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My name is Eric Vandenberg #3089 and I am the volunteer PDGA Course Archivist. In 2012, aided by PDGA Disc Golf Course Directory Editor Cliff Towne #5450, I started what has become several projects to find and track disc golf courses and have compiled a database of known disc golf courses by course list, directory, and other sources. In the process, several particularly interesting documents have come to my attention which have helped to narrow down the installation dates for many of these courses. The following is a brief history of disc golf course lists and directories as I know it and a list of the earliest 5 or so courses by state.

With just over 200 more new members needed to hit the incredible milestone of PDGA member #100000, the race is officially on! As the provider of both the 2017 and the 2018 new member disc and mini, MVP Disc Sports has doubled down on their dedication to helping the PDGA expand by designing a 100k Members Collector's Edition custom-stamp for their MVP Tesla (distance driver) in Neutron Plastic

Thanks to the hard work of PDGA Minnesota State Coordinator Jason Wilder #17523, former PDGA Memberships Manager Sara Nicholson #33589, and several others, the first Saturday in August was selected as the official National Disc Golf Day in the spring of 2016!

Cover photo scanned from the 1986 PDGA Course Directory.

Gathering course information outside of the United States has always been a challenge. For those who enjoy statistics, the 1984 Course Directory had six Canadian courses, two of which were misidentified temporary courses. 1986 listed an additional eight Scandinavian courses. The 1990 directory had 32 non-US courses, in 1993, the number went up to 50. Two years later in 1995 the number broke triple digits with a total of 110. In 2002, the total grew to 219, and then to 337 in 2007. At the end of 2011, there were 499 non-US courses in the PDGA Course Directory. At the end of 2015, there were 1113 active courses, and that number continues to grow.

How many times have you listened to the radio and heard the DJ talking about how today is “National Junk Food Day” or “National Tape Measure Day” or “National Pet Fire Safety Day”? Those are all real National Days by the way, all of which are from earlier this month. So, why not a "National Disc Golf Day"? Surely there are as many disc golf enthusiasts as there are tape measure enthusiasts right? 

Story by Matt Gregoire #28647, Joe Feidt #362, and Jim Palmeri #23. Photo of “Steady” Ed Headrick #001 courtesy of the Disc Golf Association. Photo of Simon Lizotte #8332 courtesy of LEL Photography.

Our founder, Steady Ed Headrick, perhaps pondering, "Should a disc landing on top of a Pole Hole® count?"

Rules. There's nothing more fundamental to any sport. Rules define the game. The first time someone challenged a buddy to see how many Frisbee® throws it took to reach that tree in the distance, we had our first disc golf rule.

1978 rules

The first known disc golf rules in 1982 were rediscovered in notes kept in the files of our founder, Steady Ed Headrick. These original rules and the rules updates since 1982 have been digitized and analyzed to show how the competitive rules of our sport have evolved. The next rules update in 1986 was the first published rulebook provided to PDGA members. The remaining major rules updates were 1990, 1997, 2002, 2006, 2011, 2013 and most recently 2018 which is our ninth version.