About Disc (Frisbee) Golf


Forms of Frisbee golf had been played years before the birth of modern Frisbee golf. There are accounts of kids in the early 1920s throwing tin garbage lids at objects as a type of game1. Most certainly any object that can be thrown and sustain flight has been used at sometime for some sort of game invented by children and adults.

It wasn’t until the modern invention of the Frisbee in 1966 that Frisbee golf started to become an organized sport. The Frisbee was designed by Ed Fredrick while he was working for Wham-O Toys2. Even though Ed Fredrickson is considered the father of modern disc golf due to his advancement of the sport, it was played years before Ed’s involvement. In the early 1970s there was a group of citizens of Rochester, NY who were competitively playing Frisbee golf as an organized sport1. In 1972 the group held their Second Annual City of Rochester Disc Golf Championship. The following year, after learning that there was national interest, the group in Rochester extended their annual disc golf championship to become a national championship. The event was called the American Flying Disc Open (the AFDO)1.

It was during the AFDO in 1974 that Ed Fredrickson realized Frisbee golf’s potential and actively started getting involved. Believing that Frisbee golf would become a popular sport, “Steady” Ed, as he was known later, decided to leave Wham-O Toys and in 1976 he started his Disc Golf Association Company1. “Steady” Ed used his company to sell Frisbee golf discs and disc golf courses. It was Ed who invented the Disc Pole Hole (Frisbee golf basket) which helped formalize the sport2. Before the invention of the Disc Pole Hole, trees, garbage cans, poles, and all sorts of objects were used as targets. Ed was inspired to invent the Disc Pole Hole “so he and his buddies could get on with playing instead of arguing over whether or not someone actually had hit one of the objects in their make shift object courses.”2

Since the invention of the Disc Pole Hole, Frisbee golf has really taken off. It is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), which Ed founded in 1975, is now international and is continuing to grow faster than ever2. Frisbee golf is becoming just as respectable and professional as regular club and ball golf.



Sources

  1. Jim Palmeri, “The Origins of Disc Golf,” Professional Disc Golf Association, http://www.pdga.com/history.
  2. Disc Golf Association, “The History of Disc Golf,” http://www.discgolfassoc.com/discgolf-news-information-resources/discgolf-education/history-of-discgolf.html.