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Wing member finds a new sport, rises to top ranks

Senior Master Sgt. Stephanie Huether practices her short game. The Arizona Guardsman has become an accomplished disc golfer in her spare time and is an advocate of the sport as fun way to stay active and relieve stress. (Courtesy photo)

Senior Master Sgt. Stephanie Huether practices her short game. The Arizona Guardsman has become an accomplished disc golfer in her spare time and is an advocate of the sport as fun way to stay active and relieve stress. (Courtesy photo)

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Military members are finding unique ways to stay active and relieve stress. One member of the 162nd Fighter Wing has found a fresh spin on an old stand by - golf. 

Senior Master Sgt. Stephanie Huether, wing intelligence office superintendent, can often be found mastering her newfound craft - disc golf. She recently placed 2nd in her division at the 2009 Disc Golf World Championships held in Kansas City, Mo. 

"I was extremely pleased with my result, having played for such a short time," said Sergeant Huether. She exceeded her goal of just wanting to perform well. In fact, she led the field for most of the tournament. 

Sergeant Huether advanced quickly, having just taken up the sport a year ago. "It is incredibly addicting, and I play tournaments every weekend if I can. It is a great stress reliever," said Sergeant Huether. She would putt, or throw discs in a straight line to the basket, 150 times a day preparing for the world championships. 

Disc golf, also known as Frisbee golf, has been around since the 1960's, having gained popularity over the last 10 years. It is the fastest growing sport in America, increasing at a rate of 12 to 15 percent annually, with nearly 3,000 courses in the Unites States. There are even disc golf courses on military installations. 

The disc golf concept, similar to ball golf, challenges players to get the disc into a basket in the least amount of attempts as possible. 

Similar to ball golf where players must hit ball left, right or over course obstacles, disc golfers must master techniques to do the same. "It can be difficult having to go around trees and things, not to mention climbing up and down hills all day," said Sergeant Huether. 

Disc golf is a professional sport in which both professional and amateurs can compete. More information can be obtained by researching the Professional Disc Golf Association Web site at www.pdga.com.