How To Play Disc Golf [An Elementary Viewpoint]

30 Mar

How To Play Disc Golf

by Elijah Chisholm, circa 2005, age 10

Disc golf is a fun sport to play and easy too. You can play no matter how old you are, even in tournaments! There are many accessories for disc golf as well, such as bags to carry your discs, tools to get your disc out of water, and even portable baskets to practice with. Whether you’re competing in a tournament or just playing for fun, I’m sure you’ll enjoy disc golf. Before you play the game you need to know a few simple rules.

To play disc golf you will need at least one disc made for disc golf (similar to a catch frisbee, only heavier) and access to a disc golf course. Starting at the cement or dirt tee pad for hole one, throw the disc (make sure both feet are behind the edge of the tee) at the basket making sure is is the correct one. Most courses have a  sign next to the tee that shows where the basket is, and if there are two baskets close together, you can look at the circle on top of the basket, which tells the number of the hole. If your disc does not make it into the basket on the first throw, then if you have one, place your marker disc (which fits in the palm of your hand) in front of your thrown disc. You may run up to the mini (another name for the marker disc) for power from as far away as you want, just as long as you release the disc while your front foot is within 12 inches behind the mini. Keep repeating this step until your throwing disc is resting in the basket. If the disc lands on top of the basket, it does not count. However, if the disc gets caught in the chains, it counts. Also, if you manage to wedge the disc between the bars [from the inside out], it counts, but you must retrieve it before it falls out. Once this is accomplished, find the tee for thole two and follow the same procedures as hole one. Continue playing like this for every hole, or until you wish to stop.

When playing in a group, after throwing from the tee, the person whose disc landed farthest away from the basket always gets the next throw. If your disc lands in water it is considered out of bounds and a penalty stroke is added. Here is an example: The player throws his second shot and it lands in a lake. He then takes his throw one meter straight out from the waterline and throws from there even if it puts him farther or closer to the basket. Since a penalty stroke is added, this would be his fourth shot instead of his third. If his disc gets caught up in a tree, the player throws from directly below the disc. To keep score, simply add up how many times you threw your disc plus any penalties. The lower the score, the better you did!

Although only one disc is needed to play, it is wise to carry at least 3 for many reasons. One reason is in case you lose some of them, and another is because different discs are meant to fly different lengths. For example the way you can tell these apart is by looking at the rim of the disc. The sharper it is, the farther it was meant to go. The third reason is that some discs have special abilities. Some can float on water, such as the dragon. Others turn right or left, such as the stratus (right) or the Xtra (left), and then there are some that are made to endure hitting trees. Even though drivers can weigh as little as 100 grams, most adults throw drivers that weigh about 170 grams! Depending on your age, you should throw discs that have a certain weight. If you are about 5, you can throw drivers that are around 130 grams, and if you are around 10, you can throw 150 to 160 gram drivers. Being 15 or older means you can throw 170 gram drivers, but that doesn’t mean you should. Remember, if can throw a 170 gram driver about 190 feet, then you could probably throw 150 gram driver about 210!

Follow these few rules (and some suggestions) and you will be getting good scores in no time! You will get better although it may not seem like it at first. Even though disc golf can be frustrating at times, you should always play for fun.

Elijah Chisholm

Elijah Chisholm enjoys his winnings at the Little Blue Open in 2002

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