Disc Golf… really? Ultimate Frisbee…maybe.

Some activities just don’t constitute an actual sport. Disc golf, or Frisbee golf, happens to be one of them.

Growing up in sports and playing quite a few of them throughout my younger years and even in high school, I believe that in order for an activity to be considered a sport, you must have to spend much time training physically for it.

‘Physically’ being the key word.

In the game of disc golf, players throw a Frisbee into a basket. Disc golf follows similar rules to the actual game of golf, which I do believe is an actual sport. For scoring, disc golf also follows similar rules to the actual game of golf, where players try to get through the course in as few as possible throws.

To back myself up, let me go a little deeper into why I don’t think disc golf is considered an actual sport.

There is no actual running involved or necessary for these supposed athletes to play disc golf. Now, for an actual golfer, running isn’t necessary either, but I think there is some physical training that must be done in order to be a golfer. Strength training is necessary, along with physical conditioning. Golfers need to be physically fit and mentally sharp.

Also, in order for an athletic activity to be considered an actual sport, I think it should be enjoyable for fans to watch. Can you imagine watching disc golf? Boring!

Although I don’t agree that disc golf is an actual sport, I do believe that ultimate Frisbee is.

For those familiar with Ultimate, there is a lot of running involved and it can become tiresome if you are playing the entire game.

Because of the physical activity that goes into playing Ultimate, I gladly call it a sport and would praise those few professional athletes that are out there. And according to my stipulations, I would much rather be watching people play Ultimate rather than disc golf.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Although I do not believe disc golf should be considered an actual sport, this does not mean that it couldn’t be a fun activity. I played disc golf once and it was pretty enjoyable, but I think if I had to choose just one game to play that involved a flying disc, it would definitely be Ultimate.

*Disclaimer: This article is an opinion piece and appeared in The V, which is a tabloid.  For the counterpoint, see the article ‘Toss Up: The legitimacy of disc games as sports,’ also an opinion piece.*

29 Responses to "Disc Golf… really? Ultimate Frisbee…maybe."

  1. Bad Brad   March 15, 2011 at 7:04 am

    If you were over 21 years old, you’d realize that Ultimate is a young man’s game, while disc golf is for us with a little more seasoning. And you flat wrong. Disc golf is not only a sport, it is a great sport. Try going to a disc golf tournament sometime, you might be surprised at the skills. What is the point of this article?

  2. Burl   March 15, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I am a Professional Disc Golfer ranked 4th in the world. Trust me I didn’t get to be fourth in the world by sitting around. I train, weight lift and practice. Disc Golf is very much like Ball Golf in which you do have to be mentally sharp. I read books to keep my mental game tuned. The top Pro’s all train and work out to be fit for disc golf. Your body core has to be strong. We play some courses that are hilly and on mountain’s, which can be strenuous to compete on the hill sides. There is a lot of motion involved in the arm and in with the upper body and with the hip rotations. It is a real sport because we compete, train and win money.

  3. Mike B.   March 15, 2011 at 8:03 am

    To the author,

    On the simplest level your analysis is primarily backed up with “I think” and “I believe/don’t believe”, which just makes the story an opinion piece.

    Now that we have established that we are using opinions, I typically classify a sport as a game with defined rules and scoring, anything with a judge(s) I consider a popularity contest with a competition element.

    Anyone can play golf, but few excel at it so that they can earn millions of dollars in earnings .A person can can train for any activity to become better at that specific activity. From running a marathon to working on an assembly line, repetition goes a long way at becoming proficient. Think about this; physical training for golf, and a lot of other big money sports, has been redefined in the last quarter century simply due to the fact that there is big money on the line. Hell, some of the best NHL…

  4. Ipaman   March 15, 2011 at 8:15 am

    you are so right……

    that john daly is quite the athlete.

  5. Tom   March 15, 2011 at 8:17 am

    You couldnt be anymore wrong. Disc golf requires a ton of skill and practice. If you believe that the top level professional disc golfers got there from just “throwing frisbees into baskets” as you say. It takes years of practice and dedication to become a pro. So please before you write a piece about disc golf or any other subject. Do a little research so you dont look like an idiot.

  6. Matt Stillwagon   March 15, 2011 at 8:18 am

    This assessment is so misinformed. Please review the PGA under your training standards and reevaluate. Disc golf requires difficult standings that challenge balance and strength. Players do run up on shots, and a growing number of players do train to improve.
    Additionally, under your rationale of comparison to Golf, There is a significant crossover of players from both sports to either side. As far as spectators, go to some pro tournaments and some majors before making such conclusions. This article is speculative at best, and is clearly written by someone who needs to do better research.

  7. cline   March 15, 2011 at 8:25 am

    What a narrow minded post Kira. Do a little research before you make claims like this.

