Top Discs of Summer 2015

Top Selling Discs Summer 2015

Summer is our biggest time of year for disc sales. During the third quarter (July – September), we typically see less new releases come out than we do during the spring months.  The Q3 sales report gives us a good grasp on what the top disc golf discs really are based on sales data. From our third quarter sales, it’s clear that Innova is still the #1 manufacturer for disc sales. Trilogy and MVP continue to gain market share and grow in popularity while Discraft and Prodigy appear to be trending towards less relevant.

If you’re looking for a new disc to buy, but aren’t sure where to start, you may want to consider these. There is a reason disc golfers all around the world keep buying these top rated discs.

Top Disc Golf Discs for Q3 2015

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Top 10 Overall

  1. Innova Destroyer
  2. Discraft Buzzz
  3. Gateway Wizard
  4. Innova TeeBird
  5. Dynamic Discs Judge
  6. Innova Boss
  7. Latitude 64 River
  8. Innova Valkyrie
  9. Latitude 64 Pure
  10. Innova Tern[/box]

There weren’t a lot of changes in the top selling discs of the third quarter compared with the second quarter. The Innova Destroyer was still the top selling disc followed by the Discraft Buzzz, Gateway Wizard, and Innova TeeBird.

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Top Distance Drivers

  1. Innova Destroyer
  2. Innova Boss
  3. Innova Valkyrie
  4. Innova Tern
  5. MVP Inertia
  6. MVP Photon
  7. Innova Wraith
  8. Innova Beast
  9. Vibram Lace
  10. Innova Katana

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For Distance drivers, there is almost no change between the top selling discs from the second quarter. Call it the Paul McBeth effect, as Innova flat out dominates the distance driver market with seven of the top ten selling drivers.
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Top Control/Fairway Drivers

  1. Innova Teebird
  2. Latitude 64 River
  3. Innova Leopard
  4. Latitude 64 Saint
  5. Innova Thunderbird
  6. MVP Volt
  7. Discmania FD
  8. MVP AMP
  9. Westside Hatchet
  10. Innova Eagle

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Innova Champion discs also has a strong presence in in fairway driver sales. The TeeBird is still the #1 selling driver. While most of the top selling fairway drivers remain the same, the MVP Volt dropped from #3 to #6 during the third quarter. The Discmania FD, Westside Hatchet, and Innova Eagle made our top 10 replacing the  DD Felon, Vibram Trak, Axiom Crave, and Latitude 64 Trident.

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Top Midrange Discs

  1. Discraft Buzzz
  2. Innova Roc3
  3. Dynamic Discs Truth
  4. Innova Mako3
  5. Innova Roc
  6. Discraft Buzzz OS
  7. Latitude 64 Claymore
  8. MVP Axis
  9. Latitude 64 Fuse
  10. Discraft Comet

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The Discraft Buzzz remains the top selling midrange disc, and is the only midrange that made the top 10 overall.  While the Comet cracked the top 10, it is actually only our 73rd top selling disc. Entering the top 10 this quarter are the MVP Axis and Latitude 64 Fuse — replacing the Dynamic Discs Justice and Discraft Buzzz SS.

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To Putt and Approach Discs

  1. Gateway Wizard
  2. Dynamic Discs Judge
  3. Latitude 64 Pure
  4. Innova Colt
  5. Innova Aviar
  6. Axiom Envy
  7. MVP Anode
  8. MVP Atom
  9. Innova KC Aviar
  10. MVP Ion

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While Distance Drivers is the top selling category overall, Putt and approach discs are second. The Wizard, Judge, and Pure are all top ten selling discs with the Innova Colt not far behind. MVP/Axiom putters were not quite as popular this quarter as the Envy and Atom both dropped a few spots compared with Q2. A new disc, the Innova Colt, entered the top 10 at number four as a hot new item. It will be interesting to see if the Colt remains a top selling putter, or if it made the top 10 because it is new. The KC Aviar filled in the #9 spot replacing the Prodigy PA-3.

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Top Selling Plastic Type

  1. Innova Star
  2. Innova Champion
  3. Innova DX
  4. MVP Neutron
  5. Latitude 64 Opto
  6. Latitude 64 Gold Line
  7. Discraft Elite Z
  8. Innova GStar
  9. Axiom Neutron
  10. Dynamic Discs Lucid

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When it comes to the most popular disc plastics, to no surprise, Innova dominates taking the top three spots. It certainly helps that the Star Destroyer and Star TeeBird are two of our most popular selling discs. Star plastic actually jumped Champion as the top selling disc plastic type for the third quarter. While several of the MVP discs dropped in rankings this quarter, overall Neutron plastic rose a spot from 5 to 4 while Latitude 64 Opto dropped two spots. Innova GStar and Discraft Elite Z swapped spots in the 7th and 8th positions.

