Beginner’s Quick Guide: What is a Disc Golf Course?


I remember when I first started playing disc golf. It was a lot of fun. But me and my buddy Hunter were pretty bad. That was okay, though. Because this sport is really hard. I learned that I wasn’t going to be an expert in just a few rounds and that it was going to take a while. But I found that one great trick for getting better at the sport was to find new, challenging disc golf courses to play on.

Today, we’re going to be looking at what exactly a disc golf course is, how to find local courses, what you need to know out on the course, building your own course, why you should play disc golf, everything you need to play, how to play disc golf, and some tips for improving out on the course. So what exactly is a disc golf course?

What is a disc golf course?

A disc golf course is a course designed specifically for disc golf, or frisbee golf, as some people call it. A disc golf course is usually the same amount of holes as a ball golf course, has concrete tees, a shorter layout, chain metal baskets, and is played on a variety of landscapes.

How many disc golf courses are there?

Most disc golf courses are absolutely amazing and can be designed in so many awesome ways. The local terrain usually puts a unique spin on the course, while designers try to use nature to build the perfect course. That’s why there are so many courses.

As of January 2020, according to Discgolfcoursereview.com, there are over 10,000 courses in the world today in total. Of course, there are many more courses being built every single day.

How to find your local courses

Hopefully, like myself, you live near a bunch of really awesome courses and have more on the way. That’s super ideal. But it’s okay if you’re not. Finding those local courses, though, is easy. They’re are a couple of resources that you definitely need to check out to find those awesome spots near you.

The first resource is Google. Simple and easy. Search for “disc golf courses near me,” and you’re bound to find just about all of the local courses. You can also search, “disc golf (your town or city),” and you’ll find about the same results.

Once you’ve found a couple of good courses in the area, you need to check out this next resource: Discgolfcoursereview.com. this site is awesome and shows just about everything on the course you’ve selected – rating, reviews, photos, playing condition, and many other awesome factors of the course. This is my go to when looking at new courses.

Can I build my own?

So, to date, I have not built a course for myself. But I do plan on building one in the future once I acquire some land. But yes, you definitely can build your own course.

If you or your friends/family have a piece of property that you can use, then that’s awesome! Be sure to get permission or appropriate permits if needbe. But otherwise, get building. You can build your course with portable baskets but I recommend permanent so that no one can come and steal your portable baskets.

Portable baskets run around $100 to $150 dollars while permanent baskets run anywhere from $200 to $400 dollars. So the total cost of your course will be anywhere from $1800 to $3600 or way more depending on basket choice, land acquisition, and concrete for teepads if you so choose. So I’ve chosen to just play on my local, free courses for the time being.

If you want to build a course, check out the following basket options here in our post, “17 Best Disc Golf Baskets (Get One and Win) .”

3 reasons you should play disc golf

1. The Cost

One of the biggest reasons why I play disc golf is because of how inexpensive it is to play. The startup cost can be less than $100 dollars and can be free for a long time after that.

Discs are pretty cheap ($10 to $15 per disc), bags aren’t much more ($30 to $40 for a cheaper bag), and the cost to play on most park courses is FREE.

For more information on disc golf cost, check out our post, “How Much Does it (Actually) Cost to Play Disc Golf?”

2. The Challenge

I love disc golf for another reason – it’s super challenging. What makes disc golf great is that it’s fairly easy to learn, but getting good takes a lot of work. It will make you think about strategy, shot placement, which disc you need for which kind of situation, and how you can possibly get your disc in between the 47 trees in front of you. So yeah, it’s tough.

3. The Exercise

One last reason why you should play is because of the exercise that disc golf can give you. It’s physically demanding because you’re trekking an 18 hole course over every kind of terrain imaginable. You can get your heart rate up by just walking and I recommend that you speed up your game a little bit so that you can keep walking the entire round.

But I’m not just talking about physical exercise. Remember the challenge I just talked about? Yep…disc golf can also be very mentally demanding as well.

Everything you need to play disc golf

If you decide to play, you’re going to need a couple of things.

• Discs – Mhmm…it’s disc golf so you need discs.

• A bag – a good disc golf bag is crucial to your game.

Well, that’s it, those are the only two things you actually need to play. But if you want to stock up your bag with some other miscellaneous accessories, check out a couple more things below ⬇️.

• Snacks – my favorite snacks to take are the Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Nut bars (I get them here on Amazon).

• Water – lots and lots of water. Water is important for keeping you hydrated in the course.

• Towel – to wipe off your hands and wet discs. Grab one here on Infinite Discs.

• Cell phone – you can keep score, take pics, or just have it for emergencies.

• Mini marker disc – for marking the lie. Grab one here on InfiniteDiscs.com.

• Sharpies – to mark your discs so they don’t get lost and for marking your discs when you get aces. These Extreme Black Sharpies (link to Amazon) are meant to hold up in extreme conditions…you know like disc golf.

• Disc golf retriever – good for getting discs back out of water. Find one that you like here off on InfiniteDiscs.com.

• Friction disc golf glove – for playing in the rain. Grab one off of Infinite Discs.

Hockey puck or a baseballfor knocking stuck discs out of trees (get them from Amazon).

To fully build your disc golf bag, check out the following posts for discs, a bag, and more:

“37 Best Disc Golf Discs for Beginners (You Need These)”

“27 Best Disc Golf Bags (Yes, You Need One of These)”

“How to Build the Ultimate Disc Golf Bag”

“How to Build the Ultimate Disc Golf Bag Pt. 2: Discs”

How to play disc golf

Over the next few paragraphs, I’m going to go over the objective of the game, tee throws, what a lie is, the throwing order, fairway throws, hazards, out of bounds, and how to complete a hole.

