Disc Golf is a healthy lifetime fitness sport. It's a game that is easy to learn and accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels.
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Benefits of Disc Golf Development
- Inexpensive to Install
- Low cost & best bang for the buck
- Maintenance costs and upkeep are minimal
- Recreational play is free for most courses
Disc golf courses are inexpensive to install and the game is affordable to play. Courses attract new people to park systems and support local businesses. Disc golf offers one of the highest returns on investment activities to a park and recreation facility. The sport provides a healthy outdoor activity accessible to people of all ages and abilities and can be played year round. If you can throw a Frisbee you can play disc golf. A disc golf course is inexpensive to install, easy to maintain, and if built with quality DGA equipment the course will last for decades. Some courses generate income from daily parking passes, pro-shop sales, and disc rentals. Disc golf courses can be installed in ski resorts for summer use to generate revenue with lift tickets in addition to vending. Increasingly, traditional golf courses are incorporating disc golf to increase traffic during otherwise slow times. Disc golf often utilizes land unsuitable for other activities, therefore turning what was underutilized or unused land into a productive asset for park departments.
A disc golf course can make use of land unsuitable for other sports, activities, or development. This differentiates disc golf from most other outdoor sports that require specialized facilities, buildings, or other extensive land development. Once installed, a disc golf course has very few maintenance costs associated with upkeep and operation. In addition, disc golf can be played year round, rain, snow, or shine. A small beginner disc golf course can be built on as little as two acres of land. A full championship course utilized for tournament play is usually built on one to two acres per hole.
- Benefits to the community and the park
- All inclusive & healthy
- Family friendly and ageless sport
- Low impact exercise
Disc golf is found in national, state, county, city parks, and even private property in all types of diverse climates and terrain. A disc golf course brings the local community to your parks as well as attracting disc golfers from the surrounding areas.
Schools have been adding disc golf to their curriculum all over the world. Schools are finding that kids not only love the sport but that it helps develop critical thinking through scrutinizing and negotiating obstacles. It also provides a safe means of exercise and can be used for other life lessons like ecology, planning, and socialization.
Disc golf is easy to play and is lots of fun. The sport is family friendly, ageless, and low impact. It is a safe way to exercise for boys, girls, teens, and adults. While viewed as an outdoor physical activity, disc golf is also a cognitive sport utilizing the mental processes involving visualization, planning, spacial judging, and problem-solving using disc flight paths.
Disc Golf Courses are Environmentally Friendly
There is no clear-cutting of trees, grading of land, costly fertilizer, or mowing maintenance necessary
Well designed disc golf courses are environmentally friendly and utilize an area’s existing topography. Varied terrain can also act as an advantage when building a new course. Trees, shrubs, hills, creeks, and lakes offer more obstacles and challenge to a course. There is no clear-cutting of trees, grading of land, costly fertilizer, or mowing maintenance necessary. Courses have been installed on old landfills, around reservoirs where there is a hundred year-flood buffer and Pole Holes have been anchored into above-ground concrete forms to avoid any digging in sensitive areas where land disturbance needs to remain at a minimum.
Many of today’s course designs employ the use alternative tee positions so that parts of the course can lay fallow for a season or two. DGA first designed an anchor and collar system for our Disc Pole Holes™ so that alternate basket placements could be installed on your course. Additional anchors allow one tee off position to have 3 or more hole options. This not only limits erosion from foot traffic but creates depth and flexibility to your course layout.
Low Cost and a Positive Investment
Players tend to take an active role in the course and the surrounding areas
A disc golf course provides “bang for the buck” allowing dozens of players to play at the same time. A successful disc golf course like two local courses, DeLaveaga in Santa Cruz and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park Disc Golf Course, can have over a hundred players playing the course at the same time on a given weekend. In contrast, a tennis court that costs more to install only has two or at most, four players at a time.
In addition, the sport attracts positive and dedicated disc golf players and disc golf clubs who bring a beneficial element to the area. The players tend to take an active role in the course and the surrounding areas, making sure the course is in good shape and well taken care of.
“We had a problem with vandalism in certain areas of the park, but after the disc golf course was built, the increased activity in the park really decreased vandalism”, states Rich Dippel, Director of Parks and Recreation for South St. Paul, Minnesota. “It only takes a piece of park space that wasn’t being used and makes it an important part of the park system.”
DeLaveaga for example, designed by Tom Schot, is part of over 1200 acres of multiple use recreation areas in which today includes picnic areas, lighted softball fields, an 18-hole ball golf course, miles of hiking, biking, equestrian trails, and an archery and shooting range, all situated within the Santa Cruz city limits.
Prior to the installation of the disc golf course, the area of DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course was used as an illegal dump. Tom Schot and the local disc golf community removed thousands of tons of trash and created what is today a beautiful, cared-for and trash free park, recognized as one of the premier disc golf courses in the world.