 

 

 

What is in OUR bags?

In the past few blog posts concerning the State of Disc Golf Survey, we have established that Innova is the most popular manufacturer in the disc golf world. It was chosen as the favorite brand in every demographic. However, even though Innova led all other manufacturers in popularity, according to our survey, less than 4% of us throw exclusively Innova. As we all know from interacting with other disc golfers, even though we may favor one brand, most of use throw discs from a variety of manufacturers. This blog will explore the variety of brands we throw and give us a good snapshot of what is in our bags.

 

OnlyThrowOneBrand

 

First let’s look at the popularity of the brands that are in our bags. The survey didn’t ask how many discs we had of each brand ­— that would have been too time consuming. It simply asked which brands could be found in our bags. Not surprisingly, the brand that most of us throw is Innova, with 87% of us keeping at least one of their discs in our bag. The next most popular brand is Discraft at 69%. Latitude 64 has 42% of respondents throwing their brand. Dynamic Discs is the fourth most popular disc in our bags at 35%. Rounding out the top five was Prodigy at 28%. Westside, Gateway, and MVP were just a couple of percentage points behind Prodigy, sitting at 26%, 24%, and 23% respectively.

 WhichBrands

Although we can say that Innova was the clear winner with this survey question, it is important to point out the significance of the Trilogy brands (Westside, Latitude 64, and Dynamic Discs) taken as a single entity. Although these three companies are separate, they work together to avoid duplicating efforts, such as manufacturing, distribution, and sometimes disc design.

 BagsWithTrilogy

 

In our survey we asked about the “Trilogy” brands (Latitude 64, Dynamic Discs, and Westside) individually. These are three separate companies, from three different countries, who work together to share some of the manufacturing and distribution workload. Although separate, they market themselves as members of Trilogy. Taken as a single entity, 58% of us have at least one of the brands in our bags. A significant number of us, 15%, have all three Trilogy brands in our bags. If disc golf sales are any indication of Trilogy’s popularity, we have seen their disc orders increase in the last two years so much that they rival Innova’s. Yes, that is counting the three companies as one. It will be interesting to see if the trend continues in the coming years.

 

InnovaDiscraftTrilogy

It is certainly important to consider everyone’s favorite brand as we explore the current state of disc golf. If we favor one brand over another we are more likely to buy and follow that brand to the exclusion of other brands. However, taking a peek inside the bags of thousands of disc golfers can tell a slightly different story than just asking which manufacturer we prefer. Yes, Innova is still the king of the bag. But, with the knowledge that few of us are dogmatic about brands, other disc manufacturers can take solace (pardon the pun) in the knowledge that many of their discs are nestled comfortably alongside the undisputed champ. The question of how much competition in such a relatively small sport is too much may be a subject for another blog. For now, it appears that the competition is good for us as disc golfers. Let the manufacturers develop new molds or materials as they fight for their share in the disc golf market. Meanwhile, let’s go huck!

State of Disc Golf 2015: Do Our Demographics Affect Our Choice of Brands?

In a previous blog discussing the results of the 2015 State of Disc Golf survey, we focused on which disc golf brands we like the most and how that has changed from last year. (If you missed it, click HERE) This blog will look at who we are and whether that affects what brands we throw.

Who are we?

According to the survey, we are male (94%), live in California (7%), are 30-35 years old (23%), consider ourselves Intermediate disc golfers (45%), have been playing for 5-9 years (25%), played 10-15 different courses in 2014 (29%) and have a Bachelor’s Degree (35%). Half of us are currently married, while 43% have never been married.

We also belong to disc golf clubs (57%), own either 21-30 discs or 41-60 discs (tied at 14%), bought 10-14 new discs last year (18%), lost 1-3 discs (48%), chose disc golf as a favorite sport to play (85%), and football as a favorite sport to follow (35%. Disc golf was second at 27%).
After examining all the demographic statistics, we wanted to see if there were trends based on certain aspects of the demographics. For example, does the age of the respondent affect which brand they consider their favorite? Or the skill level? Or the education?

We considered most the attributes of the average survey respondent, listed above, and compared them to the overall list of favorite discs. And, spoiler alert, the results were kind of boring. Regardless of the demographic, nearly all of the results were within a point or two of the overall favorites. There were only a few exceptions, and even those were not extremely far from the overall numbers. They are worth mentioning, though, because of possible long-term ramifications.

Just to recap the previous blog, the top six favorite brands were: Innova (48%), Discraft (12%), Latitude 64 (10%), Dynamic Discs (6%), and MVP and Prodigy tied at 5%.

