A Different Kind of Golf

By: Kurt Buesching | June 11, 2012

Golf is a great sport.  Part of the draw is not only in the challenge, but the course itself.  Lush beautiful landscapes, long fairways and sloped greens, and for some, the rough. But, let’s face it; golf’s not the easiest sport or the most affordable.  So, if you’re looking to still get all the perks, but maybe save a few bucks, disc golfing is where it’s at.

Disc golf courses are designed in the same fashion as traditional golf courses, except instead of a hole with a flag there is a basket with chains.  This rugged take on the classic game has all ages enjoying beautiful landscapes in a whole different way.  Courses range from 9 holes to over 24 on some of the larger courses.  The most common place to find a disc golf course is in a large metro park.  Still, there are plenty of random smaller courses available and it’s always fun to try new ones out.  After a while you find your favorites, but the pull of a new course is hard to resist.  Many of these smaller courses are still free to play on.  Most of the larger courses do charge a fee to play, but it is usually very small.  At just $2-$6 per day it’s still very affordable or if you’re a die-hard you can get a season pass for an average of $50.

To a golfer there’s nothing like the sound of the ball dropping into the cup… to a disk golfer, the sound of your disc hitting the chains invokes the same feelings.  Disc golf, albeit easier than traditional golf, still presents a respectable challenge.  Throwing a disk may sound simple, but it’s a skill.  With drivers, mid-ranges, putters, over-stable discs and under-stable discs, there is a disc for just about every shot.  The nice thing is, you never have to switch your disc unless you want to.  So, not only are discs cheaper than golf clubs, you can be equipped to play for as low as $15, the average price of a disc.  However, those pesky discs can sometimes be tricky to find, so it is a good idea to have a back up.  TIP: No matter how cool they look, beware of foliage-colored discs…the brighter the better.

Scoring is about the same for disc golf as well; with pars on holes, birdies, hole-in-one’s etc.  But you don’t have to keep score to enjoy the game.  Many people don’t pay attention to score at all and some just keep score per hole.  Personally, I didn’t start keeping score for the first year I played.  You can really take the sport as causally or as seriously as you want to.  Some hit the course to just relax outside and have fun with friends and others play professionally in tournaments around the country.  The U.S. Amateur Disc Golf Championship will actually be held at Kensington Metro Park’s new course in Milford, June 8-10, 2012.  Pretty cool!

The beauty of disc golf is that it’s essentially a really laid back form of golf.  You don’t have to whisper around the holes and there are no dress codes.  Course etiquette does still apply but it is more about being polite than being prim and proper.  The relaxation continues when it’s time to pay.  While most of the metro parks charge an entrance fee, it is normally not more than $6 and you can save by buying an annual pass.  With these prices, an entire day on the course can cost as little as $20, including your disk.

The courses are open all year round for the brave and dedicated but the official start of disc golf season will come with the sun.  So this summer, why not get outside and try a new kind of golf?

For a list of disc golf courses in Michigan, please follow the link: http://www.discgolfcourses.org/michigan.html