CLEARWATER, Fla. - Our investigation of disc golf in 2010 begins -- and ends -- at
the Cliff Stevens Park -- just off Drew Street in Clearwater. This
place has some scenic vistas -- not surprising, since it sits in
the midst of the Moccasin Lake Nature Park.
But as we chronicle this marriage of Frisbee and fairway, we find folks flinging the flat fliers from paved tee boxes to 18 metal/chained disc catchers... and those formerly focused on traditional find they just can't get enough of it.
"Eventually, you become addicted like myself," said Caesar
Vanardoy, a disc golf devotee for over a decade and a half. He says
the disc game surpasses traditional golf on two levels.
"It's a lot quicker," he says, flatly. "It's free... 87 percent of the courses around the United States don't charge to play disc golf."
And he would know -- since a shoulder injury ended his traditional links adventures. "Oh, I can't play regular golf ever again... that wouldn't be possible," he says. "But since my injury, I've been doing this religiously -- just for the fact that it's good for me."
"It is coming out of the closet," said Wendy Gagliardo, who just happens to run the area's premier disc golf store, and just happened to be out on the links when we were following Caesar.
"It's fun, it's free, it's something you can do with your wife, your girlfriend, your kids... It's great exercise..."
And it's a pretty good bargain
"Three for 22 will get you a whole set -- a driver, a mid-range and a putter," said Wendy." And that's cheaper than greens fees -- there are no greens fees... (disc golf is) free to play. There's 8 courses in this (Pinellas County) neighborhood."
And all of them will welcome you for play... weather permitting.
"You can get out here, wonderful wildlife here in Florida, birds, turtles, baby armadillos, so on and so forth," said Caesar. "You just see everything and it's just a wonderful time to be outside with your friends."
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