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Drive from tee
Photo: Jonas Rudholm
What is disc golf?
Disc golf is a sport for professional and recreational players; a sport that has a lot to offer and attracts an increasing number of practitioners. What it is that attracts the players may vary. For instance, it could be the element of competition, the joy of spending time in nature, the social activity or simply the fascination of watching a disc fly beautifully through the air.

fairway drive

Disc golf is a rapidly growing sport in the world and it is not difficult to see why. It is easy to get started, but at the same time it is very difficult to master all the elements in the sport. The sport is easily available (if you have a course nearby). Playing a round at a course is either relatively inexpensive or free altogether. No expensive equipment is required to get started. All you need is a disc. Some courses even have discs that you can rent. You can play with others or against yourself. Above all, the sport is both challenging and fun (and sometimes frustrating).

The basics of the game
The basics of disc golf are simple; to play a course with as few throws as possible. It's about controlling the disc’s flight and avoiding obstacles. It’s about staying away from trouble by planning a suitable landing point for your next throw. In many senses, disc golf is therefore a tactical sport.

A course usually consists of 9 or 18 “holes”. Just as in golf it is called holes, even though there are no actual holes in disc golf. Here, a hole is completed when the disc has dropped into a circular basket and stays there without bouncing out. The basket is attached to a metal construction with chains hanging above the basket to catch the disc before letting it drop into the basket. The entire metal construction is also called basket.

Disc golf is an excellent recreation sport The chains recieve the disc

The difficulties that you will face at the course depends on the length of the hole, obstacles such as trees, shrubs, elevation variations and water hazards. On windy days, the wind will be another difficulty to master. In disc golf, the players use relatively heavy discs of about 160-180 grams and with stable flight characteristics. A good disc golfer throws over 100 meters with ease, while the best in the world throw around 140–150 meters, even without the help of headwinds.

There are more than 140 disc golf courses in Sweden, located in parks, meadows or woodlands. Some of the courses are pay-to-play courses, among which Järva Disc Golf Park in Stockholm and Discgolf Terminal in Skellefteå are the most professionally managed courses of international repute.

The professional players and advanced amateurs normally bring a variety of discs of various flight characteristics with them during a round. There are numerous golf disc manufacturers, such as the market leading American brands Innova, Discraft and Millennium, but in recent years (since Innova’s patent on the "beveled edge disc" expired) several new manufacturers have emerged, including English Discwing and Swedish Latitude 64°.

The game in brief
Before starting off, the players’ throwing order is drawn.
The first throw at each hole is thrown from tee (it’s allowed to follow through and step passed the tee as soon as the disc has been released).
When making the following throws from the fairway, the front foot is placed where the disc landed.
It’s always the player whose disc is farthest from the basket who should make the next throw.
At throws closer to the basket than 10 meters, it is not allowed to follow through by stepping passed the mini marker after the disc has been released.
The player with the lowest number of throws on the previous hole starts on the next hole.
There is no limit for how many discs a player can use during a round.

  /Jonas Löf, translated by Jonas Lindberg

Across the pond
Disc golf was invented in the U.S. where it began to grow in the late seventies. In the past few years the sport has grown rapidly, with about 10 million Americans having tried disc golf. There are about 500 000 recreational players who enjoy the sport on regular basis and some 8 000 licensed competing players.

From a total of 4 000 courses worldwide, about 3 300 are located in the U.S. Recent dominants in the sport are also Americans; David Feldberg in Open Class (men's class) and Valerie Jenkins in the women's class.

In Sweden, the brightest stars are Jesper Lundmark from Skellefteå, Markus Källström from Stockholm and Birgitta Lagerholm from Stockholm.

Barry Schultz — World Champion and USDGC winner 2003