A Sport For Everyone – Understanding The Benefits And Growth Of Disc Golf In Australia

An image of group of people in a disc golf park

The quest to stay active is one that many people around the world struggle with, and now that so many people are spending so much of their time on electronic devices, it seems as if we’ve lost the sense of wonder and excitement that comes from enjoying what nature has to offer. When it comes to staying physically fit, often times people are at a loss, as taking a walk around their local park may not be incredibly exciting, but having the time and money to commit to other sports may also not be the right fit.

For Australians who want to increase their level of physical activity while enjoying the company of their friends or family, what options do they have? More and more people are pointing to disc golf, a sport that’s grown within the country exponentially in the last few decades. On the surface, it may seem like little more than playing a casual game with friends, but as we dig a bit deeper, you’ll see that it’s the answer to many of the challenges facing the park and leisure industry.

What Exactly Is It?

Disc golf is an all-inclusive sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and walks of life. You don’t have to be in top physical condition to play, and from casual rounds to intense competition, there’s a varying level of commitment that’s appropriate for everyone. The implementation of disc golf parks across Australia has completely changed the way that people view recreational activity, as it infuses new life into already established parks and sports arenas.

The goal of the game is simple and not unlike traditional golf, where the individual to get the fewest strokes wins. However, instead of using a club and a ball, players use specially designed discs and throw them using varying types of form. Courses across Australia offer a wide range of difficulty, allowing for seasoned players to test their skills regularly and those brand new to the game to have an enjoyable experience will still getting exercise.

As Parks and Leisure Australia has mentioned in their latest report, the ability for residents to have access to activities that promote social interaction, relaxation, and connecting with nature is critical to overall health and well-being. A round of disc golf easily meets all of these desires and then some.

Improving One’s Health

Statistics about the health of Australians, in general, are shocking, as nearly 25% of younger individuals are overweight and 63% of adults struggle with their health. Obesity in the country costs nearly $60 billion annually, and while this figure is spread across multiple areas of care, consider how much it could go down if people were able to get out and play a few rounds of disc golf every week, thus improving their health with ease?

An image of young ones practicing playing disc golf in a field

It’s not just the number when we step on the scale that calls for a reexamination of how we spend our time, but our emotional and mental health can also be significantly improved by this increased time outdoors. Up to 40% of young people have experienced some form of depression, and while it may sound superficial, spending time in the sunshine with friends while practicing disc golf grips and throws can make a huge difference toward a more balanced mood.

Like many other sports, disc golf offers participants the ability to focus on a particular skill set and measure their growth over time. Rather than offering a one-time activity that temporarily keeps people off of their smartphones or video games, it’s a game that will continuously challenge you but only to the level that you so desire. Individuals who are more competition-minded will love the option to play in local tournaments against others to see how their skills compare.

Assisting With Urban Planning

Disc golf parks in Australia have grown quickly in recent years, with a 2016 report noting that of the 48 courses country-wide, 15 of them were installed that year. As more and more people become interested in playing and both small towns and larger cities see the benefits that the sport brings to their community, it’s natural for disc golf’s popularity to continue to rise. Installing a 9 or 18 hole course in an already established park or sports facility is quite simple and relatively inexpensive, requiring minimal upkeep and even offering the potential to make money.

Tournaments at local courses promote partnerships between specific disc golf clubs and businesses, encouraging even more people to head out and get some exercise while watching their favourite players compete, as well as providing a boost to the economy through increased foot traffic. As the sport builds up a stronger base around each course, the potential for larger events and thus an even greater monetary benefit only increases.

An image of Paul McBeth playing in a disc golf event

Any urban plan that’s looking to enhance community offerings, improve safety at local parks by increasing visibility, and provide a family-friendly activity to boost the health and well-being of local residents should consider what disc golf can bring to the table. Similar to a light hike in terms of physical activity, a round of disc golf a few times per week can assist with weight loss goals, improve cardiovascular health, and lighten the mood during any stressful week. Overall, it’s a game that brings nothing but positives to the lives of Australians and can be truly life-changing for cities across the country.