Best Permanent Disc Golf Basket:
Discraft’s Prodigy XO is a great disc golf basket because it offers excellent stability, durability, and weight distribution. The XO was designed with one goal in mind; to provide long distance control over your putts.
You will not have any problems putting from this basket due to its high quality construction and stable design.
The XO is made out of heavy duty plastic and features a durable polyester core. The basket is constructed using sturdy steel hardware, which allows it to stand up to abuse.
The basket comes complete with two 3/8″ diameter holes for mounting a disc grinder or other tools. There are three feet attached to the bottom of the basket, which allow you to place the baskets on uneven ground without damaging them. This makes this disc golf b…
Best Disc Golf Baskets:
There are many different types of disc golf baskets available today. Some offer a flat surface while others feature a raised platform.
Most baskets come in several sizes and shapes, but they all share some common characteristics. They’re all made out of wood or metal and most have handles at the top to hold them upright when not in use.
The size and shape of each basket is different. Some are large enough to stand inside, while others are no larger than a trash can.
Most baskets are shaped like a cone and topped with a ring or cage. The opening of the basket gets wider at the top so golf discs can easily be thrown inside. A disc golf basket is essentially a tall cylinder, but with a gap on the bottom wide enough to throw a disc inside.
Regulation Disc Golf Baskets:
These are the official disc golf courses used by the International Frisbee Association. The holes for these baskets are made to be between 300 and 450 feet in length.
In order to build a regulation course, you must have at least 9 baskets and 18 holes.
Used Disc Golf Baskets:
These are lightly used and typically come from local disc golf courses that are either no longer popular or poorly managed. These are great for people on a budget and are eager to play disc golf immediately.
Typically the chains by which the basket is attached to will be rusted and the wood will be rotten.
Innova Disc Golf Baskets:
These are used exclusively by the Innova Disc Golf Company . They are designed to withstand even the toughest weather conditions.
The disc golf baskets are extremely durable and can last for years without showing signs of wear. The chains by which the basket is attached to are galvanized to increase their resistance to rust.
These are the most durable disc golf baskets available. They can be found in both old and new courses.
There are no wooden components at all. These are very popular with park and school districts that don’t have the resources or money to maintain a regular disc golf course.
These are the giants of the disc golf world and can reach heights of up to 12 feet. They are typically only used for a single hole and are often found along hiking trails or in campgrounds.
They require very precise shots to avoid getting stuck in the woods. Most people use a driver to get past these monsters.
These are the flat surfaces from which you begin your throw. They have standardized measurements to ensure that each pad is the same size and distance from the basket.
Most are made out of concrete or hard rubber. There are several different shapes and styles, but they all perform the same way. The most common style is octagonal with small indentations for your feet.
Bumpers or Fun Baskets:
These are what most people think of when they envision a disc golf basket. These are used for practice and recreational play.
They are often found at the beginning of a course to allow new players to get used to the game. Most people toss the discs into these baskets, but it is considered good form to throw inside the chain-rings.
In order to win a game of disc golf, you must get your disc into the basket and below the bottom of the chain-rings. This process is called “getting down.” After getting the disc into the basket, you must gently pull the disc from the bottom of the chain-ring without dislodging it.
If one person gets their disc into the basket, then they get one point. The first person to reach 21 points wins.
The best place to get your disc into the basket is near the top of the chain-ring. This will prevent your disc from spinning to the ground and getting stuck behind the basket.
It also prevents your disc from getting knocked off course and into the rough.
The best discs for this task are understable and made of plastic. They should have a flat top so that they rest steadily on the basket’s roof.
The chains on the basket will prevent most discs from going inside the basket and getting stuck. If a disc does get stuck behind the basket, then it is called “Balking.” This happens frequently to beginning players and results in a loss of that turn.
Beginners should use overstable discs that are less likely to flip upside-down in the basket or fly off into the rough. These will always have some sort of concavity on the top surface.
