Hardware Disc Golf Basket




About: I like to make stuff and play disc golf.

After about a year of playing disc golf, a fellow thrower (we'll call him Boomer, because that's his name) called and said "I found some basket plans online for $10. Wanna split it and build a couple baskets?"
Hecks yeah! My short game sucks. A basket in my backyard could really help.
I checked out the web site for the basket. A short video shows a few discs being tossed into the home-built basket and the sound of the chains was almost enough to get me to buy on the spot. But this is 2007, surely somebody has a decent set of basket plans online somewhere for free, right? Nope, not really. I searched and came up with a few tutorials, but each seriously lacked in one department or another. Back to square one, I Paypal $10 for the eBook. This guy did his homework and the plans look pretty well thought out ... detailed parts list with item numbers for the major retailers, tools required and photos with the step-by-step instructions. But the more Boomer and I (and Jesse, but that's about the extent of his involvement in this saga, so I'll skip lengthy introductions) went over the plans, the more we started to question the durability of a basket made with chicken wire and zip ties ... lots and lots of zip ties.
I said "Give me a week. I'll see what I can come up with."
My first stop was the disc golf course to take some measurements of the real deal. Then, off to the local hardware store and one of the big box chains, to wander the aisles to see if this piece would fit into that piece. I expected to just make some minor tweaks to the basket plans we bought, but in the end, I tossed out everything but the pole. Slowly, the Hardware Basket was coming together. Total cost was about $90. Pricewise, our basket is just about right in line with the one in the plans we downloaded. For about $30 more than it would cost to build the Hardware Basket, you can pick up one of the big name portable baskets ... but the Hardware Basket has 24 chains!
How's it work, you ask? In the few short weeks I've had the basket, my putting "circle of confidence" has extended by a few feet and I've knocked a few strokes off my average. Your results may very.

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Step 1: Know the Basket

Before you get started building your basket, go to the course and look at a basket. Have you ever really looked at one? Sure, we throw at them all day long, but check out the parts. Chains, S-hooks and more chains. That's the part to really check out: How the chains all come together at the bottom. Keeping that in your head as a point of reference will help when you get to that stage of your own basket. If you're feeling particularly uptight, take some measurements from the ground to the bottom of the catch basin, from the inside of the catch basin to the bottom of the chains and other such lengths. Having these on hand will let you tweak your Hardware Basket to come as close to the one you'll be aiming at out on the course. To the right are the measurements I came up with and what I used as a reference for the basket built in these plans.

Step 2: Gather the Tools You'll Need

- bolt cutters

- pliers

- flat-head screw driver

-razor knife

- drill and 7/32-inch drill bit

- round file, sandpaper or Dremel Tool

- and depending on how you want to mount the basket, a
hacksaw may come in real handy. More on that later.

Step 3: Gather Your Parts

Here's what you'll need. Almost everything can be found at your local hardware store. You may have to visit an office supply store for the locking clasp rings. I think they might also be known as binder rings. The whiskey barrel liner is another item that can be tricky to find. Check garden centers or nurseries.

1: 18 guage fence post 1-5/8-inch diamter, 5.5-feet tall

1: 7-inch whiskey barrel liner

47 feet: 2/0 straight link chain

1: 3-inch to 1-1/2-inch PVC coupler

2: 1-1/4-inch to 1-1/4-inch rubber coupler with steel hose clamps

1: 22-inch round grill grate

3: 1-1/2-inch galvanized
floor flange

8: 1/4-20 stove bolts 1-inch long

8: 1/4-20 nylon lock nuts

4: 5/16-inch fender washers

12: 3/16-inch x 1-1/2-inch eyehook with nut

24: 1-1/2-inch open S hooks

2: 3-1/4-inch hinged locking rings

1: 1-1/4-inch pvc cap

6: zip ties

Step 4: Cut the Chains

Start cutting the chain. You will need 24 lengths of chain, each 23-inches long. Beg, borrow or steal to get your hands on a good-sized set of bolt cutters. You can get through the links with a hack saw, a Dremel tool or an angle grinder, but the bolt cutters will make the job go so much faster. Once you have all the chains cut, set them aside for later.

