You’re swagging out all over the course, basking in the praise pouring in from friends and strangers alike. You’re unstoppable. You’re a god. You step up to the first tee of Maple Hill Gold (because you’re accustomed to the finer things in life now), throw your first drive… and splash down right on the (front) edge of the pond. Your driver is visible, but just out of reach. Then the August sun comes out, your hands are immediately drenched with sweat, and you’re desperate for a gulp (or three) of water. You reach for your Rufus and see all the meticulously designed pockets and slots—perfect for holding essential accessories like disc retrievers, sun umbrellas, chalk bags, hydration packs, and more. That’s when you realize that though you are still a god, you’re not an omniscient one.
Don’t worry. As always, we here at Pound Disc Golf have your back. And so, for your edification, we present our Guide to Top Disc Golf Bag Accessories.
Ever since the dawn of people throwing flat round objects at targets, those objects have been getting stuck in trees or submerged in bodies of water. There are a number of ways-–from primitive to modern—to recover your “lost” discs, and each has their pros and cons.
PRIMITIVE without TOOLS
Sometimes the only way to retrieve a disc stuck in a tree or sunk beneath water is to climb or wade your way to it. These methods require no preparation or tools because they rely solely on the physical agility and limberness for which disc golfers are well known (not*), but they do come with a set of pretty obvious downsides; namely, discomfort (cold water, wet clothes, hands covered in tree sap, etc.) and the very real possibility of injury (falling out of the tree, alligator bites, etc.).
PRIMITIVE with TOOLS
One characteristic humans share with our primate cousins is the ability to use tools, and some of the all-time classic methods for disc retrieval utilize the same tools employed by bonobos and orangutans the world over—rocks and sticks. A well-thrown rock (see also: pine cone, chunk of wood, golf ball, baseball, water bottle, and the ill-advised other disc) can be the fastest, easiest, handiest way to dislodge a disc from a tree limb. However, depending on how high the disc is, and how thick the branches of the tree are, it can also be one of the most frustrating. The same goes for pulling a disc out of a pond or river with a stick—good luck hooking that half-inch rim in three feet of water.
Today’s modern disc golfer has a small trunkful’s worth of options for lightweight, effective tools for their disc retrieval needs, and (almost) all of them feature one key element—extendable poles. Typically ranging from 10ft-20ft in fully-extended length, today’s disc retrieval tools feature a variety of heads (suction cup balls, wire cages, hooks, clips, blunt ends, bobs, bells, whistles, etc.). We don’t have a personal preference, but we sure are glad to have one tucked in our Octothorpe side-pocket sleeve when our drives head for the canopy!
We here at Pound Disc Golf are strong advocates for good hydration on (and off!) the course. There are many benefits of proper hydration, but there are three specific ones that can directly affect a player’s performance during a round: better temperature regulation, more energy, and increased mental and physical acuity (focus, reaction time, mood, vision). As we always say, when your game starts dippin’, you better start sippin’. (Editor’s Note: We’ve never said that.)
There are a number of ways to carry water in your Pound Disc Golf Pack. If you’re an old school, water-bottle-only sort of player, we have you covered. Every bag comes with our insulated haul pocket insert, which accommodates two medium-diameter water bottles or one large-diameter water bottle and one can of your favorite non-water beverage.
For those who appreciate a bit more technical wizardry—as well as a larger liquid capacity, a more centered weight distribution, and the thought of using a super sneaky hidden pocket—then we recommend utilizing a hydration reservoir. Pound Disc Golf Founder/Designer/Guru Levi Buckingham has touted hydration reservoirs since long before Pound even existed. That is why every Pound Disc Golf pack comes standard with that previously-mentioned super sneaky pocket. Once your hydration reservoir is filled and set in place, your water needs are out of sight, out of mind—but not out of body. Try it, you’ll love it.
Almost any hydration reservoir (aka water bladder) will work with your Pound Disc Golf bag, but we like (and sell!) the Hydrapak 2L Tru Shape, because we think it is the best-designed option on the market—and we know a thing or two about superlative design.
