How to Grow the Sport of Disc Golf
Updated: Jan 30, 2021
Although disc golf is a rapidly growing sport and activity, it's vital that we as players continue to be the biggest advocates of the sport we love.
While you may feel you can make little impact in the sport compared to the high profile pros you watch on T.V. or YouTube, the grass roots efforts of all players is what will lay the ground work for future growth in the number of players and shops.
Why grow the sport of disc golf?
You may have little interest in contributing to grow the sport, as you may not see the benefits. But growth in the sport will benefit every player from the recreational amateur to the paid professional.
Increased interest in the sport means more courses popping up and with higher quality as designers compete to have the best course around.
More players means a higher need for disc supplies, which creates a demand for more local shops.
More players also means more competition, and more competition means higher interest in tournaments.
Competitive tournament play draws bigger crowds and bigger television events which brings in more sponsors to the sport and more money to put back into the sport.
While these are the major ones, the benefits of growing the sport are innumerable and could be an entire separate post on it's own.
So before we bore you too much,
Let's take a look at all of the ways you can make an impact and do your part to grow the sport.
Invite new players to play
What better way to bring new players to the sport than by directly inviting them yourself?
I would take a guess that this is how most of us got started with disc golf and rightfully so as it's arguably the most efficient way of increasing the number of players.
Unless you have a popular disc golf course in your home town, most potential players won't even know what disc golf is, let alone to have a desire to go play it.
So text some of your friends who have never played and ask them to tag along! Even if they don't end up becoming regular players, you'll still likely have a fun time anyways.
Host a clinic, teach event, instructional, or even offer to give disc golf lessons!
Many potential players may be tentative or hesitant to play because they don't know how or don't feel that their good enough compared to more experienced players.
Show them otherwise and give them the confidence to go play!
We all started as beginners with the same reservations and insecurities about playing around other people, so take some new players under your wing and be their personal mentor!
Advocate for a local course to be built
If you live in a town that does not currently have a disc golf course, chances are high that there is a place to put one.
Even if it is a small 9 hole course!
Disc golf courses can be built in any park or public wooded area and would not require much more maintenance than what is already being done in these places anyways.
Talk to your local officials about the benefits of playing disc golf and how it can be a great asset for a community to have.
You can even lead the way for fundraisers and community awareness to get the ball rolling.
Join the PDGA
While many players don't like the idea of paying dues, especially if they are just a casual player, joining the PDGA is an excellent way to support the growth of the sport.
The PDGA is responsible for a lot of PR and marketing for promotion of the sport and more members means more funds to do so.
They also recently said that some of the dues will be used to increase payouts at major events on the Pro Tour Series.
While you may not agree with this, hear me out!
Increased payouts in turn increases the incentive for more players to participate as people tend to follow the money. More players means more competition and more interest in the sport.
More interest means more sponsors to back growing the sport.
It costs just $50 for an amateur membership and $75 for a professional membership if you plan on receiving winnings. If it makes you feel better, consider it a donation to a great sport you enjoy playing. Join by clicking HERE.
Join a local league or club and support your local shops
Weekly disc golf leagues can be an absolute blast to participate in!
It leads to friendly competition and is a great way to network with local players.
Playing with other players of varying skills is an excellent way to become a better player and to get used to playing with a little bit of stress for when you're in tournaments.
Clubs are also a great way to network with players and often go hand in hand with weekly leagues. The difference is clubs also sometimes have their own teams which can be a ton of fun to be involved with. They'll also likely be involved with course improvement and maintenance of the local spots.
But being involved isn't always enough! If you want to grow the sport, regularly invite players and non players to league and club events and show them how much fun is to be had.
If there are no local leagues or clubs, don't hesitate to start one!
While its understandable that online shopping is very convenient and all disc golf businesses should be supported, don't neglect the local shops who are grinding it out every day!
Play in tournaments
Not only are tournaments great for friendly competition, they're also a great way to pick up discs, apparel, gear, and other awesome items in player packs.
You will get to meet players from all over and you help raise money for local disc golf courses to be used for reinvesting back into the sport and keep these local groups thriving.
When there is high participation in tournaments, there is more motivation for the hosts to continuing hosting them, putting more effort into making them great, and adding more tournaments to their event schedule.
By playing and recruiting others to play in tournaments, you help the sport thrive!
Watch televised events!
Televised, high profile pro disc golf events are becoming more and more prevalent.
By watching, talking about, tweeting about, and more, you help grow the hype around the sport and these events.
In the television world, everything is driven by ratings. If no one is watching these events, less ad revenue is generated and networks will be more hesitant to give valued airtime to a disc golf event.
On the flip side, more viewership brings more money and interest to the sport which has exponential benefits to disc golf as a whole as new players come to the sport in hopes of becoming the next #1 ranked player in the world.
Luckily, these events have performed very well on the likes of ESPN so keep up the good work and continue tuning in!
A great secondary benefit is that watching professionals play can help you improve your game as well.
Pay careful attention to the shot selection they take, the discs they're using for those shots, and their technique in executing the shot and compare it to how your own play.
"What can I improve to replicate their success?"
While this is surely not an exhaustive list of ways to grow the sport, it is a great start for this year and years to come.
So continue to play,
continue to improve,
be an advocate for the sport, and
Grow the sport!
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