The Cost of Disc Golf
Disc Golf is often praised as a low cost sport- all you have to do is buy some discs and you’re good to go! Most disc golf courses are free to play, where as in “Ball” Golf you have to pay per round, and often for a cart as well. However, Disc Golf isn’t always “free” for a lot of players. We wanted to take a look and see how much people spend on Disc Golf outside of disc purchases. Once you’ve purchased your first set, what is the game going to cost?
Most additional costs will come from joining and playing in a weekly league. Some people will play skins, or other money related games with their friends while they play. Pay to Play courses are slowly gaining popularity as well- and what will that cost per round? Let’s look at some stats on Disc Golf related costs.
First we’ll look at how much people spend on joining a league.
Right away we see that the highest bar on the graph is the $0 response. While I haven’t been in a “free to join” league myself, I could see how that might be an easy going and fun approach. However, I can see club funds being low or even nonexistent. The local club near Infinite Discs costs $10 to join, and that gets you a Bag Tag which adds some (usually) friendly competition to the league rounds. It also allows you to play for a CTP prize each week, which is paid for from the Club Funds.
The next highest response was the $16-$20 answer, with most other clubs just above or below that price range. These fees are usually once per year, which makes them very affordable. If you’re not part of a league, it is a fun experience to have! The costs do go up, though. Let’s take a look on weekly club costs.
How much do people spend at league on a weekly basis?
Most people pay between $4-$6 a week to play with their club. At our local club, the cost is $5 with an optional Ace Pot and an optional Cash CTP. This makes the cost $7 a week if you’re all in. Of course, if you play well you can win some of this money back, if not more. To some, this may be affordable and fun, to others, they may prefer to play with their buddies for free.
Pay to Play courses are popping up more around the country as well. These courses are usually well groomed, quality 18 hole courses (often built on ball golf courses) that you pay a small fee to play each time. In the survey we asked, “What is the most you are willing to pay to play a round of 18 holes at a quality disc golf course?” Here are the results:
While some people said that they wouldn’t pay to play disc golf, the overall response was positive towards paying to play. $4-5 and $9-10 peaked together, with the other price ranges getting a good amount of votes as well. Based on this data, we can predict that pay to play courses may continue to become more popular. People are willing to pay to have a good experience on the course!
Other costs to Disc Golf include becoming a PDGA member for $50/year, as well as the costs of registering to play in tournaments. These costs allow the player to be more competitive by obtaining a PDGA number and rating, and competing against others to raise their rating.
In summary, we see that there are costs associated with Disc Golf aside from the purchasing of discs. However, they aren’t required costs, and that is what makes the sport so appealing to such a variety of people. You have the option to grab some discs and play for free on your local course as often as you want. For those that are wanting to get deeper into the game and culture, there are loads of options available to pay a little extra and play more competitively. Altogether, Disc Golf can put a dent in your pocketbook, but compared to many other “mainstream” sports, the cost is still relatively low.
Great article. Informative and right on target. Thank you, Dylan Durrant.
Plastic Disc $15, Cheap Shoes $10, Gas in the car $12, Beer in the belly $7, a day out disc golfing with your buddies, priceless!! It is everywhere you want to be.
According to recent PDGA survey Montana has the worst access to courses. A state with more land per person than any other. Most courses are on public land many in secret locations to fight vandalism and possible loss of course. Some events are held in secret to avoid harassment by law enforcement even though Law Enforcement Academy has a basket course. Montana has open container laws so a beer on course is illegal. Still cheap entertainment.
Now I want to see what the average disc golfer spends on discs. Some buy only one or two discs a year, when they used their discs. Other disc golfers literally spend thousands on new discs and disc equipment.
I’d like to see what the average disc golfer spends on a date. 🙂
Let’s find out Kristen :))
How about tournament costs, gas to and from, and lodging during a tournament? For instance, last year I played in 5 of the 8 Sierra Tahoe Series tournaments. The cost breakdown: 1500 miles of gas = $290, I camped rather then staying in hotels, 2 nights per tournament, avg campground cost per night was $25 = $250, approximately $60 entry per tournament = $300. So in total, about $850, or $170 per tournament (not including meals, extra discs bought or wear and tear on the truck). If I chose to stay in hotels rather then campgrounds, the cost would be closer to $1600 total or $320 per tournament.
Thrilled to see such positive response to the idea of people paying to play. I own TinLid Disc Golf Course in Canada and have just started charging for rounds and memberships. Users are most satisfied with having a facility that has disc golf as it’s top priority. No picnics or dog walkers. All disc golf all the time. I have set my ‘day pass’ rate in the middle of the chart at $10, that is Canadian though.
I think if you were a good level amateur in any sport you would be paying all these costs and more – let’s say a marathon runner who does 4 a year! Low kit cost, high practice/training, club and competition fees etc. So still see any Disc Sport as relatively cheap and accessible (no bike, boat or planes to source). The question that interests me is, given the low costs, why is Disc Golf still a majority white, middle class sport? And as that is the case why does anyone complain about the costs. All down to choice – your choice.
Disc golf, for the most part, is the cheapest sport you can play. However, one can choose to go all in a spend a fortune. After less than 2 years in the sport, I’ve spent $100’s on discs, bags, shoes, gas, tourneys, etc. My advice would be to start with a half dozen discs, a bag and lots of homework. The $50/yr for PDGA is a bargain. They provide you with a disc and emails/magazines with loads of info. Not to mention discounts on tournament fees! Finally, after practising and homework, used discs are the way to go, unless you’re playing tournaments with players packs and/or vouchers.