Egg Shells, Explosions and Disc Golf

By James McDonald ~

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What do you do when “that player” ends up on your card? McDonald offers straight talk on courtesy violations and strategies for dealing with them. Photos: Jesse Wright.

Throughout my 9-year career as an amateur disc golfer, I have experienced a wide variety of personalities in recreational and organized play. I would say 98 percent of the folks I meet on the tournament circuit are great people. The other 2 percent are nice folks off the field but haven’t learned to “cage the tiger.” Continue reading “Egg Shells, Explosions and Disc Golf”

Six Ways to Kill a Disc Golf Course and One Way to Stop It

By Josh Woods ~

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I’ve heard enough.

In the last two months, local news outlets have reported that four disc golf courses may soon be closed, one fully funded course development project has been canceled, and one large disc golf community may see substantial new parking fees on top of the pay-to-play fees that already exist. Continue reading “Six Ways to Kill a Disc Golf Course and One Way to Stop It”

The most important problems facing disc golf courses in the United States

Results from the 3DiscGolf Survey (Part I)

By Josh Woods, PhD, and Dee Leekha ~

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Garbage on disc golf courses, long grass on fairways, uneven or small tee pads, erosion, and no bathrooms top the list of concerns among experienced course developers.

Disc golf has changed a lot over the last twenty years.

Two decades ago, there were 4,776 active members of the PDGA in the United States. Today, there are more than 28,861. Americans played in 329 PDGA sanctioned events in 1998. They will play in no fewer than 2,368 in the coming year, per the PDGA.

In 1998, Scott Stokely broke the World Record for distance with a jaw-dropping throw that carried 693 feet. In 2017, Simon Lizotte parked a 726-foot hole during tournament play, and the World Record is now held by David Wiggins Jr. with a distance that exceeds Stokely’s by nearly 400 feet. Continue reading “The most important problems facing disc golf courses in the United States”

Does disc golf need a Leviathan?

By Josh Woods ~

Leviathan
The cover art of Hobbes’s “Leviathan” features one central authority whose body is comprised, literally and figuratively, of individual citizens. Sadly, the disc golfers seen here did not appear in the original.

In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville published an important book about disc golf.

Okay, maybe Tocqueville wasn’t focused on disc golf exactly, but his ideas can be applied to it. In Democracy in America, he wrote about the delicate balance that must be found between the impulse of governments to centralize power, and the desire of individuals and local groups to pursue their unique interests.[1] Continue reading “Does disc golf need a Leviathan?”

The Nordic Anomaly: Finland as a Disc Golf World Leader

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Hope is a dangerous thing when you have too much of it.

According to a recent report, the Disc Golf World Tour (DGWT) is closing shop and will not be holding events in 2018. At first glance, the gloomy announcement suggests that the DGWT had more hope than it needed.

The quality and professionalism of DGWT events were widely praised by players, fans and media outlets. To some, the DGWT stumble signals uncertainty for the future of global disc golf.

But even as DGWT’s plans for 2018 dissolve, the disc golf forecast for Europe is favorable, and DGWT Director Jussi Meresmaa is sure to continue his work on one of the sport’s most remarkable success stories: Finland. Continue reading “The Nordic Anomaly: Finland as a Disc Golf World Leader”

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”

Two perspectives on disc golf and why we need them both

By Jim Palmeri ~

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Why is disc golf such a fun, fast-growing recreational and competitive activity? Part of the reason is that disc golfers embrace two different perspectives on the game.

Advocates of the first viewpoint—the ball-golf perspective—believe that disc golf should encompass all the subtleties and nuances that make ball golf the widely celebrated sport that it is today. Continue reading “Two perspectives on disc golf and why we need them both”

Disc golf as social movement: A strategy for growing the sport

Is disc golf headed for the mainstream?

Last year, Steve Dodge, Director of the Disc Golf Pro Tour, predicted that disc golf would be bigger than ball golf by 2026.

Many observers share Dodge’s optimism, and there’s some evidence to support it. Continue reading “Disc golf as social movement: A strategy for growing the sport”

Disc Golf’s Silent Majority: A Search for Non-PDGA Disc Golf Events

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Every kid has at least one completely ridiculous belief that causes embarrassment later in life. Mine was the Smurfs. For a time, I was sure they were real. One day I even went looking for them in a forest near my house.

After spending half the day turning over rocks and kicking tree stumps, I came to three conclusions. One, Smurfs probably do not exist. Two, throwing stones at a hornet’s nest is a bad idea (really, don’t do that). And three, nothing exists until it’s observed. Continue reading “Disc Golf’s Silent Majority: A Search for Non-PDGA Disc Golf Events”

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”