Playing disc golf has been so much fun for me and I have learned so much as I involve myself even more into the sport but when I first started, I never really knew if there was a difference between the terms frisbee golf and disc golf. As I grew, I learned that there is a difference and some people in the disc golf community take it very seriously, while others do not. I am on the side of, it isn’t that serious but I want to make sure you know the difference between the two before you leave here today.
Frisbee is a brand name, while disc golf is more specialized, with disc qualities that make them have different flying characteristics. Some people associate Frisbees to disc golf, but professionally, only approved disc golf discs are used.
There are actually tons more differences than that when comparing frisbee golf to disc golf and frisbee golf even has its own separate offshoot called Frolf (I will cover that later). If you are dying to get into the differences then look no further because we drill down and let you know.
If you want to check out some disc golf discs and compare them to frisbees that you know, then Infinite Discs has a huge selection of discs.
You can also check out Amazon because they have a large selection as well!
What Is The Difference Between Frisbee Golf And Disc Golf?
The main difference between frisbee golf and disc golf, for most people, is just the terminology that is used to refer to the sport. Many people play disc golf with approved disc golf discs and still call it frisbee golf.
While Frisbee is a trademarked name, it is used all the time to describe the game of disc golf, which does not use frisbees. So, semantics aside, they are both pretty much the same thing to the non disc golfer and can be used interchangeably, but beware using frisbee golf around some people on the disc golf course because they can get very offended.
There is no REAL difference between frisbee golf and disc golf from an outsiders standpoint and disc golf is a sport where players throw a disc at a target uses rules similar to golf. It is played on a course of 9 or 18 holes where players complete a hole by throwing a disc from the tee trying to “hole” in a certain amount of turns.
Is It Called Frisbee Golf Or Disc Golf?
Again, it is really semantics as to the question of “Is it called frisbee golf or disc golf.” It is just like using the term Bandaid for a bandage, Kleenex for a tissue, or Jacuzzi for a hot tub. Millions of people do it all the time and it is not really that big of a deal.
Now that we know that Frisbee is a brand name that was trademarked by Wham-O, we can begin to learn why calling it frisbee golf is “technically” wrong.
Frisbee is the brand name that has been used to describe flying discs and is commonly used for playing catch and for Ultimate Frisbee. Disc golf discs are designed with aerodynamic properties that allow the disc golfer to better control the disc than with a traditional Frisbee style disc.
Disc golf discs are smaller in diameter, heavier, and made from specialized plastics that help their durability and flying characteristics a great deal. They also fly further and can fly more accurately when thrown properly by throwing the disc flat, straight, and with sufficient power. Disc golf discs can fly much farther than Frisbees and the world record was set by David Wiggins, Jr. at 1,108 feet. You can check all the other records for flying discs, along with this one at the World Flying Disc Federation's website. This should let you know of the distance potential difference between the 2 types of flying discs.
A lot of disc golfers don’t like when people use the term “frisbee golf” but they will just have to get over it and stop being so touchy if you ask me. The term “Frolf” is also used to describe disc golf, but Frolf is a game unto its own.
What Is Frolf?
Frolf is similar to disc golf and is played with a group of friends with a Frisbee, or a flying disc similar to one. Frolf can be played almost anywhere and has even come up with it’s own set of rules, which can change at any minute I might add.
Frolf doesn’t take place on designated courses or have static holes like disc golf. You can play anywhere and find anything to be your “hole” in order to score be they trash cans, basketball hoops, or anything you can see that can be a target. The rules of Frolf are as simple or as hard as you want to make them, so let's take a look at what kind of rules you can set for Frolf.
Rules Of Frolf
Basically, anything is free game in Frolf and the only rule that needs to be set is what your target is. This is crucial because you and your fellow Frolfers need to know what to aim for. Other rules can be made up and agreed upon by the other players that are taking part with you.
Everything is part of the game of Frolf. Trees, signs, people, and pets are all part of what makes Frolf so different from disc golf.
If you throw your disc and it rolls down the street, then you must play it from there. If a bystander picks up your disc and throws it back to you, you must throw it again from where you caught it. If you are counting strokes, then these will count as extra strokes or throws. Where the disc lies is where you must play from.
Frolf Rules Are Similar To Disc Golf Rules
As I said before, you need to pick a target and begin throwing your disc. There are optional rules players can decide on, but everything and everyone is in play unless discussed and ruled upon. Here are the general rules you need to abide by, or not, if you decide to play by rules.
- Pick A Target: You must pick a target that everyone must aim for in order to complete the “hole.”
