The benefits of playing disc golf are numerous and impactful. Disc golf is a growing sport that continues to gain popularity and recognition with each passing year. Courses are opening around the world, from Peru to Belgium. Record numbers of players and spectators attend the World Championships with each succeeding year.

Disc golf is very affordable relative to other sports. All a beginner needs is a driver, approach disc, and a putter. As an individual’s skill develops then other discs will be incorporated. Depending on the weight and balance of a disc and how it’s released determines the flight path of individual discs. The game is played like ball golf. A person starts off with a drive and then the object is to put the disk in a round basket that has chains which stop the disc. A majority of the holes are par 3. The number of holes varies widely from course to course, with at least nine holes usually.

The low impact health benefits are substantial. Playing an 18-hole round of disc golf, a person could expect to walk around 3 miles. Walking up and down different elevations, searching for discs, navigating obstacles all provides exercise that is enjoyable. Of course, the more advanced a player, the fewer steps are taken.

One might not think that a lot of exertion goes into throwing a plastic disc at a metal basket. However, it has been suggested that a large man can burn up to 600 calories just in the act of throwing an 18-hole round. (1) Combining that with the walking involved and disc golf can be a beneficial and enjoyable pastime. There are usually no green fees, but memberships are available for a nominal fee.

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City parks and recreation departments are hesitant to devote the land required by a course in prime locations. Disc golfers are very protective of the area around courses. What we pack in, we pack out, often picking up after others who are not as thoughtful.

Being outside in a park setting provides opportunities to develop an appreciation for nature. It can also allow for an unexpected introduction to wildlife. While searching for a disc in the willows last week, we startled a young deer. Finishing up a round of golf during a beautiful sunset is a particularly special time for me.

Participating in tournaments helps a person gauge their player level and improve their game by playing with more advanced players. Doubles tournaments are especially useful in fostering confidence and teamwork. They are usually played as “best throw”. Even professional players make errant throws. And that allows for an amateur who is paired with a professional to compete and be a part of the tournament.

In closing, disc golf is a wonderful way to get low-impact exercise while enjoying being outdoors. The sport allows for the development of confidence while challenging a person’s patience. It is an affordable hobby. An effective stress reliever to help unwind and unplug after the end of a hectic week. The sport is family and pet-friendly, on the condition that dogs leave discs alone. And they are picked up after.

(1)  Anonymous. “Disc Golf Walking Benefits.” Professional Disc Golf Association, 20 Nov. 2012, www.pdga.com/disc-golf-walking-benefits.

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