Family Fun Awaits at Sam Benn Park’s Disc Golf Course


By Douglas Scott

Disc golf is a fun activity for players of all ages.
Disc golf is a fun activity for players of all ages.

The sound of rustling metal chains followed by shrieks of happiness and laughter break the silence during a warm, clear night at Sam Benn Park in Aberdeen, Wash. Built in the 1920s, Sam Benn Park has been one of the go-to parks for Aberdeen residents throughout the years and was voted the Twin Harbors Most Popular Park in 2012. At just 14 acres in size, this small park has not only been a highlight of Grays Harbor for nearly a century, but is currently home to one of the faster growing, family-friendly outdoor activities in the country: disc golf.

Known by some as “frisbee golf,” disc golf is just like regular golf, but instead of clubs and a ball, you toss a disc toward a basket lined with chains to catch your disc. With the same score keeping system as regular golf, disc golf is an inexpensive way to enjoy exercise and the outdoors. From young children to grandparents and everyone in between, disc golf is an activity that can be enjoyed by anyone.

Sam Benn Park has nine disc golf holes spread over a half-mile, making this disc golf course one of the more bustling recreation areas in Grays Harbor. While professional disc golf players don’t consider Sam Benn’s disc golf course to be the hardest course or most scenic course in the state, it is considered by many to be the most family friendly. Thirty-six trees were recently planted along the course, ensuring that Sam Benn Park is going to be a sought after destination by local disc golf players for years to come.

Disc golf is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while being active.
Disc golf is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while being active.

According to local disc golf enthusiasts Dan Brown and Kurtis Dawson, Sam Benn Park’s course is a great way to enjoy a day outside while getting exercise. Dan is found on the course nearly every day, either with his wife and daughter or alone, and logged more than 400 rounds of disc golf at Sam Benn in 2013, which totaled to more than 200 miles of walking for the year. Kurtis plays less than Dan, but can still be found on the course often, enjoying a day with his wife and four daughters.

Both Dan and Kurtis enjoy being out on the course and have noticed an increased number of disc golfers at the park in recent years. On a typical Tuesday evening, it isn’t uncommon to find a minimum of 15 or 20 people – some serious, some pushing strollers – walking the course at Sam Benn, trying their hand at disc golf. On those warm, summer days, the park gets quite busy, but locals like Dan and Kurtis are there to help newbies out and maybe even loan some of their discs to those who are curious.

When asked why disc golf was a something everyone should try, Kurtis replied, “Disc golf isn’t just free, it lets you spend time outside, away from the TV, having conversations with your family.”

He continued by saying that if you want to spend time with your family at the movies, it can easily cost you more than $40 for a night, and you can’t even do much talking. Not only is Sam Benn an inexpensive way to pass the time, but it also is a great place to have a date, walk with a friend or get to know that new special someone.

Disc golf is an inexpensive way to spend quality time with friends and family.
Disc golf is an inexpensive way to spend quality time with friends and family.

Sam Benn Park is known around the state as a family friendly disc golf course and with one look at the course, it is easy to see why. A simple course with few obstacles makes it easy for anyone to play here, but even pros find a way to challenge themselves on the course. At half a mile long, the course is wide open. With limited brush, the chances of losing a disc are minimal, while the chances of  having fun are extremely high. Signs are placed throughout the course to help those unfamiliar with the layout follow the correct path. As a community course, Sam Benn is as good as the golfers make it, and visitors to this (and every) park are encouraged to pick up trash, watch for people before throwing your disc, and to be friendly to all.

How do you get started playing disc golf?

Discs can be rented from the Aberdeen Parks & Recreation office with a $10 deposit, but an entire set of discs can be purchased for just $15 from retailers like Big 5. While some sports may be intimidating to get started on, Kurtis and Dan assure everyone that the disc golf community is extremely friendly and will help you out if you have any questions, even going so far as to loan you a disc so you can try it out.

Even if you aren’t going to Sam Benn to play a round of disc golf, the park has numerous opportunities for enjoying the outdoors. Sam Benn Park, originally named Roosevelt Park after President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, has recently received several upgrades. The park is now home to some of the best ADA features in the state, including an embankment slide that is wheelchair accessible, making the playground area a fun place for children of all ages and ability.

With tennis courts, a great playground and a growing disc golf community, head over to Sam Benn Park and see what all the talk is about.

For more information, click here or visit the City’s Facebook page dedicated to the family-friendly activity.



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