Poll 52: Family and Cliques

Before we get rolling with this week’s poll, we’ll clear up yesterday.

We hope you all enjoyed the story and everything. With how April Fools’ Day is now, it’s hard to slip things past people, so we wanted to have some fun. The thing about that day, in this day and age, it’s hard to truly pull something off. So the goal was to have fun and make people smile and laugh.


There will always be critics and skeptics, but we hope most of you enjoyed the story and everything else.

Now, on with the poll.

We’re going to tackle something many of us have seen. The inner-circle, or “old boys” sort of network in disc golf circles. Or, if you’re lucky, the lack thereof.

As the game grows, there will likely be situations like this. And, with society, it can often be a norm. So, we’ll tackle that in a moment.

First, let’s get back to last week’s question and see what some people had to say.  We asked you how many disc golf-related clothing items you owned. We had 197 people vote.

Of those voters, 91 (46 percent) said they owned 1-10 items. That was followed by 11-20, which garnered 41 votes (21 percent). None came in third (34 votes/17 percent), followed by 21-30 (16 votes/8 percent), more than 50 (11 votes/6 percent), 31-40 (2 votes/1 percent) and 41-50 (2 votes/1 percent).

Now let’s check in with a couple of reader comments.

Kevin King said:

I voted in the 1-10 range. If I have an extra $15 to spare, I tend to spend it on plastic over clothing, but I do have a few shirts that I wear out in public that promote the sport a bit. Dynamic Discs makes some sweet shirts that I like, plus I have the odd league dri-fit shirt or Collegiate team shirt in my closet.

Understandable about wanting to spend the money on plastic, but sometimes there are some really nice shirts or sweatshirts…

Brian Bell said:

I have a few tournament T-shirts, a Tournament volunteer polo, 1-2 “World’s Biggest” T-shirts, and one other. I have not found too many designs that I liked enough to buy at the price offered.

That seems like a common theme, too. Sometimes, designs get a little too crazy. Others have made those comments, too, and can be picky. And, honestly, who can blame them?

Keith said:

Stop with the bedazzled type stuff or big giant prints on front and back. Some of it is starting to look like ed hardy garbage

It makes one wonder that if with so many companies and such making shirts, if there’s the feeling things like that need to happen to attract buyers. And there must be different groups, too, because it seems like all sorts of shirts sell.

Ben T. said:

The few pieces of clothing I have come from tournaments I have played in. I was recognized by a fellow DGer last summer when my wife and I were out looking at houses because of the shirt I was wearing. I hadn’t played with this person but he knew the tournament and the sport.

As for going out to buy a shirt/hat/jacket, most places don’t carry it in my size. I tried to find a hat that I would wear every day but didn’t find anything that I would buy instead of a disc or two.

It can be nice to get a shirt in a tournament packet, as long as the design is decent. Wearing it, of course, lends to the possibility into running into fellow golfers. And fully understood on the size issue. It seems many disc golf wear is often in the same sizes and doesn’t always include smaller or bigger than regular.

Thanks to all who voted and commented on last week’s poll. Now, let’s get to this week’s poll.

Jenny Cook’s story from last week touched on something on something interesting — how it can be hard, at times, for newer players to hop into league play because of the groups that have already formed.

To take that a step further this week, we come to ask you this question — how do you perceive disc golf? Is it one big happy family? Or is it made up of many cliques?

Vote away and drop a comment below to discuss. And let us know the reason behind your vote!

[poll id=”57″]

If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj@rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter andlike us on Facebook!


0 thoughts on “Poll 52: Family and Cliques

  1. I find so many disc golfers to be helpful with tips and information, but I have also noticed that even then, most players have their group of DG-playing friends and it is difficult to join them, whether for a round or for conversation. Also, as a not-so-skilled player with a very short drive, I feel that sense of hierarchy on my local courses based on skill level.


  2. Being part of our local club for 15 years, I have seen many new faces come and go over the years, partly living in a “college town” adds to this. If a person wants to be part of the events going on they just need to make an effort to participate and usually thats all it takes, having new faces and competition always is a benefit to the local scene.


  3. Like any big happy family, there are definitely separations and small groups. Like any big family there needs to be solid parenting leadership to bring the children together and teach them to play well together. In this light, it is one big happy family. Just like the little brother or sister that wants to tag along with the older siblings with more experience, they must prove they should be there or pay some sort of price. In other words, to fit in with the big boys, you need to be willing to play with them, if that means they take your money from cash games or lessons or clinics, then so be it. I have found that once I have gotten to know various people in the disc golf community they are inviting and very helpful. I recently played a random doubles round where, as a rec player, I was paired with a pro and we played on a card with 3 other pros (one guy was his own team mate, in case the math didn’t work out). I should have felt like I was not able to contribute, but the group was encouraging and welcomed me in. It was a great time. Although there are definitely cliques based on skill or comradere, those cliques are normal parts of a bigger group and each are inviting, not excluding. This is one of the reasons I love disc sports, it is sport that encourages us to be our best selves and to invite and befriend others. Of course, there are also those pesky and annoying little brothers and sisters, but with time and a whole lot of patience, you’ll love them too!


