Frizbee Golf in Pembrokeshire
Monday, November 12th, 2007
One of the things we have been interested in on this tour is weird and wonderful farm diversification projects so, when we heard about ‘frizbee golf’ on a farm in Pembrokeshire, we had to take a look.
Richard and Dawn Lewis have been farming (beef, dairy and arable) at Slebech, near Haverfordwest, for nearly twenty years but, like many farmers, decided a few years ago that they would have to come up with something a bit different if they were going to make any money out of the farm. After opening an Adventure Trail and Tea shop in 2001, which proved to be very popular amongst local families and tourists, they decided to branch out even further a couple of years later when someone approached them about setting up a Frizbee Golf Course.
The game is already very popular in America, where it is known as ‘Disc Golf’, but there are very few courses in the UK, and the Clerkenhill course is certainly the first of its kind in Wales. Much like traditional golf, the aim of the game is to complete each ‘hole’ in as few shots as possible but, instead of hitting a ball, you throw a frizbee into a raised metal basket. Much of the golf terminology is used as well: you ‘tee off’ at the beginning when you make your first throw, or ‘drive’; you make ‘approach shots’ towards the basket, playing your next shot from wherever the fizbee lands before getting close enough to make your ‘putt’; and, finally, you have ‘fairways’, which vary in distance and difficulty and have their own ‘par ratings’.
Richard and Dawn originally started with a 9-hole course but it was so popular that they soon decided to extend it to 18 holes. The course sits on about 10 acres of their land and, unlike many farm diversification projects, is blissfully unobtrusive, both on the eyes and the ears. Each year, they develop the course a little further by planting more trees or adding a few new features, such as earth mounds to make some of the fairways more challenging.
The game can be played singularly or in teams of any number up to six. There is no real age limit as anyone can throw a frizbee, and it is very easy to play at a basic level so you can enjoy it right from Day One. Basically, the game is as hard and competitive as the people you play with, which means that it is something that all the family can enjoy, but also something that would be a lot of fun for peer groups on say, a stag or hen do. The fact that it is also quite easy on the pocket (£4.25 for adults and £3.25 for children and OAPs) is also very appealing!
Our overall verdict: a bit of light exercise and friendly competition in the stunning Pembrokeshire countryside, followed by a cup of tea and Dawn’s welsh cakes at their 19th hole (the Tea Shop)…a cracking day out!
The Clerkenhill Frizbee Golf Course and Adventure Farm are open from Easter until 31 September (10 am to 5pm), plus every weekend in October. For more information, call 01437 751227 or visit their website.
For more information about the sport of frizbee golf, take a look at the British Disc Golf Association website.