How to Build a Disc Golf Course? Newbie’s Guide
Disc golf may be one of the most underappreciated outdoor sports, with only 8,854 disc golf courses existing around the world (6,652 in the USA). A lot of this underappreciation comes from disc golf not having been commercialized and marketed heavily, like regular golf.
Given the lack of disc golf courses around the world, an aspiring player may have to build their own. Luckily, this article can help them through the process.
So, let’s learn how to build a disc golf course by yourself.
The Layout of a Typical Disc Golf Course
Unlike regular golf, disc golf does not require an even, grassy playing ground. In fact, disc golf courses will often include varying terrain throughout the course, such as small hills, trees, bushes, tall grass, and small water bodies. This makes each hole more challenging, and hence, more enjoyable to play.
A disc golf course will usually have 9 or 18 holes (the baskets). Sometimes, there will be any other number of holes, but it is usually one that is divisible by 3. A distance of at least 100 feet between holes is recommended, and this distance can be varied from one hole to the next in order to make the play more challenging.
Tee areas (marked by a slab of concrete, asphalt, or a patch of gravel) indicate the position from which a player needs to throw the disc from at each hole.
The positions of holes can be random throughout the course, with bends within the course. So, hole 5 may have the player throwing the disc north, and hole 6 will have them turn around to throw it south.
Each disc golf course is therefore unique and depends heavily on the terrain of the ground it is built on.
What You’ll Need
There are three main components of disc golf: the holes, the discs, and the real estate (that is, the ground for our course to be built on). Two of these are, of course, easier and more affordable to acquire than the other one.
While disc golf baskets are sizable objects, they can be easily bought online or in any sporting goods store. They can be found in a range of prices, and some are even portable, in case your disc golf course will be a makeshift one.
Discs used for disc golf are made specifically for the sport. They are designed keeping in mind the need for accuracy, control, and also speed. These discs come in several types, each shaped for a different throw or end result. The three main types of discs are putters, drivers, and mid-range discs.
Which disc you use depends on your expertise as a disc golfer as well as the speed or range you are going for, to make a particular throw. For instance, mid-range discs are good for beginners, as they are easier to throw. They are also used for the control they provide. However, they do not provide a lot of range.
You should purchase all three discs at once and try out each one over varying distances and terrains.
The Ground for the Course
This is the one element of disc golf that is harder to acquire or even borrow. If you own a relatively vast expanse of land (preferably one with varying terrain), then you are pretty much set to buy the holes and discs and get to disc golf.
However, it is more likely that you are not so lucky. In this case, you can always go to a recreational park, set up your equipment, and play there. This, however, is easier said than done.
When your disc golf course is built temporarily on borrowed real estate, it is likely that the ground is for the uses of the general public. Hence, as a disc golfer, you need to be aware of the dangers or discomfort your play might pose to others.
Setting up Your Disc Golf Course
Here’s how to set up the disc golf course;
Once you have decided on a location, it is a good idea to explore it. During this time, you can find potential spots to erect the baskets on, discover challenging elements of the land that will add to the golf experience (such as shrubs, trees, water bodies, etc.), and if it is a public area, map out paths to avoid playing in.
Try to include trees and short hills in your disc golf course so that your disc has a less straightforward way of getting to its target: the basket. This will also make the game more challenging and rewarding for you.
Tee Areas and Holes
However, make sure that your assigned tee areas are on a relatively clear and plain ground so that your movements are not obstructed. For a makeshift disc golf course, you can use rugs, rags, or sticks (colored differently than the ones used for marking holes) to mark tee areas.
You can mark the chosen (and measured) spots for the holes by poking a stick into the ground for a given spot, during your exploration. This will make it much easier for you to come back and set up the baskets later on.
Also, if you own a limited number of baskets (or even just one), this will help you recognize a designated hole during the gameplay and set up a basket there quickly.
Disclaimer for Disc Golf in Public Areas
A permanent disc golf course in a park will have paths assigned to players so that they do not get in the way of other users of the park. When building your makeshift disc golf course in a public park, you should try to keep your course as out of the way of park-goers as possible.
If you are playing in a public park, it may be a good idea to keep the distance from the tee area to the basket relatively short, so that, if there is someone passing by, you have time to wait for them to pass and then throw your disc.
On that note, you should try to minimize the number of holes, so as not to disrupt the paths of other park goers.
Disc golf may not be as well-known as some other more commercialized sports, but it still provides the player with an adrenaline high like any other. It is also relatively easy to set up and play.
More importantly, a player does not have to follow the rules of having 9 or 18 holes over a large area of land. If you own the equipment (a basket and discs), you could even play disc golf discs in your own backyard.
However, disc golf is a rewarding enough sport that putting in the resources and effort to build a lengthy course will be worth it. Hopefully, this article has provided you with enough information to get on it yourself.