Happy Friday, I’m glad it is the weekend as the 2021 Pro Tour has kicked off. Good things are happening. With the Pro Tour starting this weekend, and to celebrate beginnings, we figured it would be good to focus on a beginner disc. The Divergent Discs Narwhal. Use the discount code FOCUSNARWHAL to save 20%.
Divergent Discs is a brand that is aiming to provide easy to throw discs that are affordable and made well. The Narwhal is an understable putter with very little fade. Making it a solid first putter. It has a lot of glide, allowing it to float through the air. The plastic of this is feels firm and tacky. Giving you a little more confidence in the plastic than a baseline plastic. Which also makes the disc an excellent choice for putting or for driving.
You can select your disc by clicking here. Simply add as many Narwhal Molds to your shopping cart as you want, then BEFORE you click to checkout, look below the shopping cart. Right below the shopping cart is a box for Discount Codes. Click there and paste the code, FOCUSNARWHAL, into the box. Then proceed to checkout and you’ll get the discount.
Here is a screenshot to help you out, though it doesn’t necessarily show a Narwhal in the cart – it’s just a generic visual to help you find the discount code box:
We hope that you love throwing the Narwhal. If you’ve thrown the disc, feel free to share what you think of this putter. Thanks!
STAY TUNED for our next Focus Friday for another chance to try a featured disc at a nice discounted price!
One of the the things we included in this year’s survey was the thing that affected nearly everyone in the world: Covid-19. We wanted to see how the pandemic was affecting disc golf for everyone, since we’ve know how it’s affecting people’s lives in other ways. From a broad perspective, disc golf is one of the many sports and activities that are nearly perfect for the restrictions and guidelines that we witnessed during the past 12 months. Since the pandemic didn’t affect every region the same, and since local governments were allowed to write their own rules, to a degree (at least in the USA), we saw a variety of different restrictions that affected how we play disc golf. Let’s start with how much we played, then we can look at how Covid-19 affected that.
Let’s Play Disc Golf
We asked people how many rounds per month they played on average in 2020. Over half of us played between 5-14 rounds per month. That might sound a little low, but that is the average. If winter months bump that number down to 3-5 rounds, that bumps the summer months up to 16-18 round. That’s four or so rounds per week, which seems like a good average. Here are the numbers, broken down by the number of rounds:
Covid Affecting Disc Golf
Now let’s throw Covid-19 into the mix and see how that affected how often we played. We asked “How did Covid-19 affect your options to play disc golf?” Since some areas closed down even outdoor facilities, many of us didn’t even have the option to play. In other areas it was business as usual. In fact, nearly a third of us played more casual rounds in 2020 than in recent years. According to survey results, about half of us played as many or more rounds than usual. There were a small number, about 14%, that indicated that they didn’t get to play some casual rounds because of Covid-19.
When it came to leagues, about 15% of us said they missed some leagues because of cancellations or closures. That was a surprising number for me because of all the leagues that were cancelled in our greater area. Even more surprising, even though a larger percentage, is the number of people who said didn’t get to play in some tournaments because of cancellations and closures. A little more than a third of us indicated that they had to miss a tournament. I would have thought that number would have been a lot higher.
Open or Closed
One aspect affecting the number of rounds we played last year was whether or not the courses were even open. Nearly half of us weren’t able to play certain courses at times throughout the year due to closures. While others remained open all year. Here are the numbers:
Another option in the question about courses staying open or not was to indicate if you stayed home even though the courses were open. There were 767 people, or about 12% of the total respondents that indicated they chose to stay home. Some also said that courses around them were closed, but that they still stayed home. We should have phrased the question better to give a more accurate picture, but the number is still valid. I was curious about the makeup of the 767 people, so I cross referenced their age groups to see if the demographics were lopsided. The results were surprising. Here is a graph of the age groups who opted to stay home:
I would have thought the age based higher-risk groups would have had more people who would prefer to play alone, and not even on a course. But, the numbers look almost exactly like the graph of age groups from the first blog in this series. Here is the graph of the number of people who took the survey, by age groups:
That’s all for this week. Check out next week’s blog for more data, graphs, and information about the 2021 Disc Golf Survey. Check out previous posts here
Infinite Discs carries a large selection of brands and we want to introduce you to some of the brands and molds that you might not be as familiar with. Each week we will spotlight a different company and tell you a little more about them. Because of Covid shutdowns, our supply of discs was severely affected. Therefore, we may not have all of the molds from all of the brands we will talk about. But, it might put a few more molds on your radar for the future. This week we are traveling to the west coast to visit one of the newest manufacturers, Elevation Disc Golf.
