The idea of disc golf all began in 1975, when the Disc Golf Association (DGA) shared its product with Frisbee owners. Started by Ed Headrick and his son, Ken, the two started by throwing a Frisbee at objects like signs, trees, and trash cans. Then, they developed the first Disc Pole Hole that had 10 chains hanging over a basket.
The first edition of this product was not without its flaws, but it set the stage for what disc golf could look like in the future. It was a major breakthrough for the company, and the sport has only continued to grow in popularity through the years.
In 2017, the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) reported that 41,067 individuals obtained a membership during the calendar year. This was a 15% increase from the year before, and it begs the question: how fast will disc golf grow in the next decade?
If current trends continue, the PDGA will reach a membership of over 100,000 people by 2023.
No matter if you are novice or skill disc golf player, it is important to understand disc golf basketball specifications. With more and more courses popping near you, it is essential to know if what you are playing on is up to code. Whether you play at a school, university, recreational facility, or some other establishment, you should be playing using universal standards for disc golf.
Additionally, if you are looking to install your own disc golf basket(s), there is more to it than meets the eye. Who knows? You may even gain a better understanding of the sport during the process.
The 10 Disc Golf Basket Particulars
The DGA is one of the headlining brands for disc golf baskets around the world today. The PDGA actually has approved their 4 baskets for two levels of competition (e.g. standard tournament play and champion level tournament play). Of course, there are varying warranties and product materials connected with each basket, but there are a lot of consistencies, too, that all disc golf baskets have.
When it comes to the disc golf basket, or the “pin,” there are 10 components that you should know inside and out.
Let us start with the pole.
At 66 inches tall, this galvanized pipe is drilled to connect other pieces to the basket structure. There are other poles the include a chain assembly. The holes at the bottom of the pipe are for the locking collar, while the middle holes are for the basket assembly itself.
Another important component is the chain assembly.
This piece has 12 chains and links, with 6 inner chains and protectors. All of the chains have an “S” hook that allow the chains to move freely, when a disc hits it.
The trapper basket is an important piece to keep the disc from hitting the ground, after the disc has hit the chain assembly.
This steel rod, 3/8 inches in diameter, is also made of galvanized steel. Attached by bolts, hex head nuts, lock washers, hex screws, and locknuts, the basket will not become loose due to vibration from use, like with some traditional screws. With the trapper basket, it needs to be placed half way between the chain and the ground the pole is level on.
Having a locking collar keeps the entire basket component sturdy and fastened in place. This welded, galvanized metal uses screws, nuts, and washers for security purposes.
To assemble the locking collar, there is a sliding mechanism, which locks in place at the bottom of the pipe. These holes should be aligned with the other set of holes from the pole, and then the screws can be inserted from there. Remember that to lock keeps the pole in place by pointing it straight towards the tee itself.
Three other components include the anchor, concrete, river rock and gravel.
An anchor is not a massive piece of metal, like aboard a ship; however, it does manage to be just a helpful as a boat needing to stay in play. The anchor needs to be placed in the ground that is dug 2 and a ½ feet underground, or below grade.
A posthole digger, or a mechanical auger (1-2 person) will really make the job a whole lot easier than a traditional shovel. Underneath the anchor, there needs to be a layer of gravel at the bottom, a river rock just above the gravel, yet just below the anchor, and gravel filling in the rest of the hole around the anchor.
This way, your disc golf basket will hold true against any type of weather or strain that comes its way. With any concrete, make sure to follow instructions precisely.
When the mixing and pouring has been completely, wait to use the disc golf basket for 7 full days. This is when the concrete solution will be completely dry and rock solid. This could make for some trouble down the road, or immediately, as the basket starts to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
To finish, get a valve cover box to cover up the anchor and the concrete hole. This will essentially hide everything from view, and be easy access if removing the disc golf basket is needed in the future.
The Last Basket
No matter if you play across the United States of America, Canada, Europe, or somewhere else across the world, be confident in the way you play disc golf. Whether you play on a 9, 18, 21, 24, or 27 hole disc golf course, or a mobile or permanent course, the game of disc golf is new and surprising each and every time.
As you continue to play, take pride in the fact that you know how a basket is put together, too. There may be a time you need or will want to install one yourself. So, go out there and have the time of your life, as you become more acquainted with the sport that is disc golf.