Golf is one of the most recreational, popular, and expensive athletic games globally. It is also tricky for beginner players because the rules and scoring system are complicated for players who are just thinking about starting to play golf. Considering these issues of difficulties of playing rules and a high amount of preliminary investment, Disc Golf has been introduced in the sports world, like another golf-related athletic game, the top golf and playing by following the golf rules but not the same as golf. Players require some equipment different from the actual golf game to play disc golf, but golf courses are almost similar. The golf course also has designed with 9 or 18 holes, but the players throw the unique disc toward the target by hand instead of golf balls. The target is nothing but a net basket, and players must put them into it within a specific number of hits. This entertaining game helps athletes keep fit, relax from daily stresses through stimulating body hormones, and is not so tricky with a lower investment. It quickly becomes popular among sports lovers. Besides, there have to be age restrictions to play it, kids to an adult, all can enjoy their relaxing time on the disc golf courses for refreshing them.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Disc Golf?
- 2 Golf vs. Disc Golf
What is Disc Golf?
Disc golf is an entertaining golf game where players throw a polypropylene disc toward the metal basket off the tee. When a player can put the disc into the targeted net basket, the competition for that player is completed, and the second player starts throwing his disc. As the disc passes the distance of the first throw, players make the consecutive throw from there and try to reach the basket with the lower number of throws as possible. The uttermost player starts the game when it is played as a group play. Many obstacles like shrubs, trees, and the water body are designed in and around the fairway to make the game more challenging.
The rules and regulations of this disc game are authorized by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA). In 1976, PDGA was established for regulating the games. Now it gets a form of an international organization, and its headquarters is located in Appling, Georgia, USA. And according to their information, around 54 countries globally have 9,800 golf courses worldwide for playing, and more or less 200,000-lifetime players play the game and active members of this association. Besides the disc courses, the interested people can play the game in any public park. All ages players with different economic statuses can participate in a group play. Every year, The PDGA arrange four world tournament – Professional, Professional Masters, Amateurs, and Juniors Championship. From the eighth, a player can participate in the disc golf championship.
History of Disc Golf
However modern disc golf was introduced in the 1970s, but it was first played in the early 1900s in Canada. In 1927, Ronald Franklin Gibson and his elementary school buddies regularly played this game in Bladworth, Saskatchewan, Canada. They used tin lids and threw them into the four-foot-wide circles drawn on the sandy patches. After completing school, this game stopped playing before its introduction in 1970 in Toronto, and Vancouver, British Colombia, at the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships.
There is also an argument that modern disc golf was introduced at Rice University, Houston, Texas, in the 1960s.
An American toy inventor, Steady Ed Headrick, is known as the Father of the Disc Golf game.
In 1975, Headrick redesigned the frisbee disc and got the trademark as disc golf disc after a long journey of manufacturing. In 1976, Headrick and his son Ken Headrick turned their company into The DGA (Disc Golf Association) to manufacture gears and formulate the game rules. In 1977, they manufactured modern disc baskets for catching the discs and trademarked it as “Disc Pole Hole.” On today’s disc courses, 9 or 18 holes are designed for playing the game. And more than 7000 disc courses worldwide used their disc pole hole design.
The equipment required for playing Disc Golf
As the game is playing on a specialized course, it requires a few unique pieces of equipment for the gameplay. The primary gear is the disc which is also known as Frisbee. This game is also called frisbee golf; however, there is also another sport like golf named Frisbee Golf. The main difference between disc and frisbee golf is the design of the flying discs used to play the game. As the pieces of disc golf equipment are really inexpensive, the total investment cost is too lower than the actual golf game cost.
Here are the main pieces of stuff used for playing this different golf game.
The round-shaped discs used for disc golf are uniquely designed for this specific game that is entirely different from the traditional flying discs used for frisbee golf. Besides, various designs are used to make golf discs that help players choose the perfect set of discs best-suited to playing style, skill level, and flying ratings. Generally, three types of discs manufacture for this entertaining game. These are drivers, mid-ranges, and putters. Among them, drivers are thrown from a long distance from the target net basket, mid-range discs for intermediate or medium length, and putters are used to throwing the disc close to the target.
