Exploring Disc Golf in the Northwest Region: A Comprehensive Guide

by Chad Hultz

Disc golf, a sport that perfectly blends precision and scenic allure, has seen a meteoric rise from its modest inception in the early 1960s to become a celebrated outdoor pursuit, especially in the Northwest. While nearly 200 disc golf courses grace Oregon alone, enthusiasts often seek out the top disc golf courses California has to offer, adding to the sport's allure. This game invites players of every skill level to enjoy the great outdoors with just a disc in hand and an adventurous spirit, fostering a welcoming community for novices and experts alike.

Venturing into the Northwest's disc golf realm, we uncover premier courses that offer not only a test of skill but also awe-inspiring vistas. This guide delves into the essentials, from the gear tucked in every disc golfer's bag to the vibrant disc golf club events and communities, providing a beginner's overview and a veteran's detailed map. Equip your disc golf discs and dive into the diverse landscape of Northwest disc golf courses.

Top Disc Golf Courses in the Northwest

The Northwest region stands out as a paradise for disc golf aficionados, presenting a wide array of courses tailored to accommodate players across the spectrum of expertise. Here's a curated list of top-tier courses to add to your itinerary:

Washington's Gems:

Lucky Mud - With a stellar 4.8 rating based on 391 reviews, this disc golf course is a top destination renowned for its demanding design and picturesque surroundings.

Kayak Point DGR – Red This course is another fan favorite, boasting a 4.8 rating from an impressive 2,161 reviews, and features a variety of technical and expansive holes to challenge your skills.

Oregon's Pride:

The state is home to approximately 74 PDGA-approved courses, with Orchard Disc Golf Park and Hagg Lake Disc Golf Course standing out for their unique challenges and picturesque landscapes.

Idaho's Hidden Treasures:

Freeman Park and Bogus Basin Other courses worth mentioning provide enthusiasts with an assortment of elevation shifts and natural barriers to master.

These exemplary courses capture the essence of the disc golf experience in the Northwest, blending competitive gameplay with the chance to revel in the area's stunning natural vistas. No matter your skill level, from seasoned professional to eager novice, the Northwest offers a course to match your disc golf ambitions.

Disc Golf Events to Watch Out For

The disc golf scene in the Northwest is teeming with life, featuring a plethora of local league events and tournaments that welcome players from novices to seasoned pros. Keep your eyes peeled for some standout local league disc golf happenings in the area:

Stumptown Disc Golf Tournaments:

Beaver State Fling

Chick Flick

Rose City Open

Oregon Disc Golf Championships

Stumptown Slosh Winter Series

Disc Golf Resort Tournaments:

Deaf West Open

Gold Rush Doubles

Ruby Run


Rage Against The Cage

These tournaments present an excellent chance for community bonding and the growth of players' skills. For details on forthcoming gatherings, check the WSDGA Calendar.

Local Leagues and Fun Competitions

Birdie Girls League: Sundays, exclusively for ladies at Shelton Springs.

Shelton Springs Ace Pot League: Saturdays, PDGA-sanctioned league.

Veterans for Vets: Annual event benefiting the Shelton Veteran's Tiny Home Village.

Not only do these events showcase the competitive zeal prevalent in the disc golf community, but they also highlight the sport's embracing of diversity and inclusivity. Whether you're aiming for competitive play or just want to enjoy a casual game with pals, the Northwest's disc golf scene caters to all.

Getting Involved in the Northwest Disc Golf Community

Washington's dynamic disc golf scene, which enjoys the distinction of being the 22nd best in the nation, opens its arms to aficionados of all skill levels. Boasting 190 courses with 84 featuring 18 holes or more, the state is a haven for disc golfers. To get involved with this vibrant community, consider joining a local disc golf club:

Local Leagues and Clubs: Washington boasts 114 leagues, providing a spectrum of competitive and casual play opportunities. Becoming a member of a local disc golf club is a fantastic avenue to connect with like-minded enthusiasts. Search for clubs in your vicinity online and don't shy away from local tournaments, where you'll encounter a community of dedicated and fervent players.

