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Disc golf
Highest governing body Professional Disc Golf Association
Nickname(s) N/A
Registered players 41313 total, 13916 current[1]
Characteristics
Contact No
Team members Single competitors, doubles
Mixed gender Yes, but usually in separate leagues/divisions
Categorization Outdoor
Equipment Flying disc

Disc golf is a disc game in which individual players throw a flying disc into a basket or at a target. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, "The object of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc."[2] Disc golf is inexpensive and is physically accessible for all ages and athletic ranges and therefore attracts a diverse range of players. A great majority of established disc golf courses are free.[citation needed] The game is played in the United States and more than 20 other countries around the world.[3]

Contents

History

The early history of disc golf is closely tied to the somewhat mysterious history of the recreational flying disc (especially as popularized by Wham-O Inc.'s trademarked Frisbees) and may have been invented in the early 1900s, but it is not known for sure. Modern disc golf started in the late 1960s, when it seems to have been invented in many places and by many people independently. Two of the best-known figures in the sport are George Sappenfield and "Steady Ed" Headrick who coined the term "Disc Golf" and who introduced the first formal disc golf target with chains and a basket, the Mach 1. In 1975, Headrick formed the first disc golf association, the PDGA, which now officiates the standard rules of play for the sport. The sport has grown at a rate of 12-15 percent annually for more than the past decade, with nearly 3,000 courses in the US and over 3,000 globally. The game is now played in over 40 countries worldwide, primarily in North America, Central and Western Europe, (including the Isle of Wight) Japan, New Zealand and Australia.[4] In 2009, approximately one out of every five rounds of golf played in the United States will be disc golf rounds.[citation needed]

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George Sappenfield and early object courses

In 1965, George Sappenfield, a Californian, was a recreation counselor during summer break from college. While playing golf one afternoon he realized that it might be fun for the kids on his playground if they played "golf" with frisbees. He set up an object course for his kids to play on. Other early courses were also of this type, using anything from lamp poles to fire hydrants as targets. When he finished college in 1968, Sappenfield became the Parks and Recreation Supervisor for Thousand Oaks, California. George introduced the game to many adults by planning a Disc Golf Tournament as part of a recreation project. He contacted Wham-O Manufacturing and asked them for help with the event. Wham-O supplied frisbees for throwing, and hula hoops for use as targets. However, it would not be until the early 1970s that courses began to crop up in various places in the Midwest and the East Coast (some perhaps through Sappenfield's promotion efforts, others probably independently envisioned).[5] Some of Sappenfield's acquaintances are known to have brought the game to UC Berkeley. It quickly became popular on campus, with a permanent course laid out in 1970.[6]

"Steady Ed" Headrick and the growth of the modern game

The first standardized target course was put in by "Steady Ed" Headrick, a flying disc innovator known as the "Father of disc golf" [7], in what was then known as Oak Grove Park in Pasadena, California.[8] (Today the park is known as Hahamonga Watershed Park). This park is immediately to the south of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which supplied at least a few of the earliest players. Ed worked for the San Gabriel, California-based Wham-O Corporation and is credited for pioneering the modern era of disc sports. While at Wham-O, Headrick redesigned the Pluto Platter reworking the rim height, disc shape, diameter, weight and plastics, creating a controllable disc that could be thrown accurately. Headrick marketed and pushed the professional model Frisbee and "Frisbee" as a sport. Ed Founded "The International Frisbee Association (IFA)" and began establishing standards for various sports using the Frisbee such as Distance, Freestyle and Guts.

Headrick coined and trademarked the term "Disc Golf" when formalizing the sport and invented the Disc Pole Hole, the first disc golf target to incorporate chains and a basket on a pole. Headrick founded the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), Disc Golf Association (DGA), and Recreational Disc Golf Association (RDGA) as governing bodies for professional, competitive amateur, and family-oriented play, respectively, and worked on standardizing the rules and the equipment for the quickly-growing sport. Headrick abandoned his trademark on the term "Disc Golf", and turned over control and administration of the PDGA to the growing body of disc golf players in order to focus his passion for building and inventing equipment for the sport. Archive: 1978 Disc Golf Association Disc Golf Promotional Development Guide. PDF 11 pages.

Upon his death, Headrick was cremated and his ashes were made into a limited number of discs per his wishes.[9] The discs were given to friends and family, and some were sold with all proceeds going toward funding a nonprofit "Steady" Ed Memorial Disc Golf Museum at the PDGA International Disc Golf Center in Columbia County, Georgia. One of the discs that contains Headrick's ashes will be permanently placed on the roof of the center. When asked why this was to be done, by a member of the local media, PDGA Executive Director Brian Graham quoted an old Frisbee adage, "Old Frisbee players are like old Frisbees ... They don't die, they just land up on the roof."

Rule differences between golf and disc golf

A disc resting in the basket
  • In disc golf, it is acceptable for a player to 'fall' in front of their lie after the release. This allowance does NOT apply to putting. A throw is officially considered a putt in disc golf if the lie is marked within what is known as 'The Circle'. This is a circle with a 10-meter (33 feet) radius, with the pin at its center. Within the circle, after putting, a player must not advance beyond the marked lie toward the pin until establishing balance and control, normally by picking up the marker disc. However, like golfers putting from the fringe, rough or fairway, most disc golfers still use a putting motion on shots that are longer than 10 meters, often called "being out of the circle" or "being outside." The player may follow through on these shots and many players develop a jump putt where the golfer jumps towards the target. This allows a combination of the accuracy that putting provides and more power on the putt.
  • Falling putts (when the player follows through [as described above] on a putt 10 meters or shorter) and foot faults (when a player does not release the disc behind their mark or within the required distance of the mark, when a player has a part of their body touching the ground on release past their mark or when their tee shot is released from off the teeing area) are penalized in a unique way. The first offense is not penalized a stroke, but the golfer is required to re-throw the shot and then is warned for the offense. Any subsequent fouls, however, are penalized one stroke and the golfer must re-throw.
A disc golf course incorporating a pond
  • Disc golf doesn't have "hazards" as defined in golf. Bodies of water, park roads and areas of concrete are typically defined as out-of-bounds in disc golf, however, sometimes these are not. Most courses define these areas as out of bounds or in bounds on tee signs at each hole, however, there is no universal standard for these. As in golf, any out-of-bounds shot is a one stroke penalty, however, the rules for spotting the lie for the next shot are quite different than those in golf. If a throw lands out of bounds, unless defined by the hole, the thrower has the option of playing from the previous lie, or playing from the approximate spot where the disc crossed into the out-of-bound territory. If they choose to play from where the disc crossed out-of-bounds, they may take a one-meter relief from the out-of-bounds area, even if it puts them closer to the pin. The rules do not permit a player to have a supporting point touching out of bounds on release so this is the reason for the relief. If a player lands within a meter of the out of bounds and is in bounds, they are still granted this relief for the same reasoning. This relief is an option, the only rule regarding this is when the disc is released. Most golfers use this rule to their advantage to make putts closer or to improve their lie. Some holes may require a throw from a Drop Zone. If that is the case, the thrower moves to the drop zone to play the next shot. A disc is considered out-of-bounds if it is completely surrounded by out-of-bounds or is touching the out-of bounds line. If the disc cannot be found, there must be "reasonable evidence" that the disc went out-of bounds for the penalty to apply.[10]
  • Another difference is the optional penalty for a disc that lands more than 2 meters above the playing surface. The course designer may specify that on particular trees, holes, or the whole course, a disc landing above 2 meters will receive a one throw penalty. This is known as the 2-Meter Rule. If not specified, there's no penalty for a disc landing any height above the ground. In golf, it's likely a player will need to take an unplayable penalty if their ball lands above the ground. On the other hand, balls are much less likely to remain stuck above ground than discs are as they fly through trees. When the disc is stuck above ground (including on top of baskets and those that land in the wrong basket) are to be marked directly below the disc. Even if the disc is not retrievable, as long as the player can identify it, they are not penalized (assuming the 2-meter rule is not in effect). A tournament director has the option of enforcing the 2-meter Rule regardless of whether or not the course enforces the rule. Many casual disc golfers often choose whether to play with the 2-meter rule at the beginning of a round.
  • Disc Golf holes may also have what are known as 'mandatories' or what are commonly called "mandos". These are obstacles that a disc must pass in a certain way. For example, a tree may be marked as a 'right mandatory', meaning a disc must pass that tree on the right side. Failure to hit a mandatory is a one-stroke penalty, and the thrower must play from their previous lie or a drop zone if provided. Mandos are usually put in place to force a player to play down a fairway instead of down another fairway to help with safety.

