By Kevin Fournier — For Rattling Chains
If you love playing disc golf, chances are you want to help spread the word and create stronger disc golf awareness.
It is an amazing time to be involved with the game. Disc golf is beginning to take off, both competitively as a sport and recreationally as a healthy activity. This makes today a great time to be involved and gives each player an opportunity to make a difference.
Although the majority of the public has not played or even heard of disc golf, according to the PDGA, 10 million people played the sport last year. This is an amazing statistic that should encourage you to push for that viral awareness the sport needs.
So what can you do as an individual to help promote the sport of disc golf? Here are a few ideas that will be very effective.
Play or practice in public Take your basket to a public park and start putting.
Get right out in the open and let the sound of those chains be heard. Bring some extra discs with you for others to try out if they approach you. Also, be prepared to talk about disc golf in a short, but effective, speech. Have some information memorized so you can tell others where they can play or purchase gear.
If you don’t have a basket, just do some field practice in the park. Maybe you just throw your putters or practice short anhyzer shots. The point is to get people exposed to what you are doing and hopefully pique their interest. I know from experience that people are quite curious about disc golf and get excited
to try and make a shot.
Get local media to a tournament Call your local paper and tell them about a local tournament it could cover. Make it enticing for reporters by talking about the community benefits of disc golf, which include physical fitness, bringing the community closer, and that disc golf is an accessible activity for all ages.
You may be nervous to do this, but it is much easier than you think. If it is successful, I can promise you will feel amazing and it could turn into other disc golf-related opportunities.
Introduce a child to disc golf Maybe you know friends of your own children, their younger siblings, neighbors, or just local kids in general. With their parents’ permission, of course, talk to them about what disc golf is. Keep it simple and just let them throw a disc at a basket, and they will be hooked.
The great thing about Frisbees is, for whatever reason, people are naturally intrigued by them. Add the challenge of aiming for a basket as in disc golf, and the activity becomes addicting.
Teach someone how to play for the first time Talk about disc golf on social media and let people know when and where you are playing. Add an open invitation to new players, and spend a round or two helping them learn how to throw. For me, teaching someone how to throw for the first time is extremely rewarding and something I want to continue to do throughout my life. When that person gets good at the game, they will be likely to “pay it forward” and help someone else out in the same way.
You can take this one step further and give a disc to a new player. Most stable mid-range and fairway drivers will make decent beginner discs; do not choose a disc that is too fast or too overstable because it will cause bad habits, such as off axis torque, to develop. Giving away a disc will be well worth the feeling you have, and the person will never forget it.
Wear disc golf apparel Disc golf brands are created to help people express themselves. They give you an opportunity to show the world that you love disc golf. Wear brands proudly, and be ready for people to ask you about them. By wearing disc golf clothing, you expose everyone who sees you to the sport. This is just another simple thing you can do to make a difference.
Even though you are one person, you can make a huge impact on the sport of disc golf. With all these ideas, though, it is important that you are prepared to talk about disc golf, because it is almost certain people will ask you about it. Have confidence that you can be a positive spokesperson for disc golf.
Now is the time to take disc golf to a new level — all it takes is exposing people to the sport. Once they give it a try, disc golf will take care of the rest.
Kevin Fournier is the owner of Orbit Disc Golf. He holds a degree in Kinesiology from University of Maine at Orono and enjoys studying the mental and physical aspects of disc golf.