The central point in a game of disc golf is the basket or target. Whether you want to DIY or buy a basket to practice your throwing, you need to know the disc golf basket dimensions that the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) approves.
Disc golf is a trendy, fun, and well-regulated sport. A lot of factors influence how good of a player you become in disc golf, even if you are playing for fun. Many players know that it takes a significant amount of skill to complete a hole with few strokes. In the same fashion, the basket’s standard dimensions are designed to be a bit unforgiving if you are not a seasoned player. Practicing is vital here.
It might come across to you as trivial or unnecessary to know these technical facts during a professional tournament. Still, the trick to mastering anything is having full knowledge of what it encompasses. This article is your guide to understanding how basket dimensions impact the quality of your game and how embarking on a DIY disc golf basket journey can take you to the next level.
Our guide also contains some brief information on the basket’s design history, the different types of disc golf baskets dimensions, the current standard dimensions that you should know, and some FAQs to help you get a better understanding of the disc golf basket dimensions.
Table of Contents
History of the disc golf basket
In 1976 Ed and Ken Headrick invented the disc golf basket. They named it the Disc Golf Pole Hole and secured a patent in the United States of America. The Patent number is 4039189. The earlier designs are surprisingly not that much different from the modern disc golf basket designs we have today.
The primary function remains the same. These early prototypes are very durable and are a testament to how well thought-out the design was.
Types of baskets dimensions
Every disc golf basket is made up of three main parts; the main basket and pole, the chain, and the lower basket and frame. All the parts have specific measurements depending on your skill level and the space you have available to play.
You will find that when it comes to disc golf baskets, you are spoilt for choice. There are so many varieties and so many manufacturers who currently produce disc golf baskets. Knowing what to look out for can become a daunting task if you do not have the correct information.
The PDGA has three categories that all disc golf baskets have to fit into. Below we have a brief breakdown of these three types of disk golf basket categories, and to help you out, we have added a fourth category that caters to DIY disc golf baskets.
Homemade Disc Golf Basket
Homemade or DIY baskets have varying measurements and dimensions depending on the type of disc golf basket blueprint you use. The space that you have available to play is an essential factor, as well. You can model your basket to fit the official basic, standard, or championship categories approved by the PDGA.
If you have minimal space available or you want to play indoors, you have the option of making a mini disc golf basket. These baskets are perfect for small spaces and will help you to practice at any given time. The recommended basket height dimension is between 13 and 34 inches high. The rim diameter can be plus or minus 12 inches.
You have a lot more leeway when it comes to mini disc golf basket dimensions. The mini basket gives you the option to tailor it to fit the area that you have. A general rule to use as a guideline should choose to make a homemade mini disc golf basket because the rim diameter has to be half of the regular disc golf basket.
However, the DIY basket has to meet the requirements set by the PDGA so that when you practice at home, you can simulate a real tournament environment. It is the only way to get better.
You can make the basket with any material that you have available. Additionally, the basket can have as little as 12 chains, which is the minimum that is required by the PDGA.
Certain factors like weight, height, width, and size will also have to be considered when drawing up your disc golf basket plans. Of course, we have not left you hanging; you will find a discussion about the specific measurements of these factors below, so please keep reading.
Basic Level Disc Golf Basket
If the DIY gene skipped, you fear not. Many great options on the market are simple and do not cost you a lot of money.
Disc golf baskets of this nature have less than 18 chains and are significantly cheaper to purchase. You can buy them as portable or as semi-permanent depending on your preference.
In general, the primary dimensions for a basic level disc golf basket are as follows; the rim must be 21 ⅓ inches wide, the chains must not go any lower than 22 inches beneath the rim, and the lower basket must be at least 25.7 inches wide and 6.7 inches high.
Standard Level Disc Golf Basket
If you are looking to take it up a level, consider taking a look at the standard level disc golf baskets. Most of the dimensions and specifications are identical to the necessary level baskets. The only significant differences are that these baskets are made from more durable material and generally contain more than 18 chains.
Champion Level Disc Golf Basket
These types of baskets also have more or less the same measurements for the basket. The difference is the quality of the material and the level of durability that is required.
You are going to find these PDGA approved types of baskets in most top tier tournaments. They are meant for pros.
It is clear now that the recommended basket dimensions are generally the same. The PDGA has grouped the baskets in categories according to the material’s quality and the number of chains.
