There was a time when throwing a Frisbee on a beach gave your dog more of a work out than you. And, provided you had a cute dog, it pretty much guaranteed you the opportunity to bump into an endless supply of beach babes. As we age, our sporting activities take a shift and what was once a rigorous game of Frisbee catch or football has turned into a relaxing time playing disc golf. The social aspects have not changed, just the game. So, if you still have a bit of game in you, let’s look at getting you out there playing disc golf for a change.
1 – It’s A Lot Like A Regular Round Of Golf
If you have spent any time on the links, you’ll be familiar with the way in which the regular game of golf is played. Disc Golf is the same thing only there are some obvious differences. First off, you don’t use a golf ball or a set of clubs to play. Disc Golf utilizes a Frisbee and your crack aiming skills. Second, there is no actual hole to drop your ball into in order to finish out a hole. Instead, there are a variety of targets that must be hit with the flying disc to count towards your hole score. Thirdly, and most importantly, in Disc Golf you don’t need to wear those silly knickers or restrictive golf shirts to be allowed on the course.
2 – There’s A Professional Organization That Oversees All
Just like in real golf, Disc Golf has a governing body. The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) – and we wish we were making this up, as it sounds a lot like our work – is a membership-based organization. It has chapters in 47 different countries in the world. There are well over 100,000 members, and the PDGA sanctions competitive events for men’s and women’s categories ranging from novice – like you, you newb – all the way to professional. There are also thousands of permanent disc golf courses throughout the member countries. Google Maps should be able to locate the nearest one to you.
3 – You Don’t Need To Play Just On A PDGA Approved Course
Here’s where Disc Golf gets a lot more fun. Or should that say funner? Anyway, you may find a smaller Disc Golf course set up in one of your local neighborhood parks. The best part of that is you can probably fling a few rounds for free. Or, if you and the boys from the accounting department want to burn off some steam over lunch, you can improvise a single or double hole mini course of your own. Think of it as your putting green, and you’ll get what we are hinting at here. Plus, if you don’t tell the PDGA about your clandestine setup, we won’t, either. Provided you let us take you on every now and again for fun.
4 – Sort of Like Golf, Anyone Can Play Disc Golf
Well, there are a few disclaimers that we’ll have to weave into this somehow. Firstly, age is not a barrier. You can be a young child or an elderly adult, and if you can still flick your wrist with some relative accuracy, there’s a team out there waiting to have you on it. Secondly, you do have to have a few simple skills. Coordination would rank up there as an important one to have. A sense of direction would also be an asset. A pocket full of money for buying beer for the winners would also qualify you for play just about anywhere. The best part about Disc Golf is the rules are far easier to learn, understand and remember that in real golf.
5 – There Are Hidden Benefits To Playing Disc Golf
We aren’t going to lie about it. But we must warn you. If you take Disc Golf seriously, join or form a league, seek PDGA sanctions for your competitive events and get absorbed completely into the vibe, you stand a good chance at attaining physical and mental fitness. We know, that’s sort of a scary possibility for some of us. However, it won’t hurt you to get involved in something that gets both your heart and mind pumping. It’ll be much better for you than video poker. Well, minus all the losing and empty bags of potato chips and a stack of takeout containers. Disc Golf will help to turn you into that buff guy or gal you wish you were.
6 – It’s The Only Sport You Can Actually Hit People On Purpose
Okay, we’re stretching it a bit here. There are several sports where contact with other participants occurs. You know, Formula One Racing, mud wrestling, football, full-contact chess and hang gliding all come to mind. However, depending on the actual rules of the particular Disc Golf course you happen to be on, hitting an opponent (accidentally, of course – nudge, nudge) does happen and it’s not normally considered a punishable offense. Not like hitting your ball out of bounds or smack dab in the center of a water hazard in real golf. So, fling those discs and let them bounce off of things as you attempt to score a better score.
7 – The Equipment Is Far Cheaper In Disc Golf
We are doing a basic comparable here. For a regulation set of golf clubs, a dozen basic golf balls, some tees, a golf bag, and score counter you are looking at breaking a $100 bill at the very least. Sure, thrift shops will get you in the game for far less and if you prefer the feel of titanium clubs, expect that number to increase. On the other end of the scale, for Disc Golf your generic disc or name brand flying disc is going to be under $25. Naturally, if it happens to be an autographed model signed by someone significant in the PDGA – we’re drawing a blank here – you could see that price either increase slightly or drop drastically.
8 – The Game Is Actually Considered Addictive, Like Well, Candy
If you happen to be one of those types with an addictive personality, you’ll find Disc Golf to your liking. It will feed your need for all those things that fire those synapses in your brain and gets you hooked as if you were snorting caffeine or administering a chocolate IV drip. So, don’t say we didn’t warn you. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are support groups out there (oddly enough, not sanctioned by the PDGA) that are designed specifically to bring you down from that high and wean you off the sport with a 12 step program. Check with your employer ahead of time to see if your benefits program covers this gig.
9 – Your Dog May Never Understand The Game
If the majority of your disc throwing experience revolves around Rover doing some catch and release with you, then Disc Golf is going to be challenging – for your dog. It’s not designed for him (or her) to participate, and that may be a deal breaker for some of you. However, if you’ve been trying to find a fun and interesting sport to drag your whole family into, Disc Golf could be your answer. Not only is it fun, but it is also easy to play and can be a tad challenging depending on the course design and hole structure. Aside from that, if your goal is to somehow trick your kids into playing at least one game weekly with their parents, you could do well with this one.
So, are you interested in starting up a local Disc Golf Club? As you can tell, it is such a popular sport that you can easily become part of the ever-growing network of Professional Disc Golf Association members. If you travel a lot and we’re talking about global travel, you will likely be able to find a PDGA sanctioned course near whether your holiday. It’s a lot like booking in a hotel with a gym, pool and hot tub. Disc Golf courses dot the globe, and you’ll not only be able to keep your skills intact, you’ll meet other players who are as nutty about the game as you are.
That’s one of the bonuses of Disc Golf – it’s a social thing. Not only do you stand a chance at making some new friends, but you might end up meeting the person of your dreams while chasing after a flying disc. In many ways, this benefits echoes the days when you tossed your Frisbee for your dog on the beach. Only nowadays you can skip the sand in your shoes part and leave Rover at home. All you really need is a good throwing technique and a smile, and you’ll do just fine out on the Disc Golf course wherever you happen to be.