What Is Speed in Disc Golf? Are All Disc Golf Courses Free?


Disc golf is a sport that combines elements of traditional golf with a frisbee. The objective is to throw a disc or frisbee into a basket or target in as few throws as possible.

So, What is Speed in Disc Golf? Are All Disc Golf Courses Free? 

We will address what “speed” is in disc golf, and how to improve your disc speed. 

We’ll also discuss the availability of free and paid disc golf courses and give some tips for new players. 

So, read on to learn more about disc golf!

What Is Speed in Disc Golf?

In disc golf, speed measures a disc’s ability to maintain its speed during flight. More specifically, it is a rating given to discs that describe how fast a disc needs throwing to achieve its intended flight path. 

Discs with higher speed ratings require more significant amounts of power and spin to travel on the correct flight path, while discs with lower speed ratings need less energy and spin. 

The speed rating scale for discs ranges from 1 to 15.1 represents the slowest discs, and 15 represents the fastest.

Discs with higher speed ratings generally have wider rims and are designed to be thrown with more speed and power, allowing them to cover more distance. 

Slower discs have narrower rims designed for more control and accuracy but may not travel as far.

Note that a disc’s speed rating is just one of several flight ratings determining its overall flight characteristics. 

The other flight ratings, including glide, turn, and fade, also affect how a disc will fly when thrown at different speeds and angles.

Speed is a term describing how fast a disc needs throwing
Speed is a term describing how fast a disc needs throwing (Link).

The Miscomprehension about Speed

People usually misunderstand that the speed rating of a disc determines its actual speed through the air.

In reality, a disc’s speed rating refers to the minimum speed required to achieve the desired flight path of the disc. 

The higher the speed rating, the more power and spin are necessary to throw the disc correctly.

This misconception can lead players to believe they need faster discs to achieve greater distance. This happens even if they lack the control or power to throw them accurately.

Players must understand that slower, more stable discs can still travel significant distances while being easier to control, particularly for newer or less experienced players. 

Players can maximize their performance on the course by choosing discs that match their skill level and throwing style.

People usually miscomprehend speed rating decides its actual speed (Link).

The Reasons for That Speed Matters

Disc speed matters because it is the first flight rating and determines the necessary speed and power needed to throw the disc correctly. 

The other three flight ratings (glide, turn, and fade) depend on the speed rating and work together to create the disc’s flight path. 

Each disc has a unique personality determined by its flight ratings. Throwing the disc at the correct speed is crucial to achieving the intended flight path—the difficulty of throwing the disc increases with the speed rating.

Hence, choose the appropriate disc for your skill level and desired shot.

Speed helps determine many things in disc golf (Link).

Three Methods to Boost Your Disc Speed

Someone may encounter problems when speeding up the discs. Therefore, I suggest my top 3 ways to help you improve this.

#1. Practice Good Form

To speed up your discs, you must use good form and technique. With solid follow-through, your strokes can get significant force from a controlled, fluid throw. 

Ensure you employ the proper grip, footwork, and body placement to increase your power and control.

#2. Build Up Your Arm Strength

Increasing your arm strength can also help you get your discs up to speed. You can do weight lifting, resistance band training, and throwing drills to build up the muscles used in disc golf throwing.

#3. Choose the Right Disc

Choosing a disc with a speed rating that matches your present throwing talents might help you get your shots up to speed, though you should rely on something other than the disc to do the work for you. 

Start with a lower-speed disc and gradually work up as your throwing improves. 

Remember that a slower disc thrown correctly often outperforms a faster one thrown poorly.

Use the right disc to enhance your disc speed (Link).

Are All Disc Golf Courses Free?

No, not all disc golf courses are free. Approximately 90 % of systems are free and accessible, while the rest require payment. 

This means they need players to pay a fee to access the course. These fees are typically necessary for course maintenance, improvements, and other amenities such as restroom facilities, picnic areas, or pro shops.

Some private courses may also require players to pay a fee or have a membership. 

Remember that paid-to-play practices are less common in the disc golf world than free ones.

Why Are Some Disc Golf Courses Free?

Some disc golf courses are free because local towns, cities, and municipalities often install them. 

People see disc golf as a fun and inexpensive activity for almost anyone. 

Disc golf courses can be easily installed and are relatively inexpensive compared to other recreational facilities. 

Disc golf has also grown in popularity, and to accommodate the demand for the sport, disc golf baskets are being retrofitted into numerous parks and public areas. 

Hence, disc golf has become a popular and inexpensive alternative for individuals to exercise outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

Some disc golf courses are free due to their location
Some disc golf courses are free due to their location (Link).

Are Pay2Play Disc Golf Courses Better?

Pay-to-play disc golf courses may offer advantages over free classes, but we should consider both pros and cons.


  • Better maintained courses: Since pay-to-play systems generate revenue, they are often better maintained and have better facilities such as restrooms, scorecards, maps, and more.
  • Less crowded: Pay-to-play courses are often less crowded than free courses, so you can play at a more relaxed pace without waiting for other groups to clear the holes.
  • Higher quality equipment: Pay-to-play courses often have higher quality baskets and tee pads, making for a better playing experience.
  • More amenities: Pay-to-play courses like pro shops, snack bars, and disc rentals may offer additional amenities.


  • Cost: The main disadvantage of paying to play courses is the cost. Players have to pay a fee for each playing hour.
  • Exclusivity: Pay-to-play courses can sometimes feel exclusive, as not everyone can afford to pay to play. This can give the impression that disc golf is only for wealthy people.
  • Limited hours: Players who desire to play outside certain hours may find it aggravating because some pay-to-play courses only run during certain hours.

