Written by: Timothy Fitzgerald
10/08/2012 7:40 PM
Much like tossing a football, playing catch with a disc is a simple, easy way to get outside, burn some calories, and enjoy your day. Disc golf takes tossing the Frisbee to another level, as it requires skill and concentration, but also fosters a sense of togetherness among its players. Even better, it's an especially great way for the family to have fun and keep fit on a camping trip and the discs are easy to tuck away in your RV or tent. So, how does one go about playing disc golf? What's involved? We'll get to that, but first a brief history to get you acquainted with how it all came about.
Steady Eddy and Disc Golf's Early Years
Disc golf began simply as a backyard game where throwers just randomly decided which trees they would use as a target. But modern disc golf got its start in the late 1960's when "Steady Eddy" Headrick invented the first disc golf "pole hole" (which is really a metal pole and basket with metal chains), as well as coined the term "Disc Golf." The sport has caught on since the 1960's and today there is a Professional Disc Golf Association, nearly 3,000 courses in the US and more than 3,000 globally (for a grand total of more than 6,000 disc golf courses worldwide). Disc Golf is now played in more than 40 countries.
How Disc Golf is Played
Disc golf is, in its most basic form, golf played with discs. Players tee off on courses with a set of discs usually composed of a Driver, Mid-range, and a Putter. These discs come in a variety of shapes and weights to suit different situations and player preferences. The goal: land the disc in the basket in as few strokes as possible. The basket is also known as the hole or pin, and is a pole with a basket and metal chains that hang down from the chain holder surrounding the center pole. It is usually located a few hundred feet away from the tee.
Typical courses feature 9 or 18 holes and it usually takes an hour to two to play 18 holes, dependent upon pace of play.
Why Play Disc Golf?
Disc golf fits in well with the camping lifestyle. Disc golf is inexpensive - quality discs range in price from $10-$20 and disc courses are often free to play. Many courses are located in state, county and local parks and school campuses, often close to campgrounds. Use Advanced Search found in our Campground Smart Search to find State Parks that offer camping and disc golf. Best of all, just about anyone can do it - children included.
The culture of disc golf is an added benefit. Disc golf players are, generally speaking, laid back, cordial, and encouraging; veterans claim it's not unusual for experienced players to take out of their round to share their knowledge with novices. It is also easy to learn, and is a lifetime activity that people off all ages and abilities can play.
Whether you're camping with your family and looking for a good, cheap, healthy activity, or an adventurist looking to expand your horizons, disc golf offers a great outlet to hone new skills and enjoy the outdoors. Find a disc course near you with the PGDA Disc Golf Course Directory.
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