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A Bit Of A Nip In The Air? Warm Up With A Brisk Round Of Disc Golf, On Snowshoes

February 21, 2015

Antigo Daily Journal

Antigo Daily Journal

Winter in Wisconsin, when thoughts turn to snowmobiling, skiing, skating, snowshoeing and golf.


Yup, specifically of the flying disc variety.

With the help of local businesses, the city of Antigo has set up a great little disc golf course in the Northern Natural Area of the Spring Brook Trail. With the addition of a set of snowshoes, playing a few holes may be the perfect way to combine the best of winter and summertime—minus the mosquitoes but with the addition of frostbite fears.

“Combining snowshoeing with a typical summer activity makes for an even greater adventure and one that shows that activities don’t have to be something structured with designated rules or limitations,” Sarah Repp, the city’s disc(o) queen, said. “Snowshoes and colorful discs are great additions to the winter landscape and are a fun combination for a winter afternoon.”

(An aside here gentle readers: Most folks known the game as Fr!$bee golf, but the crew is not going to go that route or use the complete word. The Fr!$bee attorneys are a nasty bunch and they scour publications for improper use of the trademarked name. They are on violators like a blue heeler on a bone and send out nasty-grams at an alarming rate. The Homeland Security Department could take lessons from those guys.)

Back to the tale.

Repp said she was introduced to disc golf in college and originally considered it a summertime sport.

“Now that I have two children—who which happen to be tinier, louder and more energetic versions of my college friends—I am always looking for ways to enjoy the day that doesn’t cause too much of a disruption to those in close proximity,” she said. “Disc golf is a beautiful gift for parents of tiny, loud, and energetic balls of energy. The fresh air, walking, and fun of the course keeps my tiny friends entertained, and I get to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and a new type of relaxation that involves the enjoyment of letting my kids get a little crazy, while having lots of fun, without the worry of disrupting the quiet of the structured adult world.”

And since snowshoeing can be a rather bland activity (unless you got that blue heeler away from the bone and he’s walking with you), adding a competitive element ramps up the fun.

Technically a game of precision and accuracy, disc golf is whatever the players want it to be. It can range from a couple youngsters flinging glorified plates at a basket to organized league play with separate equipment for drives, mid-range, and putting. There’s even a professional league.

It’s grown incredibly popular as well, with the number of disc golf courses doubling between 2000 and 2008.

Blame those wily Canucks for the game’s invention. With nothing much else to do in Saskatchewan in the 1920s, a bunch of elementary school buddies started throwing tin plates at targets such as trees and fence posts. They called it “Tin Lid Golf” and played on a regular basis on a course they laid out on school grounds.

The game died out as the youngsters grew—and maybe their moms demanded their plates back—but was revived in the 1970s at the Canadian Open Fr!$bee (still not using that word) Championships.

There are books of rules, pages and pages on the Internet devoted to stance, throwing and strategies, and a “Disc Golf Hall of Fame.”

But in all the literature, not a word on adding snowshoes and playing it in winter.

“I’ve always enjoyed trying different or new activities,” Repp said. “In college I was introduced to Fr!$bee or disc golf and thought it was a wonderful way to enjoy a warm day, in the summer, with my friends. So why not winter?”

Snowshoe golfers are reminded that they must respect walkers, bikers, fat tire cyclists, the whitetails and skiers, all of whom use the trails in wintertime.

And winter or summer, the crew urges caution in another area as well. Keep that blue heeler, or black lab or dachshund at home. Dogs and Fr!$bees are a great combination, but you’ll never see that disc again.

Beating the Blues in Antigo is a limited-term feature examining how to enjoy the wintertime at home, without even leaving the city limits. With March just days away, the series is to winding down, but before one final blast at winter activities next Saturday. For comments, e-mail us at