Disc golf is a relatively new sport that is quickly gaining traction and is one of the fastest growing sports. My buddy, Matt introduced me to the sport and I was immediately hooked. I usually play recreationally, but enter Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) sanctioned tournaments on occasion. Disc golf is one of my favorite sports because of it's competitive yet laid back nature.
I'd like to send out a huge thanks to my hometown disc golf club, NOVA Disc Golf Association and it's members for contributing great images for this post!
What is Disc Golf?
Disc golf is pretty much the best sport ever. It's a pretty subjective view but it's the right one, because science. Most disc golf courses that I have been to post the general rules of the game and make sure to put an emphasis on having fun! The rules and object of the game are similar to those of golf, or ball golf as it's known to disc golfers. The primary goal of a round of disc golf is to land the disc in the basket on each hole of the course in as few shots as possible. Disc golf courses typically have eighteen holes that on average, range from 200 feet to 350 feet. The first shot on every hole should be thrown from the tee box with each shot after the tee shot taken from the lie on your previous throw. Some courses will have multiple tee boxes to choose from and multiple baskets with each layout having their own par rating. Whoever completes the course with the fewest number of total throws is the winner; Unless you're playing on a course that denotes the winner as whoever has the most fun, then you might not be the winner…
How do I start?
The easiest way to get into playing disc golf is to ask someone else that plays disc golf to show you the game. Most people that I know who play are super passionate about the sport and are always willing to share it with someone new. I have a ton of discs and am always willing to lend out a few to anyone that wants to try to play. Even if you don't know anyone that plays already, the sport isn't too expensive to start playing. At many courses, you can rent loaner discs for a few rounds for a few dollars or purchase your own. The average new disc runs between $10 and $20. On a course that I am unfamiliar with, I like to see if I can join people about to start or play behind them to get and understanding of how the course flows.
Which type of disc should I use?
The three main types of discs used in the sport are drivers, mid-ranges, and putters. Drivers are generally used from the tee box and are designed with sharp edges to be thrown at higher speeds for longer shots. Mid-ranges are typically more rounded than drivers on the rim and will travel less distance than the driver discs, but allow for more accuracy. If you only have one disc to use for everything, this is usually your best bet! The putter is the most precise disc and is the disc of choice for most disc golfers at close range. Putter's are probably the most noticeably varying discs in shape because everyone putts differently.
Where do I play?
Once you have your discs, you can play disc golf anywhere. The sport originated with people throwing at targets such as trees and lamp posts and eventually evolved into the modern day courses with disc catching baskets. With more than 5500 in North America, there's a pretty good chance that you can find a modern course near you. The PDGA has it's own course finding tool that gives you the location, description, rating and other relevant information about each course. Most courses are completely free and open to the public which keeps the cost of golfing down!
Why should I start playing?
Disc golf is an incredibly fun and intuitive sport. Anyone than can throw a frisbee and move around the woods can play. There is a competitive nature to the sport and it is challenging for players of all skill levels. When you're caught up in a game of disc golf, you might not realize that you're exercising both your mind and body simultaneously. Throwing is great for explosiveness, accuracy and problem solving while walking around the course is a great aerobic activity! Did I mention all the fun you're having!? Once you start to play disc golf, you'll notice the awesome community that surrounds the sport. In my opinion, one of the best things about disc golf is the open minded, inclusive and accepting people that you'll meet. It truly is a sport for everyone, including you!