Health Benefits of Disc Golf

While many view disc golf as an game or pastime, you may not realize that there are a plethora of health benefits. Disc golf offers physical, social and mental health advantages. Disc golf can be a holistic approach to leading a healthier life. Here’s how:

Physical Health Benefits

One of the most tangible benefits of disc golf is the physical exercise you get by playing. A standard round requires walking several miles and, depending on the complexity of the course, hiking up and down hills. This helps in burning calories and toning muscles. Besides the walking, the repeated throwing actions can enhance upper body strength. Because you’re always motivated by getting to your next throw, it hardly seems like exercise at all.
Regular exercise, as we all know, is paramount for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week for adults. Disc golf is an enjoyable way to meet or even exceed this guideline. During the average 18 hole disc golf round of a player walks almost three miles. Disc golf is a great way to get exercise, without realizing you’re even exercising.
For me, it’s hard to motivate myself to go out to “exercise” but it’s easy to schedule time for a round of disc golf — something that I thoroughly enjoy.  On busy days, I schedule short 12 hole rounds of disc golf where I carry only one or two discs and run between holes.
The American Heart Association suggests that moderate-intensity activities, like playing disc golf, can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve blood circulation. Not to mention, it also aids in regulating weight, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, and strengthening bones and muscles.
There are many cases of players who have lost weight simply through the increased amount of walking they do at their local disc golf courses. Some disc golf players and fans have even promoted disc golf as part of their weight loss routine and motivation.
More and more testimonials and instructional blogs are emerging from those who have increased their physical activity to the point of weight loss and weight management through disc golf.
Any healthy activity that entices a new generation of players away from game consoles and television screens is a great thing.  With disc golf, players can enjoy spending more time outside, in local parks, interacting with other players, and reaping the benefits of increased physical activity.

Social Benefits

Players gathered for a players meeting before a disc golf tournamentDisc golf isn’t just about hurling a disc; it’s about the camaraderie and connections you build along the way. Playing disc golf makes it easy to find a community of like-minded individuals that have something in common. These aren’t just your playing buddies; they can become friends, confidants, and support systems.
The disc golf community is amazing and it’s easy to meet other disc golfers by playing in local leagues and tournaments.
Engaging in social interactions has been proven to enhance self-esteem and decrease feelings of depression. According to the Mayo Clinic, social support is associated with a significantly lower risk of many health issues, from simple colds to severe conditions.
Most of my best friends are because of disc golf. We meet, plan and take trips together to play disc golf rounds or to go to disc golf tournaments. Without disc golf, I would have a lot less close personal friends and would likely spend more time indoors, alone, and on screens.

Mental Benefits

Mountainous Disc Golf courseThe calm environment of a disc golf course, combined with the focus required for the game, makes it an effective stress reliever (if you do it the right way, for some it’s stressful, personally I don’t worry that much about the score). Immersing yourself in disc golf can act as a form of mindfulness, a known technique to reduce anxiety and improve mood.
I have a friend I met through disc golf who struggled with alcoholism. For him, disc golf was more than a sport—it was an anchor. The game became a coping mechanism, pulling him away from the clutches of the bottle and providing a healthier alternative to manage his time and emotions.
Most disc golf courses are located in parks or wooded areas, immerse players in nature. Numerous studies have shown that spending time outdoors can decrease levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and enhance overall well-being.
Playing disc golf amidst tranquil surroundings and breathtaking views instills a sense of peace and mindfulness in me. It offers a relaxed space where I can truly appreciate and find solace in life’s beauty. Sometimes, we all need a respite from our hectic lives to simply breathe and savor the beauty around us. Disc golf provides us with these cherished moments of tranquility.


Disc golf offers an incredible blend of physical, social, and mental benefits. While the competition and desire for improvement keeps players coming back, the myriad health advantages it provides should be another motivating factor. Whether you’re looking to enhance your physical health, forge lasting friendships, or find a mental refuge, disc golf might just be the answer. So, the next time someone invites you to play disc golf, remember: it’s more than just a sport—it’s a step towards a healthier, happier you.