Disc golf is a heck of a sport. I was on about hole four on one of my local courses, Creekside Park in Archdale, NC, when I realized that there were a lot of awesome reasons why I actually play disc golf. It dawned on me that I needed to finish up my last post, How to play disc golf at night (in 6 easy steps), and create a list that could help everyone understand why I and so many others play disc golf. There’s a lot to it, but today I’ve come up with 13 of the best reasons.
In short, I play disc golf because it’s essentially free to play, it’s fun, it’s challenging, relaxing, quicker to play than ball golf, it helps you connect with friends and family, helps you network with more people, mentors love to teach new players, the community is awesome, it helps you stay fit, it’s easy to learn, and anyone can play it.
The 13 Reasons why I play disc golf (and why you should too)
1. The Cost
Of all the reasons why I like disc golf, this is probably my favorite. Disc golf is ridiculously inexpensive. The costs associated with it are almost nothing. It’s essentially free to play.
Now, don’t get me wrong, because there are minor costs to getting started. But after you buy a couple of things, you can almost play for free. I also love that the starting costs are so minimal. If you would like to know more about how much it actually costs to play disc golf, check out our post,“How Much Does it (Actually) Cost to Play Disc Golf?” that takes you through everything you need and how much it all costs.
It’s not just the equipment that’s cheap, but the courses as well. This is one or the main reasons why I switched from ball golf to disc golf. In ball golf, it costs no less than $20 dollars per 18 holes and that’s only ONE round. To put that in perspective, I’ve played disc golf three times this week (three rounds) for free. Why was it free? Because almost all courses are free. I would estimate that 95% of all disc golf courses have no greens fees. Most are public parks, but there are a lot of super nice free courses.
But if you want some privacy and you have a little bit of land, you can build your own course for really cheap. In fact, as long as you have the land, you can build a course for around $2000-2500 dollars. That’s the way to go, if you ask me. If you would like to learn about course building, check out Panamajack’s article on building a disc golf course. You can also check out some great course design tips on InfiniteDiscs.com.
2. It’s Fun
This reason and the previous reason are really why I play disc golf. The fun I get out of this sport is awesome. It’s funny, because a lot of people don’t like disc golf, even though they’ve never played it. Some even think that disc golf is dumb, but find out that they really like it when they finally play. That was me about two years ago.
I had heard about disc golf. “Okay, fine, I’ll give it a try,” I told my friend Hunter. Then I met some players who took the sport very seriously. They showed me how fun it could be and I’ve never looked back.
I think disc golf is also fun because it’s a free activity after you buy a couple of inexpensive items. I was so sick of paying for hobbies. But I picked up disc golf, bought a couple of discs and a bag, and now I play for free. Pretty cool.
Another reason disc golf is fun is because of the challenge. Even though it sucks to not be as good as you’d like to be, getting better and the challenge of each and every course is very enjoyable (at least for me). I love the challenge and hopefully you do, too!
3. The Challenge
Yes, disc golf is fun because it’s challenging. But the challenge of the game itself is what lures me in. It’s why I’m at the disc golf course right now as I’m typing this.
You see, disc golf is a very tough sport. It’s physical in that you have to be in shape. We’ll get to that later. But it’s also an extremely mental sport in the same way that ball golf is. Disc golf really makes you think. It all starts with the prep. Making sure you have everything you need, then heading out on the course.
From here, every throw you make on the course determines your score and how well you will do. Mental strategy is ever present and you have to use your head if you want to get better.
4. Friends and Family
Disc golf is also a great way to connect and hang out with friends and family. It’s an excellent way to spend good quality time with the best people in your life. That’s a big reason for me to play.
As for your friends, disc golf provides an inexpensive outlet for everybody to hang out. You and your friends can go out and have a blast, all while competing and smack talking. Friends make the sport even more fun to play. Disc golf is okay to play by yourself every once in awhile, but you won’t get enjoyment out of the sport until you take your friends along with you.
One thing about disc golf is that not a lot of people play the sport. Don’t get me wrong, there are hundreds of thousands all over the world, but that’s still just a small percentage of people. The sport is growing rapidly, so why not help it out as much as possible? Find friends who want to go out and try something new. Then take them to the disc golf course. Stress to them the best parts of the sport and help them understand how cheap it is to continuously play. That will help disc golf, all while introducing the sport to those who may end up loving disc golf (win-win).
