The State Of Disc Golf: Leading Manufacturers

The State of Disc Golf 2014: Leading Manufacturers

[box type=”info”]

This is part 5 of a seven part editorial series of the 1,422 responses from the survey “The State of Disc Golf: 2014”


Note 1: This article takes real data from real survey results, and then they are published with educated opinion. You may not agree with everything you read, and that’s completely ok. Please leave any of your thoughts or comments below. Rude, belligerent, or otherwise inappropriate comments will not be published.


Note 2: We acknowledge and emphasize to you that the results here directly reflect the disc golf community who is in some way, shape, or form, involved with disc golf online. We therefore recognize that it would be inaccurate for us to claim that this survey is a proper reflection of the entire disc golf community. The results portray disc golfers who found this survey via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Google+, forums, E-mail, and other means. With over 1,400 respondents the statistical accuracy is high.

[/box]

Manufacturers & Brands

While there are several brands, some manufacturers actually produce products for other brands.




To best illustrate this we’ll use the MVP as our example. In January 2014 MVP launched a new brand called Axiom. MVP discs & Axiom discs are both produced by MVP Disc Sports, however Axiom is its own product lineup and brand.

Q: Which manufacturer is the leader in disc golf today?

Leading brand at the end of 2013

Click to expand

Which manufacturer disc golfers believed was the leader in disc golf today? The answer wasn’t even close. Innova took it by the largest margin of any other question in the survey. In contrast to the data in the last survey “Which brand is your favorite?” is what makes the results here more intriguing. While bias likely works into the answers for many when taking a survey such as this, it shows bias was largely set aside. 38% of people responded that Innova was their favorite brand, but 74% responded that Innova is todays leading manufacturer. 3 in 4 disc golfers voted that Innova is the top manufacturer today, even if Innova wasn’t their choice of disc.

Q: Which manufacturer are you looking forward to new releases from the most?

Most Anticipated New Disc Releases

Click to expand

This question had a very nice spread when compared to the landslide of the last question. MVP is impressive here not only because they placed first With 20% of disc golfers most excited for releases from MVP, but also because this is a small company which currently has a very small market share. MVP has created hype around each release, and their distance driver lineup which is coming out this spring is the most anticipated release that we can remember. In addition, from our point of view MVP also lives up to the hype that they create with each release – consistency and quality is a staple when working with MVP.

The next three are Latitude 64, Innova, and Prodigy with 18%, 16% and 14% of the votes respectively. From our view Latitude 64 is establishing itself as a major player in the industry and has a strong following which faithfully buy whatever the product. Innova has also produced a handful of top selling discs the last two years with Krait, Tern, and now their overmold plastic options with the Atlas and Nova has also turned heads. Finally Prodigy, who according to their number system has released a majority of the discs which will be released, how will they adapt in 2014? More signature series?

Q: Which manufacturer has the best public reputation?

Best Brand Reputation in Disc Golf

Click to Expand

Innova takes first place again at 50%. Second place is Discraft with 16%, Latitude 64 with 11%, MVP with 7%, and everybody from there has just a small share.

Innova’s dominance in this category was honestly a surprise. While we are not questioning Innova having a solid reputation, I (the author) feel that many brands are also deserving of the top vote for many. Perhaps next time, this question will be rephrased to ask “On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the reputation of such and such company.” That question will give us a better thermometer reading of how different manufacturers are doing for the disc golf world.

Kudos to Innova for doing an overall fantastic job! The results don’t lie!

Q: Which manufacturer is the most Innovative?

Most Innovative Disc Golf Manufacturers

Click to expand

And we’re back to MVP, except MVP now takes it by a larger margin. MVP certainly has a unique way of doing things, and it’s catchy… and according to respondents, it’s Innovative.

In second place is Innova, with less than half the votes of MVP. Innova is large, and continues to adapt. For example, noting the success of MVP, Innova developed their own overmold style. Innova has a steady stream of discs annually which frequently seems to fill a void in what seems to be a very well built lineup.

Latitude 64, Prodigy, and Vibram round out the next three – each with unique aspects they bring to the game!

Q: If you could have discs made by only one manufacturer, which would it be?

Carry discs from only brand - which would it be?

Click to expand

Innova strikes again. Most disc golfers would choose Innova if they could throw with only one brand, and it’s not hard to see why. Innova has something for just about everybody.

