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iacas

Getting Started in Disc Golf

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So you want to get started in disc golf? And why wouldn't you - it's cheaper, quite a bit easier (while still being a challenge), and faster to play. Here's what you should do:

  1. Find a course nearby. You can do that here: https://www.pdga.com/course-directory .
  2. Buy a disc or two, three at most. I recommend you pick up a "putter," a "midrange," and a "fairway driver." See below for specific recommendations.
  3. There are two basic forms: forehand and backhand. Many players initially are better with a forehand than a backhand, but the backhand is the workhorse shot for most decent to great players. @cipher and I looked for awhile for some basic videos or web pages on how to throw each way, but couldn't find much. Also, read this: https://noodlearmdiscgolf.com/beginner-tips/ . Nate and I will add videos to this thread when we get a chance.

Recommended discs:

Putters: Pretty much anything will do. I like Wizard by Gateway, as does @cipher, but other discs named the "Ion" by MVP, the "Aviar" by Innova, the "Focus" or "Magnet" by Discraft, the "Pure" by Latitude 64°… the list goes on. There aren't many bad putters out there.

Mid-Ranges: The mid-range or the "approach shot" disc is as far as you should go at first. It takes more skill and speed to throw anything rated as "faster" than these discs. They're still easy to control while helping you with your form. Pick up a "Roc" from Innova, a "Buzzz" from Discraft, an "Axis" or "Matrix" from MVP, or a few other kinds of discs in this mid-range category. Avoid mid-ranges that are "overstable" or super "understable" for now.

Fairway Drivers: Too many to list, and you should hold off on getting one of these at first anyway. If you do, look for a mildly "understable" disc.

You can also get a "starter set" that isn't too bad. For example, http://amzn.to/2hPQQaP or http://amzn.to/2hGHgUn will both get you started.

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Here is a decent introductory video on backhand throwing basics:

For my recommended discs I would agree with everything Erik mentioned.  Innova discs are the easiest to get initially.  I believe stores like Walmart even carries them.  Look for the Innova DX plastic as those discs will only be about $8-10 each.  The starter sets that he linked in the first post are a great way to get going as well.  I would recommend the Innova Classic Aviar for a putter, the Innova Cobra for a midrange, and if you want a basic driver I would look at the Innova Leopard to start.  But like @iacas mentioned maybe hold off on throwing the driver for a while.  

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I do want to get started. It is something I have been threatening to do for years.  I live within 10 miles of the Highbridge Hills disc golf courses.  I really have no excuse not to try it.

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5 hours ago, iacas said:

You're not far from @cipher, right?

Not to close. Most of the way across the state. 

 

I am trying to attach a map of the course. Hopefully it comes through. It looks like a disc golfers paradise. 

 

Highbridge_WI_Map_0.gif

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This has peaked my interest.   Since retirement, I'll have some extra time when I'm not on the golf course.   What's nice, the initial investment isn't overwhelming.  

What are the average distances of most courses?   The course near me is 5,189 ft.  

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1 hour ago, dennyjones said:

What are the average distances of most courses?   The course near me is 5,189 ft.  

The longest championship courses are approaching 10,000 or so. The average rec is probably 5,400 per 18 or so.

Lots of older courses are only par 3s.

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20 hours ago, 14ledo81 said:

I do want to get started. It is something I have been threatening to do for years.  I live within 10 miles of the Highbridge Hills disc golf courses.  I really have no excuse not to try it.

If I come up that way again we should play.  Very interested to play that course as well.

13 hours ago, iacas said:

You're not far from @cipher, right?

Yeah surprisingly it is about 6 hours or so.

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Looking at your avatar, @cipher, I realize that when I played ultimate frisbee, I had a crappy shoulder turn. In fact, that was my problem in golf for years before I had instruction. It'll be interesting to learn which principles I've learned in the last couples years in my golf swing will transfer over. 

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1 hour ago, RandallT said:

Looking at your avatar, @cipher, I realize that when I played ultimate frisbee, I had a crappy shoulder turn. In fact, that was my problem in golf for years before I had instruction. It'll be interesting to learn which principles I've learned in the last couples years in my golf swing will transfer over. 

