The number of disc golf player has declined, by a large number.....

I didn't even know disc golf existed until I was in my late 30's.

Grew up in south Florida, which hardly had any courses prior to 2001 (when I moved to metro Detroit). Started playing a couple of years after moving here.
 
According to the new 2024 UDisc Disc Golf Growth Report, the number of rounds recorded on UDisc increased dramatically from 2019 to 2021, increased by <1% from 2021 to 2022, but increased by about 13% from 2022 to 2023. An interesting feature of the Report is the interactive globe at the end, which shows the location of every disc golf course in the world AND, if you zoom in and click on any course, you can see the number of rounds recorded on that course in each of the last 5 years. I checked the courses in my state (CT) and found that, while total rounds recorded increased by 20% from 2022 to 2023, about 1/3 of the courses had fewer rounds recorded on them in 2023. Not surprisingly, new and improved courses draw players away from older, less-well-maintained, courses.
 
I didn't even know disc golf existed until I was in my late 30's.

Grew up in south Florida, which hardly had any courses prior to 2001 (when I moved to metro Detroit). Started playing a couple of years after moving here.
I didn't know about DG until 2011, and I was living in Ft. Lauderdale - there were only 2 or 3 courses within an hour of where I lived. It seemed practically as soon as I moved a lot more courses popped up. Hoping to get back down there sometime and scratch them all off the list.
 
I didn't know about DG until 2011, and I was living in Ft. Lauderdale - there were only 2 or 3 courses within an hour of where I lived. It seemed practically as soon as I moved a lot more courses popped up. Hoping to get back down there sometime and scratch them all off the list.
Just after I started playing, when I visited my family in FL,, there were only two courses in Broward county: Tradewinds and Easterlin. Today, there's 12, and Palm Beach has added quite a few in that time, as well.

For whatever reason, DG just hasn't seen the same level of growth in Miami-Dade County.
 
Can't say I've ever been counted as a pdga member, so my numbers aren't accurate. But, access to city dwellers in Chicago is still limited. Idea's and the sustainability to create courses within the cook country forest preserves is growing.
I'm going field throwing. The park is perfect for a course.
 
Just after I started playing, when I visited my family in FL,, there were only two courses in Broward county: Tradewinds and Easterlin. Today, there's 12, and Palm Beach has added quite a few in that time, as well.

For whatever reason, DG just hasn't seen the same level of growth in Miami-Dade County.
Yeah I cut my teeth at Easterlin - my first home course.

I always figured the dearth of courses in Dade was because it's nothing but either rich(er) people on the beach more concerned w/ other things, or poor(er) people west of US 1 more concerned with paying bills.
 
Yeah I cut my teeth at Easterlin - my first home course.

I always figured the dearth of courses in Dade was because it's nothing but either rich(er) people on the beach more concerned w/ other things, or poor(er) people west of US 1 more concerned with paying bills.
Also going back NickPs comment about usable land, water is everywhere in FL, and it could be home to gators and snakes (they even have wildlife snipers in FL). So unused land in other parts of the country that may be good for a course, could be gator and snake habitats in FL. Then, factor in the amount of population in Dade, using the developed parks that are available, and it makes those parks less desireable for a course.
 
Also going back NickPs comment about usable land, water is everywhere in FL, and it could be home to gators and snakes (they even have wildlife snipers in FL). So unused land in other parts of the country that may be good for a course, could be gator and snake habitats in FL. Then, factor in the amount of population in Dade, using the developed parks that are available, and it makes those parks less desireable for a course.
Yeah those are much more practical reasons than my cynical take. The NYC area and Long Island have a surprising lack of courses for being so populated as well.
 
Can't say I've ever been counted as a pdga member, so my numbers aren't accurate. But, access to city dwellers in Chicago is still limited. Idea's and the sustainability to create courses within the cook country forest preserves is growing.
I'm going field throwing. The park is perfect for a course.
For sure, cook county forest preserves have the best potential land for dg in the inner suburbs. We periodically pickup trash at Bullfrog lake and my mind is always wandering and dreaming up holes out there.
 
While field throwing at Humboldt park (in Chicago) which is perfect for disc golf. I had two people express interest in disc golf and access to having a course in the park, and for when the Tuesday night league pop course is returning.
 
Also didn't renew for 2024. Still playing as much as I can and enjoying it just as much. I just found that I enjoy playing when and where I want versus tournaments. And the UDisc rating helps me get my progress tracking fix.
 
My local league was nearly full every week in 2023 (they limit it to the first 72 people who show up), so there are a lot of players, but less than half of those players play in tournaments. Tournaments are fun, but they mostly are just ways for local disc sellers to move some product. PDGA is $50 a year, the average C-tier tournament is $40....not a lot of kids have $500 a year to play events, so they just play leagues and local matches. Plus, at some point you just have too many "free" discs. Udisc has ratings now so you don't need the PDGA for that either. Heck, ball golf's GHIN handicap system is only $25 a year.

Cheaper tournaments and lower fees would entice the league and local players to play more events and stay registered.
 
I was pretty active four about a 4-5 year stretch, but haven't renewed for maybe a decade or so. Been there. Done that. Realized, I just don't enjoy tournaments that much.
Pretty much the same. I played a lot of tournaments in 2008-2009. A few less in 2010 and I think my final one was in 2012.

There were some life changes (house, marriage, kids) involved, but it was mostly the time commitment. Rather than spend a full day on two tourney rounds, I could play a couple of casual rounds by noon at a local course or travel to play a few new to me courses. I get a lot more enjoyment out of either of those two alternative than I do playing a tourney.
 
I still renew my membership because my best buddy likes the challenge of an occasional tournament. But the (good) changes during Covid toward flex start, single round events really helped me to realize that I do NOT like waiting around all day for SLOOOOWWW players to play out two tournament rounds in a day. It has to be a special course or a special event for me to choose playing eight to twelve hours any more. I could've bagged four different courses easily in the time I played a tourney...
 
Personally, the time commitment of a day isn't a huge deal to me. My problem with tournaments is that they all fill around here. So I can't wait until like Tuesday, see that the Saturday forecast is nice and I have no pressing needs that weekend, and enjoy a tournament. I have to sign up for something months ahead. Weather may be crap. I may have something I have to take care of in my personal life, etc, etc, etc.
 
I actually did join this year--likely a short-term experiment. The draw for me was:

1. I do want to play a few tournaments. I've been playing cash leagues and I enjoy it.
2. I'd like to see where I fit in ratings-wise
3. Master's Worlds are in MN next year. I realize the chances that I'll qualify are quite slim, but having a stretch goal is a good incentive to keep working on my game.
4. A really nicely stamped Crave
 
Last season I was one event shy of my own personal record for number of events, only the year 2000 and Am worlds eclipsing that. It's been a long time since I've played in more than 4 or 5 in a single year. What I learned, now that I'm MA-50, is that yes, I do enjoy them when it's not raining and I'm in a relatively quick event with good people on the cards (which is most of the time). The thing I really hate (besides rain in a round) is the choice I have to make the night before. Do I stay up late having a good time like usual, or curtail that so I'll do better in the tournament. It's a toss-up in my mind which one is more important to me, even the night before.

While I'd like to regain the rating of my youth, I also am not huge on self deprivation when it comes to a non-work night.

When I eventually retire, I hope to still be playing, and that won't be an issue. There's probably no way I'm regaining my youth's rating, though, at that point!
 

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