One of the most common hashtags used in disc golf social media is #GrowtheSport. It pops up on Twitter more often than hot takes from Brodie Smith.
To many disc golfers, “grow the sport” is an aspirational catchphrase that celebrates the grassroots of the sport and unites the volunteers who made it great. You can find it in social media posts about fundraiser tournaments, new course developments and any number of club activities and volunteer efforts.
But the hashtag can also be found in the promotional materials of private firms. #GrowtheSport appears in the Twitter bio of leading online retailer Infinite Discs, and in the advertisements of disc golf apparel companies. The major disc maker Dynamic Discs invented “Grow Disc Golf Day.” Top pro players like Ricky Wysocki use the hashtag in their social media branding.
Back in 2017, Paul McBeth dropped a sympathy bomb on social media. He was like, check me out. I’m only five and a half feet tall and I weigh less than a panda. I’ll never be the favorite in sports. I’m the OG underdog. Send me some love.
Of course, he didn’t say it quite like that, and he had just dropped out of the Green Mountain Championship due to an injury that was only going sideways. And so, his fans did send love.
In the first two decades of the twenty-first century, several sports reached their fast-growth stages.
Skateboarding was headed to the Olympics and regularly appeared on television and in fashion magazines. Energy-drink-powered teens were pulling down big paychecks from esports megaevents. The Ultimate Fighting Championship was filling large arenas with fans and pouring mass-mediated adrenaline into mixed martial arts.
Even a few lesser-known sports were on the rise. Spikeball, the promoter of roundnet, landed deals with Shark Tank and ESPN. Cornhole was appearing on ESPN and courting moneyed sponsors like Johnsonville Sausage. Ax throwing and wood chopping were being nationally televised.
After decades of slow growth, disc golf was also on the rise.