Poll 64: The Outsiders

Before we begin, no this post isn’t about the 1980s movie.

Instead, we’re curious about something — how do people respond when you tell them you play disc golf? In recent weeks, there have been some crazy looks when people hear it from my mouth.

pollSo how about you?

Before we get to that, however, we need to go back and check out our last poll.

We asked you if you had ever had or witnessed a good old-fashioned blow up on the course? Though we didn’t get a lot of voters, we received some good stories!

Of the 70 voters, 55 people (79 percent) said yes. That left 15 (21 percent) to say no.

Some shared stories while other made some good points. So before hitting up our current poll, let’s check back to see what some readers said.

Kyle Breuer said:

Over the years that I have been playing, like most, I’ve witnessed my fair share of people blow up on the course. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a tournament round or just a warm up. Some people just do NOT understand how to keep their composure. While some of it may be due to immaturity, not all of it is. Frankly, I think it’s embarrassing.

No one is perfect. Everyone tends to throw a bad shot (maybe even a few during a single round) here and there. Personally, it’s how you rebound from those shots. Why waste a round on a blow up?

It’s a good point, for sure. But once competition comes into play and if there’s money on the line, people tend to get a little crazy.

Shawn M says:

In a recent non-sanctioned, clearly for fun tournament, I witnessed a local pro blow up on the last hole of our round together. Not blow up in terms of shots, however.

This person had not had a great round and let us know about it the entire time. It was even said that since we were not playing up to his level, his game was suffering. It all came to a head as we were getting ready to tee on the last hole of the round. It was discovered that there was a scoring error a couple holes before. So 3 of us were sorting it out while the other person stood on the tee pad impatiently. It took us about 5 minutes to get everything straight.

Of course, he hit a tree on his drive, leaving him 200 feet short but still easily able to get the 3. As soon as he hit the tree, he started letting us have it. “Awesome! Froze out by my own group. @#$#$#@$!” We were a little stunned but progressed to tee off after he stopped complaining. As were were walking down the fairway, he kept at it. Stepped up to his disc and threw his up-shot with out of disgust. It was parked for a 3. He proceeded to vocalize how upset he was as the rest of us tried to play out the hole. I actually had a good drive with a 25-30? putt for birdie. However, by the time I stepped up to my putt, I was really angry with this guy. Of course I missed. Which made me even more angry that this guy, who was supposed to be a professional, someone we should look up to, was acting like just the opposite.

We took scores as he was walking away. He didn’t even want to add up his card but came back and did so. After that was over (he was muttering the whole time), he proceeded to throw his chair in the direction of tournament central. He then kicked it a few times, picked it up and threw it again. The rest of us just stood there in shock. OK, I was now extremely angry. I felt like this person not only cost me a stroke or two due to his constant negativity, but that he took all the fun out of the round. It was a truly awful experience!

Sometimes, it seems people don’t have fun with this game. Ever. It’s amazing how many professionals think every shot should be perfect and how so many things can distract them. Thanks for sharing this one.

Ben said:

I normally play with pretty level-headed people, however there is always 1. I know for sure that this guy has gone through countless plastic, 3 chairs and a $200 backpack after a blowup. (And that is just what I have seen) He is really the type that wants all his shots to be perfect. And because he was able to make it happen once on a practice field out of 200 throws it should happen every time he is on the course. He is a super nice guy off the course. And aside from the sounds of him slamming his belongings not a terrible guy to play a round with. But he sure does implode once he gets going.

After playing with him in league rounds/recreational rounds he will even admit after the round is over that he was behaving ridiculously.Destruction of personal property was never really my go-to for letting out grievances, but I figure him blowing up is but more detrimental to him than it is to me!

It makes absolutely no sense to spend all that money on good equipment to destroy it because of a bad shot. It seems like some players think they should be perfect, despite not being so. But with that thought process, some will then explode and blame the equipment and destroy it. Crazy. It’s throwing away money!

Tricia Lafferty said:

The blow up I witnessed was totally ridiculous! It was almost like something you would see out of a cartoon. I was at our state tournament. I play in rec and my division was playing the short course, so we were done well before the others. I was sitting on my chair at my car and people started coming back from the long course to their cars.

I was facing down toward where a few cars were parked, and all of a sudden I saw someone walking in a huff and talking to themselves. They were pretty far away, so I couldn’t hear what they were saying. All of the sudden he whips his disc bag off of his shoulder, swings it around a few times like he’s winding up, and lets go. The bag flies like 20 feet in front of him, catches a tree branch and all the discs come flying out of the bag.