Disc golf experience

The first question we looked at was “When did you start playing disc golf?” We wanted to see if the length of time we have been playing had any effect on which brands we preferred. The biggest variation from the average results occurred among players who have only been playing a year or less. This was not a large sample size, representing only about 1.5% of the total respondents, so the overall significance of the results carry less weight. Still, this will be an interesting group to watch over the next couple of years. Players from this experience group still chose Innova as their favorite brand, but by a much smaller margin. Only 31% of respondents in this group picked Innova as their favorite, compared to 48% overall. Discraft and Latitude 64 results stayed close to the same as the total results. MVP, Dynamic Discs, Axiom, and Discmania all bumped up several percentage points (see chart for numbers).

Near the other end of the experience spectrum were those who have been playing between 35-44 years. This group made up 3.2% of the respondents. Among them, 42% listed Innova as their favorite, while 15% of them chose Discraft, 3% more than overall. MVP, Dynamic Discs, and Prodigy all held 8% of the vote in this group, which represented an increase for all three brands. Westside was consistent with their overall score.

FirstHeardofDiscGolf

Skill level

The survey asked respondents to list what division best represented their skill level. The four choices were: Beginner/Recreational, Intermediate, Advanced, and Professional. For the most part, this category also followed the Favorite Brand category nearly exactly. The Pro’s, representing 8% of the total respondents, had the biggest differences. For them, Innova sat at 46%, Discraft and Latitude were 10%, and Dynamic Discs, MVP, and Prodigy held 7% of the Pro vote.

DiscLevelSkillLevels
Gender

Since men represented 94% of the respondents, it’s pretty obvious their statistics would duplicate that of the overall results. For women, there were a few slight differences. Innova was the first choice with 46%, which was 2% lower than overall, Discraft took second with 11%, and Dynamic Discs rounded out the top three, finishing 9%, up from the overall 6%. Latitude 64 and Westside traded a couple percentage points, with Latitude 64 2% below the overall results and Westside 2% above.

Gender of Disc Golfers
Age

The final demographic we’ll look at in this blog is the choice of Favorite Brand by age group. While all of the age groups between 18-40 years were close to the overall percentage, there were other groups with a few different numbers. Again, the differences were never huge, but enough to mention.

We will start with the youngest age group, 12-17 years old, which represented 2% of the total respondents. Like the newer players that we mentioned at the beginning, it will be interesting to see how or if the numbers in this demographic changes over time. The youngest players chose Innova as their favorite by 5% more than the overall respondents. The increase came at the expense of Discraft and Latitude 64, which were both down a little. Westside was chosen 3% more frequently, while Dynamic Discs was the same percentage as overall, 6%.

The next group to look at is disc golfers 41-50 years old, representing 14% of respondents. This group chose Innova at a slightly lower 43%, compared to 48% of average. Discraft was up to 14%, Latitude 64 was up a tick at 11% and Prodigy was 7%, which was 2% higher than overall.
The 51-60 year olds were a little more favorable for Innova, with 53% of the group choosing the brand leader. Discraft and Latitude 64 were a little less popular, while Dynamic Discs and MVP matched their overall numbers.

The most senior group we will look at is the 61-70 year old disc golfers. They make up 2% of the total and only 39% of them favored Innova. The extra percentage points went to Discraft (16%), MVP and Westside (9% each), and Dynamic Discs (8%). The fact that Discraft is higher is not surprising. But, if we were going to bet on a demographic that would have the highest loyalty to Innova, we would have gone with this one. Innova and Discraft have been around longer than the other brands and people in this age group grew up throwing those discs.

AverageAgeofGolfer

Conclusion

When we were looking through all of the data, we were hoping to find a few statistical anomalies that could be analyzed and discussed. Although this particular set of data did not have the extremes we were hoping for, just knowing that we as disc golfers are consistent throughout a variety of demographics is good information to have. We will certainly keep an eye on those groups that did vary from the norm to see what changes take place in future surveys.

In an upcoming post, we will look specifically at which brands people are throwing. Remember from the first survey result blog that only 6% of us throw a single brand. The rest of us have two or more brands in our arsenal. We will look at which brands people throw and which new discs people know the most.

The State of Disc Golf: “Extracurricular Activities” on the Disc Golf Course–Marijuana

Disc Golf and Marijuana

“I saw a drug deal when I was on a disc golf course with my nine year old boy.”

This was told to me by a disgruntled fellow player as we were making our way to our tee time at a PDGA event. He went on to express the sadness and disappointment he felt when he found out many of the local disc golfers that his son looked up to regularly smoked marijuana illegally during their rounds at the local course. This was not my first and it definitely has not been my last conversation like this. It seems that the use of drugs and other substances are intertwined with disc golf.

