Introducing Prodiscus

If one travels from the United States across the Atlantic Ocean toward northern Europe, they might reach the Baltic Sea. The eastern arm of the Baltic Sea is known as the Gulf of Finland. Along the shores of Gulf lies the Capital of Finland, Helsinki, and northwest of Helsinki is the city of Nokia.

Nokia is known throughout the world for the phone/electronics company that used to be located there, and bears its name. For disc golfers, Nokia is where The Beast at Disc Golf Park is found. And Nokia is home to disc golf manufacturer, Prodiscus.

First in Finland

Prodiscus was founded in 2006 by Kai Vesa, and started as an importer of disc golf products. However, after a few years, the company wanted to expand beyond just importing products. They decided to work toward producing their own line of discs.

In 2010, their first disc was approved by the PDGA for production. That disc was the Jokeri, an overstable putter that remains one of their most popular molds, and an exceptional throwing putter. Following the Jokeri, Prodiscus began adding more discs to their lineup. For the next few years they would design and release 1-3 new molds per year, slowly growing their brand and the discs they offered.

Popular Molds

Their most popular molds are the Jokeri, Midari, and Laseri. Those are a putter, midrange disc, and a control driver, respectively.

As mentioned previously, the Jokeri is an overstable putter. It is beadless, an excellent driving or approach disc, and perfect as a headwind disc. The Jokeri was the first mold for Prodiscus, and it has been a hit from the beginning.

The Midari is one of Prodiscus’ midranges. It is shapable with its straight flight and good fade. The Midari is available in base and premium plastics.

The Laseri is a control driver that lives up to its name. It is a laser-straight disc with just a little turn and fade. Pick up a Laseri in a premium plastic and it will give you consistent flights for a long time. It also comes in base plastic.

Finnish Names

The naming convention used by Prodiscus is to choose English words, then add a Finnish vowel. Thus, the Joker becomes the Jokeri, and the Laser becomes the Laseri. The proper pronunciation is to say the English word, followed by long ‘e’ sound, as in ‘feet’. Their names also take inspiration from mythology and ancient civilizations. Sparta, Titan, and Troija (an ancient city in Asia Minor) were chosen for that reason.

Along the way they developed several different plastic blends for their discs. Those include Basic, Basic Hard, Premium, Ultrium, and Platinium. The most popular of these options is the Ultrium.

Ultrium is a premium plastic that feels like a slightly more grippy Star plastic. Their Premium plastic is similar to Champion in durability, but a little gummier for added grip. Basic is similar to other base plastics. It is grippy and less durable than other Prodiscus plastics.

Sponsorships

In addition to the new molds and plastics they were releasing, they also started serving the disc golf community by sponsoring some of the most promising players in the world. Current European Champion Henna Blomroos, Devan Owens, and Henrik Johansen were all sponsored by Prodiscus. Other big names originally sponsored by include Kevin Jones and Luke Humphries, who have gone on to make careers out of disc golf. Some of the current athletes sponsored by Prodiscus include a top European Masters player, Kristian Bengtsson and US Tour disc golfer, Josh Coghill.

 

Prodiscus has also created several different levels of sponsorship and made them available to disc golfers with a variety of skill levels. Here are the Team levels:

Team Spartan: This entry-level sponsorship if for people who use Prodiscus products and want to help promote them. It is the Team for amateurs who just love to play, or who want to improve and compete at higher levels.

Team Ambassador: This Team level is for Prodiscus fans who are already working to grow the sport. It is for people who run tournaments and leagues, and who promote the sport. These team members will be supported by Prodiscus as they help grow the sport.

Team Prodiscus: This is the highest Team level. It is for players who compete regularly and are committed to improving their game while serving as a representative of Prodiscus. This level already has members who are growing as disc golfers, and whose names you will be hearing about in the future!

Anyone Prodiscus fans interested in applying for any team membership may contact Prodiscus directly at: team@prodiscus.fi

New Molds

Prodiscus works hard to give the best possible equipment to the disc golf world. They are also working to add to their product line. There will be several new molds coming out soon. Prodiscus says one of the new molds, the JokeriX, which was PDGA approved on May 9, has a rim depth that is between the Jokeri and the Sparta. The JokeriX and MidariX will be joined shortly by the SpartaX.

Kai Vesa, the founder of Prodiscus is optimistic about the future of the sport, and the future his company. Like other businesses in the industry, they got a boost from the pandemic that will last for years to come.

“Our future looks really promising. We’ve made major investments for our own factory and our manufacturing volumes are going up significantly”, he said. “And so is the demand for Prodiscus products.”

Disc Golf In The Future

Kai anticipates big things for the sport as well. He predicts even bigger sponsors and audience than ever before. He also expects that Finnish and European players will be regularly challenging the top US players for the top tournaments every year. We got a glimpse of that earlier this year with Kristin Tattar either winning or finishing on the podium at several major tournaments.

