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Sports you can enjoy during the doldrums

We’ve entered the summer holding pattern for sports.

The high school season is still a couple of weeks away from starting, with the first softball games. Football is a month away. SEC football media days aren’t until next week, and even on a national level everyone is taking a deep breath before the 2019-20 sports year begins.

So how can you get your fix? Try entertaining yourself. There are plenty of options out there that don’t cost a fortune:

 Play golf — traditional, disc or mini. Golf can be an expensive hobby, but you can dabble in the game for a few bucks. A bucket of driving range balls and a set of rented clubs at Clear Creek Golf Course can let you hit around for under $20.

If you’d rather work on your short game, Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi has a miniature golf course that’s free to play during the week.

There’s also a brand new nine-hole disc golf course at Halls Ferry Park. If you’re not interested in a specialized throwing disc, buy a cheap frisbee for a few bucks and play with it. No one will rat on you.

• Throw a ball around. Get in shape for tailgating season by tossing a football — or baseball or softball — around an open field. If you can’t find someone to play catch with, do it by yourself. Start at one end of the field, chuck it deep, walk after it, pick it up and do it again. Yeah, you might look silly, but it’s good exercise. If you can throw with your off hand, it’s even a total body workout that will leave you sore after an hour or so.

• Go to a baseball game. Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi hosts youth tournaments every weekend. If you’d rather see pro players, the Double-A Mississippi Braves are a 45-minute drive away in Pearl. The M-Braves are on the road until July 18, but there are always great ticket deals available for their home games, as well as other promotions like Thursday night cornhole tournaments.

• Read The Vicksburg Post’s sports section. Even when there isn’t anything going on, we’ll still tell you all about it. Every day. Because we’re awesome.

 Play Wiffle Ball. You can buy a Wiffle Ball and bat for less than $10 — make sure you get the official kind, not the knockoffs; there is a genuine difference — and play a game with as little as two people. You don’t even need to run bases. Just set markers on the field and play the game we used to call “Single, Double, Triple,” where balls hit in certain areas are worth a certain number of bases. Just make sure you keep track of the ghost runners.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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