State of Disc Golf: Demographics

2022 State Of Disc Golf

 

We’re back for another look at the State of Disc Golf as we start the tournament season for 2022. Just like last year, our world and our sport is being affected by the global pandemic. While it appears society is looking more ‘pre-pandemic’ than last year, we are still dealing with its effects on the supply chain. Many molds and products are still not available. But, while we can’t control what is available to sell, we can still look at the world of disc golf and analyze the data to see how disc golf looks this year, and how it has changed over the years that Infinite has been running the survey.

 

Age, State, and Gender

 

This year we had over 7650 people take the survey. We’ll take a look at a variety of answers every week for the next couple of months to learn more about our sport and the people who play it. We’ll start with some basic demographics, looking at our age, where we live, and our gender. Let’s start with our ages.

 

Aging Divisions

 

One thing that I’m always curious to see when looking at the results of the survey is how the numbers compare to what I see in the disc golfers in our region. Our local club is small and it seems like the demographics are pretty close to how it looked when I started playing regularly about 10 years ago. But, we see other clubs at tournaments so it is still possible to get a large sample size.

What I see happening in the tournament scene is that the 40-plus divisions are getting bigger. That is encouraging to see because it means more people are continuing to play as they age. We are still getting young players take up the sport, which is great for the future of disc golf. But, the older divisions are growing. Let’s see how that compares to the survey results.

Below is a graph of the results of the question, ‘How old are you?’

 

 

We’ve seen the basic shape of the graph in previous surveys. The 30-35-year-old group is the largest, then a drop in the 36-40 group, followed by a spike in the 41-50 group. The 41-50 group is the first group that includes 10 years. In looking at previous years’ results, however, we see a sharper drop after the 30-35 group. We’ll look at a couple different years, and to compare them equally we will look at the percentage of respondents in each group, rather than the total number. Here are the graphs from previous surveys.

 

 

It’s good to see the growing size of the older groups. We’ll look at other survey questions to find out more about them and their disc golf world.

 

Where We Are From

 

The sport of disc golf is played in countries all around the world. We have seen non-US players battle it out with the top US pros on top-tier tournaments, and pick up wins. Recently, Estonian FPO player Kristin Tattar make headlines with her lucrative contract with Latitude 64. There is no doubt that disc golf is a global sport. There is also no doubt that the United States still has the largest number of disc golfers, and the survey showed that. Not surprisingly, the largest number of disc golfers are in the states with the biggest population. The states in the top ten will exchange positions from year to year. But it’s tough to find more disc golfers if your home state doesn’t boast the sheer number of people in other states. Here is the leader board for this year.

 

 

I was curious to see the ratio of disc golfers were in every state, so I got the population numbers from World Population Review website to find out. I divided the number of survey participants for each state into the population of that state. Here are the results:

State # Survey Participants 2022 population DG Density 1:x
Vermont 43 622,882 14,486
Utah 230 3,363,182 14,623
Oregon 209 4,325,290 20,695
Maine 62 1,359,677 21,930
Kansas 127 2,919,179 22,986
Colorado 256 5,961,083 23,285
Minnesota 228 5,739,781 25,174
Delaware 38 998,619 26,279
Idaho 71 1,896,652 26,713
Michigan 348 9,995,212 28,722
Missouri 206 6,184,843 30,024
Wisconsin 188 5,867,518 31,210
Indiana 204 6,842,385 33,541
Iowa 93 3,174,426 34,134
Washington 225 7,887,965 35,058
Ohio 331 11,727,377 35,430
North Carolina 291 10,807,491 37,139
Tennessee 182 7,001,803 38,471
Pennsylvania 331 12,805,190 38,686
South Dakota 23 902,542 39,241
Kentucky 113 4,487,233 39,710
Nebraska 48 1,960,790 40,850
Illinois 304 12,518,071 41,178
Alabama 117 4,949,697 42,305
New Hampshire 32 1,378,449 43,077
South Carolina 124 5,342,388 43,084
Montana 25 1,093,117 43,725
Connecticut 81 3,546,588 43,785
Virginia 194 8,638,218 44,527
North Dakota 17 774,008 45,530
Alaska 15 720,763 48,051
Oklahoma 83 4,007,179 48,279
Arkansas 63 3,042,017 48,286
West Virginia 35 1,755,715 50,163
Georgia 201 10,936,299 54,409
Texas 552 30,097,526 54,525
Maryland 107 6,075,314 56,779
Arizona 132 7,640,796 57,885
Massachusetts 118 6,922,107 58,662
Mississippi 49 2,961,536 60,440
New Mexico 31 2,109,093 68,035
California 529 39,664,128 74,979
Rhode Island 14 1,062,583 75,899
Hawaii 18 1,401,709 77,873
Florida 269 22,177,997 82,446
New York 214 19,223,191 89,828
Nevada 36 3,238,601 89,961
Louisiana 48 4,616,106 96,169
Wyoming 6 582,233 97,039
District of Columbia 6 718,355 119,726
New Jersey 68 8,870,685 130,451

 

The state of Vermont has one disc golfer who took the survey for every 14.4k people. Utah is in second place, but that likely has a lot to do with Infinite’s headquarters being in Utah. California, which routinely has among the highest number of people who take the survey, is near the bottom of this list.

Infinite has customers around the world and many of them participate in the survey every year. For Canada, we broke the numbers down by province. For the rest of the world, we had participants select the region of the world they live in. Here are the results:

 

Gender

 

When it comes to the part of the survey that asks about gender, there is never really a question of which gender will have the highest number. But I am always interested to see if there is growth in the number of women taking the survey. Presumably that would mean a growth in the number of women in our sport. With so many of the top women disc golfers signing contracts that they are excited about, and with so much exposure in terms of tournament coverage, we certainly seems poised to grow the women’s side of disc golf. Things like last year’s FPO World Championship, which was every bit as exciting as the MPO Championship, should add a little more fuel to the fire of growth.

We’ll look at the results from past surveys and compare those to the most recent survey.

 

 

Although the data shows a slight drop in the percentage of women vs men taking the survey, the raw numbers are slightly up. In 2014, 286 women took the survey. In 2020, there were 330 women who took the survey. I would hope that the percentages would at lease stay the same as the number of disc golfers rises.

The PDGA shows fairly steady ratios between men and women between 2014 and 2020. Considering the explosion of growth in disc golf, that means that at least the number of women disc golfers who take the sport seriously enough to join the PDGA is rising. As we explore the rest of the SoDG survey, we might find data that will shed more light on the subject of women in disc golf.

In the previous two surveys mentioned in the charts above, we only had two choices for gender. That is why in this year’s survey there is the third option. We wanted to have an option for those who don’t identify with the binary choices.

One comment

  • Is the PDGA’s database from tournament participation available to you? It would show the home state of participants.

    From that data we could see how many people from each state participated in 2022 tournaments. Then factor state population to gauge tournament participation per 10,000 state citizens.

    That may show an interesting correlation to your approach of gauging state participation by survey respondents.

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