Disc golf at G.T. Bray offers challenging outing

thumb image
Jason Morrow of Bradenton lines up his putt on the 15th hole in a game of disc golf at the course at G.T. Bray Park in Bradenton. Islander Photos: Kevin P. Cassidy

Let’s tee up.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get a little exercise and have some fun in the new year, then I’ve got a game for you.

It’s disc golf.

And there’s a course nearby at G.T. Bray Park, 2811 51st St. W., Bradenton. It borders Happy Tails Dog Park, leading to jokes about the 10th hole being a true “dog leg.”

Disc golf is similar to golf in that it’s played on an expansive outdoor course, but in this game you throw a modified frisbee into baskets made of hanging chains that are designed to slow the disc and catch it, before it drops into the hole, which is a large metal basket.

The 18-hole course at Bray winds through the park’s oak tree canopy, creating a challenging course for beginners and experts.

Note: “I’m not a beginner, but I’m no expert.”

I often join former islander Ken Richards and Bradenton residents Doug Larsson and Jason Morrow at the park for 18-hole matches.

The holes are mostly 200-300 feet long with trees being the main hazard for disc golfers. There are a few areas where an errant throw can put a golfer in the water. It takes about an hour to play 18 holes and there is no cost, other than that of a disc, which differs from a regular Whamo Frisbee. The golf disc is smaller in diameter, a little heavier and it’s not made for catching, just throwing.

A disc will run about $10, but you can get a starter kit with a driver, mid-range and putter for about $22.

There is a G.T. Bray Disc Golf Facebook page for those looking to connect with disc golf enthusiasts and a disc golf website, dgcoursereview.com, where you can find a map of the Bray course as well as others.


Adult soccer finals finally rescheduled

The rained-out adult soccer league championships at the Center of Anna Maria Island — originally scheduled for Dec. 20 — have tentatively been rescheduled to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, according to the center.


Key Royale golf news

The men got together Dec. 31 for their final round of golf in 2018 with a nine-hole modified-Stableford match. Bill Brodie won clubhouse bragging rights with a plus-4 to edge Blake Ress and Earl Ritchie, who were both a point back in a tie for second place.

Fifty-three golfers turned out Jan. 3 for a nine-hole scramble. The team of Jon Holcomb, Fred Miller, Bob Reid and Dan Richardson combined on a 4-under-par 28 to match the score carded by Bill Brodie, Blake Ress and Earl Ritchie. Not sure who bought drinks in the clubhouse following the round. The team of Marty Hicks, Bob Longworth, Jack Lowry and Diane Miller was a stroke back in second place.


Horseshoe news

Three teams kicked off the new year with 3-0 pool-play records and a trip to the knockout stage during Jan. 2 horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City Hall horseshoe pits.

The team of Neil Hennessey and Tom Skoloda drew the lucky bye into the finals and watched as Myles Macleod and Dom Livedoti advanced to the finals after edging Bob Palmer and Gene Bobeldyk by a 21-18 score. Hennessey and Skoloda captured the day’s proceedings with a 21-18 victory over Macleod and Livedoti.

The Jan. 5 games saw 91-year-old Fritz Eldrich team up with Palmer to advance to the championship match, but they fell just short, losing 22-18 to Bob Mason and Steve Doyle.

Play gets underway at 9 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection.

There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.


Registration opens for adult volleyball

The Center of Anna Maria Island invites adult volleyball enthusiasts to sign up for a season of coed volleyball.

Players can sign up as a team — a maximum of six players — or as an individual to be assigned to a team. Each team will be required to have a female player on the floor at all times.

Cost for the league is $10 for center members and $96 for nonmembers. Matches will be played Tuesdays starting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29. The last day to register will be Jan. 19.

Interested sponsors or those with questions about the league can contact Will Schenerlein at will@centerami.org or 941-778-1908.

To register, visit the center at 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria, or centerami.org.