In this article, you will learn everything about disc golf for seniors and how to get started with frisbee golf.
Disc golf has been a trending sport globally for a decade or two. And that’s not surprising when you consider its pros.
While there are a lot of similarities between regular golf and disc golf, they are also very different.
Disc golf might seem like great fun or a watered-down version of golf depending on how you look at it.
But let me assure you, it’s great exercise and a sport that requires incredible skill and athleticism to play at the top.
But you are probably looking to try out disc golf recreationally and are wondering if disc golf is suitable for seniors. Let’s find out!
What Is Disc Golf
Regular gold and disc golf (also known as frisbee golf) have a lot of similarities but they also differ quite significantly.
Let’s start with the similarities to understand the sport better.
Just like in regular golf a typical disc golf course consists of holes (baskets in disc golf) with varying difficulties.
Every player takes a turn to throw a disc to the freeway with the aim of hitting the basket at the end.
On most holes, it’s almost impossible to complete a hole with a single throw. On the other hand on some holes it is possible to throw a hole-in-one – just like in golf – but it usually takes great skill and a good amount of luck.
Your score is based on how many throws you take to complete each hole. The winner is the one who makes it through the course with the least throws.
There are typically 9 (half-course) or 18 (full-course) holes in a full disc golf course. So it can take between an hour to three hours to complete a game depending on the course and amount of players.
Disc Golf Equipment
The only sport-specific equipment you need to play disc golf is the discs. There are a lot of different kinds of discs in disc golf.
In fact, there are so many that covering all the details is beyond the scope of this article. But rest assured, you can get started with a simple starter pack.
You will need a driver, a midrange, and a putter. And that’s exactly what you will find in a typical starter kit.
Other than that you will need comfortable shoes, that can preferably take a bit of weather. I prefer running shoes, but many people use trekking shoes or other outdoor shoes that offer a bit of water resistance.
Of course, you will need suitable outdoor clothing depending on the weather. In sunny weather, it’s important to remember to wear a hat and some sunscreen.
On colder days it’s a good idea to take some extra clothing with you in case you get cold.
You will need a water bottle and it’s always a good idea to pack some easy snacks to keep your blog sugar stable.
And finally, you will need a backpack to carry all of the above.
If you really get into the sport, you will be getting a lot of different kinds of discs. So many that you will likely need a special disc golf backpack. But you don’t need that in the beginning and it’s something you can get later on if you see the need.
Differences from regular Golf
There are of course significant differences between regular golf and disc golf.
You obviously use a disc (a frisbee) that you throw in disc golf while you strike a golf ball with a golf club in regular golf.
This makes the actual skills very different so they are not interchangeable. But the health benefits and rules are very similar.
In my opinion, Disc golf offers all the benefits of regular golf with a much lower learning curve and expenses.
Anyone can try disc golf for free or a very modest amount of money compared to regular golf.
In most places, there are no expensive clubs. In fact, in many countries disc golf courses are built by the city in parks.
So it’s basically a layman’s substitute for golf without all the elitism that goes with regular golf like clubs, dress code, and fancy golf greens.
Of course, there are rules and etiquette in disc golf as well. But in general, it’s much more relaxed than regular golf.
This is partly because the vast majority of disc golf players do it recreationally, not competitively.
That said, disc golf has also become a real sport. You can play it competitively and there are nationwide and worldwide competitions as well.
Disc Golf For Seniors
So is disc golf suitable for seniors? Definitely, with some precautions.
Disc golf is an excellent form of exercise for seniors because it can improve aerobic fitness, strength, balance, and coordination. Everything that seniors should be looking out for.
So disc gold might seem like the perfect sport for seniors. But disc golf can also be surprisingly demanding, even for a recreational player.
A typical course usually takes anywhere between 1 to 3 hours and you will be walking, throwing, and looking for discs in the bush.
This can add up to a serious workout, so disc golf isn’t really suitable for people with reduced physical capabilities or medical conditions that restrict exercise.
Disc golf can also be hard on your shoulder and back because you need some explosive power in the throws. More about that in a second but let’s start by looking at the pros first!