At the same time, it’s not hard to see why many of the other brands are chosen. The reality is, you don’t always need a disc for every possible situation, you need discs only for the scenarios which you play one. Many players choose only a handful of discs because they are versatile and they simply love them, so it’s easy to see where fan bias plays into this question more.

Latitude 64 takes second place with Discraft not far behind.

Q: Which manufacturer made the largest impact to disc golf in 2013?

Largest Disc Golf Impact in 2013

Click to expand

First place goes to Prodigy who garnered 40% of the votes here, and again, it’s not hard to see why. January 1, 2013 was the first day most of the disc golf world ever heard the name Prodigy, and it is now common to nearly all disc golfers. In fact, in the next article we’ll focus on brand awareness, but to give a sneak peak, over 73% of respondents said they are familiar with the brand Prodigy. Only 8% said that are not familiar at all. That is an amazing feat in one year of business by nearly all standards. Be it the D1, or PA-1, it’s hard to play disc golf with a league or club where somebody does not regularly use a Prodigy disc.

Innova, MVP, and Latitude 64 were others who gathered a reasonable amount of votes. Each had a number of very popular releases which, like Prodigy, are hard not to find in a nearby players bag.

Q: Which manufacturer made the largest impact to disc golf in 2014?

Largest Disc Golf Impact in 2014

Click to expand

People still expect big things from Prodigy in 2014, who gathered 18% of the votes for this question. However, first place goes to (you guessed it) MVP who gathered 19% of the votes.

There are many ways which a disc golf company can make an impact – PDGA National Tour tournaments, or grass-roots efforts like the Vibram Birdie Bash and Discraft Ace Race. To date, MVP has not done any of these things, but they have created a new brand, they’re releasing new discs – so 2014 has not disappointed yet.

Our Overall Impression:

Even though they’re small, MVP has made a splash! They’re tenacious and Is the best still to come from company which has already amazed in so many ways in 2014?

Near the top of the pack each time was Latitude 64, the manufacturer for Westside and Dynamic Discs. The Scandinavian-made plastic (aka, Trilogy), has earned a solid reputation as a fair sized contingent of the disc golf industry trades out their old plastic for any one of these brands. It is my speculation that given the current course of Latitude 64 they will be rivaling Innova for the top spot in the disc golf market.

Innova is #1. When you’re the largest disc golf manufacturer in the world, it is inevitable that complaints will be voiced. Innova has already been through the growing pains which others are currently experiencing, and they’re in a stride. They are still most respected as #1 and have set a high mark for others to rise to. Innova will be hard to catch as their current pace will not be shrinking. Instead, the way to catch up with Innova will be to continue to grow the overall disc golf scene (which companies such as Dynamic Discs have been doing a remarkable job) and to create brand loyal fans.

The State Of Disc Golf: Disc Consumption & Brand Loyalty

The State of Disc Golf 2014: Disc Consumption

[box type=”info”]This is part 4 of a seven part editorial series of the 1,422 responses from the survey “The State of Disc Golf: 2014”

We acknowledge and emphasize to you that the results here directly reflect the disc golf community who is in some way, shape, or form, involved with disc golf online. We therefore recognize that it would be inaccurate for us to claim that this survey is a proper reflection of the entire disc golf community. The results portray disc golfers who found this survey via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Google+, forums, E-mail, and other means. With over 1,400 respondents the statistical accuracy is high.[/box]

This article was one of my favorites to piece together with the survey data that was assembled. It was both fascinating, mind-boggling, and there is an enormous amount of conclusions which can be drawn from this data. For the sake of keeping this straightforward, we’ll share some facts and conclusions which you will likely find interesting as well.

Disc Consumption & Discs Owned

Of the 1403 respondents that have data collected, a rough estimate of 32,886 discs were purchased in 2013, or 23 per respondent. These players collectively have 68,959 discs, or 49.15 on average. This means that 47.68% of discs owned by respondents were purchased this year.

How was this calculated? We took this number by averaging each segment, and placed a number discs owned for players who owned “101+ discs” at 130. Yes, this was a rough guess, but it should suffice for this editorial. We imagine that if given the opportunity, some players in this column would have said they have over 1,000 discs, and others may have only had 105. For fear of over inflating these results, we were modest. If you would like, you may want to increase those numbers a bit.

