A new year, a new sport. Disc golf is coming to Walterboro, if new resident Jordan Paxson’s dream comes true.
Paxson loves disc golf for many reasons. It’s golf with a frisbee without the expensive equipment and fees.
The sport involves a frisbee thrown into a series of “baskets” while enjoying a walk outdoors. The course is laid out like a golf course with either 9 or 18 baskets (to catch the frisbees) instead of holes like golf.
“It can be just as simple as going out in the woods and taking a hike or walk and getting some fresh air. You don’t even have to be good at disc golf or even know anything about it,” Paxson said. “It’s just a way to get people outside for a walk and while you’re out there, here’s a disc — just throw it.” Disc golf is only a competition if the throwers want it to be, in which case the winner would be the one who makes the most baskets in the fewest throws. (Although there is a professional association that offers competitions.)
The sport has many perks: it’s free or with nominal donations, no deadlines, and the only equipment needed is a frisbee, which typically costs $10-$15. No golf carts, golf clubs, balls or fees to pay.
Plus, it’s a sport that anyone at any age who can walk can play since disc golf is easy physically. “You can’t play football or basketball your whole life, physically,” Paxson said. But if you can walk and throw a frisbee, you can play disc golf.
Disc golfers start at a designated spot, throw, then throw again from wherever the frisbee lands until they land in the basket. Courses are generally par 3, 4 or 5 — the number of times needed to get the frisbee in the basket.
“If anything, it’s easier than golf and it’s just as satisfying to watch. You have this flying saucer, you put it in your hand and the moment you throw it, it just glides through the air. It’s so mesmerizing. And it’s effortless,” he said.
With a degree in physical education, Paxson loves sports and hopes to put his degree from the University of Brockport to use as a teacher and coach someday. He and his girlfriend, Ashley, moved to Walterboro several weeks ago from New York. And Paxson hopes to bring the sport he loves with him.
Currently, the closest courses are in Charleston and near the Georgia line, he said. But he plans to talk with the Recreation Center and the schools about installing a course here.
“I don’t know what to expect next. I don’t really have a plan except to keep spreading positivity. Keep playing, growing this culture,” he said. “I’ve never met a community like the disc golf community. Everybody is so welcoming, helpful and everyone is trying to help each other. I think there’re people here who’d enjoy it and can benefit from it.”
In the meantime, if you want to learn more, visit Paxson’s Instagram at Wavesogroovy_discgolf or the Professional Disc Golf Association’s website.