Just the Facts Please

In our 2015 State of Disc Golf Survey, we asked the following: In 2014, I have participated in the following on a disc golf course:

  • Drinking Alcohol
  • Vaping
  • Smoking Tobacco
  • Smoking Marijuana
  • None of the Above

We allowed participants to select more than one option. The results were as shown in the chart below:

2015-01-29_1521

(NOTE: Totals do not add up to 100% because participants could select more than one option.)

We found this data very interesting, and we would like to spread this topic across several articles to give each aspect of it the attention it deserves. This article will focus strictly on the use of Marijuana while playing disc golf.

Well, Isn’t it Pretty Much Legal?

Unlike the other three substances, Marijuana is the only one hazed by a variety of possession and usage laws (excluding local public smoking and drinking laws). The main question at hand is recreational use, which has only been legalized in 2 of 50 States (Washington and Colorado). How does this impact the way we should look at our data? Here is another interesting chart that looks at where the disc golfers who had smoked marijuana were from:

2015-01-29_1550

So is it safe to assume that 92.7% of the disc golfers who took our survey chose to smoke marijuana illegally? Not necessarily. A handful of states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, and our survey did not not ask where the pot smoking took place. (Maybe all 92.7% went to Washington or Colorado whenever they smoked marijuana on the course?) Even with the benefit of the doubt, it is safe to assume that a good portion of the marijuana smoking  that occurred on the disc golf course during 2014 was smoked illegally.

Marijuana and Disc Golf: Best Friends or Worst Enemies?

Now to the debate that rages like wildfire in the disc golf world: Does marijuana on the course harm the sport, and therefore need to be burned elsewhere so that disc golf can thrive? Or should we all just learn to get along and embrace the “counter-culture” as an inseparable part of disc golf forever?

Of course, to give these questions the proper attention, we need to answer another question. Where do we want to see our beloved disc golf in the future? Do we want to see Paul McBeth and Ricky Wysocki battle in a play-off for the World Championships on ESPN? Or do we want to keep disc golf to ourselves–free to play and low key?

Another question from our survey asked, “Would you like to see disc golf become a mainstream sport?” And this leads us to another chart:

2015-01-29_1650

And in case you were wondering how only those who smoked marijuana on the course answered this question:

2015-01-29_1656

And naturally everyone else’s chart would look like this:

2015-01-29_1701

So What Does This All Mean?

We’ll let everyone draw their own conclusions from this data, but there were a few things that caught our eye.

It would seem natural to assume that a greater majority of disc golfers who don’t smoke marijuana would want the sport to become mainstream, but this spread was only slight (a difference of only 7.9%). So, it seems safe to say, all disc golfers regardless of drug use, want to see the sport grow into the mainstream. This raises even more questions: Do we want to bring the pot with us? Should we? Can we wave the flag of “Grow the Sport” and keep our stash of weed in our back pockets?

Some have fought to make this type of scenario a reality (we all remember the Vibram Four20 release from early 2014), and with at least two more states making marijuana legal in 2015 (Oregon and Alaska), the possibility of a mainstream society embracing disc golf and marijuana together is looking more and more plausible.

Of course, this potential reality still faces a lot of friction (we all remember the Vibram Four20 discontinuation also from early 2014). There are many who have expressed a desire to keep disc golf drug free and “family friendly.” And the one huge barrier: Marijuana use is still illegal in most of the United States.

This brings us back to my friend and I on our way to the tee. He not only was upset about his boy witnessing a drug deal while playing a sport they both loved. He also shared with me an experience he had when attending a city council meeting where he was lobbying for the installation of a new disc golf course on public land. He was all but completely shut down when the city council informed him of the alarming rates of drug related crimes reported in the area surrounding their existing disc golf course. Naturally, they were more than hesitant to approve another disc golf course.

But as Bob Dylan once said, “The times they are  a changin’.”

Will Disc Golf make it into the mainstream? We sure hope so (at least 75.8% of us). Will Mary Jane make it too? Well, at least some of us hope so (69.8% of 24.5% of us).

Only time will tell.

State of Disc Golf 2015: Most Popular Brands Worldwide

This year we had enough respondents to determine which brand is most popular throughout the world. We actually didn’t bother making a map for the most popular brand, because it would look like this:

It’s true, Innova is the most popular brand in every state and region of the world. We knew that Innova was dominant from the responses in the survey, but to find out they were the favorite brand in every region. We are amazed. Even across the country in “Scandinavia” Innova was still #1. Had we asked specific countries, perhaps Sweden would have been Latitude 64.

