Sometimes playing the same game over and over again can get boring (allegedly). I mean, in my opinion, playing 18 holes is the best thing in the world. If I only had 24 hours left on this Earth, I’d get a couple quick rounds in for sure; but some people need a little bit more variety in their life. As someone who spent 10 years working at a summer camp, I recognize the importance of varying games up a little bit from time to time.
There’s more than one way to play 18 holes of disc golf, so this week I’m going to look at a few different ways that I’ve found to spice up your disc golf game. Some you can do on the course, others you can do from your kitchen table. I’ve played a few of them and they’re all worth looking at.
Birdie! This is the disc golf board game that everyone’s been buzzing about for the last few months. When it’s too dark and cold out to play, this is the perfect game to get your disc golf fix. Play at the Maple Hill Golds as you roll dice, play karma cards, and use modifiers to try and beat your friends. We have the Paul McBeth edition for sale here at SDG so you can play as Paul McBeth and try to beat his course record of 43. You’ll spend hours playing this game. It can be played solo or in groups of 4. No one wants to be on a 5 card. ;)
Speed disc golf. This makes disc golfing a workout. Instead of counting your strokes you’re counting your time. This works best with another person timing you. Your time starts once you tee off from a hole and it ends when your disc lands in the basket. Instead of waiting for others to tee off you run to where your disc is and throw from there, do this until you’ve holed out. Some people do this as exercise; I remember my buddy Greg trying this a few times when we played. You can all play a hole one at a time and get your workout in for the day. I do recommend that you play this on a weekday when the course isn’t as packed. It’s also difficult to play with a full bag, so you may want to cut down to a select few discs for this rendition.
Scramble! In ball golf people sometimes play “Best Ball” where the entire card drives and they play the best shot. Then the best upshot, and then the best putt. It’s a fun way to see if you can break the course record as a group. We sort of played it here at SDG when we hosted a Champs vs Chumps here in September 2019. One way I like to play is to keep track of whose shot was taken. For example if we took my drive I get 1 point, if we took someone else’s upshot they get a point. Everyone gets a chance to make a putt for a point as well. This way you see how good you are as a group, and you still get a chance to compete. It’s both co-op and single player at the same time!
Ript Revenge!This is a card game that introduces something known as chaos rules. Chaos rules are - well - chaotic. I know that’s not a good way to explain them, so let me try to elaborate. You still play the normal round of disc golf but sometimes on a hole you’ll have a special rule applied to only you by other players. For example, you may have to putt left handed, or carry someone else’s bag for the hole. I particularly love the card that lets you switch your drive for another player's drive. It’s infuriating to have a perfect drive switched out by someone who hit “first tree available”. The great part about this game is you get cards when other players beat you on a hole. This makes the better players play with a handicap so the scores stay more competitive. I highly recommend this game if you get the chance to play.
Throw Them All. This is an incredibly fun game that may require a piece of paper. You are only allowed to throw each disc one time. Once you’ve thrown every disc in your bag you get to throw each one, one time again. So if you had a bag of 3 discs (Aviar, Shark, Leopard) and you threw the Leopard on the drive and made the putt with your Aviar, your drive from the next tee would have to be the Shark. This game will challenge players because once you get down to two or three overstable distance drivers and you have a long putt - you’re gonna take a bogey. My advice is don’t waste your putter on any shot inside 20 feet.
Disc Golf Valley. This is a free app on your phone that may be addicting. You’ll play on 9 courses and use Latitude 64 discs to get your best score. You obtain new discs as you level up and you can compete against friends or random people. There’s both a daily and a weekly tournament to play in, or you can try to set your record. Each round will only take a handful of minutes so this is one you can play without committing much time to it.
Disc Golf Video Games.This is going to be a broad category. If you’re a video gamer you know that everyday hundreds of new games come out. To me this means a PC or Console, not your phone, like Disc Golf Valley. There’s a couple of cool video games out there that deserve some notice.
VR Disc Golf. This is an interesting game that you have to wear a virtual reality headset to play. The mechanics aren’t perfect, but it’s incredibly cool to see. I don’t know how far we are from having this be more of a household thing, but I like to think about it. In ball golf, you can play so many courses on a simulation including the famous ones that cost thousands to play like Pebble Beach or Augusta. Think of how cool it would be to compete in a virtual DGPT someday. Maybe our great-grandkids will get to experience that. You can even watch some people play through on Youtube.
Perfect Round Disc Golf. This game requires Steam, an online gaming platform. This game has some great physics in it. It’s a computer game with weird characters. I hope they model them after something other than fighting game characters soon. Here’s a taste of some of the game play from back in March. This game is still very early in development.
I think it’s important to include video games because it’s a growing industry that could expose lots of different people to disc golf. There’s millions of people who live in cities that don’t have immediate access courses. If they play the game and decide to get out and try it someday, that could be huge for the growth for the sport. Also I like to play video games, and we can be entertained in the off season watching Simon play VR against McBeth. We’ve already seen Simon play Disc Golf Valley against Eagle McMahon.
So these are some of the other ways I’ve found you can play this sport that unites us all. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these, or please let me know if you have a fun game I’m missing! I’m always down to try out new things on the course.
May your discs miss all the trees, Andrew Streeter #70397
I think one major step that disc golf needs to go mainstream is full time officials. In every major sport there’s an umpire or judge or referee who is impartial. The problem for disc golf currently is rules aren’t always clear to the players. Calling a rules violation is up to the players, who don’t always want to call it on their fellow players.
Current starter packs are geared towards backhand players! If you’re a sidearm disc golfer, you’re going to be learning on discs that aren’t designed for your style. Throwing a Shark or Leopard forehand isn’t easy and requires touch and lots of practice. It might work for some people, but most players will struggle.
If you’re one of those people who want to get up to 350 feet or further, here’s some tips I have for extra distance. And if you are determined to throw 400, then by all means go for it! Practicing will always make you better. Here’s 6 tips for getting your max distance on a drive.