Step 5: Divide the Couplers

Take the two 1-1/4-inch to 1-1/4-inch rubber couplers with steel hose clamps and cut them in half around the middle using your razor knife. Do not cut off your fingers.

Step 6: Cut Your Pole (maybe)

Figure out how your finished basket will be mounted (see last step). If it will be in a patio umbrella stand, then cut the fence post to a height of 57-inches using your hack saw. If you will be mounting your basket in the ground, then leave the pole alone.

Step 7: Prep the Whiskey Barrel Liner

Cut a hole in the bottom of the 7-inch whiskey barrel liner. Find the center, mark a cutout circle using the big hole in one of the galvanized floor flanges as a template. Cut out the hole using your razor knife. While you're here, drill three holes about 3-inches apart along each of the four raised areas on the whiskey barrel liner for drainage.

Step 8: Erect Your Pole

If you're working alone, you'll most likely need a patio umbrella stand or some other temporary support to hold the fence post upright while you assemble the basket. If you don't have easy access to anything like that, go make a friend and have them help. The first step is simple: Stand the fence post upright. We're going to start sliding on all the parts over the top toward the bottom.

Step 9: Couplers, Flanges & Liners, Oh My!

Loosen the hose clamp on one of the 1-1/4-inch to 1-1/4-inch rubber coupler halves and slide over the pole. You will want this piece to be about 30 inches from the top of the pole. Tighten the hose clamp. Now slide one of the 1-1/2-inch galvanized floor flanges, flat side facing up, down the pole to rest on the rubber coupler. Next, the whiskey barrel liner is put into place. From the bottom, use the holes in floor flange as a guide to drill through the whiskey barrel liner. Add another 1-1/2-inch galvanized floor flange, flat side facing down. Secure with bolt and nut.

Step 10: Secure the Liner

Loosen the hose clamp on another of the 1-1/4-inch to 1-1/4-inch rubber coupler halves and slide over the pole. Push it down tight over the whiskey barrel assembly and tighten the hose clamp.

Step 11: Drill and Screw, Drill and Screw

This step involves the 3-inch to 1-1/2-inch PVC coupler. Measure around the wider end. It should be real close to 12 inches. Make a mark every inch or so, about 3/4-inch down from the open end. Drill a 7/32-inch hole at each of these marks. Insert a 3/16-inch x 1-1/2-inch eyehook in each hole and secure with a nut on the inside of the PVC coupler. Tighten each one down pretty well, but be careful not to crack the PVC. Once all the eyehooks are secured, use the bolt cutters to cut off some of the extra threaded part of the eyehook inside the PVC coupler.

Step 12: Search for the Holey Grill

Grab the bolt cutters again and snip out a spot in the dead center of the grill grate for the fence post to slip through. The orange circle in the middle of the picture to the right should give you a general idea where to snip the grate. If you don't have bolt cutters, the Dremel tool with a cutoff wheel or angle grinder will do the trick. Once you have the hole for the fence post, align the hole in the 1-1/2-inch galvanized floor flange with the hole in the grill grate. The flat side of the flange should be against the flatter side of the grill grate. Push a bolt through the flange up through the grill grate. On top of the grill grate, secure bolt with washer and nut.

For the time being, ignore the little circled Xs. Those indicate placement for the S-hooks, but well get to that later.