First Elevation Disc
North of San Diego and southeast of Los Angeles lies the city of Temecula, California. It is home to one of the younger manufacturers that we will cover in this series. It is so new that its first mold was just released a couple of days ago. That first disc, the Interceptor, is the result of a year and a half of preparation, planning, and designing. (Infinite sold out of the Interceptor fast! We’re ordering a ton more.)
The company was founded by husband and wife team, Austin and Macy. Austin was working as a Biomedical Engineer and despite having a good job, he also had a burning desire to start a business. With some financial support from family, and lots of support from his wife Macy, he started Elevation Disc Golf. The name comes from the couple’s philosophy of life and of disc golf. The logo includes the image of a falcon, which represents peoples ability to conquer whatever mountains and obstacles come before them, and use those obstacles to climb to higher heights in life. They look at disc golf as an expression of individualism and freedom.
Macy was in the Army Reserve and finishing a doctorate degree when Austin had the idea for the business. Since he supported her while she finished her degree, she was happy to support him and his dream. She fills many roles in the company. Everything from shipping, media, and customer service, to testing the discs. All vital roles in a small business.
Starting With A 3D Printer
Austin started by getting a 3D printer and studying aerodynamics while experimenting with designs.
Once he felt like he could create usable discs, he knew he could start a business. After many attempts to find a prototype that would work, he came up with a design for an overstable midrange/approach
disc. That became the company’s first mold, the Interceptor. The mold name is a nod to the Peregrine Falcon. The Interceptor, like the bird of prey diving for its meal, will end its overstable flight by diving toward the basket. While the mold shape is definitely unique, so is the material used to make it.
Instead of the usual variety of plastics that we see with most manufacturers, Elevation went a different route for their discs. They found a premium rubber material that offers grip, comfort, and impact absorption not found in plastics. The flexibility of the disc helps it stick to the chains when you hit the target, or stick to the ground if you miss. My first throw with the Interceptor was straight into a tree. It didn’t ricochet in another direction. It just dropped. Currently, that material is the only option available from Elevation. In the future they will offer a variety of firmness’s. Right now they are in the process of making another run of Interceptors in three new color combinations.
Elevation doesn’t sponsor any pros at the moment. They want to focus on amateur players who are active on a local level. They also want to focus on underrepresented demographics, so that everyone feels like they can be part of the sport. For now, Austin will be representing Elevation on an amateur level when he plays in tournaments. As the company grows, they will have more opportunities to add more players to their team.
New Disc On Deck
Another thing that will change as they grow is the number of molds offered. Next up for Elevation Disc Golf is a putter. They are working on a straight-flying putter for approach shots or putts. Their goal is to have a disc that compliments their current midrange, the Interceptor. They have a couple of other mold ideas, too.
Moving forward, Austin and Macy will continue to grow the company and seek to accomplish some goals they have set. As the sport grows and as technology improves, they want to meet the needs of the market through their unique materials and innovative ergonomic designs. They will focus on staying at the forefront of creativity and engineering. However, creating new products isn’t their only goal.
At Elevation Disc Golf, they want everyone to have an opportunity to enjoy our sport. That includes people who might not have conventional access to disc golf: people with disabilities and people who can’t afford equipment. Macy has worked with people with disabilities and even envisions a disc golf course that allows people in wheelchairs to play. She would also like to see equipment in underprivileged schools so children can play during P.E. or recess.
Another area of focus for Elevation is the environment. Austin and Macy want to use their company to draw attention to environmental and conservation issues. They plan on choosing good causes, then
using the sale of their discs to support those causes. They want to tie the causes to certain molds so disc golfers can support the ideas they are passionate about by purchasing the specific mold associated with the cause.
Elevation Disc Golf is optimistic and excited about the future of our sport. They are happy to be a part of the growth, and will continue to find unconventional designs and materials for the disc golf community. And they want to use their goals and business ideas to promote a positive influence in the world.
Check out Infinite Discs’ selection of Elevation discs here:
Happy Friday, another week has come and gone. Making summertime all that much closer. Where it is Friday, its time for another discount code: FOCUSPMODELS. As we are focusing on the Prodigy P Model S, so over the weekend use that code to save 20% on all P Model S molds.
The P Model S is a fairly stable putter. Great for straight putts with little fade at the end of the flight. Its stability helps it to be a good driving putter as well. Coming in a variety of plastics it will be easy to use this disc for an approach disc or putting. Where this is a beaded disc, it’ll hold onto its stability for a bit longer than if it didn’t have the bead. Keep your eye on these as later this weekend we’ll add some glow plastic with a fun stamp on it.
