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.”
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)”→