Another interesting point as shown in the graph is that the darkest areas of the graph tend to be where “New discs this year” and “Total Discs Owned” intersect at equal points. In other words, somebody who purchased 16-20 discs in their first of year play is likely to currently own 16-20 discs. This means that many players tend to gather most discs immediately, and purchasing habits in coming years tends to slow.

Roughly 71% of disc golfers who began acquiring discs this year purchased a minimum of 16 discs. New disc golfers tend to fill their bag right up.

Brands vs Purchases

Favorite Disc Golf Brand at the end of 2013

Click ot enlarge

The survey also asked “what was your favorite brand at the end of 2013?” Here’s a look at those answers vs how many discs consumers purchased.

Please note:

  • This survey was not promoted or endorsed by any manufacturer or brand, to the best of our knowledge.
  • Any brand who had less than 1% share, or less than 15 votes were not included in the results here.

Innova’s followers also made the largest portion of disc purchases, thanks to sheer numbers of fans. Many of these fans were purchasing large numbers of discs, however, the Innova fans on a spread of how many discs they were likely to purchase, were not as likely as Prodigy, Legacy, Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64, or Westside fans to purchase a large number of discs.

Click image to enlarge

Number of Discs Purchased According to Brand Favorite

For example, both Innova and Discraft fans purchased 6-10 discs last year 15% and 23% of the time respectively while Dynamic Discs fans purchased 16-20 discs 21% of the time. As you can see from the graph on the right, the line represent Innova peaks in the 6-10 disc column, whereas the line for Dynamic and Prodigy peak in the 16-20 disc column.

The reasoning behind this may be simple, brands such as Innova and Discraft (while they have vast selection), are not releasing discs as rapidly. For example, if somebody has chosen Prodigy as their favorite brand, they are more likely to purchase Prodigy new releases – and there were 17 new Prodigy discs last year alone. Dynamic Discs, which is manufactured by Latitude 64 (which also manufactures Westside) also has had a number of new releases. But new releases are only part of the puzzle.

Brand Favorites: End of 2012 vs End of 2013

Respondents overwhelmingly chose Innova as the favorite brand at the end of 2012. Keep in mind, this survey was taken at the start of 2014, so Innova may be the easy answer for those with unclear memories. Even still, chosen as the favorite brand 63% of the time when 19 options are present is an overwhelming landslide victory. It wasn’t even close.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Fast forward 1 year and Innova is still the favorite, but it’s an entirely new landscape. At the end of 2013, and with 24 different options, Innova only had a 36% share of the pie, that’s a 27% drop! What changed? For the most part, Scandinavian-made brands became more popular and Prodigy hit shelves. Other brands such as MVP, Vibram, and Legacy also made modest gains.

Good Questions for the 2014 Survey

2.71% of players own less discs at the end of 2013, than the amount of discs which they purchased through the course of 2013. What does that mean? They either took heavy casualties on the course, or they were generous to fellow players. A good follow up question may be, “Do you lose more discs to the course, or by giving them to others?”

  • “Within a 15 mile radius, which brands are available for you to purchase in a physical store location? (check all that apply)
  • “How many different discs do you throw regularly?”
  • “How many different discs do you typically throw during play on an 18 hole course?”
  • “How many discs do you have in your bag?”
  • “Do you own a disc golf bag? If so, which style?”

Yes, there are many things we are already looking forward to in our State of Disc Golf: 2014 survey. Let us know what you think and what you would like to see!

The State Of Disc Golf: Best Discs of 2013

The State of Disc Golf 2014: Best Discs of 2013

[box type=”info”]This is part 3 of a seven part editorial series of the 1,422 responses from the survey “The State of Disc Golf: 2014”

We acknowledge and emphasize to you that the results here directly reflect the disc golf community who is in some way, shape, or form, involved with disc golf online. We recognize that it would be inaccurate for us to claim that this survey is a proper reflection of the entire disc golf community. The results portray disc golfers who found this survey via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Google+, forums, E-mail, and many other means. [/box]

It is time to look back on the discs that were released in 2013. In our State of Disc Golf survey, we asked you which of these discs were your favorites. We have looked over the results, and with the Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi, It seems fitting to award the top discs with gold, silver and bronze medals. So without further ado, let the games begin!
Best Putter of 2013 Results

Best Putt & Approach Disc of 2013

There were nine putters released in 2013. While this number is impressive there were fewer putters released than any other type of disc. Prodigy alone had 1/3 of the new putters released.

