Disc golf is a sport that takes the course-based elements of golf and substitutes the ball and club for a Frisbee. The game is played by tossing a Frisbee towards a basket-shaped target. The object is to get the Frisbee into the goal with the fewest throws possible. Scoring is done in the same way as in traditional golf, with throws counting towards a “par,” or ideal, score. Disc Golf can be played professionally, and official tournaments are hosted by the Professional Disc Golf Association, or PDGA.
Disc Golf was first played sometime in the first decade of the 1900s. No one knows when it was invented, or by whom, but there is documented evidence of children playing the game during this time period. However, Disc Golf did not take off until the 1960s, when George Sappenfield, and “Steady Ed” Headrick repopularized the sport. “Steady Ed” Headrick is known today as “the father of disc golf” as he invented the first disc golf course as well as the specific rules of the game. He is also created the Professional Disc Golf Association. Today, disc golf is mostly played on an amateur level, and many disc golf courses can be found in public parks across the country. Although disc golf is not the most widely known sport, official PDGA tournaments have been growing in popularity.
Disc golf is relatively inexpensive to play, as there is no specialty equipment to buy. Courses are also very accessible and are normally found in public parks. Professional level disc golf courses do exist, but they generally have low admittance fees.
There are several benefits to learning and playing disc golf. It is a very low-intensity sport, and as such is perfect for players of all ages. Even though the activity isn’t that strenuous, disc golf requires a lot of movement, including walking around the course. As such it is a great way to get exercise and strengthen your heart.
According to the PDGA, there are currently 2,774 registered disc golf courses in the United States, and even more abroad. Disc golf is very popular internationally, especially in the U.K., Sweden and Finland. The sport seems to be growing at an exponential rate, and there is a petition to get disc golf into the Olympic games.
Although disc golf carries fewer risks than other, more intensive sports, it is important to keep your surroundings in mind when playing. Because most courses are located on or around public parks, it is important to keep an eye out for biker or pedestrians when playing disc golf in these popular areas.