Disk golf is pretty much like it sounds: Golf but with disks. One uses their arms to toss a frisbee-like plastic disk toward netted baskets that stand tall among the land a course is plotted on. Like golf, different baskets have different pars, and the person with the lowest score at the end of the round wins the game.

It requires hand-eye coordination and a willingness to stretch ones' legs, as well as a disk to 'disk golf' with. But other than that, the sport isn't too demanding, which makes it a perfect activity for one seeking a new hobby. But the game of disk golf offers serious competitive value as well, according to Rob George, co-founder of the Cowboy Course disk golf area just north of the town of Swink.

Rob George and his wife, Sammie, are so keen on disk golf that they have committed themselves to increasing the sport's popularity around the Arkansas Valley. They are hosting a disk golf tournament Oct. 19-20, which will take place on two disk golf courses local to the Arkansas Valley: one at the Las Animas golf course and another at the Cowboy Course outside Swink.

George has been busy at the Cowboy Course in recent weeks, maintaining the grounds and fixing up disk golf goal baskets in preparation for the approaching event.

Rob and Sammie George held their first disk golf tournament at the Cowboy Course last April. Last year, they had 24 people attend to compete, and this year the numbers of registered entrants has nearly doubled to 42. The increase bodes well not only for the disk golfing couple, who've worked to organize the event, but it could also be a promising sign for the local economy, and for a local budding disk golf scene.

"We have people not just locally, but coming from Pueblo, Springs, Denver and as far as New Castle and Glenwood Springs," Rob George said.

A net positive of attracting disk golfers to the valley from other areas is that when people and their friends and families come to town, they eat at local restaurants, stay in local hotels and interact with local businesses - which means more money is coming into and circulating through town.

But another benefit of disk golf generating activity is that it may just also generate local interest. George said that disk golf is already a booming business in metropolitan areas such as Denver. But in order for the sport to gain respect as a legitimate competitive activity, he said, more rural people need to be convinced to join the bandwagon.

"It's been around and people know about frisbee golf," said George.

He paused and chuckled at "frisbee golf."

"But it never really took off. Now that we're down here, (with) permanent courses going into the ground, we're hoping to see a little more expansion. John Martin is expanding a course. They started putting sleeves in the ground last weekend, I believe. So we're growing it."

George said he imagines disk golf courses up and down Highway 50, from Fowler to Lamar and beyond, and noted it might be one way to attract tourism. He's working on designing courses for Ordway and Eads, and he indicated that Rocky Ford is now interested in a course. Lamar, George said, is considering doubling its course from 9 holes to 18.

"But where it has to expand to is the rural areas and get those individuals involved, because that's where the other portion of the population lives, and that's where they are going to get interested and start watching it and turning it from a hobby into an actual sport with golf dying off, with other sports declining in attendance," said George.

"Disk golf is still growing at a steady rate. There has been highlights on ESPN of hole in ones and things like that. From the sports side, we want to get a little more recognition and a little more coverage, instead of being considered just this hippy, stoner sport that people just go out and get wasted, it's an actual sport and guys actually compete at a pretty high level."

The tournament is set to begin Oct. 19 at the Las Animas Golf Course. Day Two on Oct. 20 will take place at the Cowboy Ranch outside of Swink.

Rob George said people interested in using the Cowboy Course to practice their disk golfing skills on are welcome to contact him or his wife on Facebook. Because the Cowboy Course is on private property, he said, arrangements do need to be made ahead of time.

cburney@ljtdmail.com