WAILUA — Disc golfer Ryan Moen of the Kaua‘i ‘Ohana Disc Golf Club has seen the evolution of the popularity of disc golf since he began playing in the mid-1980s.
Moen has seen the sport go from a small subculture into a mainstream recreational game.
Now, every Friday night Moen has seen another trend in his growing club.
Since the mid-March lock down, his club has grown exponentially, firing discs on the nine-hole course at Lydgate Park in Wailua every Friday.
Admittedly, Moen was perplexed by this trend, but pleased to see the sport he devotes so much time to grow.
With baskets marked and illuminated with glow sticks and lighting fixtures, and glow-in-the-dark disc tape that needs to be recharged, and using black lighting, navigating darkness isn’t an issue.
The group blasts a variety of music from the latest EDM with stuff from the Beastie Boys’ catalog to Public Enemy.
It creates an atmosphere that is a quintessential form of decompression, which is the primary goal for everyone involved in the growing sport.
“For me, this is a social exercise,” Moen said. “In a way, I can get out here, cruise around the park with friends of mine and just get out and play.”
Adam Giacomini has only played since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Looking for something to do, Giacomini has found playing disc golf every night to be therapeutic.
“It’s a good stress-reliever, especially when you have a good day,” Giacomini said. “It’s fun, and I enjoy hanging out with my friends. If you are looking for something to do outside, this is great to do.”
Gone are the days that disc golf is something that isn’t accepted by its established counterpart golf.
Spotting a trend of younger golfers gravitating more to disc golf, a newer recreational counterpart, the mainstream establishment is now making accommodations.
Recently, the Princeville Makai Golf Course and Kukuiolono Golf Course responded to this trend by adding disc golf to their lists of recreational activities at its courses.
Princeville Makai even carries disc-golf equipment in addition to traditional golf gear.
“We’ve already had courses, and now there is a little bit of a buzz when people hear about it,” Moen said. “We’ve now seen a bunch of extra players, and a lot of people are learning how to play on Kaua‘i.”
Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.