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Everything You Need to Know About Disc Golf

Beginning informally in the early 1900s and growing in popularity after the 1970s, disc golf, sometimes called Frisbee golf, has become one of the most famous minor sports in the United States, with over 6,000 courses located in all fifty states. The sport has become a staple and is popular for being easy to learn and easy to play. 

This article will teach you everything you need to know about disc golf, its history, its rules, and some tips to prepare players looking to get started with disc golf. Get your disc, and let’s get going! 


Everything You Need to Know About Disc Golf 

1. The History

At the start of the twentieth century, a game very similar to modern-day disc golf started to be played in Bladworth, Saskatchewan, Canada, and the first official game of what would become the modern sport was played in 1927. The game was played by a group of school children attending Bladworth Elementary.

Those playing would throw tin lids into 4-foot-wide circles that had been drawn into the sand that covered their school grounds. They referred to the game as Tin Lid Golf, and that's how the game remained until a 1970s invention changed everything for the sport. 

In the early 1970s, Ed Headrick, also known as "Steady" Ed Headrick, invented the Frisbee, which revolutionized and streamlined the game. The Frisbee provided the perfect tool for players and helped to standardize the game to allow for tournament play. 

Later in the seventies, Headrick and his son would further regiment the game by creating the universal design for disc golf catching baskets, helping to make the game feel even more legitimate. These design elements, contributed in the seventies, helped the sport to be treated more like a sport and less like a game. 

Now in the 21st century, many local leagues exist for disc golf as well as competitive teams in schools and smaller intramural leagues. This means it’s easier than ever to get started playing disc golf on a course near you. 

2. How the Game Works 

The game of disc golf is quite similar to the name of the game that lends its title, golf. Both involve players attempting to garner the lowest number of points as they travel from hole to hole. Disc golf challenges players to toss the frisbee, or disk, into a catching basket in as few attempts as possible. 

When players arrive at a given hole, they will find an area designated as the tee box; this area is a pad usually demarcated by the presence of concrete, asphalt, rubber, gravel, or artificial turf, depending on the course where play begins. The starting player tosses their disc from this box towards the catch basket.

 Then play continues with each player taking an initial throw before moving on to the second tosses. The order for second tosses is determined by players’ distance from the hole, and the player measuring furthest from the hole throws first. 

Play continues starting with the furthest player from the hole tossing until all players have successfully made a toss into the golf basket. At the conclusion of the last hole, the player with the lowest score (i.e., the fewest attempts across all the holes) is declared the winner. 

3. Having the Best Possible Experience

For first-time players, there are a few precautions and pieces of advice you should consider before heading off to your first game. First, keep in mind that while disc golf is not the most physically demanding sport, it does require a certain amount of stamina and physical fitness. 

Players should be prepared to walk for long periods of time and remain standing between turns. All those playing should dress appropriately, wearing closed-toed shoes, and dressed in an outfit you can move around in. We also recommend all players carry a water bottle in addition to a hat or pair of sunglasses. 

Second, keep in mind that games of disc golf are best played in groups of five or fewer players. In games with greater than five players, idle time increases quickly, and players are sure to get bored or check out. We recommend splitting larger groups into small sections to make the play more exciting and engaging. 

Lastly, make sure you consider the length of your course before arriving. Most courses feature nine or eighteen holes; it is important that your team gauges their interest before committing to a full eighteen holes. Beginners might want to stick to eight holes on their first time out!

4. Retreats with Disc Golf Courses in Estes Park, CO

One of the many activity amenities at High Peak Camp is our disc golf course. What could be better than enjoying a round of disc golf with your friends, teammates, or coworkers in view of the Rocky Mountains? That is one of the many aspects of our campus that make High Peak the perfect destination for all sorts of retreats and getaways. 

Sports Anyone Can Play

Now that you know some of the history, gameplay basics, and a few do’s and don’ts of disc golf; you are ready to head out on the course. The greatest thing about disc golf is that almost anyone can enjoy it regardless of their athleticism. We hope you make time soon to get out to a disc golf course near you! Reach out to High Peak Camp for more information about how to book your retreat with us!