Disc Golf is a popular sport with current membership close to 80,000 international members, events, tours, leagues, and world championships, and the Professional Disc Golf Association is celebrating 40 years. The first tournament was held in 1969 in Pasadena, California, USA, the first international competition was held in 1975 also in the USA.
The unofficial history for Disc Golf dates back to the mid 1920s in Saskatchewan, Canada when a group of children used flat tin objects and designed a course in their school playground, the children grew up, grew apart and abandoned the game. Disc golf, once again gained appeal in the early 1960s starting with tournaments from Texas to Georgia. In 1965 George Sappenfield, a summer recreation counsellor set up the playground with a golf frisbee course and three years later as a Parks and Recreation Supervisor he continued to expand the courses and the innovated golf game continued to garner enthusiasm and fascination.
The specific model used in the current game was devised by “Steady Ed” Headrick, considered “The Father of Disc Golf” as he designed both the Frisbee used and patented the target hole, the game itself is similar to standard golf, in that it is played with 9 or 18 holes, there is a tee and there is a par with each hole, the target is comprised of a metal basket with chains spiked into the ground with a pole, this was designed to eliminate any argument regarding an accurate scoring. One advantage over standard golf is the low fee and opportunity to set up a course at almost any park.
Hedrick also founded Recreational Disc Golf Association (RDGA), Disc Golf Association (DGA), the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), as well as reviewing the regulations and equipment for standardization. Today Disc Golf is enjoyed internationally in over 30 countries with over 500 tour events in Europe, and continues to grow in popularity.