When I say winter disc golf, I mean winter in the northern half of the U.S., and other parts of the world where we have snow and cold. For many of you, winter is the nice time to play, when the nasty heat and humidity does not make it hard to just breathe. If you were going to pick the optimum conditions to play disc golf, it would likely be around 65 degrees and calm, low humidity and no bugs. Those conditions don’t exist for very long in most places, so we must adapt.
Clothing for disc golf
The most important thing in winter is to be able to keep warm, but not be so restricted in movement, that you can’t throw properly. I recommend wearing a poly long underwear shirt, with a hooded sweatshirt over that, and a fleece pullover with a nylon shell to stop the wind. I also wear a neck warmer when it’s real cold, that I can pull up over my face. A wool stocking cap will also help keep your head warm. The thing you need to watch out for is sweating and then getting cold.
For your hands, there are a couple of things you can do. You can wear a wool mitten on your non-throwing hand and use a hand warmer like football players use, with or without a chemical hand warmer in it. Or you can wear mittens on both hands, and take off the one on your throwing hand when throwing. It’s hard to wear gloves when throwing; you don’t have the same feel or grip. You should carry a pair of neoprene waterproof gloves in your bag, for reaching into cold water.
For your feet. Make sure you have warm waterproof boots. Don’t overdo it with the socks. Because you are constantly moving, your feet will stay warm with just regular socks most of the time.
Other important tips
When there is snow on the ground that is more than 3 inches deep. Ribbons taped on your discs will save you from losing them. Take some thin ribbon used for wrapping gifts, use bright colors. Cut off pieces about 30 inches long. Some people say tape it to the underside of the disc. I prefer to tape it on the top, directly in the middle of the disc. Use a piece of duct tape. Make sure the discs are warm and dry when you tape the ribbons on, they will stay on much better.
Put your discs in the car the night before you play. This will get them to the colder temperature and will keep snow from sticking to your discs when they hit the ground. If it’s below 20 degrees, the snow will normally not stick.
Best winter disc golf Plastic
There are many types of plastic, some of the more popular plastics are not made for winter and therefore do not perform the same as in warmer temps. The Discraft ESP and FLX plastics are the best to use in cold temps. They stay flexible and work nearly the same as when warm. The best Innova plastic for winter is Pro and R Pro.
The harder and smoother plastics like the Champion and the Z are still usable, but just aren’t as effective in the cold.
Why Play in winter
There are many advantages to winter disc golf play. The courses are not crowded, there are no bugs, the tall grass along the fairways is not a problem and you can get exercise and keep playing all year.
If you live in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, you also have an added advantage. The course at Blue Ribbon Pines keeps the tee pads clean and ice free all winter and when there is more than a few inches of snow, they plow the fairways so it’s much easier walking. This is a pay to play course, but it is well worth the money.