Risk of Brain Injury from Disc Strikes Is “Negligible,” New Research Finds

By Josh Woods, PhD ~

Cover Art
Photo Menickelli et al., 2019.

Life is inherently risky. And if you play sports, injury risk lurks around every corner. Even athletes of esports, who compete while sitting down, face significant health problems.

Though seen by some as a whimsical game, disc golf can be a menace to the flesh. Having dealt with several problems myself, I reviewed research on the prevalence of disc golf injuries in two previous posts in Parked—one with an early interview with Disc Golf Strong and the other on stretching. Simply throwing a disc repeatedly, sans ankle turns or catastrophic falls, can wreak havoc on the fibrous tissues that connect muscle to bone. Continue reading “Risk of Brain Injury from Disc Strikes Is “Negligible,” New Research Finds”

Disc Golf is Fun and That’s the Most Important Thing, Ever

Josh Woods ~

Cover art
Photo Jesse Wright

I recently gave a presentation on disc golf at a sociology conference. At the end, someone asked, “What’s so important about disc golf?”

Of course, she didn’t ask the question quite like this. It was subtler and nicer, but that’s how I took it. Continue reading “Disc Golf is Fun and That’s the Most Important Thing, Ever”

New Ice Bowl Art Raises Awareness about Global Warming

By Josh Woods ~

Cover art

Ice Bowl events have been tackling social problems for more than two decades. Since 1996, this series of disc golf charity events, played in dozens of cities, has been raising funds for good causes, amounting to over $4.55 million in total, including over $322 thousand in 2019. Continue reading “New Ice Bowl Art Raises Awareness about Global Warming”

It’s Never Too Late to Fall in Love with Disc Golf

By Robert H. Hooker ~

Cover art
Robert Hooker at the 2019 USDGC. Photo Robert Hooker.

I don’t remember the exact day or year, but I do remember the exact spot where I first tried disc golf.

Hole 7, Winthrop Gold.

Roughly 10 years ago, I arrived at Winthrop with my son, an avid disc golfer. At his insistence, we stopped at the course during a weekend trip to see family in South Carolina. The United States Disc Golf Championship was to be played there in a few weeks and he wanted to take on one of disc golf’s most iconic courses. Continue reading “It’s Never Too Late to Fall in Love with Disc Golf”

Disc Golf Is Winning Hearts and Minds, New Study Shows

By Josh Woods ~

Cover art

Compared to most issues in our fury-fueled political landscape, disc golf is a blissfully uncontroversial subject of public interest.

But, if you plumb the depths of local news coverage, you will find at least some controversy over the upsides and downsides of disc golf.

The debate, when there is one, can be summarized with the following questions:

  • Does the inclusion of a disc golf course in a public park harm the natural environment, or is disc golf an environmentally friendly alternative to other, more destructive recreational activities?
  • Does the sport introduce unreasonable physical risks to participants and bystanders, or benefit public health and wellbeing?
  • Do disc golf communities encourage public intoxication, criminal behavior and community conflict, or provide safe, family-friendly recreation that deters crime in public parks and inspires community engagement, volunteerism and charity?

Continue reading “Disc Golf Is Winning Hearts and Minds, New Study Shows”

The Disc Golf Revolution Will Not Be Televised (But It Will Be Fun)

New Study Examines the Moneyless Rise of Disc Golf

By Josh Woods ~

Cover photo
Photo by Ajeet Mestry

Three years ago, I quietly jettisoned my sociological research agenda on terrorism and immigration and began thinking about the growth of disc golf and other emerging sports. The two-part question that has held my curiosity longest is this one:

Is the popularity of disc golf growing, and if so, why? Continue reading “The Disc Golf Revolution Will Not Be Televised (But It Will Be Fun)”

Has Frisbee Culture Delayed the Rise of Competitive Disc Golf?

By Josh Woods ~

Cover art

Should we call it “Frisbee golf” or “disc golf”?

Few questions have generated more discussion among disc enthusiasts than this one. Opinions on the topic are as wide-ranging as they are divisive.

And yet, what matters most to the future of competitive disc golf is not what insiders think about these terms, but what outsiders think of them. Continue reading “Has Frisbee Culture Delayed the Rise of Competitive Disc Golf?”

Now it is Official – Disc Golf is Enormously Popular in Finland

By Kari Toivonen ~

Cover art
The young Finnish star Henna Blomroos at the 2019 European Open. Photo: Kari Toivonen

The European Open was held in Nokia, Finland a few weeks ago. It was a fantastic battle between the best players in the world, but the comeback victory of Paul McBeth was not the only thing that made people gasp. Continue reading “Now it is Official – Disc Golf is Enormously Popular in Finland”

Disc Golf’s Two Paths Forward

Is Disc Golf a Business or a Social Movement?

Josh Woods ~

Cover art

How do small sports become big ones?

When answering this question, most commentators point to the economics of sports and media. Sports grow when major media outlets pay attention to them. Increased media coverage attracts more participants and consumers, which entice even bigger media companies and corporate sponsors, which then foster stronger sport institutions. Continue reading “Disc Golf’s Two Paths Forward”

The Ultimate Guide to Disc Golf in Popular Culture

I need your help.

By Josh Woods ~

cover art

I’ve been researching portrayals of disc golf in American movies and television shows. So far, with the help of friends and fellow disc golfers, I found more than 70 references. I included the list below, along with a description of each case.

The sample is focused on disc golf references in U.S. feature-length films (40 minutes or longer) and television shows. I’m only looking for verbal references or images of disc golf, Frisbee golf, frolf, and disc-golf-related equipment such as baskets, discs and bags. Continue reading “The Ultimate Guide to Disc Golf in Popular Culture”