Whatever the future may hold for disc golf, Prodiscus will continue to innovate and create new molds and products for the disc golf world. They were the first Finnish disc golf manufacturer, and they strive to be the best. According to Kai Vesa, “We try to be down to earth company that serves the customer the best way possible.”

 

Visit Prodiscus here: Prodiscus USA

Check out our Prodiscus products at Infinite Discs here: Available Products

Win a Prodiscus Disc

Let us know your thoughts about Prodiscus discs and you could win a free disc! Have you tried a Prodiscus mold? Let us know which one(s) and what you thought. Haven’t tried Prodiscus  yet? Check out their discs and let us know which one could make it in your bag. We’ll pick three random commenters and send them a free Prodiscus disc.

 

Introducing Wing It Disc Golf

Cache County, Utah, is in the northern most part of Utah. Commonly called the Top of Utah, the county sits on the border of southern Idaho. It is about an hour from the Fort, home of the 2021 World Disc Golf Championship. The county gets its name from the trappers in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s who used to store, or ‘cache’, their furs in the valley while waiting for an upcoming rendezvous.

Cache County has a long history of dairy production and a reputation for producing delicious cheese. It is home to a land grant school, Utah State University. The County Seat is Logan, Utah, where the largest disc golf retailer in the world has its headquarters: Infinite Discs. And Cache County is home to Wing-It Disc Golf.

Starting A Disc Golf Business

 

I suspect that a large number of us have thought how fun and interesting it would be to design our own discs or start our own brand of disc golf. Whether we are picturing ourselves as the new Innova, or just wondering if we could produce a mold or two that would resonate with other disc golfers, the idea of creating a new disc is appealing to many of us. Two brothers that live in Cache County decided to pursue that dream.

Brothers With A Plan

 

Wing It Disc Golf began fairly recently, and started with conversations among Eric and Jamin Burningham and their friends. The group shares a love of disc golf, and wondered what it would take to produce discs locally. Ed and Jamin decided to act on that idea, and found a local plastics producer to talk to about making molds for a disc.

After finding a plastics manufacturer in the county, the brothers began working on a 3D model of the disc they wanted to make. Then came the process of making a mold out of the 3D design. Once that was done came the job of finding a plastic that they liked.

Eric and Jamin decided on a polyurethane/ABS combination that they like. The plastic was durable yet grippy. Plus, it felt good to the brothers and other people who gave their input. That brought them one step closer to a finished product.

Winging It In Utah

 

Along the way to producing a disc, the pair had to come up with a name for their new company. The name they chose was Wing It Disc Golf. According to co-founder Jamin, “We picked Wing It Disc Golf because neither of us were pros. We were basically ‘winging it”. Eric, the other co-founder, is a serious birder, so the name turns out to be a nod to his other hobby.

The brothers also wanted to use birds and their flight to be themes for the names of their discs, but that turned out to be more challenging than they thought. Said Jamin, “We found that bird names were very popular choices for disc names. So much so that we felt it a little overused. “

 

High In The Sky

 

Instead of a bird-related theme, the name Stratosphere was chosen for their first mold. The Stratosphere was PDGA approved at the end of 2021, and the first run was selected for the Infinite Discs VIP club and sent out in early 2022. Since then, the Stratosphere was released to the public. The plastic for those first runs is called Lift Plastic, a nod to flight in general, birds and discs.

The disc-making duo is planning their next disc, which will be a higher-speed driver. They are still in the early phases of development for that disc, so it will still be a while before it is released. However, they have more lined up for the future besides new molds.

Currently, Jamin and Eric are experimenting with plastics, including adding agents into the Lift Plastic that will allow them make the lighter weight discs that are popular among beginning disc golfers. They don’t have that process down yet, so it may be a while before they can release lighter discs. Until then, they’ll keep experimenting with plastic and working on new molds.

Following A Dream

 

Eric and Jamin are brothers who share a love of disc golf. They truly enjoy playing with each other and with friends, and just having fun in the outdoors throwing discs! They also share the desire to grow a business, and both have a goal of providing discs for people who want to enjoy our sport. The two brothers are excited about the future of their company and the sport of disc golf. They love the growth that disc golf has seen the past few years, and are happy to be a part of increasing that growth. The fact that they are able to produce their discs here in Cache Valley makes chasing their dreams all the better.

Follow the progress of Eric and Jamin on their website here:  Wing It Disc Golf

Be sure to visit Infinite Discs to see the Wing It Discs we have in stock, here: Infinite Discs

Win A Stratosphere!

 

Post below and tell us what you think of Wing it Disc Golf’s first disc. Have you thrown it? Let us know what you think. Also, let us know what speed and flight rating that you hope they release for their second mold. We’ll select three random people and send them a free Stratosphere disc just for commenting!

