The word putt is a big clue: you’re supposed to be throwing the ball into the hole, not hitting it. A putt is a kind of shot that works best when you throw with enough spin and accuracy to stop by the hole. The goal of a good putt is to make it look as if you had just thrown the ball.
Young golfers often spend their time trying to hit the ball instead of making their shots look like they were thrown. They want the ball to go straight, so they try to throw it straight. But most of what they are trying to do when they throw is counterintuitive: trying to get the ball to curve in a way that makes it look like they just threw it. So young golfers often waste energy, and time, and sometimes even money trying to hit the ball instead of making their shots look as if they were thrown.
But making your shots look like you threw them is not solely about hitting straight
Disc golf is a pretty simple game. You stand in one place, throw a disc at the basket, and then run away. That’s it. The goal of disc golf is to get to the end of the course as quickly as possible.
There are five basic ways to play the game, but they all have the same goal: throw a disc at the basket. They’re called discs, because they’re thrown like darts. A dart is a small piece of metal attached to a pointed stick. If you throw a dart at someone’s head from twenty feet away, you are throwing a disc; if you throw one at them from ten feet away, you are throwing a frisbee.*
Most disc golf games have somewhere between three and six courses. The more courses there are, the more variety you can give your game: there is more for you to do and think about when you play.
The number of ways to play depends on how many baskets there are on each course and how far apart they are from each other. Some courses have two baskets in close range; on these “putt putt” is close to an even contest with “throw it as far as possible.” Other courses have so many baskets that playing them requires strategy; with six baskets
Because it is easy to learn, disc golf is often a good way to take your game to the next level. It can be a useful complement to the more technical game of golf.
Disc golf has some distinctive qualities. For example, it allows you to practice putting in different situations, and it doesn’t require a lot of skill to play well. And it is enjoyable for both the serious player and the casual player.
How does it work? First you choose a disc type (there are more than 20), and then you choose from one of several basic baskets (there are currently 300+). Next you pick from several basic courses (there are now more than 300+). Then you choose from three possible layouts for each course, one which is easy to complete and two which are not easy but offer more challenge. Finally, you decide how many holes you want to play on each course; it’s not hard to imagine spending a day playing two or three courses at once.
I started to play disc golf when I was in high school. As part of my preparation for college, I took a summer course. After that, I got hooked. I took lessons from a local pro (who was nice enough to give me tips and encouragement when I asked), and got pretty good quickly.
Although I enjoy the game very much, it’s hard-core for people who have been playing for several years. So maybe this is not very interesting, but here are some things I’ve learned over the past five years that might be helpful to people who might be reading this on their first day of practice:
For those of us who haven’t played disc golf, this book on the rules and techniques of the game may seem strange. Why would a book on golf be relevant to disc golf?
The answer is that there are always new and different ways to look at things, and I have always been interested in exploring new possibilities. After all, most of the time we spend learning is not actually learning anything: it’s exploring unknown territory.
When I was first getting interested in disc golf, I started out looking for books about other sports. I knew nothing about disc golf, but reading about other sports was fun anyway. I found that by playing all kinds of games, from billiards to curling to volleyball to catch, I could develop a lot more ideas about how games worked than if I’d only played one kind of game.
Playing games doesn’t just give you insights into how games work: it also gives you a better idea what kind of things you want to make games about in the first place.
Disc golf is a game where you throw a small metal disc into a hole. It’s played in public parks, with many different rules and objectives. The goal is to get the disc into the hole in as few strokes as possible.
My favorite disc golf rule is this: “If you are throwing a disc, and it hits an opponent’s disc, it doesn’t count.” This rule is intended to prevent people from playing “putt putt,” hit after hit after hit until the next player in line loses interest. In the long run, though, it encourages players to take fewer risks and makes them better.
I think we have been going about things wrong for thousands of years: we have been trying to make money by making risky bets that don’t pay off, instead of trying to make safe bets that do.
If there is a golf course in your town, go and play it. And if there isn’t, set up a disc golf course in your yard.
Disc golf is a game of throwing tiny metal missiles at targets. It’s got the same kind of excitement as pool, but with more strategy, and the payoff is an unending supply of cheap thrills.
It’s not just for nerds. While disc golf is a geeky pastime, it does have a large audience, and people of all kinds are playing it now. One study found that over half of disc golfers are women; this might be because you can play it by yourself or with any number of friends, rather than the traditional solitary activities that many women find intimidating.