What is Disc Golf?

Disc golf is played much like golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, though, players use a flying disc or frisbee. The sport was formalized in the 1970s and shares with golf the object of completing each hole in the fewest strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, fewest throws).

A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target, which is the “hole.” The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is an elevated metal basket. As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive throw from the spot where the previous throw landed. The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer. Finally, the “putt” lands in the basket and the hole is completed.

Disc golf shares the same joys and frustrations of golf, whether it’s sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway. There are a few differences, though: Disc golf is often free to play in public parks, although pay-to-play courses are trending upward; you probably won’t need to rent a cart, but converted golf course layouts are also on the rise; and your “tee time” will usually come during tournament competition, not casual play. 

Basics

– Like golf but instead of hitting a ball into a hole, you throw a disc at a target (basket).

– Go over basic rules including etiquette (don’t stand too close to the thrower and make sure no one is in your way when throwing).

– If you don’t have a disc golf basket, use a tall cone, portable basketball net, or anything else that can be used as a throwing target

Putting

As if you’re playing catch with the target throwing a backhand

Have everyone stand in a circle around the target and do a few rounds (3-4) where you go around the circle one at a time, getting students to putt at the target. After each round, take one step further back to increase the challenge.

Ring of Fire: After you’ve done a few rounds, do a group Ring of Fire, where everyone will putt at the same time. You can keep going further away after each round and challenge them. Try not to go too far away because you want to keep this a putt.

Option: Elimination version of Ring of Fire. After each round, only those who have hit the target remain in the game – keep going until only one student is left.

Option: Putt with a forehand

Option: Putt throwing the disc under their leg or with the opposite hand

Driving

– Have students stand about 200 feet from the basket/target and really challenge them to throw it as far as they can. For this activity, you want students to work on their max distance.

– Work on backhand/forehand.

– Try to have one student at a time go and unless you see something major, don’t suggest too many corrections.

– Mention that the world record is about 3.5 football fields (1108 feet) and mention that the roller world record is about 12 football fields (1.1 km). For sure there will be some throws that turn into rollers, so this is a good opportunity to talk about how a roller could be a good throw, depending on the ground conditions, and the hole placement.

Playing

– Depending on the number of students you have, create 2-4 holes so there are 5-8 students at each hole. If you need to create more than 2 holes, use trees or other targets in the area.

– Set up each hole with 2 cones as the tee box and make it flow so they can go around the circuit. You could each have 2 tee boxes for each basket, depending on the number of students who show up.

– Utilize the staff/volunteers – have one go with each group.

– Have each hole long enough that there will be a drive, approach, and a putt. Or a long drive and a putt.

– Have some fun with it – after going through a few times, have each group make up their own hole and have the other groups play the new course.

Wrap Up

– Find out all about the courses in your local area so you can tell your students where they can play ( PDGA Course Directory).

– Briefly mention the PDGA and how if they’re traveling anywhere in the world, they can find the closest course by going on the PDGA website.