Local disc golfers ordered caution, but still allowed to play for exercise.

With the onset of COVID-19, recreational activities are limited, but disc golf is still an option, though organized tournaments and outings have been canceled.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay at home order deems outdoor activity essential and allows residents to travel for outdoor exercise such as walking, running, biking, hiking and golfing. Onslow County and Jacksonville parks will remain open, but playground equipment is off limits, per the order.

The disc golf courses at Northeast Creek Park in Jacksonville and Steed Park in Richlands will remain open. Groups should keep to a minimum of 10 players while maintaining six feet from each other.

Still, some are hesitant to play.

“No one is out here doing things they shouldn’t be, (but) it’s a stay at home order, so everyone (should) stay at home,” said Franco Blanchard, a U.S. Marine Corps chief warrant officer 2.

Marine Corps Sgt. Blaine Shaw, a member of the Onslow Flying Disc Association who plays in pro tournaments across the region, isn’t sure when he will play again.

“For the most part, (the sport) follows the CDC guidelines,” Shaw said. “The only iffy thing is the baskets. It’s kind of something that everyone is touching.”

People should stay home as much as possible for now, but Shaw thinks that disc golf is a game more people should try in the future.

“Anyone can pick it up,” Shaw said. “When I first started I had one disc, and I just went from there. Now I have a trunk full of discs.”

It’s also a good activity for military personnel, who make up a portion of the players at Northeast Creek, according to Shaw.

“It’s definitely something that military members should get into so they’re not just stuck in their barracks room,” Shaw said. “It gives them a good, safe recreation that’s something to do instead of just sitting in the barracks playing (video games).”

Local disc golf courses open for play:

  • Northeast Creek Park, Jacksonville (18 holes)
  • Steed Park, Richlands (18 holes)
  • Emerald Isle Woods Park (9 holes)