The 9 Best Disc Golf Sets
What Should I Look For In a Disc Golf Set?
All disc golf sets are not created equal. In fact, more often than not, it's difficult to determine what might be missing from a disc set until after you've gotten it home. If you want to complete your due diligence prior to that point, the discs themselves may be the best place to start.
In terms of disc golf, there are three basic types of discs - a putter, a mid-range, and a driver. Much like golf, a putter is designed for short-range tosses or lobs, a mid-range is designed for getting from the fairway to the green, and a driver is designed for achieving the maximum flight whenever a player is teeing off. Every disc golf set should include at least one putter, one driver, and one mid-range (if not two or three of each). You'll also want the discs to be brightly colored for visibility, and clearly marked so you can tell which one is which.
Beyond that, you'll want to look into whether a disc golf set comes with its own custom bag. A decent shoulder bag is a tremendous asset if you happen to be playing a full round of golf. Certain disc sets feature a matching bag with extra compartments for holding drinks, snacks, accessories, and gloves. Certain sets also come with their own score cards, which is a nice benefit, albeit not a necessity. You can buy a pad of scorecards separately for less than $5. Either that or you can print out as many PDF scorecards as you want online.
Disc Golf 101: Several Basic Tips & Drills
Believe it or not, the simplest way to sharpen or maintain your disc golf skills may be to head out to the park and have a half-hour catch with a friend. Doing so will improve your throwing style, disc control, and precision. If you have a disc golf course nearby, then you can practice putting from around each basket at a 5-10 ft distance. Either that or you can practice some mid-range shots by stepping 15-20 ft away from the green.
Good putting is a combination of proper release and control. Much like a golf putt, you want to focus on releasing the disc ever-so-gently. The goal is not to overshoot, or risk the disc getting deflected. Just as important is your stance. Most players release the disc while remaining balanced on one leg. Much like a baseball pitcher, this is a result of the wind-up.
By stepping forward with the same leg as your throwing hand, you can create more room for a excess range of motion across the center of your body. The closer you get to the basket, the less power you want to place behind each putt. As you get within a few feet, you almost want to heave the disc as opposed to spinning it. You want the disc to drop up-and-in instead of falling soft.
If you find it difficult to balance yourself on one foot whenever releasing a disc, it may help to practice by standing on one leg for 30 seconds or more. Doing this 4-6 times with a slight break in between will bolster your leg strength and your coordination. Sit-ups and ab crunches are an additional way to build muscle and strength throughout your core.
If you live near an open field, you may want to consider just "driving" a series of discs for distance. The longer and more accurate your drives, the easier it'll be to achieve a lower score.
A Brief History of Disc Golf
The first game of disc golf took place in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1926. Given the "disc" had barely been invented, and the Frisbee was still a decade from being introduced, this inaugural game was played by using a stack of disposable tin plates. All of the targets were metal trash cans; the course was set inside the woods. For five years, the same group of friends continued playing this game on a day-to-day basis. Shortly after the boys moved away to different colleges, the local buzz surrounding their game began to peter out.
A similar version of this game emerged three decades later in Houston, Texas. This Americanized version became an instant hit, thanks in large part to the mass appeal of the Frisbee. By 1965, there were several "Frisbee golf" leagues on college campuses across America. The name of the game had to be changed, however, after the Frisbee company began to enforce its trademark during 1969. In short order, the name of the game was changed to "disc golf," and in 1976, the American Disc Golf Association (DGA) was formed.
The DGA proved instrumental in providing infrastructure, funding, and sponsorship for competitions and tours between 1980 and the modern era. Today, there are over 5,000 disc golf courses spread across 40 countries around the globe. Disc golf is still widely considered to be an American pastime, with the majority of critics regarding it as much more of a game than a sport.