- Ball or Hard object
As the discs are round in shape and thrown into the air, there is a chance to go through the tree on the course and getting stuck. So players must take a ball or any hard things like a hockey puck to retrieve the stuck disc. It helps them avoid climbing the tree, which is tricky for kid players and maybe almost impossible.
- Carrying bag
Most pieces of equipment are small in size. So a carry bag is essential for going to the disc golf course. However, any backpack can be used, but the unique carry bag will be the best for the game because it has a different compartment for different disc types, accessories, food, and beverages. This special carry bag helps to get the suitable discs quickly while playing from various course distances, like close, mid-range, or far from the target net basket.
- Disc golf retrievers
If there is any water body near the golf course, a disc retriever can help to collect the discs without getting wet. It can also use to unstuck the disc from the tree branches. Besides, if water logs on any area of the course, then retrievers can aid the players in collecting the discs from muddy areas.
When players want to record their progress on throwing skill level, the scorecard is the only way to keep the playing data. Besides, when many players play the game as a competition, the scorecard helps to support individuals’ data separately, which will require finding out the best one of the tournament. So carrying a scorecard while playing the game is essential for enjoying the game peacefully and the best way to get satisfaction.
- Permanent Markers
Permanent marker needs for writing on the scorecard. It also has many uses, like marking on discs of different players to avoid mishaps. Besides, it can also be used to draw the track of the flight path on the disc, which helps practice time. The permanent marker also assists the players in keeping the record when any player makes an ace score for a hole or marks the completed holes.
As it is an outdoor game, players must wear comfortable and lightweight pairs of shoes while playing. Players can pick their boots from their favorite brands, like Addidas, Keen, etc. Another thing that must keep in mind is that the shoes must be suitable for water, snow, or mud. Besides, it must create sufficient traction while playing because while a player throws the disc, they have to push off and put more pressure on their feet to keep the body stable.
Players must carry more than one towel to keep their gears fresh and clean for any outdoor game. There is more chance of getting muddy on a rainy day, so they should clean the discs after every throwing. Besides, it helps to wipe out sweats while playing on a hot sunny day, even in the rain.
- Water Bottles
Drinking sufficient water is essential for us, especially those who spend more time in any outdoor playground. So when going to the disc course, everyone should carry a water bottle, if possible, more than one bottle. While playing, players need to stay energetic to get expectable performance. So all players should keep their bodies hydrated enough to get sufficient energy for outdoor sports.
With water, it is also required for the disc golf players to carry sufficient dry food like granola bars, mixed nuts, sandwiches, or any nutritious food. It helps them to stay energetic while completing the holes on the course. Dry food will be the best because it can easily be put in any carry bag compartment.
- Bug spray
Bug spray is not the essential element for the game, but it helps protect from insect bites because most disc golf courses build up near the forest or wooden areas. So before starting the gameplay, spray the insecticide around the game area can prevent interference from bugs that may come out from any tree while playing.
How to play Disc Golf?
Disc golf is an easy game where you have to follow the simple guidelines to throw the disc towards the target basket. Below we state the five simple steps on how to play this game. After realizing the below steps, you can quickly get the outline of the body movement while playing the game. Below you also get the experts’ suggestions for getting more accuracy in the game.
Perfect Body Stance
Step – 1: At first, hold the disc so that you can quickly release it while aiming to throw. At this time, keep your four fingers underside and your thumb near the edge of the topside of the disc. You are also alert on holding it because you have to get complete control of it while releasing it from your hand.
Step = 2: You have to release the disc in three consecutive steps. You have to start and stop the steps with your dominant foot to get accuracy. Besides, if you can make a square stance with your shoulders and the target net, it helps you to make an even and smooth throw.
Step – 3: Keep your dominant hand on the chest height. It helps turn your body quickly while curving the disc at aiming.
