It may seem like disc golf, though very prevalent in some areas of the country, simply doesn’t make the list of most popular sports in the world. The familiar “Huh?” when you try to explain your passion seems indicative of a sport that’s having difficulties getting its feet off the ground. So how much is disc golf actually growing? How much of disc golf has made it to mainstream sports broadcasting?
Yes, disc golf has increased rapidly, even the past few years, and it’s continuing to grow in areas outside of the US, where disc golf originated. Nearly 20% of all disc golf courses in the world are outside the US. Since Australia now only boasts 55 (as of the latest poll last year), it’s time we joined the band wagon and became a disc golf giant.
THE DISC GOLF CONUNDRUM
What’s in a disc? Men and women are both interested in disc golf, but how many of each are really invested in the sport? If you look at mere statistics, the overwhelming answer is men, showing 92% of males playing disc golf.
But that doesn’t mean that women are not joining the ranks. Although only 8% of the PDGA’s registered disc golf players are women, the number is growing rapidly. With an increase of around 300%, women number in the 3,600s, and the number is still on the rise. Imagine how high that number could reach in a matter of years if everyone brought their mum along.
Photo Credit: PDGA 2018
We’ve heard it time and again. Disc golf is played by people of all ages and creeds. It may surprise you to know how the numbers stack up. Everyone, from various educational backgrounds to wide ranges in household incomes, play disc golf.
Age: While it may not surprise you to know that the majority of players are in the 20-40 age group, it may surprise you to note that people who love disc golf also play from ages 0 – 70+. Now, we’re not saying that the youngest of our members are walking around in diapers chucking a disc, but families bring loved ones to the course, which increases the age range of disc golf members.
Household Income: Any sport is usually associated with a price tag, and many newcomers to the sport may think that investing time in a sport that will cost them is not the best option for their families. However, since disc golf is relatively cheap and free courses are available across the country, people from all financial backgrounds can join disc golf. The majority of disc golfers earn less than $100,000 per year, but don’t let that scare you if your pocket book is empty. Roughly 18% of all disc golfers make less than $40,000 per year, which is below the average income in Australia.
Education: Many disc golfers now have an average education level, much like the general population. The vast majority of disc golfers have received less than a Bachelor’s degree, but people of all education levels enjoy the sport.
Disc golf is absolutely an “everyone” sport. From location to personal attributes, people all over the world enjoy disc golf, and it is continuing to grow rapidly. Membership has grown by 358% over the last ten years, and it continues to become more popular every year. So, who knows? You may have disc golf friends ranging from Norway to Chile in the years to come!
Mikaela Ashcroft is no stranger to sports, from training horses to earning her black belt degree. Her favorite activities are biking, martial arts, giving horse lessons, and going on adventures with her husband and blue heeler. She is currently a part-time writer and a graduate student studying physics in upstate New York.