Can You Play Disc Golf With A Regular Frisbee?
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
From time to time when I'm out playing on a disc golf course, I'll see people playing the course or throwing at some baskets with just a classic Frisbee.
When I see this, I in some sense
Just a little bit.
Not because I don't think that they're quote
"ruining the sport" or "doing it wrong"
But because I fear that playing with a Frisbee will ruin the experience for them a little bit, especially if it's their first or second time trying out disc golf.
Which is the last thing you would want when trying to grow the sport!
Not that you can't have fun playing with a Frisbee, but Frisbees just aren't necessarily designed for disc golf.
They're made to toss back and forth or possibly ultimate frisbee, but despite being similar to a putter, it's just not the same.
Now, it's worth noting that you can play disc golf with just a single disc, which we cover in THIS RECENT ARTICLE, we just don't recommend that one disc be a frisbee.
What's the difference between a disc and a frisbee?
Generally speaking, there are several key differences between a disc and frisbee.
For starters, a frisbee will sometimes be lighter than a disc and much more domed, with a deeper rim than a disc golf disc, even when compared to a putter. A frisbee will also carry a larger overall diameter than their more compact disc counterparts.
Perhaps the largest difference between a disc and a frisbee however is their flight characteristics.
As seen, a regular frisbee is much taller than any disc. Here you can see the red frisbee next to a putter, a mid-range, and a driver (from bottom to top)
Frisbees are also generally wider in diameter than a disc, as shown here compared to a mid-range disc, the Westside Warship
While frisbees can generally have some decent glide, and will "hold" the line they're thrown on, they're not going to be as wind resistant due to their lighter weight and larger surface area or as accurate due to the less predictable flight pattern.
In all, frisbees are made to be thrown but with less of a specific purpose or expectation.
Discs on the other hand are generally made to have a very specific flight pattern. For example, some will go right, some will go left, and some will go mostly straight. Of course this all depends on the disc and how well it is thrown, but they are designed individually and intended for a rather specific reason.
A draw back that discs have compared to frisbees is that at first, they are a bit more difficult to throw and throw well. This is due to them being more different than a frisbee than what people tend to expect.
Nonetheless, there is a reason why discs are designed for disc golf and frisbees are not.
So, can I play disc golf with a frisbee?
While I think you "can" play disc golf with a frisbee, I firmly believe that it will not be as enjoyable as it would be with literally just about any disc. Even a driver would be better.
This is due in part to all the reasons mentioned in the previous section.
In short, would you want to play soccer with a football? Would you want to play football with a soccer ball?
While in both scenarios you probably could, in both scenarios you also wouldn't enjoy the sport as much as if you were to have the appropriate ball and equipment.
If I don't have a disc? Which one should I buy?
As already mentioned, we highly recommend reading our article,
"Disc Golf With One Disc"
This is especially true if you're in a situation where you want to play disc golf but don't currently own a disc.
Disc golf is always going to be more enjoyable if you have a couple discs of different types (putter/mid-range/driver), like what's offered in a typical Starter Pack.
However, if you want to just start off with one, I would suggest grabbing either a putter or mid-range.
Reason being, they will be more familiar to you when compared to a frisbee in terms of how it feels in the hand, how easy you'll be able to throw it, and how it will fly compared to what you're used to. There will still be an adjustment, but this adjustment will be smoother with a slower and similarly shaped disc such as most putters.
Drivers are a lot of fun to throw when you get the proper technique down, but can also be very frustrating to throw well when starting out as a new player.
I myself started playing with an overstable driver, a Champion Boss, and let me tell you, it wasn't easy as every throw wanted to go way left.
So while you "can" play disc golf with a frisbee, it would be best to check out your local disc shop or favorite online retailer and pick up a real disc and...
Looking for a disc suggestion to get going? Here are 3 excellent discs that are perfect by themselves for beginners:
1. Discraft Buzzz
2. Dynamic Discs Deputy
3. Discraft Zone
You can also check out our guide on the Best Disc Golf Starter Packs by clicking HERE!
If you already play....
Furthermore, if you are a current disc golf player and you see someone playing with a frisbee, take them under your wing, donate a disc or two to them, point them in the right direction, and continue to
Grow the Sport!
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