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A Parent’s Guide to Disc Golf for Kids

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A Parent’s Guide to Disc Golf for Kids

This article is all about disc golf for kids! Looking for a fun way to get your kids active? Disc Golf could be the perfect solution: It’s easy to learn, inexpensive, and a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors together. We’ll cover everything from their first throw to recommended gear, to practical tips and tricks.

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Top 25 Disc Golf Tips for Kids

Short on time? Here’s a list of the top tips for exploring disc golf with your kids.

  1. Start with the Basics: Explain the fundamental rules and objectives of disc golf.
  2. Use Age-Appropriate Discs: Get lighter, smaller discs suitable for children.
  3. Focus on Fun: Keep the atmosphere light and enjoyable.
  4. Choose Kid-Friendly Courses: Pick courses that are shorter and less challenging.
  5. Demonstrate Throws & Proper Technique: Show them how to grip, throw, and putt.
  6. Play at Their Pace: Let them take their time and don’t rush them.
  7. Encourage, Don’t Criticize: Positive reinforcement is key.
  8. Safety First: Teach them about course safety and etiquette.
  9. Make it a Learning Experience: Use disc golf to teach physics, math, and nature.
  10. Set Realistic Goals: Help them set achievable targets to work towards.
  11. Bring Snacks and Water: Keep them hydrated and energized.
  12. Dress Appropriately: Ensure they wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing.
  13. Use Disc Golf for Exercise: Emphasize the physical benefits of playing.
  14. Incorporate Creative Games: Make up games within the game to keep it interesting.
  15. Celebrate Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate their successes.
  16. Keep Sessions Short: Young kids may have limited attention spans.
  17. Invite Their Friends: Making it a social activity can increase their interest.
  18. Be Patient with Progress: Understand that skill development takes time.
  19. Use Visual Aids: Show videos or pictures to explain techniques better.
  20. Balance Competition and Cooperation: Teach them both competitive and cooperative aspects of the game.
  21. Adapt to Their Interests: If they show interest in certain aspects, focus more on those.
  22. Encourage Independence: Let them make decisions and learn from mistakes.
  23. Respect Their Limits: Don’t push them too hard physically or mentally.
  24. Share Your Passion: Let your enthusiasm for the sport be contagious.
  25. Create Lasting Memories: Focus on creating fun experiences together they will remember for a lifetime.

Introducing Your Child to Disc Golf

How is a child going to play disc golf if they have never heard of it?! Good question. The answer is in your hands. Give your child a disc! Then its time to be creative. There are a myriad of ways to introduce the game. Disc golf has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, however it is still primarily a grass roots sport. Most players are introduced via word of mouth by someone they know in the sport. You get to be that person for your child – what a gift.

Make this introduction enjoyable and not a “competitive” pursuit. Simply playing a game of catch with a frisbee can be loads of fun for your kid. There is an exceptional amount of disc golf coverage on YouTube and showing the possibilities of the sport via JoMez or GKPro is a great way to foster excitement for the sport. Another great way is to simply get a basket and pluck it in the backyard. Remember, a combination of instruction and play is crucial. Take it slow and let their level of interest set the pace.

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Early Exposure to Disc Golf

Disc golf is truly a life long sport and the earlier the exposure the better. Neural pathways connect at lightning quick speed in younger children. Placing a disc in their hands may just lead to a lifetime of health, friendship and time spent in nature. There are so many ways to expose your child to disc golf that you are able to be creative with your path. See what aspect of the sport your child enjoys and stick with that aspect of disc golf. Then gradually open other parts of the sport up as they grow into themselves.

Age-Appropriate Disc Golf Activities

Keep it light and fun. Make sure you don’t make your child think he/she is a success only if they throw well. That will come in time. The initial allure of disc golf is multifaceted and each child will be drawn in for various reasons. These include time in nature, camaraderie, competition, the beauty of the flight of a disc among a multitude of other reasons. 

Start with teaching putting and progress to longer throws. Putting is immediately gratifying and is tangible as you know if you made it in the basket or not. Children generally love the look and feel of discs and enjoy the sound of the chains. Again, keep it light and teach a few fundamentals while fostering an environment encouraging fun. If the kid is enjoying the sport, do some research and find a short/beginner-friendly course to visit.

Creating a Positive First Experience

MOST FUN WINS!! Make sure your child knows that the sport is all about enjoying yourself and having fun. Skills will come in time. To play disc golf is to enjoy oneself. The best way to do this is put a disc in their hand with a basket nearby. Putting is instantly rewarding and kids can learn to throw further as they progress. Continually reinforce the positive attributes of the experience and keep the energy constructive while teaching the basics.

