Playing Up Can Be a Downer: Rethinking Tournament Division Rules May Help Grow the Sport

By Cory Wiebusch ~

Eight-year-old Hayden Wiebusch showed up to play at the 2021 PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships, but she would not be allowed to take home the trophy for the ≤8 division.

The 2021 PDGA Junior Worlds wrapped up in Emporia, Kansas earlier this month, and nine juniors were crowned World Champions. However, there could have been a tenth, my daughter Hayden who represented Team Throw Pink in the junior girls ≤8 division (FJ08).

She was one of two girls invited to compete in this division and the sole entrant in the field when registration closed on July 2.

Since Hayden was the only registered player in her division, the PDGA sent us an email prior to the event stating, “We don’t run divisions of one at the PDGA World Championships,” and that she was required to “play up” at the main event if there was not a second entrant in her division.

Continue reading “Playing Up Can Be a Downer: Rethinking Tournament Division Rules May Help Grow the Sport”

In Disc Golf’s Year of Fear, A New Push for Diversity Hits the Mark

By Josh Woods ~

Like throwing hole D at Hi View, some of the best moments in life are a little scary. Photo Jason Goetz.

Part of the joy of disc golf comes from the fear of trying it. Leaving our comfort zones and walking onto the course can be daunting. “Can I do this? I got this. Nope, I can’t do this. What am I doing!?”

All of us, from top professionals to first-time players, deal with insecurities as we navigate a course. And when we overcome those fears and throw a great shot, it feels fantastic. A shared sense of vulnerability may also explain why camaraderie and friendships are so quick to grow on disc golf courses.

While mild unease may heighten the pleasure of a well-thrown shot and encourage group solidarity, too much fear can hamper performance and create conflicts in groups.

Continue reading “In Disc Golf’s Year of Fear, A New Push for Diversity Hits the Mark”

Disc Golf Twitter Feud Offers Lessons for Talking about Race

By Josh Woods, PhD ~

Twitter feuds are the roadside car wrecks of the internet. We all hate to see them, yet can’t look away. Most dust ups quickly deteriorate into blame games where the odds of learning something worthwhile are as likely as throwing an ace on a windy day.

But a recent confrontation on Twitter between Sascha Vogel and Brodie Smith offered a few educational takeaways.

Continue reading “Disc Golf Twitter Feud Offers Lessons for Talking about Race”

The Rise of Disc Golf Twitter: 97 Accounts to Follow Right Now

By Josh Woods ~

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Artwork by Chris McDowell.

In summer 2016, I started a Twitter account, followed my favorite disc golfers and groups and sat on the edge of my seat waiting to be amused and enlightened.

Unfortunately, not much happened. Four years ago, disc golf Twitter was little more than a weigh station for disc advertisements, lackluster notes about personal accomplishments and links directing Twitter users to Instagram posts.

It’s still not great.

But gradually, inexplicably, it has gotten better. In the last year or so, like Steven Seagal waking up in Hard to Kill, more and more players, brands and independent accounts are getting active. Continue reading “The Rise of Disc Golf Twitter: 97 Accounts to Follow Right Now”

Why Disc Golf Is Pandemic Proof and Other Sports Are Not

By Josh Woods ~

Cover art A baseball dimond behind a locked gate. Photo Robert Rosales
The familiar sight of a baseball diamond behind a locked gate. Photo Robert Rosales.

Live sports are currently on pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving the $160 billion US sports industry in a tailspin. Only about half of all sporting events that were originally scheduled for 2020 will likely take place, per a new report.

While all sports will take a hit, some will weather the storm better than others. The esports industry, for instance, will probably do okay. The big stadium events are on hold, but gobs of gamers and fans are still nestled safely online.

Disc golf has a few obvious advantages in the “Don’t-Stand-So-Close-To-Me” era. Continue reading “Why Disc Golf Is Pandemic Proof and Other Sports Are Not”

Can Disc Golf Baskets Spread the Coronavirus?

By Josh Woods, PhD ~

Cover art D2Recent steps by the PDGA have put a hold on competitive, sanctioned disc golf at all levels in response to the human coronavirus outbreak.

Yet, most rounds are played during non-sanctioned events, practice rounds or casual outings. With the closing of many aspects of life over the last weeks, thousands of disc golfers are now trying to figure out how or whether to keep playing. Continue reading “Can Disc Golf Baskets Spread the Coronavirus?”

16 Disc Golf Professionals Make Statements on the Environment

By Josh Woods and Bill Newman ~

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Politics and disc golf simply do not mix.

Like gum and sweaters. Orange juice and toothpaste. McBeth and bogies. Some things just do not go together.

But is that really the case when it comes to the environment? When faced with matters of extreme environmental importance, should disc golfers leave their politics in the parking lot? Continue reading “16 Disc Golf Professionals Make Statements on the Environment”

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”

Should Disc Golf Warm Up To Cannabis?

By Ben Owens ~

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As the popularity of disc golf grows, the sport’s relationship with cannabis is also evolving. Historically, disc golfers were stereotyped as “pot heads,” a negative image that groups such as the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) have worked to overcome by legitimizing the sport. More recently, disc golf has developed to the level of other established sports, while cannabis has become legal in some form in more than half the country. Continue reading “Should Disc Golf Warm Up To Cannabis?”

Ten Absolutely Perfect Reasons to Avoid Your Next Workday (A Satire)

Josh Woods ~

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Whenever I hear about people volunteering for backbreaking labor at a public disc golf course, I am struck by the same question: What’s wrong with these people?

Many disc golf courses are located outdoors. This fact alone should persuade even the most ardent do-gooder to avoid unpaid toil on a disc golf course. The natural world is a disorderly menace. At times, it may tempt you, like sea nymphs tempt sailors, to venture into it. But doing so for the sake of labor will surely end in monumental discomfort and regret. Continue reading “Ten Absolutely Perfect Reasons to Avoid Your Next Workday (A Satire)”