The sound of a Frisbee colliding with a chain-link net is followed by a congratulatory high five from a group of disc golfers. As the group moves to the next hole, they marvel at the scenery surrounding the course. You might think this takes place in a city park. However, this unique 18-hole disc golf course is located on the 700-acre Rawhide ranch property! Rawhide strives to provide new experiences and healthy activities for students at its Starr Academy. Disc golf, a.k.a. Frisbee golf, is one of those activities.

18 Holes of Fun

During the 1990s, disc golf became the fastest growing sport in America. New courses appeared every year, and the sport’s growth continues today. New courses are appearing in parks and attracting new visitors.

18 holes of fun disc golf

Rawhide’s disc golf course features 18 wooden holes that are maintained through Rawhide’s woodworking elective. The course spans the ranch and is open to Rawhide guests. The holes are challenging but offer a fun and relaxing time for all skill levels. Playing disc golf at Rawhide Boys Ranch is by permission only, but it allows the public to tour Rawhide while enjoying a fun game.

Rawhide students also play disc golf for physical activity and fun. Rawhide instructor Jeff Schillinger even incorporates disc golf in his physical education classes. Many people don’t realize the physical and mental health benefits of disc golf.

13 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Disc Golf

A young man recently shared how playing disc golf is changing his life. He struggles with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. However, after he started playing disc golf, his mental health and outlook on life improved. He said that “a new love of being and inner peace—acceptance of life and self—have started to crowd out the negativity and fear.” These are welcomed mental health benefits of disc golf.

Playing disc golf helps individuals by:

  1. Building an appreciation of nature
    A course’s natural settings force the player to work around trees, bushes, hills, etc. They actually interact with nature rather than simply look at it as on a walk or hike.
  2. Providing another exercise outlet
    Studies show that people are more apt to stick with exercise if it’s fun. Disc golf is so much fun for some people that they never think of it as “exercise.” A round of disc golf can burn between 400-600 calories.
  3. Allowing the player to be part of a like-minded community
    It’s always fun to be around others who share an interest or passion for an activity. Players from across the nation spend time reviewing courses and discussing strategy. It produces a sense of camaraderie.
  4. Helping the player understand and get in touch with his or her body
    The game requires the player to become aware of body alignment and position in order to make the shot. This requirement can ground individuals who have a tendency to drift mentally.
  5. Developing confidence
    Learning and honing new skills builds self-esteem with each level of success. There’s no better feeling than throwing a long drive or sinking a long putt.
  6. Developing patience
    Disc golf is full of ups and downs. Courses may present challenges that take time and patience to master. Patience on the course often helps build confidence
  7. Building independence
    The only person you can rely on to win at disc golf is yourself. As your confidence builds, the more confident you are as an individual.
  8. Providing a break from the daily routine
    If you are able to play disc golf daily, bravo! For the rest of us, it’s a nice break from routine as is any pass time activity.
  9. Seeing practice put to work
    The joy of seeing practice making perfect is undeniable! We highly recommend it.
  10. Providing a positive stress reliever
    Heavy use of technology, oddly enough increases our stress levels. Disc golf provides a healthy outlet for reducing stress and working out those kinks in the neck, arms, and shoulders. Unplug.
  11. Providing a crash course on physics
    Whether you know it or not, as you figure out how to adjust your throw for a windy day, you are applying physics principles.
  12. Building problem solving skills
    Figuring out how to adjust your throw on a windy day builds those problem-solving skills.
  13. Providing a sense of achievement
    Successfully throwing a disc on a windy day and making the hole, gives the player a real sense of achievement!

Disc golf is also an inexpensive hobby for new players. Players don’t have to spend much money for a set of new discs and used sporting goods stores often have inexpensive discs as well.

Why Disc Golf at Rawhide?

Many of our guys have had limited opportunities for building self-esteem by the time they arrive here. Disc golf teaches them a healthy alternative to the poor activity choices they made in the past.

If you would like to help troubled youth in your Wisconsin community, you may donate in various ways—cars, trucks, RVs, boats, cash, life insurance, estate planning, etc.

Thank you for your interest in our mission!