Disc golf is similar to other forms of golf, but it uses a disc instead of a ball. The players toss their discs and try to land them in a standing metal basket in the least number of throws. Each metal basket is a hole, and the player with the fewest throws after all of the holes wins. This game is a great summer activity, and it requires no special equipment to play it recreationally!
The Game Rules:
Disc golf is fairly simple. To play, you first need to find a disc golf course. We have a list of local courses below if you need some ideas. When you arrive at a course, it will usually have a map showing you where the different holes are. A hole looks like a standing metal cage with chains attached to it. To begin the game, each player takes a turn throwing their disc from the designated tee pad. Each throw counts as one point, and players must throw their disc from wherever it landed in their previous turn until it lands in the hole. You move to the next hole when everyone’s disc has landed in the hole. At the end of the course, you can determine the winner by adding up each individual’s total number of throws. The winner will have made the fewest tosses.
- The most fundamental thing you need to play disc golf is a disc! Frisbees are designed differently than true disc golf discs and tend not to fly as far. Additionally, avid disc golf players enjoy using different kinds of discs for different situations. However, frisbees are fine if you are just getting started with the sport. Just make sure to use a brightly colored disc that would be easy to find in the woods or tall grasses.
- Your shoes are also another important aspect to your disc golf equipment. Try to wear shoes that will do well on uneven natural surfaces. Hiking boots or gripping tennis shoes are ideal because they prevent sliding.
- You do not need special clothing to play disc golf. You should be able to wear any weather-appropriate athletic clothing that allows for full arm mobility.
- Most disc golf players bring a bag with them to carry their discs. You do not need a special bag for this, a tote or other similar bag works fine.
- Sun protection is key to playing disc golf. Sun glasses, a hat, and sunscreen are all smart items to include in your bag.
- Water is key when playing disc golf. Some of the disc golf sites in the area have water filling stations, but many do not, so be sure to bring your own water and snacks.
- You will need something to keep your score with while playing. You can either use a pencil and paper for this or your phone.
Local Disc Golf Courses:
- Anna Page Park: 36XX Meridian Ct, Rockford, IL 61101. Anna Page Park is considered by players to be one of the finest disc golf facilities in the country. The East Course (built in 1986 & 88) is a beautiful scenic course with concrete tee pads; a nice mix of open fairways and woods with pins in tight areas close to trees and shrubs. All holes have both red (easy) and blue (advanced) positions so there’s something for everyone here! The West Course (built in 2004) presents its own challenges with some tight wooded fairways and elevation changes plus some long open holes for the big arms. The South Course (built in 2013) is long in places but tight and technical with tunnels through the woods making this one of the premier courses in northern Illinois and a destination for visitors from around the country. Click here to visit the website.
- Ingersoll Park: 751 Daisyfield Rd, Rockford, IL 61102. Built in 2018 this course works its way through a mature oak savannah and is compact and level, perfect for beginners or kids. Each hole has a Red (easy) and White (intermediate) tee pad. Click here to visit the website.
- Shorewood Park: Loves Park, IL. Built in 2021 this 9 hole course is located next to the Rock River. It’s a great place to take the kids or hone your skills! Click here to visit the website.
- Porter Park: 6598 Windflower Lane, Roscoe, IL, 61073. Great nine hole, beginner friendly Disc Golf Course. Click here to visit the website.
- Woodlands Park: 100 Falcon Point Pl, Rockton, IL. This is a more challenging course with many narrow and wooded flyways. Click here to visit the website.
- Harlem High School: 1 Huskie Cir, Machesney Park, IL 61115. Open on weekends and after school. Mostly open, short course placed around the high school grounds on non use areas. 6 baskets in front of school (can be played backward) 3 baskets in back of school, soccer field makes a great driving range with baskets on both ends. Click here to visit the website.
- Rockford University: 5050 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108. The course winds through and around the beautiful campus of Rockford University, offering a wide variety of fairways, from technical to open. There are restrooms, vending machines, and occasional food service available in the Burpee Student Center, across the street, north of parking lot ‘A’. Click here to visit the website.