State of Disc Golf 2017 Results – Play Frequency for Men and Women

Do Women or Men Play More Disc Golf?

We already know that a lot more men took the State of Disc Golf survey than women. 91.8% of survey participants were men, compared to 8.2% for women. That was a large increase for the women over previous survey years, so the women are definitely gaining ground. There was a large enough sample of the sexes for us to take a look at how gender plays into disc golf participation.

First of all, the number of courses played for female vs. male really showed no difference, with the vast majority playing 10-15 courses in a year. Here is a look at the number of courses played in 2016, as reported by survey participants.

How Many Different Courses Did You Play This Year?


But how do men and women compare when it comes to seasonal play? The following charts show the number of times each of the sexes plays disc golf during the four seasons:

You can see that there are similarities in the frequency of game play, even season by season. It appears that men generally favor the 2-3 times per week more than women, and the women favor that 2-3 times per month more than men. It looks like men play more frequently, particularly when the weather is cold, but the differences are not large enough to make any definitive statement on who plays more per-capita. There are certainly more men playing, but when it comes to how often vs. the smaller number of women, the differences are only slight.

This seems to suggest that when it comes to the two sexes, there may be a difference in number of players, but the level of passion is relatively equal. 

Gender in Tournament Play

Let’s take a look at how many women vs. men reported playing in tournaments in 2016. First of all, 31.1% of women surveyed reported that they did not play any tournaments at all. Of those who said they did, this is how many of both PDGA Sanctioned and Non-PDGA Tournaments they reported playing in 2016:

So, for the women, it looks like it non-PDGA tournaments are favored, and the vast majority of tournament-playing lady’s played in the range of 1-5 tournaments in 2016. The 2-3 tournaments choice was the highest spike, especially for non-PDGA tournaments.

Now, let’s look at what the men said. First of all, only 27% said that they don’t play tournaments, while 73% said that that they did play at least some tournament in 2016. Right way, we can see that a larger percentage of disc golfing men play tournaments than do the women. Here are the charts for number of PDGA Sanctioned and Non-PDGA tournaments for the men:


Though the number of players differs greatly, the general tournament quantity curve is fairly similar between the sexes. Again, most men who played tournaments played in that 1-5 tournaments range, with 2-3 being the most popular response in the survey.

The similarities between the charts again suggests that the women surveyed are not shying away from tournaments. They like to play, and they like to compete. But the number of female competitors is much smaller. But that competitive spirit should continue to bring more competitors and a higher level of play to events with time.

All in all, we’re encouraged at the growth of disc golf when it comes to both sexes, and we’re encouraged by the level of passion shown in both casual play and in competitive play from both the men and the women. We expect that the difference in numbers between the sexes will continue to narrow with time, especially as very talented women are beginning to take the spotlight in professional disc golf tournaments.


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