(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Smith Lake Recreation Area is now a popular destination for disc-golf enthusiasts. With challenging courses surrounded by pine trees, disc golfers can enjoy a day on the course while taking in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

This recreational area features two 18-hole courses, one of which is more challenging than the other. The courses are well-maintained and offer a variety of obstacles and terrain to challenge players of all skill levels. Disc golfers can enjoy a day of fun and competition at SLRA while taking advantage of the other amenities the park has to offer, such as fishing, hiking, and camping.

The course opened March 1, and is open to the public. According to the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Chief of Outdoor Recreation, James Day, the course was designed by INNOVA Disc Golf Designers Russell Schwarz and Michael Shugart. The playing length is 7,881 feet.

The course offers a wide variety of wooded and open holes of varying length. The longest and most open is pole hole number 10 at 969 feet and the shortest is pole hole number seven at 237 feet.

“We noticed disc-golf courses were trending and there wasn’t one at Fort Bragg,” said Recreation Assistant Supervisor, Kevin Harp. “My leadership decided that a disc-golf course would attract new and old patrons to join in the fun.”

Harp stated that there are disc sets for rent at the Recreation Equipment Checkout Center main office at SLRA.

It is important to note that the rules of disc golf are like traditional golf, except instead of hitting a ball with a club, players throw a disc into a basket. Beginners should look for discs with a speed rating of 4-9, as these are easier to throw for new players.

The targets emphasize a complete range of skill and present an opportunity to work on all skills for developing players. Seven holes have alternate target positions to provide a more challenging playthrough.

The addition of the course will do more than just provide a new recreational activity for the Fort Bragg community.

Disc golf has been found to be an effective form of therapy for individuals dealing with a variety of mental health issues. The game involves physical activity, fresh air, and social interaction, all of which can have positive effects on a person's mental and emotional well-being.

Additionally, disc golf requires focus, strategy, and problem-solving skills, which can help individuals develop a sense of accomplishment and improve self-esteem. Some therapists even use disc golf as a form of therapy, incorporating it into treatment plans for depression, anxiety, and addiction.

The game provides a healthy outlet for stress and anxiety that can help individuals learn to manage their emotions in a positive way. Overall, disc golf is a fun and beneficial activity that can have a positive impact on both physical and mental health.

"Just throw it" is a common challenge in disc golf, and it can be a great way to improve your skills and build confidence in throws. The challenge involves throwing the disc without overthinking or analyzing the shot. Simply trusting instincts and letting the disc fly.