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Golf vs. Disc Golf – Which is Better?

Even the mere mention of the word golf will excite true golfers. Hearing that there is another sport that is very similar and based on the same principles can be intriguing. Disc golf is growing in popularity, and people are enjoying everything the sport has to offer. For those who enjoy golf but want to try something new, disc golf can be a great option.

Disc Golf, like Foot Golf, is a variation on Traditional Golf in which competitors throw different weighted discs down the course in an attempt to reach the target in as few throws as possible. It is a lighter-hearted sport that, like its traditional counterpart, can be extremely competitive.

If you’ve never played disc golf or traditional golf, this guide will help you decide which one is right for you.


Disc golf and golf are two very different sports, but they share some fundamental principles. Golf clubs are used to try to get a ball into a hole in regular golf.

With disc golf, you will use something that resembles a frisbee and will throw it around each hole until you eventually throw it into a basket. A basket is the disc golf equivalent of a golf hole.

When you play disc golf, you still have 18 holes to complete, and you play outside in a large open space, just like when you play regular golf. However, much less equipment is required, and the game is not as challenging.

Let’s look at some of the major differences between these sports to help you decide which is best for you.

The Basics of Golf

History and Origins

Golf originated in 15th century Scotland, with the first written record dating back to 1457. It initially developed from games where players hit a ball with a stick or club into holes or targets. The Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland is considered one of the oldest golf courses still played on today. Over centuries, golf grew into a popular global sport with standardized rules and regulations. Modern golf traces back to the 1880s when the British Golf Union and the United States Golf Association were founded.

Equipment Needed

Golf requires a variety of clubs, balls, clothing, bags, tees, and optionally gear like gloves and umbrellas. A full set of clubs including woods, irons, wedges, and a putter allow players to hit shots for different distances and situations. Golf balls have dimples that affect aerodynamics and are made of materials like polymers with rubber cores and plastic or surlyn covers. Balls are essential equipment in golf. Players often wear collared shirts and pants or shorts made of fabrics like polyester. Golf shoes with rubber or plastic spikes help grip the grass while swinging. Bags hold multiple clubs, balls, tees, towels, and other accessories.

Rules and Scoring

Golf follows strict rules set by governing bodies and local courses. Players take turns hitting shots, trying to sink the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible per hole. Lower scores are better in golf. Players must avoid hazards like water or out of bounds areas and follow etiquette guidelines. Golf allows individual players or teams of 2-4 players competing together. Scores are tracked on scorecards and totaled up at the end of 18 holes. A typical golf course has par values of 3 to 5 strokes per hole.

Courses and Terrain

Golf courses have 18 holes spread over 50 to 200 acres of land. Fairways are between 150 to 250 yards wide and 1,000 to 7,000 yards long. Courses include hazards like bunkers filled with sand and water features like ponds and creeks. Most courses have greens made of bentgrass or Bermuda grass cut to a height of 1/4 to 1/8 inches. Many private country clubs and public municipal courses exist, with a range of difficulty and price options. The landscape is carefully maintained using irrigation, mowers, and other turf management tools.

The Basics of Disc Golf

History and Origins

In the 1900s, people started playing games throwing tin lids into cups and buckets. Disc golf was invented in the 1960s and popularized in the 1970s with the creation of the first disc golf discs by Wham-O. The Professional Disc Golf Association was established in 1976 to standardize rules and organize tournaments. Disc golf experienced rapid growth when parks departments added disc golf courses as an affordable recreation option starting in the 1980s. There are now over 8000 disc golf courses globally.

Equipment Needed

Disc golf discs are smaller and more aerodynamic than traditional Frisbees. Popular disc types include drivers, midranges, and putters. Drivers are sharp-edged and fast, midranges are stable all-purpose discs, and putters have accuracy. Players may carry 10 to 25 discs in a portable bag or backpack. Other gear like discs nets, mini markers, towels, and gloves can be helpful but are not essential. Almost anyone can start playing with one or two discs and comfortable athletic shoes.