Step 4: Keep your back foot in a vertical structure with the target after completing the first step. It helps to turn your back, hips, and shoulders so quickly while going for the final step to throw the disc. It also aids you to keep the disc at the right place behind you, which is essential for the last and final step to completing the throwing,
Step – 5: At the final step, press your body weight on the dominant foot and bring your back and hips towards the basket. Hold the disc horizontally and maintain the shoulder height while releasing the disc toward the target.
Keep your arms as stated below while taking your time with three consecutive steps.
Position-1: Keep your arms naturally as you can easily pull the disc straight when your wrist moves to make an arc with the body for throwing it at the backside of the body.
Position-2: Move the arms evenly to release the disc naturally. However, it requires practice regularly to maintain a smooth movement of your arms.
Position-3: While pointing the disc towards the target, naturally flick your wrist. It helps to make a smooth and accurate throwing.
To accurately release the disc toward the target basket, you must consider the stability and weight.
Stability comes from three confusing terms related to disc golf. These are Ubderstable, Overstable, and Stability or (0). The rule of thumb for success is to go as close to zero scores as possible. However, it takes time to get stability. Below you will get the detail of these three disc golf terminologies.
Generally, beginners choose an Understable disc to get accuracy for long drives. The thrown disc makes a curve and twists to the right or left, and it is known as fade like the actual golf game. The disc bends to the right at the throw with average force and makes a straight flight. It has a rating of -1 to -3.
The disc that bends to the left is known as Overstable. Its’ rating is +1 to +3. The driver-type disc, which has a sharp edge, generally creates an Overstable throw.
- Stability or 0
Usually, putter-type discs make stability or 0 scores because these discs are designed to require short flight distance and straight.
The second important thing that experts suggest considering is the discs’ weight. Usually, a disc weighing more than 166 gm is regarded as a heavy-weighted disc, and most professionals pick it for throwing. The discs have a mass of around 166 gm, ideal for learner disc golfers. They choose these discs because more weight helps keep it straight, and it becomes easy to get overstable scores. Besides these, you also get some discs weighing around 150 gm. This disc is easy to throw but tends to fly more with the wind’s flow and lose the flying track because it makes more curves while passing the air.
Disc Golf Rules
In gameplay –
The player who completes the last hole with the lower number of throwing will play first.
Then, the player whose disc passes the farthest distance will play next.
The players have to throw the disc from the backside of the tee and allow it to run up while throwing.
When any player can throw off-limits, one additional score will add to their actual score. And, they will get a chance of throwing the disc nearest point in bounds on their next turn.
Besides these above rules, the participants must follow the below regulations.
Always try to make a safe throw for the other players in the course.
While throwing within ten meters of the hole, stand behind the lie and maintain the correct body balance.
The player whose disc passes the longer distance will throw first in the next turn.
Players must throw their discs from the same side of the mandatory. Except for this, they have to rethrow it from the previous lie to get one stroke.
The golf disc must rest in the basket for the hole to be completed.
If players throw the disc out of bounds will get a penalty stroke to make a score and must throw within one meter inbound in their next turn.
Disc Golf Terms
When you think about disc golf and start playing, you will get some technical terms used for scoring in the disc course. We state these terms below for beginners or learners. Many of these words are similar to the terms used in real golf courses.
Like standard golf, stroke in disc golf also represents the player’s attempt to reach the hole. The players’ target will be to put the disc into the net basket by taking less throwing.
- Throw Order
There are no specific rules for choosing the player who throws first. After completing the first throw round, the group members’ choice depends on whose disc passes more distance and close to the target throw or tee-off first. Then other members throw at the most relative length of the disc.
- Tee Throw
Tees are the point players have to throw their disc toward the hole. Depending on the designation used for designing the tee area, players must throw from the front side or behind the tee.
The lie is that point where players throw disc land after passing. A mini disc places on that spot because specific players must throw their second attempt from behind on this spot.
- Unplayable lie
When the throwing disc gets stuck on the tree branch, players have to throw their next turn from the point underneath the disc stuck on the tree branch. This time it is termed as an unplayable lie.
