Discover the Beauty and Fun of Disc Golf at North Valley Park
North Valley Park Disc Golf: A Guide for Beginners and Pros
Disc golf is a fun and exciting sport that anyone can enjoy. It involves throwing a plastic disc into a metal basket on a specially designed course. The goal is to complete each hole in as few throws as possible. Disc golf is easy to learn, but challenging to master. It offers a great way to exercise, relax, and have fun with friends and family.
If you are looking for a place to play disc golf in Minnesota, you should check out North Valley Park in Inver Grove Heights. This park features an 18-hole disc golf course that is open year-round. The course is suitable for players of all skill levels, from beginners to pros. It has a variety of terrain, elevation, and obstacles that make each hole interesting and unique.
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In this article, we will give you a guide on how to play disc golf at North Valley Park. We will cover what you need, how to throw, how to score, and why you should visit this course. Whether you are new to disc golf or an experienced player, we hope this article will help you enjoy this sport more.
How to Play Disc Golf at North Valley Park
Before you head out to the course, you need to prepare some things. Here are some essentials that you need for playing disc golf at North Valley Park.
What You Need
The most important thing you need for disc golf is, of course, discs. Discs come in different shapes, sizes, weights, and colors. They also have different flight characteristics that affect how they fly in the air. Some discs are easier to throw than others, depending on your skill level and throwing style. Generally, there are three types of discs: drivers, midranges, and putters. Drivers are designed for long-distance shots, midranges are for intermediate shots, and putters are for short shots and putting.
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If you are a beginner, we recommend you to start with a few basic discs that are easy to control and fly straight. Some examples are the Innova Aviar (putter), the Discraft Buzzz (midrange), and the Innova Leopard (driver). You can buy these discs online or at local sporting goods stores. You can also rent discs at the park office for a small fee.
If you are a pro, you probably have your own set of discs that suit your preferences and style. You can bring your own discs to the course and enjoy the challenge of each hole. You can also try out new discs or buy more discs at the park office or nearby disc golf shops.
Another thing you need for disc golf is proper shoes. Shoes are important because they affect your comfort, stability, and performance on the course. You will be walking, running, and throwing on different surfaces, such as grass, dirt, gravel, sand, and concrete. You will also encounter some hazards, such as rocks, roots, water, and mud. Therefore, you need shoes that are durable, comfortable, and supportive.
We recommend you to wear shoes that are designed for hiking, trail running, or disc golf. These shoes have features that make them ideal for disc golf, such as rubber soles, toe caps, waterproof materials, and breathable fabrics. Some examples are the Adidas Terrex Swift R2 GTX (hiking), the Salomon Speedcross 5 (trail running), and the Keen Targhee III (disc golf). You can find these shoes online or at local outdoor stores.
Besides discs and shoes, there are some accessories that can make your disc golf experience more enjoyable and convenient. These accessories are not essential, but they can be useful for certain situations and conditions. Here are some accessories that you might want to consider:
- A disc golf bag: This is a bag that can hold your discs and other items, such as water bottles, snacks, towels, sunscreen, etc. A disc golf bag can help you organize your discs and carry them easily on the course. Some bags have straps that allow you to wear them like a backpack or a sling. Some examples are the Dynamic Discs Trooper Backpack (holds up to 18 discs), the Innova Standard Bag (holds up to 12 discs), and the Prodigy BP-3 V3 (holds up to 17 discs). You can buy these bags online or at local disc golf shops. - A mini marker disc: This is a small disc that you use to mark your lie on the course. A lie is the spot where your disc lands after each throw. You place the mini marker disc on the ground in front of your disc and pick up your disc. Then you throw from behind the mini marker disc. This helps you keep track of your position and follow the rules of disc golf. You can use any small disc as a mini marker disc, such as a bottle cap or a poker chip. You can also buy official mini marker discs online or at local disc golf shops. - A towel: This is a cloth that you use to wipe off your discs and hands when they get dirty or wet. A towel can help you keep your discs clean and dry, which can improve your grip and flight. It can also help you keep your hands warm and comfortable in cold weather. You can use any towel that is soft and absorbent, such as a microfiber towel or a cotton towel. You can also buy special towels that are designed for disc golf online or at local disc golf shops. How to Throw
Now that you have everything you need for disc golf, it's time to learn how to throw. Throwing is the most fundamental skill in disc golf. It involves holding the disc in your hand and releasing it with force and direction towards the basket. There are many factors that affect how your disc flies in the air, such as wind, speed, angle, spin, etc. To throw well, you need to master three aspects of throwing: grip, stance, and technique.
