Portland's Disc Golf Paradise

Why an Oregon city sailed to the top of the alt-sport's world, and how you can get in on the fun

By Emily Gravlin September 3, 2013 Published in the September 2013 issue of Portland Monthly

Jay Harbour (bottom right) and his colorful brand Huk Lab reflect disc golf’s lighthearted but competitive vibe.

the sport Jay Harbour, founder of the North Portland–based disc golf graphics and apparel company Huk Lab, explains that the Rose City enjoys climate and landscape advantages when it comes to this marriage of golf’s open-field target shooting and the childish joy of hurling a Frisbee. “You can play year round on some of the best courses anywhere in the world,” he says. 

the business Harbour’s company, founded in 2003 with one graphic T-shirt in its inventory, now sells 50 products, from hand-dyed discs to themed infant onesies, and has logged 10 percent growth annually. Many pros sport Huk’s distinctive three-bladed throwing star logo.

the tournaments Portland hosts the United States Women’s Disc Golf Championships this month (Sept 20–22) and the Pro Disc Golf Association World Championships in 2014 (Sept 9–16). Those tournaments should give top local players like David Feldberg (ranked fourth in the world) and Avery Jenkins (a University of Oregon grad and championship winner) opportunities to shine on home turf.

the killer course Pier Park, in St. Johns, is generally considered Portland’s best, with 18 baskets (the disc version of traditional golf’s 18 holes) and moderately hilly and wooded terrain. In its peak season, the course sees an average of 250 players daily.

gear up Next Adventure’s disc golf expert, Joey Moro, recommends Innova’s New Player Pack: a “putter” and two discs designed for midrange and long-distance shots. Also check out Delaveaga disc golf shoes from local brand Keen.

Want more? View our slide show of disc golf in the Northwest.

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