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What is Disc Golf? A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Disc golf is a popular outdoor sport that combines elements of golf and frisbee. Players throw specialized discs at targets, aiming to complete the course with the fewest throws. It's accessible, fun, and offers a low-impact workout for all ages and skill levels.

What Is Disc Golf: A Comprehensive Guide For Beginners

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Have you ever wanted a fun, affordable, and inclusive sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels? Look no further than disc golf! This rapidly growing sport combines the best aspects of traditional golf with the excitement of throwing a flying disc. In this comprehensive guide, you'll learn about the basics of "what is disc golf", essential equipment, various techniques, how to find the perfect course, and ways to join the thriving disc golf community as well as this link to the best disc golf gifts for those disc golf lovers.

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Here's What You Need To Know

  • Disc golf is an accessible and affordable sport enjoyed by people of all ages.
  • Essential Disc Golf Equipment includes specialized discs that vary in price, design, stability, distance traveled and accuracy.
  • Joining the disc golf community provides access to exclusive tournaments, discounts on gear & connecting with other players.

Understanding Disc Golf

A disc golf course with a disc golf target in the background

Disc golf is a worldwide sensation, enjoyed by millions of players across the globe, including an estimated 8 to 12 million Americans who have played disc golf. The sport shares many rules and terminology with ball golf, but with a twist: instead of using a golf ball and clubs, players use a flying disc to complete each hole in the fewest number of throws. Unlike traditional golf, disc golf is typically free to play in public parks, and a round takes about half the time to complete, making it an attractive option for anyone who wants to play disc golf or already plays disc golf.

The only requirement to start playing disc golf is a disc, which is much more affordable than traditional golf equipment. A professional-grade disc costs less than $20. The sport is inclusive and can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from school age to old age, providing various physical and mental benefits. The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) hosts the World Championships every year. They have divisions for all ages, ranging from Under 8 to Over 80.

The Basics of Disc Golf

To begin playing disc golf, it is recommended to visit a local disc golf store and purchase a single disc or starter set, which typically contains a driver, mid-range, and putter. A disc golf course consists of a series of holes, each starting from a designated tee area and ending at one of the disc golf targets, typically an elevated metal basket. The objective of the game is to complete each hole in the least number of throws, just like traditional golf.

When throwing the disc, it's important to draw it straight back while rotating and flexing at the elbow for the release, aiming for a straight line towards the basket. The challenges that disc golfers face on the course include trees, shrubs, and changes in terrain, which add to the excitement of the game.

To find a disc golf course near you, simply search online or ask at your local disc golf store. With thousands of courses available worldwide, it's never been easier to get started in this fun and engaging sport.

Essential Disc Golf Equipment

A person throwing a disc golf disc

Disc golf discs may look similar to the familiar Frisbee, but they are specifically designed for the sport, featuring a smaller diameter, shallower depth, varied weight distribution, and specialized edge design. These factors affect how the disc lands on the course and how it performs during the game. Discs can be purchased at most physical sporting goods stores as well as through various online disc golf retailers, with prices ranging from $10 to $25.

Selecting the right disc for beginners is crucial, as it can greatly impact their initial experience and success in the sport. Understanding the different types of disc golf discs will help beginners choose the right disc for their needs and throwing style.

Types of Disc Golf Discs

There are four primary categories of disc golf discs: distance drivers, fairway drivers, midranges, and putters. Distance drivers are designed to fly the furthest and are generally the most stable of all four types of discs. Fairway drivers are meant to fly farther than midranges and putters, but not as far as distance drivers, and are typically more maneuverable. Midranges are designed for shorter distances than drivers and are generally more accurate. Putters are intended for the shortest distances and are usually the least stable of the four disc types.

Examples of popular distance drivers include the Innova Destroyer, Discraft Heat, and Latitude 64 Gold Line River. Fairway drivers, such as the Innova Leopard, Discraft Buzzz, and Latitude 64 Opto Line Fuse, are also popular choices. Midrange discs like the Innova Roc, Discraft Comet, and Latitude 64 Opto Line Claymore are great for beginners to try out. Putters, like the Innova Aviar, Discraft Magnet, and Latitude 64 Opto Line Diamond, are essential for completing your disc golf set.

