As I was writing the mission statement for my company I realized that there is more to disc golf than most people understand. Even more than most players understand. Every time I stop and think about it I begin to ‘get it’ more and more. The ‘it’ I am referring to is that disc golf can change the world. It has so many benefits both mental and physical. It is the perfect vehicle for me to give back to the world, something I think every business should aim to do.
So what are these amazing benefits that a sport you’ve never heard of has? Well, let’s make a list, that way I can think about each one and maybe come up with more.
1. Physical Fitness– One of the most obvious and most impacting benefits of disc golf is that it gets you outside and moving around. I was a health coach for a few years and one excuse I heard over and over was that exercising was boring. Well, not anymore it isn’t. People of all shapes and sizes can participate in disc golf. I have spoken to diabetics who have taken up disc golf in order to get the physical activity that is so crucial in managing the disease. How does this impact everyone? Well, diabetes cost 174 Billion dollars in the US alone in 2007 (thank you Dr. Catlett). Disc golf can fight sedentary behavior and create a healthier world.
2. Accessibility– Disc golf is an easy access activity. Kids can afford to play disc golf because in most cases its free. According to the PDGA, of the 3000 established courses*, 87 percent of them were free. The courses that are pay to play charge 5-10 dollars for greens fees making disc golf available to many people.
3. Mental Fitness– Mental wellness encompasses many things and is just as important as physical wellness. Disc golf helps keep your mind healthy. It can be a great way to battle depression by giving you something to focus on. If you don’t like being around people you can play alone and work up to playing with others. It also teaches you how to overcome yourself. In this sport, like ball golf, you are your biggest competition. As you learn to control your emotions and thoughts on the course you will develop the skills to carry this over to other real life aspects. This benefit is invaluable.
4. The Vibe– No matter where you play disc golf, you will notice there is a vibe that surrounds it. People want to see you play the sport and enjoy yourself and they get pleasure seeing new faces take up the sport. Although there is a very competitive side to disc golf there is also a very fun side as well. Like many other sports, most of the player’s main goal is to be the best player they can be. Every disc golfer started at the same place so most are more than willing to show you what they know; whether it is a secret line on the course or a training tip they learned that helps keep elbow pain at bay.
5. Community– Even though disc golf is an individual sport, the sense of community between players can be compared to any team sport. Players understand why players come back to the course day in and day out. They have an obsession with disc flight and they will stop at nothing to master it. This sense of community goes along with the ‘vibe’, it can be felt the minute you begin playing with a group of disc golfers. All of your senses are aware as you feel a disc leave your hands. Your brain is on overdrive as you try to take into account the environment. This is something all disc golfers feel and something that connects us all.
The sky is the limit for disc golf. We see it as a televised sport with huge promotions, pay outs and athletes recognized worldwide. We see this all happening while retaining the ‘down to earth’ vibe that makes the game of disc golf so fun and friendly.
What other benefits of disc golf are there?