Is Disc golf a Real Sport?

is disc golf a real sport

The Oxford English Dictionary has the following definition for the word, ‘sport’.

noun: sport

An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

Does that definition include disc golf? Let’s break down the definition to see if it covers disc golf.

An activity involving physical exertion

disc golf develope skill

Disc golf easily fits this aspect of the definition. Attempting to throw a disc a long way takes a lot of physical exertion. Even an approach shot or jump putt can use a lot of energy, if only for a moment. Disc golfers at a high level regularly train with weights in preparation for competition. Cardio exercises and stretching are necessary tools to ensure disc golf participants are performing at their peak level.

The push by top pros to maintain the upper levels of fitness will only increase as the sport grows and the number of people fighting for the top spots increases. That drive for fitness is also present in amateur divisions. Competitors in those divisions also want to be in good shape and avoid injury. With the exertion and repetition found in disc golf, keeping our bodies in shape is a great goal.

An Activity involving skill

disc golf involving skill

Anyone who plays disc golf can likely remember how they played when they first started out. Then, as we developed our skill and learned better form, we found ourselves throwing farther and making more putts. It is obvious to even non-players that it takes a lot of skill to compete at the highest levels of disc golf. It definitely fits that aspect of the definition.

An Activity in which an individual or team competes

disc golf team competes

Competition is such a huge part of disc golf. Most competition are individual, but we do have team competition as well. We have local, regional, national, and world champions. We have casual competitions and sanctioned, more ‘serious’ tournaments. Disc golf definitely meets the definition of a ‘sport’ based on its competitive side.

Entertaining activities

disc golf tournaments

Let’s not forget the last word in the above definition: ‘entertainment’. With the growth of disc golf, we’ve also see a huge growth in the number of spectators at big tournaments. As participants in the sport, we find spectating very entertaining.

As the number of people watching disc golf has increased, so has the salaries of the people that we are watching. There are now many elite athletes who make a good living solely playing disc golf.


While disc golf may appear to the unfamiliar as a fringe hobby, to its fans and participants, it is genuinely a sport that requires fitness and skill. And it definitely includes competition. The beauty of the sport is that it can be approached with as much seriousness as a person wants to have. To some, it is a casual activity. To others, it is a career.

No matter your level of involvement, one thing is clear: Disc golf is a REAL sport!


About Joshua Christensen

I am an ultimate frisbee player turned disc golfer. I have been playing disc golf for a few years now and have fallen in love with the sport and love to do what I can to further its growth!