A Demographic Portrait of Disc Golf Land

Results from the 2017 Parked Facebook Study – Part 1.

By Josh Woods, PhD ~Cover art

In early 2017, we collected the first large-scale random sample of disc golfers and estimated the size and characteristics of the organized disc golfer population in the United States. The results discussed in this post will appear in the International Journal of Sport Communication early next year.

If you haven’t read my last two posts, consider taking a look at the theory behind this study and the method we used to explore it before plunging into the findings below.

The Quick-And-Dirty

Continue reading “A Demographic Portrait of Disc Golf Land”

What We Know and Don’t Know about Disc Golf

A new method for studying the sport

By Josh Woods ~

Cover art

I’m not a fan of phrases like “close, but no cigar” and “close only counts in horseshoes.”

They make it sound like close is a bad thing. As if anything short of first place, anything other than perfection, anything besides certainty is a grave defeat.

Even Reese Bobby’s celebrated absurdity – “If you ain’t first, you’re last” – was debunked by Reese himself at the end of Talladega Nights.

Black-and-white thinking doesn’t work well as a sports mentality, and it’s even worse for science. Scientific research never leads us out of the grey, not entirely. At best, we merely increase our confidence in fundamentally questionable propositions. Continue reading “What We Know and Don’t Know about Disc Golf”

A New Study Estimates the Size and Demographic Characteristics of the U.S. Disc Golfer Population

By Josh Woods ~

Announcement cover art D2

I’m thrilled to announce that the initial goal of Parked is finally gaining traction.

I’ve been working on academic research on disc golf for two years. I just received word that my first peer-reviewed journal article on disc golf will be published early next year in the International Journal of Sport Communication. Continue reading “A New Study Estimates the Size and Demographic Characteristics of the U.S. Disc Golfer Population”

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)”

Without a net: All professional disc golfers are underdogs, even Paul McBeth

Paul McBeth
Paul McBeth at the Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open, 2017 – Moraine State Park, hole 3, final round. Photo by James McDonald, editor at Full Metal Basket.

Paul McBeth is feeling small.

On September 16, 2017, shortly after dropping out of the Green Mountain Championship due to an injury and carding his first-ever DNF in a PDGA event, McBeth posted a message on Facebook:

“Being 5’8″ 160 lbs you’ll never be the favorite in sports. That’s why I like my story. #MyMindIsReady #USDGC” Continue reading “Without a net: All professional disc golfers are underdogs, even Paul McBeth”

The astonishing rise of Devan Owens, and the “secret sauce” of Tulsa disc golf

Devan Owens Putt by Frisbeenet
Photo: Frisbee.net

In August 2005, a young Devan Owens embarks on an unlikely journey. He leaves his home near Tulsa, Oklahoma and travels nearly a thousand miles to Flagstaff, Arizona for the PDGA Amateur Disc Golf World Championships. Owens is sixteen years old, a precocious lefty with a sidearm and a dream. Continue reading “The astonishing rise of Devan Owens, and the “secret sauce” of Tulsa disc golf”