Since the 1970s, disc golf has been flying under the radar to become a major outdoor sport in the United States. It has a professional organization, the Professional Disc Golf Association, that oversees the sports equipment, course layouts and organizes and establishes rules for professional tournament play. It’s estimated that up to 12 million Americans have played disc golf and that over half a million play regularly. The Upper Thumb region now has 11 Michigan disc golf courses, and this number is expected to grow.
According to the disc golf blog ParkedDiscGolf.org, Michigan ranks third in the total number of PDGA members and tournament events. Michigan ranks sixth in disc golf courses (256), trailing behind Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Ann Arbor is considered the #4 spot in the nation as a disc golf mecca hosting over 150 Michigan disc golf parks for the city.
Michigan’s Thumb region is rapidly becoming part of this sport, with 11 disk golf courses listed by the PDGA and Udisc in Michigan’s Thumb.
Disc Golf Courses in Michigan’s Thumb Region
Bad Axe – Air Rider Disc Golf at Camper’s Haven
This seasonal course is located at Camper’s Haven Family Campground. Open April 15th to October 15th. The course is free for camping guests. It’s an 18 hole layout that is 4,709 feet long with 13 holes under 300 feet, 3 holes from 300 – 400ft, and 3 holes over 400 feet. Each hole has permanent baskets. Considered a fairly new course with a lot of wide-open spaces and young trees. Holes vary from very long and wide open to shorter ones with plenty of pines to negotiate.
Google map for Air Rider Disc Golf Course
The address is 2326 S Van Dyke, Bad Axe, MI 48413
Bad Axe – Bad Axe Free Methodist Church
This is considered a small practice course as there are no tee pads or mounted baskets. Nine holes par 29 at 2,945 feet.
Google Map for Bad Axe Free Methodist Church Disc Golf
The address is 165 Pigeon Rd, Bad Axe, MI 48413
Pigeon – Pigeon Disc Golf Course
This year around course is a wide open 9 hole 2,185 feet, par 36 course is ideal for beginners, but beware, the elevation and area winds can be tricky.
Google Map for Pigeon Disc Golf
The address is 161 Country Bay Drive, Pigeon, MI 48755
Cass City – Cass City Park
This wooded course is 2,863 feet long. It’s an 18 hole layout with 15 holes under 300 feet, 3 holes from 300 – 400ft, and 0 holes over 400 feet.
Google map for Cass City Disc Golf Course
The address is Scott Mccullough Drive, Cass City, MI 48726.
Caro – Caro Fairground Disc Golf
This is a 9 hole, Par 27, 2844 feet short course in a park setting. 4 holes under 300 feet, 4 holes from 300 – 400ft, and 1 hole over 400 feet. Ratings tell that the course is a bit rough and a challenge to play without a course map.
Google Map of the Caro Fairground Disc Golf Course
The address is Caro Village Fairgrounds, Caro, MI 48723
Mayville – Ohmer Park
This is a small rural 9 hole layout. Ideal for those just starting in the sport with flat terrain. Permanente mounted baskets.
Google map for Ohmer Park Disc Golf Course
The address is 302 E Ohmer Road, Mayville, MI 48744
Marlette – Alien’s Landing
This is a flat, short approach and putt course. It’s an 18 hole layout that is 3,195 feet long, with all 18 holes under 300 feet. $3/fee.
Google map for Aliens Landing Disc Golf Course
The address is 2710 Golf Course Drive, Marlette, MI 48453
Marlette – Marlette Golf Course
This year around course is located with the city’s golf course. Cost is $5/round or $10/day ($5/day during winter). It’s an 18 hole layout that is 7,017 feet long with 7 holes under 300 feet, 5 holes from 300 – 400ft, and 6 holes over 400 feet. Golf carts available. The Disc 2 Basket Store at the course has a full line of disc golf equipment.
Google Map for Marlette Golf Course
The address is 2701 Golf Course Drive, Marlette, MI 48453.
North Branch – North Branch Disc Golf Course
This 12 hole course is located on North Branch School grounds and can only be played during non-school hours.
Google Map for North Branch Disc Golf Course
The address is Brush Street, North Branch Schools, North Branch, MI 48461.
Croswell – Swinging Bridge Park Disc Golf Course
This year around 18 hole loop (9 short, 9 long ) course is located adjacent to the famous and picturesque Croswell Swinging bridge. It’s an 18 hole par 54 layout that is 4,944 feet long. Wooded and heavily used and rated.
Google Map for Swinging Bridge Park Disc Golf Course
The address is Nims Street, Riverbend Park, Croswell, MI 48422.
Lexington – The Red Kingdom Disc Golf Course
This is a short private course that is by invite only. Consult with the PDGA page on this course for details. It’s a 9 hole layout that is 1,790 feet long with 8 holes under 300 feet and 1 hole from 300 – 400ft.
Google Map for Red Kingdom Disc Golf Course
The address is Rory Flynn’s Property, Lexington, MI 48450
The Best Disc Golf Courses in Michigan are Yet to Come
It’s expected that some of the best disc golf courses in Michigan will be established in the Thumb region soon as the popularity of this sport increases and the number of players swells. Communities along the shoreline should identify and make plans to include a disc golf course within an existing village park or include it in capital plans for the future. Disc golfing is becoming a prime motivation to travel and visit tourist locations, especially for young people who have totally embraced the sport.
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