A Parent’s Guide to Disc Golf

Parent playing disc golf in field

Disc golf has become an incredibly popular leisure activity among kids, college students, and adults alike. Formalized as a sport in the 1970’s, there’s something about the game that makes everyone feel as though they can play and enjoy it without too much pressure. It’s fun for veterans and novices alike, and even little ones can get in on the action. It’s also a lot less risky than putting your kids on an eBoard!

But, what is disc golf? How do you play? What do you need to make it happen? For all those out there who are hearing their children beg to play but have no idea where to start, this is the guide for you. Check out all the basics and know-how below!

The Basics

Imagine playing golf but with a frisbee instead of a club and ball. That’s basically what disc golf is. Instead of a hole-in-one, you’re working for baskets-in-one.

Players start off in the “tee” zone, where they will throw their frisbee towards the basket (or the target). The basket is an elevated, metal cage located on the course, along with various obstacles. Obstacles could include bushes, trees, and steep inclines. Players will complete as many throws as necessary to complete the hole—which means getting their frisbee to land in the basket.

Once the game is over, your score is dependent on how many throws it took for you to land your baskets. The player with the least amount of throws is the winner (just like normal golf)!

In terms of actual play, it’s all about the strategy and technique of your throw. There are a ton of ways to go about throwing your disc and it’s up to the player to find out what playing style suits them best. Check out this guide to read through different formal types of throws.

The Equipment

Bag of equipment for disc golf on grassy field

What’s great about disc golf is that you don’t need much to get started. Essentially, all you need is a disc! You can make a makeshift basket in the backyard and practice your throws without scouting for a course.

You also never have to shell out an arm and a leg to really get involved with the game. Most discs will only cost you about $5-$25, and you can shop for family packs that work for everyone in the house.

Types of Discs:

  • Putters: These discs are akin to the traditional Frisbees we are used to throwing around with our buddies. They are round with a small dome, fly at low speeds, and are great for making short throws into the baskets (like a putt!).
  • Mid-Rangers: Grab your mid-rangers for those mid-range throws. These discs have a sharp edge and are perfect when you need a bit more speed and power.
  • Drivers: Our driver discs are the fastest and the sharpest. These are the discs that veterans tend to reach for when they start their course.

*Discs have different weights, similar to clubs having different weights. Be sure to pay attention to these details when you’re on the hunt for your disc golf equipment!

Download UDisc to grab tips and tricks, and even to find courses near wherever you are. Once you become more of a veteran, you can snag disc golf bags to carry your various discs and even grab yourself an at-home basket to set up in the background for serious practice and play.

The Courses

There are over 6,000+ disc golf courses across the United States. They can be found on college campuses, hometown parks, or even in the middle of the hustle and bustle of your nearest city greens. You’d be surprised how many are probably local to you without you having ever realized it before. The PDGA  site also has a course finder for an even easier search.

Most courses will have two baskets at each stop; one for veteran players and one for beginners. This ups the ante for those who want more challenges, but also offers easier play for those just learning.