  4. I have found that for the most part everyone has been extremely nice and welcoming. I’m not shy, so when I go out to a course, I talk to other players, say hi, wish them well and I think that has benefitted me in getting to know so many people in a short period of time. I also volunteered to help bring a dead course back, played in the AM tournament and then volunteered at the pro-tournament just to meet new people and see some of the greats play. Hanging around those two weekends I got to know a lot of people. There are also groups on facebook where people from our region tell about tourneys or courses.

    There was one instance though that my daughter and I didn’t feel welcomed. We showed up to a group I had played with before that was apparently a men only group according to the guy who organized it. They kind of shunned us into playing by ourselves. The guy who organized it couldn’t be bothered to tell me that my daughter couldn’t play, they just ignored me when I asked if anyone minded if my daughter played. Other people in the group that weren’t there that day later told me they disagreed with it and to bring her the next week, but she would have been upset if she knew people were making a big deal about her playing. So if I have her with me, I don’t play with that group, most of whom I really like.


  5. I’m aware that there are groups and sub-groups in any social setting – including disc golf – but I voted for ‘one big happy family’ because I believe disc golf does a better job erasing those lines than any social setting I’ve ever experienced.

    In a post on this site in the near future I’ll share another excerpt of my in-progress book that goes into the details of my rationale, but for now will just add a single observation:

    At least in my experience on my local courses, I can easily see how a newcomer or lesser-skilled player may perceive cliques and be intimidated by what seem like closed circles of players. However in reality, when approached these groups are usually the most eager to answer questions and assist new players to have a better experience on the course. It’s one thing that has always impressed me most about disc golf.


  6. Even though I’m pretty new to the sport, I have seen a lot of welcomeness extended from other players when attending a tournament or playing a casual round at a local course. I’ve also seen a lot of helpfulness with respect to answering questions or helping find one’s way on the course, locating a lost disc, etc.

    Hopefully, that doesn’t change over time.


  7. Not so cut and dried at least not for me. Around here there are some cliques; some are what would serve as an “old boys club” kind of thing. But that said, I’ve never had a problem working into those groups. Mostly because I don’t like that sort of thing and I seem to like at least someone in each group. And the same goes for the group I’m in. Anyone is welcome. Having retired from 28 years of military service broke down the walls I think.

    The bottom line is no matter how competitive I’m playing or how serious the round is, its obvious I’m out having fun, “just throwing frisbees in the park.” Having fun breaks down a lot of barriers.


  8. In my short time as a disc golfer, I have found that the clique aspects show more often in my area. So much so that it’s more of a Hatfield vs McCoy situation. There are many people I have talked with some who would rather be hit with a disc at close range than join the local clubs, others have been attacked verbally and in forums after being generous with their time and money leading leagues that didn’t conform to the clubs ideal format.

    I personally would rather meet with small groups to play on a regular basis knowing they’re more welcoming. The larger the groups, the more drama that gets spread around. I have seen frustrated (to the point of hissy fits) players at tournaments ask to be put in a different group because they want to be with “their” group.

    Tournaments are slightly different. I have never seen anyone turned away (who would turn down tourney fees), but those who are well known and liked get the best treatment and have the pick of who they play with. Those who have been placed on the s-list or are unknown get what they get and can only hope for the best.


  9. Pingback: Poll 52: Family and Cliques | Keystone Disc Golf

  10. I think in Australia it is a lot more “one big happy family”, primarily because it is still a very niche sport and if it’s not a happy family, you don’t really have anyone to play with. As well as the small player group, most cities have 1 (ONE!) golf course so if you don’t get along with the people that play there, you are in a tough spot. Perhaps with the growth we are experiencing and the applications for new courses in NSW currently underway, we might develop some local cliques but I would like to think that sticking together is what has got us to the point of growth where new courses are a viable option in the first place.

    That said and with my short term involvement in the sport, there are little cliques forming, mostly due to progress (or lack thereof) in the sport and a lot of stagnating in some areas. Also perhaps a divide between the older players who have played disc sports for 30+ years, loving their technical layouts and the new generation with monster arms who love distance over accuracy. Personally, as a low end novice just starting out, I am in awe of both and hope everyone can get along!


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