One of the most enjoyable parts of playing disc golf is getting the disc into the basket and scoring the way you want to. But to do that consistently, you must improve your ability and overall skills through spending time on the course and practicing on the field regularly. You can also practice at home by buying or building your own disc golf basket and using it to improve your form and overall skills.
But how do you make your own disc golf basket? What are the materials you need to do-it-yourself disc golf basket right in the comforts of your home? These two questions and other queries on building a disc golf basket will be answered in this article. We will provide information to make disc golfers equipped with the proper knowledge to create a disc golf basket the right way.
How to Make a Portable Disc Golf Basket
There are three main parts to every disc golf basket. The first one is the pole and the main basket, while the second part is the chain. The last part is the frame and the lower basket. Each of these parts have different dimensions that you need to follow to fit the standard measurement of the PDGA.
Disc Golf Basket Dimensions
For a basic disc golf basket, the rim must be around 21 ⅓ inches wide, and the chain must not be lower than the 22 inches below the rim. The lower basket should be 25.7 inches wide with a height of 6.7 inches. Also, a basic disc golf basket will have less the 18 chains installed.
For the standard disc golf basket, the measurement and dimension are are the same as a basic one but contains more than 18 chains. This disc golf basket also uses durable materials in its foundation.
Meanwhile, the champion level basket that is used by top-tier tournaments and approved by the PDGA. They have similar measurements and dimensions as the inferior type but use high-quality materials.
How long are the chains on a disc golf basket? As per the PDGA, the minimum chain length is 9 inches. Where you are making a DIY type, you can have the option of putting as many or little chains as you would like. For PDGA approved baskets, the minimum number is 12 pcs. But I have seen as high as 24 chains for a disc golf basket.
The governing body has not set any standard for its size and thickness of the chain, but the choice is up to you. Always remember that the quality of the chain will impact your experience during gameplay. If you stray too far from what is typical it may change your putting and affect your strokes in tournament play.
As per the PDGA, a disc golf basket should be 52 inches above the ground, and the distance from the floor towards the lower basket is 25.7 inches. Although, during competition, tournament rules may change depending on the preference of the organizers. The tournament director can also add obstacles along the course if desired.
The upper ring for the chains is 21.3 inches wide, while the lower basket must be at 25.7 inches. However, there are many varieties and sizes for the width, especially with the DIY type.
The PDGA does not have a standard weight for the disc golf basket but advises that the basket should weigh from 18 to 25 kilos. This action is to ensure that the foundation is stable when installed on the course.
How to Make your Own Disc Golf Basket
When making a DIY disc golf basket, you need the following materials and tools:
- 8 Round steel bar (basket and chain ring supports)
- 4 Flat steel (band for chain ring and basket)
- Conduit Bender
- 1 Metal conduit (feet)
- 1 Enamel black fence post (center post)
- Coil chain (chains for basket)
- 2 Duct clamps
- 1 Hose clamp
- Allied tube and conduit (feet)
- 1 Post cap
- 1 Net or paracord to make a net
This is the list of materials that I had used to make my basket. I’m not sharing my exact measurements so that you can chose what those are, also I didn’t make it according to the sanctioned baskets.
Step 1: Center Post Cutting and Assembly
The exact measurements for the center post will all depend on your preference. You can follow the dimensions that I’ve mentioned earlier in this article as your basis for the height of the center post. Once you already have the measurements, cut the round steel bar (supports for basket & chain ring), flat steel (outer band for basket and chain ring), and the fence post accordingly (center post).
Step 2: Disc Golf Basket Legs Assembly and Bending
For the disc golf basket legs, the metal conduit will be cut into 4 pieces and bent using the conduit bender into 90 degrees angle. The 4 pieces of metal conduit must fit into the bottom of the fence post once cut and bent. It will not be welded because it will allow them to rotate and adjust quickly once installed in an uneven disc golf course.
Step 3: Welding the Baskets
The goal is composed of a lower basket and a chain ring which will be attached to the center post. Each of the two rings will have the round steel bar and the flat steel as the primary materials. The rounded steel bar will be bent and turn into an “S” shaped and will be used as the foundation of the structure of the top ring and the lower basket. The flat steel bar will serve as the halo ring and will be welded to the bent ¼ inches steel rod.
Using a MapPro Torch, the rods will be heated in some areas to make them soft and eventually bendable over as planned. I made 2 bends of 90 degrees in line with each other. Meaning that I can lay the bar flat on the ground still. One side of the “S” steel rod will be installed on the center post, while the other side will be welded with the halo ring.
Step 4: Attaching the Chains
The chain’s length will be your decision to make, but to cut it, you can use an angle grinder, hacksaw, or a dremel tool, depending on your preference. The primary purpose of the chain is to stop the disc golf discs when they hit the goal while dropping it into the lower basket.
Make many holes on the halo ring of the upper ring, then attach the chains using the snap links. Meanwhile, the other end of the chain will be put together at the center of the post using a 5 inch hose clamp. This process aimed to make the goal appear like the real one found in the market. Meaning, it should easily catch the disc, similar to how a commercial basket catches the disc upon reaching the basket.
Step 5: Adding the Net to the Lower Basket
You may have noticed that I did not make a complete cage in the lower basket, which means I need to put a net below to catch the disc and keep it from falling into the ground. Of course, you have the option to weld and form a metal grate, but that will use more time and material. The easiest way is to use a small cargo net to do the job.
The advantage of using the small cargo net is it is easy to install, and it’s a lot cheaper instead of using additional metal rods. You can cut out the middle of the cargo net into the center post and adjust it until you find the perfect fit for the lower basket. If there is excess in the net, you can cut it off then use zip ties to hold the net beneath the lower basket.
Step 6: Test it Outside
After the assembly process, the next thing is to test the finished product outside. You should note different factors that might affect your throws, such as the stability of the basket and its ability to catch the disc. Once you notice what things that need improvement, then you can adjust accordingly. If you feel that the legs are not providing a good foundation, you can always detach and adapt to their bending angle.
If you feel that it’s a little bit flimsy, you can constantly adjust and weld some more. But based on my personal experience, the DIY disc golf basket is sturdy enough to catch the disc with ease and does not move around a lot. But the most remarkable thing about this basket is that the legs can adjust and bend on the type of ground you’re on. You can quickly adapt and find the stability that you need.
Learning how to build a disc gold basket is a fun skill to have as a disc golfer. The best thing about making your own is that you will have the satisfaction of building something yourself.
You can also practice your putting form and throws right at the comfort of your home if you can build one in your backyard. Always remember that constant practice with your form or any other skills in the sport will come a long way in bringing your disc golf game to the next level.