Take your aim ... throw

Flinging, winging fun with disc golf at Cider Hill Farm

For $3, one can have flying good time for 18 holes over mile-and-a-half course
By Mark Haskell | Jul 11, 2018
Photo by: Mark Haskell Ryan McNelly tosses a disc to the chained basket, or elevated "hole."

Waldoboro — Disc golf was one of several ideas Jeff Hurd and Josh Howell had when they purchased Cider Hill Farm in 2011.

And it is disc golf that has gotten the 20-acre property in Waldoboro Village a bit more notoriety.

The duo bought Cider Hill Farm in 2011. Over the past several years the duo, along with volunteers, have cleared out much of the scrap metal and debris collected over the years from the previous ownership.

Watch video below.

In addition, they have had nearly 30 burns to clear out many “poplars and junk trees,” have done an abundance of mulching and donated lumber from fallen and downed trees to various people.

“We cleared an unbelievable amount of land,” said Hurd, who added they installed the driveway off of Main Street a few years back. “It didn’t have a lot going for it [when we bought it].”

By 2014, they had cleared enough land to make a nine-hole course. By 2016, they had turned the full 20 acres into an 18-hole disc golf course.

In the past two years, many updates have been made to the facility, including score cards, a donation box (only $3 to play), an abundance of signage, tee boxes and, of course, chained baskets with flags flying to signify the end of each hole.

Hurd said there also are plans to renovate a nearby shed into a shack to purchase new discs, a project he hopes to have “fully operational” by fall.

There are more than 50 disc golf courses in Maine, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association website, located as far north as Presque Isle and far south as Sanford.

Disc golf is an alternative to traditional golf, with as many similarities as there are differences.

The most significant difference being instead of playing with a small, dimpled ball with a variety of clubs with the object to get the ball on the green — and, ultimately, in the hole — disc golf is played with, well, discs.

The discs are heavier than a Frisbee, but significantly lighter than a discus that may be used in track and field. While traditional golf has drivers, woods, irons and putters, disc golf has a myriad of discs for different situations, such as drivers, mid-range discs and putters, all with varying weights.

With the ultimate goal being to sling the disc into the chained basket to achieve a par, a birdie or simply to improve on one’s personal best score.

“It’s just fun,” Hurd said. “It’s a mile-and-a-half walk, it’s outside and those are the sort of things we like to do. Kids are just playing video games now, and here’s a way to get them outside. And it’s cheap fun. I don’t think anyone will think they’re being taken playing [disc golf].”

Discs, at this time, are not available to rent or buy at Cider Hill Farm, so, one must bring their own to play the course.

The 41-year-old Hurd previously lived in Brunswick and was a manager at Gritty McDuff’s in Freeport before he ventured north, where he bought and renovated an old bookstore in Waldoboro Village, which would eventually become Narrows Tavern, a popular eatery since 2005.

Having lived in Brunswick — an area where there are several disc golf courses in a 30-mile radius — Hurd was turned on to the game early and has played since.

The first seven holes at Cider Hill Farm stretch across the front of the property, with the only “hazards” to speak of being a few trees, an abundance of tall grass and some vegetation, in addition to an ample log pile and an old bathtub on the par-four, 301-foot fifth hole.

Then, the course traverses into the woods for holes 8-14, where it is not how hard, but how accurate ones throws are that separate the best from the rest.

On hole 11, the basket hangs from a tall tree roughly eight feet off the ground. “That’s probably the only hanging basket in the state of Maine,” said Hurd.

The final four holes are back in the open grass, but be wary on the 228-foot par-3 15th hole, where players could slam their discs directly into an old parked lunch truck if one is not careful.

The 18th hole hugs Main Street in Waldoboro and finishes up in front of the driveway and alongside a barn which houses a historic 2,000-pound cider press.

Hurd said they plan to host singles, doubles and mixed doubles tournaments at Cider Hill Farm and could even enter into cooperative tournaments with other courses.

Disc golf at Cider Hill Farm
Disc golf at Cider Hill Farm in Waldoboro. (Video by: Zack Miller)
Ryan McNelly. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Jeff Hurd. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Jeff Hurd. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Jeff Hurd. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Jeff Hurd. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Jeff Hurd. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Ryan McNelly. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Ryan McNelly. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Ryan McNelly. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Ryan McNelly. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Holes are measured in feet, not yards. This par-3 is 359 feet, or 119.6 yards. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
The sign for the disc golf course and Cider Hill Farm. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Comments (2)
Posted by: Gregg Perry | Jul 12, 2018 06:31

We have 3 disc starter packs: putter, mid range, and driver for around $30.

Posted by: Gregg Perry | Jul 12, 2018 06:27

Discs and bags are available at Maine Sport in Rockport. We carry many models, colors and weights from Innova. For more info contact: jeff@mainesport.com

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