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”

New Ice Bowl Art Raises Awareness about Global Warming

By Josh Woods ~

Cover art

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’s Two Paths Forward

Is Disc Golf a Business or a Social Movement?

Josh Woods ~

Cover art

How do small sports become big ones?

When answering this question, most commentators point to the economics of sports and media. Sports grow when major media outlets pay attention to them. Increased media coverage attracts more participants and consumers, which entice even bigger media companies and corporate sponsors, which then foster stronger sport institutions. Continue reading “Disc Golf’s Two Paths Forward”

Who Gets Hooked? The Demographics of Disc Golf Involvement

By Josh Woods ~

Cover art

One of my best friends almost died from a disc-golf addiction.

He and I had recently discovered disc golf and were still in the honeymoon stage. Some days we’d play three rounds in the high hills of West Virginia under the hot summer sun.

Old men trying to relive their childhoods rarely ends well. This was no exception. Continue reading “Who Gets Hooked? The Demographics of Disc Golf Involvement”

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. Continue reading “A Demographic Portrait of Disc Golf Land”

Why Do People Play Disc Golf?

A brief look into the psychology and sociology of disc golf.

By Josh Woods ~

Cover

The other day my seven-year-old daughter asked me, “Why do people get married?”

I gazed into her curious brown eyes, knowing that my answer would not satisfy her. “Because they want to,” I said.

“Why do they want to?” She chirped, of course.

“Because it makes them happy,” I said.

“Why does it make them happy?”

I tried to explain that people get married for different reasons, that not everyone wants to, and that the reasons for getting married usually depend on where people live, when they live, and what the people around them think about marriage.

“I’m going to be a zombie bride for Halloween,” she said. And that was that. Continue reading “Why Do People Play Disc Golf?”

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

Cover photo
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”

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)”

Rise of an Unknown Sport (Part 2)

Disc Golf as Modern Achievement Sport

By Josh Woods ~

Cover Art D1 Modern Sport
Photo: Innova Disc Golf (NBC logo added)

Defining disc golf is like describing the taste of water. The task seems at once obviously possible and extremely difficult.

The hard part involves the utter plurality of what disc golf means to those who play it. As I argued in Part 1 of “Rise,” disc golf is not one thing, but many. Like Waldo’s world, its definition depends on where you look. Continue reading “Rise of an Unknown Sport (Part 2)”

31 Interesting Things about the 2018 PDGA Board Elections

By Josh Woods ~

Cover art

I have a confession. It’s terrible. I’m not kidding. It’s really bad. But here goes: At times, I’m a lazy, uninformed voter.

For one reason or another, I almost always make it to the voting booth, even for most local elections. But I rarely feel optimally educated on the candidates before casting my votes. Yep, I’m that annoying guy who’s holding up the voting line, because he’s doing last-minute research on his cell phone.

But, with the 2018 PDGA board elections coming this July, I thought I’d part ways with habit and start my research early. Continue reading “31 Interesting Things about the 2018 PDGA Board Elections”