Disc Golf / Frisbee Golf : Everything You Need to Know

Introduction

Disc golf, or frisbee golf, is extremely similar to regular golf. However, instead of using balls and golf clubs to aim for a hole, these players use golf discs or Frisbees to aim for a disc pole hole. The pole is designed in a way that it extends from the ground with chains and a metallic basket where the disc is supposed to land. The scoring factor of the game is to complete each hole with the fewest number of possible throws, starting from the tee tree and finishing at the disc pole hole. For a disc golfer, the shrubs, trees and the terrain changes that are located around the fairways prove to be a great challenge.

Generally, a course is nine or eighteen holes long. Players normally begin at the first hole and complete the course in order, playing through up to the last hole. The one with the lowest cumulative score wins the game.

disc-golf

Frisbee golf and traditional golf shares the same frustrations and joys, whether its hitting a tree or sinking a long putt or shrub halfway down the fairway. The differences are minimal though. In frisbee golf, most probably you won’t require renting a cart and you can be sure to not get stuck with a bad ‘tee time”. You also don’t have to worry about the terrain so much – land not suitable for other park activities or development is the perfect terrain for a disc golf course. It is designed to be played by people of all ages and sexes regarded of class or economic status.

Frisbee golf is a lifetime fitness sports which is easy to learn and an extremely healthy and fun activity. If you can throw a Frisbee, then you definitely need to try frisbee golf. In the USA alone, there are over 2,500 Disc golf Courses. Over 10,000,000 people have played the game. Currently, there are professional players competing in more than 390 tournaments and a world’s Championship annually. The growth in demand for the game and the course has led to the expansion of the sport all over the world, from small towns to urban areas.

Rules of the game

Just like in every other sport that exists, disc golf has its own sanctioning body that creates and maintains the rules for which every player is to abide by. The following rules are a basic outline to understanding the fundamentals of disc golf.pdga-logo

  1. Throwing order. The player who has the least amount of strokes on the last hole is the first to tee off.
    After this, the player whose disc is farthest from the hole always throws first.
  2. The lie is the spot where the previous player’s throw landed. Mark it with a mini disc. The subsequent throw is made from directly behind the marked lie.
  3. Fairway throws must be made directly from behind the lie. After the release is allowed, unless the lie is within 10 meters of the target. Any shot within 10 meters requires that the player not to move past the lie until the disc is at rest.
  4. You have to complete the tee throws behind or within the designated area
  5. You should never throw when park users or players lie within the range
  6. A disc that rests in the basket or chains is counted as a successful completion of that hole
  7. A disc is considered as out of bounds if any area that is named out of bounds is visible between the disc and the declared line.
  8. Any disc that rests above the ground is considered to be an unplayable lie.
  9. The dogleg is the designated tree in the fairway that must be indicated by arrows. Until it has passed the closest foot to the dogleg must be on the lie when the disc is released
  10. Recreational players will not be penalized for rule infractions

Follow the rules and you won’t run into any issues at the local disc golf park… unless you have created your own set of rules! In this case, be courteous to other users of a disc golf park who aren’t following your particular set of rules.

Types of Disc Golf Discs

First, there are no special discs for ‘beginners’. The same discs used by pros in this sport are the same ones that can be recommended for starters.

In saying that – the best disc golf tip that anyone can recommend for a beginner is to start with a slow disc that is understable. These particular types of discs allow for someone who is just getting started in the sport to work on their technique.

Trust me, being midway to the basket but staying on the fairway is a lot better than being closer to the basket but out in the rough or stuck in a lake somewhere.

If you need a more in depth understanding as to how to pick the best disc golf discs for beginners, check out our own guide by clicking here.

Primarily, there are four types of disc golf discs: fairway drivers, midrange discs, putters and distance drivers. It is the distance and speed the disc ‘flies’ that matters most. While any disc can be used for most throws, they are classified by how fast and far they can fly or cut through the air easily.

Just a reminder – a lot of the time – discs preferences and what works well for someone may not be the exact same as someone else. Get out there and try what you can.

If you can’t be bothered looking for the right disc, and just want to get started straight away – a great way to start is by getting a disc golf set that includes one of each disc, as well as a mini disc golf marker as shown below. These sets aren’t filled with discs that are difficult to control, and are great for beginners and experienced players alike.

Fairway drivers

These are discs that travel fast but not as fast as distance drivers do. They have thinner rims, are more stable and can fly straight. Typically, they are much more easier to control – and the more understable the disc is, the more preferable it is for beginners to practice their technique with.

Many of the discs classified as this type were the power discs of the past. As the sport has evolved with time and technology improved, the distance they can fly is not so impressive. Distance fliers have overtaken fairway drivers – but that’s not to say fairway drivers aren’t still an important disc!

