The game of disc golf is similar to golf, except for a disc that is used in place of a golf ball. It involves reaching the target, i.e., a basket, in the minimum number of shots possible. The game was popularized by the efforts of 'Steady Ed' Headrick and George Sappenfield. Sappenfield coined the term 'disc golf', and designed the basket that is used as a target in the game. The Professional Disc Golf Association, which sets the rules and regulations, was founded by Headrick.
Playing Disc Golf
In disc golf, three types of discs―the driver, mid-range disc, and the putter are used. The driver being sharp-edged and heaviest of all the discs, is used to cover long distances. It doesn't travel in a straight path, and is thus the least accurate. The mid-range disc is lighter in weight as compared to the driver. However, it still covers a considerable distance without wavering much from its path. The putter is the most accurate amongst all the discs. It is used for short-distance throws due to its lightweight and fatter edges. Throws are known as putts, and the action is termed as putting.
The disc is thrown with the 'plant leg' behind the tee-off mark. It is the leg which bears the weight of the body during a throw. The other leg is free to be positioned anywhere, but behind the mark. While throwing the disc, the force of the throw generally leads to a follow-through or a fall. In the process, the player is dragged ahead of the tee-off mark. The fall is acceptable for throws behind the 10-meter mark from the basket. The 10--meter mark is also known as 'the circle'. Few players prefer putting, even if they are behind the circle.
In regular golf, the term 'hazards' is used for water bodies, roads, or similar unplayable areas. In frisbee golf however, the term 'out-of-bounds' is used to denote such areas. Players are penalized for 'falling putts' or 'foot faults'. For the first fault, the player is issued a warning and made to re-throw the shot. For any subsequent fault, a penalty of one stroke is awarded, and the shot has to be retaken.
There are different methods, like the match, speed golf, and skins, that are used for scoring. However, stroke play is the popular one. In this method, the number of throws required to complete the round are counted. The number of throws that a player needs to achieve the target is referred to as 'par'. The par value is generally between 3 to 5. Birdie, Eagle, and Albatross are the terms used to denote one, two, and three strokes under par, respectively. Bogey, Double Bogey, and Triple Bogey are used to indicate one, two, and three strokes above par, respectively.
Initially devised for children, frisbee golf has become popular amongst all age groups. A nice outdoor activity, and now a serious sport, disc golf is here to stay.