A new pop-up disc golf course is opening at The Fields at RFK Campus and will be the District’s first disc course.
Expected to open in early August, the disc course includes six-disc golf baskets at the Oklahoma Avenue lawn fields in Southeast D.C. Once open, it will be available to the public without reservations until the end of the summer. It joins the ranks of DMV disc golf courses such as Calvert Road and Seneca Creek Park in Maryland and Bluemont Park in Virginia.
“It’s fun. It’s a very low-key activity,” CRYSP DC’s Board Vice President Julie Serfass says. “You don’t need any skill to start.”
As one of the course sponsors, CRYSP DC is a nonprofit that works to increase access to recreation and manages The Fields at RFK. Another sponsor is the event management organization Events DC, which also supports The Fields. Capitol Hill Community Foundation is the third sponsor for the course and is an organization funded by Capitol Hill neighborhoods to support activities in their community.
The disc golf course came together after CRYSP conducted a survey in December 2020 that asked what adult outdoor recreation people wanted. Disc golf received a staggering 55% of votes. The survey was geared towards CRYSP’s surrounding neighbors — Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8 — and had 200 respondents.
What made disc golf so popular in the survey? According to CRYSP’s General Manager Anne Corbett, she believes it’s because the activity is suitable for all ages, doesn’t require a lot of equipment, and is accessible for all economic resource levels.
The last factor, accessibility, is definitely a huge perk. The course is free. Scorecards and discs can be checked out at the field office with only a driver’s license. An exception is that permitting is needed for private parties or special events.
Corbett adds, “It’s a casual sport that you and I could [spontaneously] go to this afternoon, just the two of us, meet up and [play the course].”
The skills needed to play should also be familiar for those who have tossed a frisbee before, according to Serfass, who also happens to be a former board member for the Washington Area Frisbee Club. She expects that ultimate frisbee players will want to play the course and notes that RFK already has an active ultimate frisbee pickup group.
Serfass hopes RFK gains active disc golf players and can grow from a six-basket pop-up to a permanent 18 basket disc golf course.
“I’m hoping that we can develop the space in a way that will have a permanent course but also have it be dynamic,” Serfass says.
Corbett wishes the course will one day expand to a wooded trail along the Anacostia River, but that is land extending beyond RFK’s campus and current permits. Either way, Corbett says the course is timely and perfect for the need for recreational activities in D.C.
“People are looking for low-key ways to get together with friends and family and do something fun that also feels comfortable and safe, that still allows for social distancing.”
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