 

The State of Disc Golf: Disc Golf Con

Throughout the course of the State of Disc Golf survey results bogs, I’ve mentioned the effects of the pandemic on our sport. Everything from supply issues affecting our purchases to our attendance at tournaments were affected to some degree by Covid-19. Infinite Discs was no different.

If you’ve been shopping with Infinite, or have been following our social media, you’ll know that the past two years have been challenging and at time frustrating as we grappled with supply chain issues. Just as the number of people who were playing disc golf skyrocketed, many of our suppliers were having trouble making the products that we, and other retailers, desperately wanted to have to sell to our customers.

While all retailers were in the same boat when it came to keeping stocked with the discs we wanted, there was one aspect of the pandemic that cut a little deeper for us. That would be the forced postponement of what was to be the inaugural Disc Golf Con.

 

Disc Golf Con

 

In case you aren’t familiar with Disc Golf Con, it was going to be a convention dedicated to the fans of disc golf. There were going to be flymarts with vendors selling disc golf goodies, professional disc golfers running a variety of clinics, limited edition discs for attendees, the option to caddy for pros, the option to play with the pros, and it would have opportunities to attend panels and a swap meet. Attendees would also have the opportunity to watch the top pros in our sport play for $84,000 cash!

The Disc Golf Con (DGC) was going to be held in Las Vegas in conjunction with the Las Vegas Challenge. We worked hard to prepare for the DGC.  We worked with pros, a hotel/convention center, and Wild Horse Golf Course to plan for a successful convention. Then, in January came a spike in the number Covid-19 cases and the decision was made to postpone DGC until 2023.

While it was very disappointing to put in the work preparing for the DGC, only to have it postponed, we also feel like we learned a lot and the inaugural event next year will be better because of our experiences. Which brings us to the topic of this week’s survey results: your thoughts about Disc Golf Con.

Were You Going?

 

In our survey we asked several questions about the Disc Golf Con. We asked if you had been planning on attending, and if not, what might make you change your mind. We also asked about your opinions on several aspects of the convention that we had planned. Below are the results.

The first question we asked was simply, “Were you planning on attending the Inaugural Disc Golf Con?”

Here are the results:

While only a small percentage of us indicated that we were planning on attending for sure, we were confident that those numbers would rise as the convention got closer. Between those who had already purchased tickets, those on the fence, and those who were just learning about DGC, we felt like there would be enough people attend to make the convention a success.

 

Not Going to Attend

 

The next thing we wanted to find out in the survey was why people weren’t going to attend. We had a list of responses, and allowed people to add their reasons if they weren’t on our list. The overwhelming majority of the ‘other’ responses were because of scheduling or responsibilities that prevented people from getting time off to attend. Many people chose more than one answer. Here are the results of the options offered:

 

 

The most popular answer is location. We’ll explore that a little more in the next section. The next highest answer is time. You would definitely have to use some vacation days to attend a multi-day event. Ten percent of us are still concerned about the pandemic, and nearly 20% of us wouldn’t attend because of the costs.

 

Motivation

 

The next question was for people who indicated that they definitely were not attending DGC. We asked what it would take for them to attend. Since it took a while to get through all of the answers!

After dismissing all of the responses that wouldn’t ever happen, such as covering for people at their job while they were in Vegas or babysitting for them, we were left with a good idea of what would get the most people to attend. Below is a list of the top 5 answers.

 

 

Hands down, the top response was location. Not that everyone disliked Vegas in general, although many specifically mentioned that they didn’t want to go there. It was mainly just too inconvenient to travel that far to attend a convention. Many in the survey indicated that they would attend a regional disc golf convention. Others said it would have to be in their home town for them to attend. While having a DGC in every major city would be impossible, having one more centrally located is something to consider.

The second most popular response was concerns about Covid. Some people were concerned about being around that many people at an indoor event. Others were mainly concerned about traveling in a plane during a pandemic. We sincerely hope that Covid will be much less of a factor next year.

The next three responses on the list are things could be considered and/or implemented. They are: Virtual options, all-inclusive packages (flight, hotel, tickets to the convention, etc.), and more unique swag.

 

Ticket Pricing

 

The next DGC-related question concerned the cost for tickets to the convention. We put a lot of thought into the ticket pricing, given everything you would get for your ticket. We felt it was a fair price, and certainly in the range of other large conventions. Here are how those who were not attending thought about the ticket prices.

 

 

Over half of the respondents either thought that the price was what we could expect for a convention of this size, or that the price wasn’t preventing them from attending. Over 46% indicated that they would pay less than $100 for tickets, with about 20% saying they would buy tickets if they were under $50, and nearly 27% saying they would spend between $50-100 for tickets.

 

Excited/Don’t Care

 

The final question about DGC we wanted to cover in the survey was to see which aspects of the convention appealed to you. We asked you to rank those events on a scale from ‘Don’t Care’ to ‘Very Excited’

Let’s start with the list of events that respondents are very excited about. Below is the list. I was surprised to see the high-stakes rounds rank so low. That was one of the things I was most looking forward to! Topping the list is people’s desire to get something unique from the event.

