Do Disc Golfers Lean Left on Environmental Issues?

By Josh Woods, PhD, Bill Newman and Vic Allen ~

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Photo Jesse Wright.

Environmentalists can be found in all major sports, but they seem especially common in outdoor activities that depend on a clean, sustainable environment.

For instance, as global warming has turned mountain snow to slush, snowboarding legends like Gretchen Bleiler and daredevil ice climbers like Will Gadd have been using their sport as a platform to raise awareness about climate change. With coral reefs declining and plastic waste amassing in the oceans, surfing gods like Kelly Slater are pitching in to clean things up. Continue reading “Do Disc Golfers Lean Left on Environmental Issues?”

The Biggest Environmental Worries in Disc Golf

By Josh Woods, PhD, and Bill Newman ~

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Henry David Thoreau wrote, “What’s the use of a disc golf course if you don’t have a decent planet to put it on?”

Okay, we may have tinkered with Mr. Thoreau’s quote, but surely his point holds up. Disc golf would not be much fun on a severely damaged planet. And you don’t need to be a famous naturalist to understand that the sport itself can harm the environment. Building disc golf courses often involves cutting down trees, disturbing animal habitats and attracting herds of players who trample the fields and sometimes leave their garbage behind. Continue reading “The Biggest Environmental Worries in Disc Golf”

Good Dirt: How Soil Compaction Could Affect the Future of Disc Golf

By Josh Woods ~

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Soil compaction and visible tree roots are common on popular disc golf courses. Photo Ronald Harkey.

Try this: Search google for “environmental impact.” In the results, you’ll quickly see that almost everything humans do affects the environment, and that many of these impacts have been carefully studied by scientists.

Research on disc golf’s influence on the environment is still developing, but there are at least two studies, published in peer-reviewed academic journals, that examine a little-known problem that is right beneath our feet. Continue reading “Good Dirt: How Soil Compaction Could Affect the Future of Disc Golf”

New Ice Bowl Art Raises Awareness about Global Warming

By Josh Woods ~

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Ice Bowl events have been tackling social problems for more than two decades. Since 1996, this series of disc golf charity events, played in dozens of cities, has been raising funds for good causes, amounting to over $4.55 million in total, including over $322 thousand in 2019. Continue reading “New Ice Bowl Art Raises Awareness about Global Warming”

Disc Golf Is Winning Hearts and Minds, New Study Shows

By Josh Woods ~

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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?

Continue reading “Disc Golf Is Winning Hearts and Minds, New Study Shows”

The Future of ‘Golf’ May Not Be on the Links

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Photo credit: Jari Hindstroem

By Josh Woods~~

{This article appeared first in The Conversation}

Could disc golf become more popular than ball golf by 2028?

Ask disc golfers and they’ll say, “You bet – our sport is growing like crazy.”

But for most Americans, the answer is, “What’s disc golf?” And the typical ball golfer will likely respond, “No – and stop calling my sport ball golf.” Continue reading “The Future of ‘Golf’ May Not Be on the Links”

In the News: June 1-15, 2017

InTheNews

Grow-the-sport news from around the country: Course construction dispute in New Jersey, disc golf grows in Maine, a disc golf Mecca in Tennessee, a ball-golf-turned-disc-golf course in Indiana, and a possible, first-ever course on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Continue reading “In the News: June 1-15, 2017”