For years I thought disc golf ended when those white flurries hit the ground. I would have my last round of the season with my friends when we all came home from college and played at Thanksgiving time. But about 4 years ago I realized I didn’t want to give up my favorite activity until March/April. So I started playing in the snow. Sabattus Disc Golf decided to open in the winter because there’s lots of folks who feel the same way. You won’t see a packed parking lot but you’ll find there’s a lot of people who want to play when there’s snow on the ground.
Today I want to share some advice that I’ve learned over the years and some tips and tricks from other people. My hope is that if you haven’t played in the snow before, that you’ll give it a try.
- You might know the Duchess of disc golf, Holly Finley. She’s a great touring pro from Wisconsin, so she also knows snow. It’s true, your boots are going to have a hole in them and let in a little bit of water. Having that extra layer helps when you step in a slushy spot and don’t know it.
- Put your white discs away until the snow is gone. I mean it, don’t throw your white discs! I throw white putters, and they’re hard enough to see when I know where they landed in the snow. A white driver or mid range will get lost. Put away your favorite ace disc, the irreplaceable ones as well. Anything you can’t afford to lose should be put away for a few months.
- Leave your discs outside in your car the night before. Warm discs will melt the snow when they touch it, then you have a gloopy sticky mess on your discs. If you leave them to stiffen up outside the night before, when you wipe your discs the snow won’t stick.
- If you’re playing in fresh powdery snow, you can try the trick of duct taping a ribbon about 4 feet in length to your disc. Tape it to the bottom and your disc will leave a little trail to it.
- Skips! Aim for the yellow circle I’ve drawn here about 30 feet in front of the basket. High revolutions of your disc + less friction from ice and snow = your disc getting lots of extra ground play.
- Winter gear is important. SDG sells hats, gloves, and sweatshirts. You might already have these, but if you’re interested in disc sport specific winter gloves we have them here. If you don’t want to wear gloves then I suggest hand warmers. They’re better than a hot cup of chili for keeping you warm out there.
- Use softer plastics. GStar, RPro, Pro, XT and DX are great because these plastics are grippier in snow and they don’t become as rigid. When you hit a tree at full speed with a cold star plastic disc you run the risk of cracking the flight plate. I have different discs that I use in the winter so I don’t break my favorites in the snow.
- Slower discs are better. Those sharp edged drivers are perfect for cutting through the wind and deep under the snow. Putters and mids float and land more softly on top of the snow. I throw very few drivers in the winter months so I am more sure of where to find my discs.
As always, dress in layers, bring a friend with you for safety and to help you search for discs, and drink plenty of water. Winter golf is a blast as long as you play responsibly and manage your scoring expectations. Just know some putts are hard to hit with cold hands and that your disc sliding on ice away from the basket is something everyone understands. I wouldn’t recommend anything to you guys that I wouldn’t do myself. Here’s a video of my dad on Hole 12 of the hawk. By the way we’re shorts people if you see us out there, we’re playing in shorts.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397