How To Disc Golf

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Photo: PDGA Media

Nice Grass

Disc golf courses are scattered all over the Southern Appalachians, offering a mix of terrain, from tight technical wooded holes to wide open fairways. Courses range from nine to 18 holes, and hole length varies, but come in about 400 feet on average. Here are three of the best courses in the South.

Winthrop University Lake Front, Rock Hill, S.C. This country-club style course hosts the U.S. Disc Golf Championship every year. The 19-hole course surrounds a lake on a college campus and has fairways as manicured as anything you’ll see in the PGA.

The International Disc Golf Center, Appling, Ga. More than just a sweet course, the IDGC has a museum with the first polehole and disc golf prototypes, a training center, practice putting greens, and three different championship caliber courses.

The Grange, Spotsylvania, Va. This private club ($5 per round) has two manicured courses with a variety of holes. The club hosts night time glow golf, weekend tournaments, and the Grange Open (formerly the Virginia Open) which attracts the pros.

Ask the Expert

Jason Allind is superintendent of the International Disc Golf Center in Georgia.

What do you look for in a good disc golf course? You’re looking for varying terrain with hills, elevation change, and hazards like water and canyons. Different lengths of holes are nice too.

Are the rules the same in disc golf as traditional golf? It’s the same rules and etiquette as traditional golf. We essentially borrowed everything from the PGA rule book.

Can you actually make money playing disc golf? Most people just play recreationally. Our biggest growth is still in college towns. But there’s a serious tournament side to disc golf as well. We manage 1,300 events across the world, including a national tour with three major championships. It’s even possible to make a living by playing disc golf. Last year, the top money earner on the tour made a little over $46,000 just in tournament prize money.

Do I need a full set of discs to get started? There are three types of discs. Driver, mid-range and putter. You don’t need all of those to play. In fact, I recommend you only buy one disc. Get a single mid-range disc, which serves as a multipurpose disc, and learn how to throw that well before buying more.

Are the mechanics of a disc golf throw the same as throwing a Frisbee? No. The motion is different. It’s more of a full body movement. Throwing a Frisbee is all in the wrist, but in disc golf, some players will include a ‘run up’ and get their whole body into the mechanics.

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