To select the best disc golf disc for your needs, it's important to experiment with different types and weights to find the one that suits your throwing style. This may involve trying out various discs from friends or borrowing from a local club before making a purchase.

Selecting the Right Disc for You

When choosing a disc golf disc, beginners should consider factors like the disc's fade rating, type, weight, and color. Fade is the amount of curve a disc will have when thrown, and a disc with a fade rating of 0 to 1 is an ideal option for beginners. The three main categories of disc golf discs are putter, mid-range, and high-speed driver, and a starter pack usually includes one of each type.

The weight of the disc also plays a role in its performance, with lighter discs generally being easier for beginners to control. Experimenting with different discs will help you find the right combination of type, weight, and fade rating to suit your throwing style and skill level.

Remember, selecting the right disc for you is an essential step in getting started with disc golf. With the right equipment, you'll be well on your way to enjoying this exciting and inclusive sport.

Playing Disc Golf: Rules and Techniques

A person throwing a disc golf disc with a disc golf target in the background

Once you have your disc golf equipment, it's time to learn the rules and techniques of the game. Understanding how to throw the disc, score, and navigate the course is crucial to enjoying the sport. Tutorials by professional disc golfers can be found on platforms like YouTube, offering valuable tips and tricks for beginners.

As in traditional golf, disc golf involves completing a course by throwing your disc from a designated tee area towards a target, usually an elevated metal basket, in the fewest number of throws possible. The sport presents various challenges, such as trees, shrubs, and changes in terrain on the fairways, which can create a difficult environment for players. Knowing the essential rules, such as safety measures, order of play, and assisting with lost discs, is important for beginners to ensure an enjoyable experience.

Throwing Techniques

Disc golf employs a variety of throwing techniques. The most popular among them is the backhand throw. To execute a proper backhand throw, draw the disc straight back while rotating and flexing at the elbow for the release, aiming for a straight line towards the basket. The trees, shrubs, and varying terrain found within the fairways offer a range of obstacles for disc golfers to overcome, adding to the excitement of the game.

It's important to practice your throwing technique to improve your accuracy and control over the disc. As you become more comfortable with the backhand throw, you can also explore other throwing techniques, such as the forehand or "flick" throw, which can help you navigate around obstacles and shape your shots on the course.

In addition to mastering throwing techniques, understanding the rules and etiquette of disc golf, such as giving the player farthest from the basket the right to throw first, will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable game for all players involved.

Scoring and Common Terms

Scoring in disc golf is similar to traditional golf, with each throw counted as a stroke and the player with the lowest score winning the game. A player's score on a hole is the total of all throws, including any penalty throws, and the total score for the round is the sum of each hole score. Par, the expected number of strokes an expert player should make for a given hole or set of holes, is another concept shared with traditional golf.

Understanding common disc golf terms is essential for beginners to fully enjoy the sport. For example, "out of bounds" refers to areas on the course where a disc is not allowed to land, resulting in a penalty stroke. Another term, "mandatories" or "mandos," refers to specific obstacles on the course that players must navigate around in a certain direction.

By familiarizing yourself with disc golf scoring and terminology, you'll be well-prepared to hit the course and enjoy this exciting sport with confidence.

Finding a Disc Golf Course

A disc golf course with a disc golf target in the background

The US alone boasts over 9,000 free disc golf courses. Worldwide, that figure reaches up to 13,000. It has never been simpler to locate a nearby course for play. Many courses are located in public parks, offering a fun and accessible way to enjoy the outdoors while playing disc golf. To find a course near you, search online or inquire at your local disc golf store.

Before heading out to play, it's important to consider the difficulty level and features of the course. This can help ensure that you have an enjoyable experience, especially as a beginner. Downloading course maps and filtering by course length can help you find a course that suits your skill level.

