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”

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”

The Disc Golf Revolution Will Not Be Televised (But It Will Be Fun)

New Study Examines the Moneyless Rise of Disc Golf

By Josh Woods ~

Cover photo
Photo by Ajeet Mestry

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:

Is the popularity of disc golf growing, and if so, why? Continue reading “The Disc Golf Revolution Will Not Be Televised (But It Will Be Fun)”

Flying Discs in the Age of Legal Cannabis

Should disc golf embrace the weed industry?

Josh Woods ~

Cover art
Image via sftravel and flydiscs.

Cannabis has finally arrived in disc golf land.

Wait … what?

Okay, weed has been here from the beginning, but in May 2019 the San Francisco Open (SFO) became the first premier disc golf tournament that had a major sponsor from the cannabis industry. Continue reading “Flying Discs in the Age of Legal Cannabis”

Does disc golf need a Leviathan?

By Josh Woods ~

Leviathan
The cover art of Hobbes’s “Leviathan” features one central authority whose body is comprised, literally and figuratively, of individual citizens. Sadly, the disc golfers seen here did not appear in the original.

In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville published an important book about disc golf.

Okay, maybe Tocqueville wasn’t focused on disc golf exactly, but his ideas can be applied to it. In Democracy in America, he wrote about the delicate balance that must be found between the impulse of governments to centralize power, and the desire of individuals and local groups to pursue their unique interests.[1] Continue reading “Does disc golf need a Leviathan?”

Disc golf as social movement: A strategy for growing the sport

Is disc golf headed for the mainstream?

Last year, Steve Dodge, Director of the Disc Golf Pro Tour, predicted that disc golf would be bigger than ball golf by 2026.

Many observers share Dodge’s optimism, and there’s some evidence to support it. Continue reading “Disc golf as social movement: A strategy for growing the sport”