In last week’s blog we looked at the ages, gender, and where we live. This week we will look at when we started playing, and check out some other data related to when we started. We will also look at people who started recently, as in during the pandemic, and see what their motivation was to start. I wanted to explore some other questions, but I think they will fit in better with other blog subjects.
We all got introduced to the sport of disc golf at some point, and in some fashion. For me, I’m happy to say that I invented disc golf! Well, sort of. My brothers and I were tossing Frisbees around the yard in the mid 70’s and we came up with a cool game. We selected nine objects around my parent’s spacious yard, and our disc golf course was born. It wasn’t until decades later that we heard there was actually a sport similar to what we were doing, complete with formal baskets and discs. It wouldn’t be for a couple more years before we would get actual discs and play on a ‘real’ course. (The first real course we played was Creekside in Salt Lake City).
Finally Getting Real
Although it wasn’t for another many years until we considered ourselves disc golfers, the seed was planted and we were hooked. Today, when people ask how long I’ve been playing, I refer to my 2013 beginning, since that was when I got some ‘real’ discs and played a league round with our local club. In this blog post, we will check out when people say they started playing. Then we’ll focus on a couple years or year ranges that had the highest number of people start disc golf. And we’ll look at a couple other survey results.
When Did You Start Playing Disc Golf?
The question we asked in the survey was ‘When did you begin playing disc golf?’ The choices were individual years for 2011-2020, five-year blocks from 2001-2010, ten-year blocks from 1971-2000, and the final category was ‘Before 1970’. If you were lucky enough to be able to answer ‘Before 1970’, good on you! Also, congrats for playing so long, and presumably still playing! Also, what is your PDGA number?!
Here are the results for when people said they started playing:
As you can see, there are a few people among the respondents who started playing more than 50 years ago! Interestingly, the biggest group are the people who started just last year. If you look at the next biggest group, it may be surprising to see such a large number of people in the 2006-2010 range. But, that’s when the five-year span starts. Here is a chart with all of the years from 2001-2020 in five year increments. It’s more of what we should expect.
Even with the overall graph looking like what we would expect, the statistic that is the most impressive is how many people say they started last year. Factoring in the Covid19 shutdowns, leaving people with more time on their hands and fewer activities that could be done safely, the large increase is not surprising. The big increase in sales for Infinite for 2020 can be partially explained by the large number of disc golfers who already played the sport, but now wanted discs, putters, baskets, etc. for quarantine activities. Even so, the sport has been growing the last few years and while some organic growth is to be expected, such a large number of new players is partially because of Covid19. Let’s explore some of the reasons why people picked up disc golf last year.
What’s The Appeal With Disc Golf
According to the first graph above, 1205 people said they started playing last year. For that group of people, we asked a follow-up question to learn more about their motives. We asked, ‘Why Did You Start Playing In 2020?’ With nine responses to choose from, we know there would be multiple reasons why people started playing, so we gave them more than one choice. Of those 1205 people, 25% of them listed the pandemic as all or part of the reason they started playing. I was happy to see that over half of the people listed ‘Friend invited me’ as one of their reasons. I’ve seen many people get into the sport simply because someone invited them to play. Invite your friends! Here is a chart showing the percentage of reasons given by the newest members of our sport. It’s good to see ESPN, CBS, and Brodie Smith contributing to the growth!
I wanted to see the ages of people who started playing last year, to see if there were something that might stand out in the data. To start, here is the chart from last week showing the age divisions among all of the survey participants. Below that is a graph of the ages of the 1205 people who started last year.
The new player demographic is pretty much spot on the average of all disc golfers in the survey. Out of curiosity, I checked out the ages of people who said they started in the 2006-2010, since that was the largest group of years in the survey outside of 2020. You would expect the ages to look different, since a group that started 10 years ago would statistically be older than a group that started last year. But, I would expect the graph to still have the same general highs and lows as the average. But, that is not the case. Here is a graph of the ages of people who started playing in 2006-2010:
To be clear, those are the current age groups of the people who said they started in 2006-2010. The early-30’s group is still the largest, but the general shape of the graph doesn’t look like the overall graph. Most notably is the smaller ratio of the 41-50 group. Since I wasn’t playing then, I don’t have an idea why that age would look different. It might be worth breaking down all of the groups by when they started and the age group they belong to.
