The Basics of Disc Golf

Disc Golf, is a game that is very similar to traditional ball golf. However, instead of using golf balls and golf clubs, players throw a disc into a target or a basket. The object of the game is to throw a golf disc into the target, typically a “Pole Hole®” basket (a steel basket over which chains hang), in the fewest number of throws in a round (usually 9-18 holes).

The player begins by ‘driving’ from a designated tee area and continues toward the target, throwing each consecutive shot from the spot where the previous throw has landed. Finally, a successful ‘putt’ sends the disc into the target. The most satisfying sound a disc golfer can hear is the ‘ching’ of a disc crashing the chains before dropping into the basket.

The game of disc golf is played all over the United States as well as around the world. Along with the low cost of disc golf and availability of courses, it is a very enjoyable sport to play no matter how young or how old a person is.

Types of Disc Golf Discs

There are three main types of disc golf discs – a driver, a mid-range disc, and a putter.

– Driver

Disc golf drivers have a sharp, beveled edge that is great for cutting through the air. They are mainly used for shots off the tee pad that need to travel a significant distance. 


– Mid Range

Disc golf mid range discs have edges that are beveled yet blunt. They are used for shorter shots that need to be extremely accurate and land near the basket. 


– Putter

Disc golf putters have a very blunt edge and are much slower than all of the other types of discs. They are much more accurate and do not travel nearly as far as mid range discs.


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Disc Golf Course Components

Whenever you go out to a disc golf course, look for these items if you have difficulty finding the first hole. Baskets will have a number plate on top of them to let you know what hole it is.  Tee signs will also have arrows on them to let you know where the target is and where the next hole begins.  Most disc golf courses begin by the main parking lot.  Most disc golf courses consist of 9 or18 holes, and you’ll even find some 27 or more hole courses too.

– Basket

A disc golf basket is the most important part of a disc golf course.  You can’t truly play disc golf without a basket.  It is also known as a target.  Disc golf baskets come in all different colors and variations but they all have nearly the same look and purpose.  Players must throw their disc in the basket to finish a hole. 

– Tee Pad

A disc golf tee pad is usually cement, rubber, dirt or a combination of the three.  This is the area where a hole is started by a player throwing a drive.  Tee signs are usually located near the tee pad.

– Tee Sign

A disc golf tee sign is great for beginners as it shows them where the basket is, how long the hole is and what the par on the hole is. Some courses have disc golf tee signs and some do not. They also show players where the next tee pad is located in comparison to the current basket.


Basic Disc Golf Rules

Disc golf, like any other sport, has basic rules that all players must follow. Some of these rules include:

  • One stroke is counted each time a disc is thrown and each time a penalty is incurred.
  • A +1 stroke penalty is incurred when a players’ disc goes out-of-bounds or in a water hazard.
  • Typical par for an 18-hole course is 54. Par on each hole can range from 3 to 5..
  • The object of disc golf is to acquire the lowest score in a round (lowest number of throws).
  • Tee throws must be completed within the designated tee pad area.
  • Your lie is the spot where your throw (disc) landed.
  • Your lie can be marked with a mini or by simply turning over the thrown disc.
  • You must throw from behind your lie but can follow through and step over your current lie.
  • Once your lie is within 10 meters (roughly 32 1/2 ft) of the basket, you must maintain balance and not step over your lie until the disc comes to rest inside the basket or target.
  • A hole is completed when your disc comes to rest inside the basket or target.
  • That is basically all you really need to know to get started.
  • For a complete listing of all rules and practice’s, visit the PDGA website.

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