Safety: Disc golf is usually played in a public park, thus bicyclists, hikers, children playing and campers are often on the course. On some courses, such as on a college campus, athletic activities often take place on fairways. Disc golfers have to be very careful to avoid pedestrians, and it is a generally accepted rule that pedestrians have the right-of-way.

Driving is one of the more dangerous aspects of disc golf as it pertains to pedestrians. Players should always be aware of their surroundings before a drive. It is common to yell "Fore" before a drive on holes from which the target cannot be seen from the tee pad. Groups that have finished the hole yell "clear!" to signify they are clear of the target area. If a player is about to drive and want to know if there are players in the target area, they may yell "clear on hole 12?", and if players are in the target area they may yell "no" or if they have vacated the area they will yell "clear on hole 12!". Players use these terms to alert other groups when finishing the hole as well as approaching groups to find out if the hole is ready for play. This also gives pedestrians a chance to react if they do not realize they are on a disc golf course.

Hole #17 on the Gold course at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina - home of the annual United States Disc Golf Championship

Equipment

A red disc sailing towards a "Tonal Pole" style target at the disc golf course on Pender Island

Discs

The golf discs used today are much smaller and heavier than traditional flying discs, typically being about 8 or 9 inches in diameter and between 150 and 180 grams. Also, general-purpose flying discs, such as those used for playing guts or ultimate, have a simple edge to them, whereas disc golf discs have extended lips. They also have a much smaller diameter and thinner profile, making them much more aerodynamic.

There are a wide variety of discs, divided into three basic categories: putters, all-purpose mid-range discs, and drivers.

The putters are designed similarly to discs you would play catch with: e.g., a Wham-o brand Frisbee. They are designed to fly straight, predictably, and very slowly compared to mid-range discs and drivers. Mid-range discs have slightly sharper edges that enable them to cut through the air better. Drivers have the sharpest edge and have most of their mass concentrated on the outer rim of the disc rather than distributed equally throughout. Drivers are the hardest type of disc to learn how to throw; their flight path will be very unpredictable without practice.

Drivers are also often divided into different categories. For example, Innova discs divides their discs into Distance Drivers and Fairway Drivers, with a fairway driver being somewhere between a distance drive and a mid-range disc. New players will find that throwing a distance driver accurately will require experience with disc golf disc response. It is better to begin play with a fairway driver and later incorporate distance drivers. Discraft divides their drivers into 3 categories: Long Drivers, Extra Long Drivers and Maximum Distance Drivers. The greater the distance of the driver the less control the disc golf player has on the disc. Therefore, an inexperienced player would most likely prefer to use a Long or Extra Long Driver while an experienced player would go for a maximum distance driver if they were seeking longer throws.

Throwing Styles: There are two basic throwing techniques, backhand and sidearm. Throwing backhand will get you farther distance in the long run, but sidearm is farther from the start as you push the disc forward instead of pulling it forward for a backhand.

Natural action of the disc: For a right-handed, back-hand thrower (RHBH), the disc will naturally fall to the left. For a right-handed fore-hand thrower (RHFH), the disc will naturally fall to the right. For a left-handed, back-hand thrower (LHBH), the disc will naturally fall to the right. For a left-handed, fore-hand thrower (LHFH), the disc will naturally fall to the left.

Overstable: A disc that is over-stable will increase the natural angle of the disc; discs that are more over-stable are not usually recommended for beginning players.

Understable: A disc that is under-stable will push against the natural angle of the disc; discs that are more under-stable are usually recommended for beginning players.

Weight of the disc: Golf discs typically weigh between 150 and 180 grams (5.3-6.3 oz.), and measure about 21–24 cm in diameter. PDGA rules prohibit discs weighing more than 200 grams, or more than 8.3 grams per centimeter of diameter.[11]

Course components

An Innova DISCatcher® from the Winthrop Gold Course in Rock Hill, SC

Four basic components go into a course design, disc pole holes, tonal poles, tee signs and tee pads.

Disc pole holes are the main and most important components of a disc golf course. A disc pole hole comprises a center pole, chain holder and a basket. A set of chains hang down from the chain holder surrounding the center pole. Surrounding the pole below the chains is a circular basket that serves to catch a disc thrown at the chains. The disc pole hole is also commonly known as a basket or a catcher. In some cases a tonal pole, a pole without chains and a basket, will act as the target. When the disc strikes a tonal pole, the pole makes a noise, indicating that the disc has been "caught" by the chains. The approximate dimensions of a tonal pole represent those of a full disc pole hole (if the disc strikes the tonal pole, that same shot would have fallen in the basket on a disc pole hole). When the disc drops into the basket or strikes the tonal pole the player moves to the next tee.

For each hole, a tee pad provides a firm and level foundation to start play from, “tee off”. Tees are usually composed of poured concrete slabs, decomposed granite, or more recently dense rubber pads. Some courses have alternative tee pads for a given hole. Similar to traditional golf, one tee is often closer to the target, allowing multiple players of different skill levels a better chance of competitive play.

Located at each tee, tee signs are the map to the hole. They give important information like the distance, par, the preferred flight path, hazards and out of bounds.

Scoring

A player getting out of the rough on Goolagong, hole #3, Whitcombe Disc Golf Course, Beaminster, Dorset, UK.

Stroke play is the most common scoring method but there are many others, including match play, skins, speed golf and captain's choice, which in disc golf is referred to as "doubles" (not to be confused with partner or team play).

In every form of play, the goal is to play as few strokes per round as possible. Scores for each hole can be described as follows:

Term on a
scoreboard
Specific term Definition
-3 Albatross (or double-eagle) three strokes under par
-2 Eagle (or double-birdie) two strokes under par
-1 Birdie one stroke under par
0 Par strokes equal to par
+1 Bogey one stroke more than par
+2 Double bogey two strokes over par
+3 Triple bogey three strokes over par

A snowman (perhaps 4 over par on a par 4-hole) is an informal term in some countries for a score indicating that 8 shots were taken at a single hole.[12]

Doubles play is a unique style of play that many local courses offer on a weekly basis. In this format, teams of two golfers are determined. Sometime this is done by random draw, and other times it is a pro-am format. On the course, it is a 'best-disc' scramble. Meaning both players throw their tee shot, and then decide which lie they would like to play. Both players then play from the same lie, again choosing which lie is preferable. The World Amateur Doubles Format include best shot, alternate shot, best score(players play singles and take the best result from the hole) and worst shot (both players must sink the putt).

