In 2007 the world of disc golf converged on Wisconsin as the small town of Highbridge hosted the Disc Golf World Championships at the Highbridge Hills Sports Complex. Well, since then it’s safe to say the sport has been flying high in Wisconsin. According to DG Course Review, 110 new courses opened in the state since 2007, and in 2013 alone, nine new courses popped up from Stockholm and Brillion to Madison and Prairie du Chien. Wisconsin now has 231 courses with 201 of which are open to the public. But why is this sport gaining such popularity? Here’s what this writer thinks:
- It appeals to everyone. I’ve seen just about every aged player on the courses I’ve visited. While I love playing a little more competitively with friends, I also value the time I’m out playing with my wife and two girls (aged 9 and 12). If you can throw a Frisbee, you can start playing disc golf.
- It’s affordable. You’re sure to see people with a bag full of discs that can do all sorts of different things. Fact: you can play an entire round with one disc. Brand new, that can be as low as $8 – $10. Find a course near you that doesn’t charge a fee to play. Even if you play a course that does charge, that’ll probably set you back around $5 – $8 for a day pass. (HINT: If you plan on playing more, ask about season passes to those courses)
- It’s hassle-free. Even a full bag of discs doesn’t take up a lot of space when you travel. I always keep at least 2 discs in my car, and when I have time in my day, I use a handy smart phone app to find a course near me.
- Communities love it, too. I sat on the Village of Marshall Board and Park Committee, and in 2011 we opened a 19-hole course for just over $16,000. Granted we did have the land available, and we recruited a lot of volunteers to help us out. But in the end, we had ourselves a highly-rated course with multiple concrete tee pads, several basket placements and great signage.
Now not all courses are created equal. When you first start, you’ll probably be happy with a wide-open space with a tee pad to throw from and a basket to aim at – and nine holes will probably be enough for your first few times out. As you progress, you’ll probably be looking for courses with unique holes, obstacles and challenging shots; and you’ll be even happier when the course has 18 or more holes. I’m sure you’ll discover that Wisconsin has a disc golf course near you that you’ll find fun to play. Let us know what your favorite courses are and maybe we’ll see you out hitting the chains.
Author profile: Chad Diedrick is the managing producer for Discover Wisconsin. In over 12 years of discovering Wisconsin, he has seen virtually every corner of our state. Diedrick recently took up the sport of disc golfing (spring 2013) as “traditional” golf became too expensive. His goal is to hit every Wisconsin course as he continues his travels.