf Association president, said he wants to improve the quality, value and organization of disc golf.

He also likes to help promote a healthy spirit of rivalry by organizing mini-tournaments at area parks. An event can be found nearly every day of the week, depending on park location and weather. Players are assembled into groups according to skill level.

“Where else can you not be good at something and still have fun?” Kaspereit said. “We really just go out and have a blast.”

Besides the outdoor workout, there’s

the added benefit of minimal cost. Use of public parks is free. Most discs are priced from $7 to $20.

Free weekly events are held at 6 p.m. Mondays at Mitch Park; 6 p.m. Wednesdays at Dolese Park; 6 p.m. Thursdays at Will Rogers; and 3 p.m. Sundays at Dolese Park.

“Whenever I get to go out and throw, it’s one more piece of stress I get to throw away,” said Kaspereit.

Oklahoma CIty / North:

Woodson Park, S.W. 33rd Street, just west of May Avenue

Will Rogers Park, N.W. 36th Street at Portland Avenue

Dolese Youth Park, N.W. 50th Street at Meridian Avenue

Spring Creek Park, next to Arcadia Lake on E. 33rd Street, Edmond

Mitch Park, 1501 W. Covell, Edmond

Noman / South:

Northeast Lions Park, north of E. Robinson Street on Northcliff Avenue, Norman

Griffin Park, Robinson Street at 12th Avenue N.E., Norman

Colonial Estates Park, Lindsey Street east of 12th Avenue S.E., Norman

Oak Tree South Park, State Highway 9 at 12th Avenue S.E., Norman

Little Axe Park, east of Lake Thunderbird on State Highway 9 at Little Jim Road, OKC

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