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In today’s age of social media and technology, it’s harder than ever to get kids up and moving. One tried and true method of keeping kids active and mentally engaged is sports!
Some sports, like football or basketball or soccer, can be dangerous for kids since they’re contact sports. These sports risk injuries like concussions and broken bones.
A safer and fun alternative to contact sports is disc golf. In today’s post we’re looking at what disc golf is, why it’s a great activity for your children, and how to get started by finding the best disc golf discs for kids and juniors.
What is disc golf?
Disc golf is a low intensity sport similar to classic golf. Instead of a golf ball you use a concave, aerodynamic disc, and instead of a club you use your entire body!
The objective is to get the disc in the metal basket with as few attempts as possible.
Disc golf can be difficult, as any sport can be. But ultimately, it is still an appropriate and fun activity for kids. In fact, there are multiple local, regional, and national disc golf competitions for kids!
The organization Kids Disc Golf was founded to help support juniors who show great potential to become championship disc golf players, off useful information on youth disc golf discs, and even sponsors some kids to compete in competitions.
How to get your kid started in disc golf
Some parents of disc golfers recommend getting your kids started as soon as possible by buying them toy discs so they can familiarize themselves as early as possible.
They speculate that the sooner you do this, the sooner your child starts to understand how the flight of the discs work.
If your child is older and has only just started showing interest in disc golf, don’t worry, it’s not too late!
One of the best ways you can help your child learn the rules of the game is by playing along with them. Let them find the basket, watch you throw your disc, then let them throw theirs.
If you either do not have the time or have no interest in learning the game, try getting them some lessons with a local instructor. Disc golf requires a lot of technique–some of which comes with practice, but some has to be taught.
You can also help them learn by letting them watch videos of professional disc golfers. They’ll be able to watch the players’ movements, angles, and strategies.
Finally, unless your child enters into competitions or gets older and starts playing competitive disc golf, their version of disc golf is going to be all about fun.
They don’t have to have a complex terrain filled with sabotaging obstacles–rather, all they need is a simple basket in their backyard.
Setting up a basket in your yard and purchasing some kids disc golf discs will help your junior learn how to throw and manipulate the disc into the basket.
They can even make fun games out of it like the classic game of H-O-R-S-E. Allowing them to use their imagination and learn at their own pace is an important part of introducing them to disc golf.
What to look for in good disc golf discs for kids
One of the most important parts of disc golf for kids is the type of disc you purchase.
For toddlers and small children kindergarten-aged, finding some practice discs is quite easy. For bigger kids, usually elementary and middle school-aged, it’s a bit harder.
Professional adult players typically play with heavier discs because the weight of the disc plus the adult’s power into the drive create an aerodynamically sound throw.
Kids typically cannot get as much power behind their throws, which is why it’s better for them to learn the game and technique using a smaller, lighter disc.
Disc golf discs require a lot of power and force to spin a lot so they can fly long distances. Since this isn’t easy for kids, the best way to help mitigate this issue is to purchase a lighter disc with narrower rims.
Wide rimmed discs with a large diameter are the hardest to spin, and therefore only appropriate for adults.
The key features when it comes to junior disc golf discs are finding discs with narrower rims and a smaller diameter, because, due to the law of inertia, these are the easiest to spin.
Additionally, increased weight with decreased power creates a slower, heavier throw. Since your kid won’t be able to put a lot of power into their throw, you can compromise by finding a lighter-weight disc.
As they continue to grow up and get better at the technique of the game, it will be fine to eventually purchase a heavier adult disc. But for now, stick to ones that are specifically manufactured with kids in mind.
The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) has manufacturing regulations in place so that all disc golf disc makers have to abide by certain measurements.
According to the PDGA, all professional discs have to be a minimum of 21 centimeters in diameter and 130 grams in weight.
The PDGA has no instituted a minimum regulation for the size of the rim, although the maximum size a rim can be is 2.5 centimeters.
Therefore, for older kids elementary to middle school-aged, it makes the most sense to look for discs that fit the most minimum requirements instituted by the PDGA.
Best disc golf discs for kids and juniors
There are a range of disc options that can work well for younger players. We highlight several options below according to your child’s age-based needs.
Best disc golf discs for toddlers and kindergarteners
Wham-O MINI Frisbee Golf Set
The discs in this set are perfect for smaller children. You can start letting your toddler play with them so they can become familiar with the discs right from the start.
This set is appropriate for your kid starting at preschool and kindergarten ages. In some instances, it might be appropriate for elementary school-aged kids.
However, for most kids in elementary school and definitely into middle school, this set is far too small.
This set includes a disc golf basket as well as 6 mini disc golf discs. The discs come in multiple bright, engaging colors like red and purple and yellow.
The discs are about half the size of actual disc golf discs, and made of quite light and soft plastic. The basket stands about 4 feet tall.
View at Amazon to learn more about how these discs may work for use with children.
- Small enough for toddlers and kindergarteners
- Safe enough to be used either indoors or outdoors
- Mini discs made of soft plastic
- Bright, fun colors
- Includes a disc golf basket
- Likely too small for most elementary schoolers
- Basket is somewhat flimsy
Best disc golf disc for elementary and middle school kids
Innova DX Roc
The INNOVA Dx Roc is the best choice for elementary and middle-school kids. It has a diameter of 21 centimeters, a rim width of 1.2 centimeters, and a weight of about 165 grams (sometimes slightly more).
One of the only downers about the disc is that there’s only 1 in the set, not multiple.
However, since your elementary schoolers aren’t going to be competing in championships or throwing complicated throws, one disc will suit them just fine to practice with and learn technique.
This disc can multi-function as a driver, mid-range, or putter. Again, when your child is young enough for this disc, they won’t need a multitude of discs for highly strategized, fine-tuned throws.
There isn’t a way to pick the color of the disc you get, so if that’s something that’s important to your child, this may not be the best choice.
However, from the viewpoint of practicality for your kid’s size, this disc is one of the best options out there on the market.
View at Amazon if you would like more information on how this product may work for your child’s age-based needs.
- Appropriate size and weight for elementary and middle-school kids
- Works well for a multitude of needs, from driving to putting
- Durable plastic material
- Only comes in a set of 1
- Cannot choose the color you get
Best disc golf discs for juniors
INNOVA Dx Disc Golf Set 3 (DX Stacked Set)
These discs are a perfect choice for your bigger kids, from late middle school to high school.
This set contains three discs: a driver, a mid-range, and a putter. They are approximately 21.59 centimeters in diameter and weigh around 180 grams, making them slightly heavier.
If your child is middle or high-school aged but still struggles to throw this, it’s perfectly fine to get them started on the INNOVA Dx Roc mentioned previously.
However, keep in mind it takes a lot of initial practice to figure out how to use and throw the discs.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this product could work for older youth.
- Comes in a set of 3 to help develop your kid’s technique
- Bright colors
- Appropriate for bigger kids from middle school to high school
- On the slightly heavier side for kids
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @RomanPashkovsky