Can you even play disc golf in the winter? This is a common question of disc golfers new to the sport or to certain geographical areas. The answer is, absolutely! Winter is a fantastic season for disc golf, and snow days are a great reason to get outside and play. Cold temperatures, wind, snow, ice, and extra layers of clothing introduce new and challenging elements into the game. There are even tournaments that only take place in winter months, such as Ice Bowls and winter series events. Here are some tips for playing disc golf in the winter, winter-specific disc and gear selection, and some helpful ideas to help you be prepared for more frigid conditions.
What are the best discs for playing disc golf in the winter? One thing to think about is that your reach back and arm speed will be restricted if you are bundled up, so lighter or less stable discs might be better options for this time of year. Our lighter-weight discs are filtered into a Lightweight category so you can spend less time searching and more time throwing.
When considering discs for winter, the main things to have in mind are grip, flexibility, and durability of the plastic (and maybe color, as white discs may be hard to spot in the snow). Grippier plastic types will be easier to hold onto in variable conditions, and plastic that is soft and pliable tends to be more reliable in the cold. New, fresh plastic also tends to fare better in winter and be less prone to cracking than old, worn, broken-in discs. In case you needed another excuse to buy new discs, winter is a great reason. You’re welcome.
Should I keep my discs warm? Keeping discs warm is not recommended, as snow may melt on the discs and refreeze, altering the flight mechanics and grippability of the discs. Some pros even claim to store their discs in vehicles or other outdoor storage overnight to acclimate them to the cold.
What are some other disc golf tips for winter?
The first order of business for playing disc golf in the winter is to plan to stay as warm and dry as possible, so you can spend more time on the course. Waterproof shoes or boots are a must for the snow, and socks made of warm, breathable fabric. You will likely be keeping score with your UDisc or other favorite scoring app, so electronics-sensitive or fingerless gloves or mittens may be preferable hand coverings. Hand warmers are great for pre-treating mittens and keeping in your pockets. Beanies are great head gear for winter. We like to keep a dry back-up beanie on-hand for inevitable snowball fights. We have found that facemasks are perfect for keeping our faces warm while playing disc golf in the winter! And finally, as you’ve heard a thousand times, layer!
Did you know that it can be more difficult to stay hydrated in the winter than in warmer months? Some people feel less thirsty in cold weather, and so may not remember to replenish fluids. We also sweat less, so may not realize how much moisture we are losing without sweat as an indicator. Make sure you have a high-quality insulated water bottle such as this double-walled vacuum insulated stainless steel water bottle made by Fifty/Fifty. Technically it could also be used to store warm liquids, such as soup or tea. The 64oz growler is a beast version of this high-quality vessel.
Know where bodies of water are located, and do not walk on ice. Telescoping disc retrievers can help you retrieve discs from hard-to-reach places, such as in or over ponds or other patches of ice, on branches, or in bushes.
Winter can be one of the most fun times of the year for disc golf. And once your friends catch on, things could really snowball!