, 2022-07-04 03:30:42,
Disc golf is attracting players from all walks of life in Japan, with the frisbee-flinging sport proving a hit with people seeking an accessible but challenging outdoor activity during the pandemic.
The no-frills sport became an escape for many Japanese looking to get out in the fresh air and enjoy some of the fun aspects of conventional golf without the stuffy, rules-focused atmosphere of many courses and clubs.
“You get healthy, you make friends, and it’s a fun, lifelong sport,” said Shozo Mori, vice chairman of the Fukuoka Disc Golf Association.
While the sport is relatively unknown to the general public, the Professional Disc Golf Association estimates that 8 to 12 million Americans have played at some point in their lives, and roughly 500,000 are regular players.
Three-time national disc golf champion Rika Takaki throws a disc at a local park in Fukuoka on June 5, 2022. (Kyodo)
Compared to traditional golf, the disc version of the game has a fairly easy learning curve. It can be played by people of all ages and abilities, and has a low entry cost thanks to cheap equipment and many free-to-play courses.
Sometimes called frisbee golf or frolf, the sport has much the same format as its namesake. Players throw a variety of plastic discs around a course and ultimately into a target comprised of a basket with chains attached to the top of a pole.
Courses are often heavily wooded, some even effectively running through forests, meaning players must use a range of throwing techniques to get around, over, under and through obstacles.
Disc golf shares many of the rewards offered by golf but is a more relaxed endeavor, as well as being more physically taxing, with golf carts not an option.
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