Disc golf

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File:Disc golf throw.jpg
A player throwing his disc toward a metal basket target.

Disc Golf (also known in some parts as "folf," or "frolf," for "frisbee golf") is a game based on the rules of golf (referred to by disc golfers as "ball golf" or "stick golf"). It uses flying discs which are similar to the Frisbee, but usually smaller and more dense. The discs are thrown towards a target, which serves as the "hole". The targets can range from just being objects such as trees and poles to being metal baskets with hanging chains to catch the discs.


Disc golf is played in a similar manner as ball golf. The initial "drive" is taken from a designated tee area. Each subsequent throw is taken from just behind the spot where the disc came to rest. Each throw is added to your tally. As with ball golf each hole is given a par rating. A common strategy for a par-three hole, as in golf, would be drive (long throw toward the basket), approach (mid-range throw to the "green"), putt (short throw into the basket). Your hole is scored when the disc has come to rest in the basket of the target or when it hits the designated part of an object if there are no baskets and it is an object course.

A typical course would be 18 holes. Many smaller courses have only 9 holes, while an increasing number of courses offer an additional 9 holes to make 27 available holes to the disc golfer. Many disc golf courses are in open, grassy public parks, but more challenging courses are set in semi-wooded and hilly areas, some quite rough and natural. One good example of a classic long course with wooded hills is De Laveaga Disc Golf Course in Santa Cruz, California, USA.

The target in disc golf is usually a metal basket that is suspended parallel to the ground about two feet from the ground, and attached to a vertical pole that is a few feet tall. To better allow discs to come to rest in this basket, chains are suspended from another circular section near the top of the pole and allowed to hang limply to a point where they are connected to the pole in or near the receiving basket.

Disc golf is unique in that PDGA and WFDF rules, based in player conservation efforts as well as fair play, make it a violation to cause damage to the course's flora. With most courses not requiring greens fees, the relative low cost of discs, and tournament fees still fairly low, the disc golf social structure may be among the most egalitarian and relaxed in organized sports.

There are a wide variety of discs, divided into three basic categories: putters, approach discs, and drivers. There are several classes of drivers intended for different distances. Mid-range drivers tend to be the most versatile discs, and are very good for beginners. For longer drives there are many variations of long-range and extra long-range drivers.

Throwing style

See Frisbee throws for more details

The two most common throwing techniques are the forehand throw (aka side-arm), and the backhand throw. Of the two the backhand style is most familiar to new players and is the most common.

A right-handed player performing a forehand throw will generally hold the disc in his right hand and throw the disc with the palm of his hand facing the direction of the throw.
A right-handed backhand thrower will throw the disc with the back side of his hand facing the direction of the throw.

The different types of throws spin the disc in opposite directions, causing the disc to turn and fade left or right, depending on type of disc thrown, windage, spin speed and various other variables. Many players try to master both techniques or learn to play both left- and right-handed to account for as many situations as possible.

Another throwing style is the roller, which can be done two different ways. One way a roller can be thrown is with a forehand grip and the disc is released vertically and allowed to roll. The other way a roller can be thrown is with a backhand grip. The person would throw the disc, releasing it vertically. Most people can get more distance with a backhand roller than with a forehand roller.

Additional throwing techniques include (but are not limited to):

  • Tomahawk
  • Thumber
  • Grenade
  • Prebinator - A chip shot where you hold the frisbee upside down and chip to the basket with a normal forhand toss. You will find that the frisbee flies and dives straight down right at the basket. Back spin is generated such that in case the frisbee misses the basket, it will stop very close around the basket. The Prebinator takes a great dive down "into" the basket, taking advantage of the larger basket entry area


Stability is one of the most important disc properties when choosing a disc. There are three stability classifications, based on the behavior of a disc when thrown using a level right-handed backhand:

  • Understable: An understable disc has a natural tendency to curve to the right during its flight when thrown backhand by a right-handed player.
  • Stable: A stable disc will maintain a straight flight path.
  • Overstable: An overstable disc that tends to curve to the left when thrown backhand by a right-handed player.

The stability of a disc depends on a number of factors, including the weight, size and shape of the disc and the speed with which it is thrown. Thus, a disc that is overstable for one player may be stable or even understable for another. The ratio of disc spin, angle upon release, and air speed (partially related to arm speed) are important control factors.

Beginner Disc Selection

As mentioned above there are several different manufacturers of disc golf discs. If you are new to the sport, then you probably need some advice on what discs to start out with. One of the biggest mistakes I see out on the course is beginners are throwing discs that are too overstable for them.

Here is a good list of discs you can pick up that won't be too overstable for a beginner's arm.

Drivers -Teebird -Leopard -XL -Sabre

Midrange -Buzzz -Wasp -Roc -Shark -Element/Element-X

Putter -Anything that feels comfortable to you. Different putters do different things. Try to find someone playing on the closest course near you and see if he/she will let you check out their putters before you go out and buy one. The best players usually buy several of the same putter in the same weight.

Disc Golf Hall of Fame

  • 1993: Vanessa Chambers | Dave Dunipace | Ed Headrick | Tom Monroe | Jim Palmeri | Dan Roddick | Ted Smethers
  • 1994: Harold Duvall | Nobuya Kobayashi | Darrell Lynn | Dan Mangone | Doug Newland | Snapper Pierson | Lavone Wolfe
  • 1995: Ken Climo | John David | David Greenwell | Johnny Roberts | Dr. Rick Voakes
  • 1996: Mike Conger | Patti Kunkle | Rick Rothstein
  • 1997: Steve Slasor | Elaine King | Jim Kenner
  • 1998: Gregg Hosfeld | John Houck | Carlton Howard
  • 1999: Sam Ferrans | Steve Wisecup | Tim Selinske
  • 2000: Tom Schot | Royce Racinowski
  • 2001: Stan McDaniel | Johnny Sias
  • 2002: Alan Beaver | Gary Lewis
  • 2003: Mark Horn | Brian Hoeniger | Dr. Stancil Johnson,
  • 2004: Derek Robins | Geoff Lissaman | Johnny Lissaman | Marty Hapner
  • 2005: Matts Bengtsson | Sylvia Voakes

For more information, check out the web site of the Disc Golf Hall of Fame: [1]

Disc Golfers (external links)

Disc Manufacturers

File:Discs in basket.jpg
A number of assorted discs.

Practice Discs

External links

See also



United States


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