When going to disc golf courses, this author wonders why there are not more seniors throwing discs? How many seniors play golf once or twice a week but really can’t afford it? Isn’t it quite possible they don’t know of another alternative? Maybe they can have just as much excitement, exercise, and social interaction with disc golf. If they saved the money spent on country club memberships and greens fees, maybe they could take another vacation this year. This article will discuss why disc golf is that great alternative sport and a great value for seniors, particularly if one is on a fixed income. The exercise benefit also makes disc golf attractive, addressing about every need the body has, while a person is out there just having fun! This perspective is from not only from my personal experiences , which I hope will be multiplied in the future, but also from several credible sources.
Disc Golf- A Great Sport for Seniors
In the dawn of a summer morning, a colored disc, flying through the air on what seems a mini-airplane flight, soars from the thrower’s hand to its landing, close to the disc golf basket. A well thrown disc golf drive is very much like a well hit golf drive- feeling that sense of power, mastery, awe, and accomplishment. Starting from the toes, upward through the body, and out through the fingertips, one transfers their body weight from back to front. Releasing the disc and then watching it fly is nirvana! In these unique times, with more seniors living paycheck to paycheck than ever before, wellness and prevention is a high priority in health care management. Disc golf is the key to wellness for individuals 55 and over. Disc golf is a great sport for seniors because it’s inexpensive and great exercise.
What is Disc Golf?
According the Professional Disc Golf Association, “Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc, or Frisbee®. The sport was formalized in the 1970's, and shares with "ball golf" the object of completing each hole in the fewest number of strokes (throws). A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target which is the "hole". The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is called a Pole Hole® an elevated metal basket. As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive shot from the spot where the previous throw has landed. The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer. Finally, the "putt" lands in the basket and the hole is complete.”
Reasons for Greatness
I know people who have spent a great deal of their lives keeping their bodies relatively fit, but not finding that sport that fits them until later in life. They may not be a joiner or want to invest their hard earned dollars into a pricey sport like water-skiing or drag racing.
According to Steve Trauger of Kenton County Disc Golf Association. “Disc golf offers those borderline, “Haven’t-found-the-right-sport” or “don’t-really-care-for-traditional-sports” athletes a game at which they can develop skills at their own pace. Disc golf is a great sport because seniors don’t have to be concerned with the formality of tee off times and score cards. Disc golf courses are efficient with space. Mr. Trauger calculates, “One foursome can play one round of 18 tees in about two hours. That means 72 players can play at one time, and 288 can player eight hours in a space that averages about 1/10 the size of a regular golf course. Most courses are planned with obstacles like woodlots, open meadows, hills, valleys, ravines, and water. Today, many areas used for disc golf are grassy areas, not of suitable size for more traditional recreational sports, like baseball or soccer.”
Disc golf is a great sport when reminiscing about the flight of a perfectly thrown disc or the clink of the chains when the disc comes to rest in the inside of the basket. It’s learning about proper form from instructional videos, practicing, and finding it works!
Oh My Gosh, It’s Inexpensive!
Do you live on a fixed income? Did you lose your 401K due to the buffoonery of incompetent or immoral CEOs and politicians? Is there too much month for your monthly retirement income? You can start playing disc golf today with one $8 disc. How does that compare with the price of a full set of golf clubs? In disc golf, there are usually no greens fees, (if there are, they’re in the single digits) no golf cart to rent, and no astronomical clubhouse membership to pay for. There are also no fitness or athletic clubs to join. If you do want to practice form and accuracy, I recommend purchasing ten discs for about $100. Adding a shoulder bag for convenience and membership to the Professional Disc Golf Association for tournament invitations, would be about a $180 investment.
Disc golf provides upper and lower body conditioning, aerobic exercise, and promotes a combination of physical and mental abilities that allow very little risk of physical injury. Concentration skills increase by mastering shots and negotiating obstacles. According to www.healthstatus.com, a site dedicated to health risk assessment, “aside from the health advantages of navigating a challenging course, calories are burned every time a disc is thrown a 200-pound individual would burn about 552 calories while throwing a disc around for about two hours. The combination of throwing and walking equals about 920 calories burned during a two-hour round of disc golf.”
The good news is that players of limited fitness levels can start slowly and gradually increase their level of play as fitness improves. Jack LaLanne, considered by many to be the “Godfather of Fitness” is quoted as saying, “Test after test has been done all over the world to prove this. They have even taken people in their 90's and put them on a weight training program and doubled their strength and endurance. Just think what the younger people at 50, 60, 70 and 80 can do, if they can do that with 90 year olds. “ In this age, when health care costs need to come down, how about a disc golf course in every major park in America, with seniors leading the way?
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