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DGA FLASHBACK FRIDAY – The First Disc Golf Catalog

DGA FLASHBACK FRIDAY – The First Disc Golf Catalog

This Flashback Friday features the very first Disc Golf™ catalog published back in 1978. This Catalog came out back when Disc Golf™ was in its infancy as a formalized sport being introduced to the world by DGA. The cover photo is of “Steady” Ed’s son, Ken Headrick (PDGA #-001), Co-Founder of the DGA putting at a DGA Mach 1.

Link to a PDF version of the First Disc Golf Catalog

Excerpt from the catalog

Ed Headrick, now the director of the Disc Golf Association,

… was until November ’75, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Wham-O Mfg. Co.

… founded the International Frisbee Association (I.F.A.). with over 85,000 members.

… invented the current Frisbee, U.S. Patent #3359678.

.. created

… Wham-O’s Park and recreation Junior Frisbee and
Hula Hoop Contest, that involves over 700 cities,
with a participation of more than one and
one-quarter million boys and girls in each
tournament, each year.

… the World Frisbee Championships at the Rose Bowl
in 1974 and 1975, where over 100 players were
assembled from all over the country and the
competition is now viewed by more than 50,000
people each year.

… the world’s first Disc Golf T M Course.

… Left Wham-O to devote most of his time to the development of his favorite sport, Disc Golf.

… Invented the Disc Pole Hole’” Patent No. 4039189 with his son Ken.
… formed the Disc Golf Association (D.G.A.) with Ken to implement the goal of a new
international sport.

… won the senior World Frisbee Championship at the Rose Bowl in August of 1976. Placing 1st in distance, accuracy and Disc Golf T M •

NOTE: Disc Golf, Disc Pole Hole and Around Nine are trademarks of the Disc Golf Association. Frisbee is a trademark of Wham-O Mfg. Co.


Rying discs have been with us since the days of the cave man when saucer-like objects were portrayed on cave walls by early artists. “Scaling” – throwing flat objects, has surfaced in almost all cultures. Discobus, God of Discus, achieved his fame by throwing the early Greek version. In the late 1800′s, the game of scaling can-lids developed and in the 1920′s pie pans were found to be superior flying devices. In the ’50′s, with plastic used for fabrication, the disc began to fly characteristically like the modern day Frisbee·. Currently. more discs are being sold each year than baseballs, basketballs and footballs combined.


The competitive aspect of players throwing similar objects from one spot to the same target must have been the format of the first competition. Some started playing Frisbee- Golf years ago with throws into waste baskets. The game then expanded to targets of opportunity. Trees, fire hydrants, light poles and drinking fountains were popular targets. The subculture of the ’60′s caught the idea and informal courses sprung up on campuses and parks all over the country. Unfortunatly most of these courses are used by only a select group of dedicated Frisbee Players. Many of these informal courses where designed by local players to their desires without much consideration given to other land uses. Picnic areas, rose gardens and other forms of recreation became potential sources of conflict.


The first attempt to formalize the game was in Oak Grove Park in La Canada, California. This park is operated by LA. County Parks and Recreation Department. People had played Frisbee Golf in the park for several years but play was limited to personal friends and family. A formal course was laid out and the County installed the hardware, the holes were 2″ galvanized pipe 5′ high, called Pole Holes. During the first year an average of 200 people per week played the course. This was outstanding for a park that had little or no weekday use. Everyone was pleased with the new park use and two more courses were installed in L.A. County with similar results. However,we were disturbed by the number of arguments that occurred around the Pole Holes because of judgement calls. Imagine, you have just thrown a “Pole Hole in one,” and you shout victoriously, “DID YOU SEE THAT SHOT?” and your partner says, “I’M NOT SURE, DO YOU THINK IT REALLY HIT?” The game obviously needed solid evidence of successful completion of each hole if it was to become a sport.


The challenge was to design a device as reliable as the “cup” in “ball golf” that could catch a disc in its natural flight path and still be vandal resistant. After 56 models and numerous meetings with L.A. County, it was decided that the present design met all criteria. The poles at Oak Grove Park were cut off and the new target assembly was welded on. The results were amazing-within 4 months the course was being enjoyed by more than 5,000 people per week. The question, “DID YOU SEE THAT SHOT?” is no longer asked, the disc in the basket is irrefutable evidence of the completion of each hole. The Disc Pole Holel!l is now the standard of Disc Golf’” Courses all over the country and is protected by U.S.Patent No. 4039189.


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