 

Conversely, below is the list of things that are the least appealing:

 

DGC Next Year

 

We are looking forward to next year and the inaugural Disc Golf Con. We are already planning and preparing so we can make sure it is a memorable event, and one that will grow and become better in the future. We’ll start making announcements as soon as we can. We sure hope to see you there!

 

 

 

The State of Disc Golf: Clubs and Leagues

 

Our local club, Cache Valley Disc Golf, began about 10 years ago. Currently, to ‘join’ the club, all you really need to do is just come out to play at league. We do offer a bag tag for $15, which is completely optional, and that tag allows you to compete for various CTP prizes that are reserved for tag holders. Don’t want to buy a tag? No problem, you can still compete at league.

The cost to play in league is $5, if you want to play competitively. You pay and choose division you want to compete in. Don’t want to play competitively? No problem, we offer a free Recreational division. In other words, if you either can’t or don’t want to pay to play, you can still join us for some disc golf.

We also offer two ace pots: a $1 ace pot and a $5 ace pot. The $5 one obviously grows much faster, often times making for a sweet payout for an ace. There are two optional CTP’s that cost $1 each, one for the cash in the ace pot, and one for a gift card. The total cost for the weekly single league if you pay for every option is $13.

In addition to our weekly singles league, we have a weekly doubles league. The total cost for everything is in doubles is $10. Recently, one of our club members started a flex league. That costs $6 to play if you want to compete for cash and buy in to the ace pot.

Total weekly cost if you want to play in all of our leagues and choose all of the optional buy-ins: $29.

 

Clubs

 

Which brings us to this week’s State of Disc Golf Survey subject: Clubs and leagues. In the survey, we asked how many of you belong to a Club, and all of the costs associated with joining and playing in your club events. Let’s check out the data.

The first thing we’ll look at is how many of us belong to a club. Many of us have played in clubs for years and can’t imagine not having that camaraderie and competition in our sport. Others of us are fine playing with the friends and family that we always play with. Many of us play alone, competing against ourselves, or just playing for fun.

The question we asked was, “Did you belong to a local disc golf club in 2021?” Here are your responses:

 

Since nearly two-thirds of us indicated that we belonged to a club last year, the next thing we wanted to look at was the cost to join the club. Many people gave a range, so we took the highest amount in the range for comparison. For those respondents outside the U.S., I did my best so convert the cost to USD.  Here are the costs to join for those who indicated that they belonged to a club last year:

 

 

Some people indicated that they got some swag like a disc or clothing when they joined the club, and those costs were a bit higher than the rest. Other people indicated that they could (or have in the past) buy a lifetime membership. Naturally, those would cost more than a yearly fee. The average cost to join a club is around $15, which is right where our club is at.

 

Leagues

 

The next cost we wanted to look at was the price to play in weekly events run by the club. Here is what we found:

A large majority of clubs charge very little for weekly events, $10 or less. A few charge $50+ dollars per week. I would guess those are larger clubs with a lot activities to choose from. Next year it would be interesting to have people indicate approximately how many people are in their club.

Our club came in at the highest 10% for weekly costs. Since those costs are mostly optional, it doesn’t have to cost much to play. (Our doubles league has a mandatory buy-in of $5.) Where does your club fall on the chart?

 

Our Skill Level

 

Now that we have the numbers for club membership, we can check out the varying demographics to see how many are in clubs. We’ll start with skill levels. The chart below was taken from a previous blog. It shows the percentage of us in each skill level.

 

 

We can now look at the percentage of each skill level that belongs to a club.

 

 

Based on the numbers, we could conclude that belonging to a club improves one’s skill level. However, I think it is more likely that as we improve in disc golf, we are more likely to feel comfortable playing around other people and testing our abilities.

When Did We Start Playing

 

I thought it would be interesting to look at when we started playing and see if that affects our club membership. The people who started the most recently are less likely to belong to a club, for a variety of reasons, but what about people who started 20 years ago? Or 30 years ago? Here is the chart:

 

 

The numbers bounce around a bit, but don’t really vary a whole lot. The percentages dwindle towards the end of the chart, which was pretty much expected. Earlier we mentioned that 37% of us belong to a club. Other than the first and last year(s), there isn’t much difference from average.

 

Gender

 

The last demographic we’ll look at is gender. Since 96% indicated that we are male, we already know that the male segment of our survey will be very close to the average number of people who belong to a club. Our average as a group is 36.5% The male average is 36.3%. For those who indicated that they are female, 43.4% belong to a club. For those who did not indicate a gender, 34.5% belong to a club.

 

 

Past Years

 

Finally, let’s look at an earlier State of Disc Golf survey and see if there have been any changes to the percentage of us who belong to a club. Here are the results for the 2015 survey for the question, “Do you belong to a club?”

