Destination Lancaster: A mini disc golf Mecca in Amish Country

Three of the original members of the MDGF — from left, Merrill Detweiler, Linc Morgan and Donnie Brooks, pose next to Brooks’ original prototype mini basket at his course near Lancaster, Pa.

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

Nestled within the beautiful surroundings of Amish Country in Lancaster, Pa., is a virtual disc golf paradise.

The paradise differs a bit, however, from what many might think about when it comes to a disc golf haven. This is on a smaller scale.

A much smaller scale.

In fact, you could call it a mini paradise.

It’s almost shocking to know what’s in this area — nearly a dozen mini disc golf courses. It’s the home of the Mini Disc Golf Federation, a tight-knit group that works to spread the word of mini disc golf — a sport like the “bigger” version with a few rule changes to help with the smaller scale of the game.

For many, the mini discs they see or use are for one thing — marking their lies during a round of big disc golf.

But these discs — many of them, anyway — can be thrown. Sometimes, quite a distance, too. It’s rumored some minis have been thrown upward of 400 feet.

Mini baskets and courses can be put in small areas, including residential areas — such as this basket at Starry Stompin’ Grounds outside of Lancaster.

A visit to the Lancaster County area can show you how creative and different mini disc golf is.

“Mini disc golf has more oohs, ahhs, and wows than big golf does,” said Linc Morgan, who owns a mini disc golf course in Lancaster. “It’s quicker, seems more relaxed, played in smaller places and it’s versatile.”

Morgan plays both mini and big disc golf — at high levels. The second member of the MDGF (.00002), Morgan is also an earlier member of the PDGA (7518) and is a pro¬† player with a 986 rating.

The MDGF

Created in 2004, the MDGF has slowly started to grow. There are nearly 100 members who have paid to become part of the group.

“We did it to grow the sport,” said Donnie Brooks, the original member of the MDGF and the head honcho for the group. “Basically to promote it and get more courses in.”

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Creative Corner: Need a bag for your minis?

Darren reverted back to his home ec classes to make a bag for mini disc golf.

As a disc golfer, I have slowly developed my skills by playing on a regular basis and learning all the discs in my bag and how they fly.

Nobody told me I’d have to do the same thing with minis.

Minis?

As if it wasn’t enough to play disc golf with regular discs, now I have to learn how to throw my mini?

These shorts made for good fabric to make a mini bag with.

I was recently invited to play some mini disc courses in Pennsylvania. After doing some YouTube research, I found some short movies on how to throw a mini. I also received some helpful advice from New Jersey-based professional Bob Graham.

Add those things together and I was able to throw the minis exceptionally far.

As a bit of a disc junkie, I have accumulated quite a few different minis. And they all seemed to do different things, so I got wondering — are there mini bags? I searched the internet and found some bags for minis, but most of them were plain and simple.

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