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Teaching the Fundamentals of Disc Golf to Kids

Disc Golf Safety and Etiquette

When teaching kids to play disc golf, it all starts with safety. First of all it is up to the adult to create a safe environment, then teach the child what this means. Start with the “No throwing at a person unless playing catch” rule. This will save lots stress and tears. If there are multiple children putting at the same basket make sure no one picks up their disc until everyone has thrown. With a few rules and reminders up front children are able to safely thrive in a safe container. Try these for starters;

  1. No throwing at a person unless playing catch
  2. Furthest person from the basket goes first
  3. Look around before throwing to ensure no person is anywhere they can be hit
  4. If in a public setting, give passersby the right of way

Rules – Start with the Basics

Once a child has been introduced to the sport and has a grasp of how to throw the disc, it is time to introduce the rules of disc golf. At least the basics anyway. Begin by explaining how the sport works with regards to score. Explain the layout of the source and how players go from tee to basket in the fewest shots possible. Oftentimes this is enough to make a round of disc golf enjoyable for a child. Foot faults and OB need not be introduced at this time! It’s also not important to keep score right away. Just focus on one hole at a time.

Gradually Introduce Technique

Once a child knows the rules it is time to progress to technique. Understanding the rules creates a container in which to grow and measure improvement. This is where technique comes into play. Teach kids from the ground up so they know that footwork is just as important as what happens with the upper body. Again, keep it light and fun while instilling useful information. If a child learns bad technique it can be incredibly difficult to unlearn bad habits later on.

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Equipment: The Right Gear for Young Players

Choosing Age-Appropriate Discs

So, what are the best disc golf discs for kids? Oftentimes one disc, a putter or mid-range, will suffice in the beginning. A child’s hands are also small which makes the small rim of slower discs more comfortable in their hands. Many people want to emulate professional disc golfers and pick discs that are way too fast and overstable for beginners. Don’t fall into this trap. This will result in bad habits, like throwing forced flex shots to overcompensate for the overstable flight path of the disc. Choose neutral/straight-flying discs that a child can throw multiple shot-shapes with. One of the best things a kid can do is learn to throw a neutral disc straight. From this single skill the entire sport opens up. 

The Benefits Of Lightweight Discs

Discs are available in a variety of weights. These weights can drastically affect the flight of a disc. Heavier discs generally make a disc more overstable, while lighter discs tend to make a disc more understable. Getting discs in appropriate weights is crucial when teaching the sport to new players, especially a child. Kids throw with less power than adults and generate less spin. While the ideal disc weight will vary depending on your child’s size, strength, and technique, the general guideline is to get discs that are 164 grams or less. This does two things; It allows the child to throw further while also instilling proper technique while not needing to “overpower” heavier discs. The best disc to choose for a child is a light-weight putter or mid-range that has a neutral flight path.

For very yong children, sometimes a quality light weight frisbee might be a better starting point to establish a positive connotation with discs.

Starter Set for Kids

Not sure which disc to start with? Starter sets are specifically designed for beginners and include lighter weight discs with neutral flights, making them simpler for young players to learn the basics and enjoy the game. These sets typically include a driver, a mid-range disc, and a putter, providing everything your child needs to get started.

DX 3 Disc Starter Set

DX 3 Disc Starter Set
  • Includes 3 Beginner Friendly Discs
  • Lighter Weights – typically around 165-169 grams
  • Aviar Putt & Approach Disc
  • Shark Midrange Disc
  • Leopard Driver Disc

Invest in a Home Practice Basket

Can’t always go to the course? Bring disc golf to your backyard. Of all the tips this may be the one that really allows the sport to stick for a child. A practice basket at home allows a kid to simply have fun in the backyard at their leisure. The need to make a special trip to the course is replaced by simply opening the backdoor to throw discs at your very own basket. This also allows for creativity by creating backyard games such as HORSE and relay games. As the child progresses you can also take the basket to nearby parks and create holes or even entire courses with just one basket. Trust us, A basket may be the single best investment you make to introduce disc golf to your child.

DISCatcher EZ Disc Golf Basket

Discatcher EZ Disc Golf Basket Yellow
  • All steel contruction
  • Portable and quick setup
  • No tools required
  • Several colors available

Fostering Growth and Development Through Disc Golf

Disc Golf as a Tool for Building Self-Confidence

When introducing any activity to a child we want it to be a tool for building self-confidence. Disc golf is no exception. Again, make sure to create a fun and positive environment. This lays the groundwork for a child to thrive and come away happy instead of judging themselves based on results.

