If you’re looking for a fun, inexpensive way to spend the afternoon with family and friends outdoors, you should give disc golf a try. My family has played a number of times both out-of-state while camping and close to home at Lemon Lake County Park. It’s the perfect combination to keep kids with different interests entertained - hiking the trails and playing a sport at the same time. And all you need is a disc (or frisbee) for each person.
During the summer, there’s a gate fee of $5 for Indiana residents and $8 for out-of-state. There’s no separate fee for disc golf.
Lemon Lake County Park in Crown Point, Indiana actually has five 18-hole championship courses designed for the beginner to the professional, and has even hosted the PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships!
If you haven’t played before, here are the basics. It’s played a lot like traditional golf. You throw the golf disc towards the “hole,” which at Lemon Lake is a Disc Catcher – an elevated metal basket with chains hanging above it. Wherever it lands on the way to the hole, that is where you throw your next shot. Keep going until you get it in the Disc Catcher.
Being at a park along the trails, there are a lot of obstacles along the way. From experience, if you’re just starting out, I wouldn’t spend too much on your discs … and maybe bring an extra or two. We’ve lost a few in the brush or lodged way too far up a tree to get it down.
One thing to note – wherever you go play, if you’re sensitive to poison ivy like me, keep your eye out when digging through the brush to get your disc! Long pants and a long sleeve shirt may be your best option.
On recent trip to Lemon Lake I went with my daughter (Jules), sister and nephew. Jules and I did not do too well. We fell pretty far behind and eventually stopped counting our score, but we still had fun doing it. We somehow ended up on a different course at one point, but since we weren’t taking it too seriously, we just went with it.
There was one hole with a slope down on both sides of the fairway. As our skills are not the best yet, we all ended up having to climb down to retrieve our discs. Didn’t lose any this time, though!
If you’re interested in learning more about the sport or want to pick up professional disc, Lemon Lake Flight Center Disc Golf Pro Shop and Concessions is located on the park site. Shop owners, Deb and Jay Svitko, carry a range of discs as well as accessories including golf bags, straps, T-shirts, towels, birdie bags, birdie beads, disc golf practice baskets and more. Contact them for information about their hours, leagues, tournaments, and courses at 219-771-3472 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to make a day of it, there’s a lot more to do there than disc golf. Lemon Lake also has a playground, picnic areas with grills, a dock for fishing and sand volleyball courts.
You can learn more about each course and find maps on the Lemon Lake Disc Golf site here.
Lemon Lake County Park
6322 W 133rd Avenue
Crown Point, IN 46307
Open 7am to sunset year round
View their website here.