That said, we now take a closer look at the actual dimensions of all the parts that make up the disc golf basket.
Disc Golf Basket chain length
The chain is an integral part of the game. As we stated before, the PDGA capped the chain minimum at number 12. All these rules have a bearing on the type and quality of the game you experience as a player.
The chain’s primary purpose is to keep the disc from escaping or landing in the basket quickly. These are things that you should keep in mind, especially if you choose to DIY the basket.
The PDGA states that the minimum chain length for disc golf baskets is 9 inches. Some homemade disc golf basket blueprints do deviate from the official rules. If you DIY, you have more room to adjust the basket to your preferred length. Beginners or recreational players can benefit from the extra chain length.
When we did our research, we found some homemade disc golf basket plans with a 24-inch chain. This is not to say that you should completely abandon the official dimensions for your own. If you are playing for fun, you can tailor-make it to meet your needs.
In contrast, your goal should be different if you are planning on competing in tournaments. We recommend that any modifications you make are as close to the PDGA standards as possible.
Disc Golf Basket Chain Size
The chain should have 12 individual chains that are vertical and six set around the 12 chains. This is according to the official rules. Buying or making a basket that falls short of these requirements is doing yourself a disservice.
The PDGA has not set any official rules regarding how thick the chain must be in terms of thickness. The choice is up to you. These chains have to withstand a disc thrown at them repeatedly, so you need to keep this in mind.
Disc Golf Basket Height
The PDGA regulations state that disc golf baskets should be 52 inches above the ground. The height from the floor to the lower basket is to be 25.7 inches. However, this does not mean that all disc golf courses or tournaments have the baskets fixed on the ground.
The Tournament Director has a lot of discretion to design different obstacles along the course. Targets can have an added 6 inches of height off the ground. It can be due to their location on the course or due to unavoidable natural features.
However, it has more to do with the actual playing of the sport and not the regulated basket height dimensions. So stick to 52 inches if you are looking to DIY.
Disc Golf Basket Width
Officially the diameter of the basket has to be 21.3 inches wide at the rim. The lower basket is always broader, and the regulated diameter is 25.7 inches. The chains hang in a tapered shape from the main basket into the lower basket. This specific design allows the disc to land perfectly in the basket.
Nowadays, there are so many varieties; baskets come in different width sizes. For DIY disc golf baskets, you need to mirror all the upper basket dimension adjustments with the flower baskets. We recommend that basket dimensions be in proper proportion to each other.
Disc Golf Basket Weight
Lastly, the PDGA does not have a single definite weight standard. The association does, however, recommend that the disc golf basket weigh between 18 and 25 lbs. It ensures that the basket has some stability when players throw discs and withstand rough winds or weather.
How dimensions affect the game quality
We mentioned in our introduction that these dimensions have an impact on the quality of the game. If the measurements are off, it can affect your game in the following ways:
● A misalignment or wrong calculation could mean that your disc misses the target more than usual.
● When the diameter is too wide, it can give you the illusion that you are getting better at throwing. The truth is that a broader basket is more comfortable to throw into.
● A lower or higher basket height can make the game easier or more challenging than the standard.
In disc golf and any other sport, getting the dimensions right impacts your skills significantly. Playing disc golf can be a tad bit frustrating like regular golf. The challenging part of the sport is hitting the target with a few strokes. In essence, if the basket works against you, it is going to elevate that frustration.
How much will a disc golf basket cost me?
The prices range from under $150 to above $400 depending on the features, brand, quality, and PDGA category range.
How many chains should my basket have?
Generally, the more chains your basket has, the better it is at catching the disc. For recreational use, any basket with 12 or 18 chains will be fine. Whereas for pro players, a basket with 24 chains is better.
Is making my own homemade disc golf basket easy?
If you are good at DIYs, it is pretty straightforward. There are many blueprints and plans online that can assist you. However, homemade baskets do take up a lot of time. We recommend buying a pre-made basket if you do not have the time.
It is clear by now that you have to acquaint yourself with the technical aspects of disc golf basket dimensions. In this guide, we have tried to provide the most authentic information in a simple manner. By and large, we hope that we conveyed the importance of knowing this information.
We wish you the best of luck as you continue on your journey to better your skills. We hope that having this arsenal of knowledge in your back pocket will come in handy.