Disc Golf

Starting in 2007, most of the staff of Billtvshow.com started playing disc golf and it has developed into a bit of an obsession.  If you are unaware of what disc golf is, this is a good place to start.

A Brief Intro
Disc golf follows the general format of regular golf (which disc golfers refer to as ball golf).  You attempt to get an object (a disc instead of a ball) into a goal (a basket instead of a hole) in as few attempts as possible (throws instead of swings).
It is important to note that disc golf is played with flying discs and not with Frisbees.  In fact, Frisbee is actually a trademarked brand name, thus referring to disc golf as Frisbee golf or frolf is woefully inaccurate and you should be ridiculed for doing so.

The Discs
Generally speaking, the discs used in disc golf are smaller and more aerodynamic than traditional Frisbees or ultimate discs, allowing them to be thrown harder and farther.  Discs in disc golf are categorized based upon their function and the terminology for these categories matches closely with ball golf: disc golf putters = ball golf putters, disc golf midranges = ball golf irons, disc golf fairway drivers = ball golf fairway woods, disc golf distance drivers = ball golf drivers.  Putters look a lot like small versions of ultimate discs or traditional Frisbees, while you begin to see a progressively more beveled edge as you move into the midranges and drivers.  In fact, distance drivers are quite sharp on the edges, allowing them to be thrown at extremely high speeds for long distances.

The Courses
Most disc golf courses are either 9 or 18 holes, but you will often find other hole totals, typically in multiples of 3.  Generally speaking, most holes in disc golf are par 3’s, though par 4’s and 5’s do exist and are becoming more prevalent as the game progresses.  Consequently, disc golf is much less standardized than ball golf.  Most ball golf courses fall within plus or minus a stroke or two of Par 72.  When someone says they shot a 66 in ball golf, that is universally known as a good round and several strokes under par.  If someone says they shot a 66 in disc golf, that could be a horrible score on an all par 3 18 hole course with a par of 54, but could be a great score on a 24 hole course with several Par 4s and 5s mixed in.
Disc golf courses do tend have a bit more variety and range both in style and difficulty.  Disc golf relies on such things as dense trees and brushy undergrowth as its rough, which will hopefully provide a challenge for the player to escape from, not too unlike a ball golfer hitting out of tall grass.  In fact, trees have traditionally been the primary obstacles that create difficulty in disc golf.  While it is relatively rare for a golfer to hit a tree, it is not uncommon for a disc golfer to strike a tree with a throw on many if not most of the holes during a round on a wooded course.  Generally speaking, wooded courses are more difficult than more open courses in disc golf.  Open courses mostly rely on wind for difficulty, though the advent of artificial out of bounds and mandatories is slowly changing this narrative and adding substantial difficulty to otherwise pedestrian courses.  But getting back to the subject of wind, the flow of air around a disc can have a substantial impact on its flight.  A wind blowing from behind tends to push a disc downward and further toward its natural flight path, while a wind blowing toward a player tends to push the disc upward and more against its natural flight path.  These factors are very important to account for in disc golf, but perhaps are most important when putting.  Many people describe reading the wind as comparable to reading the break of the green in disc golf.  This is actually not a bad comparison, though actually putting area on a disc golf hole can be complex in its own accord.  There are often elevated baskets and extremely sloped landing areas that can cause the disc to roll very far from the basket when a putt is missed.

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