The thirst for both recreation and competition dwell inside any person who has raced someone to the front door, started a snowball fight, or thrown something in attempt to hit a random target. This innate drive to accomplish something, and to be better than any other person is responsible for many great ideas and sports. One of these inventions was a sport originating in the 1960’s called disc golf. At the time people played the sport by throwing Frisbees at various objects ranging from trees, trash cans, light poles, chicken wire baskets and anything else that could be thrown at.
The true birth of disc golf was established when Ed Headrick invented the first “disc pole hole” catching device in 1975, consisting of 10 chains hanging in a parabolic shape over an open basket. That same year the first formal disc golf course was designed and installed by Headrick in Oak Grove Park (Pasadena, California). The well known course was an instant success and 26 years later continues to see hundreds of people each week. Since Headrick turned this Frisbee throwing past-time into an international competitive sport, it’s difficult to know exactly how many disc golf courses now exist, but a conservative estimate would be well over 3,000.
So now that there is some background to the sport, let’s get to the fun part shall we? No one should have a problem finding the history of the sport and all the rules with a quick Wiki search, so for all intents and purposes what you need to know for now is that the basic idea is the same as golf. And if you don’t know the basic idea of golf well maybe sports just aren’t your thing. But for your benefit anyway, the basic idea is to try and get the thing in the other thing in as few tries as possible. Except in this case thing #1 is a disc, thing #2 is a basket that lies below some hanging chains supported by a pole, and your golf club is well……you. So you have an idea of what it is, but still need to know what’s so great about it before you go and spend money on discs and risk your first few embarrassing throws right? Well I’ve met many people that play disc golf for many different reason whether it’s just to throw a few holes to relax on your lunch break, you need to get out of the house, or it’s something you’re really good at and you like to compete.
The fact is the sport is easier to learn than most, cheaper to get into than most, you can play individually or with friends and it allows you to be in some of the most beautiful areas and parks that you never would have known even existed. More often than not it is simply just a laid-back sport that people have fun playing and is why most of the people you run into out on the course are the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Like any sport there are the occasional players who are overly competitive, or maybe are just having a bad day and have been filling in all the divots that their terrible throws are making. As far as cost goes, it will only cost you as much as you want to spend. The cheapest new discs for beginners start around $10, and you will want to get yourself at least a driver and a putter. Yes, we’re still talking about DISC golf, you’re long range discs are going to be called drivers, you’re short range ones are putters, and in the middle would be mid-range. Seems simple enough. But to start out, the only thing you’ll have to spend money on is a disc. Few courses charge a fee to play, so most are public and free and can be easily found by simply web searching for courses in your area.
There are dozens if not hundreds of different types of discs from different makers and many of them fly, glide, turn, fade, skip, roll, and any other verb you can think of, in different ways. However, to not make you’re head explode before you even make your first mind blowing ace (commonly known as a hole-in-one), and go crazy until you realize no one was around to see it, and the chances are slim that anyone is going to believe you……..you’ll just have to go grab a disc or two of your own and enjoy it yourself. I assure you, you will find people of all ages and backgrounds whether they’re alone, with their dog, with their friends, or they bring the whole family, that are having a great time playing disc golf. Pretty soon you’ll be so addicted you’ll be out playing everyday and eventually filling your Disc Bag full of wonderfully shiny new discs and telling others about this great sport. In conclusion, just go throw.