Objective of disc golf

Disc golf is a game and a sport in which a player attempts to throw a frisbee-like disc from a tee box into a standing basket hole. It’s somewhat similar to ball golf, in that players try to get their disc into the basket in the least number of throws, or strokes, as many call it. The player with the least number of strokes in a round, which is typically 18 holes, wins the game. The objective is to try and finish a round of 18 holes with the lowest score possible. If you do this, you win.

Tee throws

You will start out each hole with a tee throw. You throw this first throw from a teepad, usually consisting of a rectangular concrete box or marked rectangular ground area. This first throw from the teepad will be your drive toward the basket on each hole. Your tee throw is really important because it is your first, and normally longest, throw on each hole. You will try to throw the disc off the teepad toward the basket or in the direction that will best help you with your next throw.

Lie

After you throw, go ahead and approach your disc. Wherever it’s at is your lie. The lie is where your disc is sitting after a throw. Your lie can be good, bad, unsafe, or out of bounds. Once you approach your lie for the next shot, you will throw your next throw from right behind the disc. You can use a run up in order to throw your next throw. After that throw, find the lie of your next disc.

Throwing order

The throwing order in disc golf can vary at every hole based on how far a player is from the basket or how well a player did on the previous hole. Normally, the throwing order will start out as player one, two, and three. After the initial throw on the first hole, whoever is furthest away will throw next. So if player 1 threw it 300 feet, player 2 throws it 200 feet, and player 3 throws it 250 feet, the throwing order for the next shot will be 2, 3, then 1. This is because player 2 is the furthest, then player 3 is next with player 1 throwing last because he’s the closest.

The next hole’s throwing order is determined by who has the best, or lowest, overall score in the round. If player 1 scored in two throws, player 2 in three throws, and player 3 in four throws, the throwing order will remain player 1. 2, and 3. Player 1 scored in the lowest amount of throws and throws first on the next hole. Player 2 is second best and throws second. Player 3 scored in the most amount of throws and throws third.

Fairway throws

Fairway throws must be made from directly behind the lie. A run-up and normal follow-through, after release, is allowed, unless the lie is within 10 meters of the target. Any shot within 10 meters of the target requires that the player not move past the lie until the disc is at rest.

Hazards

A disc golf hazard is a dangerous area or object on the course that can hurt your score or make you take a penalty stroke. If you throw your disc into a hazardous area like the rough (grassy out of bounds area) or water, you will have to take a penalty stroke (one stroke or throw) and add it to your score.

Hazards can be:

• Trees (in bounds and out of bounds)

• Water (lakes/ponds/rivers/creeks)

• The rough (if out of bounds)

• The woods (if out of bounds)

• Power lines (in bounds and out of bounds)

• Anything else that can impede your shot

Out of bounds

On the disc golf course, you will have to get your disc from the teepad to the basket without going out of bounds. Out of bounds (OB) is the area outside of the the regular playing area on the disc golf course. Out of bounds is a little bit harder to define on a disc golf course, as a lot of play will be through the woods and through tough terrain areas.

As a new disc golfer, I would focus more on getting better and focus less on trying to play every hole in bounds. I, personally, don’t play a lot of rounds with a marked or designated OB area. I just play my rounds and do the best I can to keep the disc going in the right general direction. Once you start playing more competitively, OB will come into play in every round.

Completion of the hole

Completing a hole, or holing out, is a really awesome feeling. Once you complete your drive and approach shots, you should be able to putt into the basket. In order to hole out, you have to get your disc to rest in the chains of the basket or in the circular container tray at the bottom of the basket. If you can do this, you will complete that hole.

3 quick tips for improving your game

1. Practice. DAILY.

Improving your game is NOT easy. It will take you months of rounds to even start seeing disc control. But that’s what it takes. It takes a lot of work and effort before you get better.

One way to stay on top of your practice is to establish a routine for yourself. Set aside some time every day to work on your disc golf game. Do this DAILY. And whether it’s actually playing rounds, working with your at-home practice gear, or learning the game through our blog or other sites, you have to work on your game every day (or at least a few quality times a week).

2. Disc the f*ck down

When you’re new to disc golf, you might think you need the fastest distance discs to get you the farthest on the course. That’s completely wrong. As a newbie, you want slow discs to help you learn control, accuracy, and technique. And discing down means to skip all of those fast drivers and move down in disc to a mid-range or putter for your rounds. You don’t want drivers at first.

Check out our awesome disc posts below in order to disc down to something slower:

“The 17 Best Disc Golf Putters for Beginners”

“The 17 Best Disc Golf Mid-range Discs for Beginners”

3. Do some drills

Drills are crucial to improving in every sport and disc golf is no different. We’ve got a tremendous drills post called, “The 50 Best Disc Golf Drills to Change Your Game Forever,” that can help you improve your game tenfold.

Our 101 tips post

If you really want to improve, check out our absolutely epic tips post called, “101 Disc Golf Tips to Take Your Game to the Next Level.” This post has information on everything from the different types of disc golf discs to drills to disc stability and much more. Definitely worth a few minutes. There are also tons of links to different reference posts that I’ve written over the last couple of years.

Don’t Forget the Book!

Before you go, check out our book, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual.” This awesome ebook contains over 200+ pages of the absolute best disc golf tips, tricks, and information in the game today.

Related Content

Before you go, check out some of our best related content!

9 Weird Tricks to Improve Your Disc Golf Game (Forever)

7 Steps to the Best Disc Golf Technique and a Perfect Throw

The 12 Best Disc Golf Putting Tips for Beginners

The 27 Best Disc Golf Distance Tips for Beginners

Thanks for reading, disc golfers!


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Red

I am an avid disc golfer and lover of the sport. My mission with DiscgolfNOW.com is to reach as many people as possible to help them love disc golf, too!

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