DGCR 102: Social networking, searching, and the site’s greatest hits

This is the second of a two-part series about DGCourseReview.com. The first part ran last Friday.

By Steve Hill — Rattling Chains staff

Relative to other sports, disc golf is still in its infancy. It does not have a long history, nor does it boast a mainstream following. For every person who plays the sport, there are likely five more who have never heard of it.

For players who become quickly addicted to the game, then, there is a void. While they would like to spend all day and night talking about all things disc-related, there are likely few other friends or family members who have any shared interest.

It is this lack of local conversation that leads many players to the discussion forums at DGCourseReview.com (DGCR). With nearly 35,000 registered users, they are bound to find someone with whom they can click.

The New Social Network

Site founder Tim Gostovic has created multiple forums for discussion within DGCR. A byproduct of his efforts, though, has been multiple strong relationships founded and maintained through the site.

“DGCR has built a lot of friendships and there are member meets happening all over the country,” Gostovic said. “It’s really great to see the photos of people that might not have otherwise gotten together hanging out and enjoying the sport. I actually regularly play disc golf with a friend I met through the site.”

Jerry Honis (in blue) teaches kids about disc golf as a favor to fellow DGCR member William Safford (photo courtesy William Safford)

Members can unite by posting threads in the site’s dedicated DGCR Meets subforum, or through simply finding someone in their neck of the woods and sending them a private message.

Ryan Glasshagel of New Glarus, Wisconsin, has taken the latter approach and played with about ten fellow DGCR members.

“I consider DGCR my Facebook,” Glasshagel said. “I spend more time on there than any other site on the Internet. I have met some great people on the site that I would consider friends.”

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DGCR 101: A history of commitment drives the Internet’s largest disc golf hub

This is the first of a two-part series about DGCourseReview.com. Check back next Friday for the second installment.

By Steve Hill — Rattling Chains staff

When many players discover the game of disc golf, it is only a matter of time before they want to branch out from their home course and discover other venues to play.

Luckily for them, searching Google for “disc golf course” or “Frisbee golf courses,” much to the chagrin of those who despise that term, yields many results, none more useful than DGCourseReview.com

Boasting a directory of more than 4,500 courses, Disc Golf Course Review (DGCR) allows players to find courses, track scores, map out road trips, and so much more.

Genesis of the site

New players of the past were not always as fortunate as those today.

Take Tim Gostovic, the brainchild of DGCR. The Rochester, New York native started playing disc golf 10 years ago and was immediately hooked on the sport. As his interest grew, he and his friends took their love of the sport beyond their local surroundings.

“After I had been playing for two years or so, my friends and I started traveling outside our area to play new courses,” Gostovic said. “That escalated to full-on road trips after exhausting the nearby options. We would visit the PDGA site to see which courses were around and try to plan our trip.”

But with the PDGA website listing only locations and directions — and with other sources of information being scarce — Gostovic found the planning process to be restrictive.

“The problem was that it was very difficult to decide which courses were worth stopping at,” he said. “There weren’t really reviews at the time, and maps and photos were tough to come by and required going to a club’s site and hoping you could find something there. It was quite the ordeal and didn’t really guarantee the course you were traveling hundreds of miles to play would be a good one.”

It was from these dilemmas that DGCR was born.

“After planning two road trips using the ‘check the entire Internet’ method, the frustration of the planning process led me to the idea of a central repository of maps, photos, information, and reviews to make my life and the lives of traveling disc golfers like myself easier,” Gostovic said. “So I sat down, sketched out some basic page layouts and functionality, and got to work.”

After a little more than a month of development, DGCR was launched in May 2007. In addition to the number of courses available to locate, there are currently more than 44,000 reviews and 84,000 photos to accompany them.

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Once the buyer, now the seller (and trader)

With the pile getting bigger, it was time to shed some plastic. (photo by Steve Hill)

By Steve Hill — RattlingChains.com Staff

As readers of this fine website may recall, I have battled plastic addiction for quite some time now.

However, over the last couple months I have been navigating the road to recovery, and it is all due to making the plunge and selling discs online.

As a member of the forums over at DGCourseReview.com, I have wasted plenty of time posting about discs, courses, and other nonsense. Luckily, some of my time there has now been productive, as I am using their Marketplace forum to list my discs that were otherwise collecting dust.

It is quite easy, really — you start a thread listing your discs, then give each a little description, rating of wear, a photo, and price. People can then message you to arrange payment or trades.

The best part of the Marketplace, though, is the feedback you can give on transactions, much like on eBay. Since it is the Internet and you have no clue who you are dealing with, you can use each buyer’s feedback ratings to guide you in the process.

The First Taste

At first, it was pure laziness that kept me from dabbling in the Marketplace. Taking all the photos for the discs, listing the prices, making multiple trips to the post office … It all sounded like a lot of work.

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