Thanks to my recent injury, I spent some time thinking up this blog and different ways I could start to change attitudes inside the disc golf community and perceptions outside the disc golf community. I do enjoy the casual nature of disc golf and don’t want the sport to lose the accessibility that can make it more fun than ball golf.
Most articles about the growth of disc golf as a mainstream sport claim disc golf’s greatest need is for major market sponsors. Of course Discraft and Innova are sponsoring players, but where is Coke or Pepsi?
The amount of money that would constitute an infusion of cash on an enormous scale for disc golf would be a pittance for the companies of that stature. Why doesn’t that make disc golf a great deal? Bowlers are sponsored. Is that any less a niche-sport? Why isn’t Barsby only drinking Powerade and only eating Cliff Bars?
Because our courses get closed due to public action. Because NorCal golfers don’t see a problem with having their jars of pot openly displayed 100 yards from public school property. Because we fight against the public instead of incorporate them into our planning for events. Because we do not enforce existing rules regarding dress, drinking, and smoking posted at courses and during events.
I break my own rules from time to time but constantly try to improve. Its difficult to reconcile disc golf’s essential casual nature with our need to straighten up conduct and perception of the game. To do this, I have developed a new motto: Keep It in the Four-some.
Following this rule should allow golfers to enjoy their game the way they want while protecting the image of disc golf. If you were standing in a field with three friends telling slightly inappropriate jokes you would all be quiet as another group approached, right?
What if one of the people approaching was someone’s mom? You wouldn’t keep telling that story about the stripper, right? But for some reason, in Northern California anyway, many golfers just leave their beer bottles out and keep packing their bowls while people approach. Golfers here are often disdainful of the public even though the parks we use are public and publicly funded.
Keeping in mind that at any moment someone’s mom might walk around the corner, act in a responsible manner towards the neighborhoods and fellow park users. If you are playing music, make sure it stays in the four-some. Laughing, joking, smoking, drinking – Keep It in the Four-some.
This weeks question:
What can we do to incorporate the public into our disc golf events, how can we drive more local fan attendance?
Categories: Disc Golf Etiquette