Making disc golf visible, exposing new people keys to helping the sport grow

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.

Setting up a basket in a public park or somewhere else can help attract people to the sport. (photo by P.J. Harmer)

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.

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8 thoughts on “Making disc golf visible, exposing new people keys to helping the sport grow

  1. Steven Dodge wrote a really great article in regards to this very thing, and how the sport can evolve to become that much bigger. I think as a grassroots campaign the sport is growing significantly, what we need now is to get some of the high profile events into the eye of the public. This has been a problem in the past and could change the sport if we get it right.

    http://www.vibramdiscgolf.com/grow-the-sport.html

    Spread the word!

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  2. Great article! From now on I’m not going to be as self-conscious about practicing out in public. I’ll try to view it as a marketing opportunity.

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  3. Thank you for these great ideas, Kevin! Here are a few more:

    Keep a disc on your desk at work. A driver might stand out because it looks less like a Frisbee than others. Your coworkers, clients, vendors, etc., might be curious about it and ask you. When I order new discs online I have them sent to work; then I leave them on my desk for a while. It has prompted a lot of conversations. Sometimes I find out that someone I’ve known for years already plays disc golf. Other times people who have never played (or even heard of) disc golf get interested and come out to play.

    To add to Kevin’s idea on playing in public, why not play in public when you know a lot of people will be around? Neighborhood block parties and yard sales would work well. There will be a lot of people around that you might not know, whose interest you could capture with your basket. Also, look for local festivals at city/county parks. You will blend in well, but will provide an alternative to greasy food, artwork for sale, etc.

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  4. Actually I started the Pirate Disc Golf Club down here in Clearwater FL. What we do is design a safe and challenging course layout, anywhere from 18 – 21 holes, in a public park that does not have a course (yet..) and bring not one, but 21 baskets and anywhere form 30 – 50 players each time. We try and do it every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. We have started with Eagle Lake Park, but will expand and rotate between parks as we grow.

    Its growing in support and popularity down here. Even the Champ Ken Climo pitches in and brings 3 baskets when he can.

    We are constantly being asked by other park public what we are doing, where are there course, and where can they get gear.

    Now THAT’s exposure and I encourage the spread of the Pirate Disc Golf Club idea nationwide. Gather up your baskets and forge new courses in uncharted lands!

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    • Please add the following to my post…

      Do players consider the image of the sport when they are smoking near the course?
      Or drinking beer?
      When I visit schools to speak about healthy living the only way I’d feel comfortable telling kids and parents to go play the local course is if there was a declared “family friendly” day where players refrained from smoking/drinking in a conscious effort to help the sport.
      Think about it…

      Like

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