Tournaments

Ken Climo teeing off at hole 5 of the 2008 USDGC

Disc Golf tournaments are popular around the world. As with traditional "ball golf", there are many championship tournaments. One of the largest is the United States Disc Golf Championship.

Texas has more disc golf courses than any other state. Every year, the largest teams tournament in the world is held in Austin, Texas by John Houck.[2]

The 2009 PDGA World Championships was held in Kansas City, July 25 to August 1, 2009. [3]

Visit the PDGA website to view the full Tournament schedule.

Women in the sport

While there are more male than female players, the Women's Disc Golf Association exists to encourage female players and arrange women's tournaments. A PDGA survey states that out of its 11,302 members in 2006, 8% are female, or about 900. In PDGA competition, women have the option to play in gender-protected divisions.

Several companies have started programs to help attract women to the sport, including Innova, who has dedicated a section of their website for ideas on getting women involved.[13] There are also Disc golf companies such as Disc-Diva, that have started up with a primary, though not exclusive, focus on women in the sport, promoting accessories geared towards women and using catch phrases like, "You wish you threw like a girl."[14] Sassy Pants is another group that focuses on getting more involvement from women in the sport, advocating for sponsorship of women to enter tournaments.[15]

References

External links


Disc golf
Highest governing body Professional Disc Golf Association
Registered players 44064 total, 12859 current[1]
Characteristics
Contact No
Team members Single competitors, doubles
Mixed gender Yes, but usually in separate leagues/divisions
Categorization Outdoor
Equipment Flying disc

Disc golf is a disc game in which individual players throw a flying disc into a basket or at a target. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, "The object of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc."[2] Disc golf is inexpensive and is physically accessible for all ages and athletic ranges and therefore attracts a diverse range of players. Of the more than 3000 established disc golf courses as of 2010, approximately 87% are free.[3] The game is played in the United States and more than 20 other countries around the world.[4]

Contents

History

The early history of disc golf is closely tied to the somewhat mysterious history of the recreational flying disc (especially as popularized by Wham-O Inc.'s trademarked Frisbees) and may have been invented in the early 1900s, but it is not known for sure. Modern disc golf started in the late 1960s, when it seems to have been invented in many places and by many people independently, most notably in the parks around Toledo University (now the University of Toledo) by William "Bill" Gorr. Two of the best-known figures in the sport are George Sappenfield and "Steady Ed" Headrick who coined the term "Disc Golf" and who introduced the first formal disc golf target with chains and a basket, the Mach 1. In 1975, Headrick formed the first disc golf association, the PDGA, which now officiates the standard rules of play for the sport. The sport has grown at a rate of 12-15 percent annually for more than the past decade, with nearly 3,000 courses in the US and over 3,000 globally. The game is now played in over 40 countries worldwide, primarily in North America, Central and Western Europe, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.[5]

George Sappenfield and early object courses

In 1965, George Sappenfield, from California, was a recreation counselor during summer break from college. While playing golf one afternoon he realized that it might be fun for the kids on his playground if they played "golf" with frisbees. He set up an object course for his kids to play on. Other early courses were also of this type, using anything from lamp poles to fire hydrants as targets. When he finished college in 1968, Sappenfield became the Parks and Recreation Supervisor for Conejo Recreation and Park District in Thousand Oaks, California. George introduced the game to many adults by planning a Disc Golf Tournament as part of a recreation project. He contacted Wham-O Manufacturing and asked them for help with the event. Wham-O supplied frisbees for throwing, and hula hoops for use as targets. However, it would not be until the early 1970s that courses began to crop up in various places in the Midwest and the East Coast (some perhaps through Sappenfield's promotion efforts, others probably independently envisioned).[6] Some of Sappenfield's acquaintances are known to have brought the game to UC Berkeley. It quickly became popular on campus, with a permanent course laid out in 1970.[7]

"Steady Ed" Headrick and the growth of the modern game

"Steady Ed" Headrick began thinking about the sport while designing the modern day frisbee for Wham-o toys.[8] The first standardized target course was put in by "Steady Ed" Headrick, a flying disc innovator known as the "Father of disc golf",[9] in what was then known as Oak Grove Park in La Canada Flintridge, California.[10] (Today the park is known as Hahamongna Watershed Park). This park is immediately to the south of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which supplied at least a few of the earliest players. Ed worked for the San Gabriel, California-based Wham-O Corporation and is credited for pioneering the modern era of disc sports. While at Wham-O, Headrick redesigned the Pluto Platter reworking the rim height, disc shape, diameter, weight and plastics, creating a controllable disc that could be thrown accurately. Headrick marketed and pushed the professional model Frisbee and "Frisbee" as a sport. Ed Founded "The International Frisbee Association (IFA)" and began establishing standards for various sports using the Frisbee such as Distance, Freestyle and Guts.

Headrick coined and trademarked the term "Disc Golf" when formalizing the sport and invented the Disc Pole Hole, the first disc golf target to incorporate chains and a basket on a pole. He started designing the target because he was tired of arguing over what counted as a scoring disc with his friends. Headrick founded the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), Disc Golf Association (DGA), and Recreational Disc Golf Association (RDGA) as governing bodies for professional, competitive amateur, and family-oriented play, respectively, and worked on standardizing the rules and the equipment for the quickly-growing sport. Headrick abandoned his trademark on the term "Disc Golf", and turned over control and administration of the PDGA to the growing body of disc golf players in order to focus his passion for building and inventing equipment for the sport. Archive: 1978 Disc Golf Association Disc Golf Promotional Development Guide. PDF 11 pages.

Upon his death, Headrick was cremated and his ashes were made into a limited number of discs per his wishes.[11] The discs were given to friends and family, and some were sold with all proceeds going toward funding a nonprofit "Steady" Ed Memorial Disc Golf Museum at the PDGA International Disc Golf Center in Columbia County, Georgia. One of the discs that contains Headrick's ashes will be permanently placed on the roof of the center. When asked why this was to be done, by a member of the local media, PDGA Executive Director Brian Graham quoted an old Frisbee adage, "Old Frisbee players are like old Frisbees ... They don't die, they just land up on the roof."

