Most sports need a competitor, someone to challenge you, stretch you and (hopefully!) lose to you! But can you play disc golf alone?
Yes. Disc golf can be played alone. Playing alone is a great way to get exercise, practice your throw, meet new people and relax.
Much like ball golf, disc golf pits you against the course with each hole having its own par recommendation for the number of strokes you should take. This makes disc golf an excellent sport to play whenever you want, you don’t even need to drag a few friends along so you can play with them.
6 Reasons You should play disc golf alone
There are many great reasons to play disc golf alone rather than with other people. I’ve picked out my top 6 reasons and listed them out below, so next time you’re thinking about picking up a disc but decide not to because you don’t have anyone to play with you can remind yourself why it’s such a great sport to play alone!
1. Disc golf alone is still great exercise
Most holes are 200-400 feet long, spread across 18 holes, that’s over a mile of walking before you’ve even taken into account walking between holes, the fact that you’ll probably throw the occasional disc in to the trees (I know I do!), so you can rack up a couple of miles fairly easily when playing a course. Add that to the fact that many disc golf courses feature hilly terrain, obstacles you need to take the long way around and you might just find that your calf muscles are aching a little on your way home.
Disc golf also doesn’t just exercise your legs, there is a lot of twisting in your upper body, stretching in your back and hips and short bursts of power required when unleashing your disc throws from the tee which add up to plenty more calories being burnt off over just walking around. Depending on your weight and how you play, it’s not unlikely that you’ll be burning over 500 calories when playing a full round of disc golf.
2. No pressure from competition when playing alone
Some love competition and thrive off the banter that goes along with it, while some people prefer a more relaxed game without the competition.
Playing alone removes a lot of the back chat you might have with friends and allows you to concentrate on your own game rather than watching where your competitors are throwing or how they’re lining up for putts.
I find that playing alone helps me clear my head and focus on my technique and encouraging myself along. That mental side of the game which will be really important if you do decide to play in any tournaments, so having complete faith in your abilities and the skill to remain calm will stand you in good stead.
3. Try out new grips/throws or strategies you wouldn’t do in a competition
Just watched a YouTube video with some great looking grips that are promising you extra distance but look difficult?
Well, when you’re playing alone that’s the perfect time to try out these new crazy grips or throwing techniques you haven’t had a chance to try out.
If it goes well then you can keep tweaking, practicing and trying new things out as you go around the course which all improve and add to your game.
If it doesn’t go so well… There’s no one there to laugh and jeer when your disc spins wildly off into the bushes!
4. Meet new people when playing alone
Most of us disc golf enthusiasts are a friendly bunch. I’ve had some lovely interactions with people on a course who I’ve never met before, many of who I’ll probably never see again.
You can chat about disc golf, family, friends, work, personal life with complete strangers and feel like you’re with friends.
I have a couple of long term friendships that started after chance meetings on a disc golf course and I now regularly have a beer with them at the weekends or meet up to play disc golf.
5. Play against yourself
We’re all looking to improve our game, there’s nothing more satisfying than a fantastic approach throw that takes you within 15 feet of a basket, only for your putt to strike the chains and drop into the basket netting you a birdie!
When you play with others, especially if they’re more experienced than you, it can often feel like you aren’t good enough or that you shouldn’t be playing disc golf as they smash your score on a casual round.
One of my favourite quotes is:
“Comparison is the thief of joy”
I have no idea who said it, but I certainly believe it.
You can only improve what you can control, so playing a course you’ve already played before and trying to beat your score is a great method to try and improve and it certainly helps you keep track of your ability and see noticeable results.
6. Stress relief
We’ve all experienced it, a long week at work and we just want to kick back and find something relaxing to do.
Why not play disc golf alone? No phones ringing constantly, emails pinging through or colleagues asking questions when you’re trying to get your own work done.
I find disc golf very peaceful, many of my local courses are in quiet secluded areas, often with quite a bit of tree coverage around the course. It’s a great way for me to switch off and concentrate on something other than family and work for a few hours.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and it opened your eyes to some of the benefits of playing disc golf alone, both physical and mental.
So next time you find yourself sitting in front of the TV, why not pack some discs into a bag and head down to your local course and enjoy yourself in the fresh air, maybe meet some new people and de-stress.