He keeps walking and talking in a huff, then when he gets near his stuff, he starts kicking it all the way to where is truck was parked. He kicks the side of his truck, picks the bag up and whips it again. All the while he’s jabbering about something. He punches at the air a couple times, then grabs a gallon of water out of the back of his truck and pours it over his head for about 5 minutes, huffing and blowing like he ran a marathon or something. After that, he angrily starts collecting his discs and slams them into the back of the truck. I don’t know who he was or what he was angry about. I later found out he placed 4th out of 11 in Open, so I still don’t really know what he was pissed about. It was ridiculous to witness and completely juvenile to act that way. He was an older man, 40s or 50s maybe. Playing in Open tells me he’s been around long enough to know better.

One thing can be sure — no matter how old somebody is, a bad sport is a bad sport. It never seems to get out of some people’s systems, unfortunately.

Kevin said:

Last year a guy completely lost it and you could hear him screaming all over the course. He threw his bag in the trash and stormed off. He was a prominent member of the local club and was kicked out and banned from future events.

The sad part was he wasn’t doing any worse than usual. He blew a head gasket and that was all she wrote.

There have been a few times in the last 2 years I have seen someone throw their discs in the trash and walk away.

Sounds like it was a ban that was well earned. Just makes no sense to play a game if one is going to act that way!

Thanks to all who responded. I’d encourage people to go back and read the responses as there are some other good ones!

So back to the newest question …

What do people say when you mention disc golf? Is it a crazy response? Is it something more level-headed? Or so people make fun of it? Either way, give a vote and drop a comment in the section below and maybe tell us about mentioning the game to others!

[poll id=”69″]

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 and like us on Facebook!


8 thoughts on “Poll 64: The Outsiders

  1. I can’t answer this poll question because I have heard each of those replies. Bringing up disc golf in conversation almost always makes the needle skid off the record. So I stopped bringing it up at all. What’s the point?


  2. I volunteer as a Cub Scout leader and one day we were bicycling near the dg course and I told the kids that we needed to head up the hill and make a left just before the disc golf course. The lead kid says “Disco?! Cool!” I felt disappointed when *they* got disappointed that there wasn’t a dance club on the bike trail.


  3. I’m usually able to coax a vague amount of familiarity out of someone, but only just. A lot of times there’s an added sense of disparity because my work in contemporary classical music leads people to see a disconnect between that world and the world of disc golf. I try to explain that this difference is why I love disc golf so much: whereas artistic success can be pretty ambiguous, I know right away how good or bad a shot of mine was. I love disc golf for this “instant feedback.” Sometimes that’s an explanation that really connects with people, other times they’re left befuddled.

    In the year and a half I’ve been playing, I’ve generally been surprised at how relatively aware of and open to disc golf people are. The few “lazy hippie” stereotypes I’ve encountered are vastly in the minority. Even if people have never heard of the sport, they can understand the physical discipline and the enjoyment of the outdoors that disc golf provides me.


  4. I checked “heard of it,” to be an average answer, but this should be a poll where you can select more than one answer.

    I don’t usually receive a hippie wisecrack, but sometimes I sense those “pot thoughts” going through people’s minds. What does surprise me is the number of people who have played Ultimate Frisbee, but are unfamiliar with disc golf.

    Of the people who tell me they’ve heard of it, or are familiar with it, often not a lot of them have ever tried it. Some have tried it, but have no idea that we have a lot of courses nearby.

    It’s always pleasant when someone has played – or maybe not, and gets a big smile on their face, clearly excited at the prospect of talking about this wonderful sport. I also like to encounter someone who used to play and wants to start again.


  5. My dad for the longest time thought I was just saying “golf” and could never figure out how I’d get 18 holes in an hour and a half. Most of the people I work with have never heard it, but I work in a lumber yard so no surprise there. A lot of my friends have at least heard about it which is nice so it makes it easier to get them to come out for a round and teach the game to more people.


  6. Sometimes polls need to allow for multiple answers. This is one of those times as I get a variety of responses from “Hippie Golf” to “Never Played It” to “My son/brother/cousin plays it” to “Already play it.”


  7. It’s a VERY niche sport here in Australia at present. Starting to get a little bit of print media exposure in various parts of the country and with Jay and Des Reading out here recently for the Australian DG Championships on a few weeks ago, that ramped up significantly in parts of the country. Branching out to new areas with temporary baskets has certainly helped but, still, the general response is “Never heard of it” unless you are speaking to people that play Ultimate Frisbee or have spent time in the USA studying.


  8. I picked “Never heard of it…” but a close second is “Familiar with it, but only when you say “Frisbee golf.””. In the past, “Never heard of it…” was the response 75% or more of the time. Now I’d say it’s approaching 50/50. That’s a good thing, right?


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