#21  
Old 04-20-2014, 07:37 PM
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Yes.
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  #22  
Old 04-20-2014, 07:39 PM
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Loomis Loomis is offline
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Is the sport growing?

It's an oscillation of growth. The number of courses is increasing but the number of good courses hasn't changed much. For every twenty new courses, maybe one is decent. Most of the "new" courses are designed for beginners. And by beginner, I mean small kids. But the stat is true - there are more courses, but they aren't doing much to push the sport forward. It's good for sustaining a base of casual players but that's about it. So you would be splitting hairs if you say it's a "growth" rather than "sustaining."

The number of players is also in question. The PDGA has 60,000 members and this is after 30 years in existence. A good portion of those 60,000 joined in the last ten years so that looks good, but only 20,000 of those 60,000 have remained active members. For the most part, every ten people that join the PDGA, six or seven of them quit after a few years. Take from that what you will. We even have former World Champions who are no longer a part of the PDGA.

There are thousands of casual players who may play occasionally, but that actual number is unknown and couldn't be measured by anyone other than maybe disc golf retailers. I would imagine it's at least a hundred thousand. These are probably the same people who occasionally go bowling, or play tennis if asked by a friend, that sort of thing. They're not the dedicated daily - or weekly - players. At the course I started at in Washington state, most of the players there were not members of the PDGA and there were hundreds of players.

PDGA players who love the tournament atmosphere, whether it be as a Pro or Am player, that number is strong. I think the number of tournaments that fill up every week shows just how hungry people are to play in tournaments. That's awesome.

The more people who know about the sport, the easier it is to get people's support for new courses and perhaps, larger tournaments And that's good. But what the people who love this sport would love to see - and this is the reason we like to say it's the fastest growing sport in the world - is that the sport will grow large enough to become a spectator sport. It would be nice to see it on TV, or to find better coverage of the tournaments online. This is a hard time to be a fan of the sport when your desire for up to the minute information is hard to come by. So we talk about the growth hoping that it will legitimize our affliction. We want more Disc Golf magazines, more radio shows, more blogs, more websites, but mostly we want more coverage of events. The ability to see the sport from home is key to the growth of the sport.

If the profile of the sport grows our favorite players might be able to sustain themselves by playing tournaments. This also means that maybe if we play well in a tournament that we might be one of those lucky few who get a payday. I think there is more than one soul on this site who secretly desires to quit their job and just travel the world playing disc golf, and still be able to pay their bills. And there is also the hope that one day all of this silliness that occupies most of our time will some day be validated by those outside of the sport who think of it as a hippie sport.

Right now, growth should be measured not by numbers of players or courses or tournaments but by the number of sponsors. Sponsors are a reflection of the real numbers. When we have the real numbers, real growth, we will have real sponsors. And that is when all those daydreams will start to come true. For some lucky people.

So the sport grows, it falls back, it grows again, it regresses. It's easy to say, "it's growing" or "it's the fastest growing sport in the world" but it's just catchphrases we say to make ourselves feel better until it actually does catch on.
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  #23  
Old 04-20-2014, 07:50 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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Originally Posted by Loomis View Post
It's an oscillation of growth. The number of courses is increasing but the number of good courses hasn't changed much. For every twenty new courses, maybe one is decent. Most of the "new" courses are designed for beginners. And by beginner, I mean small kids. But the stat is true - there are more courses, but they aren't doing much to push the sport forward. It's good for sustaining a base of casual players but that's about it. So you would be splitting hairs if you say it's a "growth" rather than "sustaining."
Absolutely not my experience around here. Obviously not the experience in the Top 10, where some fine courses have been supplanted by newer, better courses.
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  #24  
Old 04-20-2014, 07:52 PM
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Loomis Loomis is offline
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By Top 10, do you mean the Top 10 courses as listed on this site?
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  #25  
Old 04-20-2014, 07:53 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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Right now, growth should be measured not by numbers of players or courses or tournaments but by the number of sponsors.
Sorry, growth should be measured by actual growth. More courses is growth. More people is growth.

More sponsors is another goal but, if you're measuring whether something is growing, having more of it pretty much answers the question.
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  #26  
Old 04-20-2014, 07:54 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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Originally Posted by Loomis View Post
By Top 10, do you mean the Top 10 courses as listed on this site?
Barring a better source, yes. It would be hard to say that there are no more good courses, when the largest consensus of what constitutes good courses keeps listing more and more.
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  #27  
Old 04-20-2014, 07:56 PM
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Loomis Loomis is offline
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Is there a way to see the demographics of the membership of this site?
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  #28  
Old 04-20-2014, 08:07 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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Doesn't matter. Certainly a sampling of thousands of disc golfers who care enough to rate courses are more representative than a sampling of one.
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  #29  
Old 04-20-2014, 08:11 PM
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Disc golf will continue to grow at the current pace, imo. Once more parks/cities/towns see the benefits of having a course in their parks they will get installed. That won't happen all at once but the pace will pick up just like it has over the last 25+ years.
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  #30  
Old 04-20-2014, 08:14 PM
mndiscg mndiscg is offline
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Speak for yourself Loomis. I don't really care much about the PDGA, about radio shows, blogs, coverage of the sport, whether or not pros can make a buck. I really only care about having more and better courses and I don't really think that most of the things that you talk about have much bearing on that front.
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