This makes them more likely to get stuck in a basket. As a player’s skill level increases, so should the degree of understability.
Determine what material and type of discs to use for your particular course. There are three different kinds of materials used in disc golf: Regular Plastic, Medium-Hard Plastic, and Hard Plastic.
Each of these kinds come in different varieties, so you should choose the ones that work best with your skill level and the style of basket you are throwing to. The following table includes some suggestions for each category.
“Stable” vs. “Understable” Discs
Stable: These discs fly straight when thrown at a high speed. They usually have very little wobble, and are generally used by beginners.
Understable: These discs tend to veer off-course when thrown at high speed. They are used by advanced players, and often used for trick shots.
Stable discs include the Innova Pulsar, Aviar, and Shark. Understable discs include the Innova TL, Gator, and Coyote.
A knife is a cutting tool with a blade that is attached to a handle. The blade is made from hard material such as metal or stone.
The earliest knives were made of stone and bone. As technology improved, metals such as bronze and iron were used. Today, most knives are made of stainless steel.
“Knives” in Disc Golf usually refers to the throwing-knives used in trick shots. Disc golfers rarely use actual knives when throwing discs for recreation.
Knives used in trick shots have curved blades that allow the disc to be thrown on any angle and spin at high-speeds.
Golf discs are not knives. They do not have sharpened edges and are not made of metal or stone.
Throwing a golf disc can cause injury, but it will not cut anything or anyone.
If you are throwing at the target near the hole, wait until the person hitting next to you is done.
If you are throwing at the target near the hole, and the person hitting next to you takes a long time, move closer to the target. If you are close enough to reach it, throw your disc.
This is called “Putting Out” and it is your right as soon as someone is taking too much time.
If you are not throwing at the target near the hole, stay away from the throwing line.
Look out for players who are putting out. They are focused on the basket and not on anything else.
They will not expect you to be anywhere near the throwing line, so it is your responsibility to stay back.
A “basket” is a container that holds discs. It usually hangs from chains above the ground.
There are three types of baskets:
Rectangular boxes with 3 or 4 chains that hold them up. The chains are on hinges, so they flip down to let discs in, and then flip back up.
These are usually worth 1 point each.
“Pouches” that have a flap that opens on the top and bottom, so discs can fall through. Sometimes they have a door on the front that flips open.
These are usually worth 3 points each.
If you hit the chains of a hanging basket, they will flip down when you throw your disc into them. If the chains flip down, but your disc did not go in, then you do not get any points.
This is called “throwing it off”.
You get one point for each disc that goes into the container. If you throw a disc in, but it falls out before the chains flip back up, then you do not get any points.
This is called “taking it out”.
The word “Basket” is capitalized just like the word “Disc”.
A “mando” is short for “mandatory”. This is an obstacle that you must go through in order to complete a hole.
For example, there may be trees in the way, or a wall.
If there is a mando on or near the throwing line, then you have to go through it before you can start throwing.
The point at which the mandatory ends is called the “mando line”. The line perpendicular to the mando line across from the direction you are throwing is called the “Mandatory Line”.
When you are within range of a mando, you must announce “Mandatory”. If you do not, and you are pulled into the mando, then you lose your turn.
The player who is throwing the disc is the “thrower”. They are in control of when to throw and which direction to throw.
This also means that they have final say over any disputes that arise during play.
If a dispute occurs, the players should remain silent until it is resolved. If there is still a disagreement, then the marker should be consulted.
The marker s the white disc at the center of the target. This disc is worth 5 points for the team that gets it into the hole.
The marker is awarded when a player in the act of throwing their disc, or the thrower themselves if they have no discs left, touches the marker without first having touched any other discs. The player is not required to touch the marker, and may choose instead to give their partner(s) a chance to reach it.
The marker can be carried, but any discs the carrier touches are considered “touched” as well. If the carrier is touched by another disc, then the touching team loses the ability to earn points for the marker.