Google Dictionary defines “Self-confidence” as “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities and judgment.” Welp, disc golf creates a wonderful environment in which to cultivate self-confidence. This is of course the job of the parent to initially prepare the soil for growth and confidence to build. Reinforce small victories and keep it positive.

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Learning Sportsmanship Through Disc Golf

Sportsmanship is a lesson that goes way beyond the bounds of disc golf. Let’s be honest, it is truly the heart of the golden rule; treat others as you would like to be treated. Disc golf, in all of its variety, is a wonderful place to teach this life lesson. Disc Golf is(mostly)an individual sport. This means that no one is playing defense or trying to hinder your performance. One of the great aspects of disc golf is that it truly feels that everyone is rooting for you. We all want to see great shots and share in the joy that it creates.

Using Disc Golf to Teach Life Principles

Beyond sportsmanship, disc golf is a wonderful medium for teaching life principles. We show up to the course in varying states of mind and try our best to shoot the lowest score possible. a long the way there are many lessons we learn, some easy and obvious and others hard and hidden. Check out this list of principles that can be instilled in children via disc golf.

  1. Focus– Depending on your skill level we get around 50-60 times a round to pay attention to details and make the shot we need to shape. Various factors are always at play and focus is what allows us to calculate our best chances to succeed. Give this skill to your child!
  2. Mindfulness– Similar to focus but this allows the child to objectively see what’s going on in their mind and allow it to be. No rights and no wrongs, simply being. This lesson is something that leads to equanimity in life and is a skill our world desperately needs. Learn it on the course. 
  3. Creativity– Every shot has a multitude of different ways to be executed. There is no “right” way to get from point A to point B in our sport as there may be in other sports. This allows your child to be creative with their skill set to find ways to the basket.
  4. Managing Emotions – Disc golf will break your heart, we all know that. a long with the triumphs come the pitfalls, and disc golf is a wonderful arena to teach kids how to persevere through Hardship. Stay positive and allow them to know that bad shots are no big deal, they will succeed on the next shot.

Disc Golf Courses and Community

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Where to Find Kid-Friendly Courses

Once your child is ready to play a round, it is imperative to find a shorter course that fits their skill level. Longer and challenging courses make it hard to enjoy oneself when constantly in the woods or throwing 10 times to finish a hole. Check out the most complete course compilation via UDisc. They catalog courses based on ratings up to 5 stars and have a plethora of details and reviews so you can find a course that suits your childs needs. Did you know there is now over 15,000 courses worldwide??

Leagues and Tournaments

As your child progresses it is time to introduce them to a wider community in the sport. Start with a local league. These are generally casual and you will meet locals that are passionate about the sport. There are generally multiple tiers of competition to suit the needs of various skill levels. This is also a great place to network and potentially find lessons for your child if he/she is wanting to progress.

Disc golf is a sport and it can be a great boon to have an instructor/coach. They will grow your child’s skills by leaps and bounds and allow them to enter tournaments and even travel. Tournaments are a great social outlet and allows you to see how your child performs under pressure. Many lessons can be garnered through this process.

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Connecting with the Disc Golf Community

Children need social outlets. Disc golf has a huge network of players and organizers that put on events of all shapes and sizes. Most tournaments have a Junior division that allows your child to play with other kids of a similar age. Disc golfers are a very inclusive bunch and generally love to see youngsters attend events.

Check your local course or do a Google search for your area. Most sreas have a disc golf club that takes care of courses and puts on events. They are an invaluable resource for connecting your child into a tight knit network of passionate disc golfers. Try going to a volunteer day as a way to support a club.

10 Next Steps for Aspiring Young Players

As a parent looking to support a child who is developing a keen interest in disc golf beyond the beginner level, here are some steps you can take to help them progress in their skills, techniques, and knowledge of the sport:

  1. Invest in Better Equipment: Upgrade from beginner discs to more advanced options. Look for discs that offer better control and distance. It’s essential to have a variety of discs for different types of throws (drivers, mid-range, and putters). You may also want to consider a bigger and more durable bag or cart.
  2. Join a Local Club or League: Being part of a community helps in learning from more experienced players. It’s also a great way to make friends who share the same interest and can be a source of motivation and healthy competition.
  3. Participate in Tournaments: Entering local or regional tournaments can be a great experience. It helps in understanding the competitive aspect of the sport and is a good way to measure progress.
  4. Structured Practice Sessions: Instead of casual play, focus on specific aspects of the game during practice. This could include working on driving, accuracy, putting, or learning new throwing techniques.
  5. Hire a Coach or Take Lessons: If possible, consider getting a coach for personalized guidance. A coach can provide valuable feedback and tailor training to suit the child’s needs.
  6. Learn from Online Resources: There are numerous videos and tutorials available online. Encourage your child to watch professional matches and instructional videos to understand different playing styles and strategies.
  7. Physical Fitness and Nutrition: Disc golf requires physical fitness, so encourage your child to engage in exercises that improve strength, flexibility, and endurance. Proper nutrition is also vital for energy and concentration.
  8. Mindset and Strategy: Teach your child about the mental aspect of the game. This includes learning to stay focused, managing emotions, and developing strategies for different courses and conditions.
  9. Course Variety: Play on different courses to experience various challenges. Each course has its unique layout and obstacles, which helps in developing adaptability and problem-solving skills.
  10. Encourage a Balance: While it’s great to be passionate about a sport, it’s important to maintain a balance with other aspects of life, like academics, other interests, and social activities.

Remember, the goal is to support and encourage your child’s interest and development in the sport while ensuring it remains a fun and enjoyable activity.

More Questions & Answers:

At what age should I introduce my child to disc golf?

You can start introducing disc golf to children as soon as they are able to walk, using mini discs or lightweight toys designed for their age group.

What are some age-appropriate disc golf activities?

Create makeshift courses in your backyard using everyday objects as obstacles, keep sessions short, and emphasize play and fun over competition.

How can I create a positive first experience with disc golf for my child?

Focus on making the game enjoyable, use age-appropriate discs, and avoid any stress of formal game rules at the beginning to foster a love for the sport.

Should we keep score when first introducing disc golf to kids?

Initially, focus more on developing skills and having fun rather than keeping score. As they become more comfortable, you can gradually introduce scoring and competition.

What are some fun alternative disc golf games for kids?

Try games like Disc Golf HORSE, where players call shots and accumulate letters for missed attempts, or set up a mini disc golf obstacle course for variety and excitement.

How do I teach my child disc golf safety and etiquette?

Start by modeling proper behavior, such as waiting your turn, not throwing until the area is clear, and respecting the course and other players.

How should I begin explaining disc golf rules to my child?

Start with basic throwing and scoring rules. Once your child has a grasp of these fundamentals, you can introduce more specific rules of play.

What’s the best way to gradually introduce disc golf technique to children?

Begin with simple throwing techniques, focusing on grip and stance. As your child becomes more confident, move on to weight transfer during putting and other techniques.

How can I ensure that learning disc golf remains fun and engaging for my kid?

Mix in games and challenges, provide plenty of encouragement, keep practice sessions short, and celebrate progress to maintain a lighthearted learning environment.

Why is positive reinforcement important in teaching kids disc golf?

Positive reinforcement helps boost confidence, encourages kids to keep trying, and associates the sport with positive experiences and achievements.

Are there specific types of discs I should get for my child?

Yes, choose lightweight, understable, and beginner-friendly discs that are easier for children to throw and control, to help them enjoy the game more.

Why might investing in a home practice basket be beneficial?

Having a practice basket at home allows children to practice at their own pace without the need for regular trips to a course, helping them refine their skills and enjoy the sport.

How does disc golf help in building self-confidence in kids?

By learning new skills, overcoming challenges, and experiencing improvement, children can feel a sense of achievement that contributes to higher self-confidence.

In what ways can disc golf teach sportsmanship to children?

Disc golf offers opportunities to handle wins and losses gracefully, respect fellow players, follow rules, and support others, which are all key aspects of good sportsmanship.

Can disc golf be used to teach kids life principles?

Absolutely! Disc golf can help teach perseverance, patience, focus, and how regular practice can lead to improvement – all valuable life lessons.

Where can I find kid-friendly disc golf courses?

Many regional parks, campgrounds, and stand-alone disc golf courses offer kid-friendly layouts. Check online directories or local disc golf clubs for recommendations.

Are there disc golf leagues and tournaments for kids?

Yes, junior leagues and tournaments are becoming more common, providing a structured environment for competitive play and social interaction.

How can we connect with the local disc golf community?

Attend local events, join disc golf forums, and reach out to area clubs or parks to find out about family-friendly activities and mentorship opportunities.

What advanced strategies should young players focus on once they’ve mastered the basics?

Aspiring young players should learn disc selection for various conditions, master different throwing styles, and adapt their game to changing terrain and weather.

What are the top quick tips for teaching kids disc golf?

Keep the game fun, use age-appropriate equipment, focus on teaching through play, encourage practice, and gradually introduce rules and competitive aspects of the sport to foster a lifelong love for the game.

Published: May, 2024
Updated: May, 2024

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