Disc Golf’s Two Paths Forward

Is Disc Golf a Business or a Social Movement?

Josh Woods ~

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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 ~

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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 ~

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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

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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”

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 ~

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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 ~

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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”

Rise of an unknown sport (Part 1)

By Josh Woods ~

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The other day I was working on a Where’s Waldo puzzle with my daughter when my mind began to drift to where it so often drifts.

Gazing at the strange assortment of people in the puzzle made me think of disc golf. It is amazing what you can find while walking through a crowded course on a Friday afternoon, or perusing disc golf handles on social media.

Viewing the sheer variety and complexity of disc golf culture, I find it hard to look away. Continue reading “Rise of an unknown sport (Part 1)”

2018 PDGA Women’s Global Event

By Valarie Jenkins ~

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Players in the West Virginia Cup at the Seth Burton Memorial (SBM) course in Fairmont, WV. The NCWV Women’s Disc Golf Club will help organize West Virginia’s first PDGA Women’s Global Event at SBM on May 12. Photo by Jesse Wright.

Every other year sparks fly as women from all over the world meet up and play two rounds of disc golf.

The PDGA Women’s Global Event is a series of satellite tournaments hosted in several different countries. The fourth edition of the event will be played on May 12, 2018. Continue reading “2018 PDGA Women’s Global Event”