Disc Golf - Sport and fun for everyone!
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Disc Golf? Never heard of it. Probably, this is what most German readers think, when they stumble for the first time on one of my articles
at Dreampions. No offense taken, our sport is just not well known in my home country. The other group of readers are already big disc golf fans, they play regularly and are experts in the sport. Your challenge is different but similar: Often you will meet friends that react to your passion with ignorance and surprise. Therefore, I thought that an explanation of the rules and especially the factors that make disc golf such a thrilling sport should help both groups by providing sufficient arguments for future discussions. Additionally, I intend to motivate you to go out and throw a few discs directly after reading the article. So let's go:
The sport in three sentences
The goal is to complete a course of up to 18 holes with as few throws as possible. The difficulty levels will vary, and accordingly the distance which the disc has to cover on each hole. Usually, it takes 3 to 4 throws until the disc has reached the basket at the end of the hole. The rules are overall similar to the rules of Golf.
So much about the sport itself. For more details you can go to www.discgolf.de, where you can also find information about the roughly 80 Disc Golf courses in Germany. 80 courses in the whole of Germany – my heart starts bleeding! Finland has more than 350 courses, while the country is much smaller and may not even have a tenth of the population. This means conversely, however, that Finland has a lot space and that is exactly what is needed for Disc Golf courses. The Germans do not like to fill their parks with playing equipment, and if money becomes available to install new sporting grounds, then usually football will benefit from it. Every little village boasts nowadays about its own football field, while there is little investment left for other sports. Thankfully, one can easily repurpose a football field to an exercise area for Frisbee throws.
If you grow up with a sport, it is only natural that its techniques eventually become second nature to you. My father indeed put his passion for the sport into my cradle and I grew up playing. However, I never had the feeling that he was trying to keep me playing at any cost or even putting pressure on me to practice more. Everything I did was to follow my talent and the joy of playing. In the end, the beauty of Disc Golf is the true reason that I became the first German professional player.
If you ask me, what makes Disc Golf so special, I think it is its combination of various challenges: While you want to cover large distances with your throws, it is no power sport where you need to put in a lot of weight training. In fact, then I would be hopelessly lost, as probably most women could defeat me in arm wrestling. It's also not just about meticulous accuracy in putting; at least not when you are starting out – in professional competition every missed throw matters. Rather, the combination of speed, technique and timing determines your success.
For me, the most important argument is: Everyone can play disc golf, really everyone. The only requirement is that you have fun doing it.
What do you need to start playing?
The answer to this question is simple: just a Frisbee. And the emphasis here is that you only need one at the start. Many beginners go about shopping in the nearest sports store and stocking up on the best and most expensive discs, although this is absolutely not necessary. Before trying out any of the special-Frisbees, you should rather learn and develop a technique to throw and for that you do not need more than one disc. Isn’t it great? You do not need more than 15 euros to get started with Disc Golf! You neither need to be perfectly trained or bring the condition of a marathon runner. Just buy one disc, start playing and have fun!
And that's exactly what I love about this sport: Whether one is rich or poor, fat or thin, tall or short, male or female - there are no conditions that must be met. The only thing that helps is long arms, but even that can be offset by sufficient training. When you visit one of the unfortunately quite widely dispersed courses, you will find the full range of human beings, which is one of the things that makes disc golf so remarkable. And once you have completed your first few throws, you will never quit this sport again, I promise.
What is next?
You may start to play just for fun, but soon just throwing a few discs across country may not be enough for you anymore. Eventually, you will wonder how far you can actually throw, when you give it your really best try. And then you start training for long casts. Initially, they will be around 30 to 40 meters, later on you may cover 150 meters. Or you think about the speed with which you have to throw in order to achieve a certain distance despite a headwind. Then you practice speed throws. Or trick shots, because you want to know how many disks you can put into the basket in one minute. There is always a new, fun challenge – and that is what I like about Disc Golf.
Hopefully, you liked my article, come back for my next post and feel inspired now to go out and play an hour!
See you soon,