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Disc Golf

Disc golf combines the best of traditional golf with the laidback fun of throwing a Frisbee. With over 1,000 disc golf courses in the United States and around 3 million regular players, you can easily enjoy the many benefits of playing disc golf ( If you are looking for competition, there are over 20,000 members of the Professional Disc Golf Association, 390 sanctioned tournaments each year and the World Championships for disc golf hands out $64,000 in prize money, according to the Disc Golf Association. (article continued below)

Photo Credit: Jason Maehl

What is Disc Golf

   Formalized in the 1970s, disc golf is played similarly to traditional golf ( The main difference is that a flying disc, or Frisbee, is used instead of clubs and balls. The goal is to get the disc into the "hole" in the fewest number of throws. Established disc golf courses, which are found throughout the world, have tee areas and disc golf targets called Pole Holes, which consist of hanging chains and a basket. Courses can range from nine to 24 holes (
    You start a game by throwing your disc from the tee area towards the target. After the first throw, the player furthest from the hole throws his or her disc. You must play the disc from where it lands (if it lands in water, play it from the bank). If it goes out of bounds or lands in water, there is a one-throw penalty. The hole is finished when you get your disc in the basket of the Pole Hole. Like traditional golf, each hole has an established par, and the winner is whoever completes the course in the fewest throws (

Disc Golf Equipment

    Like traditional golf, there are different tools for different situations. While traditional golf uses woods, irons, putters and wedges, disc golfers throw different types of discs such as drivers, mid-range discs and putters. The differences between the types of discs are the levels of stability and distance potential. Professional disc golfers use about five to 10 discs during a competition. However, you can play with just one disc. A professional quality disc costs about $10 (
    Although there are many established disc golf courses in city parks with tee areas and Pole Holes, it is not required for recreational play. You can create your own course in a park or fields. In fact, early disc golfers used everything from trees to drinking fountains as their holes (Disc Golf Association).

Photo Credit: Ben Beltman

Disc Golf Competitions

    Disc golf is played throughout the world, and the competitions draw international players and spectators. From the Japan Open to the Skelleftea Open in Sweden, the Professional Disc Golf schedule circles the globe. The United States Disc Golf Championship, hosted in Rock Hill, South Carolina, is the most prestigious tournaments on the PDGA's schedule and has the largest purse, with first prize at $11,000 and total winnings at $80,000 in 2005 ( The total purse for the PDGA tour was about $1.4 million in 2005 ( Professional disc golf competitions are continuing to grow in number and popularity.
    Whether for exercise, competition or recreation, disc golf can be played by all ages and abilities without spending thousands of dollars or getting a tee time. If you are looking for a new, competitive sport, a date idea or a fun family activity, give disc golf a toss. At worst, you'll be out a few dollars.


Disc Golf Association. "Disc Golf History." (accessed July 2, 2006).

Professional Disc Golf Association. "1996-2005 PDGA Membership & Tour Growth Indicators." (accessed July 3, 2006).

Professional Disc Golf Association. "A Guide to Disc Golf from the PDGA." (accessed July 2, 2006).

Professional Disc Golf Association. "Event Information: United States Disc Golf Championship." (accessed July 3, 2006).

World Flying Disc Federation. "Disc Golf in Eight Rules."  (accessed July 3, 2006).