Ned Stark, rest his poor soul, knew that winter was coming. Spoiler alert: winter is here and it is cold. Did you know that winter wants you to stay inside all season so you can brood and complain? No, I can't check my sources to verify the claim. This is what I've done all season, so it must be true. I needed to break out and escape these doldrums! I didn't want to do your run-of-the-mill winter activities. Save sledding for the kids and skiing for the mountains. What I needed to warm my soul was the rattle of chains, but not just any chains. I'm talking about the chains begging to be struck at Lemon Lake County Park. I'm talking about a good ol' game of disc golf...WINTER disc golf! It was frigid, outdoors, but most of all, it was a beautiful game. Who needs clubs when you have discs?

Are you thinking about hitting the links at Lemon Lake? Read below to learn about what to expect at Lake County's 72-hole championship disc golf course:

Disc Golf at Lemon Lake in Crown Point

White - Beginner

Simply said, this course is for all of the beginners out there. Your arm will thank you for easy par 3s and nice approaches. The course diverts slightly into the woods, so be prepared for some wooded contemplation as you line up your shots. Located near the back end of the park, Lemon Lake's White Course is the perfect warm up for experienced players and a brilliant introduction to disc golf for new players.

We're talking clear fairways that are easy like a stroll through the park (pun intended)! It'll be cold, but high scores make the chill worth enduring.


Red - Intermediate

I find it difficult to label the difficulty of Lemon Lake's Red Course only as intermediate because I have taken some beatings out there. The course is a mixture between what you would expect at a traditional golf course (open fairways and clear goals) and a romp through the woods with twisted trees and a need for curving hyzer/anhyzer shots (hyzer/anhyzer shots indicate the spin of the disc). Lemon Lake Red is one of the more well-known courses at the park and the signage guiding the player is clear and concise. Knowing where to walk and where to throw are two of the challenges at any disc golf course, and lucky for us, the Red course clearly shows you where you need to head.

There's a wide variety of distances throughout the course, ranging from 200 to 550 feet. Your arm will be tested. While the clear paths and the moderate distances are nice, I will say that the course may seem a bit cramped for the newcomer to the paths. Well-thrown discs may make their way into the woods and you may have to tromp through some rough foliage to find your place. That's why it's great to play in winter, though. Lost throws won't stay lost in fallen leaves and weeds.

If it's your second, third or even fiftieth time playing, Lemon Lake Red will be worth your time and you'll be able to handle what's thrown at you (hah, these puns!).

Blue - Difficult

Weaker arms need not throw here, for thy throws will be challenged by towering distances and an unforgiving lake. Let me repeat this about the lake on tee 2: It. Is. Unforgiving. I know this because my first throw, which I may say was a beaut, flew straight into the lake never to be seen again. I was flattened in defeat (hah!). Lemon Lake Blue is not for the faint of heart. The course is mildly wooded and it even has some hills rolling through the ground. It is not a course for the beginner. The dominating distances are off-putting for even the most experienced player. If you're arm isn't ready for it, 18 holes will wear you down.

However, those braves souls venturing out into our Northwest Indiana frozen tundra will enjoy what they play. The course, while being slightly hilly, has about ten holes completely out in the open and easily visible. Oh, what a relief it is! The back eight holes will dive into the woods and the trees may make you bark in frustration (let me know if you're tired of puns, for they will continue with the next section).

A perfect day of disc-ing to me would include a 36-hole round featuring both Lemon Lake Blue and Red. You get some woods, you get some hills, but most of all, you get challenged. Going for chains should never be a leisurely stroll.

If you think Lemon Lake Blue is tough, let me tell you about a little gem I know off called Silver.

Silver - Rip-your-hair-out-and-glue-it-back-in frustrating

Put this on the record: Lemon Lake Silver, being completely in the woods, is the reason for axes. You will want to chop down trees. The course is that tough. Personally, Silver is my favorite course because of the challenge and the immediate beauty.

The player will diverge into a path that leads into the woods and what you see is breathtaking. Honestly, the view alone is worth the lost discs. The winter produces an eerie vibe that will evoke your inner poet to try to put words to what you're experiencing. I use plenty of four letter words. You won't, though! You'll love your trek into the woods. Trust me; you won't even notice the challenge when your eyes drown in wooded beauty.

"Tyler, why on earth is it rip-your-hair-out-and-glue-it-back-in frustrating?"

Uh, because of the trees? Lemon Lake Silver forces the creativity out of you. I'm talking about the creativity an athlete uses to make the right play. While disc golf may not seem like the most athletic game (the fools), the player needs to use the right side of their brain to pull off shots. If I had a dollar for every tree I hit while playing Silver, I may have enough to save a rain forest. One needs not to focus on the challenge ahead when they play on Silver, rather, one needs to breathe it all in. The scenery, the cold and bad throws make the experience all the better. We need challenges in life!

Now, I know what a lot of you might be thinking. Does it go something like, "Tyler, it's real cold outside. I need to stay bundled up."

That's what winter wants of you! Winter, an inanimate season that really doesn't have wants nor can it gossip with me, told me it wants to keep us all in Northwest Indiana bored and indoors! Break the chains of this blistery oppression. Get up, get out and play a round of disc golf to escape the everyday mundane. Routines are for the pigeons. Want to know more about the courses offered at Lemon Lake Disc Golf? Leave it to the players to help you out!