 

That is a significant difference in club membership from 2015 to this year. Based on the chart above that indicates the year we started playing, we can’t really blame the drop in club attendance on the pandemic and the people who started playing in the past couple of years. We might be able to blame the pandemic for people not wanting to play in a club because of social distancing fears, despite disc golf being a non-contact, outdoor sport. Perhaps in the next few years we’ll see an increase in the number of people joining clubs, which would be evidence of the effects of Covid.

Let us know in the comments about your club and leagues. Is your experience in line with the majority? Or are you an outlier?

Tune in next week when we’ll look at more survey results.

State of Disc Golf: Aces!

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone to hear that the people I know who play the most (or have been playing the longest) have the most hole-in-ones, or ‘aces’. Most of them can tell you exactly how many aces they have. Some retire and save their ace discs, while others continue to throw them, often times picking up multiple aces on the same disc. I frequently see pictures of found discs that have aces or multiple aces, so I know a lot of us continue to throw them. Others of us have few or no aces, always hoping to add a hole-in-one to our scorecards.

Because of the size of the target we are aiming for in disc golf, we get a lot more aces than our sister sport, ball golf. Even so, our first ace often takes years to accomplish. I talked to one disc golfer a few years ago who had a PDGA number that indicated he had been playing since the 80’s, yet he didn’t have a single ace! The often elusive ace is what we are going to be talking about in today’s installment of the State of Disc Golf 2022.

Did We Ace?

 

In our survey for last year, we asked a couple of questions about aces. First, we asked if you got an ace in 2021. Second, if you did get an ace, we asked how many aces you got. We’ll look at those answers, as well as a breaking down the aces by a few different demographics.

 

Checking out the survey results, we see that over a third of us indicated that we got an ace last year.

 

 

Multiple Aces

 

After we established how many of us got an ace, we asked those people how many aces they got last year. Which is kind of disgusting to those of us who didn’t get an ace. But, as painful as it might be, we wanted to know how many aces people got. It turns out that some of us get a lot!

 

 

Almost all of the people who aced last year got five or less. But, there were quite a few who got between 6-20 aces. And there were a select few who averaged a couple aces per month! If you play a lot and have some short courses near you, it would certainly increase the odds of getting aces.

 

Play More, Ace More

 

Speaking of playing a lot, I wanted to isolate the people who aced last year, and see how many rounds they played. Obviously, the more you play, the more opportunities you have to ace. I took the people who indicated that they aced last year, and sorted them by the number of rounds that they average each month. Since there were a range of the number of rounds played, I just took the low of 1-5 rounds, and the highest two ranges, 25-30 rounds and 30+ rounds. Here are the stats:

 

 

Want more aces? Play more rounds of disc golf!

 

Skillful Aces

 

Another demographic I wanted to examine is the skill level of the people getting aces. Again, it is pretty obvious to predict that the higher the skill level, the more aces. The interesting part might be to look at how many more aces an average pro will get, versus an average beginner. Here is a chart showing the percentage of each skill level that got at least one ace.

 

 

Him, Her, Them

 

When it comes to a comparison between men and women, it is another example of knowing the results, but not knowing the margin of difference. Men can throw farther on average which gives them an advantage of being able to reach more holes, thus giving them more opportunities for aces. Here are the numbers:

 

 

Around 20% of the women who took the survey got an ace. With the guys, over a third of them got an ace. The sample size for the men is significantly larger than for the women or N/A, so it is likely more accurate.

 

Past Ace Data

 

One last piece of ace-related data that I wanted to look at is to check with the results of the 2018 survey and compare the aces rate from then to now. My first thought is that there wouldn’t be a big change from year to year for the percentage of us who get an ace. Then I looked at the numbers:

 

 

 

I was surprised to see a significant difference in the number of us that picked up an ace in 2018 over 2021. There were 44.2% of us that got an ace in 2018, but only 36% of us aced last year. To figure out why we dropped in numbers last year, I looked at some of the survey results shown above.

The first thing I looked at was the number of rounds played in 2018 to see if there were numbers that would point to something significant. It turns out that number of rounds played were done so at a nearly identical rate in 2018 and 2021. However, the percentage of people getting aces were lower in 2021 for every category of rounds played. That made me think that skill level was to blame.

 

Pandemic Affect

 

One of the byproducts of the pandemic was a huge influx of new disc golfers. The survey results affirmed that fact. Here is the breakdown by skill level of survey respondents in 2018 and 2021:

 

 

 

Clearly the upper divisions have shrunk slightly and the lower divisions have grown a bit. That seemed to validate my theory that we have a smaller ratio of people in the higher division, leading to a smaller ratio of people getting aces. However, when I looked at the percentage of aces in each division, each division is lower in 2021 than it was in 2018.

 

I still think the lower ace percentages are affected by the growth that came about because of Covid. I suspect there are more people in the sport which might lead to people moving up divisions earlier than they should. Perhaps next year’s Survey will shed more light on the lower ace numbers.

