Shakespeare once said, “To roll or not to roll.” Of course, he didn’t, but this is the question we are here to answer today. Disc golf carts have become increasingly popular, and courses are being designed with carts in mind. Carts will save you energy and allow you to carry much more in your bag. However, the price tag and the fact that not all courses are cart friendly may deter purchasing a bag on wheels. Let’s answer some questions and look at the history of disc-carrying devices.
History Of Disc Carrying Devices
Since the early days of the sport in the late 60s and 70s, players have been carrying discs in bags. Bags were simple and thrown over the shoulder with a single or double strap. Players typically had one main compartment for their discs, and that was that, a disc golf bag. Beginners with very few discs generally just carry them in their hands. Boy, how times have changed! The modern bag has pockets for everything, including phones, umbrellas, snacks, multiple water bottles, towels, 25 plus discs, and the kitchen sink. These suckers get heavy, and carrying them can be an unnecessary weight on your shoulders.
Throughout the years, players have gotten creative to lighten their load. Enter the disc golf cart. The first carts were not disc golf specific but were conversions of baby strollers, ball golf carts, or homemade conversions. These showed up throughout the years but were never widely adopted as they were not versatile. Then, in 2015, Ricky Wysocki accepted a sponsorship from disc golf cart manufacturer Delta. This was a game-changer. Wysocki was at the top of his game, and the product was visible to a large disc golf audience. Why is Ricky carting around this strange contraption? Wysocki had this to say about the switch from a bag to a cart;
“It just made life so much easier on the course…I remember back to when I had a bag; I definitely had some back trouble reaching down and grabbing the bag all the time. Once I switched to the cart, I didn’t have any back aches or back pain, and I had more energy toward the end of the round.”
Delta changed the landscape for how to carry discs. Carts introduced the ability to include a comfortable seat everywhere you go. It was also much easier to carry more discs and more of everything else, for that matter. Sure, certain courses are not as cart friendly. This brings us to our next topic; when and why to use a cart.
When And Why
Let’s play devil’s advocate and start with why you may not want a cart. One deterrent for many people is price. This is fully understandable as carts generally fall in the $200-$400 range; a hefty investment for many folks who may only be casual disc golfers. Weigh the pros and cons and see what is right for you.
Another deterrent is that not all courses are designed for carts. Depending on your local courses, this may mean that carts are not a viable option based solely on their landscape. Many newer courses are designed with carts in mind regardless of the terrain. Many courses now ensure a smooth surface to roll your carts in variable conditions including on the side of steps, around water features, near rocks and roots, etc.
Now for the good. Let’s say you are playing a par 54 course. An average bag with 20 discs weighs around 15 pounds. If you are a scratch golfer, you are picking up and setting down your 15-pound bag at least 54 times; that’s a lot of weight! This is why I use my non-throwing arm to pick up my bag because it certainly takes a toll throughout a round. So reason number one, carts lighten your load and give you extra energy.
The second reason is that carts have a built-in chair. Enough said! Instead of only being able to sit at benches scattered throughout a course by teepads, you can have a seat within arm’s reach at any point throughout a round. Throughout a long day of disc golf, this can be the difference between finishing strong or falling apart.
And thirdly, you can carry more of everything. For some rounds, you simply need to pack the kitchen sink. Whether it is a hot day and you need 3 liters of water, or it’s going to rain and you need an umbrella and a year’s worth of towels, a cart has the carrying capacity. Bags have a limited capacity due to them being carried on your back. And do you really want to haul all that extra weight around?
Bringing It All Together
Disc golf carts are becoming the receptacle of choice for players to haul their discs around the course. There have been many styles of bags throughout the year, and the progression of the sport has led us to this point. No longer are we carting around baby strollers or ball golf carts with our discs. Disc golf-specific brands such as Zuca and Ridge Roller are making incredible products for various needs, including size, weight, carrying capacity, etc. Weigh your options and see if a cart is right for your game. Who knows, maybe we’ll both be rollin’ around the course soon!