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I believe that most disc golf lovers may get confused by the different types and standards of disc golf baskets on the market.
And among all the key considerations (like intentions, types, material, installation methods, etc.) of choosing a disc golf basket, the number of chain strands is a rather important one that may affect the playability of the game as well as your beautiful mood. Therefore, in this article, I will give some recommended use scenarios for disc golf baskets with the chain strand number most seen on the market (normally 12, 18, and 24).
First and foremost, we start with a brief introduction of PGDA or Professional Disc Golf Association disc golf basket standard. Knowing the target size set by the authority gives you general knowledge while choosing the right basket. For most buyers, a PGDA Basic Target is a cost-effective choice. It’s designed for practice and portability or light-duty installations, therefore it can be easily set up, dismantled and transported from place to place for family trips or to different courses.
Below are some crucial measurements of the PGDA Basic Disc Golf Basket:
A: Total Height: 52.5±2inch
B: Rim Height: 32±2inch
C: Basket Diameter: 26±1.6inch
D: Target Zone Height: 21.3inch max.
E: Deflector Diameter: 27inch max.
Number of Chain Strands: Min. 12 outer
* Please note that these specs are for PGDA Basic Targets only.
The purpose of the chains is to catch the discs and prevent them from going through the target or falling off. So technically if a target contains more chains, the better performance it can have in catching discs.
With the doubled number of the chain strands PDGA required (12 chains outer), a 24-chain disc golf basket won’t miss any of your Ace. The chains can be arranged in single, 2- or even 3-row configuration to catch fast spin putts as firm as possible. Commonly used for championships.
The 18-chain disc golf basket is a wise choice as a practice target in your private course. It features 6 more chains than the PDGA required and catches discs decently due to a clever chain scheme.
With the minimum chain number as the PDGA required, the 12-chain disc golf target may not catch discs as efficient as a 24- or 18-chain target, to be honest. However, it’s still an unbeatable cost-effective and practical choice, as long as you pick the right one. When choosing a 12-chain disc golf basket, you can pay attention to the configuration of the chains - whether it’s in a net-like formation. Though the target only has 12 outer chains, the cross-weaved pattern can make up for the lack of a second row of chains in preventing spit-out. And the netting design of the chains also cuts the weight of the target, making it relatively lightweight to transport from place to place.
In a nutshell, if you are a disc golf professional or preparing for disc golf competitions, a target with 24 or higher number of chains is your pick. If you want a target for recreational intentions like playing with family and friends in the backyard or private courses, an 18- or 12-chain disc golf basket is a rather good option. But pay attention to the chain formation of the 12-chain target, do remember to pick one with a cross-weaved pattern.