Monday, May 20, 2019

What if we are not as cool as we all think we are?

Wow. In the 20+ years I have been around the sport of disc golf, I have certainly seen some amazing things. Without a doubt, the sport we love so much is clearly growing. I think that I speak for all disc golfers, though, when I say that we are not where we want to be yet. Where do we want to be? Some people want us to be on mainstream television; others want touring pros to really make a better living. Some players want to see more pay-to-play courses developed and installed, and still others want discs sold at every major retail outlet that carries sporting goods. Some folks want to see tickets sold for major disc golf championships. I think if you talk to any avid disc golfer, they will have an opinion on what our sport is doing and where it should be going.

But what if we are banging our heads on the ceiling? What if we have reached our limit? What if we will still have to explain to half of the new people we meet what disc golf is when it comes up in conversation? What if we never come close to baseball, football, traditional golf, or the myriad of other sports to which we can tune in and watch on the television every weekend? I heard someone reference another disc golfer that asked an interesting question: “What if we are not as cool as we all think we are?”

Think about that for a second. I do not like the sound of that question at all.

I do not believe it. I think we can be cooler than we are now; way cooler, in fact. That change, though, is only going to come through all of us in the disc golf community working together. We must stay as focused on growing the sport as we are on playing the sport. We must focus on getting discs into the hands of folks that have never played. We must find new avenues to teach people about our sport. This sounds a bit cliché, but if every disc golfer would be instrumental in getting one new player to enjoy the game, we would double the number of disc golfers currently playing!

Doug Bjerkaas
I see a future in which I never have to explain to someone what our sport is. I see a future in which every elementary school kid gets a chance to make a disc golf putt before heading off to middle school. I see competitive disc golf at the high school level. I see collegiate disc golf being sanctioned by the NCAA. I see a future that allows for national media coverage of our larger events. I see a future where tons of kids will stay up all night putting at a basket dreaming about one day being a disc golf superstar. I see this, and I believe this.

However, this will not happen without some work. We need more people playing. Please take someone out to play who has never played. Give them a disc or two to try out. If they love it, great! If they don’t, find someone else to take out to the course.

Imagine disc golf in every school. Imagine watching disc golf on a major network. Imagine watching someone win a six-figure check as they drain a winning putt in a major championship, and imagine that champion thanking you for showing them our sport.

Help us become cooler than we actually think we are.

Grow the sport.
Doug Bjerkaas
  1. Get Scouting to adopt Disc Golf as a way to complete the Golf merit badge and you have an Army of young kids who know the sport before they reach college age.