We know that from interacting with others, they may disagree. We have seen the comments that say “everybody throws such and such brand where I live.” Our response to that is, you may not know everybody in your state that plays disc golf. In some cases, the sample size should be larger to strongly say that we are strongly confident in these results (more specifically, the results below). For example, we awarded no 2nd place in Wyoming because there is not enough data to determine.

Where things start to get interesting is when we look at where the second most popular brands are found in this image:
2nd-Most-Popular-Brand

Here’s what stood out to us from the image above:

  1. This is a colorful map. Many different brands (outside of Innova) are strongly favored in different parts of the world.
  2. The closer a brand is to its headquarters, it tends to be more highly favored in that area.

Legacy is headquartered in California. What is California and Nevada’s second favorite brand Legacy? DD is in Kansas, and is dominant in the midwest. The exceptions start to come with MVP, where disc golf manufacturuing is

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Before you comment:

To understand how Infinite Discs has come to conclusions in this article, please read our State of Disc Golf 2015: Introduction post. After you understand the statistics and methodology of the survey, feel free to post.
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State of Disc Golf 2015: Popularity Around the World

We had some fun digging much deeper into the data to do some per capita comparisons and are super intrigued by what we have found. According to the data, Maine has more disc golfers per person than anywhere else in the world! Below is information about how popular disc golf is in each state, and region of the world.

For the images below, we did not make a world map, just a United States map. The shades of the lettering on the actual name of the territory (such as Canada) indicates how popular disc golf is in said area. For exact details, scroll to the bottom of this post; we published the number of responses from every region. Africa, South America, and Antarctica were not options in the poll; they will be included next year.

Where today's disc golfers are (number of respondents/ divided by population).  The more popular areas are shaded darker.

Where today’s disc golfers are (number of respondents/ divided by population). The more popular areas are shaded darker.


Disc golf popularity according to Google Trends. This graph adds validity the previous graph, by comparing search data to where respondents are located.  The graphs look incredibly similar.

Disc golf popularity according to Google Trends.
This graph adds validity the previous graph, by comparing search data to where respondents are located. The graphs look incredibly similar.


The exact data used to generate the first map is published here:

[learn_more caption=”Exact number of respondents by State/Region (click to expand)”]
Please note, depending the resolution and size of your screen, the rows may not line up correctly. If you are having this issue, please load this webpage with a larger monitor.

In alphabetical order by “region”

[one_fourth]Region


Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

Asia

Australia

California

Canada

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Europe

Europe – Scandinavia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming
[/one_fourth][one_fourth]
# Respondents


62

21

57

33

4

30

353

151

132

37

15

1

67

133

134

133

7

52

174

107

82

101

67

29

50

40

124

273

148

26

146

11

20

17

36

32

18

101

232

9

157

95

140

139

4

63

25

119

306

80

16

106

132

10

179

2
[/one_fourth][one_fourth]
Population (in Millions)

4.78

0.71

6.39

2.92

4,427.00

23.30

37.25

35.16

5.03

3.57

0.90

0.60

722.38

20.12

18.80

9.69

1.36

1.57

12.83

6.48

3.05

2.85

4.34

4.53

1.33

5.77

6.55

9.88

5.30

2.97

5.99

0.99

1.83

2.70

1.32

8.79

2.06

19.38

9.54

0.67

11.54

3.75

3.83

12.70

1.05

4.63

0.81

6.35

25.15

2.76

0.63

8.00

6.72

1.85

5.69

0.56

[/one_fourth][one_fourth_last]Respondents per Million

1.297142771

2.956784483

0.891737303

1.131719068

0.0000000009

0.128755365

0.947550376

0.429465301

2.624674004

1.03522652

1.670501395

0.166189426

0.009274846

0.661165242

0.712716295

1.372881543

0.514591991

3.317210838

1.356129612

1.65026631

2.691741442

3.539986779

1.544003999

0.639700426

3.764037035

0.692814406

1.893815303

2.762140264

2.790386365

0.876218323

2.437832353

1.111768065

1.095085748

0.629501165

2.734585672

0.363971631

0.874134789

0.521206876

2.433017814

1.338108895

1.360897547

2.532420986

3.654327742

1.094283205

0.380023314

1.362054965

3.070574075

1.875165948

1.216914588

2.894476434

2.556968458

1.324830422

1.962959548

0.539667155

3.147537202

0.354845234

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[learn_more caption=”Where does your region rank? (click to expand)”]
Please note, depending the resolution and size of your screen, the rows may not line up correctly. If you are having this issue, please load this webpage with a larger monitor.