Some outstanding fairway drivers include: 

  • Innova DX Leopard Disc
  • Innova DX TeeBird Disc
  • Innova Star TL Disc
  • Latitude 64 Opto Line River Driver

Midrange Discs

These ones are slower in flying and have rounded and less aerodynamic edges. While they can fly almost straight, midrange discs were considered as distance drivers in the past. They have been designed to give maximum control and accuracy without sailing the past target.

Midrange discs are perfect for nailing that accurate throw required – this includes short drives, getting out of a tight situation, and having to thread the needle through bushes and trees. It is common for professional golfers to tee off with midrange drivers.

Some outstanding midrange discs include: 

  • Discraft Buzzz Elite Z Disc
  • Innova Champion Roc3
  • Innova DX Shark Disc
  • Discraft Hawk Pro D Disc

Distance Drivers

These ones can cut through the air at very high speeds and have the potential to go very far, in excess of 400 feet when thrown with the right power and technique. If thrown carelessly, these discs lose control and fly to a shorter distance. Maximum distance drivers have thick rims and a speed rating of 10 or even higher – the ultimate tool for professional Frisbee golf players

In saying this, don’t jump the gun. If you haven’t mastered the fairway drivers, and are not throwing consistently long distances with accuracy – don’t even bother getting a distance driver. It will only do more harm than good when trying to stay on the fairway.

Some of the best selling distance drivers include:

  • Innova Champion Wraith Disc
  • Innova DX Beast Disc
  • Innova DX Valkyrie Disc
  • Discraft Nuke SS Elite Z Disc

Putters

These types are the slowest flying discs that you can come across in the market. They are easy to control and do not go far. If compared with other drivers, putters always fly straight.

They are not only good for landing in the baskets but also for approach shots, getting yourself in a great position near the basket to help you with your final throw. If you are looking to finish your game strongly – you’re going to need a putter.

Some outstanding putters include:

  • Discraft Challenger Disc
  • S Super Stupid Soft Voodoo
  • Gateway SuperSoft Wizard Disc Golf Putter
  • Innova DX Aviar Putt and Approach Golf Disc

Still Got More Questions?

If you want to know where you’re able to buy these discs – you’re able to find them at any online disc golf store – or more efficiently, on Amazon.com.

If you’ve read our little introduction to disc golfs and are still unsure about how to read the ratings on the discs, or just need further information, Innova have a great FAQ page which you can access here.

It will seriously answer any dwindling questions you may have about buying a disc.

Things You’ll Want

Disc Golf Bags

A simple disc golf bag, also stylized as a frisbee golf bag, is a great investment for any disc golf player just starting out with the sport. Buying a backpack when new to the sport may seem a bit daunting – prices for backpacks are typically higher than a standard bag – and who knows if you’ll even like the sport when first introduced to it.

Things you want to look out for when buying a disc golf bag include:

  • The storage capacity that it offers
  • Price and durability of the bag
  • Is it weather-proof?
  • Overall style of the bag

Our top pick for what we consider to be the best disc golf bag at an extremely affordable price is the Innova Champions Standard Disc Golf Bag; as seen in the image below.

disc-golf-bag

Avaliable on Amazon.com

You can also click here to check out more in-depth information in finding the best disc golf bags.

We won’t lie though. Buying a disc golf bag isn’t 100% essential to playing the sport. It is possible to just use any sports bag or backpack to squeeze your discs into – but we can assure you, it’s not where near as efficient as buying a disc golf bag.

Disc Golf Backpack

This is a bigger step up, and a bigger investment for people who live and breathe disc golf.

Owning a disc golf backpack is definitely the most comfortable ways for a player to carry around his discs (unless you had a personal caddy of course). More expensive than the standard disc golf bag, finding the best disc golf backpack is perfect for intermediate to elite players who take the game seriously. What you may want to consider when going to purchase one is:

  • The storage capacity that it offers
  • The price and quality
  • If you can use it in wet weather conditions.

The contents of the bag may vary from one player to another but it’s reasonable for a normal player to want the backpack to include places to hold their towels and water bottles, as well as the access to extra straps. This is personal preference – some may prefer to have separate cooler bags for drinks etc.

disc-golf-backpack

Available for purchase here

A great example, and our top pick, for what we consider to be the best disc golf backpack is the FITACTIC Luxury Frisbee Disc Golf Backpack. It’s made in the USA selling at an extremely reasonable price, has a drink holder, stores 25-30 discs, and also comes with a free rain protector. It’s everything you need and more.

If you want to know a bit more about disc backpacks, check out our guide to finding the best disc golf backpack. Again, backpacks aren’t essential to enjoying the game of disc golf – but if you’re more than a semi-occasional player – a backpack is worth every cent!

