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”

Black Lives Matter T-Shirt Creates Buzz in Disc Golf Social Media

Jeremy Koling’s anti-racist gesture, four years in the making

By Josh Woods, PhD ~

Jeremy Koling wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt while commentating the MPO’s final nine holes at the 2020 MVP Open, September 2020.

The killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis during an arrest last May has expanded the number of athletes and sports organizations supporting social justice initiatives and embracing the Black Lives Matter movement.

In recent weeks, several NBA, WNBA and MLB teams cancelled games to protest racial injustice, NFL football players kneeled during the national anthem, and US Open Champion Naomi Osaka wore facemasks to honor black victims of racial injustice. In all corners of sport, from skateboarding and BMX freestyle to roller derby and ultimate, anti-racist athletes have been turning up the volume and pushing for change. Continue reading “Black Lives Matter T-Shirt Creates Buzz in Disc Golf Social Media”

Covid-19 Boost in Disc Golf Participation May Leave Racial Minorities Behind

By Dillon Carr, PhD ~

Artwork by Chris McDowell.

The long-term effect of Covid-19 on disc golf remains to be seen, but is expected to bring a significant increase in participation. As Americans seek opportunities for outdoor recreation that permit social distancing, interest in disc golf is likely to grow.

While increased participation in the sport is a good thing, the complex social dynamics resulting from Covid-19 may lead to restricted course access in urban areas, which may continue to entrench racial and ethnic disparities in the sport.

Continue reading “Covid-19 Boost in Disc Golf Participation May Leave Racial Minorities Behind”

Why Do People Play Disc Golf?

A brief look into the psychology and sociology of disc golf.

By Josh Woods ~

Cover

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.

“I’m going to be a zombie bride for Halloween,” she said. And that was that. Continue reading “Why Do People Play Disc Golf?”