When I first started playing at Sabattus Disc Golf, all I heard was, “You want to play the owl? Why? It’s for kids and beginners.” The Owl is the shortest course here at SDG, with 9 holes that are all par 3’s. Every hole is aceable, as you can see in this shot on hole 6 by AJ Risley. While it’s true that many young players enjoy the course, it’s open to everyone, and it seems that not enough folks are taking advantage of it. So let me explain why you should be playing the Owl as often as the other courses.
If the Owl is so easy, why would you play it? It removes a fun aspect of the game - the big drive. The Owl is the perfect place to practice your upshots. Of the 9 holes, not one of them is tree free, you will always have to plan your next shot when you’re out there. I will tell you, getting all 9 in a row is a lot harder than you think. Once you start playing every hole as a par 2 instead of a par 3, you’re going to feel different about the course. Treat it as not shooting -4 or -5, instead aim to be perfect on every hole. Disc golf isn’t like ball golf, we’re out here chasing birdies, not pars.
It’s really got a great variety of holes too. Some people may not agree, but there really is a great mix of tightly wooded backhand and forehand shots out there. Hole’s 2 and 6 have incredibly tight lines, hole 7 is a blind uphill shot through a gap, and after you’ve finished hole 8, which is probably the easiest one, you’re greeted by an elevated basket on Hole 9 with only the inner chains. The holes are all reachable, but getting that birdie every time can be elusive.
If I’m playing solo, I can do the course in 15 minutes which provides 9 upshots and 9+ putts in a quick amount of time. If you were to play 18 holes on one of our 3 longer courses, it would be an hour, maybe an hour and half. While it's fun to go out and bomb in a wide open field to practice your drive, you’re going to need to work on upshots and putts as well. The Owl is one of the best ways to do this and it’s also a great warm-up before your round. Plus it's a great way to pass the time when a card mate texts that they’re going to be 10 minutes late and you know it’s actually going to be more like 20. Once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and you can buy a day pass again, it provides you the chance to warm up with a few rounds on the Owl before hitting the Hawk, Eagle, or Falcon courses, truly making it an all day affair if you wish.
Now if you’re looking for a family course, the Owl offers a $3 round for adults, and kids 12 and under play free. If it’s your first time on this mini course, we offer rentals and a free round so you can give it a test run. Sometimes the younger kids find the 18 hole courses are too long and tiring, while zero holes is no fun for anyone, but 9 holes is juuuuuuuuuust right. (Yeah I made a Goldilocks reference, but bear with me a little bit longer.)
Additionally, our Owl course can be reserved for parties and gatherings as well! Maybe you're looking for a day camp adventure, a team building exercise, or a different kind of birthday party venue, the 9 hole course can be enjoyed for any number of occasions.
So here’s my summed up list of reasons why you should play the owl course:
1. You want to get better competitively by working on that upshot.
2. You’ve got time to kill before or after a round.
3. You want to warm up before taking on the bigger courses.
4. You have young kids or beginning players who are learning the sport.
5. You just want to have some simple outdoor fun with your friends.
If you haven’t given the owl a try in a while, I highly suggest you get out there and see it.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70937
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I’m a sports management student at USM and for the most part I don’t like pay-to-play sports. I’d argue that they’re detrimental to the growth of the sport, target rich people, and ruin the fun nature of sports.
But disc golf is different.