Check back next week for more survey results!

 

 

State of Disc Golf: Brands in Our Bags

 

There was a time early in my disc golf ‘career’ that I threw only one brand. It was a conscious decision and every disc I threw was an Innova disc. Eventually, I started adding other brands to my bag, and it became much more diverse. As I starting throwing more Infinite molds I really liked the feel of the I-Blend plastic, as well as the S-Blend, and started replacing my go-to molds with Infinite molds. From then on, I started throw any brand on the market. The majority of the brands in my bag are Innova and Infinite, but I also have discs from many other companies, including Elevation Disc Golf and Thought Space Athletics. I like it that way.

From what I see in disc golf, most of us throw a variety of brands, even if we have a favorite. It is fun and interesting to throw discs that are new to us, and fun to try new plastic types.  Even though most discs we experiment with won’t make it into our bags, some do. And some make a difference in our confidence and our game. Our choices of regular throwers is what this week’s blog is about.

Brands We Throw

In this blog we will look at the State of Disc Golf Survey to find out about the brands we throw. We will check out a few factors that might affect which brands we throw. We will also look at the brands we know about. Let’s get to the survey results.

Since most of us throw a mixed bag, in order to find out which brands are bagged the most we asked simply, “Which of the following brands are included in your bag?” Our checklist included all of the big brands, most of the smaller brands, and even some tiny brands with only a few molds. Survey participants could also write in any other brands we didn’t include. Here is a graph of the results:

 

 

You could probably have guessed which brands would land in the top two spots. Innova, the perennial champion, and Discraft, home to arguably the best MPO and FPO players on the planet. As we’ll see shortly, Discraft doesn’t always fill the runner-up spot. But they are always in the mix. And they are followed by many of the ‘usual suspects’. Let’s see the order of popularity of the top brands in 2018:

 

 

Innova has a surprisingly similar percentage of us who bagged their brand in 2018. They still had the lead with 81.2% of us carrying their brand, versus 82.8% of us bagging Innova last year. Dynamic Discs held the second place spot, with Discraft rounding out the podium. The jump in numbers that Discraft made from 2018 to last year could very well be attributed to the aforementioned GOATS, and some new molds. And the jump was supported by a couple of staple molds, the Buzzz and Zone.

I pulled up a graph of the 2015 results of the same survey question. The top brands look similar to this year’s survey results. Some of the smaller brands percentages have changed a lot. Vibram, who stopped making discs in 2018, was in 16.7% of our bags in 2015. Last year only 3.7% of us still bagged the rubber discs. (Just last year Vibram started releasing some of their older molds in a new rubber blend.)

 

 

Brands Thrown By Pro/Am’s

 

I wanted to use the data we have to see if there was a difference in bagged brands between skills levels. I took the least-experienced players, Beginner/Recreational disc golfers, and compared them with Professionals. I don’t know how many of the professional players are sponsored, thus limiting their choice of brand (except Infinite Discs sponsored players who, can throw any brand!), but it is probably a small amount of survey respondents. Here are the graphs of the top 15 brands

 

 

Naturally, the top two spots for each skill level are the same for each skill level. After that, the brands and percentages vary. It appears that the pros throw fewer different brands than beginners. That is probably less about sponsorships and more about only throwing a few molds, and having multiples of those molds.

Top Selling Brands at Infinite

 

To give you a comparison of what brands are in your bag versus which brands we sell the most, here is a graph showing the breakdown by brand of all the discs we sold last year. Keep in mind that Covid affected those numbers. Even so, the leaders are still the biggest, oldest brands in the business. With a few exceptions.

 

 

Brand Familiarity

 

We are always curious how many people are familiar with certain brands, particularly the smaller ones. This has never been truer than the last couple of years. With so many new brands and molds coming to the market, it has been hard even for us to keep track of all of them. In the survey we asked how familiar you are with the brands on our list. Survey participants could rank their familiarity from 1 (‘Not Aware of Them’), to 5 (‘Regularly Follow Them’). Here are the results, sorted by brand familiarity.

 

 

Single Brands In Our Bags

 

At one end of the mixed-bag extreme, we had people who indicated that they have over 30 different brands in their bag. That sounds like an intentional choice, but since there is great plastic and molds from tons of manufacturers, someone could make that their goal and still have many discs to choose from.

At the other end of the spectrum are the people who, like I used to be, only throw one brand. I wanted to see how many of those people there are, and what single brand they throw. So, I ran the numbers and here is what I learned.

Of the 7709 people who took the survey, 261 of us have single-brand bags. That is just over 3% of us who are loyal to one brand. Here is a chart showing the brand name, and the number of us who bag only that brand. While the top two brands will surprise no one, it’s kind of nice to see some of the smaller brands have such loyal fans.

 

 

An extra shout-out to the handful of people who bag only Infinite Discs!

