Dive Into Disc Golf: A Beginners Guide to Disc Golf in Bowling Green


Cherry Creative

A disc golfer waits to make a throw during the Bowling Green Open disc golf tournament in April at Kereiakes Park.

Sponsored by Nat’s Outdoor Sports

Have you ever noticed chained baskets spread throughout local parks? Ever wondered what they were used for? Those baskets, and the discs that are thrown into them, are all important tools for a particular sport: disc golf.

In its simplest form, disc golf is a sport that requires you to throw a frisbee-like disc from a tee box into a standing basket hole. Though, like every sport, there are more complexities and skills that come with playing disc golf. This guide will highlight the key features of disc golf that will have you running to the store to pick up some discs and give the sport a try!

Ace Yourself A New Sport 

Disc golf is the type of sport you can dive right into. That’s exactly what Charlotte, North Carolina, senior Wilbur Romero did when he picked up the sport almost three years ago. Now, he’s an avid player and loves the sport. While in quarantine, random disc golf videos appeared on his YouTube, and it’s been a part of his life since.

“I’ve been playing for like three years now without realizing that Bowling Green is like one of the biggest cities in the U.S. for the sport,” Romero said.

Romero dove head first into the sport, learning from other lovers of disc golf in the Bowling Green community that frequently play at local parks. Playing with them also introduced Romero to some of his favorite Bowling Green disc golf courses, Preston Miller Park and Hobson Grove Park.

“I just had some locals from Bowling Green let me tag along on their rounds,” Romero said. “I learned to mold my play style to my liking and then just got better from there.”

Nat’s Outdoor Sports in Bowling Green carries a variety of discs, along with cases and other accessories, to help both beginning and advanced disc golfers find everything they need. (Photo submitted by Nat’s Outdoor Sports)

Get Disc Crazy 

When playing disc golf, the disc you use is crucial to the sport. It is not like a typical Frisbee you may be more used to throwing around. According to the website Disc Golf Now, there are six key differences between a regular Frisbee and a disc made for disc golf: size, shape, drag, aerodynamics, speed and distance. There are also a plethora of different disc brands, such as Innova, Discraft, Gateway and Dynamic that are available in Bowling Green at Nat’s Outdoor Sports.

The website also notes that different discs will be made with different plastics, have different molds, different grips and be made with different weights. A good way to figure out which discs work for you is to go in person when buying discs to feel the discs themselves and see what would work best for you. Nat’s also has knowledgeable staff who can help you find a disc that’s a good match for you.

“My favorite discs would have to be a Discraft Zone or Innova Star Destroyer,” Romero said.

He said those discs perform the way he likes and feel the best in his hand and coming out of his hand when he throws.

The more you disc, the merrier. As a disc golf player, you might accumulate several discs all with different weights, speeds and sizes. If you get to the point where carrying around several discs is overflowing in your arms, investing in a disc golf bag could be a good route to carry and protect all your new sports gear.

“My biggest purchase is probably my bag or the unhealthy obsession that comes with buying discs so often,” Romero said.

Once you start buying discs, it could be hard to stop. When you figure out what you like in a disc, you could end up making more visits to the store to score more discs.

“Fore!” – The Terminology of Disc Golf

According to Disc Golf Now, keeping score in disc golf is the same as traditional golf. So, if someone in disc golf says they scored an “ace,” this means that from the tee box, their disc landed in the basket on their first throw. If you receive a “birdie,” that means that you are one below par, which is determined by the distance between the tee box and the basket. It may take playing a round or two or five to pick up the golfing terminology, but once you do keeping score will be easier. Or don’t play for score at all, just aim for that basket!

Even the discs used have special terminology. Disc Golf Now describes the three types as a driver, mid-range and putter. From your initial tee shot at each hole, you will use a driver, a disc made for speed and distance. Then, there’s the mid-range discs that are made for approach shots close to the basket and for tee shots when the basket isn’t too far out; these are mainly used for accuracy and glide. Lastly, there are putters which are used for traveling short distances as accurately as possible.

Each disc will display four numbers on the front. The first number represents the speed of the disc. The second number is the discs’ glide. The third number stands for turn, and the final number shown is the disc’s fade.

To get better at understanding the sport’s terminology and what discs to throw when, Romero recommended watching videos of pro disc golf players. You can see their throwing form, whether they throw forehand or backhand, and what discs they usually keep in their bag.

“As far as pros go, I think Paul McBeth or Calvin Heimburg are up there as my favorites to watch as they’re kind of at the top of their game this season,” Romero said. 

Pick a Course and Start Throwing

Once you have a few discs in tow, the next step is to pick a course. Bowling Green has a multitude of parks to choose from that include disc golf courses. Whether you go to Romero’s favorite courses, Preston Miller Park and Hobson Grove Park, or others like Kereiakes Park or Lovers Lane Park, the main thing to do when playing disc golf is to just have fun.

“Buy a couple discs, and go out and find a course and play,” Romero said. “It has a really friendly community that helps new players out as well if you just ask! Really, just go out and try.”

Whether you play with three discs or 20, and whether you keep score or just throw the discs around, disc golf is worth trying. It’s similar to traditional golf in its scoring but is entirely unique and can provide for a fun time. With summer right around the corner, this could be a new sport and hobby to play. Go play – drive, putt, score!