  1. Dynamic Discs Warden – Gold Medal

    Taking home the first gold medal of our games is the Dynamic Discs Warden. After releasing the highly rated Judge in 2012, Dynamic Discs struck again this year with the Warden. The Warden is Dynamic Disc’s beadless version of the Judge. It is no wonder this disc took the number one spot. Doug, one reviewer of the Warden said, “Within a week I was hitting more puts and from farther distances. Guess this putter is just more intuitive for me. It goes where I aim it. The rim is clean and shallow, so I rarely miss wide with it.”

  2. Innova Nova — Silver Medal

    This disc made an impressive late run to take the silver medal after being released very late in the year. The Nova was Innova Discs’ second release to utilize a two plastic blend known as the overmold. The Nova is a very reliable straight flying disc. The outer rim is made of a softer gummy plastic to grip the chains. Several great reviews of this disc can be found here: Innova Nova Reviews.

  3. Prodigy PA-4 – Bronze Medal

    In their first year Prodigy released three putters and the PA-4 won as the most popular. The PA-4 is the most understable of these putters. Many of our reviewers credited this putter as a fantastic driving putter as well. One reviewer said, “The PA-4 is an excellent approach and driving putter. It can be thrown flat and expected to turn over for a good portion of it’s flight. It is a hyzer-flipping machine and has glide galore.” One interesting note, is the other two putters released by Prodigy took fourth and fifth place, and the total votes received by Prodigy exceeded the votes received by the Warden. It is safe to say Prodigy made a big splash in the world of Putters this year.


Best Midrange of 2013 Results

Best Midrange Disc of 2013

The field was dense in the Midrange category this year with twenty new releases, each of these discs vying for a spot in the bag as a consistent flyer which feels great in the hand, flies with ease, and has beautiful control.

  1. Innova Roc3 — Gold Medal

    Even in the dense field of new releases it was the Roc3 that ran away with the gold by a wide margin. Innova Discs’ Roc has become a staple in many disc golfer’s bag. Therefore, it was natural that the release of the Roc3 received the attention that it did. The response to the Roc3 has been overwhelmingly positive. The Roc3 is slightly faster than the original Roc, and at this time it is only available in Innova’s more durable Champion plastic. Just recently Mike wrote this review, “If I had to choose one disc out of my bag to play an entire round with… the Roc 3 would be my choice. This disc does it all and is very predictable. In wind, it handles very nicely and its a straight flier. This is by far my favorite disc of all time.”

  2. Dynamic Discs Truth — Silver Medal

    Dynamic Discs Can you handle the Truth? The Truth is a very “true” flying mid-range. It will hold its line very well with minimal fade at the end of the flight. The Truth is also considered by many to be a great anhyzer disc. One review written by Jack reads,“Just got my max weight Truth and am in love. This is the disc I’ve been waiting for to fill my straight flying midrange gap. The Truth can handle some power and really will hold just about any line.” The Truth has made a great splash in 2013 and was very deserving of the Silver Medal.

  3. Innova Atlas — Bronze Medal

    The Atlas won a very close race for the Bronze medal followed by the MVP Tangent and Innova Mako3. The release of the Atlas also received a lot of attention as it was the first disc Innova released using a two plastic blend. The response to this disc has been a resounding, “It flies straight.” Also just like the Truth, the Atlas has a very minimal fade. We have received many reviews already on this disc, and they can all be read at Innova Atlas Reviews .


Best Fairway Driver of 2013

Best Fairway Driver of 2013

Competition for the best Fairway Driver is not as fierce as the competition for best midrange or best driver, but it’s still fierce. Fourteen discs have been released which we’ve labeled Fairway Drivers, with a full set from Prodigy, and other pairs of discs from a variety of manufacturers.

  1. Discraft Zombee — Gold Medal

    The Zombee was the disc of the 2012 Ace Race and carried on the momentum from that event to bring home the gold. It is a very stable Fairway driver with a predictable fade. It has been compared to be as a cross between the classic mid-range Buzzz and driver Stalker. Discraft gives the Zombee a stability rating of 1.0. The response to this release has been very positive as the Zombee has found a place in many disc golfer’s bags. One reviewer even said it replaced the Buzzz in his bag. He said, “If i had to choose just ONE disc to play with all the time it would be the Zombee. I fully endorse this disc and believe it would make a great addition to any ones bag. you can drive, approach, and even putt with this disc. Discraft nailed this one.”