Tune in next week when we’ll feature more results from the State of Disc Golf survey.

 

State of Disc Golf: Disc Preferences

 

When it comes to buying a disc, there are many factors we might consider in making our decision about which disc to choose. I think that most of us have established our hierarchy of disc needs that we weigh against the options available. Flight numbers, for better or worse, and weight are definitely high on my list of requirements. There are many molds and weights that are outside my set parameters and I would never buy one of those discs. Plastic type is only slightly behind weight and flight in importance, and sometimes I have some flexibility in what I will buy – assuming that my top preference is not available.
Following those three factors, my hierarchy becomes less about needs, and more about desires.

Although I will throw any brand, I have a lot of Infinite molds in my bag because I like the molds and plastics. And I will also throw any color disc, but if I have a choice I will pick bright pink. Pink is the best color when you end up searching for a lost disc in bushes, trees, or long grass. (I love the look of a black disc, but HATE looking for a black disc in bushes!) Collectability, resale value, and the stamp are all important factors in certain circumstances. But, for a thrower those things are near the bottom of my list.

Factors in Choosing Discs

 

All of the factors mentioned above are what we asked about in the State of Disc Golf survey. This week we will look at what we consider important factors in disc selection. We will also look at a couple of subsets of survey participants and which factors are important for them. Let’s start with the three things that I place at the top of my preference list: flight numbers, weight, and plastic type.

We have established in previous survey blogs that although some of us buy discs to collect and not throw, most of us are going to play with the discs we buy. Since that is the reason we are buying most of our discs, the factors affecting the flight will be the most important things to consider. Here are the results of the survey question asking about the importance of those factors. We gave four options to select, ranging from ‘Don’t care at all’ to ‘Very important’.

 

Our Disc Choices

It is interesting to see that more people chose plastic type as being Very Important than chose flight numbers or weight. Regardless, around 90% of us consider those three factors as being at least semi-important. I would expect at least that amount, and maybe more. Let’s look at a few more factors.

 

Less Important Factors

 

Beyond the flight of the disc we might consider its aesthetics when looking for a disc to buy. Finding a color that is appealing, or utilitarian, as well as a stamp that we like can be as difficult as finding the right flight numbers and weight. Even more so if we prefer a specific brand of disc. Here are the survey results showing the importance we place on those three factors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, if we consider the percentage of us who think that those factors are semi-important to very important, we see that brand and color are hovering around the 70% mark. The stamp/ artwork factor drops off a bit from the other two categories, coming in near the 54% mark. All things considered, most of us would take an amazing, good-looking stamp over a boring stamp. But, little more than half of us make that a priority. Disc color and brand are a bit higher.

 

Niche Factors?

The final two factors to look at when buying a disc are beyond the throwers that most of us are looking for. Buying a disc for its collectability, or rarity, is something that few of us think about. Resale value is important to even fewer of us. While there are many in our sport who buy a rare disc to immediately flip it for a profit, most of us don’t make purchases for that reason. Even the one in five of us who buys a discs for its collectability does so without the thought of resale value about half of the time. Here are the numbers:

 

Skill Affecting Decisions

Jumping back to the top three factors that most of us consider when buying a disc (Weight, Flight Numbers, and Plastic Type), I wanted to see how our skill level impacts the importance we place on those characteristics. Let’s compare the numbers of beginner/intermediates with professionals. Here is the data:

 

 

 

 

Although both skill levels give the Weight of a disc nearly the same level of importance, there is a bit of difference when it comes to Flight Numbers and Plastic Type. Looking at what those two skill levels consider are the most important characteristics, we see that professionals care a significant amount more about plastic type than beginners. And beginners care about the same amount more than pros do about Flight Numbers.

Our Flight Rating System

Ahhh, flight numbers. Many disparaging remarks have been made about our current 4-number flight rating system. As flawed as it may be, many of us still rely on it for information about a particular mold. As people first get into disc golf they learn about the flight rating we use, and rely on it heavily. That would explain the higher number of beginners who value the Flight Numbers.

As people get more experience in the sport, I suspect they rely on other methods of determining which disc will be useful to them. Talking to other experienced players, and seeing what other people on their level are throwing would be more accurate to them than the flight numbers. They likely also develop more of a feel for what they want to throw, which would explain the higher value placed on the Plastic Type by pros over less experienced players.

Collectors

One other subset of the general population that I wanted to look as is the avid collectors. For this blog we will look at the 344 people who said they bought more than 40 discs that they will collect and not throw. I wanted to see what value they place on Stamp/Artwork and Resale Value. Let’s see what the survey says:

 

It’s not surprising to see a higher percentage of people who collect discs make Stamps and Resale Value a higher priority. Speaking from experience, there are some discs I want to add to my collection regardless of the stamp. Other discs I want exclusively because of the stamp. The Nicola Tesla stamp is a good example of that. Plus, I think that most of us like the idea of having discs in our collection that enough people want that gives us the option of selling it down the road for a tidy sum. That’s just a little more of a priority for collectors.

