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Disc Golf in Huntington Beach is a popular event

It's called "disc golf," and players don't take kindly when it's referred to as frolf, but whatever moniker it goes by, disc golf ' a cross between Frisbee and golf 'keeps going strong in Huntington Beach.

Huntington Beach Central Park enjoys disc golf enthusiasts from all levels of experience on a daily basis. According to Jerry Davis, co-owner and professional disc golfer who overseas the running of the disc golf course, disc golf continues to gain popularity here in Huntington Beach on a course that is almost always busy, except when it rains.

Played much like traditional golf, Davis said that instead of using a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc, which resembles a Frisbee. The discs come in various sizes and are used for different techniques. Formalized in the 1970s, frisbee- disc golf is similar to golf in that the object for each player is to complete each hole in the fewest number of putts or throws.

A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target, the basket. The most common of these, according to the Professional Disc Golfers Assn., is the "Pole Hole," which is an elevated metal basket. As a player continues down the fairway, that player must take each consecutive shot from the spot where the previous throw has landed. The hole is completed when the throw lands in the basket.

The difference between disc golf and traditional golf is the cost. It's costs only a buck or two for Surf City residents and nonresidents, alike, to play disc golf. The course, established in 1977, has been called both "beautiful and challenging" by the Professional Disc Golf Assn. The Surf City course includes challenging, as a forest of trees and different types of terrain present challenges to the players. The course yardage, 5,649 yards of play space can be expanded to 6,100-feet for tournament play.

Huntington Beach's Disc Golf Couse is one of the first three courses established in the United States and has the distinction of being the only course of the three to contain 18 baskets. It includes a full time Pro Shop that offers lessons, rentals and a snack bar.

There are four disc golf courses in Orange County in Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Irvine and Tustin. Davis, who has played in several world class tournaments, said that in any given week during the fall and winter months, anywhere from 500 to 700 players utilize the course.

During the summer months, that average climbs to more than 1,000. There's a juniors league for the younger players who receive a free disc, just by entering and playing in the once-a-month Saturday tournament. Each Wednesday night a pro/am handicap league, where handicaps are based on each player's ability and a 13-week series with the top five players in each tournament earning trophies and/or disc golf gear are extremely popular. On the first Saturday of every month professional, women and junior players compete.