SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii held a ribbon cutting to recognize the opening of the installation’s first disc golf course at Stoneman Field, here, Nov. 18.
The course was created based on feedback from the community, explained Oliver Stith, MWR's community recreation chief. MWR was able to obtain funding for the course from a Healthy Army Communities initiative grant of $25,000.
"The course could not have been possible, designed or constructed without the assistance of several volunteers who spent numerous hours on the project," Stith said. "The end result is a challenging course that can be used by all of our community."
Soldiers across the U.S. Army Hawaii footprint who are disc golf enthusiasts volunteered their time and expertise to help design the course, secure permits and work with vendors to procure the course materials.
Combat engineers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team's 29th Brigade Engineer Battalion constructed the tee boxes, mounted information signs for each hole, poured concrete and installed baskets.
"This course is something our community wanted and goes directly to support quality of life," said Command Sgt. Maj. Derek Wise, the garrison's senior enlisted advisor. "Not only will this be here for Soldiers, retirees and their families who are here now, but this is going to be here for years to come for the community to take advantage of."
According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, the sport became formalized in the 1970s. It shares a lot of characteristics with golf, but instead a ball and clubs, though, players use a flying disc or Frisbee. The object is to complete each hole in the fewest strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, fewest throws).
To play, a golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target, which is the hole. The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is an elevated metal basket.
Schofield’s nine-hole course has metal baskets at each target.
As a player progresses down the fairway, they must make each consecutive throw from the spot where the previous throw landed. The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer. Finally, the "putt" lands in the basket and the hole is completed.
Disc golf shares the same joys and frustrations of golf, whether it's sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway.
The fun and casual sport is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages making it a great lifetime fitness activity. Because disc golf is so easy to learn, no one is excluded; players merely match their pace to their capabilities and proceed from there.
Schofield’s course is open daily on a first-come, first-served basis from dawn until dusk. For community members who don’t own discs, discs are available to rent from Outdoor Recreation. Sets of five discs are available for $6 a day or $9 over the weekend.
More photos from the ceremony are available online at https://www.flickr.com/photos/usaghawaii/albums/72177720303800757.