Social Connections

Meet Other Golfers: The disc golf community is known for its friendly and welcoming players. Feel free to ask if you can join a group or play along; such requests are usually greeted with enthusiasm.

Online Forums and Social Media: Leverage platforms like UDisc to network with fellow disc golfers. Posting on such platforms can be a great way to discover local players and even set up your own games.

On the Course:

Striking Up Conversations: Engaging with fellow enthusiasts on the disc golf course is an excellent opportunity to forge new friendships. Don't hesitate to strike up a conversation; it's a social sport at its core.

Seeking Advice: Seeking guidance or a tour of a new course can do wonders for your disc golf skills and may also spark enduring friendships.

Essential Gear and Where to Find It

Entering the disc golf realm necessitates the proper equipment to elevate your play, regardless of your experience level. Discs, the fundamental gear in disc golf, come in various types tailored for distinct functions: Putters for precision and short distances, Mid-Range Discs for control and versatility, and Drivers designed for speed and distance. For those looking to equip themselves, there are over 42 stores, including course pro shops catering to disc golf gear, you're assured convenience and preparedness for your disc golf adventures across Washington's scenic landscapes.

Disc Types:

Distance Drivers

Fairway Drivers



Featured Categories:

Beginner Disc Sets

Limited Edition and Glow Discs

Bags and Backpacks

Disc Dyeing

Beyond discs, the essentials extend to accessories pivotal for a day on the course.

Pro Shops emphasizes the significance of staying hydrated on the course, offering gear like hydration reservoirs and insulated pockets for water bottles. For added comfort, items such as stools, towels, umbrellas, grip enhancers, and rangefinders are recommended.

Disc Golf Courses for Beginners and Professionals

Northwest disc golf courses cater to all player levels, from novices to seasoned pros. With courses featuring 9 to 18 holes, each hole is crafted to challenge different player abilities and according to uDisc, “over 89% of course are free”. The game begins with a disc thrown from the tee and continues over the course, with players aiming to sink the disc in the target in the fewest throws. Let's delve into some of the region's standout courses:

For Beginners:

Orchard Park: A perfect starting point with its forgiving fairways and less dense obstacles.

Leverich ParkOffers a blend of technical and open holes, ideal for learning different throwing techniques.

Portland Lunchtime Disc Golf Course: Known for its community feel and well-maintained paths, great for practice and improvement.

For Professionals:

NAD Park, Van Zee Park, and Kitsap FairgroundsThese courses stand out for their complexity and variety, offering seasoned players a rigorous challenge.

Mt. Hood Skibowl, Features tee-off areas ranging from beginner to advanced, ensuring even the most experienced players find a worthy challenge amidst beautifully maintained fairways.

The Northwest Branch Recreational Park Disc Golf Course deserves a special mention for its design that caters to both beginners and experienced players, with amenities like wood-frame tee boxes, dual tee boxes and basket locations per hole, and creative obstacles that add a unique twist to the game.

Throughout this comprehensive guide, we've journeyed across the scenic vistas and lush landscapes that host the vibrant disc golf scene in the Northwest region. Spanning from the technical challenges of Washington's gems to the breathtaking beauty of Oregon's pristine courses, and not overlooking Idaho's hidden treasures, the guide has offered insight into the sport's accessibility for players of all expertise levels. It has emphasized the significance of community and the abundance of events that foster both the competitive spirit and camaraderie among players, alongside illustrating the essential gear and local leagues that make this sport truly inclusive.

As the disc glides towards the horizon, closing this exploration of Northwest's disc golf scene, the guide not only solidifies the sport's status as an exciting blend of athletic prowess and environmental appreciation but also encourages readers to engage with their local disc golf communities. Whether you're a beginner eager to throw your first disc or a professional honing your skills, the courses and communities in the Northwest await, ready to offer a unique adventure enriched with challenges and scenic beauty. The path to disc golf mastery is both inviting and intriguing, ensuring every throw brings a new connection, insight, or accomplishment.


Photos taken by Andy Jaynes, Pro Shop Manager at Kayak Point Disc Golf Resort