PORTERSVILLE — The Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society isn’t about trying to find unidentified flying objects.
It’s about sending discs soaring into the air — with a purpose.
The annual Scholl’s Bicycle Center-Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open took place in late July on three courses — Knob Hill, Deer Lakes and Moraine State Park — with 129 players registered, including 81 amateurs.
The sport combines golf and Frisbee and requires plenty of accuracy.
“It’s a highly skilled game,” Open assistant tournament director Will Graves said. “But it’s a skill anyone can acquire and work on.
“Cost of equipment is minimal and you can play on most courses for free at anytime. This sport is booming right now.”
Flying disc golf consists of 18 holes — some out in the open, some through wooded areas — with a chain-link basket attached to a tree at the end of each hole. When one’s disc winds up in the basket, the number of throws it took to get it there is the player’s score for that hole.
The sport scores like golf — and is equally addicting.
“I used to play golf as my main sport and held off trying this one because I knew it would hook me,” Jeremy Dusheck, 37, of Butler said. “This is only my fourth year of disc golf, but I began playing ultimate frisbee when I was 15.”
Age range for disc golf players runs from sixth-grade kids to players in their 80s.
“The PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) recently started a super advanced legend division for players in their 80s,” Graves said. “Advanced players are usually in their 20s or 30s, advanced masters are over 40. ... The sport has age-protective brackets.”
Disc golfers carry as many as 25 different discs in their bag. Steve Miller, 26, of Evans City plays with 12.
“Two putters, five mid-range, five drivers, but I’m probably on the low end of the scale,” Miller said of discs used.
Miller began playing after some friends told him about the sport.
“I tried it and I loved it,” he said. “I played ultimate for a while in college and this seemed like a natural transition.
“When you let loose with a really good drive and watch that disc sailing straight as an arrow toward the target ... you may not get that feeling often, but it’s the best.”
Cody Winget, 27, of Cranberry Township, said there are discs that will “sail straight, go left, go right, do all kinds of things.”
Winget has been playing for three years. He learned of the sport after accidentally breaking his girlfriend’s Frisbee. He was going to buy her a new one.
The Lakeview Flying Disc Course at Moraine has existed since the spring of 2005. It hosts two major events a year — the Ironwood Open and Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open — and features local tournaments monthly.
The Lakeview course at Moraine is 8,264 feet long and has a par of 66. The longest hole is No. 6, a 934-foot par 5. The shortest hole is the No. 3, 243-foot par-3.