When Did We Begin Playing Disc Golf and Are We Willing to Pay

As we take a look at the results of the 2018 State of Disc Golf Survey, it is fun to measure the growth of the sport by finding out when people discovered disc golf as apposed to when they started playing disc golf. We also asked survey participants how much they are willing to pay for “pay-to-play” courses which are usually on private property. Some interesting trends have surfaced.

First let’s take a look at when people first heard about disc golf vs. when they started playing. It is very interesting to see that a large percentage of people discovered disc golf more than seven years ago. If we create a dividing line at the year 2010, we find that 64% of those taking the survey heard about disc golf before (and including) 2010, while 36% first heard about disc golf after 2010.


This seems to demonstrate that disc golf has been in the public eye for quite a while, with the majority of current players having heard about it several years ago. In more recent years, a steady stream of people are still discovering disc golf, but even more interesting is that the number of people starting to PLAY disc golf is growing more rapidly in recent years.

Perhaps people who hear about disc golf or become aware of the sport are slow to try it out? Though they may have become aware of the sport several years ago, they are just now starting to play? Of course, there are current players who both discover and dive in at the same moment, but there is an interesting disparity between people DISCOVERING disc golf and BEGINNING TO PLAY disc golf.


Another interesting trend when comparing the data from the 2018 State of Disc Golf survey to the data from the previous year is the attitude about “pay-to-play” courses. Many disc golfers embraced the sport because courses have traditionally been free to play. The vast majority of public courses are still free, but there are a growing number of privately owned courses that are charging a fee for a round of disc golf. Here is a look at how much survey participants were willing to pay for a round of disc golf in 2018 vs. the previous survey year.

Look at the lower end of the price spectrum. You’ll see that more people were willing to pay a lower price a year ago. Why would fewer people be willing to pay a lower price this year? Even more interesting is that this year’s survey found more players willing to pay higher prices in the $9 – $30 range! So, while they are less willing to pay a low price, they’re more willing to pay a high one. It looks like the “premium price” side of the market is growing, with more players willing to pay to play a course that they feel is truly special.

With more players coming into the disc golf scene every year, and more people willing to pay to play, it will be interesting to see how the disc golf market and course development evolves over the coming years.


  • Early mid 60’s object/target player with made up neighborhood courses and park.
    Band stand, tree base trunk, parking spaces, chalk marked area, etc. Neighborhood course was backyard trees, peach or apple crates, fire hydrants, mail boxes, street sign post along with base, etc
    Played first dgc in Va Bach at Bayshore Park around 1977, one of Steady Ed’s first dgc to go into ground.

  • Michael J Bacon

    Grandpa was a toy distributor and had many patent pending first run toys. First urethane wheeled skateboard with serial number 1. Had a 7th run Pluto Platter was rubbery and white. Faded yellow after awhile. Used a hula hoop when they came out as target. In mid 60’s had three patent pending frisbees. The Frisbee name replaced Pluto Platter. Developed a target made of lamp hanging chains on a 18 inch diameter round piece of plywood to mimic a basketball net on a 5 foot high pole. Years later Headrick did the same and put a basket under it, except it was a larger diameter.

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