Part of the joy of disc golf comes from the fear of trying it. Leaving our comfort zones and walking onto the course can be daunting. “Can I do this? I got this. Nope, I can’t do this. What am I doing!?”
All of us, from top professionals to first-time players, deal with insecurities as we navigate a course. And when we overcome those fears and throw a great shot, it feels fantastic. A shared sense of vulnerability may also explain why camaraderie and friendships are so quick to grow on disc golf courses.
While mild unease may heighten the pleasure of a well-thrown shot and encourage group solidarity, too much fear can hamper performance and create conflicts in groups.
During a recent online discussion about diversity and inclusion in disc golf, someone asked me to explain “How disc golf isn’t inclusive.”
The intention in the question was to prove that disc golf is open and welcome to all who want to play and that excluding people, on purpose, because of their race, ethnicity, gender or other characteristics simply doesn’t happen.
Calculated discrimination exists (even if you haven’t seen it), and it is a problem, but not being inclusive is sometimes more subtle than being overtly exclusive. I did research to better understand it myself as the discussion on how women are treated in disc golf increased in recent weeks.
Here are a few examples of how disc golf isn’t inclusive of women and girls.