Once a team has the marker, they must return it to the throwing line without touching any other discs. If the carrier crosses the throwing line with the marker, then their team receives 5 points.
The team that has the marker may not interfere with any other discs that are on the field. If a carrier is blocked from crossing the line by another disc, they must wait for that disc to be moved out of the way before crossing the line.
If a defensive player touches a thrown disc before it reaches it’s target (or if it would have), then it is “caught” by the catcher. The throwing team loses their turn, and the disc is handed to the catcher’s team.
If the catcher is the last person to touch a thrown disc before it reaches it’s target (or if it would have), then that disc is considered to have been “caught” by the catcher as well.
The first team to score 21 points wins.
After an even number of points are scored, the teams swap sides. If the game is not finished after each team has had an equal amount of time to throw (example: if the game is supposed to end with Team A having 5 throws, but Team B only needs 2 more points to win), then the teams keep throwing until the game is finished.
The person designated as the marker keeper should keep track of the score. The marker should always be kept close to the thrower, although not necessarily in the hand of the thrower.
The following is an incomplete list of discs that the sport of Disc Golf has borrowed from the much larger family of Frisbee sports.
This list is not in any way meant to be all-inclusive. It is merely here to provide some background if you are unfamiliar with the sport.
Frisbee – A plastic disc invented in the 1950’s as a commercial venture by some college students. It is designed to be a flat plate, with raised trim along the edge.
Although it’s original intent was as a toy for play, it has since become an Official Sport of the Ultimate Players Association (the governing body for Ultimate Frisbee) and sees widespread recreational use. While discs are often used in Disc Golf play, they are rarely used in Disc Golf itself.
The game of Disc Golf is very similar to golf. The object is to traverse a set course from a designated starting location to a finish location, using a disc (usually a Frisbee) to throw a marker into an elevated metal box that is usually embedded into a metal pole.
Because the marker must land inside the elevated box and not touch any part of the pole itself (or in some cases, land within a certain radius of the pole), players must often take more difficult routes in order to make accurate throws. Each route has a set par that must be met; otherwise the player fails to “make the throw” and must try again. There are generally 3 designated routes of varying difficulty in each set course, although some disc golf courses may offer a greater selection of difficultly levels.
There are currently over 1,700 recognized Disc Golf courses worldwide, with the oldest and most well-known often referred to by their initials: SFDGC (Sears Fault / Druid Hill Park).
Most people who take up the sport of Disc Golf start out with a Set Starter Kit:
The following are objects designed and used for playing disc golf. They are divided into two major groups:
Baskets and Targets
There are three basic types of objects used for Disc Golf: Baskets, Monuments, and Stakes. A “basket” is what the name implies: A basket (often plastic) hung from an elevated pole on a swivel.
The “pole” may be embedded into the ground, or held up by concrete, or even a tree (though this is less common). The basket is designed to prevent a disc from falling through, though some newer models are more challenging by doing away with the basket and replacing it with a cage-type design.
Monuments take on many different forms, although they all share some common characteristics: They are elevated, and made out of a non-porous material. A common example is the concrete “pillar” type monument.
These can often be found on college courses, as the campus grounds keepers are more willing to work with something that will not decay if hit by a disc. This type of monument is often easier to find in a wooded area, as it is much easier to hide a non-porous structure of this nature.
The “stake” type monument is exactly what it sounds like: A wooden pole (often treated with a non-corrosive material) with a flat plate at the top, embedded into the ground. These are used in areas where there is no need to elevate the object, or if there is a need to keep it out of sight (such as in a residential area).
Discs – The main “tool” used for playing disc golf. They come in a variety of colours and weights (and often have pictures or advertising on them).
Generally, the heavier they are, the more stability and distance they will have, but this also impairs their ability to perform more elaborate tricks. The lightest discs can be less stable and are more prone to upsets in the wind or accidental bumps, but they can also “do more with the least effort”. Discs are generally between 7 and 9 inches in diameter. The most popular size is around 8 inches, as this is the easiest to grip and find a great assortment of colours and designs.
