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”

Two perspectives on disc golf and why we need them both

By Jim Palmeri ~

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Why is disc golf such a fun, fast-growing recreational and competitive activity? Part of the reason is that disc golfers embrace two different perspectives on the game.

Advocates of the first viewpoint—the ball-golf perspective—believe that disc golf should encompass all the subtleties and nuances that make ball golf the widely celebrated sport that it is today. Continue reading “Two perspectives on disc golf and why we need them both”

Disc golf as social movement: A strategy for growing the sport

Is disc golf headed for the mainstream?

Last year, Steve Dodge, Director of the Disc Golf Pro Tour, predicted that disc golf would be bigger than ball golf by 2026.

Many observers share Dodge’s optimism, and there’s some evidence to support it. Continue reading “Disc golf as social movement: A strategy for growing the sport”

Does the fear of death inspire people to play disc golf? A review of Gessner’s ‘Ultimate Glory’

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One of the most interesting books about disc golf is a book about Ultimate Frisbee. David Gessner, in Ultimate Glory, offers a rowdy, confessional tale about his years playing Ultimate in the 1980s. Ultimate players may be the intended audience, but disc golfers and other athletes of emerging sports—in fact, anyone who cares about a thing that many people consider ridiculous—will find this book fascinating. Continue reading “Does the fear of death inspire people to play disc golf? A review of Gessner’s ‘Ultimate Glory’”

Disc Golf’s Silent Majority: A Search for Non-PDGA Disc Golf Events

DGS DGU Header Photo

Every kid has at least one completely ridiculous belief that causes embarrassment later in life. Mine was the Smurfs. For a time, I was sure they were real. One day I even went looking for them in a forest near my house.

After spending half the day turning over rocks and kicking tree stumps, I came to three conclusions. One, Smurfs probably do not exist. Two, throwing stones at a hornet’s nest is a bad idea (really, don’t do that). And three, nothing exists until it’s observed. Continue reading “Disc Golf’s Silent Majority: A Search for Non-PDGA Disc Golf Events”

The astonishing rise of Devan Owens, and the “secret sauce” of Tulsa disc golf

Devan Owens Putt by Frisbeenet
Photo: Frisbee.net

In August 2005, a young Devan Owens embarks on an unlikely journey. He leaves his home near Tulsa, Oklahoma and travels nearly a thousand miles to Flagstaff, Arizona for the PDGA Amateur Disc Golf World Championships. Owens is sixteen years old, a precocious lefty with a sidearm and a dream. Continue reading “The astonishing rise of Devan Owens, and the “secret sauce” of Tulsa disc golf”

Disc golf is trending in U.S. newspapers: Supporting evidence for disc golf’s “fast-growing sport” claim

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Disc golf is the fourth-fastest growing sport in newspaper coverage

As a kid, I loved NFL football. The walls of my childhood room were plastered with Sports Illustrated photos of New York Giants. Before falling asleep each night, I gazed at the shadowy outlines of Phil Simms, Joe Morris and Lawrence Taylor. On Sundays, I attached myself to the TV set, full of awe and expectation, waiting for the next touchdown or sack.

Yet, sadly, I never actually saw the Giants play. Continue reading “Disc golf is trending in U.S. newspapers: Supporting evidence for disc golf’s “fast-growing sport” claim”

A rating of ‘Disc Golf Meccas’: A state-by-state comparison of disc golf activity

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Americans love to compete. And once we’re done competing, we like telling people about it. Sports stats, ranking systems and top ten lists are the elementary particles of American culture. Disc golfers may be more laid back than most Americans, but we’re really good at keeping track of who’s hot and who’s not.

One of the most important stats in disc golf involves the number of courses by state. Everyone wants to know which states have the most disc golf courses so we can plan our next trip or relocation. Continue reading “A rating of ‘Disc Golf Meccas’: A state-by-state comparison of disc golf activity”

Disc golf and the construction of happiness

Image by Mike Plansky
Image by Michael Plansky

It’s spring 1990. Mike Plansky is standing in a municipal park near Palo Alto, California, crouched like the Karate Kid with a footbag resting on the back of his neck. With an undulating motion, he rolls the multi-paneled pigskin up his spine and over his head. Dropping on gravity’s rainbow, the footbag suddenly stalls, impossibly, on the toe of Mike’s black and white Vans. Then, with a fluid jerk of his foot, he passes the footbag to his friend. Continue reading “Disc golf and the construction of happiness”

The gender gap in disc golf: Social research suggests two strategies for growing the sport

Whip it

Drew Barrymore directed and starred in one of my favorite movies. Whip It, released in 2009, tells the story of a misfit teen from Texas who finds refuge from the doldrums of small-town life by joining a women’s roller derby team called the Hurl Scouts.

In one scene, the Hurl Scouts come together after a bout. Despite losing the hard-fought contest, the women are all smiles and fist pumps and laughter.

Razor, the male coach of the Hurl Scouts, is beside himself in disbelief as his team joyously chants, “We’re number 2! We’re number 2!” Continue reading “The gender gap in disc golf: Social research suggests two strategies for growing the sport”