  2. Westside Underworld — Silver Medal

    Westside Discs is a smaller but growing brand that has been establishing a strong presence with the rest of the discs manufactured by Latitude 64. Westside has a reputation for reliability and quality, so we were very excited to see them make the podium and take the silver medal. The Underworld is an understable driver with very minimal low speed fade. Our reviewers have called this disc a great disc for beginners. Here is the link to read all the reviews: Westside Underworld Reviews. We look forward to the rest of the Westside batch being released in just a few months.

  3. MVP Shock — Bronze Medal

    MVP is another up and rising disc golf manufacturer that has already made a great name for itself. They burst on to the scene with their revolutionary overmold technique utilizing GYRO technology which affects the aerodynamics and flight of their discs. The Shock is more stable than MVP’s other fairway driver the Volt, making it a great disc for more powerful throwers who found the Volt too flippy. James wrote, “The shock is a great disc for mid-long drives with a strong fade/flare at the end. If I ever need to take a sharp corner around a fairway with some type of height restriction the Shock is the way to go. A nice low hyzer thrown with a lot of snap will skip up and around a 90 degree corner every time. I have yet to throw a disc with a more consistent flare at the end of both long/short shots and am thoroughly impressed with the shock overall.” As with Westside, we are excited to see what the future holds for MVP. Especially after their announcement this week that they will soon release their first distance driver. Congratulations to MVP for the bronze!


Best Distance Driver of 2013 Results

Best Distance Driver of 2013

The competition for the top driver is arguably the most fierce. Innova & Discraft each had one release, while the Scandinavian plastic & Prodigy had a majority of the others. Vibram finished the Lace trio with the understable and overstable versions of their widely demanded and popular driver.

  1. Innova Tern — Gold Medal

    And Innova receives their second gold medal! With the release of the Tern, Innova again proved they are a powerhouse among disc manufacturers, and they don’t plan on changing that any time soon. The Tern is a high speed understable distance driver. This makes it a top disc for intermediate players seeking for max distance, but have found other high speed molds too overstable to control. One review by RJ had the profound statement, “You could build your game around this thing.” We have received many reviews on the Tern and they can all be found at https://infinitediscs.com/innova-tern/ .

  2. Dynamic Discs Escape — Silver Medal

    With the release of the Escape, Dynamic Discs showed that they aren’t just to be known for their excellent putters. The response to the Escape has been positive across the board. It is a very stable distance driver. A pattern seen in many of our reviews is the use of this disc as a great tunnel shot disc. The Escape holds its line very well with a strong fade at the very end. This predictability has helped the Escape to find a niche in many disc golfers’ game. A very deserving silver medal for the Folks at Dynamic Discs!

  3. Discraft Crank — Bronze Medal

    The final medal of these games goes to Discraft. Just like Innova and the Tern, the release of the Crank showed the Disc golf world that Discraft plans to stay a powerhouse manufacturer. The Crank is described as a mix between the Nuke and the Nuke SS. It provides controllable max distance and is perfect for experienced players who have found the Nuke too overstable and the Nuke SS not stable enough. Some of our reviewers have compared it to the Innova Destroyer. One reviewer wrote, “Field threw this bad boy!! Great feel!! Immediately made throwing 350′ easy. Great glide! Just took over my go-to driver!! Get one of these! You won’t be disappointed!!”


[box type=”shadow”]

Your Thoughts?

What do you think? Did your favorite disc make the podium? Who will take home the hardware for their releases this year? Feel free to let us know what your predictions are for 2014, as well as what you would like to see us do/change for next years survey and results![/box]

The State Of Disc Golf: Membership

The State of Disc Golf 2014: Membership?

[box type=”info”]Part 2 of a seven part editorial series of the 1,422 responses from the survey “The State of Disc Golf: 2014”

We acknowledge and emphasize to you that the results here directly reflect the disc golf community who is in some way, shape, or form, involved with disc golf online. We recognize that it would be inaccurate for us to claim that this survey is a proper reflection of the entire disc golf community. The results portray disc golfers who found this survey via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Google+, forums, E-mail, and many other means.