Comment Below

Comment below and let us know which of these survey results surprised you the most, and which was completely expected. Then check back next week for more survey results!

 

State of Disc Golf: How Many Discs We Own

When people are new to the sport of disc golf, they tend to experiment with a variety of discs to find ones that they like and that fly well for them. I think most of us go through that experience. Hopefully we have friends that can guide our disc selections so we don’t end up buying discs based on the name, description, or marketing, when we have no business throwing that disc yet. How many of us bought a “Super-Long Distance High-Speed Driver” as a newbie?

Our Growing Disc Collection

Once we learn about flight numbers, we manage our buying a bit, but are still left experimenting with discs because of the inconsistencies of the flight numbers. Plus, most of us are still attracted to the latest, greatest molds and plastics being released today. What we end up with is a lot of discs. Throw leagues and tournaments in the mix and our collection is continually growing through player’s packs, CTP prizes, and found discs. It doesn’t take long before our throng of discs numbers in the hundreds.
In addition to all of those means of acquiring discs, add some disc dying and collecting and we can end up with a small disc store worth of discs. That leads us to today’s State of Disc Golf survey results examining how many discs we own and our disc buying habits.

The sizes of our disc golf collections is something that I look forward to finding out about every year for the survey. As someone who is guilty of being in the ‘200+’ club since my early days in the sport, I like to see how many fellow disc golfers are in the same category. We’ll start with the question, “How many discs do you own?”

 

 

The results show that the largest category, which is also the average, is the 41-60 group. If we think about it, that number is pretty much a bag full of discs, several backups, a few practice putters, an ace disc or three, and maybe a handful of discs that we’ve either outgrown but haven’t given away or sold, or that we can’t throw well yet. It’s a good number of discs.

Mega-Collections

At the low end of the scale are those people who have a bare minimum of discs. Well under 200 people own 10 or fewer discs. At the other end of the ownership graph are the people like me who have 200 or more discs. (Next year in the survey I would like to explore that last category to get a clearer picture about that number. How many have 500+ or 1000+!)

There are nearly 1100 of us that own 200+ discs. If I’m going to categorize the disc golfer who own that many discs, I tend to think they are either collectors or hoarders. But maybe they are just people who buy a lot of discs to try. Let’s look at what the survey said about the number of collector discs we own.

Wall-Hangers

For the survey question, we asked how many discs we own that we won’t throw. That could include discs we are collecting, ace discs, or sentimental discs. Let’s look at those numbers.

 

 

Over a third of us believe in the mantra that discs are made to be thrown. Combine that number with the number of people who have between 1-5 discs that they won’t throw and you have three-fourths of us who don’t collect a lot of discs. Looking at the graph we see a diminishing number of people have discs we won’t throw with each category of increasing numbers of discs, with a couple of minor exceptions. At the other extreme, we see about 5% of us that have 100 or more discs that we won’t throw.

 

Adding To Our Stash

 

In addition to seeing how many of us have discs we won’t throw, we wanted to see how many discs we acquired for collecting purposes just last year. Let’s see how much our collections grew in 2021.

 

 

 

An overwhelming number of us bought 14 or fewer discs for collecting last year. That seems like a reasonable number of discs for most of us to slowly grow our collections. But there are still around 4.5% of us who picked up 40 or more discs that we don’t have any intention of throwing. And .4% of us, 32 survey participants, who added 200 or more discs to their stash last year alone. That’s a lot of discs!

 

Disc Buying During Shortages

 

Let’s see how many of those people, and all of us, bought more discs last year than the prior year.
In the survey we asked how our disc purchases last year compared in number to 2020. We wanted to see how the rising costs of discs, or other circumstances, affected our buying habits. Only a small percentage of us bought fewer discs because of the increased costs.

 

 

One of the benefits of our sport is that, for the most part, it is relatively inexpensive to play. I know it CAN be expensive to play, depending on how much we get into the sport. But, it really can be an inexpensive hobby. Compare the cost of a premium-plastic driver to a premium golf club. Because of the price point of most discs, even a sizeable increase in price puts the disc well within most of our budgets.

 

Historical Collecting

Although we haven’t asked about how price increases affected our buying habits in previous surveys, we have asked how many discs we own. Let’s look at this year’s results compared to previous years, to see we own more discs than previous years. Since the number of people who take the survey varies from year to year, we’ll look at the percentage of people in each category.

 

From the first State of Disc Golf survey to the most recent, the percentage of us who have a hundred discs or more in our collection has be slowly rising. If that trend continues, it will be interesting to see how much people are willing to pay for the discs that they want to own. We are already seeing high prices for good-looking, rare discs. But, that is the subject for another blog.

Comment below and let us know how many discs you own. And if you’re comfortable disclosing the information, let us know the most you’ve paid for a disc!

Check back next week for more survey results.

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