As disc golf gets more and more popular, the question, “how much does it cost to play disc golf,” comes up again and again. New players are curious about how much they actually have to invest in order to play disc golf regularly.
In this post, we will be briefly comparing disc golf with ball golf in order to show you how great disc golf is financially for all players.
But first, how much does it cost to play?
The average player will spend about $20-40 bucks at first on discs, $20-50 bucks on a bag, and then after that, disc golf can be essentially free. Your total start-up cost will be anywhere from $40-100 dollars.
But let’s take a look at every possible expense.
ball golf vs. disc golf
There are a few essential items you need to play ball golf:
• Clubs (at least $100)
• A golf bag to hold the clubs (at least $50)
• Golf balls ($20)
• Tees ($5)
• A paid round of 9-18 holes ($20 dollars or $30 with a cart)
• A golf cart (which will cost you more in your payment of each round you play)
• Plus additional expenses that we will talk about later on ($10 per round)
Total cost of ball golf just to get started: roughly $215 dollars at minimum.
Don’t forget that each round plus your golf balls and miscellaneous expenses will cost you about $40-50 dollars. If you play weekly, your monthly cost can be $160 dollars. If you play all year, this is almost $2,000 dollars. Even if you only play once a month, you will still be paying around $500 per year in fees.
Now let’s look at disc golf.
Disc golf requires a few essentials to get started:
• A cheap disc golf starter set or used individual discs ($20-50 – link to InfiniteDiscs.com). You can check out our post here called, “The 17 Best Disc Golf Starter Sets for Beginners,” for more.
• A Disc golf bag ($20-40 or you can just use a bookbag you already have for free.
• Access to a Disc golf course (most places you can play for free or only a few dollars)
• Other Miscellaneous expenses ($5 per round) like gas or snacks
The total cost of Disc Golf to get started: no more than $40-100 dollars. If you go super cheap, you can start out for around $20 bucks.
If you play on free courses weekly, you will end up paying zero dollars to play for the whole year. Most amateur players play monthly and again this will cost you nothing per year.
Types of equipment and costs
Disc golf, as stated above, has some equipment needs that we will show you one by one. The first 3 items on the list are really the only items needed, but if you really want to put an awesome disc golf bag together, we got you as well.
Drivers: a driver is your initial throw off the tee. This is similar to ball golf. You need a good solid driver to start out your collection. Try seeing if a friend has some discs you can throw. If not, you can visit a used sports store or sporting goods store to look at discs. You can buy a good driver for around $15-20 dollars. InfiniteDiscs.com has a bunch of good drivers for around that price or cheaper. A great beginner driver is the Innova Leopard DX.
Mid ranges: A mid range can be thrown off a short tee or used as a second, third, or fourth shot after your initial drive. You need a solid mid range to help you get through each hole. My personal favorite is the Innova Wombat mid range. I have the original Wombat and it’s fantastic. The 3.0 is out now and you can find it on InfiniteDiscs.com for less than $20 bucks. That’s a great starter or you can check out the Discraft Buzzz.
Putters: A good stable putter will help you sink your last throw (hopefully). Any Innova putter or Discraft putter will work for you as a beginner. I would suggest putters with a harder plastic, as they feel more stable whenever I putt. But go with whatever feels good to you. I got a Dynamic Discs Prime Judge and that thing rocks (link to InfiniteDiscs.com).
Pro tip: you can also buy extremely cheap disc sets on InfiniteDiscs.com or Amazon. If you are brand new, do your research and read reviews. Then start out with a cheap set so you can get an idea of what you like and don’t like. If you can, try out other discs that friends or other players are using. That way you can really get a feel for throwing and which discs you want or don’t want.
Here are four cheap disc sets to start out with. You can get all of them on InfiniteDiscs.com, Amazon, or at your local disc golf shop:
- Innova DX starter set
- Dynamic Discs starter set
- Discraft DSSB starter set
- Latitude 64 Burst starter set
Bags: You don’t need a bag to start out, but you can get one for the convenience if you want. I would at least recommend a strap backsack to carry some discs. If you can spend the extra $20-40 dollars for a disc golf bag, I would do it. You can find Some great bags here on InfiniteDiscs.com. I personally use the Dynamic Discs Trooper Backpack (link to Amazon). It’s only about $40 bucks and is an excellent quality bag for the money.
Carts: A disc golf cart, or essentially a rolling disc golf bag with wheels, is definitely not needed (but can be a super cool thing to have on the disc golf course). A good friend of mine has a rolling cart and he absolutely loves it. Dynamic Discs has a cool looking cart here on Amazon.
Accessories: You don’t need disc golf accessories but they can be cool to have as well. If you check InfiniteDiscs.com or Amazon.com, you can find some cool Disc Golf lapel pins, disc markers, towels, shirts, gloves, and other things like stickers.
Miscellaneous expenses: Finally, these miscellaneous expenses are required to play disc golf. The biggest is gas to get to the disc golf course. A lot of people live close to a disc golf course, but for some, gas can be a factor. Also, if you spend a lot of time on the course, think about what you spend on water, drinks, and other food and snacks. Eating out can really add up, especially if you’re going to the course, then grabbing grub afterward.
Pro tip: pack a couple bottles of water and buy some protein bars at the store for your disc golf days. They come in handy. I always bring Nature Valley sweet and salty nut bars. They are the bomb.