Also note, charts supporting and further detailing the written data are at the bottom of the article.[/box]

Disc Golf Membership: PDGA

The PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) is the governing body of disc golf. For an annual fee of $30-$75 a person may become a member of the PDGA. Information on joining and benefits are found at these links. Benefits and Joining.

[two_third]

Of those who took this survey, 1/3 are members of the PDGA. Of the 953 respondents who said they were not currently a member of the PDGA, 41% said they intend to become a member of the PDGA, 47% were unsure, and 11% do not intend to become a member of the PDGA.

We then feel, Mr. Avery Jenkins (refer to the quote on the right), that the PDGA will likely evolve into at least 1/100th of what the PGA Tour is.[/two_third][one_third_last]

“I can only hope that Professional Disc Golf becomes 1/100th of what the PGA Tour has evolved into over the years!”

– Avery Jenkins

[/one_third_last]

Just as a majority of players (as shown in the previous article) have been playing disc golf for a relatively short time, respondents have also been members of the PDGA for a short time. Of the 468 who said they are members of the PDGA, 80% (373) have been members for three years or less! 5% have been members of the PDGA for 10 years or more.

Disc Golf Membership: Clubs

Aside from the governing body of disc golf on a national level, there are hundreds of smaller organized groups which identify themselves as clubs, leagues, and associations. These groups are diverse as they are common (and as you travel the country, they are common). A single area may have one group or many. The group may offer incentives for joining, prizes during regularly (or irregularly) planned play and competition, and organize an ace pot and/or other cash reserves. These clubs also typically host one or several tournaments each year. Clubs may have official logos and gear such as stamped discs and clothing. Individuals most actively involved with clubs may also work closely with city planning and development towards the advancement of disc golf.

Club participation was more common than PDGA participation, with 47% of respondents stating they are a member of a club. Of those who are not currently a member of a club, only 8% have been a member before, leaving 92% (691 respondents) who have never been a member of a club. 38% of people who are not club members intend to become a member, 11% have no intention to become a member, while the other 51% are unsure.

We dug a little deeper into the statistics and we wanted to know: At what point does a disc golfer become actively involved? Is it the first year, or later once a player has gained experience? The statistics were surprising. 18% of players become involved in the PDGA in year 1, and 32% become involved with a club. By year 3, those numbers have changed drastically. In the 3rd year, 48% of players are members of the PDGA and 50% are members of a club. Unfortunately, around the 5th year, those numbers decline as though there is a “5th year disc golfer participation lull”. From there, the longest standing disc golfers club participation continues to rise, with players who have enjoyed the sport for 26 or more years being involved in a club over 62% of the time! However, PDGA membership gradually drops for the veteran players.

For those considering signing up, or for those who are running clubs, cost is always a factor in keeping clubs going.

Club Cost: Joining
One fourth of clubs have no cost to join. Then the clubs which do ask for any funds less than $10 are hard to come by, only 12% have an entry fee between $1-$10. 37% of clubs will charge anywhere between $11-$20, and 27% of clubs will charge $21 or more to become a member. Of all respondents, only 4 were not sure how much their club charges.

Club Cost: Weekly Basis
While a quarter of clubs may be free to join, chances that they’ll be free during a club round is less likely. 35% of “free to join” clubs are also free during league play while 54% will charge you at least $4 for league play. Of all clubs (not just the free to join clubs), 19% are free during regular club rounds.

Nearly one-quarter of clubs have no weekly fee and 47% are under $6. 3% of clubs will charge more than $17 on a weekly basis, those respondents may be confusing disc golf with ball golf.

Thoughts

A majority of disc golfers who took this survey (of which, many are active in the online disc golf community) have no affiliation with any organized disc golf group. This is both positive and negative. It’s fantastic because many active disc golfers enjoy the sport; courses are frequently used by a variety of people without obligation or affiliation. However, for the sport to continue its growth, an organized effort on the national and local levels needs to take place. At the same time, a majority of players without any stated current affiliation have stated intention to become affiliated with both the PDGA and local clubs, and a large percentage have stated they are unsure. The reality of today’s state of disc golf is there is growth, and there is potential.

Organizations of all levels have an opportunity to effectively reach out and offer value. If organized disc golf bodies do so the sport is poised to rise to another level of competition, professionalism, and fun.

[box type=”bio”]The next article in this series will be published on February 11, and will cover Best Discs of 2013.