The grip is how you hold the disc in your hand. The grip affects how much control and power you have over the disc. There are different ways to grip the disc depending on the type of shot you want to make. Here are some common grips that you can try:
- The power grip: This is a grip that is used for long-distance shots with drivers. To do this grip, you wrap your four fingers around the rim of the disc and tuck your thumb on top of the flight plate. You squeeze the disc firmly and keep your wrist straight. This grip gives you maximum power and stability, but less accuracy and finesse. - The fan grip: This is a grip that is used for shorter shots with midranges and putters. To do this grip, you spread your four fingers on the underside of the disc and rest your thumb on top of the flight plate. You hold the disc lightly and keep your wrist relaxed. This grip gives you more accuracy and touch, but less power and distance. - The forehand grip: This is a grip that is used for sidearm or flick shots with any type of disc. To do this grip, you place your index and middle fingers on the inside rim of the disc and your thumb on the outside rim. You curl your ring and pinky fingers into your palm and hold the disc firmly. You rotate your wrist and arm to throw the disc sideways. This grip gives you a different angle and spin on the disc, which can be useful for certain situations. Stance
The stance is how you position your feet and body before you throw. The stance affects how much balance and leverage you have over the disc. There are different ways to stand depending on the type of shot you want to make. Here are some common stances that you can try:
- The standstill stance: This is a stance that is used for short or precise shots with any type of disc. To do this stance, you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and perpendicular to the target. You shift your weight to your back foot and lean slightly forward. You keep your eyes on the target and your shoulders level. This stance gives you more control and accuracy, but less power and momentum. - The x-step stance: This is a stance that is used for long or powerful shots with drivers or midranges. To do this stance, you start with your feet parallel to the target and a few steps behind your lie. You take a small step with your back foot, then cross your front foot behind it, then step again with your back foot, then plant your front foot perpendicular to the target. You rotate your hips and shoulders as you move and transfer your weight from back to front. You swing your arm in sync with your steps and release the disc at the end of the motion. This stance gives you more power and distance, but less control and stability. - The straddle stance: This is a stance that is used for putting or obstructed shots with any type of disc. To do this stance, you stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and parallel to the target. You bend your knees slightly and lean forward. You keep your head down and your arms close to your body. You push the disc forward with a smooth motion and follow through with your arm. This stance gives you more stability and flexibility, but less leverage and speed. Technique
The technique is how you execute the throwing motion with your arm, wrist, and fingers. The technique affects how much spin, speed, and angle you impart on the disc. There are different ways to throw depending on the type of shot you want to make. Here are some common throws that you can try:
- The backhand throw: This is a throw that is used for straight or curved shots with any type of disc. To do this throw, you hold the disc in a power or fan grip with your palm facing down. You bring the disc across your chest from back to front, then snap it forward with a flick of your wrist and fingers. You release the disc flat or slightly tilted depending on the desired flight path. You follow through with your arm across your body. - The forehand throw: This is a throw that is used for sidearm or flick shots with any type of disc. To do this throw, you hold the disc in a forehand grip with your palm facing up. You bring the disc next to your hip from front to back, then snap it forward with a twist of your wrist and fingers. You release the disc flat or slightly tilted depending on the desired flight path. You follow through with your arm next to your body. - The overhead throw: This is a throw that is used for high or over-the-top shots with any type of disc. To do this throw, you hold the disc in a power or fan grip with your palm facing down. You raise the disc above your head and behind your shoulder, then swing it forward with a downward motion. You release the disc at an angle that matches the trajectory you want. You follow through with your arm in front of your body. How to Score
After you learn how to throw, you need to learn how to score. Scoring is how you keep track of your performance and compare it with other players. There are two aspects of scoring: rules and etiquette.
