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Recreational sports can be therapeutic

With the national economy doing a soft reboot, that leaves more options to decompress.

The first installment of this column last week gave a historical context of how the game of disc golf began to grow in popularity on Kaua‘i.

This week’s column looks more into the therapeutic value of an increasingly popular game that is growing for people of all ages and ability levels.

Whether you are fueling your competitive fire or firing up nine or 18 holes just for fun, this game has a little bit of something for everyone.

Disc golf is an excellent escape from the pressures of life.

President of Kaua‘i Disc Golf ‘Ohana Ryan Moen is trying to get as much practice time in as possible.

“I’ve seen more and more disc golfers out there,” Moen said. “People have come to the sport during this process, and that is good to see.”

Larry LaSota, a member of Kaua‘i Disc Golf ‘Ohana, has been playing the game since the term “Frisbee golf” became popular.

LaSota has played the game since the mid-’70s, and enjoys it far more than regular golf.

“This is probably as therapeutic as regular ball golf is to others,” LaSota said. “I don’t play regular ball golf, and disc golf is a more-organic process. It has a little bit more free form to it, and it doesn’t have as much structure as you get when you are playing real golf.”

He also enjoys the friendships he has formed with Kaua‘i Disc Golf ‘Ohana.

“Everyone plays together, and it’s not uncommon for friends of yours who have just shown up when you are on the third hole and have someone say ‘hey, why don’t you come and join us,’” LaSota said. “Our club is just growing all of the time.”

Playing disc golf used to be a way for my friends to blow off steam during college.

For the first time since college, Phillip Worwa, the owner of Kaua‘i Disc Golf Company, invited me to Weliweli Park in Koloa last Sunday to throw nine holes with him.

The results of this experience were terrific, and then I realized it’s recreational sports like these that can give people relief in this new era we are living in since the pandemic.

Games like disc golf are what people need to find relief in after being locked down.

“It’s a nice walk with a group of people, and it doesn’t matter what level you are,” Worwa said. “You still can have a great time. You can keep improving your skills, and there is no pressure. You just play.”

Worwa, a former manager at Costco, used to play to decompress right before going to work with his co-workers in the San Diego parks, and continues to be an ambassador of the game.

There are three active courses to choose from: Princeville Makai Golf Course/Princeville Mauka DG, with 18 permanent baskets installed by Innova; Lydgate Park with nine baskets; and Weliweli Park with nine baskets.

Another Puakea Golf Course, which has 18 temporary baskets but is currently closed and scheduled to reopen in late May. These courses give disc golf enthusiasts of all levels an opportunity to take up the sport.

Some things are facts for sure: Recreational sports are another great escape on the reality that intrudes on us, and are something everyone could benefit from.

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Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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