  8. carman   March 15, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Have you ever actually gone to a tournament to watch the Pro Disc Golfers play?? Yeah, I didn’t think so! So let me get this straight… you go play disc golf once and all of the sudden you have the say so to call disc golf “not an actual sport”. A lot of these disc golfers do train physically… they are involved with yoga and pilates, some also run and lift weights. Maybe you should take a trip to a tournament where some of the pro men are or even pro women are to watch them play and then make an educated decision. I would also enjoy it if you would search nikko locastro ace on youtube and watch both aces that come up… one from Sweden and the other from Fountain Hills.

  9. Andrew Rich   March 15, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I believe you are gravely mistaken. In the top ranks of Disc Golf we all strive to be in the best shape possible. It doesn’t help if you can’t finish a long weekend because of fatigue. Disc Golf is much more physically challenging because of the terrain. We play up and down mountains compared to Ball Golfs relative flatness. Yes you probably walk more distance in Ball Golf. But what’s easier? Walking 5 miles on flat ground or 3 miles up and down ski runs? I think you need to get your facts straight on how physically challenging competitive Disc Golf really is.

  10. Rob Lilja   March 15, 2011 at 9:12 am

    While I believe everyone in entitled to their opinion, I find the author contradicting herself throughout the story when making comparisons between Disc Golf and Ball Golf sports. Both sports allow for under developed players to participate but, pro players compete on a different level than the recreational players that play the sport. Conditioning and mental focus is just as important in Disc Golf as it is in Ball Golf. Whether it is sinking a long putt, or trying to recover from a bad lie, each situation requires concentration and mental focus.
    If you actually consider running to be the criteria for determining a sport well there are several other sport that do not involve running such as surfing, swimming, skiing, etc… Also, if you are not interested in golf you will find it just as boring to watch as any other sport that you are not interested whether it be tennis, baseball, or…

  11. Kory Olko   March 15, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I’m not sure why someone would be so opinionated about a sport that they have only played once. A sport is defined as an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature. In Disc Golf you must have skill to throw accurately, physical prowess to throw far and is competitive in nature by how many tournaments are played all over the world.

    You say, “I believe that in order for an activity to be considered a sport, you must have to spend much time training physically for it.” – For most players, not a lot of time is spent training because it is just a game to them. Just as tennis, softball and golf is for most people. But for those of us that want to throw further and more accurately you have to practice and train yourself to do so. There is technique and form involved to get the most out of your throws. The day you are able to throw a disc 400…

  12. Russell Auer   March 15, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I think this article is horrible and very opinionated by someone who just doesn’t like this certain sport…disc golf. This sport is much more physical than the other golf “Ball Golf” It does require training to be good and a lot of practice, just like ball golf. if you want to be terrible at disc golf, how about ‘don’t train’ or don’t be a natural.
    This is a bad opinion the writer has about disc golf

  13. Joe   March 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    The fact you only played it once does not qualify you to conclude disc golf is not a sport. This article is so poorly written I’m not even going to bother correcting all your mistakes. I would advise you to do some research before you write another article.

  14. Bill   March 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Cool story bro.


    Peak of fitness there.

  15. Dan   March 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Wow, you are an idiot. Go to a National Tour event or The World Championships or The US Open. The practice time and physical training required to play at a competitive level is amazing. These guys would mop the floor with you. Hell, I don’t even compete any more, and I still work out and practice to stay competitive in league events.

    Know before you throw son!! You probably don’t think bowling is a sport either.

  16. Amanda Duncan   March 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Now, I believe everyone is entitled to their opinions. We all have them, as right or as wrong as they may be. The problem I have with the article you have written about a SPORT I just happen to love, is that you have very little if any knowledge of what professional disc golfers do in order to train for tournaments. (Or if you do, you should reference that rather than your 1 round you played and had fun doing) It is very much like regular golf, in which you claim is a sport. Disc Golfers (Pro and Am), practice drives, putting, and mid range shots just as Ball Golfers do. Many of the top pros go through off season training to keep themselves in shape for the upcoming season. Before a tournament they stretch, practice puts, practice drive, take a jog, and such. Disc Golfers walk miles in 1 day at a tournament throwing up to 54 + or – throws a round. This season, starting end of…

  17. Rick Korab   March 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    You are ignorant. You base your OPINION on the fact that “There is no actual running involved or necessary for these supposed athletes to play disc golf”.
    Do you not understand the fact that in Golf, a player uses a stick as a Fulcrum to create impact.

    i guess anyone of any physical ability can throw a frisbee
    over 500′.

    Read before you write Kira.

  18. Chainchaser   March 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Come on you have played it once. Please before you review any sport play it more than once. Your article means nothing since you admit to only having done it one time. Talk to the guy and gals playing on the pro tour about how out of shape they are. These disc golfers not only are in shape but but must be in great shape to walk some of the courses out there and also throw the disc properly. Yes there is a proper way to throw a disc and development of that takes years of repetition. Please do more research before you take a shot at a sport you never really played and yes I did say sport.

  19. stephen   March 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Wow I’m confused. Do you like it or not?

