Fall disc golf is still here, and I love it. It’s the perfect time of year for low scores, incredible scenery, and kicking up leaves to find my drive that’s in the middle of the fairway.
Unfortunately, Fall disc golf can’t last forever.
So let’s go over what changes I make to my bag to ensure that I’m still having a good time in the winter. It’s a different sport in the winter, if you haven’t played it I highly encourage you to try it at least once. Don’t care about the score, you’re out here to enjoy the same courses under very different and difficult circumstances.
Here’s my tips on what you can do for your bag to make sure that you’re having a good time out here during the winter.
1. Clean out your bag of everything now, while it’s dry.
There’s leaves, pencils, 15 dollars from that ace pot you split with your buddy, all that stuff you’ve stuffed in at the end of a bad round. I find that now is the time to just get out the shop vac and give my bag a nice cleaning. There’s something…soothing about a clean disc golf bag. Now’s as good a time as any to get it clean and to take out that half eaten pack of sunflower seeds.
2. Take out your “can’t lose” discs.
If you have anything that you’re sentimentally attached to like a first ace disc, put it in the garage and wait until Spring to bring it back out. You don’t want to be searching in knee deep snow, or crossing a stream in the winter to snag something you’re going to feel sick about losing. You will lose a disc in the winter, it happens to all of us. They often come back when the snow melts, we call it Skittle season because the fairway is littered with lost discs and it looks like skittles.
3. Disc down, take out those high speed drivers.
I can’t tell you how much distance you’re going to lose in the winter. There’s a number of reasons; the winter wind rips through trees and along the course, your long sleeves inhibiting motion, you can’t get a full run-up because of the icy teepad, and you’re probably not playing every day after work so you lose some touch.
I take my Wraiths out (especially my Halo ones) and I throw something a little slower like the Sidewinder or Leopard3 in that slot. I still get good distance, but I’m not throwing something super overstable.
4. Switch up those plastics.
There are 2 important changes I make here. First for my drivers I try to throw something like Pro plastic or GStar. These are both slightly more flexible than Star plastic and give the disc a little more turn. Since I’m losing distance, I want something with more flex to it.
The second change is to get rid of almost all baseline discs. I don’t want to crack my seasoned baseline midrange when it hits a tree and breaks. I keep the putters, but I don’t throw them on anything long, and all the white ones are put away for the winter.
5. Invest in some Ribbon and duct tape.
I only ribbon discs I throw far enough to lose. Bring those discs inside and attach about 6 feet of ribbon with duct tape to the bottom of your drivers. When a disc does go into the snow at an angle you’ll have some ribbon sticking up out of the snow. This is probably the best way to keep track of your discs. MeepMeep works well in the Spring and Fall, but doesn’t beep as loudly under the snow.
6. Hand warmers are a must.
It doesn’t matter how many times I stick my fingers in my armpits, my fingers still manage to get chilly. At Sabattus we carry the Rechargeable Super Handwarmers, and yes they are expensive at $40. We also offer the basic Hot Hands at the counter that you can get in any gas station. I don’t like taking a glove on and off my throwing hand 60 times a round, so I glove up lefty and usually stuff my right hand in my pocket with a warmer or two.
7. Get wax in the winter.
Since Max Wax came out last year I’ve been using it every cold and wet day. I just get a significantly better grip with it. Summer is for chalk bags, but always use wax in the winter to maintain a better grip. It’s like 10 bucks and it will stop you from having slippery shots. I’ve been using the same disc of wax for a full year and it’s not showing signs of wear. I can’t stress enough that this is something you need on those dry winter days.
8. Read the Sabattus Disc Golf blog about playing in the winter.
If you’re interested in learning about how to play in the snow, I wrote a blog in 2020 about how to play disc golf in the snow. It covers what to wear, and how to be a little better at keeping track of your discs. I’ve been playing in the snow and cold for years, and I’m never going to spend another winter not playing.
Try following these steps to winterize your bag.
- Clean it up now.
- Remove your “can’t lose” discs.
- Throw lower speed discs in the bag.
- Put in softer plastic discs.
- Invest in ribbons and duct tape. Bring extra with you.
- Get hand warmers.
- Get some max wax, you won’t regret it.
- Read the Sabattus Disc Golf blog about winter disc golf.
Just because there’s a little snow on the ground doesn’t mean we have to give up our favorite sport. Try winterizing your bag as we get ready for the inevitable cold and snowy winter up here in Maine, and I promise you’ll have a much better time playing in the snow.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397