Super-cheap family fun

Quinn family shoots a round of disc golf at Huckleberry Park in Hannibal

Budgets are tight and when you're cutting corners, entertainment is a big expense you can slice. But you don't have to give up fun. For an initial investment of maybe $30, you can have a year's supply of family fun. All it takes is a few Frisbees.

Disc golf

is a relatively new sport that's catching on in the Tri-States. You can find courses at several parks in our area. Hannibal opened its course five years ago at

Huckleberry Park

. We took the family out to give it a spin this week. We're talking extended familyâ??about 20 of us, as young as 18-months-old. Though the baby mostly chewed the Frisbee, the rest of the bunch--kids and adults alike--puttered around the course for about two hours, enjoying the weather, the company and the competition, all free.

â??Hannibal has a phenomenal course for beginners,â?? my brother Dan tells me. He's the family aficionado of disc golf. He took up the hobby about six years ago and he's now one of the better players in the greater Kansas City area. He loves it because he can be outside, exercise, involve the entire family and it doesn't cost a thing since he has a bag of discs.

While disc golf is bigger in Kansas City than it is around here, it has started to catch on. Courses are filling up with kids, families and couples who've discovered the benefits. You can play in competitive leagues locally. It's also a sport you can play solo as you try to improve your score. It's very similar to regular golf, but it's a little easier to get the hang of it.

â??It's easier to toss a Frisbee than to hit a little white ball,â?? Dan says. â??I don't even bother to play regular golf any more.â??

That's not to say disc golf isn't challenging. A decent player can make a Frisbee soar the length of two football fields or even launch a shot 1,000 feet. Different discs can do different things, much like a bag of clubs is tailored for certain shots. Courses have hazards to work around, most notably trees that stand in the way between you and the chain-link basket where you're trying to sink your shot.

My brother is a fanatic~he swears if ESPN would only air a match, the sport would catch on like wildfire. That remains to be seen, but until then, you might want to check it out for yourself and see if disc golf is something you and your family would enjoy.

Take care ~Sarah D.