  20. Gayle   March 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    This is great you have your opinion based on one round. I have to suggest you try these courses before forming your opinion, Aspen, CO and Lake Tahoe, NV have some REALLY EXTREME course’s, and not for your average person to just go take a walk on and toss a frisbee. Some throws have distances of over 1000 feet can you throw this far? I can not that’s for the pro’s and yes we have those too.

  21. Chuck   March 15, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Golf is a sport, but disc golf isn’t..? You are quite ignorant. If driving a cart to your ball, swinging a club at it, then driving your cart to the ball again is a sport, throwing a disc is a sport. Especially since throwing a disc uses many more muscle groups. Disc golf is also just as mentally challenging as golf.

  22. Joseph   March 15, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Let’s start breaking down some paragraphs here Kira.
    Paragraph 4. You say they are similar.
    Paragraph 6. How come I’ve seen heavy weight golfers? Where was their “Physical Training” ??? Also all activities require mental focus missy.
    Paragraph 7. Have you done you’re research? Probably not, because if you look up the United States Disc Golf Championship, there were cameras and large crowds everywhere, plus the winner won $12,000, so yeah, playing for money? not a sport at all there…
    And for the rest of the paragraphs: How many times do you hear about ultimate frisbee people winning money or having big crowds and publicized? go to the website http://www.PDGA.com that stands for Professional Disc Golf Association, so yes, it is a sport, so don’t just write lies on here!!!!

  23. Kevin Irvin   March 15, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    You’ve got to be kidding. Disc golf is a sport that has been around since the 1970s. There is a Professional Disc Golf Association and professional athletes that get paid for competing. Most pros also have sponsers. Tournaments are held in the US, Canada, Europe, China, Taiwan, Japan etc. Athletes train very hard for strength, endurance (tourneys last a min. of 8 hours a day), flexibility etc.. I know people who can throw a golf disc over 600′. They didn’t accomplish that by sitting around eating bon bons. They train very hard.

    You obviously did not do any research for your article. Believe it or not, journalism requires a little bit of digging for the facts, just like professional disc golfers have to physically train for thier sport. You have insutlted a lot of people who can correctly state that you are not an athlete and know nothing about athletics.

  24. Rod Queen   March 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Sport is defined as “An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.” What part of this criteria does disc golf not meet? If you say that normal golf is a sport YOUR same criteria can be used to say that discgolf is also a sport. Do you need to run and be in top physical shape? No, but most of the top Discgolfers are in pretty good physical shape. So doing physical training that improves the muscles that are used in discgolf is a good idea. The mental focus is just as much needed. A mental error means a stroke lost just as in “normal” golf. Having played discgolf once and thinking it was a fun “activity” is what makes the SPORT such a great thing. There are many levels of interest at which people can play disc golf. From the recreational level to the top of the professional ranks. Just like the…

  25. Chris Benton   April 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Everyone is entitles to their opinion but to say that Disc Golf isn’t a sport, you have no idea. My wife and I have been playing for 5 weeks right now and I have now come to realize that I am going to have to start weight train in order to keep growing in my game.

    I have watching many people and if you are going to become a pro in this sport, you are going to have to practice 5-6 days a week and add endurance exercises plus weight training.

    Try getting in a field and throwing 5 disc 100 times once or twice a week then going and playing 1-2 rounds 4-5 times a week. This will start to affect your body as I have already learned.

    This is a very fun sport and yes almost anyone can play it but not everyone will do what it takes to become professional at it.

    Do your research and you’ll find out. Playing it once, you have no idea what your body takes on this.

  26. John g   August 1, 2012 at 8:21 am

    You clearly have never played or never seen great disc golfers play. I could understand your argument if you didn’t consider golf a sport, but you do. Do you know how much practice, training and muscle is required to throw a disc accurately over 300 ft?

    Try something before you hate on it.

  27. yeadude   November 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    LOL at these guys burl (cool story bro) and tom on the first page. LOL at all you disc golf kids defending your leisure time to get high. Sport? Never. Ultimate Frisbee is one, google that. LOL at your giant man purses full of discs. Get real, google Brodie Smith and learn how a man throws a frisbee. Get real you disc golfers

  28. Cheryl   March 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Dude, I’m almost 50, and I’m a girl… I will smoke you! I dare you to try and beat me in a round of disc golf! Play me a round, then tell me it’s not a sport when I kick your ass!

  29. disc golf lover   October 5, 2014 at 4:23 pm


    This is completely offensive to me. I have put in so much time and effort practicing disc golf, and I am not even close to pro. I am in high school, and often get made fun of for playing disc golf. I come home and go on the internet researching it to grow my game, and when I saw this, it completely ruined my day.

    I am not writing this for attention or for people to feel bad for me, but rather for you to respect the sport of disc golf and to research more before you go bagging on something like this.

    When you say disc golf is boring to watch, I’d like to say one thing to you. Go out and watch a tournament sometime, and you will be amazed. Those guys throw over 600 feet and putt like crazy. I bet you can’t even throw 300 feet, and you are calling them non-athletes. Those guys are honing their game right now while you are sitting at home on your computer blogging about…


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