If you can’t decide between playing a game of golf or tossing a Frisbee around with your pals, you may want to check out disc golf. This rapidly growing pastime combines the two sports into a fast-paced game requiring skill and precision. Players move from hole to hole as if on a golf course, but instead of hitting small balls, they throw discs at baskets (called tee boxes). As in golf, the aim is to land the disc in the “hole” using as few throws as possible. Test your aim at these Valley courses:
Mohonk Mountain House
This 18-hole course, which opened in 2011, challenges players to wind through areas with small cliffs, thick patches of trees, and steep hills in order to reach the tee boxes. The course is free with day admission to the Mountain House and discs are available for $10.
New Paltz. 845-255-1000; www.mohonk.com
Brakewell Steel/Warwick Town Park
Actually two courses in one, this park offers players the opportunity to navigate through 36 holes. Disc golf enthusiasts have praised the older course — known as “Animal” — as one of the best in the country. The rolling hills and manicured lawn sport four different layouts with pars ranging from 54 to 67. The newer Wolfe Woods course, which recently saw the installation of new tees and signs, makes players contend with a meandering brook and a forest setting.
FDR State Park
Among the attractions at this Westchester County park is the disc golf course, comprised of 18 holes. The layout is similar to a traditional golf course, spread over rolling terrain. Players must be careful not to lose their discs in the nearby lake or mammoth pool, which can hold 3,500 bathers at once. Park admission $8 per car.
Yorktown Heights. 914-245-4434; http://nysparks.com/parks/148/details.aspx
Conveniently located close to the New York State Thruway, this campsite hosts a nine-hole “Ace” course, giving players at all levels the opportunity to score a hole-in-one. But don’t think the course is easy: The dense woods demand players negotiate around many trees. Free for campers ($2 suggested donation); discs are available for purchase or rent.
Saugerties. 845-246-4089; www.saugertieskoa.com
Designed by the Beacon Disc Golf Club, this free 18-hole course is located in the University Settlement Park. With 18 holes in a mostly wooded environment, it has a par 54 for experts and a par 72 for novices.
Read writer Greg Ryan’s article about disc golf — and watch him play it — at www.hvmag.com/discgolf.