Rules and Scoring

Disc golf shares similarities with traditional ball golf scoring. Players start by teeing off at each hole and try to complete the hole in the fewest shots or throws. The goal is to land your disc in the basket-like chains and chains suspended above the ground. Players take turns and track individual scores, counting each throw per hole. Disc golf scores are counted in relation to par, with top players shooting between 5 to 15 under par for 18 holes. Par varies per hole and course difficulty. Players try to avoid hazards like water and stay in bounds. Rules are more relaxed than ball golf but etiquette is still emphasized.

Courses and Terrain

Disc golf courses are much smaller than ball golf courses and can fit into community parks. An 18-hole course is typically 1 to 3 acres. Fairways are 20 to 50 feet wide and up to 1000 feet long with 9 to 18 holes. Baskets have chaining suspended above the ground to catch discs. Courses rely on existing terrain and landscape like trees, hills, rocks, paths, and grass to add challenge. Holes incorporate elevation change and dogleg turns using natural or artificial obstacles. Greens for disc golf are the area surrounding the basket. Many courses exist on public land with minimal maintenance needed compared to ball golf.

What’s Disc Golf, and Where Did It Start?

So, disc golf got its beginnings up in Canada back in the early 1900s. It all started when a bunch of buddies were tossing tin lids around, trying to get them into some kind of circle goal.

From those humble beginnings, the game has evolved into what we know today. Disc golf is getting more and more popular because it’s affordable, fun, and easy to pick up.


The most striking similarity between disc golf and golf is that both games are played on a course. Unlike soccer, basketball, and hockey, which are played on a court that alternates between two baskets, disc golf has 18 baskets.

The 18 baskets will form a course, just like in regular golf. When playing disc golf, you will walk from one hole to the next, and each course will be unique. This is part of what makes disc golf difficult in that you must learn to play on other courses.

Many golfers enjoy traveling from one course to the next to see how the scenery changes. This is something you will notice about disc golfers as well. They will eventually find a course that they enjoy.


The main distinction between disc golf and ball golf is the equipment and skills required. To make it as a golfer, you will need an entire set of clubs, golf shoes, golf clothes, a golf bag, and a plethora of other gadgets and devices.

Disc golf equipment and requirements are much less involved. When playing golf, you’ll usually need three discs. The basket will be waiting for you, and most of the time, there is no dress code when playing disc golf.

The three discs will include a driver, a mid-range disc, and a putter. Disc golf equipment is much less complicated and will cost you much less money. Disc golf is also much less expensive to play.

Depending on where you play, a round of golf can cost anywhere from $20 to $500. Disc golf will eventually be less expensive than traditional golf. Some golf courses are private clubs with steep initiation fees, monthly dues, and other costs. That is not the case with golf.


Now that you have a better understanding of the differences between these sports, let’s look at why regular golf is a better option for the majority of people.

1) Historical context

Regular golf has a long history. There have been years of development, tournaments, and well-known players. You could devote your entire life to golf history and never even play the game.

This history is rich in tradition, and those who fall in love with the game will tell you that it is a big part of what makes it so appealing.

2) Increased Organized Competition

On Masters Sunday, it’s difficult to think of a better sport in the world than golf. Golf is a lot of fun to play at the amateur level, but it’s also a lot of fun at the professional level.

When you watch the pros play, it can be motivating and inspire you to improve your golf game.

Being a fan of professional golf is much easier than being a fan of professional disc golf. The sport of disc golf is still growing in popularity, and the path from amateur to professional disc golfer is not as well defined.

If you want to be a professional athlete, playing golf will help you figure out where you want to go.

3) Increased Skill Level/Practice Time

Disc golfers who excel at their sport have a high level of skill. They’ll be able to get the disc in the basket and move on to the next hole in a matter of throws.

Although we do not disparage those who excel at and enjoy disc golf, there is more skill and perfection involved in golf, particularly when it comes to the mental aspect of the game.

Many people will admit that golf is the most difficult sport. You will spend many days and years perfecting your game; most of the time, it will feel as if there is no end in sight.

This is what golfers find appealing. Golf is a never-ending struggle to get to that single-digit handicap, and you can do it your entire life.


Now that we’ve discussed why golf is better for some people, let’s take a look at why you might think disc golf is better.

1) It is less expensive.

