How Disc Golf Isn’t Inclusive and How It Can Be

By Bailey Mareu ~

Paige Pierce at the Silver Cup in Manitowalk, WI (July 11, 2020). Photo Lauren Lakeberg.

During a recent online discussion about diversity and inclusion in disc golf, someone asked me to explain “How disc golf isn’t inclusive.”

The intention in the question was to prove that disc golf is open and welcome to all who want to play and that excluding people, on purpose, because of their race, ethnicity, gender or other characteristics simply doesn’t happen.

Calculated discrimination exists (even if you haven’t seen it), and it is a problem, but not being inclusive is sometimes more subtle than being overtly exclusive. I did research to better understand it myself as the discussion on how women are treated in disc golf increased in recent weeks.

Here are a few examples of how disc golf isn’t inclusive of women and girls.

Continue reading “How Disc Golf Isn’t Inclusive and How It Can Be”

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

By Josh Woods ~

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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”

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 ~

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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 ~

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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?”

Now it is Official – Disc Golf is Enormously Popular in Finland

By Kari Toivonen ~

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The young Finnish star Henna Blomroos at the 2019 European Open. Photo: Kari Toivonen

The European Open was held in Nokia, Finland a few weeks ago. It was a fantastic battle between the best players in the world, but the comeback victory of Paul McBeth was not the only thing that made people gasp. Continue reading “Now it is Official – Disc Golf is Enormously Popular in Finland”

Disc Golf’s Two Paths Forward

Is Disc Golf a Business or a Social Movement?

Josh Woods ~

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How do small sports become big ones?

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”

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”

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”

Three Reasons to Care about Disc Golf Research

By Josh Woods ~

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One of the questions you learn to answer in graduate school is, “Who cares?”

As you work through your research ideas, your teachers drum this question into you. For instance, after presenting your thesis proposal, someone in the audience might chirp: “Your project sounds interesting, but I’m not sure it passes the who-cares test.”

That’s as close as it gets to smack talk in academia.

As devilish as the question may be, it’s almost always worth answering. After all, if your research isn’t relevant to anyone, why carry it out? Continue reading “Three Reasons to Care about Disc Golf Research”