- Pick The Par For The Hole: This is optional but if you would like, pick a par for the hole so you can keep score, or just keep track of holes won.
- Select Your Hazards: This is optional as well but this can enhance your Frolf game by making certain areas of your course hazards and losing a stroke should you hit one of these.
- Give Other Players Handicaps: You can add strokes to the winning teams if you lose a hole or setup a handicap can be called by each player once during a round. Be creative and make up your own handicaps for your friends. This one is optional of course.
- Winner Shoots First: Winners normally go first in most games I have played but this can allow you to see how the first player throws, where they land, and you can adjust your strategy accordingly. Another optional rule.
- Loser Picks The Target: You can have the person who has the lowest score or even the person that lost the last hole choose the target for everyone on the next hole. This adds to the fun and unpredictability of Frolf.
Disc Golf Discs Vs Frisbees
I have briefly talked about the differences between disc golf discs and Frisbees but now it is time to dig a little bit deeper and find out just what makes them so much different from each other and how it affects their flights.
What Is The Difference Between A Frisbee And A Golf Disc?
Frisbees are large recreational discs that are wide and can't fly very fast or very far. Disc golf discs are small with thick, durable plastic, can fly fast, and are aerodynamically designed to travel for long distances to make it to the basket to complete the hole.
- There are quite a few differences between disc golf discs and Frisbees so let's take a look. Frisbees have much bigger diameter and wider than disc golf discs but are lighter in weight with proportion to their diameter.
- Frisbees have rounded edges while most disc golf discs have fairly sharp edges for aerodynamics. Disc golf putters are rounded similar to Frisbees to increase accuracy at shorter range.
- Most Frisbees are thin throughout their body and are not very durable and disc golf discs have most of their weight and material constructed into the rim. This makes the rim much thicker than the center of the disc and allows for proper weight distribution for a more stable and farther flying disc.
- Disc golf discs are regulated by the PDGA(Professional Disc Golf Association), and must adhere to size and weight regulations set forth by them. Frisbees have no regulations and are manufactured by the companies to fly no matter what the size or weight may be.
Disc golf disc manufacturing companies use many high tech techniques in their research such as computers and wind tunnels to design discs that fly according to a certain type of throw. There are discs that are understable or overstable and discs with tons of glide and speed for long distance drives. Many companies attach numbers to these discs that describe their flight characteristics and allow players to really tune in their game based on what disc they use.
Some discs fly farther than others. They also come in a wide variety of weights that also have an effect on the flight characteristics. Heavier discs are generally for the more experienced and more powerful throwers because they need to be thrown just right in order to fly correctly. Discs also come in many different types of plastics, which affects their flight characteristics.
The sport is rapidly growing and there are hundreds of thousands of players worldwide of all different talent levels that are enjoying the game and learning what each type of disc does. There are more than 20 companies manufacturing discs for the sport of disc golf and each has a large range of designs available for the disc golfer of any level.
Disc golf discs fall into 4 general categories: distance drivers,mid range and fairway drivers, and putter. Each comes in different plastic types and weights, giving any golfer the option to play his or her style and most players will carry multiple discs around with them to account for most of the types of shots they will take.
Frolfers generally use on Frisbee style disc and use it over and over again because it is not as technical as disc golf is.
Can You Use A Frisbee For Disc Golf?
When it comes to the official rules of disc golf, no you cannot play disc golf with a regular frisbee but they are great to practice with or to take out to the local disc golf course and have a good time trying to sink a regular frisbee in the basket. If you are casually playing, you can pretty much do anything you want.
I have even heard of some people using frisbee style discs to to better their game with regular disc golf discs because they are actually harder to throw and get the distance necessary to make the disc golf holes in the needed amount of strokes.
Are All Holes In Disc Golf Par 3?
This is a general misconception when people think about disc golf. They often wonder if all disc golf holes are par 3. Well the answer is no, because just like regular golf, all holes on all the courses tend to be different and range in distance and difficulty.
There are, of course, many disc golf courses out there that offer only par 3s due to their constrained sizes but this does mean that all disc golf holes are par 3. Having holes of different pars also allows you to diversify your game and become a better player overall and also enhances the fun. Think if every hole was similar and only took three shots without too much strategy or thinking. What fun would that be?
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My Favorite Discs
My Favorite Distance Driver – Innova Shryke
My Favorite Fairway Driver – Dynamic Discs Escape
My Favorite Approach – Innova Shark
My Favorite Putter – Innova Colt