Why Europe may outpace the United States in disc golf growth

By Josh Woods and Kari Toivonen ~

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Government control. State intervention. Collective ownership. To some Americans, these terms sound like nails on a chalkboard.

Free markets. Privatization. Pay-to-play. Now these words sound better to fiscal conservatives. The goal should be less government, lower taxes and a smaller role for the state. People should be free to chase their dreams without government interference.

But could people chase their disc golf dreams without government? Continue reading “Why Europe may outpace the United States in disc golf growth”

Slow learning and the hand-speed fairy

By Kingsley Flett ~

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Paige Pierce driving on the uphill hole 13 at Mundaring DiscGolfPark in Western Australia during the Aussie Open in January 2017. Photo by Kingsley Flett.

A player who I was coaching received a visit from the hand-speed fairy the other day.

After getting used to the sight of her merely throwing the disc, I was taken aback by how suddenly her arm whipped around in a blur, and how the disc ejected from her hand with a crisp violence. Without her knowing it, her brain switched on more muscle fibers that power the throw while switching off the ones that decelerate it. The correct term for this is reciprocal inhibition, but I prefer ‘hand-speed fairy.’ Continue reading “Slow learning and the hand-speed fairy”

The Nordic Anomaly: Finland as a Disc Golf World Leader

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Hope is a dangerous thing when you have too much of it.

According to a recent report, the Disc Golf World Tour (DGWT) is closing shop and will not be holding events in 2018. At first glance, the gloomy announcement suggests that the DGWT had more hope than it needed.

The quality and professionalism of DGWT events were widely praised by players, fans and media outlets. To some, the DGWT stumble signals uncertainty for the future of global disc golf.

But even as DGWT’s plans for 2018 dissolve, the disc golf forecast for Europe is favorable, and DGWT Director Jussi Meresmaa is sure to continue his work on one of the sport’s most remarkable success stories: Finland. Continue reading “The Nordic Anomaly: Finland as a Disc Golf World Leader”

Disc golf gives back during Down Syndrome Awareness Month

By Brian Wells ~

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Brian Wells presents a disc golf donation to ARC Marion, October 2017.

Disc golf is my favorite hobby, and I take every chance I get to play. But like most disc golf dads, family comes first. I have a wonderful wife, a four-year-old daughter, and a two-year-old son.

When our daughter came along, I knew I would have less time for disc golf. With the arrival of our second child, I expected my disc golf time to get even tighter. But when we realized that our son was born with Down syndrome, our world was turned upside down. Continue reading “Disc golf gives back during Down Syndrome Awareness Month”

Two approaches to teaching disc golf

By Valarie Jenkins and Josh Woods ~

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Paul McBeth and Nate Sexton give an instructional clinic at the McBeast Challenge in Ocala, Florida (March 21, 2017). Photo by Brian Wells.

“Back in the weeds … great!”

Learning how to play disc golf can be frustrating. Searching for your disc in thorny underbrush while your friend taps in for birdie can test the patience of any disc golfer.

But then it happens: A breakthrough. The disc leaves your hand, glides along an intended path and lands near the basket. The sun peaks from the clouds. Birds chirp happily in the trees. You can breathe again. Okay, maybe you’ll play another round.

Moments of success keep disc golfers coming back for more. But where do they come from? How do disc golfers learn to play better? Continue reading “Two approaches to teaching disc golf”

Without a net: All professional disc golfers are underdogs, even Paul McBeth

Paul McBeth
Paul McBeth at the Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open, 2017 – Moraine State Park, hole 3, final round. Photo by James McDonald, editor at Full Metal Basket.

Paul McBeth is feeling small.

On September 16, 2017, shortly after dropping out of the Green Mountain Championship due to an injury and carding his first-ever DNF in a PDGA event, McBeth posted a message on Facebook:

“Being 5’8″ 160 lbs you’ll never be the favorite in sports. That’s why I like my story. #MyMindIsReady #USDGC” Continue reading “Without a net: All professional disc golfers are underdogs, even Paul McBeth”

Two perspectives on disc golf and why we need them both

By Jim Palmeri ~

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Why is disc golf such a fun, fast-growing recreational and competitive activity? Part of the reason is that disc golfers embrace two different perspectives on the game.

Advocates of the first viewpoint—the ball-golf perspective—believe that disc golf should encompass all the subtleties and nuances that make ball golf the widely celebrated sport that it is today. Continue reading “Two perspectives on disc golf and why we need them both”

Disc golf as social movement: A strategy for growing the sport

Is disc golf headed for the mainstream?

Last year, Steve Dodge, Director of the Disc Golf Pro Tour, predicted that disc golf would be bigger than ball golf by 2026.

Many observers share Dodge’s optimism, and there’s some evidence to support it. Continue reading “Disc golf as social movement: A strategy for growing the sport”

In the News, July 16-31, 2017

InTheNewsA review of grow-the-sport news from around the country: The Charlotte Mecca, Rifle Camp Park fiasco, Devens Disc Golf, celebrating Dale Haake, the history of CCDG, new course developments, the cops like disc golfers, plus the photo and video of the month. Continue reading “In the News, July 16-31, 2017”

Does the fear of death inspire people to play disc golf? A review of Gessner’s ‘Ultimate Glory’

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One of the most interesting books about disc golf is a book about Ultimate Frisbee. David Gessner, in Ultimate Glory, offers a rowdy, confessional tale about his years playing Ultimate in the 1980s. Ultimate players may be the intended audience, but disc golfers and other athletes of emerging sports—in fact, anyone who cares about a thing that many people consider ridiculous—will find this book fascinating. Continue reading “Does the fear of death inspire people to play disc golf? A review of Gessner’s ‘Ultimate Glory’”