With such a good discussion with our last poll, it seemed like a good time to tackle this subject.
And it is quite a hot topic.
Now, at some point down the line, we’ll cover the wacky tabacky. For this poll, we’re sticking with the legal stuff, such as cigarettes, pipes and cigars.
But, we’ll hit that up in a moment. First, let’s revisit our last poll, when we asked you about bringing dogs on the course.
Though we didn’t get as many voters as we hoped, this really had a great discussion. So, before we get to the discussion, let’s see the poll results.
We asked if people should bring their dogs with them when playing a round of disc golf. This was extremely close with 76 voters (52 percent) saying yes and 69 (48 percent) saying no.
So it seems like people are slightly in favor of it.
It should be noted that this discussion, when it comes to PDGA-sanctioned events, is irrelevant. In section 3.1 of the PDGA Competition Manual, it notes:
D. Animals, with the exception of accredited service animals, may not accompany players during competition.
So this basically turns into a discussion about non-sanctioned tournaments and casual play.
As noted before, the discussion was pretty solid on this poll. So it would definitely be worth checking out all responses for this poll as we only put a few in this post.
Let’s see what some people had to say:
Trevor T notes:
I think the opinion comes down to where people want to see the sport. I think that when people bring their dog out to play disc golf it kind of takes away from the professionalism of a growing competitive sport. If people want to see the sport become well known we need to show that we are serious. Bringing a dog makes the sport a little more casual and we need professionalism to make the sport more respected in the eye of the public.
This is an interesting argument for sure. And there’s probably a good chance that this one might be split a little, too. Some people may want it to remain more casual.
Joel Winicki said:
I’d love to bring my dog for exercise as much as anybody else, but out of respect for other players…..I don’t. It’s no different than bringing your dog on the ball golf course. People that don’t know your dog have to wonder if he/her is going to make a sudden movement while they’re teeing off or putting. So even the best behaved pooches can create a little cause for pause on the course. Bottom line…..it’s not fair to other players. I take my dog out for exercise on my time…..for the record, I am a dog lover!
The disc course vs. ball course argument, while understandable, is a little tough to do. The majority of ball golf courses aren’t set up like disc courses (in public parks, free etc.), so there’s usually not other activities going on etc. It’s a good thought, though, and you bring up other good points — sudden movements etc.
I voted no. Dogs are great, but I have noticed that many dog owners have a warped view of how well-behaved their pets are. Owners tend to fail to take into account how the difference in venue and introduction of the stimuli of strange people, noises, and quick movement may affect their pets when away from home. Even the most well-trained dog can have a hard time remembering its instruction in a busy park with strangers and flying discs everywhere, and it only takes one slip-up and chewed prize disc to ruin a round. After watching countless dogs exhibit the exact misbehavior their owners claim to have corrected, it’s just best if Rex stays home.
This is probably a major point in this argument — how well a pet is behaved. The reality is, some people don’t like dogs or get easily spooked. One movement is enough for a non-dog person to get freaked out. This leads into the enjoyment of the game. If somebody else isn’t enjoying the game because another brought the dog along, the line needs to be drawn.
I am a dog owner. My pup is 13 months old and went disc golfing with me for the first time when he was 10 weeks old. I mostly take him out for solo rounds and he has been trained how to act on a course. When I throw, he lays down and watches or chews on his stick that he carries. He gets treats to encourage this behavior, and plenty of water on the course. He now does this when out with the club also. No dog is perfect (mine included!), but between the training and being on his leash there are no issues with him taking off towards people. And he also has no interest in Frisbee or discs for obvious reasons. He chases tennis balls or his sock monkey. In one of the clubs I disc with, half of the members have dogs. When we are discing, there are usually 2 or 3 dogs in the group as long as they are allowed on the course. All are leashed and cleaned up after.
There are some important things you note — solo rounds, dog is trained for the course, dog lovers and owners in a club. This all seems to lend to bringing dogs with you. If it’s OK with everyone else (or yourself) and the situation is good for it, then all is good. The unfortunate part is it’s pretty likely not all dogs have been trained for the course.
Josh Winn said:
I voted yes. To the folks making the comparison about not taking their dogs to a ball golf course: That is not a good comparison. Ball golf courses are private. Most disc golf courses are in public parks where dogs are usually allowed to be anyway. Having dogs on a course is not taking anything away from having our sport be a “legitimate sport” what so ever. We are playing in parks people. If there was a pick up softball game at the park do you think people would be saying that the dog is taking away from how “serious” softball is?
The part about the ball course vs disc course is a good point. However, having dogs on rounds of, say, a major, wouldn’t do well for the image to non-disc golfers. On a casual round, not so much and the point is definitely valid. But the softball argument isn’t the best comparison, either, as softball is a former Olympic sport and you haven’t seen dogs out running the bases with players. If there are dogs at softball games (even at rec league ones), it’s probably a safe bet they are leashed and with fans — not the players.
Ven Vardin noted:
I said yes only as long as a dog is on a leash and the owner(s) clean up after said dog. Even if a dog is well behaved the dog must be on a leash in a public park. The purposes of having a leash include allowing the animals that live in the park a dog free environment. Also you never know what weird event can occur that will cause even a well behaved dog to flip out. Keep that leash on for the animals. Thanks for letting me rant on something that really bugs me. I am a dog owner and am amazed that most owners don’t get this.
A leash and cleaning up is a big thing. Without these, the argument has a good chance at tipping the other way.
Ben H said:
To the people saying dogs shouldn’t be at sanctioned events – I have to confess that my dog regularly tags along with me, by way of her other owner, my girlfriend. If a caddy/friend/fan is walking a dog along with the card during a tournament, do you still think that should not be allowed? At the Victoria Open this past weekend my girlfriend and dog were with me for all three rounds and I didn’t have any verbal complaints from other players or the TD, etc.
The no dogs on sanctioned events isn’t really arguable. Animals are not supposed to accompany players. I don’t know if there’s a rule particular to fans with dogs, but if you are walking with your girlfriend for the full round, it’s possible somebody could likely call you on that. Will somebody? Who knows. But that’s leaving an open door if something happens. A rule is a rule when it comes to sanctioned tournaments.
Anyway, this was a great discussion and hopefully future polls get the same response. It’s nice to see the different thoughts of people.
And now to this week’s poll.
Smoking on the course.
Let’s first say this — no matter what the rules about smoking may be, engaging in illegal activity on the course should never happen. Therefore this poll does not deal with the smoking of illegal substances. This is about the legal ones.
This, too, is a hot topic. There are people who smoke. Most people will get that. But should they do it when playing disc golf? Does it interfere with other people’s enjoyment of the game or being outside?
But we’re going to take the casual rounds out of this. Because, usually, if you are playing a casual round, you are playing with friends etc. This is for tournaments and leagues (sanctioned or not).
Let’s be real here — this is a hot topic all over. Smoker’s rights vs. non-smoker’s rights and all that. Some people get ill by smelling it. Some are allergic. Some smokers are extremely courteous. Others are not. There are a ton of variables here. So, we ask you this one question:
Should people be allowed to smoke while playing in leagues and tournaments?
Yes or no question. Elaborate in the comments below as it will likely be interesting to see people’s responses.