- Fairway throw
When players are in the fairway, they get a few additional advantages on throwing. They can run up towards the target while throwing their disc. But if the thrown disc passes 30 feet or 10 meters toward the target, the player doesn’t allow to run before the disc stop giving the area and lands on the ground — this regulation terms a fairway throw.
The mandatory is the specific way a player must be passed when throwing. It is a pole or tree along the fairway which makes a different shape, like S-shape or L-shape. When a player is in this mandatory area, they are not allowed to throw directly, and they must throw as the arrow represent the pathway.
When a player puts the disc in the net basket or target chain hole, it is called the completion of the hole or just completion. After that, the player has to take the next hole’s disc.
The area where players don’t allow to throw into or out of it is called out-of-bounds. If the thrown disc goes to that area, players have to point the lie three feet towards the in-bounds and require one more stroke to make a score. Generally, water hazards and public roads are considered out-of-bounds.
What is a disc golf course?
The playground is used for playing disc golf, known as the disc golf course. Disc golf courses also have obstacles like the standard golf course. These obstacles are trees and bushes, elevation changes, water hazards, etc. But this playground has two different marked zones, and these are Mandatory and out-of-bound lines. A player must follow the regulations used for these unique zones. Besides, like a traditional golf course, here also have 9 or 18 golf holes. However, PDGA approved the design with the hole numbers having three consecutive numbers like 6, 12, 21, 24, or 27, but it is rare to see.
As a standard golf course, the golf course designers also design safety structures to prevent injuries with the thrown discs. Moreover, PDGA fixes the area limit for the playing course and the golf hole distance, and this area must be within 200-400 feet. The golf hole distance is not less than 100 feet or 30m.
The golf course authority also built entertaining zones like bars, restaurants, and disc golf equipment selling points. Among the disc golf course worldwide, 80% of these playgrounds are governed by the local or public golf clubs and are free for playing.
We already stated that the total number of disc golf courses is around nine thousand and eight hundred. The more exciting thing is that about 75% of disc golf courses are located in the USA.
Golf vs. Disc Golf
However, there are similarities between golf and disc golf when considering the playing rules and regulations and a few golf terms like golf hole, fairway, tee, and scoring process. But there are many dissimilarities between these two entertaining games. These are –
|A wide playing area||
Within 200-400 feet
|Little bit tricky||
|Driver, Hybrid, Woods, Irons, Wedges, and Putters club||
Drivers, Mid-ranges, and Putters disc
Who are the best disc golf players in the world in 2022?
Ken Climo is the best legendary disc golf player globally because he won 12 PDGA World Championships and 3 Masters World titles. Besides, according to the 2021 National Open Tour points, the top ten players are – Richard Wysocki, Paul Mcbeth, Adam Hemmes, Kevin Jones, Chris Dickerson, Garrette Gurthie, and Paul Ulibarri, Calvin Heimburg, Alden Harris, and James Conrad.
Where to buy disc golf discs?
You can buy your golf discs from any local or online disc golf store. However, you have to pay less if you buy the disc boxes from the online store, but you can check the quality of the discs if you go to any retail shop. But everything depends on your choice. The best disc golf disc brands are X-Com, Divergent, Yikun, and Viking discs because they offer a low-price rate for their products. If you want to pick them from the online store, then Amazon, E-Bay, and Walmart will be the best for you because you will get the customers’ reviews that help you choose the best from a wide variety. Besides, many retail shop owners offer to sell on different holiday occasions. You can decide that specific time for getting your discs at a low price before paying the plastic quality of the discs because all available disc types are not durable and even look great.
The Rules of Disc Golf – EXPLAINED!
We are sure you get enough knowledge about disc golf that looks more or less similar to the actual golf game. However, traditional golf is better than a disc golf game; you can enjoy it with your kids who are not interested in standard golf. Besides, it is easy to play and enjoyable because the terms and conditions are not so complicated and easy to play. The discs used for playing have different elegant colors that are attractive to make the children busy with the athletic game. So you can try to go to the disc golf courses, and you will not pay to play there because most of these playgrounds are public.