What Makes Disc Golf so Addictive?

I’m addicted to disc golf, and here’s why.

As you may know by now, disc golf is a hobby that I continue to come back to again and again, week after week because of my love for the sport. When I first started to play, I wasn’t exactly sure why disc golf appealed to me, I just enjoyed myself and kept playing. But after hundreds of rounds and a lot of time to think, I have begun to figure out just what makes disc golf so enthralling. Many factors work together to make disc golf addictive, and each one builds off of the others to make an incredibly engaging experience. These factors are at the core of disc golf — disc golf is addictive by its very nature, all you have to do is play a few rounds, regardless of where or with whom, (within reason), and you will become hooked.

Disc golf is a great excuse to go out and enjoy nature. I often get so caught up with life that I rarely get to experience nature, and even if I am out in nature I usually focus on my phone too much or planning out the rest of my week. Disc golf does not allow you to ignore nature. You have to be active, and that means phones left in the car or in your pocket for the round, with a disc in your hand instead. With your hands and mind free, you can easily look around at nature and enjoy the tranquility of the great outdoors.

Disc golf courses are often beautiful, and when you play you have to focus on this beauty because as you line up your next shot you will need to navigate around hills, trees, and other obstacles. In this way you have to look around and examine your surroundings, rather than humanity’s normal passive, unenthusiastic approach to their surroundings when they get caught up in the many distractions of modern society.

Hillcrest DGC. Bonshaw P.E.I. Canada — from reddit user MaineDiscGolf

Disc golf is extremely easy to pick up and play, and that makes it quickly addictive. You can put as much or as little time into disc golf as you want, that’s the beauty of it. If you want disc golf as a casual hobby, just play here or there whenever your schedule allows. If you want to get more serious and compete in tournaments then you need to practice and play consistently, but any level of commitment to the sport still produces a lot of good times. Disc golf does not take a lot of equipment, and convenience is one of the main draws to the sport. If all you have is one disc, you can still play and have a great time!

Another thing I find appealing about disc golf is how easy setting up a round with friends can be. I have a group text with my friends that play disc golf, and whenever one of us wants to play we send out a text, and anyone who wants to join can do so. You can play with any number of players really, and it is always fun to play with different combinations of people and newcomers to the sport as well. When no one else can play, I have found that playing alone can be fun as well. Playing alone is faster, and while there is not as much of a social aspect, I find the alone time is a good way to relax and relieve stress.

At the very heart of disc golf resides one of the biggest reasons I keep returning to play again and again: competition. Disc golf, much like regular golf, is a great way to settle a score with your friends, and compete for bragging rights. Of course you can get really competitive and compete in tournaments and win money, but I have found that casually playing with friends can be some of the most heated competition. I have had rounds where I was down a stroke or two the whole game, and then I came back and beat my buddy on the last hole. That is one of the best feelings in sports that I have experienced, and I have also noticed that win or lose there are rarely any hard feelings between friends. You compete to score better than one another, but the only person who can make you play poorly is yourself.

If you aren’t really into competing against others fear not, disc golf allows you to push yourself and try and improve with practice. In disc golf it is very easy to see yourself improve, simply look at how your score gets better and better each time you play. So even if I’m not feeling particularly competitive that day, I can always try and top my own high score.

Paul McBeth at the Disc Golf World Championship at Slippery Rock University

And finally, I find disc golf extremely addicting because of how satisfying having a great throw or sinking a long putt feels. Disc golf is a sport of ups and downs, and while the downs can be frustrating, the ups are oh so sweet. Making a birdie and knowing that your score just went down is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced. I haven’t hit a hole-in-one, or ace as the disc golf community would say, but I cannot even imagine how amazing that must feel. The best sound that I know is the sound the chains make when the disc hits them and lands in the basket. This noise sounds even better when you cannot see the basket from where you throw, so it comes as a surprise. These satisfying moments make disc golf gratifying, and they make me continue to come back and play time and time again.

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