It's golf, but not the way you know it. Disc golf may be less well known than its ball-based counterpart, but you might be interested to learn that there is a lot of money to be found in a burgeoning sport now played in 40 countries.
Paul McBeth, the world's most successful disc golfer, recently signed a $ 10 million promotional deal with Discraft and is at the forefront of the game's recent explosion in popularity.
The Huntington Beach, CA resident is a five-time Professional Disc Golf Association world champion and has been crowned by many critics and observers as one of the greatest players of all time. With over 6,500 disc golf courses in the US and over 70,000 active PDGA players around the world, now is the perfect time to try this limb. Ready to start?
McBeth helps deconstruct the athletic discipline and training required to excel in disc golf.
Disc Golf Basics
Disc golf may seem like a new concept, but it actually dates back to the early 1900s. The first game was believed to be played among school friends in Saskatchewan, Canada, but it was not until the 1960s and 1970s that various organizers began putting on more formal tournaments. In some places the game was known as frisbee golf.
wadays, disc golf is the preferred name and is sponsored by the PDGA. The courses usually have nine or 18 holes with an average spacing of 200 to 400 feet per hole, but this number varies from course to course.
The game generally takes place outdoors, where obstacles such as trees, hedges and bodies of water block the trajectory between the player's disc and the target hole. Similar to traditional golf, the player must complete the course with as few actions as possible, but instead of using a club, the disc is thrown into baskets that are usually above the ground. "I discovered disc golf through my father, who had played 20 years earlier," says McBeth. "I've known about it my whole life, but I didn't start until I was 14."
The coronavirus pandemic encouraged many people to get outdoors, and this has made disc golf thrive. "Yes, 100%, the sport is growing," says McBeth. “With the pandemic, participation almost doubled last year. I don't think there are any limits to disc golf. It's something that can be played by anyone, anywhere, and at any stage of life. "
How do I start with disc golf?
Disc golf offers the opportunity to exercise and play sports outdoors. It offers great mental and physical health benefits. And with many courses open with no entry fee, learning a new skill has never been easier. "To get started, I'd recommend spending time learning what discs are available and what they all do," says McBeth. “I would then suggest spending a lot of time learning how to throw straight. Throwing straight is the hardest part of disc golf. When you get there, you can spend time learning different angles and manipulating the disc. Another tip would be to download the Udisc app to easily find courses near you. "
Training for Success
"I go to the gym five days a week during the off-season," says McBeth. “I do a mix of cardio and weights while focusing on my diet. During the season, my routine is less structured due to the travel and exercise required. It's harder to train in the gym (when I'm competing), so I also train a lot of body weight in addition to running. "
Build up throwing power
"With a strong core, I can control the angles of my throws," says McBeth. “When I know how my body is working and functioning, I can increase the accuracy of the course. One of my favorite exercises is going up to my neck in a swimming pool and practicing my form with water resistance. This improves my speed and creates a power bag. In addition, I do various ladder exercises to work on my explosiveness and speed. "
Disc golf accuracy improvement
"First, check the discs you're throwing and make sure they're the correct discs for the recording you're trying to do," says McBeth. “I would suggest going on YouTube because there is a lot of content where the best players in the world not only play but also teach. You can then film yourself and compare your form with these players. Don't be discouraged from taking a step back to take two steps forward. "
Improving Disc Golf Technique
"Our sport is still so young," says McBeth. “So there aren't many organized training opportunities and trainers at the moment. The players who improve the fastest are the ones who discipline themselves and invest time. Film yourself, watch yourself, compare yourself. "
The sky is the limit
Since disc golf is broadcast on major networks such as ESPN and CBS Sports, the 30-year-old uses his position as the most successful player in the game to act as an ambassador. "I like to use Kobe Bryant as motivation," says McBeth. "Kobe had a Hall of Fame career as . 8 and . 24."
McBeth strives to give disc makers the same prestige that other athletes have given sneaker brands. "I want to do something similar with the various disc manufacturers I've represented," says McBeth. “My goal is to keep my body in shape and make smart decisions throughout my career. If I feel great I could try to keep going like Tom Brady "