Disc Golf Flies Through The Lehigh Valley
Andrew Miller | Writer
In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us were looking for something safe and engaging to do. Some bought exercise equipment, some worked on their garden, and others bought frisbees.
With the sudden shutdown of the country in March 2019, many recreational activities came to a halt. Fortunately, disc golf is played in parks and is a socially distanced activity. This has given the sport the opportunity to gain popularity.
Disc golf has similar rules to golf, but instead of hitting a ball with a club, aiming for a hole; players throw a frisbee into an elevated basket with chains.
Founded in 1976, the PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) regulates the rules for the sport and organizes competitive play. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, PDGA members have tripled, surpassing 200,000.
Jeff Cope, owner of “Disc Insanity” on 19th St. in Allentown, opened his store in the summer of 2018. He has seen the growth of the sport first hand--especially since the pandemic.
“It definitely affected my business in a positive way,” Cope said. “People were looking for something to do where they could socially distance.”
Cope hosts both casual and competitive events weekly around the Lehigh Valley.
The Lehigh Valley has been a hotspot for disc golfers for years. In 2005, more than 300 players registered for the 2005 Disc Golf World Championships. The four-day event took place at Jordan Creek Parkway, Tinicum Park, Lehigh Parkway, and Nockamixon State Park.
“The sky’s the limit for disc golf,” Cope said. “The biggest challenge is companies cannot make discs fast enough!”
As word continues to spread, people of all ages can get out and enjoy this booming recreational sport.