Over the last year, disc golf has grown exponentially. The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) has experienced unprecedented growth since March 2020.12020 PDGA & Disc Golf Year-End Demographics With numbers exceeding 156,000 members in its history, and many more who are flooding the courses to play, it begs the question: With so many people around, how can families enjoy playing disc golf together?
Disc golf naturally serves as a great opportunity for families to spend time together. However, sometimes there are things that can ruin a fun experience.
Nobody likes to be bothered by strangers when they are out with their family. Whether you are at a zoo, restaurant, or the park, families want to be left alone to have fun together.
With more and more families discovering the joys of disc golf, this same problem rears its ugly head yet again. Here’s what you can do to enjoy disc golf with your family:
- Play disc golf at non-peak hours
- Play best shot format
- Stop when family members are tired
- Don’t make it competitive
- Let serious golfers play through
Play Disc Golf at Non-Peak Hours
There are times throughout the day where parks are the busiest. The same can be said for disc golf courses.
Disc golf courses are the busiest between 10 AM and 6 PM. While these might be the ideal hours to get outside and soak in the sun, it can be really stressful to play disc golf during this time. If you go play disc golf with your family during this time, you will inevitably find yourself waiting for tee pads to clear and letting people play through.
What should be a fun experience will turn into a boring and slow experience.
Instead, go to disc golf courses before 10 AM and after 6 PM if the sun is still up. Not only will this help you avoid backups on the course, but it will let you complete other things during the day too!
Playing at non-peak hours will help you and your family have fun and enjoy playing disc golf.
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Help the Round Move Faster by Playing Best Shot Format
When playing with little kids and beginners, the most common complaint is that disc golf is slow and boring. Which I get because sometimes it is slow moving, especially if you can’t throw very far. The last thing I want to hear people say about disc golf is that they quit because it’s boring.
THIS HURTS ME TO MY VERY SOUL!
But this is a reality for most young people and beginners. It’s hard to throw a disc over 200ft when you are just starting out. So what should you do?
Play best shot format.
Okay… but what is that? Best shot format is when you and your partner, or in this case your family, all throw from the farthest or best drive! Therefore, if you play a lot of disc golf, this will make it more fun for everyone because your family will get to play off of your drives.
This is especially helpful when a child or beginner is playing with an adult or an experienced player. When playing the best shot, the new player can see what they can be if they keep practicing but it also makes it more fun for them since they will be practicing different shots.
Playing the best shot also helps the round move more quickly. As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest beginner complaints about disc golf is how long it can take. Playing the best shot will help the round speed up and be more enjoyable for everyone!
Stop When Everyone is Tired!!!
A common mistake I see all too often on the course with families is a parent or older sibling who plays disc golf all the time forcing a child or sibling to keep playing. I’ve even seen dads yell at their kids for not trying hard enough. This does not make disc golf fun for anyone.
In fact, you are killing your kid’s love for the game; thereby killing the future of the sport.
When your kid is tired, stop playing!
It’s literally that simple.
This point coincides with the previous point as well. Sometimes a round lasts too long, and there is nothing you can do about it. Especially if it is really hot and humid out (i.e., during the summer), your kid will get worn out pretty quick.
Keep disc golf fun for them by ending the round early and getting some snow cones!
Don’t be Competitive
I get it. I’m super competitive too, but when you are with your family, don’t turn a fun outing into a competition unnecessarily. Nothing will frustrate young and beginning players more than feeling like they can’t just ENJOY playing disc golf.
If you want to be competitive in disc golf, join a club or the PDGA and compete there. Don’t involve your family in it.
One of the best ways to grow the sport is to keep it fun and relaxing. More families seen outside having fun will only lead to more success for disc golf down the road. The residual effects are innumerable.
Let Serious Golfers Play Through
There are times when golfers will catch up to you and your family and will ask to play through. It is inevitable. It might feel a little rude that some people are so close behind you when you’re playing, but that’s only due to the fact that they are probably playing quickly and/or throwing better shots.
It’s okay to let them play through.
In fact, it’s BETTER if you let them play through.
Not only will this set a good example for your kid, this is proper disc golf etiquette. Letting people play through when they have caught up to you helps keep the course flowing and moving. No one wants to wait on hole 14 because a group of 10 are in front of them and goofing off while playing.
Nothing wrong with goofing off.
Nothing wrong (kinda) with 10 people playing.
But let people play through. Disc golfers around the world will thank you. When playing with your family, you might have more than 4 people, which is okay and understandable. Even if you are playing the best shot, some golfers are really good and will catch up regardless. It’s 100% okay to let them play through.
In fact, this might even give your family a nice little break, and you can watch other people throw and learn from them!
Spend Time with Your Family
Disc golf is a great way for you and your family to spend time together! While there are many challenges to playing disc golf with a lot of people, it can be super fun if you take the time to prepare beforehand.
Playing at the right time of day and playing a specific style will help you and your family enjoy the round way more than just strictly being competitive and playing when you’re tired.
Keep disc golf fun and exciting, and your family is sure to have a great experience time and time again!