How in the heck are we, as individual disc golfers, supposed to grow disc golf? Disc golf is this nebulous entity that exists world wide. It has at least 2 sanctioning bodies. It has thousands of individual clubs. It has promoters, course designers, manufacturers, and a host of other professionals.
What can you and I do that all those other people aren’t already doing?
This, in my opinion, is the question that holds many people back from making a difference in this world. Not just in disc golf, but in all kinds of endeavors. The feeling that what we do can’t make an impact often prevents us from doing anything at all.
The problem with this thinking is that if everyone felt this way, we wouldn’t have disc golf in the first place. Disc golf is the definition of a grass roots movement. The players built it from the ground up. Players like you and I. Players that fell in love with the flight of a well thrown disc. Players that became addicted to the sound of plastic hitting chains.
“Disc golf is a sport built by the players.”
You could even make a case that if you traced back disc golf’s roots, you’d end up at a single person. “Steady” Ed Hedrick. One disc golfer with a passion. One disc golfer with a love and a vision. You could argue that disc golf exists primarily because of person who wanted to bring something amazing to the world.
When you look at it that way, it becomes pretty obvious just how much one person can do. It starts to make you think about what kind of difference you and I can make.
What if we all went out today and did just one thing to move Steady Ed’s dream further forward? What if each of us made even the smallest of impacts? That’s hundreds of thousands of little differences that would add up to one massive leap forward for our sport.
What Can You Do?
Not sure what to do? Not sure what that one little difference could be? Unsure of where to begin?
While there are hundreds of options, here’s nine to get you started…
1. Bring a friend. The next time you go play a round, take a non playing friend or coworker with you. This takes zero extra effort on your part, you were going to go play anyway!
2. Clean up. When you go play that round, take a garbage bag with you. Fill it up during the round. New players are much more likely to enjoy the sport and want to play again if the course is in great shape.
3. Join the club. While you are at the course, see if anyone from your local club is there. If they are, join that club. The few bucks it costs you will be repaid many times over.
4. Pitch in. The next time that club has a work day, don’t ignore the post on FaceBook. Actually go. Work days are usually only a few hours anyway. Afterwards there is disc golf!
5. Help the kids. Before that work day, ask the club members to bring any extra and unused discs that they might have laying around. Take those discs to your local grade school and donate them to the PE teacher. They will love you for it.
6. Teach a teacher. While you are at that school, offer to teach the teacher disc golf if they don’t already know about it. That one person you teach will then instruct class after class of kids.
7. Give a tip. When you see one of those kids out on the course, take two minutes and give them a tip or two. The more they enjoy the sport, the more they’ll play and the more they’ll bring their friends along too!
8. Give a gift. To help those young players get their friends involved, keep a few extra discs in your car to give to kids you see at the course. This will make you and them feel great!
9. Set a good example. When you are on the course and there are kids around, behave yourself. Watch your mouth and your behavior. Set a good example. If parents see that there are good influences out there on the course, they are much more likely to encourage their children to play more.
I could go on for a while, but I’m guessing you get the point. There are hundreds of things you could do. The idea is to do something. Act in the best interest of our sport. Even if it’s just one small action.
Imagine if every disc golfer in the world did one of the items on this list. Imagine if a good percentage of them did all the things on that list! How quickly could we grow disc golf if we really, really tried?
So get out there and make Steady Ed proud! Make us all proud! Share this incredible sport with the world! We really can make a difference.
One disc golfer at a time.