Disc golf is another excellent lifelong sport that gets you outside walking around, while socializing with friends. It is a fun activity and most students are at the same skill level. Fortunately we have a disc golf course near our school, but you can still play without one. Not sure if there is one in your area? Check out the PDGA Disc Golf Course Directory: https://www.pdga.com/course-directory You may also be able to find your local course map and score sheet online which can be helpful keeping students moving in the right direction and tallying their scores.
The aim of the game is to take the least amount of throws as possible to get your disc in the disc golf basket or hit the tonal. When we have played without a course we choose a target that we can’t damage – a sign, a fire hydrant, between two trees, etc.
There are many different types of disc golf discs (putters, drivers, etc.). If you are going to purchase disc golf discs, I would go for multipurpose ones. If you are using regular frisbees, that’s fine too; they just don’t throw as far. We have numbered our frisbees so that students know which one they are responsible for each period.
Depending on how much time you want to spend on technique, you may want to go over throwing technique: forehand, backhand and sidearm. I emphasize keeping a flat disc. If it’s tilting left it will curve left, if it tilts right it will curve right, if you throw it up high it won’t go far and can possibly get caught by the wind and come back at you. Practicing on a large field can be helpful. Have students line up on a sideline so that they are all throwing in the same direction at the same time – never throw if someone is in front of you and never walk in front of someone who is about to throw.
We also practice putting. I have everyone stand a big step away from the basket and throw. When everyone has gone, retrieve your disc, take two steps back and all throw again, repeat until you’ve worked your way back 10 feet or so.
We then go over the rules:
- Be aware of your surroundings – never throw when other people are in front of you
- Tee throws (the first throw of each hole) must be completed within or behind the designated tee area
- At the start of the game, tee off follows the order of names on the scorecard
- Subsequent teeing order begins with the player with the least amount of strokes on the previous hole – if there is a tie, count the scores back until the order is resolved
- After teeing off, the player whose disc is farthest from the hole throws first – the entire group stays behind the disc farthest away from the hole and works their way up throw by throw
- No landscaping (breaking vegetation that is in the way of a shot)
- A hole has been successfully completed when the disc comes to rest in the disc golf basket or chains – record the amount of throws that it took to do so
It’s time to play! Split into groups of three or four and do a shotgun start (all groups start at the same time from a different hole).
It is also fun to have students create their own courses and then let their classmates play them and assess them. I will usually give students an aerial copy of the area around the school, but some prefer to draw their own. See example below: