Near Ramstein: Disc golf makes for a fun, cheap outing
Matt Millham tees off from a brick-and-sandstone tee box at Dynamikum disc golf course.
Stars and Stripes
Up for a round of folf? No, not golf — folf.
Folf, short for Frisbee golf — more appropriately known as disc golf — is played like golf, except instead of swinging a club at a ball, a person throws a disc. And, in place of a hole, there is usually a metal basket or target where the disc is supposed to land.
Are you ready to tee off?
As luck would have it, about 35 minutes from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, a disc golf course opened recently at the Dynamikum Science Center in downtown Pirmasens.
The course occupies a city park just outside an old shoe factory-turned-science-center. The hilly course snakes around a small valley and makes use of a towering bridge that spans the park and makes a fantastic obstacle on two of its 12 holes.
Signs mounted to sturdy, metal stands at the beginning of each hole display diagrams of the pin locations, distances and pars. The tee boxes are built solidly with bricks and the baskets are new DisCatchers (professional disc golf target). Located at the beginning of the course is a large course map with text in three languages — German, French and English.
Dynamikum’s course is free and can be played with regular Frisbee-type discs, but it’s better to use discs specifically designed for the game. Disc golf discs are made to travel farther and last longer, and have different flight characteristics for different shots. Much like disc golf’s older brother, you choose a specific disc for specific effects, such as getting around a bend in the course or an obstacle. You can rent from Dynamikum three basic styles of discs — a distance driver, designed for maximum distance; a midrange disc, designed for more accuracy and control; or a putt and approach disc, designed for putting and short, controlled shots. The cost to rent is 3 euros (about $3.78) for each disc, or buy them for 10 euros each.
If you’re looking for a fun and inexpensive way to get some exercise, Dynamikum’s new disc golf course won’t let you down. Dynamikum and the park are also super kid-friendly, with interactive scientific toys around every corner, designed to educate and entertain, making it a great family destination.
The only concern when playing a round or two at Dynamikum, which takes about an hour and a half per round, is the abundance of stinging nettles on a few of the holes. I would recommend wearing long pants and shoes to avoid contact.
The Dynamikum disc golf course is about 35 minutes from Ramstein Air Base. From the air base, take the A6 autobahn toward Saarbrücken for about a mile, then take Exit 12-Kreuz Landstuhl-West to merge onto A62 toward Pirmasens. Drive about 20 miles before taking the exit toward Pirmasens/Centrum. From there, brown signs will lead you to Dynamikum. Address: Frohnstrasse 8, 66954 Pirmasens.
The disc golf course at Dynamikum is open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily in the summer and closes at 8 p.m. in the winter.
The disc golf course is free to play. Dynamikum rents discs for 3 euros each and sells them for 10 euros.
There is a restaurant at Dynamikum.
Dynamikum's website has an English option. There is a link to a page in German about the disc golf course.