I feel like the boy in the fable who cried wolf so many times that when the wolf actually came, no one listened to him. There have been so many articles about the disc golf boom in Finland, a small country with a mere 5.5 million inhabitants, that you Americans are probably thinking, enough already!
Well, all those previous stories were true, but had we known what was coming, we probably would have gone easier with the drum beating. I mean, now things are really crazy.
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.
Last April, Parked published an article claiming that disc golf is pandemic proof and offered preliminary evidence. In this article, I’ll take a deeper dive into the 2020 data and show that participation in disc golf did expand, but certain areas of the sport have been impacted in other ways.
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.
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.