What Is a Disc Golf Course – How to Build and Design

what is a disc golf course

Last updated on September 23rd, 2023 at 12:22 am

Last updated by Maredith Damasco

When I started playing disc golf, the first question I asked myself was, “What is a disc golf course and how does it differ from a regular golf course?”
As my experience grew with each passing day, I realized that designers created the disc golf course specifically for the sport. Although there are a lot of terminologies and similarities between the two, there are some major differences. The disc golf course has a shorter layout, chain metal baskets, different landscapes, and different challenges or obstacles to overcome.

Disc Golf courses are designed in so many ways. Most of the designers tend to depend on the natural resources and the local terrain in the area. This action will make the course unique in so many ways compared to other disc golf courses. But the most important thing is to build an enjoyable disc golf course that will offer players a unique challenge when playing a round.

How to Build a Disc Golf Course

Disc Golf is a sport that is growing globally rapidly, and the demand for building a new disc golf course is high. But building a new disc golf course will depend on a lot of factors. Please check below:

Location of the Disc Golf Course

The location is the land area where we will create the new disc golf course. The land must meet the specifications of the intended users and the type of usage the course will have. Usually, the type of disc golf course and the critical area are as follows:

  • Disc Golf Course for School: This type, of course, will need around 1 to 2 hectares of land and will be built with 3 to 6 holes
  • Disc Golf Course for Beginner/Amateur: Building a disc golf course for beginners having 9 to 12 holes will need around 2 to 5 hectares of land
  • Disc Golf Course for Beginner/Amateur: Building a disc golf course for beginners having 18 holes will require you to have 5 to 8 hectares of land
  • Professional Tournament Course: If you want to build a disc golf course for professional use and tournaments you’ll need 10 to 20 hectares of land, which will be made with 18 to 27 holes

Apart from the specifications above, consider some recommendations when choosing a disc golf course area:

  • The area should be easy to reach with cars and other modes of transportation. It should also have a parking space for the benefit of the players and spectators
  • It should be accessible to anyone. Those wet or rocky lands will be a significant problem in the future
  • The absence of other activities is ideal because you want to lessen the risk of hitting other people, particularly in parks. But many courses are built on parks, and the courses are still fun and people still enjoy the park
  • The elevation of the area and other topographic features must also be considered
  • The type of trees, the views, and the water features must also be carefully inspected

The Disc Golf Course Project Schedule

You should have a full schedule of the overall disc golf course project. The schedule includes the time of securing all the licenses and permits when doing the project. Securing a permit to use for a particular area will take an amount of time, including trees’ falling. It would be great if you allocate a full year to complete the project.

The most important thing is to have good planning, secured funding, and well-placed responsibilities to all the people involved in the project. If you can achieve that, you will probably open the disc golf course way ahead of the proposed schedule.

The Disc Golf Course Budget

A disc golf course comes in different shapes and sizes; depending on the dimensions, these factors usually determine the budget.

For example, constructing a beginner’s disc golf course near a school may cost a few thousand dollars, while an introductory nine-hole course requires more investment, and the cost increases for an 18-hole beginner course. Adding a parking area will also save a considerable amount of money if you plan to do so.

However, it’s worth noting that local governments in the area or other private businesses usually construct new disc golf courses. In countries where the sport is popular, you will see many local disc golf clubs and organizations sponsoring the construction of new disc golf courses to host local, national, and even international tournaments.

These courses usually attract many professional disc golfers throughout the year due to their well-made design.

How to Design a Disc Golf Course

how to build a disc golf course

A lot of disc golfers think that they can design a disc golf course with ease. It will probably be accurate, but most of the time, the locals’ opinions or advice matters in the course design. Meanwhile, a professional course designer should know how to maximize the area to ensure that the disc golf course will be safe for all players. The designer will ensure that the course is suitable for its intended target users.

Hiring a professional designer will help when it comes to minimizing the cost of the overall budget. It will be cost-effective financially, especially if you employ a popular and well-known disc golf course designer. Usually, top disc golf course designers attract top disc golf players, which means having a top-level designer’s course design will result in more disc golfer traffic.

General Disc Golf Course Tips

The most important thing is for the designer to know the intention of the course before installing it. Here are some tips that need consideration when installing a new disc golf course:

  • Safety should be the priority when it comes to designing a new disc golf course
  • The teepad of the next hole should be near the basket of the previous hole, although you should maintain some distance to prevent putting the players in danger
  • Please avoid overlapping fairways
  • All the trees and other obstacles should be used to create different types of shots
  • If there are areas that need to be protected, avoid lines that will hit the protected area
  • It is essential to locate and identify areas in the course that tend to erode. This action is essential if the course does not have a caretaker who can check on the possibility of soil erosion

While parks can serve as good candidates for disc golf courses, the top-rated disc golf courses that I know do not conflict with any other activities found in the park. They also have mature trees, lakes, and other water hazards to make it more challenging for disc golf players.

Top-level disc golf courses also have wide open spaces for long-range shots and attractive views similar to regular golf courses.

How Many Holes in Disc Golf

Many disc golf courses consist of 18 holes, while others have only nine holes. However, please note that a standard round of disc golf consists of 18 holes in a game. Meanwhile, there are so-called Par 3 courses with 9 to 18 holes, but 18 holes is the average and standard used in professional competitions.

There are a lot of beginner courses that come with only 3 to 6 holes. Schools and other beginner-type courses usually feature these courses. Other professional courses have more than 18 holes in the field. I have seen a course with 27 holes total.

How Many Disc Golf Courses in the US

As of February 2020, the latest tally of the number of disc golf courses in the United States of America is 6,652 based on the official PDGA website.

Before the pandemic hit the entire world, the number has increased dramatically, because of the rapid growth of disc golf.

Texas is the state with the most disc golf courses with 448, while Wisconsin (344) and California (321) round up the top three.


It is usual for inexperienced disc golfers to ask about a disc golf course and its difference from the regular golf course. Building a disc golf course poses a significant challenge, involving precise planning, scheduling, and securing funding. The most important thing is finding a piece of land that fits the requirements you need in making the course.

Securing the exact amount of money to fund the course is half the work of building it. Hiring a top-level disc golf designer will enhance the success of your new disc golf course. Be sure to follow the proper schedule and timeline to ensure the course opens on time.