A disc golf bag is a specialized bag that has pockets designed for holding many discs. They are often larger than a typical bag and are supported by longer straps, so that the bag can rest on your back and lean against your body.
The number of pockets and their size is designed to help the player carry their discs, as well as a scorecard, water bottle, and even a mini-marker (though this may be kept in pockets).
Disc retrievers are specialized poles used to “fetch” a disc from water or bushes. They are generally lithe and can even be bent, so that they can reach into smaller spaces.
There are many specialized discs used for playing and practicing disc golf. The most common of these is a “putter”, which is smaller and more heavily weighted than other discs, making it ideal for approaching the basket and putting the disc in.
Another common type is the “mid-range” disc, which fills the role of a driver (the longest disc) when used from the tee, but is less stable and not as durable as drivers when used for approaches.
These discs are not permitted in all disc golfing situations, such as league play or in tournaments where the object is to see how far you can throw a disc. For these cases, most players carry at least one “driver” or “distance” disc.
These discs can be made of lighter material, and have more complex shapes which allow them to be thrown much further than putters or mid-ranges.
Some players, known as “drivers” carry only distance drivers and rely on the ability to throw these discs great distances. Other players are known as “putters” who only use putters and mid-ranges, relying on the discs’ stability and lower flight speeds to get them through a course.
Other players carry a combination of each type of disc in their bag to suit a variety of situations.
The final specialized type of disc is the “approach” disc. These discs are extremely flexible (either in plastic or in their flight characteristics) and are not generally thrown at a target, but instead used to approach the “table” (the area surrounding the disc golf basket) without interfering with the flight of the disc.
These discs are generally flexible and can bend in half, so players can clip them to the top of their bag without interfering with their throwing.
While not as common as drivers, putters and mid-ranges, there are a few specialty discs that can be used for specific shots. The most popular of these is the “turtle”, a disc with bumps on one side which allow for extremely low flights.
These discs are generally only used for “skips”, or throwing over an obstacle in the flight path without greatly affecting the way the disc flies (essentially throwing around an obstacle instead of over it or going around it). Other specialty discs include glow discs, skip-ratios and even discs with small spikes, which allow for greater grip (though this last type is no longer produced). These specialty discs are generally only used by advanced players.
More information on these specialty discs can be found at the DISCatcher link, listed in the sources.
In addition to the equipment used to play, there are other items of interest to players of the sport. There are courses located throughout the world (though primarily in the United States and Europe), dedicated disc golf stores, and other equipment and paraphernalia.
The World’s First Disc Golf Course
In the 1970’s, Earl “Gregg” Louise was looking for a new way to play golf. He didn’t like how slow and tedious the game had become, so he decided to try something new.
He took his family’s Frisbee and tin cans, and created what is believed to be the first Disc Golf Course. He called it “Flerpery” (a portmanteau of “Frisbee” and “Golf”). Though the course was short lived, the idea took off in the late 1970s when some people played a variation of the game called “Disco” (where chains and other metal objects replaced tin cans). Players would use these “Metal Fliers” to toss into metal garbage can on a gravel road.
In the late 1970s, another variation called “Steady” was created, using plastic discs and stationary metal targets on trees. In 1979, the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) was created to govern the sport of Disc Golf.
Today’s courses are much more intricate than those first few courses, with trees felled to increase difficulty, multiple chains and targets along each route. The Disc Golf Association (DGA), the governing body of Disc Golf, has an official course directory (accessible through their website) with over 2100 permanent courses recognized from nearly every country in the world.
Most of these courses are free to play and feature red and white barrels marking each tee and hole. Many dedicated Disc Golf stores carry equipment and clothing, but the sport is not yet recognized by the general public.
