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The Sociology of Disc Golf? Yep, that’s a Thing

Josh Woods ~

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I am terrible at cocktail parties. I rarely say the right thing when meeting new people.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not someone who looks down on small talk. I can chat about sports, the weather and Caribbean vacations all day long.

The problem is, when encountering strangers, the topics of careers and hobbies invariably arise.

“What keeps you busy?” Someone might ask.

For me, there’s really no way to answer this question truthfully without staring into a blank, confused face. Continue reading “The Sociology of Disc Golf? Yep, that’s a Thing”

DiscGolfer Magazine Just Made History

A woman lands the cover in back-to-back issues.

By Josh Woods ~

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The covers of Discgolfer Magazine’s winter and spring issues of 2019 featured Paige Bjerkaas (right) and Eveliina Salonen (left).

Here’s an earth-shaker for you: When people go to restaurants, they order food from a menu.

A few picky eaters may request off-menu items, but most people stick to the script. According to researcher Brian Wansink, customers are especially likely to choose items that are next to pictures, bolded or placed in boxes.

These are not controversial claims, are they? Continue reading “DiscGolfer Magazine Just Made History”

Who Gets Hooked? The Demographics of Disc Golf Involvement

By Josh Woods ~

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One of my best friends almost died from a disc-golf addiction.

He and I had recently discovered disc golf and were still in the honeymoon stage. Some days we’d play three rounds in the high hills of West Virginia under the hot summer sun.

Old men trying to relive their childhoods rarely ends well. This was no exception. Continue reading “Who Gets Hooked? The Demographics of Disc Golf Involvement”

Play, Party, Plan: Pittsburgh’s Formula for Growing the Sport

By Josh Woods ~

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Why do some disc golf communities grow, while others stagnate or decline?

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. But reasonable speculation on this question might begin with the case study approach: Find a model of success and try to learn what works.

Over the last four decades, Pittsburgh’s disc golf community has worked. Continue reading “Play, Party, Plan: Pittsburgh’s Formula for Growing the Sport”

Do a Good Deed for Disc Golf

Help Bring a Disc Golf Course to the Gorgeous Coopers Rock State Forest in West Virginia

By Nick Buysse, Greg Hackett and Josh Woods ~

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The look out at Coopers Rock State Forest, WV (Photo Jesse Wright)

Here are three ways to help:

1) Attend the public tour at Coopers Rock State Forest on March 2, 2019 at 10 am. The tour involves a short walk in the woods where the proposed disc golf course may be located. The more people who attend the event and voice their support, the better our chances of gaining permission to build the course. Please write a short email to Mr. Travis Miller at Travis.M.Miller@wv.gov and let him know that you will be attending the walk through. Continue reading “Do a Good Deed for Disc Golf”

Gender Divides in the Language of Disc Golf

Six examples of gender bias on the disc golf course.

By Josh Woods, PhD ~

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The M in MPO stands for “male,” right?

MPO is an abbreviation for “male pro open,” a PDGA tournament division for professional male disc golfers. I walked around with this idea for months. Walked around knowing, without question, what the M means.

Of course, I was wrong. The M stands for “mixed,” not male. Both men and women can compete in a PDGA division that has M in the code. There is no men’s division in disc golf. Continue reading “Gender Divides in the Language of Disc Golf”

New Doc Showcases Frustration and Fun of Growing the Sport in Chattanooga, TN

By Josh Woods ~

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You’ve heard this story before.

But if there’s one story that should be told repeatedly, it’s this one: Disc golfers spend heaps of time and money building and maintaining disc golf courses for the public good. The disc golf infrastructure in the United States is, essentially, a fifty-year-old community development project headed by philanthropists and voluntary sports clubs. Continue reading “New Doc Showcases Frustration and Fun of Growing the Sport in Chattanooga, TN”

Bad Santa 2.0 Spreads True Meaning of Disc Golf

By Josh Woods ~

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Participants of the Bad Santa 2.0 event played at The Gulch on December 22, 2018 (Hamburg, Michigan).

What makes something funny? Where does fun come from? Is disc golf fun when it’s funny?

Part of me wants to answer these questions by reviewing scientific research on humor. But then, that might not be much fun.

As the poet E. B. White put it, “Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the purely scientific mind.” Continue reading “Bad Santa 2.0 Spreads True Meaning of Disc Golf”

UDisc Blog “Release Point” Doesn’t Disappoint

By Josh Woods ~

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UDisc launched its blog Release Point in summer 2018 and began publishing articles regularly just two months ago. Drawing on unique data from UDisc app users and offering compelling commentary, Release Point is providing new insight on disc golf courses, communities and culture.

Continue reading “UDisc Blog “Release Point” Doesn’t Disappoint”

A Demographic Portrait of Disc Golf Land

Results from the 2017 Parked Facebook Study – Part 1.

By Josh Woods, PhD ~Cover art

In early 2017, we collected the first large-scale random sample of disc golfers and estimated the size and characteristics of the organized disc golfer population in the United States. The results discussed in this post will appear in the International Journal of Sport Communication early next year.

If you haven’t read my last two posts, consider taking a look at the theory behind this study and the method we used to explore it before plunging into the findings below. Continue reading “A Demographic Portrait of Disc Golf Land”