Despite what it looks like, disc golf is not just a walk in the park. The cumulative effects of elevation change, heat (or cold), the weight of two dozen (or more!) discs plus water, umbrellas, jackets, snacks, etc.—and the body fatigue that comes from the mental exertion of the sport can leave even the most physically fit player searching for some respite. Many players find relief in 3-legged folding camp stools. These types of stools are lightweight and relatively compact, yet sturdy and versatile enough for use on rocky ground and hillsides. Conveniently, the Pound Disc Golf Packs Octothorpe and Octo-Haul models both feature an elastic tie-strap, which can be tightened to hold just such a stool to the base of the bag.
Surely the granddaddy of all disc golf accessories, towels are a must-have for any disc golf bag. Towels are used to dry wet discs and hands, wipe off dust, dirt, and mud, swab a sweaty forehead, remove slippery sunscreen from palms and face, act as a post-snack napkin, and can even be used to wrap a poison oak-covered disc so it doesn’t contaminate the other contents in a disc golf bag. It doesn’t take a genius to know that only a dummy heads out on the course without at least one towel in their bag. Disc golf towels should be absorbent, durable, and of a good usable size. We like the towels made by fellow Oregon-based company FlighTowel. Not only do they meet the above criteria, but they feature an innovative, mid-towel clip point, so that your towel doesn’t drag on the ground when attached to the dedicated towel ring on your Pound Disc Golf bag.
An umbrella is a useful accessory in both rainy and sunny conditions, and should be considered a near-essential item in every Pound disc golf bag (there is a designated sleeve for it, after all). A good disc golf umbrella should be large enough to create a space under which a player can escape to dry their disc (and hands) before a throw, enter scores on their phone, or simply catch a moment of relief from, say, a Pacific Northwest winter drizzle. For players in sunny climes—especially in arid, treeless areas—an umbrella should be large enough to act as an oasis from the sun. Additionally, an umbrella (whether used for rain or sun) should be stout enough to handle wind speeds from a light wind to a strong breeze. There’s no benefit in carrying an umbrella that inverts at the slightest zephyr. If you are looking for a great umbrella, ShedRain is a Portland, Oregon–based company (like us!) that has been in business since 1947. They’re popular with our cousin sport (ball golf), and though they no longer manufacture in the US (a shame), they make a quality product and profess a commitment to sustainability.
Hole 18. Final Round of the “2023 PDGA Whurld Championships” (an annual C-Tier held at your local Par 3 course). You’re staring down the barrel of a 45-footer. A birdie brings home the trophy. It’s 92℉ and 100% humidity. Your palms are a swimming pool and your disc is a pool floaty. GULP! You forgot your chalk bag! Now you’re really sweating. You go for it. The putt slips, lands 6 feet in front of you. You end up 4-putting. You lose.
In actuality, grip enhancers (aka chalk bags) are a matter of personal preference. Some players don’t even carry them in their bags, preferring a quick swab with their towel or wipe on the seat of their pants. Other players can’t seem to throw a single shot without leaving a Dust Bowl–sized cloud of chalk wafting behind their every lie. We tend to fall in the middle ground on this one. Chalk bags have their place, to be sure—after all, chalk is one of the most absorbent (and cheap!) materials out there, and a little goes a long way. And because grip confidence is one of the essential aspects of a good mental game, we advise you to keep one in your bag. Whether you obsess about it or not is up to you.
We like Whale Sacs because, well, who doesn’t? They are standard issue for many, many chalk users, and they are owned and manufactured by disc golfers. Support the sport!
Rangefinders are another disc golf accessory that comes down to a matter of preference. Some people are “old school” and think that one should have a “feel” for the course and be able to estimate distances based on past experience. Others find them to be an indispensable aid and use them from the tee, on the fairway, and even (sigh) on the putting green. Whether you use them or not, rangefinders are now an established tool of the game, and it is difficult to argue against the benefits they bring to a round on an unfamiliar course. Bushnell pretty much has the rangefinder market on lockdown. They introduced the product to the sport and have made a strong push to establish themselves as the undisputed leader. Bushnell rangefinders offer distance as well as angle and elevation.
In fact, Pound just released an incredible collaboration with Bushnell featuring a signature Bushnell Octothorpe. This limited edition disc golf bag includes storage designed specifically for the Bushnell Edge Disc Golf Laser Rangefinder and their new Disc Jockey Bluetooth Speaker.
If you are looking to snag one of these Bushnell x Pound colab bags, you should act fast as this was a limited production run.
Of course we’d always love to hear from you. Let us know what are some of your go-to disc golf accessories? Bonus points if you can send us a photo of it packed in your Pound bag!