Step 13: Making the Basket

Time to assemble the top of the basket. Loosen the hose clamp on one of the 1-1/4-inch to 1-1/4-inch rubber coupler halves and slide over the pole with the hose clamp side toward the top. Tighten enogh to hold in place, you'll fine tune the placement later. Now see if the PCV piece with the eyehooks will fit. You may need to sand/file/grind a bit out of the smaller end to make it fit on the fence post. Slide it down the fence post to rest on the rubber coupler. Next, place the grill grate assembly on the post with the flared end of the galvanized floor flange resting in the PVC part. Loosen the hose clamp on the remaining rubber coupler and slide on the post with the hose clamp facing down. Tap the 1-1/4-inch PVC cap into place on the top of the fence post.

Step 14: Tweak It

Fine tune the placement of the top parts, loosening the hose clamps as required. Once everything is in place, securely tighten the hose clamps.

Step 15: S-Hooks All Around

Hang S-hooks on the grill grate at each of the locations shown in the photo of the Grill Grate with orange Xs. With pliers, crimp the S-hook closed around the grill grate. For the two S-hooks that rest near the handles of the grill grate, secure them in the center position with three zip ties as shown in the picture.

Step 16: Start Hanging Some Chains

Hang chains on each of the S-hooks on the grill grate. Crimp the S-hook closed around the chain. Open one of the 3-1/4-inch hinged locking rings, place it around the fence post inside the whiskey barrel liner and begin threading the chains on the ring. When all the chains are in place, close the ring. Now attach S-hooks to each of the eye-hooks on the PVC piece; crimp the S-hooks closed. Hang chain on each of the S-hooks and crimp the S-hooks closed. Thread the inside chains on the remaining hinged locking ring, alternating the inside chains between the outside chains. Close the ring and throw a putt.

Step 17: Mount the Basket

If you are sticking this in a patio umbrella holder, then you are done. Congrats. If you want this in the ground, you have a bit more work ahead of you. Your fence post should be 66-inches tall and a disc golf basket is about 55-inches tall. That means you need to dig a hole 11-inches deep. A post hole digger works best for this. Dig the hole a few inches deeper to add some gravel for drainage. Stand a section of 1-1/4-inch PVC pipe (its diameter is a bit bigger than the fence post) level in the hole, fill the hole with quick-dry post cement, add the water and recheck for level. When the cement is dry, pull out the PVC and stick your basket in the ground.

Step 18: Parting Thoughts

Share these plans with as many people as possible. Why am I giving this away for free? Because I love the game so much that I want to give something back. You can pay me back by picking up some trash during your next round or helping your local club work on a course.

If you're looking for a ton of great courses in one area, consider visiting the Quad-Cities. Check us out www.qcdiscgolfclub.com.

1 Person Made This Project!


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30 Discussions

Billy Pritchett

3 years ago

this is really helpful. can you also make a tutorial of diy portable disc golf baskets such as this one http://portablediscgolfbasket.com/


5 years ago on Introduction

Just wondering. I am going to mount this in the ground and you say to use a 1 1/4 inch pvc as the mold for the guide hole in the cement , yet the steel pole for the basket is 1 5/8 inch. wouldnt the guide hole be too narrow? Im going to buy this stuff today and just want to get everything correct!

1 reply

6 years ago on Step 18

Awesome idea. My daughter and I have been throwing at a ladder in the drive way when we can't get to the local course. I am certainly going to use your design. Thanks, and great build.


8 years ago on Introduction

Too funny. I met Boomer in the summer of 07. He was the first person that got me into disc golfing. Listened to his early morning reggae show as well. Cheers,



8 years ago on Introduction

i was thinking about using an old bicycle tire/rim for the top. maybe mountain bike size. And to make it lighter and more portable, i wanted to use smaller chain link. what do you think? light weight basket ideas, and base ideas welcome.


all that matters is that it catches discs without tearing them up . even size is not that important . there are so many unique ways to build a basket . and that' s the whole point . to express your own style . you can get a instep basket shipped for 100$ on ebay which is a major bargain . unless you plan on welding the parts prices do add up .

the less you spend on materials ... the more time and modifications required.
the more you spend on materials .. the less time and modifications required.

it's that simple

if you want a perfect basket buy one
if you want a unique basket and something to do for the weekend
build it yourself ;-)


