A Beginner’s Introduction to the Sport of Disc Golf

Sometime ago, way back in time probably a decade ago there was a place I lived near a desert. One afternoon a man walked into our condo with a bag of plastic discs.

These discs had names like Astor, Enigma, Magician and Gremlin. Each disc had a random set of numbers stamped on top 11, 3, -2, 4. The code was indecipherable.

“Hey,” said my roommate Brian, at the time, “we’re headed out for a round of golf, would you like to join?”

Looking around I thought where are the golf bags? Probably already in the car. “Yeah, maybe?”, I replied. Followed by, “how much is a round? And can I rent clubs?” The two of them smirked, laughing ever so slightly as not to offend. “Yeah… sorry. Should have mentioned that. We’re not playing traditional golf. That’s what those are for,” Brian said pointing at the discs.

Still confused about this conversation, I replied with, “Say what???” Jaw opening up ever so wide that nothing else followed. “Disc golf,” said the still unintroduced friend.

“Seriously?,” was all I could muster. “Oh yeah, man. Mike’s going to meet us with a backpack full of beers. You should come too,” Brian replied knowing two things. Hanging out with Mike was a favorite pastime of mine as we were good friends and well, beer, of course! “Why, not?” Said I, standing then, “I’ll be a minute. Shorts and sneakers?”

Recently, another old friend divulged he’d been playing disc golf for years and I being a bit paranoid about others lack of caution when it comes to COVID, thought this might be a great way to get outside each night after work for an hour or more, and get a bit of exercise.

Plus BIG BONUS I would not have to pay exorbitant greens fees whenever I wanted to play a round.

That’s when the local search for where to buy disc golf discs began? It took three phone calls to locate a local Edmonton sports store that actually carried them. “We have them, they are in short supply though. Due to Covid. We didn’t bring any in this year. Just selling off last year’s stock,” said the customer services person. Followed by, “we have beginner sets with 3-Innova discs for $59.99 or individual discs ranging in price from $15.99 to $24.99 per disc, in a limited selection.”

Two more phone calls later and I knew I’d be at United Cycle tomorrow night to search for a set.

They weren’t underestimating on the lack of stock either. When I arrived they only had Innova or DiscCraft. This was their selection but I just wasnt certain what I should or should not buy and why?

  • 4-beginner sets
  • 33 putt & approaches
  • 5 fairway drivers
  • 11 drivers
  • 3 extra distance drivers

From Innova they had discs: Archer, Aviar, Banshee, Firebird, Shryke and Valkyre. Priced $19.99 – $25.99

From DiscCraft they had discs: Vulture, Machete, Mantis, Jawbreaker, and Challenger. Priced $12.99 – $24.99

I read thru the Innova disc flight card which tried to explain in as few words possible why to choose one disc over another by 4-elements of every disc;

  1. Speed
  2. Glide
  3. Turn
  4. Fade
Choose a Disc

After touching nearly every disc and talking to three in store staff my mind was made up: this requires extensive research before purchasing. And I opted to leave empty handed.

Saturday morning I rose earlier grabbed a cup of water and a handful of almonds then sat in front of the computer to read and watch YouTube about selecting a disc for a beginner, stances, throwing styles, and deciphering those codes.

Twenty-eight minutes later I started jotting down sticky notes compiling the whose who on disc golf Information and how to choose the best discs for this next leisure activity.

After another hour, I felt empowered that I could successfullty make instore decisions on which 3-discs would be the ones I required to get myself active again!

Standing before the racks I carefully examined the beginner sets first, touching and removing each disc. They felt heavy and round. They weren’t as comfortable in my giant hands.

Then over to the individual discs. The stock had diminished from yesterday, just as I thought it might.

I decided on 3 discs choosing carefully after checking my sticky note notes. I felt confident in my decisions with the Firebird, Leopard3 and JawBreaker. Looking about I didn’t seen the Shryke with a large bird on the front then at the last moment said “screw it,” and I pulled the blue and yellow Machete from the rack.

  1. DiscCraft, Machette, Extra distance driver $24.99
    1. Speed 11
    2. Glide 4
    3. Turn 0
    4. Fade 4
  2. Innova, Firebird, Distance Driver $23.99
    1. Speed 9
    2. Glide 3
    3. Turn 0
    4. Fade 4
  3. Innova, Leopard3, Fairway Driver $21.99
    1. Speed 7
    2. Glide 5
    3. Turn -2
    4. Fade 1
  4. DiscCraft, JawBreaker, Putt & Approach $19.99
    1. Speed 2
    2. Glide 3
    3. Turn 0
    4. Fade 1
A steady toss gets a Par!