I’ve often thought about how I would design a disc golf course and what it would look like. There are a lot of details and design aspects to consider when laying out a disc golf course for the first time.
In this article, I’ll explain what is common not only for distances between disc golf holes but also the distance and par for each hole in a disc golf course.
Here’s How Far Apart Disc Golf Baskets Are On a Disc Golf Course
The average recreational disc golf course will have a distance of 250 ft. or less for a par 3 hole. Most courses will have several par 4 holes and possibly a par 5 hole. A disc golf course can range from 3600 ft. up to 5000 ft. in overall length. Disc golf baskets should also be a reasonable distance away from the next teeing area.
In this article, I’ll explain the common layout and design for recreational disc golf courses as well as distances for par 3 and par 4 holes.
What Is a Normal Distance From Tee to Basket?
The distance between the teeing area and the target or basket will ultimately depend on the par of the hole.
The lower the par number the shorter the distance between the tee and the basket for a particular hole.
The PDGA does have some specific guidelines for course layout that specify what the shortest and longest distance should be for a par 3 hole.
A par 3 on a disc golf course will generally be the shortest holes on the course. On average, a par 3 hole will be no more than 250 feet.
No hole on any course will be shorter than 100 feet either. You’ll find that even on a beginner course, there are no holes that are going to be shorter than 100 feet from the tee to the basket.
It’s interesting to note, that there are no guidelines that restrict the length of a hole. If you’re designing a disc golf course, you could make a hole as long as you wanted.
Here are the average hole lengths for par 3 par 4 and par 5 holes for a beginner or recreational disc golf course:
|Hole Length by Par||Average Length in Feet||Average Length in Meters|
|Par 3 Hole||100 to 140+||30 to 42+|
|Par 4 Hole||325-375||100-114+|
|Par 5 Hole||475-550+||144-168+|
How Par is Determined for Each Hole in Disc Golf
Each hole on a disc golf course will have a par set. This is useful so all players can have a standard to compare their performance for each hole.
Par for each hole will increase as the distance from the tee to the basket increases or based on the difficulty of the hole.
Disc golf courses are designed according to an intended skill level, and the par for each hole will reflect the skill level intended to make par.
If an expert player might easily score par or better on a disc golf course below their skill level, but they might struggle to score par on a course at or above their skill level.
The distance of the hole is only one factor in determining par for a hole.
Here are other factors that can determine par for a hole:
- Hole length
- Heavy or light foliage
- Average score
- Water carry
- Expert opinion
For example, a hole with heavy foliage might be a par 4 but only be 350 feet in length.
The PDGA has a lengthy set of guidelines for setting par on a disc golf course according to skill level and these factors I’ve outlined above.
Total Disc Golf Course Walking Distance
Depending on the number of holes available on a disc golf course, the total distance will vary.
On average, an 18-hole par 54 beginner disc golf course will be no more than 4500 feet in overall length. A 9-hole beginner disc golf course will be half that amount at 2250 feet in length.
Course lengths will get longer for more advanced skill levels. This is because the length for each hole gets longer for courses designed for high-level amateurs and professional disc golf players.
The total distance for these courses can range anywhere from 4500-6000 feet to 10,000 total feet.
How a Disc Golf Course Should Be Layed Out
Almost every disc golf course will have very similar design elements that cater to a certain skill level player.
If you don’t have a disc golf course in your local area, you might have the opportunity to approach your local municipality about securing public land to add a disc golf course if there is enough interest.
If that’s the case, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind when laying out a disc golf course.
Overall space is important to designing a disc golf course. Space for fairways is a concern. Fairways can include doglegs, water carry, or wooded areas.
You’ll have to determine if there is enough space for a 9-hole or 18-hole course too. An experienced disc golf course designer can help with this too.
A disc golf course will have either 9-holes or 18-holes. But, this can depend on the space available. Although, if needed a course could include any number of holes. There are courses with 12, 24, or even 27 holes.
The total hole count should be divisible by 3 as a general guideline. 18 holes are required for tournament play.
Total Course Length
The total course length can depend on the skill level that it’s designed to cater to. Higher skill level courses can range from 6000 feet up to 10,000 feet and longer with par 4’s and par 5 holes.
A recreational and beginner course will typically range on average 4500 feet in total length.
Design and Layout
The best place for a disc golf course will be in a public park or large open space on private land.
The main thing to keep in mind when laying out a disc golf course is that the flow of the course is natural and fairways don’t cross or come too close to each other in the case of errant throws.
For a complete PDGA guideline on course design see these recommended course elements.
Summary | How Far Apart Are Disc Golf Baskets
If you’re thinking of designing your disc golf course or just wanting to know how far you’re going to have to walk when playing disc golf, you’re going to need to know some common hole lengths and course layouts.
The distance from a basket, to the tee of the next hole, depends on the course, but usually is not a far distance. The course distance and layout will depend on the skill level the course was designed to.