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Popularity of disc golf growing rapidly in Maine

The popular disc golf scoring app 'UDisc' has ranked Lewiston/Auburn as the best disc golf city in the entire United States

MAINE, USA — Maine's disc golf courses are already getting busy this spring.

"It's crazy every day," Andrew Streeter said. 

Streeter has been playing disc golf for more than 12 years and works at the popular course Sabattus Disc Golf

"There used to be downtime. There's no downtime whatsoever any more," Streeter said. 

Sabattus Disc Golf is one of the more than 70 courses in Maine. Many of the people who work in the industry said disc golf is the most rapidly growing sport in the state.

"The growth of disc golf and the amount of people that come here for disc golf has been awesome for us," Director of Outdoor Recreation at Pineland Farms Matt Sabasteanski said. 

   

Disc golf is played similarly to golf. People will play 18 holes, and count their total number of strokes for a score. There's birdies, bogeys and pars, just like golf, however folks use a small round disc instead of a club and ball and shoot into a metal basket with chains to help catch the disc.

"They're not sitting on their couch at home, they're out getting fresh air, they're throwing the disc, having fun," Sabasteanski said. 

Disc golf course managers and owners that spoke with NEWS CENTER Maine said they've seen major growth in the sport since the onset of the pandemic. Many attribute that to the distanced and outdoor nature of the sport. 

"It grew exponentially and the numbers haven't dropped since," Sabasteanski said. 

Sabasteanski added Pineland Farms tallied more than 4,000 new disc golfers at the course in 2021, reaching a total of 18,000 rounds. 

"People come from all over the country, even on vacation, and stay here for a week to hit up all the courses," Alex Olsen, owner of Devil's Grove Disc Golf in Lewiston said. 

In December of 2021, the popular app UDisc, which tracks disc golfers' scores, ranked Lewiston/Auburn as the No. 1 city of disc golf in the entire country. That pushed the L/A metro area ahead of major metropolises like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Dallas.

"Lewiston/Auburn is such a great central location because you can get to 20 different courses within 40 minutes," Olsen said. 

Lewiston/Auburn as also ranked the No. 1 city for disc golf the last time UDisc released its top 10 list in 2018. 

Disc golf has also grown in popularity because of the price of the sport. Maine has a mix of public free courses, as well as private courses that have a fee. Courses that are play-to-play however typically cost between $5 and $10. 

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