LiveGreenbrier – Disc Golfing in the GBV and Interview with Christopher Roth

The sport of disc golf​ has been around for years, but really hit the scene in the 1960s. The concept is simple – get your disc into the metal basket with as least throws as possible. The technique, however, is not as easy. Just like with ball golf, there are drivers, putters, and midrange disc which all fly differently.

Greenbrier Valley, WV​ is fortunate to have four courses in the area. Located in the Greenbrier State Forest​, Montwell Park​, a private course called Nellie’s located in Renick, and a newly formed course at Eastern Greenbrier Middle School​, there is something for everyone.

We recently spoke with Christopher Roth​, head of Physical Education at EGMS. He created a course at the school with custom-designed baskets made especially for them. As an avid disc golf player and advocate for the sport, Mr. Roth wanted to share his passion for the sport with his kids. 

LG:  Tell us a little bit about the course you’ve created at the school.

CR:  EGMS is a lightly wooded, 9-hole course featuring custom Innova DisCatcher baskets.

LG:  Why did you decide to build it?

CR:  I had a grant and a study with my colleagues at WVU, studying rural childhood obesity.  One of my responsibilities was to decide on sports and activities the kids would participate in during the study.  We wanted to find out if recreation was available in our community, if it would increase activity and decrease obesity in our youth.  The results were positive.  But there is more than just that – I wanted a sport that the kids could play where I could utilize the school grounds.  The land I used for the course is mowed frequently, but never used for anything.  It was an incredible waste of time, money, and resources.  Now it has a purpose and can be enjoyed.

LG:  What do you love about disc golf?

CR:  There are many parallels to traditional golf and disc golf, besides the basic rules and goal.  I used to play golf all the time.  When I discovered disc golf, though, I never looked back.  This game still makes you forget everything else for a while, it’s way less expensive, doesn’t take the entire day to play, there are no green fees, and no tipping a starter.  For me, disc golf keeps the things I enjoyed about the traditional game and leaves out the things I didn’t like as much.  Maybe the best thing about disc golf, though, is the people.

LG:  Why should someone try the sport?

CR:  Disc golf is a low impact sport that almost anyone can play.  A great thing about it is that someone can quickly become proficient enough to play and enjoy it (mastering the game is a different story).  

LG:  What do you foresee with the future of the course and the sport?

CR:  The first time I played was some 10 years ago.  I just had a feeling that it was going to take off, even though it’s been around for over 40 years now.  Couldn’t have been more right.  Courses in WV have probably doubled in the past 2-3 years.  We have a club with over 75 members here in the valley.  My kids at the school are getting into it and that makes my day.  I see the sport continuing to grow and I appreciate that I get to be a part of that.  

To learn more about disc golf, please visit www.pdga.com.  For disc golf events and groups in the Greenbrier Valley, you can find Greenbrier Valley Disc Golf and Greenbrier Valley Disc GolfHers on Facebook.

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