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How to Play Disc Golf July 27, 2009

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Small Town Life, Sports, Wapello.
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First Hole

Disc Golf

Have you seen one of these baskets in the park and wondered why they are there?  These are the “holes” for Wapello’s new disc golf course.  The game is played and scored much like regular golf, but instead of a ball and stick you use a  flying disk.

Wapello’s course consists of nine holes around the outer edges of the south end park.  It takes about an hour to play and in the process you’ll walk about a mile and throw the disk 40 or more times.  Here are a few tips that will help you enjoy the game more.

Use the Right Disk(s)

While it is possible to play the game with a traditional Frisbee®, your score will be lower (better) if you use a disk designed specifically for disc golf.  Golf disks fly farther and straighter than the disks created for playing catch. You can purchase them at the HyVee drugstore in Wapello.

Unfortunately, there are many different types of  golf disks.  Beginners should start with a medium range, general purpose disk.  It is the best all-round disk and you can have a good time and  beat most comers with this single disk.

When you finish a game within nine strokes of par, buy a driver and putter.  Thrown properly, the driver will give you more distance and the putter will make it easier to float the disk into the basket.  These three disks should be enough to break par on a good day.

Play  Catch to Warm Up

Warm up your arm and get used to your disk’s pattern of flight by playing catch with your partner.  Start close and back up slowly until you are about 50 feet apart. Once your muscles are warmed up you’re ready to go.

Keep the Disk Flat

Throwing the Disk

Throwing the Disk

In this picture, the beautiful and vivacious one shows how to throw a disk. Keep the disk flat unless you need to curve it around a tree.  Also, since the disk actually flies, don’t angle it up trying to get it to go farther.  You’ll get better distance if you keep the flight path horizontal and have good spin on the disk.  If there is a strong headwind keep the disk even lower.

Aim to the Right of the Target

Every disk curves a bit at the end of its flight.  If you are right-handed aim a little to the right of the target to allow for the leftward drift as the disk loses momentum.  If you are left-handed the disk will curve to the right. Aim a little to the left of the target.

Go Around the Trees

The designer of the course used the trees in the park to make the game more challenging.  While most of them simply deflect the disks, the evergreens seem particularly adept at snaring disks and hiding them from view. Whether they eat them or keep them to play their own games after the park closes, I can’t say.  I do know they like to keep your disks.  Stay away from them.

The Shining

The Shining

The same goes for the trees on the hole called The Shining (pictured here).  Remember what I said about the disks always curving at the end of their flight?  Instead of trying to fly your disk straight down the aisle between the trees, head out to the right.  Stay out until you are close enough that the natural curve will land the disk next to the basket near the end of the aisle.

Land the Disk Near the Basket

Unless you are quite close to the basket and are sure you can hit the chains, you should try to land the disk near the basket rather than trying to put it in.  Getting the disk in the basket takes exceptional accuracy and when you miss, the disk will just keep flying.  After a few throws where I ended up on the other side of the basket, but just as far away,  I learned to put the disk on the ground by the basket and then drop it in.

Use Handicaps to Even Up the Game

Just like regular golf, disk golfers can spot their opponents a few throws to even up the game.  Playing match style, where you count how many holes each player has won rather than the total number of throws, can also prevent one or two very bad holes from spoiling the outing.  Or skip the scoring all together and just enjoy the game.

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