The rules are the official guidelines that govern how disc golf is played and scored. The rules are set by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), which is the governing body of disc golf. The rules are based on fairness, safety, and sportsmanship. You can find the full rules on the PDGA website, but here are some basic rules that you should know:
- Each hole has a par, which is the number of throws that a skilled player is expected to complete the hole in. The par for each hole at North Valley Park ranges from 3 to 5. - Each throw counts as one stroke. The player with the lowest total strokes at the end of the round wins. - The player who has the lowest score on the previous hole throws first on the next hole. If there is a tie, the order remains the same as the previous hole. - The player must throw from behind their lie, which is marked by a mini marker disc or their previous disc. The player must have at least one supporting point in contact with the ground behind their lie when they release the disc. - The player must not move or alter any objects on the course, such as trees, bushes, rocks, etc., unless they are designated as movable by the course rules. - The player must not distract or interfere with other players while they are throwing or putting. - The player must complete each hole by throwing their disc into the basket or chains. The disc must come to rest inside or supported by the basket to count as in. - If the player's disc goes out of bounds, such as into water, road, or private property, they must add one penalty stroke to their score and play from where the disc went out or from a designated drop zone. - If the player's disc is lost or unplayable, they must add one penalty stroke to their score and play from their previous lie or from an agreed-upon lie with their group. Etiquette
The etiquette is the unwritten code of conduct that guides how disc golfers behave and interact on the course. The etiquette is based on respect, courtesy, and common sense. You can find some tips on etiquette on the PDGA website, but here are some basic etiquette that you should follow:
- Be friendly and polite to other players and park users. Greet them, compliment them, thank them, and apologize when necessary. - Be aware of your surroundings and avoid throwing when there is a chance of hitting someone or something. Wait for other players and park users to clear the area before you throw. - Be mindful of your pace and avoid holding up other groups behind you. Play quickly but not hastily. If you are playing slower than the group behind you, let them play through when it is safe and convenient. - Be honest and fair with your score and your throws. Do not cheat or lie about your score or your lie. Do not move or touch other players' discs without their permission. - Be responsible and respectful of the course and the environment. Do not litter or vandalize anything on the course. Pick up your trash and any other trash you see. Follow the course rules and signs. Do not damage or remove any plants or animals. Why You Should Visit North Valley Park Disc Golf Course
Now that you know how to play disc golf at North Valley Park, you might be wondering why you should visit this course. There are many reasons why this course is worth your time and money. Here are some of the benefits and highlights of playing disc golf at North Valley Park.
Benefits of Disc Golf
Disc golf is not only fun, but also good for you. Playing disc golf can improve your physical and mental health in many ways. Here are some of the benefits of disc golf:
- It can help you burn calories and lose weight. According to a study by the American Council on Exercise, playing disc golf can burn an average of 325 calories per hour. That's more than walking, jogging, or cycling at a moderate pace. - It can help you strengthen your muscles and bones. Throwing discs involves using your arms, legs, core, and back muscles. Walking on the course involves using your lower body muscles and joints. These activities can help you build muscle mass and bone density, which can prevent injuries and diseases. - It can help you reduce stress and anxiety. Being outdoors in nature can have a calming effect on your mind and mood. Playing disc golf can also release endorphins, which are natural chemicals that make you feel happy and relaxed. Disc golf can also distract you from your worries and problems, and help you cope with negative emotions. - It can help you improve your cognitive skills and memory. Playing disc golf requires concentration, strategy, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. These skills can help you sharpen your mind and improve your mental performance. Disc golf can also stimulate your brain cells and prevent cognitive decline and dementia. - It can help you socialize and make friends. Disc golf is a social sport that can be played with anyone, regardless of age, gender, or skill level. You can play disc golf with your family, friends, co-workers, or strangers. You can also join disc golf clubs, leagues, tournaments, or events in your area. Disc golf can help you meet new people, have fun conversations, and form lasting bonds. Highlights of North Valley Park
Disc golf is also a great way to explore and appreciate North Valley Park. This park is one of the most beautiful and well-maintained parks in Minnesota. It has many features and amenities that make it a perfect destination for disc golfers and other park users. Here are some of the highlights of North Valley Park:
- It has a scenic and challenging disc golf course. The course is designed by professional disc golfer Cale Leiviska, who is a local legend and a world-class player. The course has 18 holes that range from 200 to 600 feet in length. The course has a variety of terrain, elevation, and obstacles that test your skills and creativity. The course also has concrete tee pads, metal baskets, wooden signs, benches, trash cans, and restrooms. - It has a diverse and abundant wildlife and vegetation. The park is home to many animals and plants that add to its beauty and charm. You can see deer, rabbits, squirrels, birds, butterflies, bees, and more on the course. You can also see trees, flowers, grasses, shrubs, and more on the course. You can also see a creek, a pond, a waterfall, and a bridge on the course. The park is a great place to enjoy nature and learn about ecology. - It has a friendly and supportive disc golf community. The park is managed by the Inver Grove Heights Disc Golf Club, which is a group of disc golf enthusiasts who volunteer their time and resources to maintain and improve the course. The club also organizes events, clinics,