A New Study Estimates the Size and Demographic Characteristics of the U.S. Disc Golfer Population

By Josh Woods ~

Announcement cover art D2

I’m thrilled to announce that the initial goal of Parked is finally gaining traction.

I’ve been working on academic research on disc golf for two years. I just received word that my first peer-reviewed journal article on disc golf will be published early next year in the International Journal of Sport Communication.

The title is, “Using Social Media to Estimate the Size and Demographic Characteristics of Hard-to-Reach Sports Communities: The Case of Disc Golf.” [It’s now available here.]

A big thanks goes to my friends, family and disc golf buddies who have encouraged me to keep working on Parked and related research projects.

In the next weeks, with permission from the publisher, I’ll be posting short, digestible summaries of this study right here at Parked. For now, here’s the article’s abstract:

“Some measures suggest that disc golf is a fast-growing sport and recreational activity that provides notable physical and social benefits. However, little is known about those who play. Like many new and non-normative sports communities, the population of disc golfers is small, geographically dispersed, and therefore hard to study. This article offers a novel method for studying disc golfers and other hard-to-reach sports and leisure communities. Drawing on a random sample of 2,551 Facebook profiles, it provides new evidence about the size and characteristics of the organized disc golfer population. The study shows how social variables, including gender, race, geography, age, education and group size predict disc golf related behaviors on Facebook. It also reveals that disc golf related activities on social media are positively correlated with actual disc golf play. Guidance for future research on emerging sports communities is offered.”

Look for the first summary next week!

If you would like to support disc golf research, please share Parked with friends, sign up for our free newsletter by entering your email address below, like us on Facebook, and join the conversation by offering your comments and critiques.

It is a joy for me to tell the story of disc golf from an academic perspective. I hope you’ll come along for the ride!


Parked is underwritten in part by a grant from the Professional Disc Golf Association.

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