Getting started with disc golf

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According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, more than a million people regularly play disc golf, with many families getting in on the action. And, in 2023, as inflation continues to impact the rising costs of raising a family and maintaining a household, the game remains a low-cost and fun way for family and friend groups to enjoy recreation and exercise. It also is a great activity for people of all ages. So, how do you get started in disc golf?

Disc golf equipment for beginners

It starts with a disc – or maybe two; three (or more) once your skills improve. According to John Teper, Naperville Park District’s Park Operations Manager for the Parks South Division and one of the District’s resident disc golf enthusiasts, “I would recommend new players start with a driver and putter.” Interesting that the terminology is the same as regular golf, isn’t it? According to John, drivers are used for long-distance throws while putters have more accuracy and are used for when you’re closer to the basket. A player with more experience may look to upgrade their equipment, choosing discs with different blends of plastic, designs, etc. If you look online, the options are seemingly endless.

Where to play disc golf in Naperville

For area residents who are looking to try the sport, Knoch Knolls Park is a great place to start. This 18-hole course has multiple tee pad and basket locations, providing opportunities for both the novice and experienced player to have success – and fun. If you’re looking to branch out and play other disc golf courses, an online search will result in additional locations across the region. 

Disc golf is a sport everyone can enjoy

As for who can play the game, the great thing about disc golf is that it’s a sport that can be easily learned and played by almost any age. There’s a lot of walking, which is great exercise in itself, and the hand-eye coordination that’s involved, in addition to problem-solving with angles and distances to reach the basket, undoubtedly helps keep the mind sharp and engaged. And, then there’s the inherent benefit of being out in nature, getting some vitamin D from the sun, and enjoying a game that’s fairly social and relaxed. 

According to Teper, there are several other advantages to disc golf including the fact that it’s far less time consuming than regular golf, there’s less structure and fewer rules, and no tee times are required. You simply show up. Now, Knoch Knolls is a community gem, but it’s not a secret, so weekends during the warmer weather means that the disc golf course will be much busier. Evenings also are popular times to head out and get some exercise and fresh air. 

Interested in learning how to play disc golf? Check out YouTube for a tutorial, or just ask someone who already knows the game. “There’s a great culture in this game,” explained John. “Most players are more than willing to give a tip or two. Other than that, it just comes down to practice.” 

630 Naperville welcomed the Naperville Park District’s Sameera Luthman, Director of Marketing and Communications, and John Teper, Park Operations Manager – South Division for this edition of Park It.