Disc Golf Popularity by Region, Worldwide Ranking

[one_third]Rank


1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

55

56

N/A

N/A

N/A

[/one_third][one_third]
# Respondents


Maine

Oregon

Kansas

Idaho

Wisconsin

South Dakota

Alaska

Utah

Minnesota

Michigan

New Hampshire

Iowa

Colorado

Vermont

Oklahoma

Missouri

North Carolina

Washington

Massachusetts

Tennessee

Delaware

Indiana

Kentucky

Georgia

South Carolina

Ohio

Illinois

North Dakota

Virginia

Alabama

Texas

Arkansas

Montana

Nebraska

Pennsylvania

Connecticut

California

Arizona

Mississippi

New Mexico

Florida

Maryland

Europe – Scandinavia

Louisiana

Nevada

West Virginia

New York

Hawaii

Canada

Rhode Island

New Jersey

Wyoming

District of Columbia

Australia

Europe – Not Scandinavia

Asia

Africa

South America

Antarctica

[/one_third][one_third_last]
Responses Per Million Residents

3.764037035

3.654327742

3.539986779

3.317210838

3.147537202

3.070574075

2.956784483

2.894476434

2.790386365

2.762140264

2.734585672

2.691741442

2.624674004

2.556968458

2.532420986

2.437832353

2.433017814

1.962959548

1.893815303

1.875165948

1.670501395

1.65026631

1.544003999

1.372881543

1.362054965

1.360897547

1.356129612

1.338108895

1.324830422

1.297142771

1.216914588

1.131719068

1.111768065

1.095085748

1.094283205

1.03522652

0.947550376

0.891737303

0.876218323

0.874134789

0.712716295

0.692814406

0.661165242

0.639700426

0.629501165

0.539667155

0.521206876

0.514591991

0.429465301

0.380023314

0.363971631

0.354845234

0.166189426

0.128755365

0.009274846

0.0000000000

N/A

N/A

N/A

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Before you comment:

To understand how Infinite Discs has come to conclusions in this article, please read our State of Disc Golf 2015: Introduction post. After you understand the statistics and methodology of the survey, feel free to post.
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State of Disc Golf 2015: Manufacturer Overview

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Before you read:

To understand how Infinite Discs has come to conclusions in this article, please read our State of Disc Golf 2015: Introduction post.
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Which brand is the favorite in 2014?

Innova ran away with the title of most popular brand again in 2014. While that fact may not be surprising, what stands out is the amount of increase in popularity from 2013 to 2014. This year, nearly half of all respondents chose Innova as their favorite brand of disc (48%). According to last year’s survey, 38% of disc golfers chose Innova as the favorite brand. That is a sizable increase in one year.

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[one_half]Coming in second place  is Discraft at 12%. That percentage is down slightly from 2013. Third place belonged to Latitude 64 with 10% of respondents listing them as the favorite. Dynamic Discs came in next at 6%, followed by MVP and Prodigy, with 5% each. The top six manufacturers stayed in the same order from 2013, with their percentages changing only slightly.

It isn’t surprising that Innova remains at the top of the disc golf world. They have a long, thriving history, the largest selection of models and plastics, they are made in America, and they sponsor three-time World Champion Paul McBeth. They are an established institution in disc golf.

Because of its dominance, Innova is also sold in department and sporting goods stores, in addition to specialty disc golf shops. For that reason, many respondents are only familiar with Innova.
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2014 Survey Change

Last year, in many of the survey questions, several brands were combined and listed as a single manufacturer. For example, Latitude 64 manufactures Dynamic Discs and Westside (also known as Trilogy). This year, “Trilogy” brands had 19% of this pie.

Likewise, MVP and Axiom are made by MVP and 6% of the pie.

This year, and in future surveys, each individual brand will be considered separately so its changes are clearer from year to year. In this summary, we will mention the combined statistics for comparison.

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Brand Loyalty

Only 6% of disc golfers are so loyal that they will only throw discs from one manufacturer. Most respondents choose from a variety of brands. That’s important because it says that even though people have their favorite brand, they are willing to try different ones. Of the 6% who only throw one brand, 61% of them chose Innova, while Prodigy and Discraft loyalists represented 14% each. Vibram came in at 3%, Legacy just over 1%, and all other brands less than 1%.

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Not surprisingly, when asked if you HAD TO throw only one brand, which you would choose, the results were nearly exactly the same as the favorite brands. Only a percentage point at most separated this category from the favorites. Last year Latitude 64 was selected by 20% of the respondents, but included Westside and Dynamic Discs brands. This year, adding the numbers from those three brands, we get 21%, which is nearly identical.

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What does the future hold?

While Innova remains the undisputed king of disc golf, several smaller brands are releasing popular discs and working hard to claim their share of the market. That is good, because competition among manufacturers is healthy for the sport. Several statistics indicate that smaller companies are making headway.

