Over the last decade, disc golf has exploded in popularity as one of the fastest growing sports. Disc golf shares many similarities to traditional golf. Instead of hitting a golf ball into a hole with golf clubs, players throw flying discs into elevated metal baskets using a variety of discs. Courses are designed with tee boxes, fairways, and greens with chains and baskets instead of holes.
Like traditional golf, having the proper disc golf gear and accessories can really improve your game and overall experience. With so many choices, it can get confusing on what exactly you need to start playing or take your skills to the next level. This guide will provide an overview of all the essential disc golf accessories and tips to help you thrive out on the course.
Discs are easily the most important piece of equipment for playing disc golf. They come in a variety of styles and plastics all tailored to complement different shots during a round. Here are the main types of discs used in disc golf:
Distance Drivers – Distance drivers are made for maximum distance shots that require high speed and glide. They typically have sharp lower rims and pointed nose cones that slice through the air. Top amateur players can throw these over 450 feet consistently. Popular brands are Destroyers, Boss, Shryke, and Daedalus discs.
Fairway Drivers – Fairway drivers offer players a nice balance of glide, control and distance for tee shots and approach shots requiring more finesse and accuracy. They have lower profiles and rounded edges compared to distance drivers. Some common fairway drivers are the Leopard, Felon, Escape, Banshee, and Valkyrie.
Midrange Discs – As the name suggests, midrange discs offer a middle ground flight pattern that is very straight and predictable compared to drivers. They are ideal for a wide range of shots from short drives to longer approaches and tricky lines where accuracy is key. Some of the best midrange discs include the Roc, Buzzz, Truth, Matrix, and Fuse.
Putter Discs – Putters do exactly what you would expect – putt and hit close range upshots. They are designed with more rounded edges and almost no glide to remain accurate inside the putting circle. Popular putter choices are Wizards, Judges, Wardens, Aviars, and Magnets.
Now that we covered the critical discs you need, here are some other handy disc golf gear and accessories that can enhance your game:
Shoes – While any athletic shoe works, many players prefer trail running shoes or hiking shoes to provide stability and traction on uneven terrain. Waterproof models are best for morning dew and keeping your feet dry.
Bag – Carrying 10+ discs for 18+ holes can get bulky and tiresome without a bag. Find one that is comfortable when loaded with discs and gear. Upper and lower storage pockets are also handy for items you use frequently. Popular bags include the Grip, Upper Park, and Innova brands with various sizes.
Water Bottle – Any water bottle will suffice to stay hydrated, but insulated bottles keep liquids cooler for longer during summer heat. You can also attach to side with built-in clips and holders on some bags.
Towel/Bag Tag – Having a towel easily accessible helps wipe hands, dry discs, and clear debris from landing zones. It also serves as a makeshift seat on dew covered benches. Many players hang a towel off bags which doubles as a bag tag to identify their bag.
Mini Marker Disc – Mini discs are tiny marker discs used to accurately mark your lie and line up putts without interrupting other player’s lies. Key feature is finding one that sticks well into grass and mud without toppling over.
Scorecard – Scoring varies widely but scorecards are handy for keeping individual scores and comparing during casual rounds. Most are weather resistant and also list common rules and terms.
Gloves – While not used by all, gloves provide extra grip and comfort for players prone to sweaty hands and nagging injuries like tennis elbow. Main brands are Friction and Gorilla.
Hat/Sunglasses/Sunscreen – Due to lengthy outdoor exposure, protecting eyes and skin from sun exposure is vital. bucket hats offer neck coverage while baseball hats shade the face. Polarized sport sunglasses shield eyes while limiting glare. And waterproof sunscreen prevents painful burns.
Bug Spray – Another environmental challenge on wooded courses are mosquitoes which feast in shady wooded terrain and near water hazards more common late spring through summer. A strong bug spray without too much scent can provide relief from bites during rounds. Best applied several days in a row prior to full efficacy.
Phone/Device – Phones or handheld devices allow course GPS mapping to accurately measure shots and get distances. They also provide tunes, audiobooks, podcats and other handy features to pass time between throws if playing solo. External batteries keep phones powered on lengthy rounds. Several popular apps exist like UDisc, Disc Golf Caddy and Disc Golf Metrix.. Devices like the Apple Watch display distances to baskets and track fitness metrics.
Rangefinder – Taking your game really seriously? Handheld rangefinders calculate exact yardage to baskets and doglegs that your phone GPS may not precisely display. The Bushnell Tour V5 Shift is popular shifting from standard golf mode to distances better calibrated for disc golf.
Lightweight Camp Chair – If planning on tournaments, leagues or causal rounds with friends, packing a lightweight portable chair offers welcomed comfort and back relief between shots and holes. Severe course bottlenecks can lead to crowded tee areas so your own reserved seating is clutch. Brands like ALPS Mountaineering make quality lightweight chairs with mesh backing, cup holders in armrests and handy shoulder straps.
Here are some final tips to enhance your disc golf gear:
- Label all discs/gear with your name/number using a sharpie in case lost/stolen
- Attach mini flashlight(s) to bag for evening rounds when light diminshes
- Custom embroider bag straps and add bright color stitching to avoid mixups after shots
- Slot parting tool inside bag to grab and extend disc life stuck in baskets/trees/water
We hope our comprehensive guide to essential disc golf gear, accessories and tips helps on your next disc golf adventure! Let us know if you have any other disc golf gear questions.