Since 1976, the sport of disc golf has soared becoming one of the top hobbies among many teens and adults today. The growing popularity has caused the amount of disc golf courses to increase, pushing the number to over 4 thousand in the United States alone. Here in Michigan we have approximately 309 courses according to The Disc Golf Scene, and 70 courses within 50 miles of Kalamazoo.
“It’s a fun and free way to spend time with your friends,” said senior Jake Link, who began playing disc golf with his dad back in the third grade.
Disc Golf doesn’t require being an incredible athlete and it doesn’t mean you have to be big and strong either. It’s a game of technique, vision and precision. You take your disc or “frisbee,” and you throw the disc from a concrete slab at the beginning of the hole, trying to put it in the cage in the least amount of throws as possible, and your score will be based off of golf scoring rules.
If you’re able to put the disc in the basket in three throws is average, then every throw over three throws will cause your score to increase. Making it in the basket in under three throws will decrease your score. The player at the end of the game with the lowest score wins.
“The hardest part is learning to control your throws, and teaching yourself to have confidence in every throw,” said Link.
Holes can be anywhere from one hundred feet to over five hundred feet away, depending where you play and the difficulty of the course. Then on top of that, you have to maneuver around miscellaneous objects such as trees, bushes, and sometimes even rivers or ponds. At some of the local parks there are many trees that you have to avoid for a successful throw. At Knollwood Park, a disc golf course near Western Michigan University’s campus, there is a combination of trees and a pond to avoid.
In the game of disc golf there’s many different brand types of discs, for example Innova, Discraft, Latitude 64, and many others. On top of that, there’s discs for every throw, long distance drivers, mid range discs, and putters each having a specific purpose in the game. It’s all based on how far away you are and the difficulty of the throw. For around fifteen dollars you can buy a disc and drive to any of the local courses and have fun.
The game is expanding every year, bringing new people to try it, gaining fans, and even creating professional leagues. As people learn the game and invite others it will continue to grow and become more popular each year.