What Golf Could Learn From Disc Golf
Played with what is also commonly called a Frisbee, disc golf has its players competing over a large field – really a shrunken golf course – with the hole amounting to a large metal basket. The disc is advanced by throwing it toward the basket, sometimes “shaping” shots by curving the disc around trees or other hazards. Holing out amounts to hitting the basket with the disc coming to rest inside.
It’s the same concept of taking an object and advancing it toward a target with the fewest strokes winning. But pre-shot routines, pristine conditioning, people waiting to play…you’ll see almost none of it. Just groups of players having fun chasing down their “shots” as they advance toward a distant basket. Order of play? No one keeps track, if you’re ready, throw it. Foursomes? You’ll see groups of all sizes during a round.
Most disc golf courses are a little rough around the edges – they might only get cut once a week if at all. But that seems to have little impact on the player’s enjoyment. They’re not looking for an abundance of the color green or pure putting surfaces, probably because if they paid anything at all to play it was just a small fee to get into the park. Perhaps the best part? You can play a complete round with minimal time investment.
While the metaphor is certainly not 100% appropriate, there are certain things golfers can take away from a round at a disc golf course:
- Expectations on conditioning might not be realistic. A little brown is a good thing
- Hit when you’re ready and ditch the pre-shot routine
- Walk the course; you’ll get in better shape and probably play faster
Is it possible that disc golf might relate more to the original game the shepherds played while tending their flocks? It’s the basic concept of the game stripped of much of its excess and artifice we have added over the years that have made a simple game much more complex. Advance an object toward a target, fewest strokes wins.
Are there aspects of disc golf that might make regular golf more enjoyable? What about characteristics of other sports? What do you think?
(Photos courtesy of the Professional Disc Golf Association)