By Josh Woods ~
In summer 2016, I started a Twitter account, followed my favorite disc golfers and groups and sat on the edge of my seat waiting to be amused and enlightened.
Unfortunately, not much happened. Four years ago, disc golf Twitter was little more than a weigh station for disc advertisements, lackluster notes about personal accomplishments and links directing Twitter users to Instagram posts.
It’s still not great.
But gradually, inexplicably, it has gotten better. In the last year or so, like Steven Seagal waking up in Hard to Kill, more and more players, brands and independent accounts are getting active.
To ring in this partial renaissance, here’s my (incomplete) review of disc golf’s micro bloggers.
The Bigs Are a Little …
The PDGA (@PDGA) and the sales-pitchy disc manufacturers tend to keep it classy, which is, well … a little boring.
The PDGA Women’s Committee (@pdgawomen) shows some spunk here and there, Innova (@InnovaDiscs) is consistently entertaining, the Disc Golf Pro Tour (@DiscGolfProTour) doesn’t miss a beat on the pro side, and the WFDF (@WorldFlyingDisc) is expanding the Frisbee universe.
But still, the institutional Twitter gang regularly sidesteps controversy and errs on the side of caution. It’s unfortunate, in my view, that the Bigs have remained ideologically timid in these ideologically troubling times. Weird, for instance, that we can look to frozen meat (@steak_umm) for some edginess and thoughtful leadership before checking in with disc golf’s countercultural founders.
The Copy and Paste Problem
The perennial weakness of disc golf Twitter is redundancy. I mean, if you already follow the fantastic posts of JomezPro on Facebook, there’s no need to follow @JomezPro on Twitter for the same content. This is true of several disc golf media, player accounts and other celebs.
I don’t mean this as criticism, but rather as an observation of simple math. Disc golf Twitter is a small galaxy in the sport’s ever-expanding social media universe. For instance, Simon Lizotte has 80.9K subscribers on YouTube, 83.3K followers on Instagram and just 11.1K followers on Twitter (@LizotteDiscGolf). Udisc (@UDiscApp) has 84,459 likes on Facebook, but only 3,233 followers on Twitter. Ultiworld Disc Golf (@UltiworldDG), 13,570 likes on Facebook, less than half that on Twitter.
If there’s no one there to watch the fireworks, why set them off?
Thoughts/Opinions Are Mine
Whilst the Bigs calmly tread water like Magnum P.I. stranded at sea, some of their employees and sponsored players occasionally show their dorsal fins via personal accounts.
Here’s my short list of standouts:
Steve Hill, @OneMileMore
The PDGA Communications Manager’s account is feisty, sometimes funny and always smart. Hill is a jewel of disc golf journalism and a creative purveyor of Trumpian angst. (“The amount of times I have yelled at the computer today because of the ‘president’ is approaching a new record”).
Hannah McBeth, @hannahemcbeth
While carving an institutional footing in disc golf, McBeth seems refreshingly unconcerned about voicing authentic opinion. Her account is spontaneous, clever and directed by ideological guideposts. Unlike many others, she cooks up plenty of made-for-Twitter tweets. If there was such a thing as a Disc Golf Twitter Draft Day, I’d pick @hannahemcbeth over @Paul_McBeth.
Mahmoud Bahrani, @chikago12
Media Manager for the Disc Golf Pro Tour, Bahrani is one of disc golf’s 1000-rated intellectuals whose wit and fearless stance on social issues make his profanity sound like a Scottish hymn.
Sarah Hokom, @SarahHokom
Perhaps the most underappreciated account on disc golf Twitter is @SarahHokom. She offers a thoughtful, consistent string of tweets that narrate the day-to-day life of a touring pro in intimate detail and clear, useful insight. If Paul McBeth did what Hokom does, he’d break the internet.
Paul Ulibarri, @PaulUlibarri
A standard, notification-based, pro disc golfer account, with an occasional surprise.
Andrew Fish, @Fish58320
A while back, Fish trashed one of my articles in Ultiworld Disc Golf, but his account is too interesting and wise on social issues for me to hold a grudge. He’s an ally to women’s disc golf and often tweets about the organizational side of the sport. Fish is famous for long threads and the retweet caption, “Read, apply to DG.”
