What is Disc Golf?
Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc, or 'Frisbee'. The sport was formalized in the 1970s, and shares with 'ball golf' the object of completing each hole in the fewest number of throws.
A golf disc is thrown from a tee to a target, which is the 'hole'. The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is called a Pole Hole, an elevated metal basket. As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive shot from the spot where the previous throw landed. The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer. Finally, the 'putt' lands in the basket and the hole is accomplished.
Disc golf shares many of the same joys and challenges as traditional 'ball' golf, whether you're sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway. However, there are a number of key differences. First, disc golf rarely requires greens fees or dictates that you rent a cart. With disc golf, you never get stuck with a bad 'tee time'. Disc golf is typically played in public parks and can be enjoyed by people of all ages, male and female, regardless of economic status.
Who plays Disc Golf?
Disc golf can be played from school age to old age, making it one of the greatest lifetime fitness sports available. Specially-abled and disabled participate, giving them the opportunity to take part in a mainstream activity. Because disc golf is so easy to learn, no one is excluded. Players merely match their pace to their capabilities, and proceed from there.
Where do you play?
Many city parks have disc golf courses already set up. Most are free to play as often as you like. Disc golfers who do not have the benefit of a permanent disc golf facility in their area often 'make up' courses in nearby parks and green-spaces.
One of the greatest features disc golf shares with traditional golf is that they are both played in beautiful settings. A 9-hole disc golf course can be established on as little as five acres of land, and a champion-caliber 18-hole course on 30 to 40 acres. Disc golf courses can coexist with existing park facilities and activity areas. The ideal location combines wooded and open terrains, and a variety of topographical change.
The need for more courses is constant, as the sport continues to grow in popularity. The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) has created standards for the design and installation of new courses, to ensure their success in the community.
Why should I play?
The ongoing fitness boom finds more and more people taking up recreational activities in an effort to improve health and quality of life. Disc golf provides upper and lower body conditioning, aerobic exercise, and promotes a combination of physical and mental abilities that allow very little risk of physical injury. Concentration skills increase by mastering shots and negotiating obstacles. Players of limited fitness levels can start slowly and gradually increase their level of play as fitness improves. Scheduling is also flexible; a round takes one to two hours, and may be played alone, eliminating the difficulty of scheduling tee times. And as in traditional golf, disc golfers find themselves 'hooked'; increasing the likelihood of frequent participation. Disc golf offers year-round fitness, even in rain or snow. Perhaps the greatest attribute of the sport is the expense - or rather, the lack of it. A professional quality disc costs about $10, and it only takes one for basic play.
And, of course, there's the sheer fun of the game - no matter what your age or skill level! Play disc golf - the sport of the future!