Poll 53: Giving a good image

We’ve been dealing with some interesting topics this week.

And, being we covered the family and cliques last week, we’re going to keep on that same page a bit and talk about how the old regulars give off the image of this sport to newbies or non-players.


But, as always, we’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s go back to last week and see what people had to say about that poll.

We wanted to know how you perceive disc golf.

There were 100 players who voted in this poll. Of that group, 63 (63 percent) said the sport is made up of cliques. The other 37 (37 percent) said it was one big happy family.

This was definitely quite a gap.

Let’s get some people’s opinions on this to expand on this vote.

Aaron Rudolph said:

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.

Skill level can definitely be a way to kind of show hierarchy. And that, in turn, can give off a bad vibe.

Brian Murphy said:

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 that’s all it takes. Having new faces and competition always is a benefit to the local scene.

Agreed that the new faces are a benefit. Some areas seem to make it a little hard to be a regular in that scene.

Dana Smith said:

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 benefited 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.

That’s a really sad thing. If anyone had an issue playing with your daughter, they should have quietly told you so. That people who weren’t there were willing to stick up for you and her in the future is great, but it really doesn’t speak highly for those who were there who just shunned you into playing solo. Those aren’t good images for the sport.

Joe Nobiling said:

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.

I think most areas are different and it’s good you’re in an area where they extend hearty welcomes to anyone. Hopefully, one day, that becomes the full norm.

Simpletwist said:

Not so cut and dry, 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.

Your idea on throwing Frisbees in the park is a great attitude to have. It definitely makes it easier when one has a care-free attitude and no worries about being a big-time pro.

Let’s end with Ben T’s comment:

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.

These are some sad samples of the game as it can be. This also shows that things aren’t perfect, though many would like to paint the picture that it is. The reality is, disc golf deals with people. Not all people are going to be nice to everyone. It’s a shame people call others out on forums. It sounds like you might have it a bit worse than some. Hopefully, your area will improve over time and get better.

Let’s now switch back to this week’s poll.

We talked about cliques and one big happy family. But let’s look at it a little more individually. Even some of those “clique” people can be quite welcoming, especially when on the course solo.

So we want to know, Do regulars at your course present a good image of disc golf to newbies and other park users?

A simple yes or no question. Feel free to expand in the comments below!

[poll id=”58″]

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 53: Giving a good image

  1. I don’t know if anyone I know reads this blog, but I hesitate to say too much because I don’t want to make it personal.

    I’ll just say that a few bad apples screw things up for the rest of us. The two courses I play are pretty trashed with cigarette butts and beer cans. I don’t understand why people have to bring disposable items out onto the disc golf course in the first place.


    • I feel your pain, Bocephus. I too find myself in the position of cleaning up other people’s messes at my local park.

      Sadly people don’t seem to respect the priviledge that we have in using these spaces. The local governments don’t need excuses to pull baskets at any more courses… as it stands we are likely losing one in June pending a Parks Department decision. 😦


  2. I agree with Bocephus, I don’t know what “locals” read this but I’m not tryna Rattle their Chains… So, I’ll only talk about my home course, not the one a few minutes down the road.

    At my home course “Circle C” the regulars (myself included) seem to be a stand-up squad. Other than a random tall-boy carefully hung from a branch or two on the course, we are pretty much litter free, I’ve been know to pack out what other’s packed in. Large groups are usually accommodating to solos or smaller groups when possible. Sometimes, it’s too crowded and larger groups will let you know that even if you pass you may still run into traffic.

    And at this course, different that that other one… While crowded courses still tend to suck, on these busy days’s I’ve met some cool people, from a university professor to kid that could drive a mile with ease. People have offered advice and have asked for tips, I don’t normally drink on my solo (practice) rounds but I’ve been offered cold-ones and smoke breaks.

    I enjoy this course and even though it’s only minutes away from another, it’s persona is miles away.


  3. I voted yes because my individual experience has been much better than the group experience. Most people are cordial in passing and helpful with directions, but try to join for the round and it’s hit or miss.
    Despite the division in the area, individual players are usually welcoming. If you run into the large group “good ol boys” (thanks simpletwist) you will soon know where you stand (better players are tolerated more often than newbies).
    Some of the smaller groups will offer a disc or two for first timers and intermediate-advanced players are more often willing to help improve each others games. It is a rare Pro that is willing to teach for free in my area.

    There are some inroads being made though. The local community college has just formed a new club, and they welcome the competition to help get better.


  4. Generally I’d say yes very much so. But this is somewhat course dependent around here. One local course has a contingent not affectionately known as “Rats.” Loud, rude, with little to no respect for other disc golfers let alone other park users. But they and that course are not the norm around here thankfully. The “regulars” are a large part of why the wife and I found the sport so satisfying and intriguing. Same faces, friendly faces, at all hours and no matter what the weather and obviously enjoying themselves and their camaraderie. Their good example got us with involved with tournaments, fundraisers, leagues & course maintenance.


  5. Thanks Bocephus for your comment. I think this conversation needs to be had. We all love disc golf, and we’d all love a course within a short distance of our home, but city officials won’t allow it if they fear the crowd it draws.

    I feel that for the most part, the crowd is great – young families, responsible adults, etc. Then the few bad apples ruin it. The place gets trashed, and it’s not family friendly anymore.

    Of course, you’ll vote yes on the poll if you’re the one trashing it. You probably think your trashed bedroom is great too, but nobody else wants to be there.

    Bottom line, increase the respect to our courses.


  6. The regulars at my course have recently made changes to try to better our image. There have been monthly work projects to clean up the course and the other trails around the park, and now there are trash cans at every other hole. This only started however due to warnings from the parks department about the amount of litter that was accumulating.

    A far as being welcoming to newcomers, I think our regulars are great. There is a good mix of beginners and advanced players in our local club and we are always trying to get new people out to our events by offering prizes for players who are competing in their first tournament.

    I’m always looking for a new way to get a few more people interested in disc golf.


  7. The local club has done a great job cleaning up the course. Everyone who uses the park has appreciated how much nicer the park and the trails are now. The overall use of the park has increased because of the efforts of the club.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s