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Disc golf course opens

By Staff | Jun 23, 2010

Tom Ash (left) and Mike Eddy (right) are the owners of “The Timberdoodle Thicket”, a disc golfing course and campground located five miles out Elk Fork Road off state Route 180 in Tyler County.

Area resident Tom Ash loved to bowl and golf in his spare time. And when he picked up and moved to California, he was introduced to a promising new sport called Disc Golf. Disc golf is a game in which individual players throw a flying disc into a basket or at a target. The object of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc.

Disc golf is inexpensive and physically accessible for all ages and athletic ranges and, therefore, attracts a diverse range of players.

The early history of disc golf is closely tied to the somewhat mysterious history of the recreational flying disc, especially as popularized by Wham-O Inc.’s trademarked Frisbees, that may have been invented in the early 1900s.

Modern disc golf started in the late 1960s, when it seems to have been invented in many places and by many people, independently.

Two of the best known figures in the sport are George Sappenfield and “Steady Ed” Headrick, who coined the term “Disc Golf” and who introduced the first formal disc golf target with chains and a basket, the Mach 1.

In 1975, Headrick formed the first disc golf association, the PDGA, which now officiates the standard rules of play for the sport.

The sport has grown at a rate of 12-15 percent annually for more than the past decade, with nearly 3,000 courses in the US and more than 3,000 globally. The game is now played in at least 40 countries worldwide, primarily in North America, Central and Western Europe, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.

The history and development of disc golf got Ash’s juices flowing. He met with his future partner, Mike Eddy, to start their own course. Eddy had 34 acres of wooded property in Tyler County that was not being used for anything.

It took Ash and Eddy a year to get the higher ground cleared off well enough to be able to play a few rounds of golf. They continued to clear more of the property for 18 holes of golf. While they worked to get the property cleared, they wanted to open it up for everyone to be able to play, which took another year-and-a-half to complete.

They not only made a nice disc golf course for all to enjoy, they cleared areas to be able to camp. They now have nearly 20 camp sites and a cabin, built for people to get away and enjoy themselves.

There are not many attractions in this area to be able to camp and enjoy the outstanding beauty of West Virginia.

They built an office with door that pulled down for a stage for live bands to perform and, in the future, they contemplate a horseshoe pit and other games to play as well as a playground.

While they were weedeating, Ash and Eddy came across a Timberdoodle that stayed close to its nest and inspired the name of their disc golf course, “The Timberdoodle Thicket”.

The Timberdoodle Thicket is located five miles out Elk Fork Road off state Route 180 between New Martinsville and Middlebourne.

For more information or to make reservations visit www.thetimberdoodlethicket.com or call 304-758-0586 or 304-758-4434. While the business is already open, a grand opening will be held July 10. It will feature the inaugural Timberdoodle Thicket Triathlon that includes an 18 Hole Disc Golf Tournament at 10 a.m., horseshoe tournament at 1 p.m., and cornhole tournament at 5 p.m.

There is a little difference in disc golf and golf. In disc golf, it is acceptable for a player to ‘fall’ in front of their lie after the release. This allowance does not apply to putting.

A throw is officially considered a putt in disc golf if the lie is marked within what is known as ‘The Circle’ – a circle with a 10-meter (33feet) radius, with the pin at its center. Within the circle, after putting, a player must not advance beyond the marked lie toward the pin until establishing balance and control – normally by picking up a marker disc.

Readers interested in more information on the sport can discover a very large amount by searching online.