SOUTHINGTON — Disc golf requires players to throw discs into pole baskets. Unlike traditional golf courses, many disc golf courses are constructed in natural landscapes. The Panthorn Park disc golf course is an example of how courses can be integrated into heavily wooded areas.
Here are four things to know before you start playing.1. How the sport got started
Disc golf started to be recognized as an official sport in the mid 1970’s and has since become popular throughout the country.
Former Connecticut State Coordinator for the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), Joe Proud III of Southington, began playing disc golf before it was recognized as an official sport. Proud said he started while studying in Maine. There are now 32 disc golf courses in Connecticut.
“The sport is exploding in Connecticut, courses are everywhere. Everyone should come out and try it” said Proud.
Proud and others from the PDGA have helped to build and design some of the courses in Connecticut, including the one at Panthorn Park.2. Equipment – Disc types
Sneakers are ideal for disc golf because the sport requires a lot of walking. Proud said wearing long clothing will help to protect against mosquitoes and ticks. He also recommended bringing sunscreen and a variety of discs.
Beginners should focus on getting their throws down and slowly work their way up to more advanced discs, he said.
“Bring your whole family out here,” Proud said. “You don’t have to buy expensive equipment. It’s a nice walk in the park.”3. Rules of the game
The goal is to complete the holes with the lowest number of strokes, or throws, possible.
Mini discs are used to mark where a disc has landed on the fairway. Players step behind their markers to make their next stroke towards the hole.
There are usually nine to 18 holes on a course and the points system is similar to that of traditional golf in that the player with the lowest number of points wins.
Proud said there are different discs depending on the type of throw required.
“Start with a disc that has a rounded profile and is deep for a putter style disc. It won’t go as far, but it gives you a lot of control” said Proud.
Mid-range discs are less rounded and give players an equal amount of distance and control. Discs with sharp edges will give you the least control, but the greatest distance. 4. Play locally
“Everyone has to start somewhere” said Proud.
Proud encourages beginners to be confident and not concerned about looking foolish.
“We want you to participate so you can learn” he said. Proud said there are frequently doubles leagues open to all levels.
On Saturdaythere is a disc golf tournament at Rockwell Park in Bristol.
For more information about disc golf leagues and events visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/110328469007416/. For a list of disc golf courses in CT visit https://www.discgolfscene.com/courses/Connecticut.
Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford native, NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog https://dearfitkris.com/