I finally got to live out one of my disc golf fantasies last weekend. I played disc golf under lights! On Friday and Saturday nights in the winter at SDG we’re lighting up the Owl. On Friday there’s a singles league (casual players welcome) and on Saturday it’s casual play.
If you’re not from Maine I guess I should explain the Owl Course a little bit. It’s a 9 hole pitch & putt in the woods. Every hole is under 250’ and aceable. In the summer a good single player can play the course in about 15 minutes. I love it for warming up before playing 18, or trying to birdie every hole and work on my approach shots. It's also great for beginners.
So we’ve added giant lights out on the course so people can play from 4:30-9:00 when it gets dark out (Friday and Saturday nights).
One of the things I miss most from playing soccer in high school, Germany, and college, is competing under the lights. There’s just something different about the atmosphere, it’s high energy. Every putt seems more dramatic, maybe that’s why I took 5 of them on the last hole from inside 20 feet last week 🤦♂️.
So what should you expect from the SDG winter singles league?
Firstly, to have fun competition. Card up with friends or maybe someone you don’t know. There’s nothing like a little friendly competition, and singles league is a great way to keep your edge in the winter. It’s much less expensive than a tournament entry fee and you can feel the pressure on you to make those putts.
We have complimentary hot cocoa and coffee in our Keurig machine. It can get a little nippy out there, especially if you’re playing until 9pm when we turn off the lights. Warm up with a drink after your round.
There are practice baskets set up in the parking lot. Peter blocks off an area so we’ve got somewhere to putt that’s away from the road.
There are 3 fires for warming up your fingers (or getting great Instagram pics). One in the parking lot, one in between hole 3 and 4, and one in between hole 5 and 6.
You don’t need glow in the dark discs!
While they do look awesome and I like the feel of them, with the lights they’re not required to play. My card didn’t lose any discs on Friday night. We did notice that the toughest discs to find were in the shadows of trees. So we learned if a disc wasn’t where we expected it, we would look in a shadow and find it quickly.
How cold is it?
It was 5 degrees and I was out there for 3 hours the other night in shorts and a sweatshirt, you’ll be fine. I do recommend wearing winter boots, a glove for your non throwing hand, as well as either hand warmers or an easy to remove glove for your throwing hand. A hat is definitely necessary as well.
What is SDG doing to make it safe out there for players?
This is our 3rd year open in the snow and each year we’ve learned how to make the winters better. The tee pads are shoveled and treated. Peter is often out there with a big blowtorch to get that pesky last ice off. We’ve got a sanding attachment on the Gator to add some sand and salt to the holes with a little elevation.
What can you do to be safe out there?
If it’s icy on the course make sure you bring spikes for your boots (gotta take them off in the Pro Shop). I’m a big fan of the Eagle Claw ice fishing trekkers. They pull over your winter boots and are easy to remove at the teepads. Don’t pay more than 40 dollars for a pair of winter crampons!
What’s the cost to play singles or dubs?
It’s a 12 dollar fee to play. $5 goes to the course, $6 to payouts, and $1 to the ace pot. So far we’ve had 2 aces in 2 weeks in singles. If you’re just playing a general round and not in the league it’s $5 for the day. Kids under 12 are free to play, but if they’re in the league they are still in for $7.
How about dubs on the Hawk?
Saturday at 1 pm we had our first official dubs here in years. It’s the same cost wise, and we had 17 people come out to play.
It’s much warmer in the sun, I think it was hovering around 20 degrees most of the day. Teams were shooting very well and the worst score was pro par (-12). The Hawk is a blast no matter what season it is. You can score well and be challenged at the same time. I’m very hopeful that we’ll see a perfect round (43) out there someday in dubs. I’d really like to be on that card.
My favorite thing about this weekend was playing with new people. Working the desk 40 hours a week I get to see people come in with their bags and then they go out and play while I stay behind the desk. I got to play with 5 regulars whom I’ve never played with before. It was awesome. I can’t wait until I have a weekend off again so I can play some more singles/dubs.
Don’t let winter get the best of you. If you’re in Maine, come out and play one of our courses! Dress warm and you’ll be fine. If you live in a different state check out my winter tips blog and get out there to play.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397