Infinite Discs conducted its annual survey of disc golfers in the beginning of 2019 so that we could once again take a look at the growth and opinions held by those who play disc golf. It is always fun to see the changing trends and to weight the opinions of a large group of players. Infinite Discs has been conducting the survey since 2014 and as always, we thank those of you who contributed.
While some of the basic information that we asked, like gender, employment, location, etc. may only be marginally interesting on their own, those answers also help to analyze more interesting data from the other questions. We will continue to publish those results and analysis in the coming weeks. For now, here are the basics…
6542 Disc Golfers Participated in the Survey This Year
Of those surveyed, 93.6% were male, 5.9% were female, and the remaining .5% did not specify gender. That result is virtually identical with the 2018 results, showing no change in the balance of male vs female players who took the survey. While that may not translate exactly into the percentage of total players (these are simply survey participants), it does represent a continued disparity between males and females involved in the sport.
Married vs Single
The majority of players who took the survey this year are married or with a domestic partner while 35% are single and 5% or divorced, separated, or widowed.
Age of Survey Participants
While it appears that the bulk of disc golfers still fall in the age range from 29 to 50, we must also consider that few youth would know about or participate in a lengthy disc golf survey. It would still be nice to see the numbers grow in that younger age group below 18-years-old. There is a lot of growth potential in the junior high and high school age groups.
While there were some different “other” responses in the survey which specified occupations like bartender, caretaker, lawyer, frolfer, professional disc golfer, none of your business, etc., most responses fell into the basic categories indicated in the chart. We see that 76.2% of those surveyed are employed for wages, while 8.9% are self-employed, 7.4% are students, and 3% are retired with the remaining falling in other categories. I supposed it is great news that the unemployed percentage dropped from 2.5% in the 2018 survey to 1.7% in 2019’s survey. The number of retired players also increased from 2.3% last year to 3% this year.
Most Popular States
We will reiterate that these results are drawn from those who participated in the survey. While it may not represent the entire disc golf scene, it gives a pretty nice snapshot of where there are more disc golfers. Plus, we realize that our survey is not shared nearly as much outside the USA.
For those of you who like a “heat map” of where survey participants live, here is map of the USA where the darker the state is shaded, the more people participated in the 2019 State of Disc Golf Survey. The lighter shaded states had fewer participants:
We also had a very healthy number of survey participants from Canada, Europe and Scandinavia. There was one survey participant from Africa.
Watch this blog for more 2019 State of Disc Golf Survey results!
Infinite Discs has now completed the 2018 State of Disc Gold Survey, and that means we have some prizes to send out. These prizes were donated by some great brand sponsors, who we would like to thank once again for contributing to the success of the survey.
This year’s survey had 5,930 responding participants, so we have a lot of fun data to use as we share those results with the disc golf community in the coming weeks and months. We gave away a couple of prizes while the survey was in progress, to encourage participation.
We’d like to thank the disc golf manufacturers that contributed prizes to the State of Disc Golf 2018 Survey. If you haven’t had a chance to take the survey yet, please do so. That way you can share your voice about the game of disc golf and quality yourself for the prize drawings at the completion of the survey. You can go directly to the survey HERE.
These are the prize contributors that have helped Infinite Discs to promote the survey:
Some of the prizes provided will be given away while the survey is in progress, encouraging more participation from the disc golf community. FOLLOW INFINITE DISCS ON FACEBOOK for your best chance to win those prizes as the survey continues.
After the 2018 survey is complete and it is closed, we will do a random drawing of the participants to select the winners for the remaining prizes. We contact the winners through email, so be sure to include a valid email in the survey in case you win one of the prizes.
Thanks for participating in the survey, and thanks to the quality disc golf brands for providing excellent prize support!
A Few of the Excellent Prizes Being Given Away During the Survey
The State of Disc Golf 2014: Leading Manufacturers
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.
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?
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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?
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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?
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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?
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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?
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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?
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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?
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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.
[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
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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.
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.
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.
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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!
[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?
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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?
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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
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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.
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.