Pros Of Disc Golf For Seniors
In a typical disc golf course, you will get several thousand steps walking in varying terrain. This is great low-impact aerobic exercise.
The throws require explosive strength, mobility, and coordination. You will definitely feel it in your core, back, and shoulders when you try it out.
Both walking in varying terrain and doing throws are great for improving and maintaining balance and coordination skills.
Balance is one of the most important things you should look out for as you age. Disc golf is a great fall prevention exercise for seniors.
Most disc golf courses are also located in beautiful parks so it can be very relaxing and offers an opportunity to spend time in nature.
Most importantly, disc gold is a social sport. You can play it alone but the fun part is doing it with friends.
It’s easy to catch up and have conversations between baskets so the time flies by. Loneliness is a growing problem among seniors, so disc gold is a great way to spend quality time with family and friends. Something that is probably even more important for your health than physical activity.
Cons Of Disc Golf For Seniors
Now disc golf might seem like the perfect sport for seniors. And in a way it is. But it requires you are still fairly fit and don’t have medical conditions that prevent you from throwing the disc or walking several thousand steps in varying terrain.
Disc golf can be surprisingly strenuous. Especially for your shoulders, back, and cardiovascular system.
Even if you don’t have any existing problems it’s important to be aware of the risks involved.
To throw a disc effectively you need to put at least some power behind it. As in any throwing sport, the demands on your shoulder girdle are quite high.
It’s possible to pull a muscle in the shoulder or the back or in a worse-case scenario suffer a rotator cuff injury.
That’s why it’s very important to warm up before actual throws. It’s also a good idea to work on your mobility and strength. Especially if you have been otherwise sedentary.
A proper throwing technique is also essential for seniors. It reduces the need for power and it also makes throwing safer.
That’s why I recommend getting guidance from an experienced disc golf player or a teacher. Trying to learn it on your own can lead to injuries and bad throws that make the game less enjoyable.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions that affect your cardiovascular capacity or ability to perform physical activities, it’s important to check with your treating medical professional if disc golf is suitable for you.
How To Get Started
As with most sports, the best way to get started is by taking a class.
The best way to see if there are any instructed courses in your area is to look for a local disc golf association.
If there’s no association in your location, it’s worth checking if there’s a local disc golf Facebook group.
If you can’t find a paid professional instructor a local enthusiast is usually a good substitute.
To play disc golf recreationally you don’t need that much coaching but it’s important to learn the basics from someone who knows what they are talking about.
The hardest part will be finding someone who can take into consideration your age and the possible limitations that can cause.
So don’t take anyone’s word for gospel. Listen to your body, take it slow and if you have any hesitations word them out think safety first.
If you have a big yard, you can also practice disc golf at home. You can’t really build a disc golf course in your yard unless you own a ranch. But you can definitely practice throws.
All you need is a cheap starter set of discs and a basket and you are all set.
As I said earlier in the article, the magic of the sport is doing it with friends and family.
I hope you found this article about disc gold for seniors useful. If you have any questions, I’d love to help you out. So shoot away in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to provide you with an educated answer.
As a recap: Disc golf can be a great form of exercise for seniors. It can help you improve and maintain cardiovascular conditioning, balance, and coordination. In almost a total body exercise for seniors.
It can also help develop explosive strength, which is important as you age to prevent loss of muscle mass.
But disc golf – at least in its full form – is not suitable for all seniors. If you have medical conditions that affect your shoulders, back or any other joint, disc golf can be too strenuous.
It’s also important to realize that a game of disc golf is surprisingly long and you will be walking and throwing in differing terrain.
This is great for your cardiovascular system and balance, but if they are not up for the job you should start with something lighter.
If you have weak legs or knees, a game of disc golf can really be too long. You can learn how to improve your leg strength and strengthen your knees in the articles: Weak Knees In Seniors and Weak Legs On Seniors.
I encourage you to try disc golf if you are healthy. It’s great outdoor fun with friends and family.
Thanks for reading and see you next time!