Most Anticipated Releases

To start with, in addition to the fact that most respondents throw several brands of discs, the survey also indicates that they like to know what discs will be released from many different manufacturers. Which brand’s releases are people looking forward to the most?

Innova still leads at 33%. After them is Latitude 64 at 11%. Dynamic Discs was the third most anticipated brand with 10%, followed by Discraft, MVP, and Prodigy with 9%, 8%, and 7% respectively. Westside rounds out the top seven with 5%. Even though 48% of disc golfers chose Innova as their favorite disc company, only 33% anticipate its releases more than other brands.

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Last year, Innova received only 16% of the votes, showing a major increase this year. On the contrary, MVP was the most anticipated in 2013 and has dropped off significantly. At the time of this survey in 2013, MVP had just announced the Axiom brand (which is now its own option in this survey), and rumors of their distance drivers were on the horizon.

When we combine the Trilogy numbers for this year, we get a total of 26%, which is up quite a bit from last year’s 18%. Innova’s and the Trilogy’s increases came at the expense of MVP and Prodigy, who decreased 12% and 7% respectively. Discraft’s anticipated releases raised slightly, from 8% to 9%.

Most Innovative Brand

When it comes to innovation, the race is a little tighter among manufacturers. Innova is perceived to be the most innovative company, and garnered 27% of the votes, up from last year’s 17%. MVP was not far behind this year with 19% of respondents.  That is a decrease from 38% last year. Latitude 64 was next with 12%, followed by Dynamic Discs and Prodigy at 9% each. Vibram, the only company making discs out of a different material, carried 7% of the votes. Discraft sat at 5%. Comparing Trilogy brands to last year shows an increase from 11% to 21%, which puts them in second place.

While some brands have taken strides in innovation, we feel that a few have accomplishments worth emphasizing:

Trilogy Brands

In 2014, the efforts put in collectively by Trilogy brands have been amazing and they receive our vote as the most innovative. They have diversified their product lineup, popularized the Missilen, which has divots in the plastic for increased aerodynamic properties, and have launched a new blend of plastic which is durable, transparent, flexible, and grippy. But, outside of the product line itself, Dynamic Discs has raised the bar in marketing and creating a premium identity within the industry. Singling out Dynamic Discs within the Trilogy category, they have launched an app specifically for their home National Tour tournament, the Glass Blown Open (which is already sold out at 900 competitors), they have created beautiful short video teasers for new releases, and they sponsor weekly podcasts (which is not new this year). In the end, hats off to Dynamic Discs for their all around efforts to innovate, not just in plastic, but in overall growth for disc golf.

MVP

For how small and young MVP is, they garner many votes in this category. MVP has the best overmold in disc golf. Because it is so unique, it will always stand out as innovative, even if it was introduced long ago. That’s not to say MVP was not innovative in 2014. This year MVP introduced the only overmold discs to ever see the fairway, and they have expanded their product lineup to bring brilliant colors. It’s clear that with MVP their mantra is “If you are going to do something, do it well”. We sometimes consider MVP the “Apple” of disc golf.

Prodigy

In 2013, Prodigy faired well with the amount of new releases, unique plastic blends, and “easy release technology” (which we don’t hear about often anymore). In 2014, Prodigy introduced a new basket with inner horizontal chains which make a chain-out impossible when you hit the target zone. It will be interesting to see how this innovation affects the sport moving forward.

Innova

Innova does something new on an annual basis. In 2013 they began production of overmold discs. In 2014 they created GStar plastic and released it in several popular molds. GStar is a unique blend which is opaque, flexible, durable, grippy, and attractive.

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Largest Impact on Disc Golf

The survey also sought to find out which company had the largest impact on disc golf in 2014. The top vote recipient was Innova, who edged out Prodigy, 26% to 22%. Dynamic Discs received 17% of the votes, Latitude 64 got 8%. Discraft and MVP rounded out the list of companies making the largest impact, with 6% and 5% respectively. Innova and Prodigy sponsor a majority of the most widely recognized and skilled disc golfers in the world. That exposure undoubtedly contributed to the high numbers for those manufacturers in this category.

In addition, Innova’s impact on disc golf for simply being in so many stores cannot be measured. How often are players introduced to disc golf while browsing for discs at Hastings? Even Innova may have a hard time calculating that number. Because of the availability of Innova product, more people become attached to disc golf.

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Last year Prodigy was voted as the top company to impact disc golf with 40% of respondents. Innova was a distant second with 16%. MVP held a larger share than this year, sitting at 12%. Latitude 64 took fourth with 11%, compared with this year’s combined Trilogy result of 27%.