What data would you like to see us add to the next survey to be published in 2015 regarding memberships? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!
[/box]

[box type=”shadow”]

PDGA & Club Membership Charts & Graphs

[/box]

The State Of Disc Golf: Growth

The State of Disc Golf 2014—Who Are You?

[box type=”shadow”]This is the Part 1 a seven part series which delves into the 1,422 responses from the survey The State of Disc Golf: 2014. This series will focus on the current state of disc golf and this first article covers “Who are today’s disc golfers?”.[/box]

In this first article, we hope to shed light on the question, “Who are you?” The first few questions of our survey asked a little bit about you specifically as a disc golfer. We asked: How long have you been a disc golfer, which state do you live in, and how often do you play disc golf?

We acknowledge that the results here are a reflection of the disc golf community who is in some way, shape, or form, is involved with disc golf online. We recognize that it would be inaccurate for us to claim that this survey is a proper reflection of the entire disc golf community as a whole. While 1,422 responses in a week is fantastic (thank you everybody who took 15 minutes to respond!), we must remember that there are many more disc golfers out there. Now without further explanation, enjoy the results.

Where are todays disc golfers?

Click the image to expand.

Click image to open higher resolution in a new window

The first question asked was “Which state do you live in?” All fifty states in the USA were represented, as well as a strong showing from Canada and outside of North America. California is dominant with 120 responses. Does this make California the top state for disc golf? Maybe.

The image to the right is color coded according to where most respondents are from, as well as the number of respondents from their respective states.

Our breakdown is this: the disc golf mecca of the world is still the great lakes area. With a strong and active disc golf community and more courses per capita than anywhere else – if you’re in love with disc golf, move there. California and Texas have sheer numbers of people and many courses to help numbers out. Areas such as Kansas and Utah show a disc golf scene which is starting to become fierce. Disc golf isn’t migrating into these areas, it’s just beginning to boom.

How long have you been a disc golfer?

Click image to expand

Click image to open higher resolution in a new window

Your responses to this question were not nearly as varied. Over half of those surveyed have been playing disc golf for only three years or less and 87% have been play for less than ten years. This is solid evidence to the claim that disc golf is the fastest growing sport in the world. Players in the sport are new to it, and those who have played for a long time are still going strong and loving it. Given more time, and the current rate of growth, expect to see higher level competition become more lucrative, professional, and exciting.

A decent portion also responded as being in the 6-10 years of being a disc golfer category – this is where you will likely find many of today’s disc golf leaders. Those who have been playing for 6-10 years received 190 (15%) responses. Only 13% of disc golfers have been playing for 11 years or more.

How Often Do You Play Disc golf

Click image to expand

Click image to open higher resolution in a new window

Those surveyed not only are aware of disc golf online, but they’re also active on the course. When respondents took into account the seasons and responded how frequently they play, you can see why courses throughout the country have trails beat in them near each tee pad.

Most players hit the course at least two times a week, where a large core of players are out playing four times, five times… every day. Those who said they play “rarely” were only a blip on the radar; 4 people of the 1,422 respondents said rarely. Clearly, once a player catches the disc golf bug it stays and it’s contagious.

Final Thoughts

Obviously, disc golf is growing. The floodgates are opening for the sport, and new players are coming out in droves. Where areas like Michigan and California were the primary centers for disc golf, you can now find a stronger and more organized presence of disc golf in nearly every state. A majority of players have been enjoying the sport for a short time – as these players continue to gain experience, watch the level of competition become more and more competitive, year after year. Results in coming surveys will reveal club participation and how disc golf is becoming more organized.

We encourage you to share this information
Yes, the data is interesting; but it’s also useful. Feel free to use these results when approaching parks & rec about implementing and better utilizing disc golf in your community. These results clearly show that disc golf is exploding. We are headquartered in Utah where these results have already been shared with city officials to get additional courses approved. Explain to your local decision makers that disc golf provides an opportunity for people to get outside and active, and that it’s a sport that so many people can and will enjoy!

What will change in 2015’s results?
Next year when this survey is administered we will ask additional questions, such as gender and age. Feel free to write in the comments below any of your thoughts, and/or what you would like to see asked in next years survey, relevant to “Who is today’s disc golfer?”

The next article in this series will be published on February 4, and will cover Disc Golf Memberships.