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What is Frisbee Golf?

Kathy Hawkins
Kathy Hawkins

Frisbee golf, also known as "disc golf" is a sport that can be played either competitively or for recreational purposes. To play this game, a player will aim a type of disc similar to a Frisbee® at various targets with baskets attached. Similar to traditional golf, the player will keep track of how many attempts it takes to get the disc into the target basket; the player who takes the fewest throws will be the winner.

The game was first invented in the 1960s in the United States, by a California man named George Sappenfield. In his original version, sort of obstruction, such as fire hydrants and light posts, could be used as a target for the disc. The first real Frisbee golf course, in which standard targets were established, was created by "Steady Ed" Headrick, a player in La Canada Flintridge, California.

Boy playing with a ball
Boy playing with a ball

Headrick also formed the Disc Golf Association and several other professional organizations for players, in an attempt to standardize the rules of the game and to establish tournaments between players throughout the world. Headrick was so passionate about Frisbee golf that when he died, he ordered to have his cremated ashes made into discs for the game, which were given to his friends and family.

Today, there are more than 2,000 courses for Frisbee golf, most of which are located in the United States. As in regular golf, the courses generally have 18 holes, though some smaller courses only have 9 holes. The courses are generally located in public parks, and are free to play on.

There are many different kinds of discs that are used in Frisbee golf. The three main categories that all fall into are putters, mid-range discs, and drivers. Depending on where the player is on the course and his strategy for reaching the target, he will want to determine which of the three types to use to achieve the best throw. It is possible to purchase discs made out of several different types of plastic, from a fairly flimsy type to a premium brand. In general, the discs are made of thicker and firmer plastic than a traditional recreational Frisbee®.

The sport is very popular among both men and women, and many colleges have their own Frisbee golf teams or clubs. Though the game has the most recognition in the United States, it is rising in popularity in other countries.

Discussion Comments


@Glasshouse- Frisbee golf supplies, or more appropriately disc golf supplies, can be bought at most sporting goods stores and a number of places online. You can get started playing disc golf for about thirty or forty dollars. You could get started with one disc, but you would be best suited to buy at least three. If you like the sport, you can eventually buy different discs for different situations as well as a disc bag and score keeper.

The beauty of disc golf is it is easy to take your discs with you when you travel. Every time I fly across country to visit family, I bring a few of my discs so I can play some of my favorite courses on the east coast. I have also driven across country with a bag of discs, playing new courses along the way. It is an interesting way to break up a sometimes boring drive, and meet interesting people during the trip.


@Chicada- That sounds like a lot of fun. The article said that most frisbee golf courses are free. I would like to try the sport, but where do I buy the special frisbees? What other type of frisbee golf equipment do I need? Approximately, how much will it take to get started?


My friend took me to play frisbee disc golf for the first time the other day and it was a blast. I never knew it existed until I went with her to play. The course we played was in the woods and required a little hiking, but it opened up a few times to amazing meadows and ledges with incredible views.

She told me that there are disc golf courses in every state across the country. I was surprised to find out how many courses there are, even in my home state. I think I have definitely found my new recreational passion. You can spend two hours walking and hiking, making exercise fun.

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      Boy playing with a ball