Why Do People Play Disc Golf?

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

By Josh Woods ~

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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?”

Rise of an Unknown Sport (Part 3)

Disc Golf as Lifestyle Sport

By Josh Woods, PhD ~

Wheaton books
In this installment of “Rise,” I examine disc golf through the lens of Belinda Wheaton’s research on lifestyle sports.

“At least give the dog a chance to catch it first” – N.B.

“Sports is a reallllly loose term nowadays” – J.C.

“Not a real sport” – J.L.

These were just a few of the snippy comments posted on ESPN’s Facebook page when the media giant uploaded a video clip of Eagle McMahon’s 380-foot field ace at the Glass Blown Open in April 2018. By the end of June, the clip had received more than 14,000 likes, 5,200 shares, 2.3 million views and 4,000 comments. Continue reading “Rise of an Unknown Sport (Part 3)”

The Nordic Anomaly: Finland as a Disc Golf World Leader

Flag Cover Photo

Hope is a dangerous thing when you have too much of it.

According to a recent report, the Disc Golf World Tour (DGWT) is closing shop and will not be holding events in 2018. At first glance, the gloomy announcement suggests that the DGWT had more hope than it needed.

The quality and professionalism of DGWT events were widely praised by players, fans and media outlets. To some, the DGWT stumble signals uncertainty for the future of global disc golf.

But even as DGWT’s plans for 2018 dissolve, the disc golf forecast for Europe is favorable, and DGWT Director Jussi Meresmaa is sure to continue his work on one of the sport’s most remarkable success stories: Finland. Continue reading “The Nordic Anomaly: Finland as a Disc Golf World Leader”

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

Iowa

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”