If you’re looking to find a fun, recreational activity to pass time, then, disc golf might be the right choice for you. The game serves as a replacement for traditional golf where the clubs and golf balls are replaced with a metal basket and frisbee- also referred to as “disc golf discs”. The sport is an enjoyable one, indeed, and people of all ages can partake in it.
Due to its growing popularity disc golf has become quite the standard. Many parks have now been converted to full blown disc golf courses to allow people to play. Additionally, many schools, resorts and summer camps now offer courses to help disc golfers learn. But you don’t need to pay for an expensive course to master the art of a hole in one. In this article, I’ll be addressing the basic rules of disc golf, how to play and important disc golf tips for beginners.
Basic Equipment for Disc Golf: A Comprehensive Guide
Unlike classical golf, you don’t need any fancy equipment to play disc golf. All that one requires is the golf disc and appropriate footwear. To begin practicing, you can either purchase a basket for yourself or simply just head out to your nearest disc golf course.
1. Golf Disc
The market has a large range of discs to choose from and it can be challenging to buy the right one. Primarily, golf discs fall in four main categories: distance drivers, fairway drivers, midrange and putters. Each of them are designed to fly at different speeds and propel in different directions. Moreover, there’s also many different weights and colors of discs to choose from.
For someone who is just starting out buying a driver disc, mid range disc and putter is sufficient. Most beginner packs already have these three discs. Once you become better you can invest in multiple discs.
2. Disc Golf Gear
It is advised to wear comfortable attire while playing disc golf. You can go with a loose shirt and pair it up with track pants or shorts. Any kind of clothing is fine as long as it’s breathable and allows for easy maneuvering.
As for the shoes, a good pair of tennis or hiking shoes go a long way. You want to avoid any kind of shoes that lack friction otherwise you’ll be in for some serious injuries. Other accessories you might want to bring include water, snacks, a bag to carry the discs and a towel.
The Rules of Disc Golf
The rules of the game are laid out by the professional disc golf association and are pretty simple to follow. All you have to do is to stand at the starting “tee” pad and throw the disc towards the basket or “the hole”. Wherever the disc lands, you go to that point (mark it with a mini marker disc) and continue playing from that spot. The aim of the game is to throw the disc in the target with the fewest number of throws possible.
Each hole also has a par. For those wishing to record scores, write down the par and aim to throw less than the par number. The course comprises 9 to 18 holes. Each of which vary in distance to increase difficulty. The person who completes the course with the least amount of throws, wins. You can also spice up the game by betting cash or awarding prizes for each hole scored.
Throwing a Disc Golf
The whole game of disc golf lies in the throw technique. If you can master your throws, you’ll become a pro in no time. There’s many types of throws you can practice from. Each of which is suitable for different distances.
In general, you should look to keep your arm straight and parallel to the ground. When throwing the disc, focus on rotating your hip and extending out the arm fully while looking at the target. Then, release the disc by leading the throw using your elbow and stepping forwards. You can learn more about throwing disc golf and ways to improve your technique here on my blog.
Common Errors While Playing
So you’ve started playing disc golf yet you cannot seem to land the disc in the basket. Here are a few mistakes that many beginners tend to make. See if you are making these errors and correct them:
1. You’re Not Using The Right Disc
One of the most common errors new golfers make is not using the right disc. Essentially, your disc selection should vary depending on how close you get to the target. When starting, use mid range discs as these have blunter edges to allow them to fly straight through the air.
Then, as you get close to the target, switch to a disc with sharper edges so it cuts through the air and gets farther. Also, check the weight of the disc to make sure it is a lightweight disc, the weight should be around 150g to 160g.
2. You are not gripping the disc properly
The proper way of gripping a disk is with the thumb on the top and the rest of the fingers at the bottom of the rim. This is how most beginners do it. If you’d like to vary it a little, put the middle finger and pointer on the inside of the rim and keep the thumb at the top.
Some beginners tend to shift the method if they are left handed. Depending on the type of throw, the disc will move in a separate direction. You also have to vary that as you get closer to the basket.
3. You are running on the tee pad
Many players think running on the tee pad will help them build momentum which in turn will help the disc fly farther. As believable as this sounds, this notion is incorrect. If anything, running on the tee pad might cause a player to sustain muscle pulls!
4. You are Not Rotating Your Body
A golf disc is not like a regular frisbee, it requires some form of hip rotation for the disc to hit the target. Many players tend to remain stiff while throwing. This causes the disc to change direction midst throw. To attain more accuracy use a full body rotation proceeding a throw.
5. You are Not Practicing Enough
Like every other game, disc golf can only be perfected with repetition. Regularly practice your technique and change up the throws depending on what fits you best. Only then can you become a pro at the game.
The Bottom Line
Disc golf is a highly enjoyable and easy to play game. People of all ages, old or young, can indulge in the sport and gain numerous physical and mental benefits.People who have played disc golf love that the game requires more skill than it does physical exertion. This is what makes it so fun for many. That being said, the sport requires tremendous amounts of practice to master. Provided you put in the time and effort, you’ll be scoring hole in ones with no sweat at all!