Disc Golf Retriever

Simply said – most people don’t even think to purchase a disc golf retriever.

People typically ask, why pay an upwards of $30 for one of these? Reason being, it’s inevitable that one day you’ll throw a disc and it will fall into a pond – it happens more often than you think! This is where a disc gold retriever becomes handy.

The foldable devices are designed to retrieve sunken golf discs from the bottom of water streams and ponds. Throw the retriever in, drag it back – it’s like going fishing as the disc golf retriever scoops up the disc and retains it as you pull it out of the water!

Don’t believe us? Still want to go without one? Well you’ll want to check out the Amazon reviews for our most recommended product – the DiscDiver Disc Golf Golden Retriever – before you make up your mind.

Mini Disc Golf Marker

A disc golf mini marker is an extremely essential disc golf accessories required in all disc golf tournaments. In particular, a mini marker is used to mark your lie as stated the rules above.

If you buy a disc golf set, chances are it will come with a mini disc golf marker. However, in the event that you don’t have one, or lose one, you can get a mini disc golf marker for a few dollars off Amazon here.

Components of the Disc Golf Course

Disc golf baskets

This is the most important component in a Frisbee golf course – and an essential piece to have at home for any budding disc golf player wanting to improve his putting or throwing technique.

Disc golf baskets come in three styles: one with no frills which are cemented directly in the ground for permanent installation (typically used in permanent disc golf courses), a portable one that consists of a portable base (sometimes with wheels… but not usually) and deluxe disc golf baskets which can be used for both portable and permanent applications.

If you’re just a casual player, or want something to practice on at home, then the best option would be looking to get a portable disc golf basket.

Portability, durability and weight are the most important features to look out for when purchasing a portable disc golf basket – however, expect the more durable disc golf baskets to be less portable.

We have two in-depth guides with regards to disc golf baskets; check them out for further information

Disc Golf Baskets : Cheaper Options

Don’t think that cheap disc golf baskets are bad disc golf baskets. Typically, they’re cheaper because they have less chains attached to them, and use less metal to create. This just means that they’re lighter and slightly less durable than the more expensive options.

Cheaper options are still weather resistant and are made to last – typically made from galvanised steel.

So – want something extremely affordable, usually priced around the $100 mark? Our top pick for this criteria is the the Titan Disc Golf Basket. You may need to buy some U-bolts to stick the basket into the ground if you want to keep it as a semi-permanent fixture, but otherwise it’s a great first disc golf basket.

Quality that will last years without the need to break the bank.

Portable Disc Golf Basket: No Budget

So you don’t mind paying, and you just want the best disc golf basket?

What you’ll want to find is something that is high in durability to be a permanent fixture, whilst also having the option of being portable so you can take it for recreational play when needed.

If this sounds exactly like what you’re looking for, then you can’t go any further than the DGA Mach 2 Disc Golf Basket.

Highly durable, adaptable to any condition or level of portability, 18 chains, versatile, and a 20 year manufacturer’s warranty. It’s simply unbeatable (if you’re willing to spend the money!)

Feel like you need more information before making a purchase? You can check out our guide to best portable disc golf baskets – it’s comprehensive and aims to provide an accurate comparison of all the best available options out there.

Tee Signs

These are like a map for the home which is located at each tee. They provide important info like the distance, hazards, the preferred flight path, and out of bounds.

Tee Pads

The tee gives you a sturdy and levelled foundation to start to play from to ‘tee off’ for each available hole there is. They need to be debris free and provide sure footing. They are made of poured concrete slabs, dense rubber pads or decomposed granite. The pads should be resistant to wear and tear and durable. 

Other Information

Throwing styles of in frisbee golf

The backhand: This one is derived from tennis because it is where the arm crosses over in front of the body, then move outward and release with the arm that is extended from the body which is almost similar to the tennis stroke. The same holds true for the forehand or sidearm throw.

The sidearm: With this one, the player can choose to use the straddle stance or face the opposite direction in which he would have to face the target with the feet parallel and also shoulder width apart facing the target.

The overhead: This particular throw is unique and requires a lot of practice away from the course. It’s commonly referred to as a tomahawk throw because it resembles throwing a tomahawk. The grip on this one is similar to the sidearm only that the toss offers a unique flight pattern that makes it ideal for getting over and around certain obstacles

A Hyzer: This one is designed to take advantage of the natural angle of the disc. A right-handed player using a backhand style, the natural disc angle is for it to travel towards the left. This can be achieved perfectly by understanding the disc’s natural angle.

Anhyzer: This is when the player wants the disc to move in the opposite direction. Such an instance is where a right handed player will angle the left side of the disc upward. After releasing, the disc will move towards the right, which is the disc’s natural angle.

Leave a Reply