What is Disc Golf?
The formalized game of Disc Golf started after the first target or basket was patented around 1976 by Ed Headrick who worked for Wham-O at the time. Headrick had originally wanted to call the device a Frisbee Pole Hole but ran into issues over the Frisbee trademark. Before this invention, players had been making up their own targets around their yards, neighborhoods and local parks aiming for landmarks like trash cans, lamp poles or certain trees. The idea of inventing a better target occurred to Ed when he wanted to prevent ‘arguing’ with friends if a player had hit the declared target.
Golf discs or Frisbees are used to play the game of disc golf. Professional golf discs serve the same purpose as the ball and club do in ball golf. There are putters, mid range approach discs, and drivers just like the clubs in ball golf. Some discs are designed to go straight, some turn left, and some turn right. Therefore, depending on the type of fairway on the course you have adequate choices available to complete the hole.
There are various types of throwing techniques which also provide much more variety and challenge to the game. There are backhand, forehand and overhead (baseball) types of throws, along with roller shots for low overhead fairways.
The game is played similar to ball golf by counting the number of throws it takes to complete a hole. The hole is completed by the disc landing in the basket of the pole hole or supported by the chains above the basket. Discs landing on top of the basket or stuck in the outside of the grid of the basket do not count as completion. The holes in disc golf are measured in feet, not yards, and typically average 250-300 ft per hole. Most disc golf holes are par 3, but some longer and more difficult holes can have higher pars.
There are close to 4,000 courses throughout the world now (Dec 2013) and the number is growing daily. Chances are there are courses near where you live or want to go. Most courses are located in public parks and are free to play. Some are located on private property where nominal fees apply for a daily pass.
The advantages of disc golf are numerous. Any age can play! It affords players an opportunity to get outside in pleasant surroundings without the drawback of Tee times and green fees. It’s a lifetime activity, great fun with family and friends. It’s more affordable than ball golf and takes less time to play. A typical 18-hole round takes about 1½ hours over approximately 2 miles without the player actually knowing he is getting exercise. There is very little risk of physical injury while providing upper and lower body stretching and conditioning. Concentration skills increase while trying to master shots and negotiate obstacles. The learning curve for this sport is much faster than ball golf while providing the same challenges that make the game so addictive. Many courses use space in parks that were previously mowed but unused for other recreation. Therefore, no additional expenses are needed for upkeep. There is no need for fertilizing, watering and other high maintenance grounds keeping.
A motto for this sport is “He who has the most fun wins”. In my opinion Disc Golf is the most fun.