5 Reasons Your Child Benefits from Playing Disc Golf

1. Gets them away from the electronic devices.

Let’s be honest, we use our electronic devices just as much as they do, but we tend to think that our time on them is more justified than theirs. For instance, you’re using your electronic device right now to read an article about something positive for them to do without their electronic device! We don’t feel the need to be very detailed in the reason why this point is good. We think you can make that determination. However, exercise is one of the many things this new generation is missing out on. Add to that the things that can be seen while out throwing plastic on a disc golf course. We’ve seen some pretty amazing things out there that a video on YouTube just doesn’t do justice.

...a video on YouTube just doesn't do it justice.

2. Teaches them to learn a new arm motion that other sports don't.

While there are many ways to throw a disc, one of the main styles of throw is the Backhand. Not many, if any at all, other sports require this motion of the arm. Potentially a backhand shot in tennis, but even that is hit or miss (pun intended) when it’s used, and the style of motion is still quite a bit different than the backhand shot in disc golf. For someone to become well rounded in the sport of Disc Golf a backhand throw is nearly a must. For a child, learning this new arm motion requires the brain to be stimulated in a new way. This strengthens the brain and works together with the body to refine this new motion. Combine this new arm motion with many other variables and you’ve got nearly endless new stimulating growth opportunities i.e. Wind, elevation, foot placement, etc. To see how un-natural this throwing motion is, just hand a rock to a child and ask them to throw it into the lake. It’s unlikely they used the backhand motion, and if they did, well, be sure to watch out because we don't think a rock can be thrown accurately that way!

...requires the brain to be stimulated in a new way.

3. Requires them to develop their critical thinking skills.

If you’ve ever played disc golf before and tried to do a good job at it, then you know how much thinking can go into each throw. Am I going to try and take the rewarding shot with a bunch of risk? Am I going to side arm the throw around that tree or opt to do a backhand turnover? What would the result of a roller shot be? If a child is to become better at disc golf, he/she must learn to think through the shot critically. They need to learn to ask before every throw, “What will be the result of my action and how does that benefit or hurt my next shot?” We’ve heard through the grapevine that Paul McBeth teaches newer players to ask the question, “When was the last time I practiced this shot?” or “What is the highest percentage shot to take here”. If you combine those two questions, you can usually conclude that lack of practice on a certain style of throw will be a low percentage shot. To shoot well, disc golf requires you to think critically so that you can take the highest percentage shot every time.

...take the highest percentage shot every time.

4. Teaches them to add numbers.

 No, really. It’s a big deal when playing disc golf. If you turn in a scorecard during competitive play, that isn't added correctly, you get a two stroke penalty EVEN IF YOU SCORED EACH HOLE CORRECTLY. Your child will have to add and then double check to ensure that the total score for the round is correct. Never fear, if your child isn’t that good with math, someone that played with him/her during the round will usually assist in checking the math. That being said, it is the players responsibility to ensure that they agree on their total score. We can think of one example where a scorecard total, or lack of total in this example, affected the ending of the PDGA's National Tour’s Memorial Championship in 2013. Will Schusterick turned in his scorecard, with a 2 stroke lead over second place. The problem was that he never marked the total on his scorecard. This resulted in a two stroke penalty and caused a tie for first place with Paul McBeth. Schusterick went on to birdie the first hole of the playoff and his opponent got par. Schusterick won. The story could have ended much worse for Schusterick just because the sum of his throws was not added AND marked on his scorecard. Tell your kids this story when they don’t complete homework math problems fully.

Tell your kids this story when they don’t complete homework math problems fully.

5. Teaches them to play fair and with integrity.

Disc golf is one of the most unique sports when it comes to how the gameplay is moderated. There are no referees. There are no instant replays that can be viewed to challenge a call on the field. In fact, in SOME cases, you could be the only one who realized that a rule was violated. Take Paul McBeth for example at this year’s Pro World Championship event in Kansas. He notified a tournament official, during hole 7 of the second round, that he might have misplayed a hole in the PREVIOUS round. Paul McBeth, 4 time World Champion (competing for his 5th STRAIGHT title), told on himself! We can’t speculate too much, but that could have potentially cost him the win. Our point is this, at this time in Disc Golf, the sport is regulated by the players. This teaches your child a valuable lesson about integrity. If someone else calls you out on a rules violation, then humbly accept the rules for what they are and proceed. If YOU violate a rule, then take the example of 4 time World Champion Paul McBeth and do the right thing, play with integrity.

...you could be the only one who realized that a rule was violated.