What is Disc Golf

Why Should I Play Disc Golf?


what is disc golf    What is Disc Golf you ask?  Just like the ball-beating, collared shirt, ugly pants, and fancy shoes golf.  You will probably find yourself hunting for birdies with long shots while complaining about your score.  Their differences clearly lie in the equipment and method of object tradjectory through the replacement of high-tech clubs for high-tech plastic discs.  No more expensive clubs, boxes of balls, dress codes, or greens fees. Just one disc is needed, and all the rest is free.  , although some choose to carry 20 or more in their disc golf bags.  “Mother Nature’s” beauty while mastering the fine art of throwing a Frisbee-like disc.

Innova disc golf discs  Since evolving from Frisbee Golf to Disc Golf years ago, most of the courses remain free for all to use.  There are many disc courses that are privately owned as well as resorts and ski slopes that use the sport’s popularity to gain profit, and therefore are not free.

However, these courses are few and far between.  With a cheaper alternative to the popular sport of ball golf, the game has grown rapidly from 1 course in 1974 to over 5,000 in the U.S. and over 8,000+ known courses worldwide today.  Oh…..and not to mention, unlimited tee times.

The Beginning

Disc Golf Car Prize

(Palmeri, 2008)

  Disc golf as a sport was established in 1974 when a group of people gathered in California to compete in a golf-like sport for prizes.

In 1973, this avid group of disc golfers first happened upon a copy of the IFA newsletter. They were amazed to hear of the Frisbee culture that existed well beyond their little sphere of activity. They decided to make the 1974 City of Rochester Disc Golf Championship a national tournament to find out just how many other people around the country were playing disc golf. They called the event the American Flying Disc Open (AFDO), and to attract the attention of the Frisbee community, they put up a brand new 1974 Datsun B210 to be awarded to the winner.


This was all designed to build popularity of the newly formed DGA both as an official Disc Golf Association for competition, but also for the sale of disc golf baskets and discs.

Early Disc Golf Competition

In order to promote the game and draw attention to the sport, the Wham-o toy company hosted a $50,000 disc golf tournament in 1979.


  Since that day, disc golf has exploded onto the scene as an up and coming sport.

Disc Golf Growth Statistics Chart  It’s hard to believe that from just that one course built in 1973 there is now a list of over 5,000 permanently installed disc courses in the United States alone.

Needless to say the sport of disc golf has grown quite a bit since 1973, and even has a Professional Disc Golf Association where members travel the globe to compete for an annual purse of over 1 million dollars in prize money each year.  To learn more about “Steady Ed” (founder of disc golf and Frisbee inventor) and the amazing game of disc golf, check out our History of Disc Golf page for the incredible tale of “Steady Ed” and what began the question….What is Disc Golf?.

Professional Disc Golf

  Technically it’s been a Professional Disc Golf League since the 1970’s, since the Wham-o Frisbee company was cutting checks to the winners, but today’s game is a different animal.  This recreational activity has grown to become a professional sport that attracts millions of new followers each year.  The Professional Disc Golf Association pays out over $2 Million each year in prize money alone, with top throwers earning an estimated $100,000+ per year in prize money and endorsements.

Disc golf’s growth in popularity has spread through state and local parks as a great sustainable use of land.  These large tracts of land tend to be some of the longest and most challenging disc golf courses to play.  These courses provide the perfect landscape for a competitive tour.  The popularity of these courses over time, will continue to bring more followers, and more competitions.