Blog

Three Reasons Brodie Smith Could Be A Game Changer for Disc Golf

By Josh Woods ~

Cover art

If you go back to late November 2019 on Brodie Smith’s Twitter feed and scan the posts until December 27, this is what you’ll find:

  • Pro football
  • Pro football
  • Pro football
  • Pro football
  • Pro football
  • More pro football
  • Ball golf
  • Naked dude on roller skates
  • College football
  • John C. Reilly
  • Flaming baton twirler
  • Ball golf
  • Ball golf
  • Ball golf
  • More ball golf
  • Just, like, tons of ball golf stuff (and without Bill Murray … yeesh)
  • Ball golf
  • Ball golf
  • A nodding Robert Redford in Jeremiah Johnson looking like Zach Galifianakis
  • Ball golf
  • Cool Runnings
  • Excellent puffin shirt
  • Over-the-top wedding video
  • Nostalgic Christmas card photo

And then this:

1 Disc golf journey begins

Wait, what? Continue reading “Three Reasons Brodie Smith Could Be A Game Changer for Disc Golf”

Should Disc Golf Warm Up To Cannabis?

By Ben Owens ~

Cover art

As the popularity of disc golf grows, the sport’s relationship with cannabis is also evolving. Historically, disc golfers were stereotyped as “pot heads,” a negative image that groups such as the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) have worked to overcome by legitimizing the sport. More recently, disc golf has developed to the level of other established sports, while cannabis has become legal in some form in more than half the country. Continue reading “Should Disc Golf Warm Up To Cannabis?”

Good Dirt: How Soil Compaction Could Affect the Future of Disc Golf

By Josh Woods ~

Cover art
Soil compaction and visible tree roots are common on popular disc golf courses. Photo Ronald Harkey.

Try this: Search google for “environmental impact.” In the results, you’ll quickly see that almost everything humans do affects the environment, and that many of these impacts have been carefully studied by scientists.

Research on disc golf’s influence on the environment is still developing, but there are at least two studies, published in peer-reviewed academic journals, that examine a little-known problem that is right beneath our feet. Continue reading “Good Dirt: How Soil Compaction Could Affect the Future of Disc Golf”

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

By 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?”