Josh is an associate professor of sociology at West Virginia University who plays disc golf and writes about it. He has two goals for Parked: convince the disc golf community that social scientific research can benefit the sport, and convince the academic community that disc golf is worth studying.
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”→
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?
New Study Examines the Moneyless Rise of Disc Golf
By Josh Woods ~
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:
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”→
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.
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.”