Is it Disc Golf or Frisbee Golf? Either Way, It’s Free Family Fun.
We hear you! Your kids are getting restless. We’ve been stuck inside too long.
You want an inexpensive, yet enjoyable activity that your whole family will want to do…maybe even something that will also get your kids moving and outdoors?
You may think you’ve asked too much, but as my family recently discovered, Disc Golf (or Frisbee Golf) is the perfect solution for your wallet and boredom woes!
Reason One: Disc golf is inexpensive.
Reason Two: The whole family can participate.
Reason Three: You can disc golf while maintaining a safe social distance.
Before You Play Frisbee Golf
To make it simple for your family to take on this activity, here are a few things we learned as first-time Disc/Frisbee Golf players.
You’ll need a Disc(s) — Visit a local Disc Golf shop like Great Lakes Disc or Disc Baron Disc Golf Store, or purchase from an online retailer. Local shops often sell used discs for under $10. Or, in our case, we borrowed some from a friend!
Grab sunscreen and bug spray.
Bring your water bottle!
Closed toe shoes are a good idea, but not necessary.
General Rules – Frisbee Golf
Disc/Frisbee Golf is played like traditional golf (or as I explained it to my kids to make it more relatable, it’s similar to playing mini-golf).
One point is counted for each time the disc is thrown with the goal being to play each hole in the fewest strokes possible.
The player with the lowest total points wins.
You “Tee Off” from the designated area (the course we played had a posted map so you knew where to start).
From there, you take turns throwing based on who is farthest from the target.
You throw from where your disc lies until you’re able to complete the hole by getting your disc into the basket or chains of the target.
For more detailed rules of play, check out the Disc Golf Association website.
Where to Play Disc/Frisbee Golf Around Grand Rapids
Many parks, schools and churches in Grand Rapids have courses for the public to use! A small sampling of places you can play are below, but you can also find one close to you at DC Course Review or The Disc Golf Scene.
Hughes Park Disc Golf (40th Ave & Van Buren St, Hudsonville)
This is the course my family played. We loved that it was shady, there was a map to point us in the right direction (#firsttimers) and the course was well-marked.
Fallasburg Park Disc Golf (1124 Fallasburg Rd, Lowell)
Word-on-the-street says that Fallasburg Park (1124 Fallasburg Rd, Lowell) has a beautiful view going for its Disc Golf Course. According to the Kent County Parks website, this might be the place for you if you’re looking for a combination of both “field and forested play.” This is also a great course if you’re up for a challenge.
Garfield Park Disc Golf (2111 Madison SE, Grand Rapids)
Visit Garfield Park (2111 Madison SE, Grand Rapids) if you want a newer course to try! This 18-hole course had an updated layout and baskets that debuted in 2016.
Johnson Park Disc Golf (2600 Wilson Ave, Walker)
Maybe you are up for a bigger challenge? While it’s definitely not stroller-friendly, Johnson Park (2600 Wilson Ave, Walker) has hilly-terrain and a technical course that will put your disc throwing skills to the test.
New Community Church Disc Golf (2340 Dean Lake Rd, Grand Rapids)
Perfect for little ones (or anyone for that matter!), New Community Church (2340 Dean Lake Rd, Grand Rapids) has a mini-disc course. With smaller baskets and using “mini-discs”, or 3” marking discs, this open-to-the-public playing area is next on our family’s Disc Golf circuit!
The course weaves across the park with many hills. Some holes are in the woods and others go over wetlands. Our family has played this course footgolf style and had a lot of fun.
Jaycee Park Disc Golf (1088 Gentian Dr SE, Kentwood, MI)
The 18-hole disc golf course at Jaycee Park is wooded and fun and easy to navigate.
Brewer Park Disc Golf (399 84th St SE, Byron Center, MI)
You get a 36 hole disc golf course when you visit Brewer Park in Byron Center. One of the courses is out in the ope and the other plays through the woods if you’d like a more technical challenge. This park can be tricky to navigate – consider using the U Disc App to help with that.
While my 6-year olds proved to be better disc throwers than me, our entire family had an awesome time trying Disc Golf for the first time and the kids are already asking to go back to the park for another round — probably just so they can beat mom again!
Our Own Local Junior Disc Golf Champion
Can I be honest? I can’t say that Disc Golf was on my family’s list of things-to-do this summer, even though many of the parks we go to have Disc Golf courses.
But when we heard from Grand Rapids Kids reader, Melissa Bell, about her family’s love of this outdoor sport and how her six year old son, Kaidin Bell, is a local and world Junior Disc Golf Champion, I was intrigued — not only about playing as a family activity, but how her young son got involved in it!
Melissa and her husband Adam began playing Disc Golf when they were dating and after having their son, they started showing Kaidin how to play. Not only did Kaidin love it, but he excelled at it too. He scored his first flying disc record when he was only a year old and has since racked up 58 records!
While there aren’t any Disc Golf leagues for kids here in Grand Rapids yet, if you have a kid that is interested in playing competitively, The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) has a Junior World Championship for kids up to the age of 18.
This year’s Championship took place in Kansas and they had over 128 junior competitors! And if you want to try for some record-breaking Disc throwing, you can checkout the World Flying Disc Federation.