The intent of the game
Disc golf is the flying disc variant of the game of golf. Instead of with a ball and (many different) golf-clubs this game is played with a flying disc. Players traverse a course making as few throws as possible in reaching objects placed strategically throughout the area. Many terms you will encounter in ball golf are also familiar in disc golf. For example: tee, hole, hole in one, putt, approach, birdie, par, drive. Disc golf is often played in a public park where many obstacles such as trees and water are to be met. As such it is a recreational sport in the open air, for people of all ages and of all skill levels.
The tee and the target
A disc golf course is typically composed of 9 or 18 holes. On each hole players attempt to reach a target, starting at the tee. Distances vary between 60 and 150 meters. Almost anything can serve as a goal: a tree, a lamppost or a dustbin. In official tournaments disc trapping targets are used. A target is a round metal basket on a pole. Above the basket some loose chains are attached. These stop the disc in its flight and make it fall down into the basket. The target is then reached only when the disc falls into the basket.
Every hole has specified boundaries. These are mostly natural and follow the landscape, like a road, a flower-bed or a lake. When your disc lands outside the playing field it is out-of-bounds. Players get a penalty of one throw and can continue at the position where the disc left the playing field. If the disc falls into water, the next throw is taken from the bank at the point where it left the playing field.
The course of the game
- The tee
- The fairway
- A disc which doesn’t land on the ground
- Different discs for different situations
As in the other disc sports, the players themselves are responsible for the course of the game. This sheet provides the most important rules only. This is enough to get started. Of course, when you want to participate in official competitions, it is wise to become familiar with all the rules. Your national association can provide you with these. Or you can download them from the WFDF website. In addition, the more experienced players at a tournament are often willing to give an explanation when needed.
You can contact your national or local association for more information on courses and competitions. Perhaps there is a Disc Golf course in your neighbourhood!
When there is no disc golf course available you can set up your own practice course easily. In a public park you’ll find more than enough things which can serve as targets: trees, lampposts, benches, dustbins. If need be you can use one target for a number of holes by setting up a number of tees with a mandatory route for the disc. For instance, the disc must pass a tree to the right-hand side. Start with small distances, where you can throw directly at the target. Later you can expand the distances and add “mandatory” trees or bushes. Eventually you can organise your own local disc golf event.