Gamified Putting: Level Up Your Disc Golf Practice

Today we have a guest post from a colleague of mine,  who has been thinking about how to use gamification to help make putting practice for Disc Golf a bit more fun! Check out his profile at the end.

Disc golf putting can feel like a grind.  But what if you could ditch the repetitive drills and turn practice into a game?  This article explores gamification, a technique that injects fun and competition into your putting routine.  Learn how to design personalised putting games, using apps to enhance your practice, and even spice up tournaments.  Get ready to transform your putting practice and sink more putts!

Imagine a sport that combines the focus of golf with the casual fun of frisbee throwing. That’s disc golf! Players navigate a course, throwing discs towards metal baskets instead of clubs and balls. Mastering your putting stroke – those close-range shots that land in the basket – is essential for sinking birdies and aces, just like in traditional golf. But if you’re new to the sport (thinking of giving disc golf a try? Check out our guide on how to play disc golf!), you might find that putting practice can get repetitive.

Enter gamification. By incorporating game mechanics like challenges, rewards, and progress tracking, you can transform your putting routine from a chore into something engaging and effective. Let’s explore how gamification can take your disc golf practice to the next level.

Game On: How Gamification Enhances Disc Golf Practice

So, how exactly can gamification work its magic on your putting game? Here’s the beauty – there are a multitude of ways to implement it. Gamification allows you to tailor your practice to your specific needs and preferences, keeping things fresh and exciting.

Here’s how gamification can elevate your disc golf practice:

  • Motivation Matters: Let’s be honest, the prospect of mindlessly lining up putts for an hour isn’t exactly thrilling. Gamification injects a dose of fun and friendly competition into the mix. By setting challenges and tracking your progress, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you unlock new levels and conquer putting obstacles. This intrinsic motivation keeps you coming back for more, ensuring consistent and effective practice.
  • Skill-Building Through Strategy: Gamification encourages you to approach putting practice creatively. Imagine designing a putting course in your living room, strategically placing furniture to simulate various putting scenarios – uphill putts, awkward hyzer lines, etc. This forces you to think outside the box and develop a broader range of putting skills that translate directly to the course.
  • Making Every Putt Count: Gamification allows you to assign point values to different putt locations. For instance, sinking a putt from outside the circle might earn you double points compared to a routine tap-in. This system gamifies the entire putting experience, making every putt – from the makeable to the miraculous – feel significant.

Crafting Your Personal Putting Playground: Gamification Strategies in Action

Now that we’ve established the potential of gamification, let’s delve into some specific strategies you can incorporate into your putting routine:

  • Challenge Yourself: Design putting challenges that push you outside your comfort zone. Here are a few ideas:
    • Beat the Clock: Set a timer and see how many putts you can sink from a specific distance within the time limit.
    • Around the World: Place multiple baskets or targets at varying distances and putt to each one in sequence, keeping track of how many attempts it takes to complete the circuit.
    • The Gauntlet: Set up a series of obstacles on your putting green, forcing you to navigate them while sinking your putt. This could involve weaving between cones, putting through a hula hoop, or navigating around strategically placed furniture.
  • Embrace the Points System: As mentioned earlier, assign point values to different putt locations and difficulties. This can be a fantastic way to gamify solo practice or add a competitive edge when practising with friends. The player with the highest score at the end of the designated practice session wins bragging rights (and maybe even a friendly wager!).
  • Level Up Your Practice: Create a levelling system for your putting practice. For example, once you consistently sink a certain number of putts from a specific distance, you “level up” and increase the challenge by adding distance, incorporating obstacles, or reducing the allotted time. This ongoing sense of progression keeps you motivated and engaged.
  • Tech it Out: There are disc golf apps in development that are beginning to incorporate gamified elements into your practice routine. These apps may include virtual putting challenges, distance tracking, and even social features that allow you to compete with friends remotely. It’s an exciting area to watch, and hopefully we’ll see more comprehensive gamified practice features emerge soon.