If you have any thoughts on these stats, be sure to comment below. Also, if you have any survey results that you would like to have explored, let me know if the comments. Check back next week for more results of the 2020 State of Disc Golf
Infinite Discs carries a large selection of brands and we want to introduce you to some of the brands and molds that you might not be as familiar with. Each week we will spotlight a different company and tell you a little more about them. Because of Covid shutdowns, our supply of discs was severely affected. Therefore, we may not have all of the molds from all of the brands we will talk about. But, it might put a few more molds on your radar for the future. We are back in the US this week and we’re featuring Buffalo, New York manufacturer, Wild Discs.
Wild in Buffalo
Buffalo, New York, sits next to Lake Erie in the western part of the state. It is just across the Niagara River from Canada. It is home to the Buffalo Bills, and Wild Discs.
Discs was started in June, 2020, by Kyle Knab and Becky Fix. It was created out of a two-pronged desire: first, to grow the sport of disc golf by providing quality discs and accessories. And second, to give back to the world by committing 5% of all proceeds to wildlife conservation. The founders love disc golf, love animals, and love to spend time outdoors enjoying the wilderness. Wild Discs is a combination of their passions.
The first disc approved by the PDGA for Wild Discs is the Hummingbird putter. The mold has a small, smooth bead and a straight flight with a lot of glide. It was approved at the end of 2020, and since then two other molds have been approved and released: the Orca and the Addax. The Orca is a high-speed driver whose flight is similar to an
Innova Tern. The Addax is their midrange with a straight flight and solid fade. The stamps for all of their discs are created by Co-founder, Becky Fix.
What’s An Addax?
Although most people are familiar with orcas and hummingbirds (the animals), the Addax might not be as familiar. You have probably seen a picture of one, without knowing its name. It is an African animal whose body shape is similar to an antelope, but with long, spiral horns. The animal is nearly extinct in the wild. Details about each the animals featured on their molds are found on Wild Discs’ website.
Wild Discs currently offers three plastic types for their discs. However, the have several more plastic types that they are experimenting with. Currently, the company lists Landslide, Quicksand, and Whirlpool as their available plastics. Landslide is a durable plastic that is firm, but still has good grip. Whirlpool plastic has even more durability than Landslide, and with a little more grip. Quicksand is a nylon based plastic mixed with some Landslide plastic, with a ton of grip – the most of all their plastics. It also has a soft flex and is very durable.
Coming to Wild Discs…
As mentioned above, Wild Discs has several new plastic types they are experimenting with. They are also working on expanding both their disc and product lines. What will the future hold? Coming out in a couple of months will be a fairway driver and a mid/approach disc. Even before those hit the market Wild will be releasing a new bag that, according to founder Kyle Knab, will be “the most eye-catching bag on the market” whose functionality is “next level”. Stay tuned to Wild Discs for their new releases! Here is a sneak peak of the bag.
Although Wild Discs is a new company, selling their first discs in October 2020, they are already looking forward to the future. One avenue of growth that Wild uses is supporting an ambassador team. Anyone can apply to be on the team. Details can be found on their website.
Growing And Supporting Conservation
In addition to adding more molds and products to their brand, they are excited about the growth of the sport. They are looking forward to getting more women and youth involved in disc golf and are glad to be in a position to make a difference. Even in the short time they’ve been a business, they have received a lot of support, kind words, and positive feedback from the disc golf community. They have already raised over $1,000 that will go toward wildlife conservation.
Wild Discs will continue to support conservation efforts, and that commitment is one of the unique aspects of their company. They will continue to contribute 5% of proceeds toward conservation efforts. Plus, they will be holding charity events and tournaments to further support the cause. Wild Discs’ commitment to animals is apparent in their mold names, stamp designs, and even their company name. Check out Wild Discs today! Then see below how you can win a Wild Discs mold.
Check out Infinite’s selection of Wild Discs molds here:
Another week has come and gone. The weekend is upon us, happy Friday. For this Focus Friday we will be on MVP’s Particle. You can use the discount code FOCUSAPRTICLE to save 10% on all MVP Particles. Valentine’s day is upon us as well, so I hope the weekend treats you all well.
The MVP Particle is a stable putter that is currently available in Neutron and Neutron Soft. You can use this disc as a putter or as an approach disc. The stability of this disc is comparable to that of the Axiom Envy. Whether throwing the Particle or putting with it, you can expect it to be quite reliable. For this Focus Friday, we decided to bring back the Skulboy Maurader and the “Its’ Okay to Be Alone” stamp.