Zach Melton, @zachmelton87
Like his game on a wooded course, Melton’s tweets consistently hit a tight gap by being nice and fun-loving without being trivial. He sometimes poses questions to his followers, favors emojis and talks basketball and pop culture.
Holly Finley, @OhFinaleFinley
An international fashion model turned disc golfer pumping smart, funny tweets on the regular. She says things like “I miss canceling plans with my friends,” and “Oh what do you know, it’s cake o’clock.”
Drew Gibson, @DrewGibsonn
This gritty yet fashionable, must-read account is also slightly offbeat and unpredictable, which, of course, is why it’s worth a follow. (“Covid is probably on the first flight back to China like DAMN….. America is wild”). Gibson has enough cool to cover the frailty of one third of disc golf land, but his account offers more than tattoos and sunglasses. (“Can we stop calling it ‘police brutality’ it’s murder, M-U-R-D-E-R! Killing another human regardless of your job title is murder.”)
Addie Maxwell, @AdaAddition
The critical-eyed author at Ultiworld Disc Golf is thoughtful and funny, though all-too-scarce in Twitterville. (“All these super heroes fighting with their long hair down, I put my hair up just to eat”).
Some disc golf celebs are known by one name for a reason: awesomeness.
Jordan Castro, @jordan_castro15
He’s a pro disc golfer and an enthusiastic sports fan who occasionally retweets on social issues.
A sense of humor and lots of retweets.
Brodie Smith, @Brodiesmith21
Despite being a devotee of all things commercial, the enthusiastic and sometimes entertaining Smith energized disc golf Twitter in early 2020. Check out a full accounting of his monumental splash here. Comfortable with experimentation, fearless of failure and willing to interact with the average Jane, the Smith account is legit. While recovering from the terrible tick, he should consider offering a Master Class on social media.
This former editor at Ultiworld Disc Golf retweets politics, talks about birds and knows a lot about disc golf.
Missy Gannon, @missy_discgolf
Though new to Twitter, this account may be one to watch.
JohnE McCray, @JohnEMcCrayTour
Fierce in the field and a teddy bear on Twitter, McCray’s tweets demonstrate class and leadership. As he travels the country, he often tweets appreciation to the organizers and clubs he encounters.
Robert McLeod, @frisbeerob
Motivational speakers tend to have unintended effects on me, but McLeod is a notable exception. His tweets are a thread of positive energy floating through the otherwise rancorous Twittersphere.
Avery Jenkins, @AveryJenkins
If you’re looking for a global perspective on disc golf, this pro player, designer, course collector and world traveler delivers.
Dana Vicich, @DanaDiscGolf
Vicich offers pro disc golf riffs with a smattering of light, political commentary. (“@realDonaldTrump should people huff the disinfectant or inject it? No way it should be drank, right? Please advise.”)
Jon McBeth, @jon_mcbeth
Brother to Paul, Jon McBeth tweets disc golf on occasion but spends more time on bikes and boards.
Chris W, @cbwiklund
Further evidence that Ultiworld Disc Golf employs talented disc golf writers, @cbwiklund tweets food, pop culture and, on occasion, pull-no-punches politics.
Ricky Wysocki, @sockibomb13
Raptor Legs redirects to Instagram quite a bit, but consistently shares his adventures (“Do you want to see me playing a round in a raptor suit?”), and … well, he’s one of the best players in the world, so there’s that.
Sara Nicholson, @scdiscgolfer77
A co-founder of @ThrowPink and a PDGA Women’s Committee member, Nicholson puts out more interesting, informative tweets on gender than most gender scholars I know. If you’re wondering how to encourage more women to play disc golf, maybe start by following @scdiscgolfer77.
Nikko Locastro, @nikkolocastro
Locastro recently tweeted a video of himself being shocked by a dog collar and flirt-tweeted this gem: “I’m considering getting more active on here again. Is this the spot where everybody gets to openly talk shit without to many getting extra sensitive?” #bringitnikko.
