If you’re enjoying your local park and see people walking by with backpacks slung over one shoulder, or hauling a little cart behind them, chances are you’ve got a frisbee golf course within reach. This sport has exploded in popularity in recent years; this has been especially true in Michigan with local parks adding these courses to give residents more recreational opportunities. We’ll walk you through why it’s so popular and tip you off to some of the best courses in Michigan.
Frisbee golf – also called disc golf – is a game that is a mash-up of frisbee throwing and golf. Players use a course that is laid out similarly to a golf course. Keeping score is the same, too. The goal is to throw a small disc from a tee pad area to a target, usually a chain basket. Players can walk the course alone, or play as a group. While it’s not a high-cardio sport, frisbee golf is a fun way to stay active and enjoy time outdoors.
According to UDisc, a popular app for disc golfers, there is a good reason this sport has caught on with such fervor in Michigan. The state is ranked as the third best in the United States for its frisbee golf courses, which number nearly 500. Of these, more than half are considered large courses with 18 or more holes. There are also nearly 200 frisbee golf leagues playing in Michigan. Cities with several disc golf courses include Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Marquette and Battle Creek, just to name a few.
Using players’ ratings on the app, UDisc compiled a Top 5 list of disc golf courses in Michigan. The rankings include some out-of-the-way spots you might not expect:
Flip City Disc Golf Park in Shelby
North Bluff in Gladstone
Renegade’s Trail in Delhi Township
Hunts Hideaway in Otisville
Meyer Broadway North in Three Rivers
Whether you’re new to frisbee golf or love the game enough to have an expanding collection of your favorite discs, it’s fun to find new places to play just a short drive from home, or even on your next vacation. We’re sharing a list of suggested courses, some of which are recommended by Pure Michigan, the travel arm of the state’s economic development group.
Riverside Park, Grand Rapids: This long urban park hugging the Grand River offers a course built primarily for distance throwers. There are some water hazards.
Whitehall Township disc course, north of Muskegon: This 27-hole course has some rolling terrain, some forested spots and is considered best for technical players.
Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Falls: Ever play disc golf down a mountain? This course invites players to take a chair lift to the top of the mountain, then play the holes on the way down. The resort has rental discs available.
Hickory Hills, Traverse City: This course is just minutes away from downtown Traverse City, yet it feels like you’re out in the country. It’s built into an area that has a ski hill, so get ready for some dramatic views of Grand Traverse Bay on hole #18.
Silver Creek Disc Golf Park, Harvey: If wooded areas are your favorite places to hone your disc skills, head to this spot. Challenging and technical are two of the words used to describe this course.
Tittabawassee Trails, Freeland: There are a few nice, long drives on this large course. It sits near the banks of the Tittabawassee River.
Detroit’s Palmer Park Course: This 18-hole course north of Highland Park is getting thumbs-up reviews. New signs and concrete pads are being added.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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