Rule differences between golf and disc golf

  • In disc golf, it is acceptable for a player to 'fall' in front of their lie after the release. This allowance does NOT apply to putting.[12] A throw is officially considered a putt in disc golf if the lie is marked within what is known as 'The Circle'. This is a circle with a 10-meter (33 feet) radius, with the pin at its center. Within the circle, after putting, a player must not advance beyond the marked lie toward the pin until establishing balance and control, normally by picking up the marker disc. However, like golfers putting from the fringe, rough or fairway, most disc golfers still use a putting motion on shots that are longer than 10 meters, often called "being out of the circle" or "being outside." The player may follow through on these shots and many players develop a jump putt where the golfer jumps towards the target. This allows a combination of the accuracy that putting provides and more power on the putt.
  • Drives are made from a designated tee pad. These are usually made of concrete and have a dimension of about six by ten feet. Players must release the disc while inside the box, but may step out/off of it after the release. Tournaments may have different guidelines depending on the course and the nature of the event. It is allowed for players to take a running start as long as they are supported by the tee pad at the time of release.[13] Although concrete is the most common material for the tee pad, some courses have sand, wood chips, dirt, or bricks instead. On nicer courses the tee box will have a sign that tells the player which hole it is and the distance to the basket.
  • Falling putts (when the player follows through [as described above] on a putt 10 meters or shorter) and foot faults (when a player does not release the disc behind their mark or within the required distance of the mark, when a player has a part of their body touching the ground on release past their mark or when their tee shot is released from off the teeing area) are penalized in a unique way. The first offense is not penalized a stroke, but the golfer is required to re-throw the shot and then is warned for the offense. Any subsequent fouls, however, are penalized one stroke and the golfer must re-throw.
File:Disc golf
A disc golf course in Yyteri beach, Finland.
  • Disc golf doesn't have "hazards" as defined in golf. Bodies of water, park roads and areas of concrete are typically defined as out-of-bounds in disc golf, however, sometimes these are not. Most courses define these areas as out of bounds or in bounds on tee signs at each hole, however, there is no universal standard for these. As in golf, any out-of-bounds shot is a one stroke penalty, however, the rules for spotting the lie for the next shot are quite different than those in golf. If a throw lands out of bounds, unless defined by the hole, the thrower has the option of playing from the previous lie, or playing from the approximate spot where the disc crossed into the out-of-bound territory. If they choose to play from where the disc crossed out-of-bounds, they may take a one-meter relief from the out-of-bounds area, even if it puts them closer to the pin. The rules do not permit a player to have a supporting point touching out of bounds on release so this is the reason for the relief. If a player lands within a meter of the out of bounds and is in bounds, they are still granted this relief for the same reasoning. This relief is an option, the only rule regarding this is when the disc is released. Most golfers use this rule to their advantage to make putts closer or to improve their lie. Some holes may require a throw from a Drop Zone. If that is the case, the thrower moves to the drop zone to play the next shot. A disc is considered out-of-bounds if it is completely surrounded by out-of-bounds or is touching the out-of bounds line. If the disc cannot be found, there must be "reasonable evidence" that the disc went out-of bounds for the penalty to apply.[14]
  • Another difference is the optional penalty for a disc that lands more than 2 meters above the playing surface. The course designer may specify that on particular trees, holes, or the whole course, a disc landing above 2 meters will receive a one throw penalty. This is known as the 2-Meter Rule. If not specified, there's no penalty for a disc landing any height above the ground. In golf, it's likely a player will need to take an unplayable penalty if their ball lands above the ground. On the other hand, balls are much less likely to remain stuck above ground than discs are as they fly through trees. When the disc is stuck above ground (including on top of baskets and those that land in the wrong basket) are to be marked directly below the disc. Even if the disc is not retrievable, as long as the player can identify it, they are not penalized (assuming the 2-meter rule is not in effect). A tournament director has the option of enforcing the 2-meter Rule regardless of whether or not the course enforces the rule. Many casual disc golfers often choose whether to play with the 2-meter rule at the beginning of a round.
  • Disc Golf holes may also have what are known as 'mandatories' or what are commonly called "mandos". These are obstacles that a disc must pass in a certain way. For example, a tree may be marked as a 'right mandatory', meaning a disc must pass that tree on the right side. Failure to hit a mandatory is a one-stroke penalty, and the thrower must play from their previous lie or a drop zone if provided. Mandos are usually put in place to force a player to play down a fairway instead of down another fairway to help with safety.

Safety: Disc golf is usually played in a public park, thus bicyclists, hikers, children playing, and campers are often on the course. On some courses, such as on a college campus, athletic activities often take place on fairways. Disc golfers have to be very careful to avoid pedestrians, and it is a generally accepted rule that pedestrians have the right-of-way.

Driving is one of the more dangerous aspects of disc golf as it pertains to pedestrians. Players should always be aware of their surroundings before a drive. It is common to yell "Fore" before a drive on holes from which the target cannot be seen from the tee pad. If a player is about to drive and want to know if there are players in the target area, they may yell "clear on hole 12?", and if players are in the target area they may yell "no" or if they have vacated the area they will yell "clear on hole 12!". Players use these terms to alert other groups when finishing the hole as well as approaching groups to find out if the hole is ready for play. This also gives pedestrians a chance to react if they do not realize they are on a disc golf course.

in Rock Hill, South Carolina - home of the annual United States Disc Golf Championship]]

Equipment

File:Tone
A red disc sailing towards a "Tonal Pole" style target at the disc golf course on Pender Island

Discs

The golf discs used today are much smaller and heavier than traditional flying discs, typically being about 8 or 9 inches in diameter and between 150 and 200 grams. Also, general-purpose flying discs, such as those used for playing guts or ultimate, have a simple edge to them, whereas disc golf discs have extended lips. They also have a much smaller diameter and thinner profile, making them much more aerodynamic.

There are a wide variety of discs, divided into three basic categories: putters, all-purpose mid-range discs, and drivers.

The putters are designed similarly to discs you would play catch with: e.g., a Wham-o brand Frisbee. They are designed to fly straight, predictably, and very slowly compared to mid-range discs and drivers. Mid-range discs have slightly sharper edges that enable them to cut through the air better. Drivers have the sharpest edge and have most of their mass concentrated on the outer rim of the disc rather than distributed equally throughout. Drivers are the hardest type of disc to learn how to throw; their flight path will be very unpredictable without practice.

Drivers are also often divided into different categories. For example, Innova discs divides their discs into Distance Drivers and Fairway Drivers, with a fairway driver being somewhere between a distance drive and a mid-range disc. New players will find that throwing a distance driver accurately will require experience with disc golf disc response. It is better to begin play with a fairway driver and later incorporate distance drivers. Discraft divides their drivers into 3 categories: Long Drivers, Extra Long Drivers and Maximum Distance Drivers. The greater the distance of the driver the less control the disc golf player has on the disc. Therefore, an inexperienced player would most likely prefer to use a Long or Extra Long Driver while an experienced player would go for a maximum distance driver if they were seeking longer throws.

Throwing styles: There are two basic throwing techniques, backhand and forehand (or sidearm). Throwing backhand will get you farther distance in the long run, but forehand is farther from the start as you push the disc forward instead of pulling it forward for a backhand. There are also two overhand techniques, the tomahawk and the thumber. These are used typically to get up and over an obstacle, since the player is throwing the disc up instead of forward.

Natural action of the disc: For a right-handed, back-hand thrower (RHBH), the disc will naturally fall to the left. For a right-handed fore-hand thrower (RHFH), the disc will naturally fall to the right. For a left-handed, back-hand thrower (LHBH), the disc will naturally fall to the right. For a left-handed, fore-hand thrower (LHFH), the disc will naturally fall to the left.

Overstable: A disc that is overstable will increase the natural angle of the disc; discs that are more overstable are not usually recommended for beginning players.

Understable: A disc that is understable will push against the natural angle of the disc; discs that are more understable are usually recommended for beginning players.

The stability rating of the discs differs depending on the manufacturer of the disc. Innova discs rate stability as "turn" on a scale of +1 to -4, where +1 is the most overstable and -4 is the most understable. These ratings can be found on the Innova web site or marked on some of the more recently printed discs. Discraft prints the stability rating on all discs and also provides this information on their web site. The stability ranges from 3 to -2 for Discraft discs.