Bob Downing, Portland Parks & Recreation District Manager, had this to say about the benefits of disc golf in his district:
“The positive change in the park brought about by disc golf has made a lot of people happy – neighbors, police, golfers, local businessmen, and parks workers. The old adage that positive use will displace a negative use seems to be much in evidence at Pier Park.”
Mayor of Portland, Oregon, Vera Katz, found a recent disc golf tournament to be a positive addition to the Portland Community and Park System.
“As Mayor of Portland, I welcome any opportunity to support events that bring together members of our community in a positive and sustainable way. The NW Amateur disc golf Series is just such an opportunity… On behalf of the citizens of Portland, I welcome you! We are proud to be the host for the 2004 Progress disc golf Tournament. I think you’ll find Pier Park to be one of the jewels of our Portland parks.”
ANYONE CAN PLAY
Disc golf is known as the “Ageless Sport” where friends and family with different abilities and levels of health can play together. If you can throw a Frisbee you can begin playing disc golf.
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All Inclusive & Healthy
Disc golf is easy to play and fun. The sport is family friendly, ageless, and low impact. It is a safe exercise for boys, girls, teens, and adults. While considered an outdoor physical activity, disc golf is also a cognitive sport utilizing the mental processes involving visualization, planning, spacial judging, and problem-solving using disc flight paths.
Disc golf gets people outside and exposes them to the park system and healthy outdoor activities. Unlike other park amenities, disc golf does not require specialized sports facilities, buildings or extensive land development, and it uses
an area’s existing topography. There is no need for clear-cutting trees, grading land, costly fertilizer, or mowing maintenance necessary.
Low Cost & Bang for the Buck
Disc golf courses are inexpensive to install and the game is affordable to play. Courses attract new people to the park systems and support the local businesses.
Use of Under-utilized Land
Disc golf is very flexible to different topography and varied terrain is best. Trees, shrubs, hills, creeks, and lakes offer more obstacles and challenge on a course. Courses are found on old landfills and around reservoirs with hundred-year flood buffer considerations. In sensitive land use areas where land disturbance needs to be kept low, baskets can be mounted in above ground concrete forms.
Disc Golf Course Growth
DGA establishes and trademarks Disc Golf, invents the first disc golf target with chains, and installs the first disc golf course.
By 1990 DGA invents and patents three disc golf target inventions including inner rows of chain.
DGA pushes disc golf target innovations further with with introducing sliding links and portable basket designs.
DGA continues to lead the sport by providing the highest quality and best performing disc golf equipment all while offering the industry best warranty.
Same principles as traditional golf but with discs and baskets
The sport of disc golf is played similarly to traditional golf. The sports share many of the same rules, much of the same terminology (par, bogey, birdie, etc.), and the same mental strategy. Where the two primarily differ is with land use and cost. Disc golf uses less land and often utilizes terrain unsuitable for other purposes. The expenses for both course installation and for the player is minimal compared to traditional golf. In addition, getting started playing disc golf is quick and the sport is as easy to learn as throwing a Frisbee.
The first formal disc golf course was built by DGA’s founder Ed Headrick in 1976 and was an instant success. Ed Headrick coined the term “Disc Golf” and invented and patented the first disc golf basket with chains, the Disc Pole Hole. DGA was established in 1976 by Headrick to formalize disc golf and to promote the installation and use of disc golf courses around the world. Headrick, always the forward thinker and entrepreneur, saw the huge potential in disc golf and devoted his life to seeing it succeed.
Planting the seed
Once the first permanent course was installed, the potential of this new game becoming a formal sport and legitimate recreational activity began to be realized. The seed had been planted for disc golf to grow from a fringe Frisbee freestyle game to a mainstream sport.
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Disc Golf Course Components
The DNA that makes up a disc golf course
Disc golf baskets are the most important components of a disc golf course. The model you choose to install on your course depends on your course design objectives.
There are baskets that are better tailored to schools and camps, and others that may be better for championship play. Baskets differ in the amount of chain and how that chain is assembled as well as the disc golf targets durability in different types of weather.
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Tee signs are the map to the course and are important to the overall usability and player experience.
Tee signs not only provide important information like distance, par, preferred flight path, and out of bound areas but also keep players on track and safe by pointing out hazards.
Tee signs are especially important for new players visiting a course for the first time.
A tee area provides a firm and level foundation from which to start play of each hole and are made of a constructed hard-surface, rubber mats, or natural tees as simple as a pair of paving stones on the existing ground indicating the tee area.
Along with finding the best course equipment, course design is the most important investment you will make for your course. Without planning and the right course design assistance, the most spectacular piece of land and course plans can be wasted or worse, pose a danger to the players on the course.
Knowing your intended audience is the starting point for every new course installation. Determine the type of course you wish to install along with the length and difficulty of the holes you will be developing.
DGA works with a network of course designers around the world and will work with you to locate one of these individuals in your area to assist you.