Lastly, make sure you think about any other practical things you may need. Things that will keep you ahead of the game. But things that aren’t too expensive. The idea is to be able to play for little to no money.
Courses – Free vs Pay2Play
Ball golf courses start out at about $20 dollars per round, and with a cart, can be about $30 dollars a round. Some courses can run into the hundreds of dollars. I used to live near Pinehurst, NC, and the professional golf courses were around $250-300 dollars per round of 18 holes. That’s insane!
Disc golf courses are much, much cheaper (If they cost anything at all).
Free: Most cities and towns have free park courses that are decent. The majority of free courses that I’ve played are great and I’ve had no issues with.
You can find courses near you with these three websites:
- PDGA’s disc golf directory
- Discgolfscene.com’s course directory
- Discgolfcoursereview.com’s course directory
Pay2Play: These courses are generally pretty nice and are kept up with. There are some courses that are kept up with by city parks in bigger cities, but most are pay2play. Disc golf courses really don’t require a lot of maintenance, so most free courses are completely fine. But there are those that are very nice, kept up with daily, and private. Most of the courses charge between $1 and $5 to play, according to a poll on discgolfcoursereview.com
The cost of playing competitively – league play
League play is growing ever more popular as players want to step it up from regular competition. There are still clubs that play for friendly competition as well as those who are very strict and play for prizes.
You can expect to pay somewhere from $5 dollars up to $30 per year to join a local disc golf club. Some clubs are free, but the majority have some kind of monetary fee to play. If you would like to add some competition to your disc golf game, search google.com for “local clubs near you”. You can also visit disc golf courses near you and ask local players if they know of any clubs in the area. No clubs in the area? Why not start one?!
The cost of pro play
If you’re able to get good enough to go pro, or play at a semi-pro level, your expenses will start to add up. Playing competitively at a pro level requires a significant amount of time and dedication. You need good discs, which cost more. You also need a way to pay expenses if you aren’t working a normal 9-5 job. Discmania.net has a good article on the costs of being a professional disc golfer called, “Become a professional disc golfer pt. 2.”
So gear up and get practicing!
Do I have to go pro and spend a lot of money?
No, not at all. There are players who want to play a lot. Those guys want to get really good and try the professional route. They spend money. You absolutely do not have to do that if you don’t want to.
The thing I like most about this game is the fact that you don’t have to spend a lot of dough. That makes it a game for young players, players in college, or players looking to save money and still have fun.
You can spend as little as you would like or you can go all out and spend as much as you want. Just remember: unless you are good, none of that expensive equipment matters.
If you’re looking for friendly competition, a stress-free environment, and something cheap to do, here are 10 tips to help you get started as a beginner:
10 Tips to help you get started with disc golf
1. Caution: Be careful of used sports stores. They sometimes sell used disc golf equipment for the same price as new gear online.
2. Don’t be scared: nobody cares about your skill so don’t be afraid to just go play. If you suck, oh well. You won’t get better until you practice.
3. Practice up: The more you practice, the better you will get. Try to get a round in at least once a month if you want to get better.
4. Focus on technique: practice makes perfect? Nah, I say practice makes permanent. Make sure you learn good technique and only focus on that. Remove your ego and stop trying to throw the disc as far as possible. Get your technique down and then you can look at trying to get more distance on your throws.
5. Find a pro mentor: I’ve done this with sports my entire life. You should find a player that has some skill and ask if you can play a few rounds with them. If you’re lucky, you will be able to find an awesome pro mentor to guide you amongst the more complex parts of disc golf. My friend and I have found some good mentors, so you just have to look and talk with better players. Most good players love to help out newer players get better.
6. Always take advice on getting better: If you are playing with someone that seems to know the game better, or can play the game better, try to take their advice as much as possible. I hate it when I see good players give tips to beginner players and those beginners get upset because of it. Advice given by better players may seem like criticism, but most of the time it’s not. A lot of good players just want to see others get better. Don’t get mad if someone gives you tips on how to actually throw that driver.
7. Cut out negativity: The game of disc golf is supposed to be a fun, relaxing, and zen-like environment. If you play with players who are negative and always get mad, your game could suffer. Always try to play with upbeat, chill players who only want to have some fun.
8. Get some good shoes: Each time you go out, you will walk at least a mile. Get some good, quality tennis shoes or trail sport hiking boots so that you can keep on trucking through courses!
9. Take care of your body: Your body is important and disc golf rounds can be a couple of hours long. Make sure you eat a solid meal about 30 minutes to an hour before you go out. Also make sure you are properly hydrated through the entire round. Take a couple water bottles and some protein bars so that you can take care of yourself. If your body is in bad shape, you won’t be able to play. Check out our awesome post called, “The 12 Best Disc Golf Exercises to Keep You Fit.”
10. Don’t buy green or brown discs, ever: Lastly, if you want to save money and not have to buy a lot of discs, stay away from discs that are green or brown. Why? Because open fields, tall grass, dirt, and woods are a mixture of green and brown.The only disc I’ve ever lost was green. My favorite colors are blue, pink, orange, yellow, and any neon color discs. They stand out from the landscape and help you not lose your discs (unless you throw it into a pond).
You can also check out our awesome tips post, “101 Disc Golf Tips to Take Your Game to the Next Level.”