Other Equipment and Apparel
There are many different types of Discs used in the sport. The most common ones are listed below:
Drivers: Drivers have a very high flight performance and are made of mostly Zinc, with some Stainless Steel. These discs can be 5 or more inches wide and can weigh up to about 180 grams.
They are used to throw long distance.
Fairway Drivers: Fairway Drivers are a larger and heavier than mids but smaller than drivers. They usually come in around 160 grams and between 4-5 inches wide.
They still have a high flight performance but aren’t quite as over-stable as the drivers and are more controllable. They can be used for driver shots but most often are used off the tee on open fairway holes where accuracy is key to a good shot.
Mids: These discs are between 67-85 mm in diameter and weigh between 140-159 grams. They have a lower flight performance than either drivers or fairway drivers but are more stable than the putters.
They come in a variety of different shapes, some even have huge rims that make them almost resemble paddles.
These types of discs are used for shots around the green, shorter approach shots and for putting.
Putter: Putter’s are the smallest discs and they weigh between 142-147 grams. They are the most overstable and can handle more power than other types of discs.
These types of discs can handle more power than other types of discs and are used for shorter shots, up to one hundred feet, approaching the basket and for putting.
There are currently five recognized disciplines of the sport of Disc Golf, each with their own set of rules.
Dual Player: Also called doubles, players are required to partner up with another person. This allows for a faster paced, more social style of disc golf.
Four players split into two teams and use two discs each (one for each hole). Each team takes a shot from the teebox on each hole. The teams then play the hole out with their second disc. The team to finish the hole gets the lower score, so both players must be relatively accurate with their second shot.
The first team to finish a set number of holes wins.
Players split into two teams and take turns throwing from each tee box. Each hole is worth one point and whichever team scores the most points over nine or eighteen holes wins.
Ace Pool: Also known as Nassau, players must bet on who will win the round before it starts. The winner gets the pot of all money bet.
Each player puts an amount into the pot equal to the number of players multiplied by one dollar.
Skins Game: A betting game most often played between friends for pride and fun. Players make a bet based on the hole and whether they can make a clean shot into the center of the basket or not.
Long Drive: The goal of the game is to hit the target (usually a cone) past a certain point with your drive. If you hit it short of that distance, you get a penalty shot.
Long drive competitions are sometimes incorporated as part of another competition, such as nationals or state championships.
The two governing bodies for disc golf competitions are the PDGA and the DGPT. The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) is an international organization that maintains the rules for the sport of disc golf.
It also holds three major championship tournaments every year, including the United States Disc Golf Championship, the World Championship, and the World Disc Golf Championship. The Professional Disc Golf Association also works with other organizations to expand its sport around the world. The Disc Golf Pro Tour (DGPT) is the organization that hosts the elite players of the sport. The players compete in a different type of frisbee golf competition than the typical competition. It has two different playing formats: stroke play and match play.
The object of the game is to get the lowest score. In stroke play, all players tee off from the initial hole, and then everyone proceed to the next hole.
Once all players have completed their shots from one hole, whoever gets the lowest number of strokes for that hole, wins that hole. All players then move on to the next hole. (For example. if the target number to win the hole is 6, and one player got a 5 and the other player got an 8, then the player who got the five wins that hole.) If two or more players have the same low amount of strokes on a particular hole, then those players score is considered a tie.
As stated above, match play is different than stroke play in that whoever wins the hole wins the game. All players play the hole until one player wins the hole.
Then, all players move on to the next hole. The process repeats until one of the players has won more holes than the other player(s). After an entire round is over, whoever has won the most holes wins the match.
The governing body of professional disc golf is the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA). It was created in 1982 in Augusta, Georgia by the freestyle frisbee inventor Kurt Gibson.
The organization’s main goal is to create and maintain the rules of play for disc golf and to promote the sport. It also strives to work with local, regional, and national groups to expand the sport to new people and places. Its headquarters is in Appling, Georgia. The PDGA has around 33,000 members and is one of the main reasons for disc golf’s surge in popularity today.
