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Maine Youth Disc Golf prepares to tee off

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Maine Youth Disc Golf prepares to tee off (photo courtesy Maine Youth Disc Golf)

BANGOR – Disc golf is one of the fastest-growing sports out there these days, and the state of Maine is a particular hotbed. Now, one area group is seeking to introduce younger players to the game.

Maine Youth Disc Golf is the brainchild of Sam Betts, a local disc golfer who saw an opportunity to grow the game by reaching out to area high schools. Over the coming months, Betts – along with a bevy of volunteers from various courses (including the owner/operators of those courses) – will be operating weekly events in an effort to bring the game to as many new players as possible.

Beginning in April and running through May, every Sunday will feature a disc golf skills clinic at Orrington’s D.R. Disc Golf. In addition, numerous area courses will offer Friday afternoon rounds for program attendees. The list includes the two courses at D.R. in Orrington and their Orono course, along with Circle Two in Bradford, Hidden Acres in Old Town and Legacy Farms in Winterport. For details and more information, visit or check out Maine Youth Disc Golf on Facebook.

I spoke to Betts about what prompted him to try and get this program off the ground, as well as why he chose high schoolers as his initial focus.

“Long story short, I want to help disc golf grow!” he said. “I’ve noticed in the Bangor area that there are not many young adults, high schoolers and kids playing disc golf! Personally, I did not know what disc golf was until I was in my twenties! I want to help change that. Being the first attempt, I wanted to target high schoolers.” 

When asked about his plans for MYDG, Betts had a simple response.

“My vision for the program is just to introduce the sport to as many people as I can, make it as fun as possible and hope they continue to partake in the sport.”

Betts has made overtures to numerous local high schools regarding the program, reaching out to 10 different school administrators; the initial results have been a bit mixed – he’s heard back from five of the 10 schools so far – but he’s optimistic going forward. 

“Early interest has been tough,” he said. “I personally do not know many high schoolers. I’ve reached out to as many parents as I know, and I’ve gotten word from 6 or 8 kids that they are willing to come out. I’m hoping I can get each youth to bring one friend to help double the numbers.”

While those early numbers might not be as high as Betts had hoped, there’s still time. And one thing is for certain – he’s got the area disc golf community behind him in his efforts, including the folks who own and run courses in the region.

“Local course owners have been amazing! Everyone is on board to help however they can,” said Betts. “Every disc golfer I’ve brought my idea to has been extremely supportive. It’s getting the word out to the youth that is the toughest part.”

Betts suggests that anyone interested in the program reach out – or have a parent reach out – and contact him through the MYDG website.

Participants in these early sessions can expect to learn the basics: different types of throws and grips and an understanding of the different types of discs – including the at-times-inscrutable-seeming numbers attached to them – and a breakdown of the fundamental rules of the game.

And of course, the most important part – having fun! Betts wants to make it clear that disc golf is a game with an extremely low barrier for entry, inexpensive and accessible for people of any age and skill level.

“It’s an activity for all,” he said. “It is a great way to be outside with peers, friends, and family; a nice way to get some laughs in at hitting trees all missing easy shots. It’s a good way to get some simple exercise in our beautiful Maine woods.”

For what it’s worth, I can vouch for that last bit. I started playing disc golf over 20 years ago, first learning the game at Trenton’s Hapana course and playing all over the state. While I have been and out of the scene in the years since – playing avidly for a few years, checking out for a few, picking the sport back up, lather, rinse repeat – I can state without hesitation that the area scene is as robust as it has ever been. And with dedicated disc golfers continuing to open new courses and refine existing ones, there’s no question that there has never been a better time to be a Maine disc golfer.

(Oh, and I’ve played on a card or two with Sam over the past couple of years – dude can play, just so you know.)

There’s real passion for the sport among its current adherents; what Sam Betts is trying to do is pass that passion on to the next generation of players. If you are a high school student with an interest in learning more about disc golf – or the parent of one – you should strongly consider taking advantage of this opportunity.

(Maine Youth Disc Golf’s initial offerings are scheduled to tee off the first weekend in April and run each weekend through the month of May. For updates or other information, you can visit the MYDG website at or check out their Facebook page.)

Last modified on Wednesday, 23 March 2022 07:33


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