As I go about my business every day I run into a lot of people that have no clue what disc golf is. At this point I am the perplexed one but I need to remember that I live in a place where disc golf courses are popping up like corn. I have over 10 courses within an hour of me, all of which are built into the rolling hills of Maine and offer great views and seclusion in nature.
I forget that some people live in a place where disc golf isn’t so apparent. This makes me think we need to get our butts in gear because even people who live in the most populated cities should have an opportunity to play disc golf.
So I decided to write down a list of some of the questions I hear. If you find an error in my answers please feel free to leave a comment and I will fix them.
1. Is Disc Golf Like Ultimate Frisbee?
They both use flying discs but that’s about it for commonalities. Ultimate is a team sport where each team is trying to move the Frisbee into a goal, similar to soccer or football. Disc Golf is more like golf the way most people know it, ball golf. The rules are very similar except instead of hitting a ball with a club, into a hole, players throw a disc, with their arms, into a basket or goal. Ultimate discs have a much bigger diameter and blunt edges.
2. What are the Different Types of Discs?
There are three main types of golf discs, putters, mid-ranges, and drivers. Drivers can be broken down into distance drivers and fairway drivers.
Putters– Putters are the discs that are thrown the most in a golf round in most cases. They are used not only to putt the disc into the basket to finish a hole, but also they are the most accurate and reliable discs for making approach shots and short drives. Putters have less ability to spin fast, have a blunt edge (like an ultimate disc) that the wind can effect greatly but are the most controllable.
Mid-Ranges– A mid-range disc is a slightly faster and more aerodynamic than a putter. It could be argued that mid-ranges are more important than putters in some people’s game. They are made for throwing when a driver isn’t needed and accuracy is more important, but the distance is too far for a putter.
Fairway Drivers– A fairway driver is much more aerodynamic than a mid-range or putter. It is faster and can fly further. Fairway drivers are used when distances are too far for mid-ranges. Some fairway drivers are also used when there is too much wind to choose a regular mid-range or straight driver.
Distance Drivers– These discs spin very fast and remain stable even when great force is exerted on them. They are the most aerodynamic, usually having very sharp edges to cut through the air. They have the capability of flying the farthest. Expert players have no trouble reaching over 500 feet with their favorite driver and the elite can consistently hit 600. The world record for distance travelled in the air by a golf disc is currently 255 meters.
3. I’m new, What Disc Do I need?
One of the most common mistakes made by first year disc golfers is choosing the wrong discs. Disc golf is a game that requires a great amount of form in your throw. When you first start out you should throw discs that are slower like putters and mid-ranges. What this will do for you is make sure that you are progressing the way you should with your technique and form. When you choose a very fast disc to start out with, you will not have the arm speed to utilize its capabilities, this means you will change your form to compensate which could throw you off for years. A fast disc can hide thrower flaws because of its stability. If you start with fast discs you will hit a wall with your distance and then have to start all over with slower discs. Pick up a putter from the start and thank me later.
4. Where do You Play?
The majority of disc golf courses are free of charge and can be found in city parks. Other courses are on public land similar to ball golf courses and charge a fee to play. The fee is normally 5-10 dollars to play 18 holes and many courses offer a ‘pay for the day’ fee of 10-15 dollars. You can find a course near you by going to the PDGA’s website.
5. Is Disc Golf Good Exercise?
Disc golf is great exercise. A lot of walking is required as well as effort from your core muscles. Disc golf is not intense exercise but it is better than nothing. A player can walk up to five miles while playing in a single tournament. Also, if you are serious about getting good at disc golf you can train your body for it. Disc golf can be great motivation to stay in shape.
6. How Can Disc Golf Help My Community?
Along with being good for your health disc golf promotes community, confidence in players, discipline and respect. The first lesson I teach disc golfers is how to keep from impacting the land, then from impacting other players and finally impacting yourself, all having to do with respect. Having a disc golf course in your community park will connect people of all ages and bring your community closer together.
These are some of the more discussion type questions I get about disc golf. If you have one that isn’t on the list feel free to share it in the comments.