Best Reputation in Disc Golf

Which disc golf brand has the best reputation? In the most lopsided category, Innova crushed the competition with 58% of the votes. The next closest was Discraft at a distant 12%. Dynamic Discs had 8%, and Latitude 64 had 7%. MVP and Prodigy tied at 4%. That says a lot about Innova when people who throw other brands still respect them.

Last year Innova also led the category with 51% choosing them. Discraft took second last year with 16%. Latitude 64 and MVP rounded out the top four with 11% and 7%. The Trilogy result for this year is 16%, which is still significantly behind the leader, Innova.

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Summary

Innova dominates the disc golf world, but certainly has a lot of competitors hungry for a bigger slice of that growing pie. What would it take to unseat the giant? Major breakthroughs are rare in disc golf. True, discs come along that certainly make waves, but what new development will occur that might allow one of the smaller manufacturers to become the new number one? Maybe a new plastic type? Or new material altogether?  It’s more likely that smaller brands will just need to expand their lines to offer a bigger variety of speed and flight characteristics. And, just keep getting their name out there. Sponsoring disc golfers, sponsoring major tournaments, and offering specialty tournaments might turn the tide for Innova’s competitors. Perhaps smaller companies might focus on introducing new players to the sport. That would grow the sport, the customer base, and possibly create lifelong, dedicated fans of their brand.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to share a little part of your disc golf world. The results will be posted in periodic blogs at InfiniteDiscs.com, each blog covering different aspects of the survey.  If you would like to be alerted to new posts, scroll down to join the Infinite Discs mailing list.

In coming articles we will explore more nuances of respondent’s choices for tops brands. We will examine who the typical disc golfers is, and how that affects which brands they prefer. We will also look at who is switching brands and which companies they are moving to and from.

State of Disc Golf 2015: Introduction

Overview

Between December 5th and December 15th, 2014, exactly 5,038 participants completed “The State of Disc Golf: 2015 Survey.” The survey can be summarized as an accurate representation of self-selecting disc golfers.

Accuracy

It is impossible to know how many disc golfers there are in the world right now. A larger survey of random Americans would be necessary to determine the approximate number.

If we assume that there are 1,000,000 disc golfers, this survey has, with 99% confidence, a margin of error of +/- 1.81%. We can also say with 95% confidence, that there is a margin of error of +/- 1.38%. These numbers were found using a simple calculator here.

Methodology

This survey was first published and announced on December 5th by Infinite Discs. It was then posted on Facebook and Twitter by Infinite Discs. After the initial announcement, it was picked up by others and posted and shared in many social outlets, such as Reddit. This survey was also published on the PDGA Facebook page and was e-mailed by the PDGA to those who are included in the PDGA mailing list.

This survey is not truly scientific, as participants were self-selecting. It was published that the survey was just over 10 minutes in length, and $1,305 in prize merchandise would be awarded to random participants.

One may argue that casual disc golfers are not enticed by the prizes, and would therefore not elect to participate in the survey. Therefore, those who participated in the survey may generally be more passionate about the sport. This survey is not a sample of the average American. It is instead a sample of the disc golfer who is involved in the sport to a degree that they would have heard about the survey through any of the means mentioned above.

Sponsors

These sponsors donated prior to the survey closing, but were not announced until after.

  • MVP – $180 in discs
  • Dynamic Discs – $355 in merchandise
  • Prodigy – $220 in discs
  • Aerobie – $150 in discs
  • Vibram – $100 in discs
  • Infinite Discs – $50 in gift cards
  • PDGA – $160 in memberships
  • Innova – $90 in discs

Avoiding Bias

We felt very strongly about avoiding bias in this survey. Through e-mail we discouraged all parties who may be interested in obtaining favorable results from advertising or promoting this survey. We informed manufacturers that if they did promote the survey, they may be accused of obtaining bias results. As far as we are aware, no manufacturer promoted this survey.

We also encouraged manufacturers to donate to this survey, to entice respondents to complete the survey. Manufacturers who donated are listed above. Each of these manufacturers and donors understood that they would be listed as a survey sponsor after the survey had closed.

Fans of certain brands, who are bias, shared this survey. Therefore, this survey includes results from bias individuals and groups. This is fine, as the State of Disc Golf finds the bias of fans equally important; we simply did not want fan bias to be unfairly and heavily weighted from promotion of the manufacturer which they admire.

Publication Schedule

We anticipate to have our series of articles published before the end of March, 2015.

Thank You!

The results of this survey are immensely beneficial to disc golf. A survey of this scale allows us, and you, to do more for disc golf. We encourage you to use the data you find in this survey to promote disc golf courses, and to persuade city officials how beneficial this sport can be in your area. We would love to hear about how you use the data.

Welcome Feedback

If you have any questions regarding the survey, please comment below. You may also e-mail support@infinitediscs.com with any feedback.

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