Have You Played Disc Golf?

I don’t think I quite realized how much I’ve missed playing sports during the pandemic until this past weekend. Over the last year, my main sport activity has been indoor rock climbing (in addition to daily exercise)–it isn’t competitive, but it’s a physical puzzle with a series of challenges and ways to improve.

However, when COVID struck, I had to stop rock climbing. VR sport-like activities on our Oculus Quest have a fun substitute, but then this weekend happened. We traveled to Kansas City for the long weekend, and we ended up playing two new-to-me sports, disc golf and pickleball (which I’ll discuss tomorrow).

Disc golf is basically golf with a frisbee. I’ve played hundreds of games of ultimate frisbee in my life, but I’ve never played the golf version, which uses smaller, heavier discs (but nothing so extreme that a frisbee player can’t adjust to). Your distant target on each “hole” is a chain-link net.

We played a 9-hole course three times, and we ended up pretty close to par each time (though never under). Some holes had lots of trees between you and the target, while others were wide open. You’d think that would make it easier, and in some ways it does, but it’s much more difficult to keep the disc straight and level as compared to a normal frisbee.

Oh, and there’s gear! Just like different clubs in golf, you have different discs for various distances.

I had a ton of fun playing disc golf, and I’m eager to try some courses in St. Louis.

 


13 Responses to “Have You Played Disc Golf?”

  1. Alex Schmidt says:

    We used to do this randomly in college! There weren’t really any ‘official’ courses, but people would post courses where you were going to a specific tree or trash can or whatnot in a park. I don’t think anyone I knew used the special frisbees for it either, just standard ones.

    I think official courses and the special sets of frisbees started to become more of a thing later in my college years but I’ve never played it that way.

  2. Sara Fulton says:

    I don’t play, but my husband and his friend play every Monday. They do have ‘driving’ and ‘putting’ discs along with specialty bags to carry them in. If you buy your own discs, know that it’s customary to put your name and phone number in Sharpie on the underside. That way if someone finds your lost disc, they can call you. They will either tell you where on the course they stashed it, or they will have it with them and you can arrange a time and place to meet and recover said disc.

    My hubs also has a collapsible reacher/grabber thing (like for picking up trash) that he keeps with him in case his disc lands in poison oak. Gotta carry wipes with you to clean that up so you don’t get or spread it. I once got a grand case of poison oak when I hugged my hubs as he came home from playing. He is immune to poison oak, but I am not.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Uh oh, that’s not good about the poison oak! Though I’m glad at least your husband is immune.

  3. Joseph E. Pilkus III says:

    About 10 years ago, my family, following a Thanksgiving dinner, played a video game of Disk Golf and we had an absolute blast. Curious if this was art-imitating-life, I checked the internet and found several places near Philly. Over the next several weekends (and subsequently, the next several years), we played dozens of games. It’s very good. I don’t have the skill or patience for regular golf, so this is right up my alley.

  4. T-Mac says:

    Hey Jaam! I’d be up for joining you and Megan if you play in STL. I haven’t played in more than 15 years, but I remember it being fun. Also, I found a course (small one, I think) in the woods in a park by my house. Somehow I have a few discs as well (don’t remember acquiring those)!

  5. Chris McGowan says:

    Glad you discovered disc golf. I was introduced to disc golf at a small board game convention about 5 years ago and had a blast. Picked up a few discs and recruited a few local gamers to play on weekends. We even started an informal league with a rotating monthly course.

    It is great for all ages. Course fees are usually zero. A good putter, mid-range and driver disc will set you back only $30. AVOID the “starter disc” set from Franklin, spend an extra $5 to $10 for real discs. It’s like a walk through a field or forest with a purpose. Anytime you rattle the chains it’s a good feeling, especially from a distance.

    Courses are over the place – check out dgcoursereview.com to find one near you. The disc bag is pretty small and portable – easy to keep in the trunk.

    One of the guys in our group has that extender device, but we use it for getting our discs out of shallow water hazards.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Thanks Chris! I have a set of discs (the people I played with had extras), and I’ve found a few courses in the general vicinity. I look forward to playing again soon!

  6. Craig Liken says:

    Yes – my son (now 13) and I took up disc-golf about October last-year. We absolutely love it. It gives me the buzz you get from regular golf, but much quicker and cheaper! Also my son can compete with me on more or less equal terms (I normally win, but not by much), which he would take much longer to do with regular golf.

    If you ever come back to NZ we could give you a game!

  7. Jessy says:

    My wife and I got into disc golf about the same time we got into climbing (7-8 years ago). They’re the only sports we enjoy, unless you count weight training. The best disc golf courses and climbing routes are adventures. Especially when you get to visit a new course or gym!

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