Disc golf: A sport for all


Photo by Jonathan Fetterolf

Disc Golf

Mason Smith, Reporter

If you’re like me, you may have noticed some strange, basket-like contraptions popping up in your local park over the past couple of years.

There are some people who seem to think that these objects are part of a modern-art installation, they are actually part of something much more fun and interesting – they’re disc golf targets (or ‘holes’).

Now you know what to look for, let’s find out some more about the sport.

The sport of Disc golf is, as you’d expect, a lot like ‘regular’ golf, so much so that the sports share almost identical rules and scoring systems.

How this works is, instead of spending six hours trying to hit a ball into a hole, you spend two hours throwing a frisbee into the aforementioned target.

Living close to a few disc golf courses, I found myself intrigued by this quirky new sport and wanted to learn more.

So, I picked up the phone and got in touch with Karl Voloczi, Vice President of the Perth Disc Golf Club, in the hopes of finding out some more about disc golf and its beginnings.

“Disc golf was one of many disc sports that was introduced to Western Australia in the 1970s and onwards,” Voloczi explained.

Although the sport is relatively obscure, disc golf has a strong and passionate following in Western Australia, thanks to one man in particular.

“Rob Hancock was a high school teacher and a disc sport pioneer in Western Australia. He taught a lot of students about disc golf, many of whom are still members of our club to this day.

Thanks to Hancock’s tutelage, Perth’s disc golf scene began to grow, culminating into the sport we see today.

However, when Hancock and his students first began playing, there were limited resources.  Because of this, Hancock drove his students from Bunbury to Yokine on the weekends to play at a different course.

“He was an intense man, he loved teaching, especially Physical Education … But disc golf was his passion, which he passed on to his students,” Voloczi said.

Hancock’s love of the game was infectious, with many of his former students sharing tales about the man and the early days of disc golf after his unfortunate passing.

“There are plenty of players who got to know Rob quite personally over the years. He was a great man and teacher … Without him, disc golf wouldn’t be what it is today.

“We have named our Greenwood course after Rob (the Rob Hancock Memorial Golf Course) and play a memorial round for him each year. This is a great way to remember Rob and all he has done for the sport,” Voloczi explained.

Although disc golf sounds like little more than a walk in the park with a bit of frisbee throwing in between, Voloczi assures me it is much more competitive than it seems.

“There are some people who just play for fun, but for most members, they play disc golf to scratch their competitive itch and to better themselves each round.”

The competitive nature is so strong that Perth Disc Golf Club now holds monthly competitions across the state, with competitors coming from all over the country for a chance to win it all.

“We play everywhere from Woodvale to Rockingham to Mundaring and everywhere in between.

“For any given competition, we have between 30 to 80 people competing. We have people coming from interstate to compete against us,” Voloczi said.

He also added, that he doesn’t think the club and its members let competition get in the way of a good time. “They are a tight-knit community who enjoy each others’ success constantly.

“The social community at the club is excellent, we’re all friends who share a similar passion. How good is that?” Voloczi said.

Asked why he plays disc golf, I was surprised that Voloczi, while loving the competitiveness and social atmosphere, plays for a completely different reason.

“I personally play for that ‘heck yeah’ moment. There’s always something exciting and different that happens every round,” Voloczi explained.

So, whether you want to experience some ‘heck yeah’ moments, fuel your competitive beast, or just want to socialise and get a bit of exercise, why not try disc golf?