The weather’s warming up which means it’s time to stop watching reruns of American Chopper and start getting out to the many disc golf courses here in Michigan. In the spirit of the season I thought I’d talk a little about the history of the sport and how it’s progressed until now.
The game of disc golf, believe it or not, was created in the 60s. It was in 1966 when “Steady” Ed Headrick patented the first modern Frisbee while working for Wham-O toys. It started as an object game where people would just pick a target and try to hit it. But Headrick saw potential for the disc well beyond what anyone had envisioned. The game formalized in 1975 when “Steady” Ed patented the first disc pole hole catching device. That same year he designed and installed the first modern course in Oak Grove park,(Pasadena, California).
For those who haven’t already figured it out, disc golf is a lot like ball golf. There are many different discs to choose from that, like ball golf, mainly consist of drivers, approach or mid-range and putters. They also make discs that roll or are used to go up and over an obstacle like a tomahawk (straight up and down). You have a throwing pad (usually concrete or packed dirt) to get you started on the hole. And somewhere between 100ft-600ft from there you will find a basket to throw your disc into. It’s simple to learn, easy to play and can be as challenging as you see fit. For the uber competitive types, you can find tournaments across the state with several skill divisions to choose from.
Today there are more than 3000 established disc golf courses and the game is played in the US as well as 20 other countries around the world. There are over 128 public courses in Michigan alone and that’s not including all the private and backyard courses hidden away. As a fellow disc golfer it’s hard to believe how popular this sport has become over the past decade. It had grown by leaps and bounds. And that’s why disc golf is the future of American pastime. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, wanna get some exercise or are looking for a cheap hobby check out a course near you.