June 23, 2024

Disc golf: the superior golf

Traditional golf, a sport that involves a club, a tiny ball and a hole in the ground, is a sport for society’s elite. It is trapped behind an expensive wall of overpriced equipment and high club membership fees, not to mention the serious cultural obstacles to play.

On the other hand, disc golf is relatively inexpensive to play, is highly accessible and has a fantastic culture surrounding the sport. 

For those unaware, disc golf is played all around the world and is growing rapidly in popularity. While the aim of traditional golf is to hit a ball into a hole with a club in as few hits as possible, disc golf is played by throwing specialty frisbees into an elevated basket in as few throws as possible.

Buying a decent set of beginner golf clubs can cost anywhere from $400 to over $1000. These are just the actual clubs, not to mention the socially acceptable clothes, shoes and balls, which could easily cost another few hundred dollars.

In addition to the money spent buying equipment, more money will have to be spent just to access courses to play with the expensive equipment. On the low end, it can cost $25 to walk and play nine holes, which is typically only half the course. To play with the use of a golf cart can cost significantly more.

If playing frequently, it is possible to become a member at a course. This, at the lower end, can cost more than $1000 upfront and hundreds of dollars a year in dues. Alternatively, there are some courses, such as former President Donald Trump’s precious Mar-a-Lago, which reportedly costs $200,000 up front as an initiation fee and $16,000 annually.

These fees are in drastic contrast with the cost to play disc golf. 

A decent beginner set of discs can cost as little as $15 dollars. There are no dress codes for disc golf; people typically show up in whatever is comfortable to walk and throw in. Eventually, if there is a need to carry a growing set of discs, there are decent bags that will only cost $12.

In addition to the low cost of equipment, the vast majority of courses are entirely free. They are in public parks where people just show up and play, at no cost to the player. There are over 15 courses in Columbus alone, all free to play.

Cost is not the only factor in which disc golf is far superior to traditional golf. Community and culture play a big part, as well. 

The disc golf community is incredibly welcoming. Whether a first-time player or a long-time pro, people are polite and courteous on the course. Disc golfers will help with form, call the number on the back of a disc to return it to its owner and invite a lone player to join their group on a course. Even at the highest level, the professionals will joke with each other and enjoy each other’s company while playing the most important round of their lives.

This is in stark contrast with the cultural appearance of traditional golf projects. The majority of players are rich and caucasian, dressed in the most pristine golf clothing and driving around in golf carts. This provides an intimidating image for those who do not fit the description and may want to try the sport for the first time. 

The culture on the respective courses is also vastly different. 

It is entirely normal to hear vulgar swear words, hooting, hollering and loud cheers for an ‘opponent’ for a good shot on a disc golf course, Whereas, on the manicured lawns of a traditional course, the same cannot be said.

Those perfectly manicured, green lawns of a traditional golf course are the nail in the coffin. Course care has such a massive environmental impact to keep the courses looking as nice as they do, disrupting all types of nature.

This is not to say disc golf courses are perfect, just better. The Professional Disc Golf Association does have an initiative to lessen the environmental impact of disc golf courses, but they are still far better for the environment than most traditional golf courses. There are far fewer trees cut down and far less space taken up. Many courses are entirely in the woods, so there is very little grass to maintain. Many courses in public parks are built on the space people walk and play in, resulting in any grass care required doubling as grass care for the greater park, as well.

Culturally, disc golf is far friendlier to people, the environment and to bank accounts than traditional golf. The game is far more approachable to the common person and far more fun in the long run.

Author

  • Adrian Suppes

    Adrian is the current Editor-in-Chief and a third-year student working on a Bachelor of Arts in Music major and Journalism minor. In his free time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and disc golfing.

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