In Disc Golf’s Year of Fear, A New Push for Diversity Hits the Mark

By Josh Woods ~

Like throwing hole D at Hi View, some of the best moments in life are a little scary. Photo Jason Goetz.

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.

Continue reading “In Disc Golf’s Year of Fear, A New Push for Diversity Hits the Mark”

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”

16 Disc Golf Professionals Make Statements on the Environment

By Josh Woods and Bill Newman ~

Cover art

Politics and disc golf simply do not mix.

Like gum and sweaters. Orange juice and toothpaste. McBeth and bogies. Some things just do not go together.

But is that really the case when it comes to the environment? When faced with matters of extreme environmental importance, should disc golfers leave their politics in the parking lot? Continue reading “16 Disc Golf Professionals Make Statements on the Environment”

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)”