You can select your disc by clicking here. Simply add as many Particle Molds to your shopping cart as you want, then BEFORE you click to checkout, look below the shopping cart. Right below the shopping cart is a box for Discount Codes. Click there and paste the code, FOCUSPARTICLE, into the box. Then proceed to checkout and you’ll get the discount.
Here is a screenshot to help you out, though it doesn’t necessarily show a D Model S in the cart – it’s just a generic visual to help you find the discount code box:
We hope that you love throwing the Particle. If you’ve thrown the disc, feel free to share what you think of this putter. Thanks!
STAY TUNED for our next Focus Friday for another chance to try a featured disc at a nice discounted price!
Another year has rolled around and once again we are pouring over the results of our annual State of Disc Golf survey to see what disc golf looks like for the past year. What an interesting year! We are really curious to see how the pandemic affected the results of the survey. Our sport is one that can be played while maintaining social distancing, or even played/practiced solo. That caused a lot of growth for disc golf. We anticipate many of the survey results will reflect both the growth and the limitations put upon the sport because of Covid19. With that in mind, let’s get to the results!
2021 Disc Golf Demographics
We’ll start by looking at who took the survey. Where do you live? What is your gender? How old and how skilled are you? Basic demographics.
This year, 6,286 people took the survey. That is down a few hundred compared to the last couple of years. Here is a breakdown of the respondent’s genders.
Checking out the last few years of data, we see that the numbers are relatively consistent. Last year we did a last minute push to get more women to take the survey, so there was a small ‘spike’ in the numbers. But, the overall numbers for women in the sport remain a lot lower than most of us think it should be. In our local club, we only have a couple female players that will show up for leagues. There are quite a few wives/girlfriends of club members that play disc golf. They just don’t have a desire to play at leagues or competitively. Here are the last few years in a graph:
Where Do You Live?
Not surprisingly, an overwhelming number of people who took the survey live in the United States. Looking at the numbers for each state, we see Texas and California leading the country with the highest number of disc golfers that took the survey. Given their populations and their climates, it’s easy to see why they have so many. They don’t have the highest number per capita, but we’ll have to explore that information in another blog. Here are the numbers for each state.
Here are the top ten states, along with the top ten from two years ago:
Our sport is global, and so are our customers. Here is a chart that shows the numbers of respondents from each country/region outside of the USA. If without adding up all of the provinces in Canada, they lead the world in the number of people that responded to the survey.
How Old Are You?
Checking the survey results for the ages of people who took the survey, we find the largest number of people in the 30-35 age bracket are once the most popular age bracket. That has been the case in all of our survey results in the past. One thing you’ll see is the 36-40 age bracket dip down, only to shoot back up in the next age group. That is because the age brackets go from 5-year increments to 10-year increments at that point.
I checked out the 2015 survey results (here) to compare numbers and see if there are many differences in the age brackets between the two years. Here is a chart with both years’ data expressed in percentages of people who took the survey that year. I like that the older groups are trending upward for 2021, meaning people are playing later in life. I know that the younger age groups are the same or decreasing in percentage, but I don’t think that is a general trend in the sport. We’ll look at some other statistics that might help us understand those numbers better, and see why the older age groups are growing faster.
Are We Getting Better?
One of the questions we like to ask is how we rank our skills as a disc golfer. One way to come up with an answer is to look at what division we play in most of the time. That can vary, depending on how many tournaments we play. Often times playing in one division at a club league doesn’t mean we will play in the same division at a sanctioned tournament. From what I see, the level of competition is higher at a tournament, and it becomes necessary to play in a lower division. Not as a sandbagger, but as someone who couldn’t be competitive unless they play down. Once you move up to the pro ranks that is less of an issue. But for the rest of us, we might play a different division out of necessity. Even so, I feel like we have a good idea how we rank generally, and that is what we hope to find out with the survey. We asked people to rate their skills by choosing which of four divisions they consider themselves:
Beginner/Recreational, Intermediate, Advanced, or Professional
First, let’s look at this year’s results. Typical of past years, the majority of the respondents consider themselves Intermediate players. Here are the numbers:
We also took a look at a few previous years to see how we ranked ourselves. Interestingly, there is a declining number of people that thought they were Advanced and Professional players. I don’t know yet if there were more people new to the sport, people are judging themselves more accurately, or players are dropping divisions. Either way, here is a graph of survey results for 2015, 2016, 2020, 2021.
Check Back For More Survey Results
Check out our blog next week to find out more survey results. Also, let us know what you would like us to ask in next year’s blog.