11 years ago on Step 18

no offense intended but i think the top is ridiculous, a mach 3 has 23 inch top holder...the mach 5 is the same, that grill looks flimsy and stupid, i made mine custom with fiberglass but any 23 inch ring will be better than a grill top, be it piece of plywood or any piece of plastic thick enough to support all that chain... they should be staggered, 6 in and 6 out, and that dumb flimsy grill top doesn't support a decent chain configuration...your inner ten chains are useless mainly because they are so close to the center pole, they need to be a minimum of 6 to 8 inches away from the pole.

2 replies

Reply 9 years ago on Step 18

You are ignorant and rude. There is many many ways to give that constructive critisism without being so outright offensive. I would have loved to see you stutter in your brain for hours while trying to figure out how to build this. Clearly your creativity and engineering abilities are sub-par other wise you would follow up such severe and harsh statements with a set of plans that you made. sethf8403, you suck at life. Orange Guy, you are a great person and have many great things to come for sharing such genuine inginuity with the masses...

Orange Guysethf8403

Reply 11 years ago on Step 18

1. Not everyone has access to fiberglass fabrication. 2. Plywood would not hold up to outdoor exposure. 3. "Piece of plastic thick enough" ... example? Also, you only have 12 chains? Most I throw at have 18 or 24. I think you kind of missed the point. This is called a "hardware" basket, meaning all the parts are right at the hardware store and require very little to no modification to be ready for assembly. You are correct on the center chains and many people have adjusted the plans to move them out a bit.


9 years ago on Step 18

Wow, I think you did a fine job and this was a great instructable.  Makes me want to check into a local disc golf area.  Looks like with enough area you could have your own course.


11 years ago on Introduction

i never heard of disc golf...what are the rules? trowing the disk so it sticks in the chains?

2 replies
Orange GuyThorax

Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

That's pretty much the gist of it. The rules are a lot like ball golf, but you throw a disc instead of hitting a ball. Check out www.pdga.com for more info and find a course near you. It's great low-cost activity.

StuNuttOrange Guy

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

I was about to ask the same question as Thorax!  At first I thought it was some gadget to improve my golf putting (on the back lawn).

I guess that Disc Golf hasn't made it to UK (yet!)


9 years ago on Introduction

Great job! This sport thrives because of people like you. If you have a Facebook account look us up on the De Laveaga profile, I would like to add you as a friend.  If you ever come to Santa Cruz CA, let us know, we would love to show you around. Great instructables again!


10 years ago on Introduction

Thanks Orange Guy!!! Been playing disc golf for years but we just use a backpack and a nature trail. One guy walks ahead and picks a spot. On a stump, hanging from a limp, middle of the trail or in the woods. I played a "real" course for the first last week. Our state park built one and it's a blast. Of course I immediately began brain storming on how to build a basket. Seth 8403 seems a bit arrogant and has missed the point totally. I myself plan to use your plans and try to find substitutes to make it even more in expensive. I'll call it the poor mans basket. (Seth stay away. you wont like it) Any way, awesome job and thanks for all your hard work and generosity!!! When I get mine built I'll post it for all to critique. ps - hikerjoe, you nailed it! Nice! Dennis


10 years ago on Step 16

mountain clips might be a good idea instead of s clips


10 years ago on Introduction

sweet. Disc golf is the best. I built 3 homemade baskets about 5 years ago. I wish I would have taken pics, it was quite a production. They have held up well.

homemade basket 1.jpghomemade basket 2.jpg

10 years ago on Introduction

Thank you so much for publishing your ideas for making your own basket, they are the best that I have seen on the web for make from your hardware store baskets. I have used so many of your ideas with a few exceptions. I used some products that I already owned for some of the parts. I am still in the process of making it. I will let you know how it turns out. Again, thank you for paying it forward, and you are greatly appreciated by this disc golfer adjusting to a recession economy.