more information about
Disc Golfers 4 Christ, contact
John Koehler at 757-437-1185.
To learn more about disc
golf, visit the Professional Disc Golf Association
Disc Golfers: Taking Christ to a "Fun-Loving" Crowd
By Jenn Rozendal
-- The loud ‘ching!’ of plastic disc on metal chain is
a sweet sound to John Koehler, co-founder of Disc Golfers 4 Christ (DGFC).
Based out of Virginia Beach, VA, this group of men assemble every Saturday
morning to play with and witness to the fun-loving type of people they encounter
on the disc golf course.
Though similar to ball golf in that it shares the object of completing each
hole in the fewest number of strokes, disc golf uses discs. These discs are
similar to Frisbees except that they are heavier, and have sharper edges
for greater distance and speed. In addition, instead of holes, disc golf
has elevated metal baskets surrounded by chains.
Perhaps as a result of its backyard appeal, disc golf sometimes draws a
crowd one might not find on a ball golf course.
“After playing once, we realized that the sport could use some positive
influence,” says Bill “Tree” Rountree, co-founder of DGFC. “We
try and play as gentlemen, picking up trash, and if we hear profanity, we
nicely talk with the offenders.”
And people are starting to take notice of these gentlemen.
“The word is out and they are starting to approach us with problems
and want to talk,” says John. “I had a guy come up to me asking
if I was the disc golf preacher! He then told me of his marital problems.
We played a game with him and were able to counsel him.”
One particular outreach group DGFC is aiming for are the teenagers and young
adults that frequent the courses.
We’ve seen a lot of popularity in disc golf, particularly among youth,
and are trying to make the most of that,” says Tree
On a mission, the Disc Golfers 4 Christ invite youth groups out to play
a round of disc golf, teaching them proper throwing technique and the rules
of the game. Each youth receives a disc emblemized with the DGFC logo to
use for future play, and as a way to advertise the ministry.
“Our hope is that these teens will see what fun we have, then go out
and introduce the game to their friends,” says John.
“The idea is that if we have 100 disc golfers and only three are Christians,
the dilution factor will start to happen,” says Tree.
And it appears interest in the sport is growing.
DGFC Co-founder Rusty Criste, who also competes on the professional level,
recently had the opportunity to design and build a course for Camp Silver
Beach, a YMCA youth camp located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
“We were at the camp for a men’s retreat and I had brought along
some portable disc golf baskets thinking some of the men might be interested
in playing,” says Rusty. “We ended up teaching 40 men how to
play, including the camp Director. He was so impressed with the game he
had me come back and install a course for the kids!”
The dilution factor is starting to happen.
“Disc golf is a great vehicle for ministry, particularly with youth,
because it’s fun, cheap, and easy to learn,” says John. “The
Bible teaches that we aren’t supposed to be rabid about sharing the
gospel, but we have to deliver it in a way people can receive it.”
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