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A Beginner’s (or Poor man’s) Guide to Disc Golf

Updated on May 8, 2015
A Driver disc like this, along with a putter are sufficient for most beginners.
A Driver disc like this, along with a putter are sufficient for most beginners.

Simple, Basic Rules (for the casual player).

First: throw the disc from the tee, or behind where the disc landed last (the professionals have marker discs that they put down when they pick up their disc.)

Most courses have out of bounds areas. A disc landing out of bounds means the player takes a throw penalty (add one throw to your score) and will take the next throw either from the previous spot, or from a spot in bounds next to the line, perpendicular to where the disc landed.

A disc that can’t be found is considered out of bounds.

Once the disc goes into the basket, or hits the target, then the score for that hole is recorded (the number of throws)

The winner has the lowest number of throws.

Finally, be courteous to other players (the pros and the casual player alike).

I was eating lunch at a park in Pocatello, Idaho, when I saw three young men throwing frisbees at a basket and then running toward that funny looking basket. At the time I knew nothing about disc golf and the ins and outs of this growing sport, but that would change. I later observed a similar basket across the street from my home, and walked over to read the sign posted nearby. After that, I was hooked on disc golf.

There are several other hubs (several by spease) giving tips on how to improve your disc golf game and terminology you might encounter, but this hub is focused on the beginner. Unlike the golf played with a club and a ball, disc golf courses typically charge no fees, and the equipment is comparatively simple and in-expensive. Two discs, a driver and putter, are ample for most courses (read spease’s hub to learn how to avoid losing discs) and the cost is probably $20 or less (especially if you check E-Bay). For the amateur who plays only a few holes a year this is all that’s required.

That said here are a few other factors that make the sport appealing to any age or skilled player. Playing even a few holes of disc golf is good exercise, and with no greens fees, if you only play a few holes (or a few holes at a time), it’s not a big deal. There are disc golf courses springing up all over the US and beyond. When I traveled around the intermountain west for work I made it a point to find the local disc golf course, (look at ) and play it if I had time. Many courses have scenery that you generally don’t see when traveling on vacation (while playing a course in Farmington, New Mexico I observed some gorgeous views of the city that most tourists would miss). For those of us who are people watchers, the disc golf course offers a new venue that offers a population less stuffy than those found on a traditional golf course (in downtown Las Vegas I observed an older gentleman who had converted his traditional golf bag to a disc golf bag, with a bag for his discs on top, and a cooler for whatever beverage on the bottom by the wheels).

The hard core players have a set of terms and rules that they strictly adhere to, but keeping a couple things in mind will allow most beginners and amateurs to have just as much fun while playing disc golf. The rules are similar to regular golf, as in the lowest score wins. If you are right handed, and throw the disc normally, the disc will break or curve to the left. If you are left handed, it will break to the right. The important thing is to keep it simple and have fun.

So take a couple of discs and find the local disc golf course. It’ll be well worth your time.



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