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Disc Golf

What is Disc Golf?

Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc or Frisbee®. The sport was formalized in the 1970's and shares with "ball golf" the object of completing each hole in the fewest strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, fewest throws). A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target which is the "hole". The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is called a Pole Hole® an elevated metal basket.

 

As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive throw from the spot where the previous throw has landed. The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer. Finally, the "putt" lands in the basket and the hole is completed. Disc golf shares the same joys and frustrations of traditional golf, whether it's sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway. There are a few differences, though. Disc golf rarely requires a greens fee, you probably won't need to rent a cart, and you never get stuck with a bad "tee time." It is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages, male and female, regardless of economic status.

What are the official rules for disc golf?
Visit the Professional Disc Golf Association: https://www.pdga.com/rules/official-rules-disc-golf

Disc Types

The golf discs used today are much smaller and heavier than traditional flying discs, typically 8–9 inches (20–23 cm) in diameter and weighing between 120 and 180 grams. The PDGA prohibits discs heavier than 200 grams. Discs used for disc golf are designed and shaped for control, speed, and accuracy, while general-purpose flying discs, such as those used for playing guts or ultimate, have a more traditional shape, similar to a catch disc. There is a wide variety of discs used in disc golf and they are generally divided into three categories: putters, all-purpose mid-range discs, and drivers.

 

Putter & Approach Discs

Putters are similar to the discs used in simple games of catch, such as the Wham-o brand Frisbee. They are designed to fly straight, predictably, and very slowly compared to mid-range discs and drivers. They are typically used for tight, controlled shots that are close to the basket, although some players use them for short drives where trees or other obstacles come into play. Usually a pro carries 1–7 putters depending on their flight characteristics. Putter or mid-range discs are recommended for beginners. Speed Range from 3 to 1.

 

Mid-range

Mid-range discs have slightly sharper edges that enable them to cut through the air better. These discs are usually faster, more stable, and have a longer range than a putter. Some beginner players will use mid-ranges as drivers as it is recommended that new players stay away from higher speed drivers to help them advance quicker. They are good all-around discs and are suitable for a first time player or the most advanced pros. Speed Range from 4 to 5.

 

Driver

Drivers are usually recognized by their sharp, beveled edge and have most of their mass concentrated on the outer rim of the disc rather than distributed equally throughout. They are designed to travel farther distances at greater speeds and are mostly used for tee-off and other long distance throws.Drivers are often divided into different categories. For example, Innova Discs Drivers divides their discs into Distance Drivers and Fairway Drivers, with a fairway driver being somewhere between a distance driver and a mid-range disc. Because the physics of a disc require "snap" or "flick", which means putting spin on the disc, new players generally find that throwing a distance driver accurately can be somewhat difficult and will require experience with golf disc response. This is why it is better for players to begin with fairway drivers, long drivers, or even mid-ranges, and incorporate maximum distance drivers as their strength and disc control increases. Most players that are starting off will be most likely throwing lighter discs. Another type of driver, used less frequently, is a roller. As the name indicates, it has an edge designed to roll rather than fly. (Although any disc can be used for a roller, some behave quite differently than others.) Speed Range from 6 to 13.

Stability

Stability is the measurement of a disc's tendency to bank laterally during its flight. A disc that is over-stable will tend to track left (for a right handed, backhand throw), whereas a disc that is under-stable will tend to track right (also for a right handed, backhand throw). The stability rating of the discs differs depending on the manufacturer of the disc. Innova Discs rate stability as "turn" and "fade". "Turn" references how the disc will fly at high speed during the beginning and middle of its flight, and is rated on a scale of +1to −5, where +1is the most overstable and −5 is the most understable. "Fade" references how the disc will fly at lower speeds towards the end of its flight, and is rated on a scale of 0 to 5, where 0 has the least fade, and 5 has the most fade. For example, a disc with a turn of −5 and fade of +1 will fly to the right for (right handed, backhand throw) the majority of its flight then curl back minimally left at the end. A disc with a turn of −1 and a fade of +3 will turn slightly right during the middle of its flight and turn hard left as it slows down. These ratings can be found on the discs themselves or from the manufacturer's web site.

Spin (rotation) has little influence on lift and drag forces but impacts a disc's stability during flight. Imagine a spinning top. A gentle nudge will knock it off its axis of rotation for a second, but it will not topple over because spin adds gyroscopic stability.  A flying disc will maintain its spin rate even as it loses velocity. Toward the end of a disc's flight, when the spin and velocity lines cross, a flying disc will predictably begin to fade. The degree to which a disc will fade depends on its pitch angle and design.

Glide describes the property of the disc being able to maintain loft during flight. More glide is best for new players and producing maximum distance, especially downwind. A disc rated 6 has the most glide. Beginners should choose discs with more glide.

Flight Ratings
Speed- Ability to cut through the air from 1 to 13.
Glide- Maintain loft during flight.
Turn- Tendency of disc to turn over or bank. +1 Rating is most resistant to turning over, -5 rating will turn the most. Discs rated -2 to -5 make good roller discs.
Fade- At the end of the flight all discs tail off or hook.