While the history of many classic sports can be measured in hundreds of years, disc golf, one of the most popular sports in Estonia, has been played here for just over ten years. It is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of almost any age and the boom is still going strong.

Rainer Lipand, PDGA coordinator of the Estonian Disc Golf Association, who has dedicated his career to the promotion of disc golf since his first put 10 years ago, will explain exactly how disc golf is played, why it attracts new players and how to get started.

The long lost brother of golf?

Compared to the slightly more well-known stick and ball golf, disc golf is said by many to have a smaller learning curve. Disc golf requires no more than a disc and the will to move. However, it could be called golf’s brother, as the terminology and many of the rules overlap.

Trails are usually referred to as an area of land with 9 or 18 baskets arranged according to the terrain and the level of difficulty desired. Each basket has a first shot area, and is also assigned a par, or the number of shots an average player could take to get the disc in the basket on that course. Accordingly, the number of shots thrown above or below the expected par score is also counted.

Find the rules explained more freely HERE

Also important are the discs, which are divided into three categories: putter, mid and driver. As their names suggest, discs that look similar to the naked eye can have very different flight and behaviour characteristics, so it is worthwhile to learn about the differences between discs if you are interested.

If you need the right discs, or if you’re looking for training and how-to tips, you’ll find information on Stebby for both equipment and expert coaching HERE

How to start playing disc golf?

Rainer Lipand says that his first contact with disc golf was playing frisbee golf on a Wii console. After that, Rainer and his friends decided to try the sport for real.

According to Lipand, two discs, which can nowadays be bought in almost any sports shop, are enough for a starting point. Clothing should be sporty and comfortable, suitable for going out in nature. 

However, Lipand adds that it would be wise to go to the course with someone who has played disc golf before and can talk about technique, rules and especially safety. It would be even better to start with some training, which will help you get on the rail a lot quicker than playing alone.

It’s also important to find out which trails are in your area and which are best suited to beginners. Don’t rush to every trail, as some are designed to be fun for advanced riders. However, such trails may initially seem difficult for beginners.

If you feel you have already reached a certain level and want to improve, it’s worth taking part in competitions. With competitions taking place across Estonia every week, there is plenty of room for improvement.

You can find several EDGA events to try out for yourself on Stebby HERE.

Why is disc golf so popular?

According to Lipand, the answer is simple: disc golf is very accessible in Estonia and the cost of playing it is not high. In addition, there are nearly 200 disc golf courses of varying difficulty in Estonia, which means that there are also interesting courses suitable for beginners.

What helps the popularity?

According to Rainer Lipand, PDGA Coordinator of the Estonian Disc Golf Association, there are several reasons why disc golf is special for many.

  • First of all, the trails – they are all different and there is a lifetime of discovery. Getting to each new trail is an unimaginable adrenaline rush, he says. While a football pitch or a bowling alley is the same in Spain, the US or Estonia, disc golf courses are special and different everywhere, according to Lipand.
  • Second, the discs are interesting. It’s the team you manage, according to Lipand. For each position, each player has a man, for whom there is also a reserve. And in the meantime, you buy or replace new players. Because the discs are similar from scratch, but the degree of use changes them, you could say that most people have unique discs in their bag.
  • Thirdly, of course, getting outdoors and enjoying the enchanting forests and landscapes.

Estonia’s boom in players over the years has been fuelled by the country’s natural lifestyle, the creation of new disc golf parks, and home-grown disc golf stars who have turned professional.

For example, as of May 2023, the women’s world number one is held by Kristin Tattar of Estonia, who has won almost everything there is to win in disc golf in the USA over the past year.

Disc golf is most popular not only in Estonia, but also in the USA and Finland, where there are many more courses and many more players than here. At the same time, Estonia is one of the few countries with a functioning association and, thanks to this, a well-developed infrastructure. For example, in 2017, Estonia alone added more than 3,000 players as a growing sport, with a total of 130,000 rounds played, according to the Metrix environment.

Currently, there are more than 26,000 registered players in Estonia and nearly 200 courses, making us the most densely populated country in the world. Worldwide, however, there are already more than 13 000 courses.

Disc golf etiquette and recommendations for the course from the Estonian Disc Golf Association

  • It is recommended to have up to 5 players per group.
  • Keep up the pace.
  • Let faster groups pass by, waiting in the wings, not in the middle of the track.
  • Make sure there are no fellow players or other people in the park in the direction of the throw who may not be aware of the danger. A polite signal may be given to clear the throwing area.
  • Disc golf is an emotional game, but excessive noise is not appropriate.
  • Do not talk to or otherwise disturb the thrower. Do not move or stand in the line of sight of the thrower.
  • Follow your teammates’ throws to the end. If a disc goes missing and cannot be found immediately, the whole group will help you look for it.
  • If the disc is not found within three minutes, the group must decide whether to play from the previous throwing position or clear the lane for the next group if necessary, ensuring the safety of the throws.
  • Write your name and phone number below the disc. If the disc is found, the number on the disc will be called. If you find the disk, do the same.
  • In the case of an unreadable number, report the disc in the Facebook group “Kaotatud ja leitud kettad” which means lost and found discs.
  • Keep the course clean
  • Keep alcohol and smoking off the course

Similar posts

View all