If you aren’t familiar with Disc Golf, you should really check it out. This interesting sport has become quite popular since the 1970s, when it was invented. Like traditional golf, there are several holes on each course. The difference is there is no ball; instead, you throw a frisbee (like a disc) into a basket with chains. The scoring is also similar to golf, in that you get a stroke for each throw it takes to get into the basket, and the lowest score wins. There are several courses around the Triad, with the newest one opened in the spring of 2018 at Sunrise United Methodist Church, right here in Lewisville.
Sunrise UMC is a church with a passion for contemporary worship and a come-as-you-are philosophy. They have had a 14-acre property off of Lewisville-Clemmons Road since their inception 20 years ago. It is a very wooded property, and the church was never quite sure what to do with it. It just didn’t seem like it would be useful for very many things. A few years ago, while on a mission trip with the youth to Atlanta, church member Jimmy Williams had an idea. “We had taken the kids to a disc golf course I found about 5 minutes from where we were staying. A few of the other adults and I started talking and the idea arose for us to consider using the land at our church to build a course.” Williams has played disc golf for 25 years as a hobby. “After a year or more of thinking about the possibilities, then maybe six months or so to approve the cost and commit to the project, we were underway. That happened in December 2017, and we began constructing it in January 2018.” The church considers it a part of community outreach. They want players and families to enjoy the course at their convenience. If they happen to want to come back to visit on Sunday for worship, of course, they are welcome to come back.
The course itself was designed to be fun for all ages and skill levels. The nine-hole course starts in front of the church, with the first hole in a grassy field. The following eight holes wander through the woods behind the church. There is a map on the marquee near the first hole, and the course is marked to help players move from hole to hole. They took great care to take what the property offered and look at the trees to see how the course could flow. Working with designer Daniel Butner provided a lot of insight. Williams said, “I reached out to Daniel after learning he had designed another local course. He was able to help us envision how to map the course and also how to place the baskets.” Together they set up each hole to allow for different types of throws. “Some holes have one or two options, while others have several. It allows players to play based on what their ability is, but also makes sure that even a beginner can enjoy it.”
In the process of developing the course, they came to realize they were truly filling a need in this community. There are a lot of people who live in the Triad who love to play disc golf. There is only one public course in the Winston-Salem area. Other than that, you would have to travel 30 minutes to an hour to play. This course will provide another, closer option for a lot of players. But it will also, hopefully, inspire new people to give disc golf a try. It’s a free course and you don’t have to be skilled to try it out. Williams just hopes it will get people out to enjoy nature and maybe try something new. “It’s not like you have to go out and try to break a course record; just come on out, enjoy a walk through nature, try something different and have some fun.”
The disc golf course at Sunrise UMC is located at 1111 Lewisville Clemmons Road, Lewisville, NC, 27023. If you would like more information about the disc golf course, you can visit the church website at http://www.sunrise-umc.org or go to their Facebook page, Sunrise Disc Golf. The course is free and is open from sunrise to sunset, except for their worship hour, from 10:30 to 11:30 on Sunday.