Compared to most issues in our fury-fueled political landscape, disc golf is a blissfully uncontroversial subject of public interest.
But, if you plumb the depths of local news coverage, you will find at least some controversy over the upsides and downsides of disc golf.
The debate, when there is one, can be summarized with the following questions:
Does the inclusion of a disc golf course in a public park harm the natural environment, or is disc golf an environmentally friendly alternative to other, more destructive recreational activities?
Does the sport introduce unreasonable physical risks to participants and bystanders, or benefit public health and wellbeing?
Do disc golf communities encourage public intoxication, criminal behavior and community conflict, or provide safe, family-friendly recreation that deters crime in public parks and inspires community engagement, volunteerism and charity?
New Study Examines the Moneyless Rise of Disc Golf
By Josh Woods ~
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:
Results from the 2017 Parked Facebook Study – Part 1.
By Josh Woods, PhD ~
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.
I’m not a fan of phrases like “close, but no cigar” and “close only counts in horseshoes.”
They make it sound like close is a bad thing. As if anything short of first place, anything other than perfection, anything besides certainty is a grave defeat.
Even Reese Bobby’s celebrated absurdity – “If you ain’t first, you’re last” – was debunked by Reese himself at the end of Talladega Nights.
Black-and-white thinking doesn’t work well as a sports mentality, and it’s even worse for science. Scientific research never leads us out of the grey, not entirely. At best, we merely increase our confidence in fundamentally questionable propositions. Continue reading “What We Know and Don’t Know about Disc Golf”→
A brief look into the psychology and sociology of disc golf.
By Josh Woods ~
The other day my seven-year-old daughter asked me, “Why do people get married?”
I gazed into her curious brown eyes, knowing that my answer would not satisfy her. “Because they want to,” I said.
“Why do they want to?” She chirped, of course.
“Because it makes them happy,” I said.
“Why does it make them happy?”
I tried to explain that people get married for different reasons, that not everyone wants to, and that the reasons for getting married usually depend on where people live, when they live, and what the people around them think about marriage.
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.