Disc golf is great for meeting new people, too. If you have friends that bring other friends along to the golf course, you have the ability to meet new people and network. Who knows? Maybe those people will be able to help you out elsewhere in your life. I’ve had this happen a couple of times so far since I’ve been playing.
Family is also huge for me. Friends are good to have, but you only have one family. A great thing about family, as I’ve mentioned with friends, is that you can connect with people and spend quality time. You can bond with your family members in a competitive, challenging environment. You can teach your family how to play so that you and them can spend more time together. I play with my wife sometimes and it’s always really fun to spend the time with her.
5. Just Relax
One of the best reasons that I can think of why I play is for the relaxation. I like to just relax sometimes and disc golf helps me to do that. It’s a sport of pure zen, as some would say. Zen, or complete and total peace, can be achieved on the disc golf course. You just have to find your zen (although I know the trees make it somewhat hard to not get angry sometimes).
You have to try and keep that positive mindset and find your peace on the course. The course is a peaceful place after all. Well, most courses are. The majority of courses are well laid out and flow well with the nature of the land. All of this helps you relax.
But I go play because it helps me get away from all of the stresses of real life. I’ve mentioned it before, but my main job is in law enforcement. The stress I deal with daily is enough to drive you up the wall. But getting away from the job and playing a few rounds helps you to not think about what’s going on or what needs to be done.
A really good reason for playing disc golf lies in the ability of the sport to provide a good level of exercise. Rounds of disc golf provide tremendous mental and physical benefits. You can read about all of the best benefits of disc golf here. But the most important of these benefits may be on your mental discipline and adaptability. We talked about strategic thinking earlier, and this level of mental exercise can help you to stay sharp and focused in all areas of your life.
The course itself can also help you get in some really good exercise. Most courses are about a mile total in length (cumulative walking distance). This allows you to get your whole body up and moving, getting the physical exercise your body needs and deserves.
Once you start playing, you’ll understand how important it is to be fit. If you want to get better at the game, you have to get in shape. If you are already in shape, do more. The players that are in the best shape are usually the best on the course. Now, I’m not saying that just because you are in shape means you will automatically be good. That’s incorrect. But if you are able to get good with throwing your discs, AND you get in great shape, you can become a phenomenal disc golf player.
If you would like to try a good disc golf workout, check out our awesome post, “The 12 Best Disc Golf Exercises to Keep You Fit.”
7. Easy to Learn
Another fantastic reason to play disc golf is for the ease of learning the sport. I mean, the game itself is super easy to learn. If you’ve ever played traditional ball golf, you may already know how to play disc golf. Disc golf is almost the same as ball golf, but the courses are a little shorter, discs are used instead of clubs, and a basket is used instead of a small hole.
But even if you don’t know how to play, the rules are super easy to learn. I already knew how to play ball golf, so the transition only took about a single round with experienced players. I believe even the most modest of players can completely learn the rules in about two rounds. The game is so simple, I’ll bet you can learn the majority of it in about one paragraph…
Here’s the game of disc golf in one paragraph
So, the object of disc golf is to throw your disc from the starting point (tee pad) all the way into the basket (the hole) in as few throws as possible. Each hole has a certain number of throws that the hole must be made it (i.e. a par 4 hole must be made in four throws). Players use discs, often referred to as drivers, mid-ranges, or putters to make their shots. The person who has the lowest score at the end of each round wins the game. You see? Very easy. Obviously there’s a little more to it, but that’s generally how you play disc golf.
8. So Many Courses
The tremendous amount of courses in the United States and in other countries makes disc golf an enticing sport to learn. Discgolfcoursereview.com has a reported 8,000 plus courses reviewed. That’s an average of about 160 per state. Obviously some states have more and some less, but the sheer volume of courses makes it hard not to play. If you live anywhere near a city, there will be at least a course or two near you. There are about seven courses around me where I live in Greensboro, NC.
What’s even better is that there are new courses being built or renovated every single day. New courses at public parks get built because of how cheap it is to build them. Ball golf courses can cost a million dollars to build, but a disc golf course can be put together for $10,000-15,000 bucks. You can also build your own course if you have the land. Nice disc golf baskets cost about $150-200 bucks. This means, if you have the land, you can build a course for less than $4,000 dollars. That’s pretty cool.