Just don't try to relate the two too much. A bunch of different things, including the weight shift. It's similar, but different enough that I wouldn't push to look for too many similarities.

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4 hours ago, cipher said:

If I come up that way again we should play.  Very interested to play that course as well.

Yeah surprisingly it is about 6 hours or so.

Certainly.  I'd be up for it.

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Dumb question time:

It seems like disc golf courses are quite wooded. One near me at Burke Lake in northern VA, I've seen and it seemed much like one of the tournaments that @cipher posted in another thread. Narrow "fairways," if you could even call them that. 

Is this typical? Are any courses more like traditional golf courses, as in more wide open? As a newbie, I'd think I'd be liable to throw off line or have quite the curvature that I'd be hitting trees all over the place. Those guys in the tourney seemed to never hit a tree- threading the needle all over the place.

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1 hour ago, RandallT said:

It seems like disc golf courses are quite wooded. One near me at Burke Lake in northern VA, I've seen and it seemed much like one of the tournaments that @cipher posted in another thread. Narrow "fairways," if you could even call them that. 

Is this typical? Are any courses more like traditional golf courses, as in more wide open? As a newbie, I'd think I'd be liable to throw off line or have quite the curvature that I'd be hitting trees all over the place. Those guys in the tourney seemed to never hit a tree- threading the needle all over the place.

Some courses are more wide open. Some are narrow.

http://www.dgcoursereview.com/media.php?id=122&mode=media. That course is moderately open. Other courses are more wide open than that. Those courses are better for beginners but quickly become a bit boring for even intermediate players.

Holes in disc golf are really short compared to golf, so there's less chance of going too far offline. Plus putting is easier, so even if you have a recovery shot you can still often make a par. For example, on a 300 foot hole if you throw it 200 feet off a tree, if you have ANY angle to get within 30 feet of the basket, you can save a par.

 And disc golf is more about controlling curves. It's rare (there are "tunnel shots") where you have to throw a straight shot like in golf. It's much more about finding a path through the trees.

Oh, if you want to see a pair of courses, look at these two: http://www.dgcoursereview.com/media.php?id=4126&mode=media (open), http://www.dgcoursereview.com/media.php?id=126&mode=media (moderate trees). Both were part of the four courses used to host the PDGA Pro Worlds in 2015.

Disc golfers who practice will often visit a field. Until you can throw over 350', a football field works really well. Or a baseball diamond.

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3 hours ago, RandallT said:

Dumb question time:

It seems like disc golf courses are quite wooded. One near me at Burke Lake in northern VA, I've seen and it seemed much like one of the tournaments that @cipher posted in another thread. Narrow "fairways," if you could even call them that. 

Is this typical? Are any courses more like traditional golf courses, as in more wide open? As a newbie, I'd think I'd be liable to throw off line or have quite the curvature that I'd be hitting trees all over the place. Those guys in the tourney seemed to never hit a tree- threading the needle all over the place.

Just to add to what @iacas said, playing holes through the trees is really what disc golf is all about to me.  Shaping lines with different kinds of shots and watching them move through and around things is what makes it so much fun.  I think we both agree though that a good disc golf course is not overly one way or another.  It has a good mix of different hole types. Some open and some wooded.  Open holes can really be challenging when the wind is up as well.

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Disc golf sounds absolutely wonderful. My kid sister's golf team beat their rivals and got treated to a round of foot golf on the last day of the season. My sister, reflecting her genetics, managed to break her knee (she hates when I describe her injury as "breaking her club from hitting it fat"). I imagine disc golf would yield even fewer injuries!

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I bought the starter kit last fall and still have not gone. I have a coarse about 3 miles away from my house too, so no excuses. It's free too, that makes it even worse 

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5 minutes ago, Kloeshuman said:

I bought the starter kit last fall and still have not gone. I have a coarse about 3 miles away from my house too, so no excuses. It's free too, that makes it even worse 

The first time you go, just bring the mid and the putter. And throw the putter from some of the tees.

Go! Do it!

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