The latest variation on classic golf is the slowly developing disc golf. This derivative sport represents a special combination of a common park activity with the demands for precision that are typical of golf. Discgolf is essentially a hybrid combining the throwing of a flying saucer (frisbee) of special characteristics with the rules of golf. The sport has been practiced since the 1970s, but has only come to global attention in recent years. It is currently growing in popularity, mainly due to the low cost of building disc golf courses.
Disc golf courses
Unlike other variants of the sport of golf, a discgolf course does not require specific modifications; it can be built in any natural area with a large enough surface area.
Since it is played with a disc, which does not need to be hit from the ground but from shoulder height, there are no significant demands on the terrain, the individual throwing paths are usually interrupted or crossed, the obstacles are mostly natural unevenness and trees.
Disc golf courses are built in existing parks. Their advantage is that they can be integrated into the natural environment, which they exploit and do not disturb by excessive interference.
The individual lanes consist of a tee and a catch basket with hanging chains and a backing to catch the disc. Both of these components can be well integrated into the surrounding landscape, require minimal maintenance and are unobtrusive.
Rules of disc golf and method of play
Discgolf is played using similar rules to conventional golf, the main aim being to get the flying object to the target – the basket (hole). A standard course has 6, 9, 12 or 18 baskets spaced variously throughout the designated area. For each lane there is a set par, i.e. the expected number of throws on which the disc should be delivered to the basket.
Disc golf is usually played on a shot basis, i.e. the player who gets the disc into all the baskets in the fewest number of throws wins. Discgolf can also be played on a hole-by-hole basis (i.e. the number of baskets achieved with the fewest number of throws between players), but this method is not usually used.
The number of players in recreational play is generally not limited, but tournaments are now also played that prescribe a maximum number of players according to the capacity of the course.
Similar to golf, players begin the game by swinging from the tee (tee shot), and it is necessary to be on a modified platform with the whole body when swinging. The teeing ground is always marked with an information board and a map for the specific course. One point is lost if you go over and the throw is repeated.
After the disc is thrown, it is then possible to step off the platform. The next throw continues from the point of impact of the disc, the player must stand no more than 30 cm from the place where the disc stopped before, while the step over is only possible if the basket is still at a minimum distance of 10 m.
If the disc gets stuck in an obstacle (tree, bush or inaccessible terrain), the player throws it from the nearest available spot.
Obstacles cannot be devalued or otherwise modified.
Players alternate throws, the player who is farthest from the basket always throws first. If the disc goes out of bounds, the player is penalized a penalty point and throws from the spot where the disc went over the boundary. Some obstacles are marked with a given method of throwing that must be followed.
Disc Golf Equipment
Disc golf equipment consists of sets of discs that can be made of different characteristic materials and in designs that affect the flight path. The basic set consists of three types of discs:
The main difference between the different types of discs is the flight characteristics. If you are starting out with discgolf, it is ideal to use a putter at first and gradually work your way up to faster types.
Just like in classic golf, different types of throws are used in disc golf. The basic breakdown includes forehand and backhand, i.e., front and backhand throws.
A subdivision then qualifies the flight path, which can be straight or curved, or combine both inclinations in different proportions.
Where you can play disc golf
There are currently more than 90 disc golf courses in the Czech Republic. They are located in established areas of castle gardens, landscaped woodlands, etc. Entrance to the course is usually free, so you can enjoy it to the fullest without the need for lessons or registration.