Here are some existing disc golf apps that offer features that could be useful for gamifying your practice:

  • Disc Golf Course Review (DG Course Review): This app allows you to track your scores on different courses, analyse your putting stats, and set personal goals. While it doesn’t offer built-in games, you can use the data to create your own gamified challenges based on your performance.
  • UDisc: This app provides course layouts, navigation tools, and scorekeeping features. You can use it to design your own putting challenges on a course you frequent and track your progress over time

Building a Community: Gamification Beyond Solo Practice

The beauty of gamification extends beyond solo practice. Disc golf thrives on a strong sense of community, and gamification can be a powerful tool for fostering friendly competition and camaraderie among players. Here’s how tournament directors can leverage gamification to enhance their events:

  • Disc Golf Putting Games: Spice up your tournament by incorporating putting games during breaks in play. These games can be single-player or multiplayer, offering a fun diversion and a chance to win bonus points or prizes. Here are a few ideas:
    • Single-Player Games:
      • Tens: This challenges players with relentless repetition, focusing on consistency from various distances. Choose three putting spots, each 10 feet from the basket. Players rotate, throwing 10 putts from each spot. Once you sink 10 in a row from a spot, move it back 10 feet. Keep rotating until all three spots have been moved back twice (to 30 feet) and you’ve made 10 consecutive putts from each new location.
    • Multiplayer Games:
      • Horse: A classic putting game that injects friendly competition and pressure. Players take turns calling their putt and attempting to make it. If a player makes a putt, all following players must make the same putt or earn a letter towards “HORSE.” The first player to spell out “HORSE” is eliminated. You can add difficulty by requiring players to validate their called shot if all opponents make it, or by forcing them to call a specific putting location and line (e.g., anhyzer putt).
      • The Range: This strategic game challenges players to analyse risk and reward while putting. Set up three to four putting spots with varying distances and angles near the basket. Assign point values to each spot (typically 1 to 4 points). Players alternate turns, choosing any spot to putt from based on the risk/reward system. The first player to reach 20 points wins. Spice it up by outlawing putting from the same spot twice in a row, throwing all discs in the middle and picking any to putt with, or allowing players who reach 20 points a chance to “rebut” by letting other players continue putting until they miss.
      • Multiplayer Ladder: Similar to the single-player version, but with increments of 5 feet and starting closer (5 feet away). Players take turns throwing from a designated number of discs (10-15 depending on difficulty). The player who ends furthest away from the basket wins.

These are just a few ideas to spark your creativity! By incorporating disc golf putting games into your tournament, you can add a layer of fun and engagement for players of all skill levels.

Putting the Fun Back in Practice

Gamification isn’t just about bells and whistles; it’s about harnessing the power of play to transform a repetitive task into an engaging and rewarding experience. By incorporating game mechanics into your disc golf putting practice, you can:

  • Boost Motivation: Gamification injects a dose of fun and friendly competition, keeping you motivated to come back for more practice sessions.
  • Enhance Skill Development: Gamified challenges encourage you to approach putting creatively, honing a broader range of skills that translate directly to the course.
  • Track Your Progress: Gamification allows you to visualise your improvement over time, fostering a sense of accomplishment and keeping you engaged in the journey.

So, the next time you head out to the putting green, ditch the monotony and embrace the power of gamification. Transform your practice into a game, challenge yourself, and watch your putting prowess soar! Remember, consistent and focused practice is key to mastering your putting game, and gamification can be the secret weapon that keeps you coming back for more, one fun putt at a time.

Have you experimented with gamification techniques in your disc golf practice routine? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!


Frank Knutton is the owner and operator of Golf With Discs (, a website dedicated to all things disc golf. When he’s not writing about discs, Frank can be found on the course, meticulously honing his putting game. Frustrated with repetitive drills? Frank believes in gamifying practice to keep things fun and engaging.

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