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Disc golf – a twist on golf, with a disc

Mann spielt Frisbee am Strand. (Copyright: Deutscher Frisbeesport-Verband e.V. (DFV))

This fascinating and trendy sport was invented in the USA and has since spread to Germany. The Peine region has established itself as a centre for disc golf in recent years.

This sport lives up to its name: the game is played with discs that resemble conventional frisbees – and the rules are based on those of regular golf. Disc golf is a sport for all ages and for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities. You can play it wherever you want, in the park, on a stretch of grass or in the garden – or on special disc golf courses.

But they aren’t as strict and regulated as actual golf courses. Most disc golf courses have between nine and 24 ‘holes’, each with a fixed tee-off or starting point and a target basket, in which the disc is supposed to land at the end. But first, the course must be completed in as few throws as possible. This sounds easier than it actually is. And that’s why there are discs with different flight characteristics for long, medium and short throws. ‘Official’ disc golf courses are between 35 and 250 metres long and, as in golf, they are peppered with different conditions and obstacles – which ensure an exciting game. Plus, the weather might always have some special surprises in store as well.

Women playing Disc golf
(Photo: Deutscher Frisbeesport-Verband e.V. (DFV))

Discs from the ‘Disc Master’

One person who recognised the potential of disc golf in Germany early on was Peter Mielke from Vechelde. He runs a disc golf pro shop and is a proven expert. People call him ‘Scheibenonkel’, or the ‘Disc Master’.

Mr Mielke, how did you discover disc golf?

Peter Mielke: I used to have a traditional sports shop in Vechelde and worked as a treadmill trainer on the side. At some point during a training session in the park, I noticed some curious people who were throwing a plastic object around. And that’s how I learned about disc golf for the first time. I found it exciting and set up a small area with disc golf items in my sports shop.

What was the response?

 

Peter Mielke: The feedback was good, and I kept expanding my range. And I eventually decided that I wanted to start my own business – a real pro shop dedicated just to disc golf. Everyone thought I was nuts. I was a real trailblazer.

Were there already proper disc golf courses in the area?

Peter Mielke: There were some facilities in the area, but no other pro shops for disc golf. Our shop in Vechelde is now the epicentre of disc golf in northern Germany. And you can reach about twenty disc golf courses if you drive for half an hour from here – that’s not far at all for those who play the game.

And how do you think disc golf will develop in Germany in the future?

Peter Mielke: I’m going to be moving my shop to larger premises here in Vechelde. After that, we will probably have the largest pro shop dedicated to disc golf in Europe. That’s the potential that I see in this sport. It’s a trend that is continually growing, and the many clubs that have sprung up also contribute to that. Another thing is that 99 percent of the disc golf courses in Germany are set up by municipalities. Many mayors have recognised that they are able to create an additional service for their residents with relatively little effort. And an extra benefit is that it’s another incentive for tourism.

Men playing disc golf
(Photo: Deutscher Frisbeesport-Verband e.V. (DFV))

Do you have any advice for people playing disc golf for the first time?

Peter Mielke: It’s all about learning by doing – just get out on the course and get started. The only thing you need is two discs for beginners or a starter set, which some manufacturers offer. You can also contact one of the local clubs, of course, or get information online. And you should simply talk to other people playing disc golf on the course. They’re generally friendly people who are happy to help you and answer your questions about disc golf.

Disc golf courses in the region

A large number of disc golf courses can be found in the area; three are located in the direct vicinity of Peine.

Ilseder Hütte disc golf course

The production of pig iron started here over 150 years ago. Today, the former Ilseder Hütte ironworks still includes the orb-shaped water tower, the master’s house and the blasting hall, a brick building built in 1904. Since 2011, a charming disc golf course with 18 holes has been located in front of this unique historical backdrop. A disc rental station is located in the restaurant on the course, where you can also obtain a scorecard and map of the course.

Heywoodpark disc golf course

The course is located directly on the A2 motorway in Peine. You can throw discs on a 12-lane course here. The varied course located in green areas along Schwanensee Lake is as much fun for beginners as it is for ‘pros’. Small obstacles such as trees, shrubs and, of course, the water of the nearby lake make this course an exciting sporting challenge. Discs can be rented for a fee from Peine Marketing GmbH, Breite Str. 58 in Peine.

Disc golf course at Seilbahnberg Hill in Lengede

Seilbahnberg Hill (157 m above sea level) is a relic from the time when ore was still mined here. Today, the renaturalised waste dump is a popular recreational destination, surrounded by a large green area known as the ‘mining park’. There are walking paths, a barbecue area, a playground and a viewing platform as well as a disc golf course with nine baskets. Scorecards with the rules of the game, a game plan and a points table are available free of charge at the town hall, Vallstedter Weg 1 and at Athen restaurant, Vallstedter Weg 97.

By the way, Peine also has an actual disc golf club – Eulennest. It was founded in 2013 and officially entered in the register of associations in 2014. The club organises regular tournaments and meetings and offers a home for anyone who is a fan of disc golf. Its website is also worth checking out – you can learn a great deal of background regarding disc golf, and get important details on 17 courses from Altenau to Wolfsburg.

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