Cost of a Round of Disc Golf

Disc golf price varies depending on where you want to play. 

The majority of disc golf courses, approximately 90%, are free to play as local municipalities or towns run them. 

Conversely, pay-to-play practices require a fee to play a round. A round at a pay-to-play course typically costs between $5 and $10. However, weekend play or special events may incur higher costs. 

Some pay-to-play practices offer memberships that could reduce playing costs by avoiding fees for each round.

The cost of a disc golf round varies (Link).

How to Search a DiscGolf Course Nearby

Thanks to the internet, finding a disc golf course near you is easy. I want to recommend the following ways to find a course near you:

  • Check out the PDGA directory: They are The PDGA or Professional Disc Golf Association. You can find classes in your region by using the map and accessing the directory on the PDGA website.
  • Use a search engine: You can type the keywords “disc golf courses around me” or “disc golf courses in [your city or state]” on a search engine like Google.
  • Utilize disc golf course finder applications to find nearby courses: UDisc, Disc Golf Course Evaluation, and Disc Golf United are just a few of the disc golf course finder apps available for iOS and Android devices.

Does Playing Disc Golf Cost?

Compared to other sports, disc golf often has a low entry barrier and is affordable. 

While experienced players may spend more on equipment, beginners can easily borrow discs and play for free at public courses. 

Typically, a beginner spends around $30 and $60 for a set of discs and a bag. However, getting started with just a few essential discs and no load is also possible. 

Is It Essential to Play Disc Golf on a Course?

No. You don’t have to play disc golf on a course. 

While courses provide a structured environment to play the game, it’s possible to play disc golf in open spaces like parks, fields, and your backyard if you have a basket. 

However, playing on a course can add to the game’s enjoyment because it provides unique challenges and a sense of community with other disc golfers.

Necessary Items When Playing Disc Golf on a Course

You will need to know some basics of the disc golf game. Here are some of the essential items I think you’ll need:

Some Discs

Different types of discs are available for various shots in disc golf. You’ll need at least one driver, one mid-range disc, and one putter to get started.

#1. Innova Leopard Control-driver

The Innova Leopard is a popular choice for beginners because it is a control driver that is easy to throw straight and accurately. 

It is also a fantastic alternative for more seasoned players who wish to fine-tune their strokes.

#2. Discraft Buzzz Mid-range

The Discraft Buzzz, on the other hand, is a mid-range disc that offers versatility and control for various shots. 

It is known for being one of the most evenly distributed and beginner-friendly discs available. In addition, people can use it for several other shots.

#3. Dynamic Discs Judge Putt and Approach

The Dynamic Discs Judge is a putter and approach disc designed for short-range shots and putting into the basket. 

It feels cozy for players of all skill levels and offers superb control. It is among the most well-liked putters available, and experts and amateurs rely on it.

While these discs can provide a good foundation for beginners, disc selection ultimately depends on personal preference and playing style.

A Bag

You will need a bag to carry your discs. Many different bags range from basic to advanced. 

Consider the size, price, and additional features when selecting a disc golf bag. 

  • Size: The size of the bag will depend on the number of discs you plan to carry. A comfortable backpack is essential for long rounds, so look for padded straps and back support. 
  • Price: Prices for disc golf bags can vary greatly depending on the brand and features. The cost can stay around $20 to over $200. Popular brands include Innova, Dynamic Discs, and Discraft. 
  • Features: Some bags also come with handy features such as drink holders and pockets for valuables. 

Your personal preferences and budget will determine the choice of a bag.

Choose a bag appropriate in your budget
Choose a bag appropriate in your budget (Link).

Miscellaneous Items

It would help if you considered bringing some miscellaneous items, which are as follows:

  • Snacks – Playing disc golf can be a great workout, so bring some snacks to keep your energy up.
  • Water bottle – It’s crucial to stay hydrated while engaging in physical activity. Therefore be sure you pack a water bottle.
  • Towel – a towel can be handy for wiping down your discs and hands-on hot or humid days.
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent – depending on where you’re playing, bring them to protect yourself from the sun and bugs.
  • Scorecard and pencil – some courses may provide scorecards, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own, just in case.

Tips for Disc Golf Beginners

If you are a newbie to disc golfers, you can feel discouraged when playing the game. Unfortunately, I would give you some tips to improve your game level.

#1. Start With the Basics

You can feel overwhelmed with some disc golf information, but don’t let that discourage you. 

Start with a few essential discs and work on your form for throwing straight and accurate shots.

#2. Practice Makes Perfect

Like any sport, your performance will improve the more you play. Try to play regularly and practice your form and technique in your free time.

Regular practice will help beginners boost their skills
Regular practice will help beginners boost their skills (Link).

#3. Learn from Experienced Players

Don’t hesitate to ask other players for tips and advice. Most disc golfers are friendly and willing to help out beginners.

#4. Respect the Course and Other Players

People play disc golf on public courses, so respecting other players and the environment is essential. 

Follow the rules, follow up, and be courteous to other players.

#5. Have Fun!

Disc golf is a fun and enjoyable sport. Stay caught up in your score and your form, and remember to enjoy the experience and the outdoors.


How Long Does It Take to Learn Disc Golf?

What Is An Ace In Disc Golf?

What Is An Eagle in Disc Golf?

What Is A Bogey in Disc Golf?

What if My Disc Golf Disc Lands on Top of the Basket?


Speed is essential to measuring a disc’s ability to maintain momentum during flight. 

And while many disc golf courses are free to play, some may require a fee or have other associated costs. 

We hope that you find this article helpful. So get out there, throw some discs, and have a blast!

Thank you for reading!

Share the Post:

Related Posts