Disc golf is significantly less expensive than ball golf. Every time you go out to play, you will spend less money, and your equipment will cost less in total. Golf is the place to go if you don’t have a lot of money to spend.

2) Simpler Access

One of the best things about disc is that as it grows in popularity, there are more and more courses to choose from. There aren’t many new courses in traditional golf, and many are closing down.

You could also live in a town with a lot of private golf courses. This makes access to golf courses difficult to come by.

3) Easier Sport to Participate In

Disc golf is typically easier to learn than ball golf. When playing disc golf, you must be able to throw a frisbee, but you will not require much more skill than this.

Traditional golf has a lot of skills to learn and things to work on in your game. Most people would agree that disc golf is a simpler sport.


Because of the number of factors and muscles involved, golf will be easier to master. When you play ball golf, you must consider your mental game, the positioning of your entire body and your fingers on both hands, your posture, your stance, and other factors.

There are correct and incorrect ways to play ball golf, and some will simply not work. You will have more flexibility with golf, and you can find strategies and techniques that work well for you. In the long run, you will find it easier to master disc golf than ball golf.


When playing golf, you will typically use three discs. Some of the better players may have a few more, but the idea is that you won’t want to bring too much with you when you play.

Having less gear isn’t always a bad thing, and it’s something that many disc golfers enjoy about the game.

Traditional golf will require significantly more equipment. A golfer’s bag typically contains…

  • A Driver 
  • A Fairway Woods
  • A Hybrids
  • A Irons
  • A Wedges
  • A Putter

Golfers are allowed to bring 14 clubs, and the majority of them do. This is unquestionably more difficult to manage than a small bag containing three discs.


Both the disc golf and regular golf courses will be 18 holes and will be located outside. The course will be much shorter walk for a disc golfer.

A disc golf hole will be 200 to 400 feet long, whereas a golf hole will be 150 to 550 yards long.

Walking a golf course usually takes about 5 miles, which is a significant distance to cover.


At this point, we must conclude that golf will be a better option for the vast majority of people. Golf has more depth, scales better, and people can participate at a variety of levels.

It is also a more skilled sport that can take a lifetime to master, whereas throwing discs almost always involves the same movement. The only things preventing you from taking up golf are money and time. A disc golf course is much faster to navigate than a traditional golf course, and it is also much less expensive.

With regard to these two issues, we recommend disc golf as a far more accessible sport, whereas golf is far more substantial and engaging in the long run.

Learn about Driver Grips Vs Iron Grips


How Many Feet Are Most Disc Golf Holes?

The average disc golf hole length is between 225 to 450 feet. Championship-level courses may have some holes up to 1100 feet long from the tee to the basket. Most recreational and beginner courses have holes ranging from 150 to 400 feet in length.

What is the target called in disc golf?

The target that players aim to hit with their disc in disc golf is called the basket. The basket sits on a pole above the ground and has chains suspended below it to catch discs. Some people also refer to the basket area as the pole hole or just the hole, similar to the hole or cup in traditional golf.

Do Pro Disc Golfers Get Paid? 

Yes, professional disc golf players earn money from tournament winnings, endorsements, merchandising, and other revenue sources related to their reputation and performance. Top professional golf athletes can make six-figure incomes annually. The highest amount earned by a professional disc golfer in a single year so far is around $350,000.

What’s The Pay Like Next To Real Golf?

Currently, the top earnings in professional golf far exceed professional disc golf. The highest single-season pay on the PGA tour has exceeded $15 million. Typical annual earnings on pro golf tours are in the hundreds of thousands to low millions. The highest-paid disc golfers make around $100,000 to $350,000 per year. However, disc golf earnings and sponsorship opportunities have been increasing as the sport rapidly grows.

Is Disc Golf Going To Outgrow Regular Golf In 10-20 Years?

This is debatable but possible. Disc golf has been growing at significantly faster rates than traditional golf in the past decade. Industry estimates project there could be 40,000 golf courses globally by 2030 as the sport’s popularity increases. While regular golf still has far more courses and players currently, golf is gaining ground due to the lower costs and accessibility. Disc golf may well continue outpacing golf in growth, but whether it surpasses golf’s total participation in 10-20 years remains to be seen. The trajectory suggests it has the potential if current trends continue.

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