The PDGA holds three stages of competitions, including player, club, and professional competitions. Any person can become a member of the PDGA by paying the entry fee, which is currently at $40.
PDGA tournaments are the main events that allow you to earn a spot in the organization’s ranking system, making it easier for you to enter larger and more difficult tournaments with a chance of winning.
The number one goal of any disc golf organization should be safety. Although injuries are rare in the sport of disc golf, the possibility still exists and the rules should be there to make sure players do not get hurt.
The PDGA safety rules are as follows:
Always throw from within the marked boundaries of the course.
Always throw alone and away from any other person(s). If others are present, ask them to move away from your throwing area.
Always keep all spectators a safe distance away from your throwing route.
Always have at least one hand on the disk until after you have released it.
Always observe the other rules of play.
The player who doesn’t follow any of these rules is subject to receiving a “warning”, and if he should ignore these warnings, he can be banned from competing altogether.
Most disc golf courses are made up of 9 or 18 separate holes, although some longer courses consist of 27 holes. Each hole is usually between 250-800 feet in length and consists of obstacles such as trees, hills, and water hazards.
The main goal of each hole is to get the disk into the designated pin zone (usually a hole cut out of a large pole) in as few throws as possible. The minimum number of strokes set for each hole is called the “Par” and is rated using the “Stimpmeter”.
The Par for each hole is set by the course’s creator and is usually based on the difficulty of getting past specific obstacles in the shortest amount of throws. As an example, a tight tree-lined fairway would have a higher Par than a wide open field with no obstacles.
A typical hole on a professional disc golf course has a Par between 3 and 6. An amateur course’s Par can range from 2 to 10.
To give you a better idea of what these difficulties are like, here’s an example of a professional and amateur disc golf course:
A Professional Course:
Hole #1: This hole begins towards the back of the tee-area behind a pole. The pole is just after the basket and the fairway quickly narrows after the pole, becoming a tight corridor between trees after 5 feet.
The Par for this hole is a 4.
A Amateur Course:
Hole #9: This hole is one of the shorter holes on the course. The tee-area is a flat opening in the trees, which slopes downward about 10 feet away from the pole.
The Par for this hole is a 3.
As you can see, the skill level and difficulty of disc golf varies greatly from one course to another. The highest Par on a professional level course is a 15, while the lowest Par on an amateur level course is usually a 6.
Where can I legally play?
Now that you have some idea of the rules and difficulties of the sport, you’re probably wondering where you can go to play disc golf. Fortunately for you, there are many places across the globe to choose from. There are approximately 5000 courses currently in the world, with the US having the most at 2000 (1050 of those are in Washington state alone).
As far as where to play here in Washington, I recommend checking out Sky Meadows park, it’s got everything you need:
It has an unlimited supply of gorgeous scenery
It has a great selection of challenging holes
It has water hazards and, of course, trees
All you have to do is bring your own discs and you’re set.
Sources & references used in this article:
Assessing the Ecological Impact Due to Disc Golf. by SA Trendafilova, SN Waller – … Journal of Sport Management, Recreation & …, 2011 – Citeseer
Disc golf target by F Chittenden – US Patent 6,250,635, 2001 – Google Patents
Basket ball by GL Pierce – US Patent 1,718,305, 1929 – Google Patents
Disc Golf Programs in Educational Institutions by J Lewis, R Osborn – Recreational Sports Journal, 1985 – journals.sagepub.com
The Tao Ka-Ching: confessions of a disc golf basket-case by JK Burzynski – 2008 – scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu
Portable Indoor and Outdoor Disc Golf Target for Daytime and Nighttime Use by JS Gradinger – US Patent App. 13/844,822, 2014 – Google Patents
Disc Golf A Lifetime Activity by C Tuten, C Conkell – Strategies, 1999 – Taylor & Francis
Definitive Guide to Disc Golf by J Menickelli, R Pickens – 2016 – books.google.com