Weight of the disc: Golf discs typically weigh between 150 and 180 grams (5.3-6.3 oz.), and measure about 21–24 cm in diameter. PDGA rules prohibit discs weighing more than 200 grams, or more than 8.3 grams per centimeter of diameter.[15]

Course components

File:DiscGolfGoal
An Innova DISCatcher from the Winthrop Gold Course in Rock Hill, SC

Four basic components go into a course design, disc pole holes, tonal poles, tee signs and tee pads.

Disc pole holes are the main and most important components of a disc golf course. A disc pole hole comprises a center pole, chain holder and a basket. A set of chains hang down from the chain holder surrounding the center pole. Surrounding the pole below the chains is a circular basket that serves to catch a disc thrown at the chains. The disc pole hole is also commonly known as a basket or a catcher. In some cases a tonal pole, a pole without chains and a basket, will act as the target. When the disc strikes a tonal pole, the pole makes a noise, indicating that the disc has been "caught" by the chains. The approximate dimensions of a tonal pole represent those of a full disc pole hole (if the disc strikes the tonal pole, that same shot would have fallen in the basket on a disc pole hole). When the disc drops into the basket or strikes the tonal pole the player moves to the next tee.

For each hole, a tee pad provides a firm and level foundation to start play from, “tee off”. Tees are usually composed of poured concrete slabs, decomposed granite, or more recently dense rubber pads. Some courses have alternative tee pads for a given hole. Similar to traditional golf, one tee is often closer to the target, allowing multiple players of different skill levels a better chance of competitive play.

Located at each tee, tee signs are the map to the hole. They give important information like the distance, par, the preferred flight path, hazards and out of bounds.

Scoring

[[File:|thumb|A player getting out of the rough on Goolagong, hole #3, Whitcombe Disc Golf Course, Beaminster, Dorset, UK.]] Stroke play is the most common scoring method but there are many others, including match play, skins, speed golf and captain's choice, which in disc golf is referred to as "doubles" (not to be confused with partner or team play).

In every form of play, the goal is to play as few strokes per round as possible. Scores for each hole can be described as follows:

Term on a
scoreboard
Specific term Definition
-3 Albatross (or double-eagle) three strokes under par
-2 Eagle (or double-birdie) two strokes under par
-1 Birdie one stroke under par
0 Par strokes equal to par
+1 Bogey one stroke more than par
+2 Double bogey two strokes over par
+3 Triple bogey three strokes over par

Doubles play is a unique style of play that many local courses offer on a weekly basis. In this format, teams of two golfers are determined. Sometime this is done by random draw, and other times it is a pro-am format. On the course, it is a 'best-disc' scramble. Meaning both players throw their tee shot, and then decide which lie they would like to play. Both players then play from the same lie, again choosing which lie is preferable. The World Amateur Doubles Format include best shot, alternate shot, best score(players play singles and take the best result from the hole) and worst shot (both players must sink the putt).

Tournaments

File:KenClimo
Ken Climo teeing off at hole 5 of the 2008 USDGC

Disc golf tournaments are popular around the world. As with traditional "ball golf", there are many championship tournaments. One of the largest is the United States Disc Golf Championship.

Every year, the largest teams tournament in the world is held in Austin, Texas by John Houck.[2]

Women in the sport

While there are more male than female players, the Women's Disc Golf Association exists to encourage female players and arrange women's tournaments. A PDGA survey states that out of its 11,302 members in 2006, 8% are female, or about 900. In PDGA competition, women have the option to play in gender-protected divisions.

Several companies have started programs to help attract women to the sport, including Innova, who has dedicated a section of their website for ideas on getting women involved.[16] There are also Disc golf companies such as Disc-Diva, that have started up with a primary, though not exclusive, focus on women in the sport, promoting accessories geared towards women and using catch phrases like, "You wish you threw like a girl."[17] Sassy Pants is another group that focuses on getting more involvement from women in the sport, advocating for sponsorship of women to enter tournaments.[18]

Records

Lowe Bibby, 51, currently holds the world record for most disc golf holes played in 24 hours. He played 1,114 holes, beating the previous record of 1,035 holes.[19]

References

External links


Wikibooks

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Disc Golf article)

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

Disc golf (sometimes called Frisbee golf, folf or frolf) is a disc game in which individual players throw a flying disc into a basket or at a target. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, "The object of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc."[1]

Disc golf is similar to traditional golf and uses much of the same rules and terminology. As in ball golf, a course usually consists of 18 holes. Unlike ball golf, most courses are located in public parks and are free to play, although some courses require a nominal fee, and the sport requires inexpensive discs instead of costly clubs and balls. [2] The modern disc golf target consists of a metal basket with chains hanging over it and was invented in 1976.[3]

Contents

Nomenclature

Disc golf is sometimes informally called "Frisbee golf" ("Frisbee" being a trademark of the Wham-O toy company for its line of discs), "folf", or "frolf" (a portmanteau of "Frisbee" and "golf" made popular by a reference on Seinfeld). The governing bodies of the sport and the manufacturers of equipment uniformly refer to the game as "disc golf."

Basic Terminology

Tee Pad - the area where the first throw of a given hole must take place. These are often concrete pads, but many courses utilize natural tees. It is not uncommon for a portion of a sidewalk or a parking lot to be used as a tee pad.

The Basket - often called the pin. Once a disc lands in the basket, the hole is considered completed.

Throw - the act of propelling the disc towards the basket. Throws must be made with one hand. Each throw is counted towards the player’s score. There are three types of throws: backhand, forehand (often called sidearm), and overhand. (styles of throw are explained later in this entry)

Lie - the spot where the disc comes to rest. This is often marked by a mini-disc marker.

Par - like in ball golf, each disc golf course has a posted par. The ‘par’ is the number of strokes that a scratch player would need to complete the hole. This is usually the number of throws it takes to reach the green + two putts. On a hole less than 400ft, the par is usually three, depending on the number of obstacles. For holes more than 400ft, the par is usually four. Most disc golfers disregard the posted par, in favor of a universal par of three. To the competitive disc golfer, every hole is a par three, making the total par for 18 holes always 54. This serves to simplify the game. And this helps the average disc golfer measure themselves against the pros. Most pros can finish any hole in three strokes.

Drive - any throw off of the tee pad, or a throw from the fairway designed for maximum distance.

Approach - usually the second shot of a hole, designed to place the disc within putting distance.

Putt - a throw is officially considered a putt if it is made within the circle. Many players consider distances of twenty or thirty meter putts, and use their putting motion. There are special rules related to official putting however. (see below)

Ace - known as a hole in one in ball golf. An ace occurs when a player makes their first shot, or drive, into the basket. An ace in disc golf is fairly rare and much praise is given to those who have accomplished this spectacular feat.

The Circle - what is considered the green in disc golf. This is a circle ten meters in radius, with the basket at its center.

Differences and Similarities to Ball Golf

Unlike ball golf, disc golf is more able to utilize natural objects than ball golf. Forcing players to play through small holes in tree lines, or around hills and buildings, or through tight lines in the woods is not uncommon in disc golf. Having low canopies in the woods also provides an interesting challenge. Playing uphill or downhill is also common on the disc golf course. Some holes may be only 150ft, but there could be three lines, with clearance of only ten feet that the disc must fly through to get to the hole. A good disc golf hole has multiple lines that can be used to reach the basket, making the use of multiple shots an option. A good disc golf course, however, has a few holes that force a certain kind of shot. These holes force players to use a wide variety of techniques, rewarding a player who has taken the time to master many different shots.

