Rise of an unknown sport (Part 1)

By Josh Woods ~

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The other day I was working on a Where’s Waldo puzzle with my daughter when my mind began to drift to where it so often drifts.

Gazing at the strange assortment of people in the puzzle made me think of disc golf. It is amazing what you can find while walking through a crowded course on a Friday afternoon, or perusing disc golf handles on social media.

Viewing the sheer variety and complexity of disc golf culture, I find it hard to look away. Continue reading “Rise of an unknown sport (Part 1)”

How legalized sports betting may change disc golf

By Josh Woods ~

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Will sportsbooks like this one someday include disc golf? Photos by Jesse Wright and the Flight Record.

The Supreme Court just dropped a whopper of a ruling on the sports world. Last week it struck down a 1992 law against commercial sports betting in most states. According to experts, the door is now open for legalizing sports betting in America. Continue reading “How legalized sports betting may change disc golf”

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?”

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

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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”