A standards-based, classroom linked curriculum for teaching disc golf

Welcome to the Educational Disc Golf Experience (EDGE). EDGE was developed in 2002 to provide schools and youth leaders a sound program to teach the fundamentals and allied skills of the lifetime sport of disc golf. EDGE’s lesson plans and activities contain physical education learning objectives and standards including classroom-linked lessons in science, math, civics, and the environment. World Champion disc golfers, educators, mathematicians, and recreational therapists have contributed to this programming that has reached over 3 million students. 

Studies continue to point to the increase in juvenile obesity and the decrease in youth fitness. The recommended solutions are walking and moderate exercise, combined with an activity that can be learned at a young age and continued throughout the individual’s lifetime. Disc golf is a lifetime, outdoor pursuit that may be played solo, in groups, competitively, leisurely, socially everywhere around the World. With disc golf, there is something for everyone at all skill levels to enjoy while challenging both the mind and body.

With support from The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), the governing body of disc golf, the first nation-wide research study to examine disc golf and physical activity was completed. Western Carolina University’s Justin Menickelli, Ph.D. and EDGE studied people playing sanctioned tournaments, weekly doubles events, and casual rounds. The main goal was to discover how much disc golfers walked while playing a round. We clipped pedometers on 257 men and 156 women playing 8,029 holes of disc golf on 38 different courses. The study found that every time a person ventures outside to play disc golf, they take an average of 6064 steps; well on their way to reaching 10,000 steps. Educators and administrators that introduce disc golf to students provide them a chance at lifetime fitness that may ripple through their family, friends, and community. (Menickelli, 2010)

The PDGA sanctions over 8,000 events that encompass a wide range of skills, age, and ranks. The PDGA provides an outlet to unite disc golfers in sport. The PDGA World Championships have divisions for Juniors under 8 and Masters over 80. With over 10,000 disc golf courses worldwide and over 85% of those free to public to play, (Cite or Link directory) there is a multitude of opportunities to play. Disc golf is an economical activity to fund when compared to other sports. A single tennis court can cost upwards of $50,000 and serve only four players at a time. A full disc golf program that includes a permanent course, all equipment and supplies, and a standard-based curriculum could be instituted for a tenth of that cost, service dozens of students at one time while creating a healthy school and community. (Professional Disc Golf Association, 2022)

The concept of EDGE begins in elementary, extends through high school, with components being implemented at the University level. Lesson plans involve teaching various throwing fundamentals and skills through small sided activities while introducing the rules and etiquette. The next phase could take place on a short 6-9 hole temporary course set up at the school. The ideal final phase has students ready to participate in a competitive club or disc golf leagues between area schools or individually compete in local, regional or national junior competitions.