Your first sight of it smacks of something comedian Brian Regan could appreciate: "Nice shot! Goal. Unit? Basket..."
It's a far cry from your average day on the links. It's an even farther cry from playing catch-the-Frisbee.
In fact, this hybrid game from the 1970s has most of the charms and trappings of both activities, and the boredom of neither.
Welcome to the groundbreaking sport of disc golf. And if you want to give it a whirl, it just so happens that Idaho's No. 1 venue for it is our very own Freeman Park.
By far, your best local resource for the Freeman course in particular and disc golf in general is www.idahofallsdiscgolf.com. It not only describes and illustrates each of the park's 18 holes, but also offers a wealth of introductory information about the game.
In many respects, it's just like traditional golf, but in lieu of a ball and clubs, players employ a flying disc (better known as a Frisbee). The goal is familiar: You must complete each hole in the fewest number of attempts.
You start from a tee area and throw towards a target which is the "hole" (usually an elevated metal basket). As in traditional golf, players will encounter a number of obstacles in the form of trees, shrubs, slopes... and of course the occasional overzealous canine.
The best part? Disc golf rarely requires a greens fee. A good professional disc is only going to cost you about 10 bucks.
Although its following is still dwarfed by more established pastimes, the game can claim about 16,000 members in its Professional Disc Golf Association. Permanent disc golf courses are found worldwide, as well as throughout the United States.
Want to spy before you try? Mark your calendar for Aug. 18. The Good Samaritan Society IF Village will be holding the second edition of its disc golf tournament at Freeman to raise money for the local not-for-profit living center. A number of local community residents were involved in the tournament last year, and more are expected in 2012.
Last year's inaugural tournament had five sponsors and 13 teams playing disc golf, which helped net $5,000 for the IF Village. The money provided a lounge for the residents. They now have a large living room to relax in, listen to music, read, visit with relatives, have gatherings and watch TV. The room also provides an area for residents to be able to have a private meal with their family when they visit and also an area for grandchildren to play.
Good Samaritan Society IF Village was created at 840 E Elva 44 years ago in 1968. Nationally, the society is located in 24 states and employs a workforce of 240,000. Headquarters are located in Sioux Falls, SD. Good Samaritan Societies are the only not-for-profit centers for the disabled and elderly.The Idaho Falls center is a totally skilled nursing facility. They also house an Alzheimer unit and a Temporary Rehabilitation Center.
Because Good Samaritan Society is a not-for-profit, each center has to find ways to gain funds in order to provide up keep of the center and comfort living for their residents. According to Director of Resource Development Jeanie Brady, one source of income for the Idaho Falls center is events.
"All monies made are kept here in the Idaho Falls community for Good Samaritan’s IF Village," she notes. "The funds made from this year’s charity disc golf tournament will be designated to the remodeling of the residents' rooms. The Idaho Falls center was built in 1963 and you can imagine being a 48 year old building the upkeep is constant."
As of January, 10,000 people a day for the next 18 years are turning 65. "The Idaho Falls community can not afford to lose a center like the Good Samaritan Society," Brady adds. "And the Good Samaritan Society depends on this community. Please book the date of Aug. 18 to come out and join the tournament to have fun, eat great food and support a really good cause."
For more information, Brady can be reached at 525-3797.