Crystal Haggerton doesn’t play a lot of tournaments, but she and husband John Haggerton are the two “Gatekeepers” of Gateway Disc Golf Park. She simply loves the game and has played regularly for the past 15 years. Photo by Juan R. Govea

Now that spring is here, it’s time to hit the links. No, not Colonial or Rivercrest. #fancy We’re talking the chain-links.

Disc golf around town has never been more popular. There are myriad reasons why Fort Worthians are picking up Frisbees and throwing them at “holes” made of chains, but a lot of the local players I talked to think it’s mainly because of the exercise, the fun, and the joy of seeing a plastic disc fly hundreds of feet no matter a player’s age.

Whatever explanation, we’re just glad to see people enjoying nature and moving their bodies. And putting their screens down for a sec.


Fifty-seven-year-old Brian Mace knows the deal. He started playing disc golf in 1991. A competitor and promoter from 1998 to 2008, he made a living from the sport as an event operator. He’s done it and keeps doing it simply because he loves the sport.

“It’s here for everyone,” Maces said.

Thirty-seven-year-old Crystal Haggerton, who’s been playing for 15 years, loves the sport because it’s fun and also because she enjoys the outdoors and spending time with friends. She’s also proud of her and husband John Haggerton’s work at Gateway Park these past five years. The Haggertons, who also help maintain Z Boaz Disc Golf Course, organize Sunday Gateway Dubz, a weekly bring-your-own-partner doubles match at Gateway Disc Golf Park, and are working with Mace to expand Gateway to two 18-hole courses.

“I love the game,” 38-year-old John said.

Along with a few dozen courses, North Texas is home to several retailers, including Ideal Discs in Haltom City. Co-owners Cory Myrick, Luke Robinson, and Jesse Widelipz agree that business has been slow recently, but they see newcomers all the time, quite a few of them women.

“Disc golf is a male-dominated sport just like basketball or any other sport really,” Crystal said. “Women are still working and will continue to work towards growing their sport respectively. It’s difficult for women no matter what sport you play, in my opinion.”

North Texas is home to seven ladies’ leagues, including Saucer Sisters and Chicks Chasing Chains.

Shelby Moore was playing a tournament in Waco when she met a couple women who ran the original Chicks Chasing Chains in Houston. That’s when Moore realized Fort Worth didn’t have a ladies’ group. “I went out of my comfort zone and decided to start Chicks Chasing Chains [here] four years ago, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

Multiple courses in town and throughout North Texas host tournaments “all the time,” Crystal said. “The disc golf scene is booming, and I don’t expect it to slow down anytime soon.”

She and husband John keeps it simple: “To newcomers, I say just get out and enjoy the game and nature.”

Shelby Moore at Z Boaz Disc Golf Course: “I went out of my comfort zone and decided to start Chicks Chasing Chains … and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
Photo by Juan R. Govea
Andrew Elizalde usually plays Z Boaz with brother David Elizalde, and both say they enjoy the outdoors and the exercise. 
Photo by Juan R. Govea
(From left to right) Crystal Haggerton, John Haggerton, and Brian Mace take a short break at the eighth basket at Gateway Disc Golf Park.
Photo by Juan R. Govea
Brian Mace managed the installation of Z Boaz Disc Golf Park and is working with the City of Fort Worth and Crystal and John Haggerton to create two 18-hole courses at Gateway Park.
Photo by Juan R. Govea
Eric John Benge, who will be 50 in May, said he’s been playing disc golf off and on since 1992. “It’s great exercise and keeps me out of the bars and whatnot. It helps feed my competitive nature.”
Photo by Juan R. Govea
Brad Bishop has been involved with the design, layout, and upkeep of Z Boaz Disc Golf Course for the past 24 years along with having played dozens of tournaments nationwide.
Photo by Juan R. Govea
Ideal Discs opened in May 2015 to “provide the best plastic and customer service,” they say.
Photo by Juan R. Govea
One of three owners of Ideal Discs in Haltom City, Luke Robinson believes his is the oldest shop of its kind in North Texas.
Photo by Juan R. Govea
Discs, like the ones here at Ideal Discs in Haltom City, range in size and curve, starting with a long-distance driver and followed by a mid-range disc and, for short layups, a putter. The co-owners say they see newcomers at their shop almost daily.
Photo by Juan R. Govea
After his first game in Grapevine in 2000, JB Rappold joined the Professional Disc Golf Association in 2009 and was ranked ninth in the Texas amateur division.
Photo by Juan R. Govea
(From left to right) Amber Montijo, Shelby Moore, Michelle Peacock, and Lauren Selim are part of Chicks Chasing Chains, an all-women disc golf group whose Facebook page lists 291 members. Anywhere from 10 to 25 women play every Sunday at Z Boaz Disc Golf Course.
Photo by Juan R. Govea