Make your own free website on

How to play Disc (Frisbee) Golf?

How to play Disc (Frisbee) Golf?

click to enlarge
A typical target/hole/pole-hole for disc golf

'''Disc Golf''' (also known in some parts as "frolf," for "frisbee golf") is a game based on the rules of [[golf]] (referred to by disc golfers as "ball golf").  It uses flying discs which are similar to the [[Frisbee]], but usually smaller and heavier.  The discs are [[Frisbee throws|thrown]] towards a target, which serves as the "hole".  The targets can range from just being objects such as trees and poles to being metal baskets with hanging chains to catch the discs.
== Playing ==
Disc golf is played in a similar manner as ball golf.  The initial "drive" is taken from a designated tee area.  Each subsequent throw is taken from just behind the spot where the disc came to rest.  Each throw is added to your tally.  As with ball golf each hole is given a par rating.  A common strategy for a par-three hole, as in golf, would be drive (long throw toward the basket), approach (mid-range throw to the "green"), putt (short throw into the basket).  Your hole is scored when the disc has come to rest in the basket of the target or when it hits the designated part of an object if there are no baskets and it is an object course.
A typical course would be 18 holes.  Many smaller courses have only 9 holes, while an increasing number of courses offer an additional 9 holes to make 27 available holes to the disc golfer.  Many disc golf courses are in open, grassy public parks, but more challenging courses are set in semi-wooded and hilly areas, some quite rough and natural.  One good example of a classic long course with wooded hills is [[De Laveaga Disc Golf Course]] in [[Santa Cruz, California]], [[United States|USA]]. 
The target in Disc Golf is usually a metal basket that is suspended parallel to the ground about two feet from the ground, and attached to a vertical pole that is a few feet tall. To better allow discs to come to rest in this basket, chains are suspended from another circular section near the top of the pole and allowed to hang limply to a point where they are connected to the pole in or near the receiving basket. 
Disc golf is unique in that [[PDGA]] and [[WFDF]] [ rules], based in player conservation efforts as well as fair play, make it a violation to cause damage to the course's flora.  With most courses not requiring greens fees, the relative low cost of discs, and tournament fees still fairly low, the disc golf social structure may be among the most egalitarian and relaxed in organized sports.
There are a wide variety of discs, divided into three basic categories: putters, approach discs, and drivers.  There are several classes of drivers intended for different distances.  Mid-range drivers tend to be the most versatile discs, and are very good for beginners.  For longer drives there are many variations of long-range and extra long-range drivers.
===Throwing style===
:''See [[Frisbee throws]] for more details''
The two most common throwing techniques are the ''forehand'' throw (aka side-arm), and the ''backhand'' throw. Of the two the backhand style is most familiar to new players and is the most common.
A right-handed player performing a forehand throw will generally hold the disc is his right hand and throw the disc with the palm of his hand facing the direction of the throw.<br/>
A right-handed backhand thrower will throw the disc with the back side of his hand facing the direction of the throw.
The different types of throws spin the disc in opposite directions, causing the disc to turn and fade left or right, depending on type of disc thrown, windage, spin speed and various other variables. Many players try to master both techniques or learn to play both left- and right-handed to account for as many situations as possible.
Another throwing style is the roller, which can be done two different ways.  One way a roller can be thrown is with a forehand grip and the disc is released vertically and allowed to roll.  The other way a roller can be thrown is with a backhand grip.  The person would throw the disc, releasing it vertically.  Most people can get more distance with a backhand roller than with a forehand roller.
Stability is one of the most important disc properties when choosing a disc.  There are three stability classifications, based on the behavior of a disc when thrown using a level right-handed backhand:
*''Understable:'' An understable disc has a natural tendency to curve to the right during its flight when thrown backhand by a right-handed player.
*''Stable:'' A stable disc will maintain a straight flight path.
*''Overstable:'' An overstable disc that tends to curve to the left when thrown backhand by a right-handed player.
The stability of a disc depends on a number of factors, including the weight, size and shape of the disc and the speed with which it is thrown.  Thus, a disc that is overstable for one player may be stable or even understable for another.  The ratio of disc spin, angle upon release, and air speed (partially related to arm speed) are important control factors.

Specifically for Disc Golf Beginners...

If you are new to disc golf, this one tip (below) will compensate you for a very frustrating thing which happens when almost all beginners throw a golf disc. This tip will help you immensely.

The problem exists because golf discs naturally fly with a sharp curve- away from the intended target. The tip (below) will correct a beginner's throw so the disc flies straight towards the target on every throw. The results for a new disc golf player should be saving at least one stroke per hole - or at least 18 strokes per round of 18 holes!

The problem arises because golf discs are unusual objects- in one way. If you throw them using the same angle of release every time, but change the amount of
power or snap , the disc will go from flying perfectly straight for one degree of power or snap , to flying totally off target (veering sharply) -just because of a change in the amount of power or snap you use. So for example, when a "pro" puts a little more power into a throw to make a long drive, the angle of release is adjusted for the increase in power . Similarly, if a "pro" is having to make a shorter drive - using less power- the angle of release is adjusted again.

Nearly all beginners use the same amount of power and snap on every throw, however they almost always use an angle of release which is more specifically suited for throws made with more power and snap than a beginner can do. Therefore nearly all beginners release their disc at an angle which immediately makes their disc veer off target - and it will continue to do so until they either adjust their angle of release (as visualized for you below) or until they do.
learn how to increase the power and snap

.........................As for the tip here about making your disc fly straight.......Enjoy!

Now first, the root of this tip. Most beginning disc golfers try to throw their disc on a plane that is level to the ground and perpendicular to their body.

Now, INSTEAD of the disc leaving the hand parallel (level) with the ground, it needs to be tilted slightly at an angle that is not level to the ground. (Based on what your amount of power or snap is, you may want to tilt slightly more or less.. But almost always a beginner needs this angle of release shown below.)

So if the thrower will make the adjustments suggested below for each throw, the new "non-level" angle of release (technically called "anhyser" in the disc world) will compensate for the disc's tendency to veer.