Tiny Discs

No good with a club? Well, you don't have to be to play disc golf. And contrary to popular belief, you don't even need to own a pair of Birkenstocks. Disc golf, the hippie love child of Frisbee and traditional golf, is allegedly the fastest growing sport in Orange County, whatever that means. If nothing else, it's a great way to pass the time on these long summer days while the spikes on your golf shoes are getting sharpened.

The rules and terminology are similar to regular golf, but with less polyester. Players throw discs at metal baskets a few feet above the ground and try to make it in with the fewest number of throws. Like golf, there are different kinds and sizes of discs you can use depending on “the shot.” Here's a tip, though: the thinner “driver” discs are used for long throws, while the thicker “putter” discs are best for short distances. Don't make the newbie mistake of using your putter inappropriately. It's just embarrassing.

The Huntington Beach Disc Golf Course (HBDGC), located next to the equestrian center and across the street from Central Library, is just a disc throw away from the beach (watch your aim or you might end up with a lawsuit), and the course provides a hell of a lot more shade.

Two-round tournaments are held at HBDGC at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month. All divisions are welcome; however, if you want to start smaller, a weekly amateur league meets Wednesday afternoons.

It's fun, it's exercise, it's in the shade, and it involves hurling plastic discs at high speeds in the vicinity of sunbathers. Could it get any better? Why, yes! Yes, it can. Disc golf at the Huntington Beach course only costs a couple of bucks. And if you're under 16, its FREE! Can't say that about many other things around here. Even 12-year-olds have to pay eight bucks to see a movie.

Huntington Beach Disc Golf Course, 18381 Golden West St., Huntington Beach, (714) 425-9931; www.stockteam.com. Open daily, 10 a.m.-dusk. $1-$2.50; 16 and under, free.

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