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.

The Quick-And-Dirty

Continue reading “A Demographic Portrait of Disc Golf Land”

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)”

The Brathwaite albatross as religious experience

Second shot
Philo Brathwaite’s second shot for albatross, Beaver State Fling, June 2016

In 2006, David Foster Wallace wrote an article about tennis called “Roger Federer as Religious Experience.” This essay may be the most beautiful expression of a man’s love for sport that has ever graced the pages of a newspaper.

But when I read it for the first time, years ago, as a younger, intellectually snobbier version of the man I am today, I was skeptical at best. It didn’t seem fitting for the greatest novelists in the land to be writing about men’s tennis. Continue reading “The Brathwaite albatross as religious experience”

Disc golf is trending in U.S. newspapers: Supporting evidence for disc golf’s “fast-growing sport” claim

Newspaper Logos
Disc golf is the fourth-fastest growing sport in newspaper coverage

As a kid, I loved NFL football. The walls of my childhood room were plastered with Sports Illustrated photos of New York Giants. Before falling asleep each night, I gazed at the shadowy outlines of Phil Simms, Joe Morris and Lawrence Taylor. On Sundays, I attached myself to the TV set, full of awe and expectation, waiting for the next touchdown or sack.

Yet, sadly, I never actually saw the Giants play. Continue reading “Disc golf is trending in U.S. newspapers: Supporting evidence for disc golf’s “fast-growing sport” claim”