LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Lancaster is known for many things from being the home of Pennsylvania’s Amish Country, boasting acres of beautiful farmland and tasty whoopie pies. A lesser-known association outside of the disc golf community is that Lancaster is also a huge hotspot for mini disc golf.

“We’re very active as a group,” Hobson Park Mini Disc Golf Course creator Donnie Brooks said. “There’s like 25-30 of us that play that regularly. The community is out there playing.”

Brooks is a professional disc golf player, but designed Hobson Park, one of Lancaster County’s mini disc golf courses, in a way that would appeal to people of all ages and skill levels.

“We wanted everybody to be able to play, no matter how old you are, no matter how young you are, and enjoy the experience,” Brooks said.

The making of Hobson Park’s Mini Disc Golf Course was a labor of love for Brooks, his wife and two of their friends. Brooks designed the course and all of them dug the holes and installed it around 2004-2005. The park was too small to hold a full disc golf course, but it was perfect for mini disc golf.

Brooks started creating his own baskets in his basement in Lampeter, Pennsylvania in 1997. Mini disc golf has grown exponentially in Lancaster County since then, in large thanks to Brooks contributions. The first disc golf course in Lancaster County was at Loyd Roland Park in Akron followed by D.F. Buchmiller. Brooks was a part of the original crew that helped install the Akron course.

Now, there are 11 mini disc golf courses in Lancaster and York County, according to Brooks.

“I started messing around with these baskets and creating a catching device,” Brooks said. ” It’s interesting to sit back and see, what idea I created in a basement, how it’s just grown and become large.”

Lancaster is home to the Mini Disc Golf World Championship. This year, the event was held April 1 and April 2 at multiple courses, including Hobson Park. Brooks said there were participants from about seven states this year.

Mini disc golf is very similar to its parent sport of disc golf. The main differences being that the discs are smaller, as the name suggests, run ups are not allowed and if the disc lands on top of the basket it actually counts. One main rule that is imperative to the sport, according to Brooks, is that fun is required.

“Our number one rule is the fun factor,” Brooks said. “If you’re not having fun, don’t play. Fun is actually a rule.”

Mini disc golf is designed to appeal to older adults and younger children due to its less physical nature and simplified steps. It makes the game inclusive for everyone.

The inclusiveness has led to a mini disc golf community that is like family. Brooks recently traveled to Virginia for a tournament and equated the experience to a family gathering.

In Lancaster, there are multiple groups that are involved in mini disc golf. There are families with children who have introduced their kids to the sport, there are coworkers that use Hobson Park to play a game during their lunch break and the group Brooks is involved in plays every Tuesday and Thursday.

Brooks lends the popularity to the low cost of the sport and the relationships that grow stronger out of it. Brooks continues to grow the game through word of mouth mostly, but he does have a website,, for those who are interested in learning more about the sport and where to find the courses in Lancaster County.

“One of my favorite quotes, ‘There comes a day when a man picks up a disc, and he has the need to throw it real hard. It may go far and straight; it may fly crooked and crash into something. Either way, it is good.’,” Brooks said.

Disc golf and mini disc golf have grown in popularity over the years and continues to be the chosen game of many looking for a fun and relaxed, but competitive, sport. Lancaster County is the mini disc golf mecca and through its many courses designed for the public, continues to contribute to the growth of the sport.