Course Difficulty and Features

Disc golf courses are classified according to the challenge they present and the quality of their facilities, with ratings ranging from "Difficult" to "Very Difficult". As a beginner, it's important to choose a course that is appropriate for your skill level. Factors such as course length, terrain, and the presence of amenities like restrooms and course signage should be considered when selecting a course.

Some courses may be more beginner-friendly, offering shorter distances and fewer obstacles, while others may cater to more experienced players with challenging terrain and obstacles. By researching courses online and reading reviews from other players, you can find a course that is well-suited for your skill level and preferences.

Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the experience. As you grow more comfortable with the sport and improve your skills, you can challenge yourself by trying out more difficult courses and expanding your disc golf horizons.

Joining the Disc Golf Community

Disc golf cage and disc golf

One of the best aspects of disc golf is its thriving community of passionate players. Joining a local club or subscribing to disc golf media can help you get involved in the community, meet fellow disc golfers, and learn more about the sport.

The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) membership also provides additional benefits, such as exclusive tournament access, discounts on disc golf gear, and the ability to track your progress and compare scores with other players.

Local Clubs and Events

Local disc golf clubs are a great way to connect with other players, gain further insight into the sport, and access exclusive courses and events. To find a local disc golf club, search online, particularly on Facebook, where many clubs have an active presence. Most clubs have membership requirements, which you can inquire about by contacting them directly.

Local clubs often organize events and tournaments, providing opportunities for players of all skill levels to participate and compete in organized disc golf events. To find disc golf events in your area, search online, particularly on Facebook, where event listings are frequently posted.

PDGA Membership and Benefits

The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and developing disc golf worldwide. By joining the PDGA or the British Disc Golf Association, you can enjoy a range of benefits, including discounts on disc golf equipment, access to PDGA-exclusive events, and the opportunity to participate in PDGA-sanctioned tournaments. Members are issued a PDGA membership card, a PDGA membership number, and access to the PDGA website.

There are three levels of membership available: amateur, professional, and junior, each with distinct benefits and requirements. To become a PDGA member, simply complete an application form and submit the corresponding membership fee. Upon approval, you'll receive your PDGA membership card and number, granting access to a world of disc golf opportunities and resources.


In conclusion, disc golf is an exciting and inclusive sport that offers an enjoyable experience for people of all ages and skill levels. By understanding the basics, selecting the right equipment, learning proper techniques, finding suitable courses, and joining the disc golf community, you'll be well on your way to becoming a passionate and skilled disc golfer.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a disc, hit the course, and embrace the thrilling world of disc golf. With its welcoming community and endless opportunities for growth and enjoyment, you're sure to find a lifelong passion in this fantastic sport.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between frisbee golf and disc golf?

Frisbee Golf, also known as Disc Golf or Frolf (a combination of frisbee and golf), is a sport in which players throw a Frisbee into a target, usually a metal basket. The goal of the game is to complete each hole in the least amount of throws, much like traditional ball golf.

The major difference between disc golf and frisbee golf is that while in disc golf the goal is to throw a disc into the basket, with frisbee golf the goal is to throw the Frisbee at a target.

Why is disc golf so expensive?

Disc golf is expensive due to the high cost of manufacturing and marketing associated with the sport. Top disc golf manufacturers like Innova, Discraft, Dynamic Discs and Prodigy pay millions of dollars in sponsorship fees to professional players and tournaments, leading to higher production costs which are then passed on to consumers.

Additionally, the increasing demand for discs drives prices up further, contributing to the sport's relatively high cost.

What is disc golf and how is it played?

Disc golf is a sport where players compete by throwing specialized Frisbee discs into baskets at each hole of the course. Players take turns throwing the disc from the designated tee area, aiming for the target basket which they must hit in the fewest throws possible to win the round.

Disc golf is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy some friendly competition. It is a relatively inexpensive sport to get into, and it can be played by people of all ages and skill levels. The rules are the rules.

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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Disc Golf Shoes for Wide Feet

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Unleash your ultimate disc golf potential with our curated selection of the best disc golf shoes for wide feet. Experience unparalleled comfort and stability on the course with top picks designed to enhance your game and fit perfectly.

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