Older disc golf courses are generally shorter than newer courses, and all courses are much shorter than ball golf courses. The top pros generally throw between 300 ft. and 500ft, while most amateurs throw less than 300ft. People simply can't throw a disc as far as a golf ball can be hit. Older courses were designed before technology allowed discs to fly as far as they do, and so they tend to be shorter, with more technical holes, usually only featuring one or two holes that are over 350ft or even 300ft. Most new courses often feature holes that are more than 500ft.

Rule differences with ball golf and disc golf:

  • In ball golf, the player can only carry 14 clubs. Disc golf has no rule concerning how many discs a disc golfer can carry. Also, disc golfers may add discs to their bag during the round, which is not allowed in ball golf.
  • Whereas club golfers must "play it where it lies" on the ground, it doesn't work the same with disc golf since the disc is thrown and not struck. Disc golfers must have a supporting point (usually a foot but can be any part of the body) on the playing surface within 30cm behind the front edge of where their previous shot landed (if inbounds) at the point their next throw is released. This allows the disc golfer to lean to the left, or the right to establish a better angle around obstacles. His 'pivot' foot must remain behind his marker however. A special mini-disc is usually used to mark the previous lie on the ground, however the use of a mini is only required if the player would like to use the same disc they just threw or if they are moving the lie.
  • In disc golf, it is acceptable for a player to 'fall' in front of his lie. The motion of throwing the disc often involves a significant amount of force, which can cause a player to be off-balance. As long as his 'plant' of 'pivot' foot is behind his marker when he releases the disc, he may fall in front of the marker after the release. This allowance does NOT apply to putting. A throw is officially considered a putt in disc golf if the lie is marked within what is known as 'The Circle'. This is a circle with a ten meter radius, with the pin at its center. After putting, a disc golfer must demonstrate balance with his plant foot, before they may step away from his marker. However, like golfers may putt from the fringe, rough or fairway, most disc golfers still use a putting motion on shots that are longer than 10 meters, often called "being out of the circle" or "being outside." The player may follow through on these shots and many players develop a jump putt where the golfer literally jumps towards the target. This allows a combination of accuracy that putting provides and more power on the putt.
  • Falling putts (when the player follows through [as described above] on a putt 10 meters or shorter) and foot faults (when a player does not release the disc behind their mark or within the required distance of the mark, when a player has a part of their body touching the ground on release past their mark or when their tee shot is released from off the teeing area) are penalized in a unique way. The first offense is not penalized a stroke, but the golfer is required to re-throw the shot and then is warned for the offense. Any subsequent fouls, however, are penalized one stroke and the golfer must re-throw.
  • Disc golf doesn't have "hazards" as defined in ball golf. Bodies of water, park roads and areas of cement are typically defined as out-of-bounds in disc golf, however, sometimes these are not. Most courses define these areas as out of bounds or in bounds on tee signs at each hole, however, there is no universal standard for these. As in ball golf, any out-of-bounds shot is a one stroke penalty, however, the rules for spotting the lie for the next shot are quite different than those in ball golf. If a throw lands out of bounds, unless defined by the hole, the thrower has the option of playing from the previous lie, or playing from the approximate spot where his disc crossed into the out-of-bound territory. If he chooses to play from where his disc crosses out-of-bounds, he may take a one meter relief from the out-of-bounds area, even if it puts him closer to the pin. The rules do not permit a player to have a supporting point touching out of bounds on release so this is the reason for the relief. If a player lands within a meter of the out of bounds and is in bounds, he is still granted this relief for the same reasoning. This relief is an option, the only rule regarding this involving this is when the disc is released. Most golfers use this rule to thier advantage to make putts closer or to improve their lie. Some holes may require a throw from a Drop Zone. If that is the case, the thrower simply moves to the drop zone to play his next shot. A disc is only considered out-of-bounds if it is completely surrounded by out-of-bounds. If any part of the disc is touching in-bounds, then the lie is playable.
  • Another difference is the optional penalty for a disc that lands more than 2 meters above the playing surface. The course designer may specify that on particular trees, holes, or the whole course, a disc landing above 2 meters will receive a one throw penalty. This is known as the 2-Meter Rule. If not specified, there's no penalty for a disc landing any height above the ground. In ball golf, it's likely a player will need to take an unplayable penalty if their ball lands above the ground. On the other hand, balls are much less likely to remain stuck above ground than discs are as they fly through trees. When the disc is stuck above ground (including on top of baskets and those that land in the wrong the basket) are to be marked directly below the disc. Even if the disc is not retrieveable, as long as the player can identify it, he is not penalized (assuming the 2- meter rule is not in effect). A tournament director has the option of enforcing the 2-Meter Rule regardless of whether or not the course enforces the rule. Many casual disc golfers often choose whether to play with the 2-Meter Rule at the beginning of a round.
  • Disc Golf holes may also have what are known as 'mandatories' or what are commonly called "mandos" These are obstacles that a disc must pass in a certain way. For example, a tree may be marked as a 'right mandatory', meaning a disc must pass that tree on the right side. Failure to hit a mandatory is a one-stroke penalty, and the thrower must play from his previous lie or a drop zone if provided. Mandos are usually put in place to force a player to play down a fairway instead of down another fairway to help with safety.

Safety: Disc golf is usually played in a public park, thus bikers, hikers, children playing and campers are often on the course. On some courses, such as on a college campus, athletic activities often take place on fairways. Disc golfers have to be very careful to avoid pedestrians, and it is a generally accepted rule that pedestrians have the right-of-way.

Equipment

The golf disc used today is much smaller than traditional flying discs. Also, general-purpose flying discs, such as those used for playing guts or Ultimate Frisbee, have a simple edge to them, whereas disc golf discs have extended lips. They also have a much smaller diameter and profile.

There are a wide variety of discs, divided into three basic categories: putters, mid-range discs, and drivers.

The putters are designed similar to discs you would play catch with: e.g., a Wham-o brand Frisbee®. They are designed to fly straight, predictably, and very slowly compared to mid-range discs and drivers. Mid-range discs have slightly sharper edges, which enable them to cut through the air better. Drivers have the sharpest edge and have most of their mass concentrated on the outer rim of the disc rather than distributed equally throughout. Drivers are the hardest types of discs to learn how to throw; their flight path will be very unpredictable without practice. Drivers are also often divided into different categories. Innova Discs, the most popular disc manufacturer, divides their discs into Distance Drivers and Fairway Drivers, with a fairway driver being somewhere between a distance drive and a mid-range disc. New players will find that throwing a distance driver accurately will require experience with disc golf disc response. It is better to begin play with a fairway driver and later incorporate distance drivers.

Discraft Discs, one of Innova's biggest competitors, divides their drivers into 3 categories: Long Drivers, Extra Long Drivers and Maximum Distance Drivers. The greater the distance of the driver the less control the disc golf player has on the disc. Therefore, an unexperienced player would most likely prefer to use a Long or Extra Long Driver while an experience player would go for a maximum distance driver if they were seeking longer throws.

Natural action of the disc: For a right-handed, back-hand thrower (RHBH), the disc will naturally pull to the left. For a right-handed fore-hand thrower (RHFH), the disc will naturally pull to the right. For a left-handed, back-hand thrower (LHBH), the disc will naturally pull to the right. For a left-handed, fore-hand thrower (LHFH), the disc will naturally pull to the left.

