Similar to golf, disc golf uses the same scoring systems and objectives, except players throw discs into baskets. Disc golf has been around since the 1970s and unlike traditional golf, courses are generally free and one can play anytime. Disc golf was designed for all ages, to be a healthy form of exercise with very little risk of physical injury.
Where did disc golf come from?
Disc golf may have been around, in a sense, since the early 1900s, but the first recorded instance of play was in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1926. Then, it was called “Tin Lid Golf.” Disc golf as it is known today started in the early 1960s. Five years later, Kevin Donnelly organized the first disc golf tournament.
It is widely recognized that “Steady” Ed Headrick was the official “Father of Disc Golf” because he invented the first disc (Wham-O Pro Classic Frisbee) and the baskets used today in the sport.
Headrick created the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), The Disc Golf Association (DGA) and the Recreational Disc Golf Association (RDGA) to cover all players as they honed their skills on the course.
In 1979, disc golf shot to the center of the spotlight when Headrick put on Wham-O’s $50,000 Disc Golf Tournament. 72 qualifying events would place the best players into the tourney, battling for the ultimate prize. A player by the name of Tom Kennedy went on to win the prize money. In 2013, Kennedy auctioned off a bunch of items from that game for charity.
Clapp Memorial Championship Disc Golf Course
4611 E Harry St
Clapp Memorial DGC is a former golf course that was converted in 2019 and is mostly flat and wooded with 18 baskets. Total distance is 9,502 feet and is a par 61.
1601 W. 51st. Ste. North
Camp Hiawatha in far northwest Wichita provides a mostly flat and wooded area for disc golfers to practice their long shots. There are two sets of tees and 10 holes, and the 2,821-ft. course has a beginning par of 23.
1355 N. Oak Park Drive.
There are a number of local and nearby courses to play disc golf. One of the most popular is Oak Park, which sits along the Arkansas River. This course is 5,322 feet long and begins at par 58.
101 E. Pawnee
This championship-quality course is also located by the Arkansas River. It runs 6,063 feet and starts at a par 54. Herman Hill Park is wooded and creates a challenging course for even the most skilled players.
Cessna West Park
5701 E. Kincaid
This park was donated by Cessna Aircraft Company in 1960 and recently added a disc golf course. As one of the newest in Wichita, it has 18 holes and brings a new variety of obstacles to those who love the game.
McConnell Air Force Base Disc Golf Course
2800 S. Rock Road
For those stationed in Wichita or have a valid military ID, McConnell has created a 9-hole disc golf course. It is part of Krueger’s Recreation Area and requires an admission with a disc rental included.
Stone Creek Park, Derby
S Woodlawn Blvd & E 63rd St S
Take a short drive directly south of Wichita to Derby’s Stone Creek Park. The challenging 18-hole course sits in a wooded area with a small brook running through the middle of it. The 5,000-ft. course has a par of 59.
Eastminster Church Disc Golf Course
1958 N. Webb Road.
This smaller 18-hole course is 4,528 feet long and has a par of 54. The course wraps around a local church, and is great for people looking to work on mid-range and approach shots.
HOPE Community Church
1831 E. 21st St.
Nestled just east of Wichita, HOPE Community Church’s 9-hole course wraps around the building. It has a few hills, but is mostly open without the obstacle of many trees. HOPE Community Church’s course is 3,528 feet long with a par of 27.