Disc Golf Is Winning Hearts and Minds, New Study Shows

By Josh Woods ~

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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 ~

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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 ~

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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 ~

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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 ~

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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 ~

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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”

Living in the Moment and Other Unbelievable Feats of Mental Strength

By Josh Woods ~

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In the 1980 comedy Caddyshack, the pseudo-Buddhist ball golfer Ty Webb offered wisdom to his young, forward-thinking protege Danny Noonan.

“Danny, I’m going to give you a little advice,” Ty said. “There’s a force in the universe that makes things happen; all you have to do is get in touch with it. Stop thinking … find your center … let things happen … and be … the ball.”

Despite the silliness of this tip, the idea that regulating your thoughts and centering your attention can improve performance is remarkably popular. You can find it in books of pop psychology, in the meditation rooms at Google and Nike, in the hot yoga gyms of middle America, and in several disc golf books, blogs and websites. Continue reading “Living in the Moment and Other Unbelievable Feats of Mental Strength”

Ten Absolutely Perfect Reasons to Avoid Your Next Workday (A Satire)

Josh Woods ~

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Whenever I hear about people volunteering for backbreaking labor at a public disc golf course, I am struck by the same question: What’s wrong with these people?

Many disc golf courses are located outdoors. This fact alone should persuade even the most ardent do-gooder to avoid unpaid toil on a disc golf course. The natural world is a disorderly menace. At times, it may tempt you, like sea nymphs tempt sailors, to venture into it. But doing so for the sake of labor will surely end in monumental discomfort and regret. Continue reading “Ten Absolutely Perfect Reasons to Avoid Your Next Workday (A Satire)”

Tournament Fees: What Makes Dollars and Sense?

How to anger-proof a tournament in trying times.

Josh Woods ~

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Cell phone activation fees. Baggage fees. Hotel internet fees. Cancellation fees.

No one likes fees. People especially dislike hidden fees, additional fees and any charge that seems shady or unreasonable. Still, fees are everywhere. Including in disc golf.

As one example, players without PDGA memberships must pay a “$10 additional fee” to register for a PDGA-sanctioned tournament. Although there are logical reasons for this charge, not everyone is a fan. Continue reading “Tournament Fees: What Makes Dollars and Sense?”

Flying Discs in the Age of Legal Cannabis

Should disc golf embrace the weed industry?

Josh Woods ~

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Image via sftravel and flydiscs.

Cannabis has finally arrived in disc golf land.

Wait … what?

Okay, weed has been here from the beginning, but in May 2019 the San Francisco Open (SFO) became the first premier disc golf tournament that had a major sponsor from the cannabis industry. Continue reading “Flying Discs in the Age of Legal Cannabis”