Disc Golf at Night – Glow and Lighting Products
There is a side to disc golf that many players enjoy immensely and that is the joy of playing the game at night. Yet there are still a number of players who haven’t tried it. I’d been playing glow disc golf for a few years before somebody finally convinced me that it would be worth visiting the course after dark. It was a true joy!
Glow in the Dark Discs
There are a lot of discs made in glow plastic, and I never used to think much about them until that first night game. Not only did the discs seem like an unnecessary gimmick before my eyes were opened, but I thought it would be a burdensome expense to have to buy all my favorite discs in glow plastic merely to play at night, but that is an option, and arguably the best one if you regularly play disc golf in the dark. With glow in the dark discs, your favorite discs aren’t encumbered by additional add-ons. If you get attached to the discs you can also use these discs for day time play. Most of the most popular discs from the top disc golf retailers have glow in the dark versions available. There are usually a good number of glow-in-the-dark plastic blends for popular discs available at any given time.
I since discovered that a few little accessories can get you going at night, even without a slew of discs in glowing plastic.
One of the quick ways to jump into the glow game is to pick up the Glow Tape Rings which are designed just for discs.
These are basic sticker rings that can be peeled off and stuck onto any disc to make it into a glowing disc. You can get enough sticker action out of a sheet to light up three, four, or even five discs, depending on how many sticker rings you decide to apply to each disc. They are light enough not to mess up the weight or flight tendencies of your disc. They also charge instantly with UV light and glow brightly for several minutes.
Now, if you have glowing discs, or if you have glow tape, you can charge them with traditional light, which takes a bit longer, plus lights up your fairway, or you can pick up a UV Flashlight which makes a LOT of difference in your ability to quickly charge and throw your disc.
The first time I saw one of these things in action, I was amazed. My brother pulled this awesome LED flashlight out of his bag and literally drew light across his disc. As soon as the flashlight hit the disc, it left a trail of glowing, green light. UV flashlights are a must for glow disc golf.
It only takes seconds to charge glowing discs or stickers, and they shine brightly for several minutes. Then, after you’ve thrown your disc, the UV flashlight makes finding them in the pitch black of night even easier than it is during the day! You simply shine the UV flashlight around the fairway, and the moment the light hits your disc, it lights up again. And it does that without the “light noise” of a traditional flashlight…it doesn’t look like you’re actually casting a beam around. I played a glow round on a course that usually presents a lot of places for discs to hide in long grass, sagebrush, and trees, and it was honestly easier to find the discs at night than during the day.
So, with a few stickers, and the right flashlight, you can immediately hit the course at night and have a lot of fun. You’ll probably want to start picking up discs in glow plastic eventually. But here is another option for night play that is quick and inexpensive.
You can also grab the deluxe DemoGrid brand flashlight which has both a UV light and a standard white light for finding your way around the course. It also includes a handle and magnet that hang or attach the light to your bag or metal surfaces like your car trunk or a basket. It’s a nice flashlight option for night.
These little LED lights are easily affixed to the bottom or top of your disc with packaging tape to light them up at night. The light works better on certain colors of discs, and best on plastics that are somewhat translucent. They are inexpensive and last quite a while. They are small enough that they don’t effect the flight of your disc. You’ll have to avoid water hazards because once your LED light hits the water, it will die.
I found some photos on Tumblr.com that appear to be time exposures with LED lights on discs. Leave it to awesome artists to find a beautiful way to highlight disc golf at night.
If you want to take the light-up disc to a new level, then there are actually discs made by Nite Ize that have LED lights built into them.
You can see LED light options for your discs HERE
At first these discs look a little strange because of the piece bulging in the bottom center of the disc that holds the electronics, but you quickly find that it does little to hurt the flight of the disc. They have a driver, a mid-range, and a putter. The driver is designed as a long-range, straight-shooting driver with an understable release and a nice fade. So it is actually quite easy even for novice and intermediate players. They don’t cost much more than special edition glow discs, so they actually aren’t as expensive as you might think. The batteries can die after a while, but it is easy to buy replacements on places like EBay so that you can swap them out and keep playing at night.
WHAT BRAND GLOWS THE BEST?
Different disc golf manufacturers have different glow plastic blends, and here at Infinite Discs we’ve noticed that there can be a big difference between them. Some brands like Innova and Discraft have pretty good glow products, though it depends on the plastic type. The Innova Champion Glow varieties are good as well as their Glow DX. With Discraft, their Glo Z Line plastic works pretty well, but their Glo ESP blends tend to be very hit-and-miss when it comes to actually glowing in the dark. Brands like Latitude 64 and Dynamic have not been known to have good premium glow plastic, which they usually call “Moonshine,” but their softer putter plastics glow great. With MVP and Axiom, their glow plastic is usually called “Eclipse” but, but most often it is either the rim or the flight plate that glows, but not both.
The brand that consistently glows the best is the K1 Glow plastic by Kastaplast. There’s something magical about their glow-in-the-dark plastic because all you need to do is dim the lights to see those discs light up. They glow surprisingly bright and for a long time. Whenever Kastaplast runs their glow plastic (which is only once per year), they sell out fast, so be ready to pull the trigger when you see them in stock, because it will be hard to find anything that glows as well.
Be sure to get out there and try a round of glow-in-the-dark disc golf! You’ll be glad you did! Let us know what you recommend for night rounds in the comments. We’d love to know!