For more information on courses near you, check out the following links below:
discgolfcoursereview.com – great directory of over 8,000 courses and reviews on almost all of them. This interactive map is up to date with all of the best courses.
Google.com – type in “disc golf courses near me” which should bring up all of the local courses.
Discgolfunited.com/disc-golf-courses/ – a great disc golf course locator.
PDGA.com/course-directory – this is another interactive map of courses on the Professional Disc Golf Association’s website.
9. The Community
This is something I comment on frequently because I love the disc golf community. Now, I consider myself to be apart of that community, but it’s everyone else that I’m talking about. The community is definitely one of the reasons why I still play disc golf.
The community is just simply awesome. There are a lot of great people willing to go out of their way to lend a hand or help out if you lose a disc or if you just can’t quite get a technique down. Also, returning discs is a great part of our duties to one another in this community. In fact, I just found someone’s disc and now I’m getting it ready for a return trip home. Why? Because that’s what our community is about and it’s just the right thing to do.
In that community, you can also make friends. We talked about this a little bit earlier, but you can make a ton of friends interacting on the course and online. If you’re online, just google, “disc golf forums,” and you’ll get a ton of great results.
Mentors are great. And disc golf has been around for awhile, so there are a lot of mentors that want to teach you. Let me say that again. Mentors want to teach you. We’ve already talked about connecting with people and making friends, so get out there and find a mentor.
It’s fairly easy to find a mentor. Get out and find new friends. You can also ask your current disc golf buddies or you can ask your family members (as long as they know how to play). And a mentor doesn’t have to be older than you. It’s okay if they’re younger, they just have to be better than you and have more experience. Whatever you do, listen to the advice of other. Most people don’t critique you to make you mad. They may be trying to make you better.
11. Quicker Than Ball Golf
This is a huge reason why I play disc golf. The time it takes to play a round is so much less than a round of traditional ball golf. Don’t get me wrong, because I really like to play ball golf. It’s awesome, but aside from the costs, each 18 hole round can take 3 to 4 hours. I can knock out an 18 hole round of disc golf in about 60 to 90 minutes or less. That’s pretty awesome.
The reason, though, why it’s so fast is because you don’t gave to wait around on a lot of stuff. There’s usually no country club, so you don’t have to book a tee time. And once you get to the course you can just start. Approach hole one and get the ball rolling (or I should say get the disc spinning).
Word of caution: just because you can start the round quick doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever warm up for your round. Make sure to take care of your body so you don’t injure yourself. Check out our post, “The 17 Best Disc Golf Stretches to Improve Your Game.”
Also, If you’d like to know exactly how long it takes to play a round of disc golf, check out our awesome post called, “How Long is a Round of Disc Golf?”
12. Anyone Can Play it
This intrigues me when it comes to disc golf, but this is yet another reason why I like the sport. Competitive disc golf is not for the faint of heart, but yet anyone can pick up a disc and become good at throwing in a few short months.
So, if you’re thinking about playing disc golf and you don’t know if you have enough size or strength, I’m here to tell you that doesn’t matter. While size and strength help, you don’t need those with good technique. It also doesn’t matter what gender you are. Some women I know don’t think they can play because of their size. Women are generally smaller than men, but some of the best disc golf players in the world are women. Age doesn’t matter either. If you’re 15, and can play very well, you’re in. The great thing about disc golf is that you can be 75 years old and it wouldn’t matter. If you can use good technique to throw the disc, you can play.
And it also doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor. A person who has put in a ton of practice, but has no money, can beat a rich kid with the best discs but no technique. That’s why disc golf is great, though. Anyone (almost) anywhere can play it.
13. Overall Good Investment
Overall, the game of disc golf is great. I know I’ve touted it over and and over again, but disc golf is something you should try because it’s just an overall good investment. Financially speaking, it’s worth playing to save some money. Physically, it’s good for your health. And mentally, it’s good for your brain. So, why not give it a try today?
You can get great starter disc golf sets on InfiniteDiscs.com for around $20-50 dollars. You can also get a good bag for around the same price range. Check out the Dynamic Discs Trooper Backpack.
Resources for you!
If you’re looking for a great guide on the best disc golf discs, check out, “The 15 All-Time Best Disc Golf Discs.”
If you need an in-depth how-to guide to playing disc golf, check out, “Disc Golf 101: A Step by Step Beginner’s Guide.”