Blog

Two keys to growing the sport: Money and safer courses

Results from the 3DiscGolf Survey (Part II)

By Dee Leekha and Josh Woods, PhD ~

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Disc golf is a player-driven sport. For decades, the players have built their own courses, created their own clubs, and told their own stories. Their volunteerism and charity are legendary. Without their common desire to join with friends and build their own worlds, disc golf would hardly exist.

Yet, the willingness of players, by choice or necessity, to shoulder so much responsibility also has downsides. Continue reading “Two keys to growing the sport: Money and safer courses”

800 weeks of uninterrupted disc golf fun

Has Parked found the longest, documented weekly league streak in disc golf history?

By Bill Flynn ~

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Hole 1, Young’s Run Disc Golf Course, 2010. A rare course photo from Superman Saturday league. From left: Eric “Fitty” Centanni, Tony “Pro-Rec” Keller, Steve Pavick, and Ryan Stellmaker.

Disc golf wasn’t an epidemic when it arrived in Warren, Ohio, but those catching the bug got it bad, real bad. Busy schedules or not, local disc golfers migrated to Young’s Run Disc Golf Course. They played every free moment – any day, any time – and especially on Saturdays.

Just a bunch of guys who liked playing disc golf, they eventually formed a club when one member, Joe “Ho Mac” Holbrook, needed a name for a charity event. That’s when the Trumbull County Disc Golf Associates (TCDGA) came to life. Continue reading “800 weeks of uninterrupted disc golf fun”

The most important problems facing disc golf courses in the United States

Results from the 3DiscGolf Survey (Part I)

By Josh Woods, PhD, and Dee Leekha ~

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Garbage on disc golf courses, long grass on fairways, uneven or small tee pads, erosion, and no bathrooms top the list of concerns among experienced course developers.

Disc golf has changed a lot over the last twenty years.

Two decades ago, there were 4,776 active members of the PDGA in the United States. Today, there are more than 28,861. Americans played in 329 PDGA sanctioned events in 1998. They will play in no fewer than 2,368 in the coming year, per the PDGA.

In 1998, Scott Stokely broke the World Record for distance with a jaw-dropping throw that carried 693 feet. In 2017, Simon Lizotte parked a 726-foot hole during tournament play, and the World Record is now held by David Wiggins Jr. with a distance that exceeds Stokely’s by nearly 400 feet. Continue reading “The most important problems facing disc golf courses in the United States”

Disc golf club runs 228 weekly league events in a row

By Josh Woods, photos by Jesse Wright ~

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Participants of the Morgantown Mountain Goats’ league event on New Year’s Eve, 2017. The club has not cancelled a weekly event since being established on August 12, 2013.

Disc golf clubs are like unclassified plants. No one knows what they are, but still they sprout up and spread through the hills, fields and forests, bringing delight to anyone who finds them.

In summer 2013, one disc golf club, the Morgantown Mountain Goats of West Virginia, held their first meeting in the future president’s living room. The Goat founders appointed a Board of Directors, which included Shelby Dering, Shane Leiggi, Greg Hackett and Jason Lee, and started planning the future. Their initial priorities were to establish a formal league and further develop a disc golf course at Dorsey’s Knob Park in Morgantown, West Virginia. Continue reading “Disc golf club runs 228 weekly league events in a row”

Does disc golf need a Leviathan?

By Josh Woods ~

Leviathan
The cover art of Hobbes’s “Leviathan” features one central authority whose body is comprised, literally and figuratively, of individual citizens. Sadly, the disc golfers seen here did not appear in the original.

In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville published an important book about disc golf.

Okay, maybe Tocqueville wasn’t focused on disc golf exactly, but his ideas can be applied to it. In Democracy in America, he wrote about the delicate balance that must be found between the impulse of governments to centralize power, and the desire of individuals and local groups to pursue their unique interests.[1] Continue reading “Does disc golf need a Leviathan?”

To love a loveless thing

By Josh Woods ~

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Mid-December sunrise over Dorsey’s Knob Park, Morgantown, WV. Photo by Jesse Wright.

Loving something that few people know or care about is not such a big problem. But when you love a loveless thing enough to play it and talk about it, without end—well, now you have a problem.

Your troubles can emerge almost anywhere, and before you know it, they multiply. The moment you utter the word “disc golf” in mixed company, clouds form overhead, the earth cracks, and winged monkeys appear on the horizon. Continue reading “To love a loveless thing”

Disc Golf and the Robin Hood Effect on Public Health

By Kristian Vernegaard ~

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Nick Buysse (beside R. Hood) takes aim at the Seth Burton Memorial Disc Golf Complex in Fairmont, West Virginia. Photo by Jesse Wright.

Hearing the name Robin Hood, you might think of Russel Crowe, Kevin Costner, or an anthropomorphic fox. But thanks to a recent study by Vernegaard, Johansen and Haugen, you can now associate Robin Hood with disc golf as well.[1] Continue reading “Disc Golf and the Robin Hood Effect on Public Health”

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 ~

Paige
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”