Why Boomers Are Getting On Par With Disc Golf
What has all the nuances of golf, plays without clubs, and has everyone getting in on the competition? What looks like your average game of frisbee is actually one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S and in Europe. If you’ve never heard of disc golf, you’ll be wanting to sign up for this new spin on the classic game. It might seem like a sport popularized by millennials who thought they were too cool for ball golf, but since the first disc course came to Pasadena, California in 1975, this all age sport has taken tee time to a championship level.
Disc Golf 101- Like standard golf, you have your fairway, your tee pad, and if you’re lucky you’ll score a birdie, but with disc golf, the lingo is more or less the same, but the game takes a different twist. Instead of a ball, and a hole, you have a disc, and a basket, and rather than a manicured putting green, disc golf courses can be in a park, or even a (very large) backyard. As with a typical round of golf, the object is to get the disc in the basket in the fewest number of throws, and the person with the lowest score is declared the winner. In place of a ball and club, you’ll use three discs, the driver (for the greatest speed and distance), the mid-range (recommended for beginners), and the putter for short distance shots. As an added bonus, it doesn’t take all day to play an 18 hole game!
The Advantage - Traditional golf can be an expensive past-time. According to Golf Advisor, between the clubs, accessories, greens fees, and memberships, it’s not uncommon to spend upwards of $2000. With disc golf, the cost of a set of discs is reasonable, the courses are often free, and instead of set tee times, players have the flexibility to go it solo, or play on a team. With much more action-packed excitement, disc golf is accessible to anyone from 9-99, which is why so many baby boomers are swapping their clubs for high flying frisbees. It takes some precise hand-eye coordination, and smooth upper body moves, but with some practice, most people find the sport addictive.
Where to Start? - The Professional Disc Golf Association - PDGA lists about 5,000 public courses in the U.S, and 1,000 in Europe with a searchable directory on their website, so finding one in your neck of the woods shouldn’t be too difficult. If you’re looking for fellow devotees who share your passion, many cities offer age targeted meet-up groups specifically for boomers, or if you find a disc golf park near you, maybe invite some friends for an informal tournament. A word of caution if you’re considering taking up disc golf - once you start, you’ll be a fan for life.