Jon Van Deurzen, @Jvphobic
As described by Z-Train (@Z_Indy), Van Deurzen is “the taller, drier, and more analytical side of the Smashboxx duo (@SmashBoxxTV). Also the technical brains behind DGPT live broadcasts.” Dry humor, dad jokes, bourbon, 99.9% great tweets, save this one: “Purple grapes are way better than green grapes.” Go green.
Terry Miller, @thediscgolfguy
Obligatory disc golf promotions, but also inside takes on the life of a disc golf media professional. No stranger to humorous self-deprecation, Miller’s tweets capture the comical inconveniences and everyday challenges of traveling across the country for a living. He writes things like “Bright idea coming in hot (maybe).”
Brittany Blair, @BB_Guns
Disc golf, penny stocks, Dolly Parton, weaponry, day-in-the-life riffs, Zach Morris … it doesn’t get more eclectic than @BB_Guns. (“This week has been the longest month ever”).
Diskgulf Chemp, @SwegDiskGulfer
As the only anonymous account reviewed here, I had a tough time describing this one. First draft: “If Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream had a baby with Adam Corrola and the baby grew up playing disc golf, it would probably write a Twitter account like this one.” Second draft: “Artist, provocateur, poor speller, it’s hard to know who’s behind this mystery account. But like most things that are either beautiful or terrifying, it’s worth a gander.” Third draft: “No comment.”
Steve Ganz, @steveganz
Ganz, Director of Technology at the PDGA, tweets Covid, politics and the PDGA, usually with a sense of humor.
Christine Jennings, @CKJennings88568
Disc golf, humor and everyday observations. (“I don’t think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks earlier this month that we would go from standard time to twilight zone”).
A must-follow for anyone involved in disc golf course design, Houck’s account breathes life into disc golf one hole at a time.
Disc Golf, Beer, and Bullshit, @discgolftalks
Moser, Toupin, Merkle and Emily produce a podcast about disc golf and Michigan beers in a basement near Grand Rapids. Check out their account for pod notifications and much more.
A slightly unhinged college professor tweets disc golf, social science, progressive politics and a pinch of What. The. Hell.
If you’re new to Twitter and you want to dive right in, here’s a sizable pool of interesting disc golfers: @kels113587, @daddio_sam, @GGDiscGolf, @beardotron, @brooknicole14, @TTownClassic, @westwindsdg, @MrPoleJangles, @anhyzertv, @ForeDiscGolf, @DiscTaeks, @BrkngC, @RyanA_OvO, @bvilleberry, @JCarliTweets, @front9news, @GolfWisc, @alphacard, @perlDreamer, @djhekyeh, @jkdiscgolf, @Fitch11, @Baconius, @Alex_Davis19, @coachmcvey, @Jvphobic, @jeffvp_42, @phil_lovejoy, @hukinplasticAK, @thatguymattyice, @DiscWild, @ChrisSangid, @sacdiscgolf, @kdubsultimate, @JehCD, @Topi62, @RonTheWhip, @playsdg, @discgolfcomedy, @DiscGolfExamine, @TheDiscPod, @SethBurtonMemDG, @DiscGolfDrabble, @baconbits_97, @Rattlinchains, @Dee_Leekha.
That makes 93, I think. But I’m sure I somehow forgot a bunch of good ones. If I missed you, please let me know and I’ll add you to the list.
What Should I Do with My Hands?
There are loads of notable disc golfers who don’t have accounts, or I just can’t find them. Many others are currently on hiatus, or only tweet redirects to Instagram et al.
In the words of Roger Waters, “Hello? Is there anybody in there” Sexton, Dickerson, Heimburg, Allen, Pierce, McMahon, Lewis, Korver, Doss, Spring, A. Williamson, H. King, E. King, V. Jenkins, Meresmaa, Feldberg, Owens, Stokely, Downes, Andyke, Brooks, Barsby, Schusterick, Gurthie, Colglazier, Duffy, Risley, Koling, Paju, Disc Golf Strong and many more?
Parked is made possible in part by a grant from the Professional Disc Golf Association.
Josh Woods, editor at Parked, is a professor of sociology at West Virginia University. He is working on a book, Emerging Sports as Social Movements: Disc Golf and the Rise of an Unknown Sport, to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2021.