#TryItTuesday: Disc Golf – a Family Favorite
Are you looking for a physical activity that everyone in your family can participate in together, from grandparents to grandchildren? And still fun for the teens of the family?
A few years back, looking for a fun family activity, our family on a whim decided to try disc golf. This whim has now led to a new family fun activity with a bonus benefit: we get fit while having fun.
What Is Disc Golf?
Disc golf is a game in which a player throws a flying disc (Frisbee®) into each of a series of metal baskets situated on an outdoor course. The object is to complete the course using the fewest possible throws. It’s played much like traditional golf, whereas you have a tee area and the player throws the disc to a target (metal basket). Typically, the course is either a nine- or 18-hole.
Who Can Play Disc Golf?
One of best things about disc golf – it’s for all ages and abilities. Our family ages range from a 1-year-old to a 54-year-old, and I’d say we all enjoy this fun, fitness activity equally. The younger kids like to practice (play) with their own discs, while the older kids enjoy a little healthy competition between siblings and parents. There is no time frame for completion of a course, so we often stop for a bit and have snacks or a picnic.
Where Can You Play?
Several communities have disc golf courses open to the public. Another option for disc golf is to purchase a few disc golf baskets and set up a small course in your backyard. Last year, both our son and grandson received disc golf baskets as birthday gifts. One of our family favorites in Sioux Falls is the course at Tuthill Park. There are many courses around South Dakota.
What Does It Cost?
Disc golf is a relatively inexpensive hobby for new players. Most courses are free and open to all. Players don’t have to spend much money for a set of new discs and used sporting goods stores often have inexpensive discs as well. Another nice thing about disc golf, it can be enjoyed by all, regardless of economic status.
Are There Any Health Benefits?
Can there be any health benefits to something this much fun? In a study by the PDGA, the average steps walked by golfers for an 18-hole course was around 3 miles. Not bad for a fun family activity. Although I love the physical benefits of walking, stretching and bending while playing the game, it is the mental benefits that have had a surprising impact.
Here are just a few of the psychological benefits:
- Enjoyment of the being in nature. Nature has such a powerful effect on our health. Studies show that spending as little as 30 minutes per week in a green space can reduce the rates of high blood pressure and depression by 7 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Most courses’ natural setting forces players to work around trees, bushes, hills and other obstacles. I love how we actually interact with nature, rather than merely look at it when we walk or hike.
- Develops confidence. Never being a good Frisbee player, I struggled at first as it took me forever to hit the target. At first, I was a bit discouraged by my lack of ability; however, by the end of the course, I was surprised at how much my accuracy had increased, thus increasing my confidence.
- Time with friends and family. With the busyness of life, it’s easy to become disconnected from others. Disc golf offers the opportunity of participating in an activity and connection. I love the conversations and catching up with my husband, kids and grandkids while walking from hole to hole.
- It’s fun! Disc golf is so much fun that we never think of it as “exercise.” A round of disc golf can burn between 400-600 calories.
If you are looking for a fun family activity with a side effect of getting fit, I'd recommend giving disc golf a try!