Over stable (AKA "hyzer"): A disc that is over stable will increase the natural angle of the disc. Thrown long enough, a good hyzer will perform an "S" shaped curve, and not just a single arc.

Under stable (AKA "an-hyzer"): A disc that is under stable will push against the natural angle of the disc.

Weight of the disc: Golf discs typically weigh between 150 and 180 grams (5.3-6.3 oz.), and measure about 21-24 cm in diameter. PDGA rules prohibit discs weighing more than 200 grams, or whose weight is more than 8.3 grams per centimeter of diameter. Lighter discs are more suited to less experience players, and heavier discs are more suited to experience players. This is not always the case however. A lighter disc will be more under stable then its heavier counterparts.

Types of Throws and Throwing Tips

First, some basic terminology:

Distance Driving - a throw that is designed to produce a great deal of distance. When trying to throw for a max distance, the ideal flight path of the disc, for a RHBH thrower, is to turn slightly to the right, straighten out, and then fade to the left. This will look like a ')' or an elongated ‘?’.

Approaching - if a player is not driving the disc, he is either approaching or putting. Professional players consider around a 200-250ft shot to be an approach. For many players, however, this is the length of their normal drives. For some players, a shot does not truly become an approach until around 100ft.

Putting - officially, a disc is being putt if it is being thrown within the circle. However, many players use their putting motion from much further away. There are many different types of putts which are explained below. As with anything, a disc golfer must find what is comfortable for them, and go with it. There is no ‘wrong’ way to putt. A good video of putting instruction can be found at this link: http://www.discraft.com/resources.html

Backhand - when throwing backhand, a thrower must determine for himself what kinds of discs work best for them, depending on how much ‘snap’ they throw with. ‘Snap’ is generated by high arm speed and by a player cocking his wrist and literally snapping the disc on the release. When thrown correctly, a disc will literally make an audible snapping sound upon release. Players who throw with a great deal of snap should throw over stable discs, whereas a player who doesn’t throw with a great deal of snap should throw under stable discs.

Forehand - As with backhands, players have to determine for themselves what sort of discs work for them. Generally, forehand throws generate more snap than a backhand throw, so usually, forehand shots require more over stable discs.

With both forehands and backhands, the throwing ability of different players will progress. For example, when a player first starts throwing, they do not throw with a great deal of snap, thus they should use under stable discs. However, the player will eventually learn how to throw with more snap, which will require them to move to more over stable discs. Players should not, however, remove that first disc for the bag, as it may now be good for turnover drives or anhyzers. Players have to learn their discs and learn what works best for them.

Hyzer - a hyzer is a throw that is designed to take advantage of the natural angle of the disc. For example, a RHBH hyzer is a shot that fades to the left. There are a few types of hyzers. A soft hyzer is a throw that gradually fades, whereas a spike hyzer is a throw where the disc fades hard and drastically. Spike hyzers can result in discs that are literally ‘spiked’ into the ground. These types of throws are used to navigate certain obstacles. A disc that is slightly over stable with a high glide, such as the Innova Valkyrie, are good for soft hyzers, whereas a disc that is very over stable with a low glide, such as Innova Firebirds, are best for spike hyzers.

Anhyzer - an anhyzer is a throw that is designed to go against the natural angle of the disc. For example, a RHBH thrower who throws a disc that fades to the right would be throwing an anhyzer. To execute an anhyzer, a RHBH would tilt the disc to the right when he releases the disc. Under stable discs are best used for anhyzers. As with hyzers, soft and spike hyzers are options. The Innova ‘Roadrunner’ and ‘Stingray’ are good for anhyzer shots.

Turnover - a disc is ‘turned over’ when it flies against the natural angle of the disc. For example, a RHBH thrower has turned a disc over if it flies to the right when released flat. This differs from an anhyzer because of the angle of release. Turnover drives are generally released flat or at a slight angle, whereas an anhyzer is released at a more drastic angle. Ideally, the disc will ‘flex’ back to the natural fade, creating an ‘S’ curve. Some curves are more drastic then others. A more under stable disc will turn over harder than an over stable disc. Depending on the shot, a certain type of turnover drive may be required. Lighter discs will turnover much easier than heavier discs. An ideal drive for max distance is usually slightly turned over. Depending on the thrower, many discs can be used for turnover drives.

Hammer/Tomahawk - an overhand throw where the thrower grips the disc much like he would a forehand. This throw has a unique flight pattern which is best learned by throwing a few out in a field. It is useful for going over difficult obstacles. Mid-range discs with high glide are best for hammers. The Innova Max and Roc are good discs for hammers.

Thumber - an overhand throw that involves placing the thumb inside the lip of the disc. Like the hammer, the thumber has a unique flight patter than is best learned by throwing a few out in a field. It is also useful for going over difficult obstacles. The Innova Monster is a good thumber disc.

Roller - this is a shot designed to travel a short distance in the air and then roll towards the target. Rollers can be thrown forehand and backhand, and should be considered a very advanced throw. Many disc golfers can roll a disc farther than they can throw it. Rollers are very effective in going under obstacles, such as a circle of trees around the basket. They are difficult to control, and require a great deal of practice. Innova Sidewinders and Roadrunners make good long distance rollers, and Innova Leopards and Cheetahs make for good mid to short range rollers.

In-line Putting - a style of putting where the plant foot is directly behind the lie marker and pointed right at the basket, and the other foot is placed behind the plant foot. The disc is thrown from the chest generally straight at the pin. Some in line putter throw the disc with a bit of snap and run right at the basket, while others try to float the disc into the basket. This is just a matter of personal taste or what the situation dictates. In-line putters almost always put backhand.

Straddle Putt - a style of putting where one foot is placed behind the lie marker and the other is parallel, rather than behind, the plant foot. The putter often squats a bit a uses their legs to propel the discs. Straddle putts can be used to navigate around obstacles and provide a clear line to the basket. Some prefer the stability of straddle putting for shorter puts and many use the stance for jump putting. Most straddle putts are backhand putts, though they can be forehand puts.

Jump Putt - outside the circle, jump putting is used to generate more power. It is similar to straddle putting except the putter jumps forward with the release of the disc. This is a tough skill that requires some practice, but can be very effective. Many golfers do not bother with jump putting, though many use it very effectively. Jump putting is illegal within the circle. Jump putting is almost always done with a backhand throw.

Turbo Putt - an interesting style of putt where the thumb is placed in the middle of the disc and the fingers are rested on the outer rim of the disc. The putter spins the disc slightly with the release and pushes with his fingers to propel the disc. This style of putting is not very effective outside of the circle.

Kneeling Putt - in disc golf, the situation often dictates that a throw must be made from a kneeling position. Any point of contact is legal as long as it follows previously stated rules, i.e., in line with the marker disc, no closer to the hole and within the acceptable distance behind the marker.

When putting, golfers also use unconventional stances. Golfers sometime contort their bodies in unique ways to navigate around obstacles. Sometimes a lunge position is utilized to putt, either forehand or backhand. Sometimes the golfer's feet are each at a different level of elevation. By rule, it is technically legal for someone to completely lie on the ground and throw, assuming their foot is behind their mini marker, and they do not use their body to decrease the distance between their marker and the pin.

