Why disc golf is the superior golf

Disc golf

  • usually a nice walk in the woods
  • free to play almost everywhere
  • almost zero pesticides, water used on grass, or other environmental damage and waste
  • often see animals and birds
  • disc golf courses are usually multi-use areas with people walking dogs and other outdoors activities
  • equipment is super cheap, you can get into it for $20
  • rounds take 1-2 hours
  • other players are super chill and will often return your lost equipment
  • fun for people of all skill levels
  • people aren’t usually judgemental if you’re new to the sport

Stick and ball golf

  • usually walking or riding in open sun, if you’re in the woods, something went wrong
  • a round of stick and ball golf costs at least $50
  • stick and ball golf courses have a very large environmental cost
  • rarely see any real wildlife other than canada geese or squirrels
  • Stick and ball golf courses are usually closed off and gated, single-use properties, in which you have to pay to even be on the land and where walking your dog would be potentially deadly
  • one ball can cost as much as a disc golf disc, the sticks cost $100-500 each… EACH
  • rounds take at least 4 hours
  • other players are the opposite of chill – just try to have a slow round of stick and ball golf, the guys behind you will hit into you!
  • they could make it more fun and relaxed if they wanted but there is a certain snootiness baked into stick and ball golf culture that is difficult to get away from

Disc golf courses are usually designed to be part of the landscape and there is very little cutting and clearing needed to make a disc golf course. I can’t speak for every location on the planet (there are disc golf courses in Dubai) but in the PNW there are mostly wooded courses which tend to be a nice walk in the forest throwing discs at a basket. On these courses I always hear and see a variety of wildlife, mostly birds, who live in the forest where we are playing. The other day my disc literally landed 20 feet down from a Barred Owl. He flew off and I was able to retrieve my disc and play on but it’s just one of the many advantages of disc golf that you get to play in a less controlled, manicured, green space.

Stick and ball golf on the other hand are typically a monoculture. They take a green space, rip out the trees, and put in rolling grasslands. These grasses require massive amounts of watering and chemicals to keep green. The environment around stick and ball golf courses are often harmed by the runoff from all of the chemicals and water that they use to maintain the illusion of nature.

With the stick and ball golf course monoculture come some peculiar wildlife problems. Here in the PNW the big one is that the courses tend to host non-migrating families of Canada Geese. These large birds, along with crows and squirrels, tend to be the only wildlife on these courses. And trust me, if most maintenance folks had their way, they would be allowed to harass or even kill these creatures as they are seen as a nuisance because of their droppings.

The whole ethos of the disc golf course is 180 degrees opposite of its snootier cousin. Disc golf courses are free and open to multiple uses. We often have walkers walking their dogs on our courses; which is not only not allowed on most traditional golf courses, but would be potentially dangerous. Disc golf courses are also usually free (there are a few pay to play courses going in now that the sport has grown in popularity but the majority of the world’s disc golf courses are free to play) because most of them are municipal courses put in by the city for the enjoyment of the citizens. Stick and ball golf courses can be “muni” courses (owned by the city) but even when they are they are closed off, fenced in, and patrolled by a guy in a cart who will demand to see your receipt. While the disc golf courses are free, I can barely remember a time where I played a round of stick and ball golf for less than $100. Perhaps some “twilight” golf (usually played in the waning hours before sunset) where they give you a discount because you can’t really finish all 18 holes.

The overall cost to play disc golf versus stick and ball golf is just orders of magnitude cheaper. One single club can cost over $500 – and be seen as a good investment because it’s supposedly straighter and longer. The cost to play a round has to be factored in as well. To play at the local military stick and ball course costs me and my son over $100. That’s just the greens fees and cart rental. It’s just an expensive sport. You can buy starter disc golf sets for $20 and it’s free to play. Obviously, you’re going to want to buy more than just the three starter discs but for the cost of one club ($500) you can usually get 20-40 discs. My favorite putter (the Roach) costs just $10. Of course, you are going to lose discs (no matter how diligent you are about tracking and searching) but still, factor in the greens fees to play stick and ball golf and there’s no question that disc golf is a much more affordable sport overall.

So get yourself a starter pack, dig out some binoculars (to look at the birds, obviously) and get out there and disc golf!



  1. You, very normal: aren’t we going to talk about Xhaka, Reiss Nelson, Havertz, Saliba, Saka, or any of the business Arsenal have done this summer???

    Me, a galaxy brain: not until the summer is over and we see what we’ve got!

    1. I’ll definitely comment about the window after about 10 games into the season, by then it would be clear if the squad improved or we simply got shiny new toys

  2. I just got myself a disc golf beginner set. Going to go try the local course this weekend. Even if I don’t end up being a huge fan, probably not going to disagree with your conclusions.

    And cheers to Xhaka, best of luck in Germany. He wasn’t always what we needed, but pretty hard to argue with his durability and passion. He scored a few crackers for us over the years, and has more trophies than Harry Kane.

    1. Nice! You can reach out to me personally (7amkickoff@gmail.com) if you have questions about discs or anything. I’m an expert now that I’ve been playing for 4 months…

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