The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) accepted more than 26,000 new members last year and recorded a 27 percent increase in older membership – among those over 50 alone.
Nancy Wright thinks she knows why.
“You train, but it’s not tough on your joints because you can rest,” says the 76-year-old from Bancroft, Michigan. Flowers to look at, plants in bloom. It’s a walk through nature, but you have a goal. “
Disc golf is not a frisbee
Although the first specialized disc golf course was designed in 1975 by Ed Headrick, the inventor of the frisbee, the discs used in disc golf are smaller and denser than frisbees.
In fact, when it comes to the sport, it’s best to avoid the term frisbee altogether. Not only is it a trademark on another product, it can be offensive to some disc golf aficionados.
Disc golf is accessible, with free walk-up and play classes usually found in public parks, schools, and camps. Breweries and wineries are also becoming active: The 18-hole Whale Rock Disc Golf Course in Templeton, California, for example, is “near the tasting room facility” of the Castoro Cellars Winery, according to the website.
Disc golf is also inexpensive. A single disc, which is really all it takes to get you started, costs less than $ 15. Starter kits with three or more discs – including a driver, midrange, and putter – typically cost between $ 25 and $ 50.
A focus on older players
The PDGA recognized a large number of potential players over 50 and formed a Senior Committee in 2009 to educate a more mature generation about the sport and encourage participation.
“It’s not something you have to give up as you get older,” said 68-year-old PDGA Senior Committee Chairman Bill Griffith.
For example, a 90-year-old woman who competed in two National Senior Games Association tournaments has a disc golf course on her New Mexico ranch, Griffith notes.
“You slow down, don’t throw that far, but you can still play at a competitive level,” he says.
Griffith speaks from personal experience. Although he has arthritis in both hips, one of which has been replaced, he continues to play. He knows the other hip will have to be replaced at some point, but his doctor said he could stop this procedure by staying active.
One of the reasons he enjoys disc golf is because he didn’t score par for 25 years while playing regular golf – but he was shooting par within three years of starting disc golf.