Scoring

Stroke play is the most common scoring method but there are many others, including match play, skins, speed golf and captain's choice, which in disc golf is referred to as "doubles" (not to be confused with partner or team play).

In every form of play, the goal is to play as few strokes per round as possible. Scores for each hole can be described as follows:

Term on a
scoreboard
Specific term Definition
-3 Albatross (or double-eagle) three strokes under par
-2 Eagle (or double-birdie) two strokes under par
-1 Birdie one stroke under par
0 Par strokes equal to par
+1 Bogey one stroke more than par
+2 Double bogey two strokes over par
+3 Triple bogey three strokes over par

A snowman (perhaps 4 over par on a par 4 hole) is an informal term in some countries for a score indicating that 8 shots were taken at a single hole[4]

Doubles play is a unique style of play that many local courses offer on a weekly basis. In this format, teams of two golfers are determined. Sometime this is done by random draw, and other times it is a pro-am format. On the course, it is a 'best-disc' scramble. Meaning both player throw their tee shot, and then decide which lie they would like to play. Both players then play from the same lie, again choosing which lie is preferable.

Disc Manufacturers

The major disc manufacturers are as follows:

1. Discraft
2. Innova
3. Gateway
4. Quest AT
5. Millenium Discs
6. Disc Golf Association
7. Lightning Discs
8. Discwing

Different types of plastic:

The first plastic listed in each entry is the Innova line, the second is the Discraft line, and the third is the Gateway line.

1. DX/Pro-D/S - this is the economy line of plastic. It is generally very grippy when worn, but it will wear very quickly. It is easy to warp and bend these discs. They do not maintain their flight characteristics for too long. Many players use DX plastic for mid-range discs, but not in drivers. Many also prefer putters in this plastic, citing the added grip as their reasoning.

2. Proline/Elite-X/H - A plastic more sturdy than economy plastics. Players often prefer the feel of these over the economy line.

3. Champion/Elite-Z/E - A premier plastic that is extremely durable, more expensive, and due to the high percentage of polyurethane, often translucent. It will maintain flight characteristics even after a great deal of abuse. Players often find it is easier to control a Champion of Elite-Z disc and that they can get more of a reaction out of the disc with less effort.

4. Glow - this plastic glows in the dark when held up to a florescent light. It is a bit more durable than DX plastic, but not quite as durable as Pro-Line plastic.

5. Star/ESP - A very durable plastic that maintains flight characteristics a bit longer than Champion or Elite-Z plastic and that is a grippier plastic. Some players prefer the feel of Champion or Elite-Z plastic, while others prefer Star or ESP.

6. ESP FLX (Discraft) - A very flexible plastic offered only by Discraft. The disc can literally bend in half and spring right back into its original form. The grip it offers is superb. The discs also do not bounce far. When the hit a tree, they tend to fold and drop to the ground, rather than carry deeper into the woods. They also grip the chains very well.

History

Disc golf, in some form, has probably been played informally since the early 1900s, according to Victor Malafront's, "The Frisbee Handbook." But modern disc golf started in the late 1960s, when it seems to have been invented in many places and by many people independently. Two of the best-know figures in the sport are George Sappenfield and "Steady Ed" Headrick.

George Sappenfield and early object courses

For example, George Sappenfield, a Californian, realized that golf would be a lot of fun if played with discs. He set up an object course for kids to play on, and other early courses were also of this type, using anything from lamp poles to fire hydrants as targets. A year later, Sappenfield introduced the game to many adults, and courses began to crop up in various places in the Midwest and the East Coast (some perhaps through Sappenfield's promotion efforts, others probably independently envisioned). Some of Sappenfield's acquaintances are known to have brought the game to UC Berkeley. It quickly became popular on campus, with a permanent course laid out in 1970.[5]

"Steady Ed" Headrick and the growth of the modern game

The first standardized target course was put in by "Steady Ed" Headrick, a flying disc innovator known as the "Father of Disc Golf", in what was then known as Oak Grove Park in La Canada Flintridge, California, California,[6]. (Today the park is known as Hahamonga Watershed Park). This park is immediately to the south of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which supplied at least a few of the earliest players. Ed worked for the San Gabriel, California, California-based Wham-O Corporation and is credited for pioneering the modern era of disc sports.

Headrick coined and trademarked the term "Disc Golf" when formalizing the sport and invented the Disc Pole Hole, the first disc golf target to incorporate chains and a basket on a pole. Headrick founded the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), Disc Golf Association (DGA), and Recreational Disc Golf Association (RDGA) as governing bodies for professional, competitive amateur, and family-oriented play, respectively, and worked on standardizing the rules and the equipment for the quickly-growing sport. Headrick abandoned his trademark on the term "Disc Golf", and turned over control and administration of the PDGA to the growing body of disc golf players in order to focus his passion for building and inventing equipment for the sport. Upon his death, Headrick was cremated and his ashes were made into a limited number of discs per his wishes.[7] The discs were given to friends and family, and some were sold with all proceeds going toward funding a nonprofit "Steady" Ed Memorial Disc Golf Museum at the PDGA International Disc Golf Center in Columbia County, Georgia. One of the discs that contains Headrick's ashes will be permanently placed on the roof of the center. When asked why this was to be done, by a member of the local media, PDGA Executive Director Brian Graham quoted an old Frisbee addage, "Old Frisbee players are like old Frisbee's ... They don't die, they just land up on roof."

Women in the sport

While there are more male than female players, the Women's Disc Golf Association exists to encourage female players and arrange women's tournaments. A PDGA survey states that out of its 11,302 members in 2006, 8% are female, or about 900.

World Disc Golf Champions and Hall of Fame

A disc resting in the basket

A list of all disc golf world champions, United States champions, world doubles champions, and PDGA award winners .

  • 1993: Vanessa Chambers | Dave Dunipace | Ed Headrick | Tom Monroe | Jim Palmeri | Dan Roddick | Ted Smethers
  • 1994: Harold Duvall | Nobuya Kobayashi | Darrell Lynn | Dan Mangone | Doug Newland | Snapper Pierson | Lavone Wolfe
  • 1995: Ken Climo | John David | David Greenwell | Johnny Roberts | Dr. Rick Voakes
  • 1996: Mike Conger | Patti Kunkle | Rick Rothstein
  • 1997: Steve Slasor | Elaine King | Jim Kenner
  • 1998: Gregg Hosfeld | John Houck | Carlton Howard
  • 1999: Sam Ferrans | Steve Wisecup | Tim Selinske
  • 2000: Tom Schot | Royce Racinowski
  • 2001: Stan McDaniel | Johnny Sias
  • 2002: Alan Beaver | Gary Lewis
  • 2003: Mark Horn | Brian Hoeniger | Dr. Stancil Johnson,
  • 2004: Derek Robins | Geoff Lissaman | Johnny Lissaman | Marty Hapner
  • 2005: Mats Bengtsson | Sylvia Voakes
  • 2006: Chuck Kennedy| Kozo Shimbo
  • 2007: Fred Salaz | Michael Travers

For more information, visit the website of the Disc Golf Hall of Fame.

References

  1. "Rules", PDGA.com, Professional Disc Golf Association
  2. Disc Golf: It's Not Actually Golf. Retrieved on 2006-12-10.
  3. Disc Golf: The Re-discovery of an Aging Sport. Retrieved on 2006-12-10.
  4. Definition of snowman in golf. MiMi.hu.
  5. http://library.thinkquest.org/25034/intro-history.html

External links


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