The State of Disc Golf – Social vs. Solitary Play (Part 1)

Social Disc golfIn the 2016 “State of Disc Golf” survey, some interesting statistics demonstrate how our social lives interact with our game of disc golf.  Participants answered the simple question, “Who do you play disc golf with?”

Only 7% of those surveyed confessed that they “almost always” play alone.  Another 30% of those surveyed said that they “regularly” play alone. However, the 52% majority responded that they only “occasionally” play alone and another 11% that they “never” play alone.  So, if you like to get together with friends for a round of disc golf, then you are among the 63% that represent the more social crowd. If you prefer solitude, then you are among the 37% minority.

For those who are playing the game with other people, there is some interesting data that shows with whom you are most likely playing. Considering the lopsided balance between male and female players surveyed (95.7% male vs. 4.3% female) it should be no surprise to discover that 88% either “never” play with a spouse or significant other, or only “occasionally” play with a spouse or significant other. The remaining 12% ranges from “regularly” to “almost always”. Obviously, if you’re one of those players who finds himself (yes…most likely male) playing often with your significant other, then you are among the rare and the blessed. It would appear that finding a romantic relationship that can extend onto the disc golf course is an uphill battle.  Or perhaps, as a friend of mine once claimed during a disc golf outing, “I play disc golf to get away from my wife and kids—I would never want her here with me! This is my time!” I suppose if that makes you feel better…

Spouse or Significant Other
If the majority of us are social, but not playing with our significant other, then who are we playing with? The same general pattern emerges when asked about playing with family members. The majority of 80% responded that they either “never” or only “occasionally” play with family members. The other 20% either “regularly” or “almost always” play with family members. Thus playing with family is only slightly more popular than with significant others.

Family Members

As we move away from family ties, the pendulum swings. We found that almost everybody who plays socially is choosing to play with close friends. Only 6% of those surveyed confessed that they never play with close friends.

The other interesting statistic tied to this friendship factor is that a lot of those people we play with are folks that we met through the game of disc golf.  Only 15% say that they “never” play with people met through disc golf. 37% of those surveyed responded “occasionally”, while the other 48% a replied that they either “regularly” or “almost always” play with friends met through disc golf.

Those statistics would seem to suggest that the socially inclined players are very likely to meet new friends on the course with whom they will at least occasionally play. However, you should probably not expect that those new relationships will develop into a “significant other” or “spouse” status. Whether that is a good thing or an unfortunate thing is up to your interpretation, but it may shed some light on why this little video clip was so popular within the disc golf community, as it apparently borders upon pure fantasy:

In the near future, we’ll take a look at how the social and solitary players measure up in terms of other statistics, like disc ownership, personal evaluation of disc golf skills, competitive nature, etc.

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