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Golf vs. Disc Golf: Which Sport Is Better?

As one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States of America, disc golf has risen from a popular activity to a fully-fledged professional sport with sponsored athletes. But which sport is better, traditional golf or disc golf?

While disc golf prides itself on being a fun, accessible, and affordable sport that anyone can enjoy, traditional golf continues to be the more prestigious and challenging sport. Consequently, golf remains, at present, a better sport with more personal and financial investment than disc golf.

“Better” is a difficult metric to measure anything due to its subjective nature. While some may argue “better” should purely be based on how enjoyable a sport is, it would be amiss not to pay attention to other factors such as challenge and interest.

Let’s dive into the debate of traditional golf vs. disc golf and see which sport is better.

Golf vs. Disc Golf

Golf vs. Disc Golf: Which Is More Enjoyable?

Nothing is more subjective than what one finds enjoyable. Therefore the following will explore the aspects of what participants find enjoyable about golf and disc golf, whereby you can decide which of the two appeals to you!

For many people, disc golf is all the enjoyment of golf without the formality typically associated with traditional golf.

As anyone who’s ever thrown a Frisbee in their life, there’s something inherently satisfying about getting that perfect throw that transforms an awkward, plastic toy with no sense of direction into a blistering, controlled blur akin to a flying saucer!

Disc golf taps into this inherently fun and simple activity and adds the element of competitiveness to throwing a Frisbee around the park with your friends while not losing sight of the purpose of being out – to have fun outdoors with others.

On the other hand, traditional golf is also an incredibly fun activity but is often coupled with a sense of formality, improved competition, set tee-off times, and a very high learning curve.

While both disc golf and traditional golf embrace being out in nature with friends, the difference is primarily in the shift from simple kinetic disc movements to complex golf swings and the formality of golf versus the laid-back nature of disc golf.

Disc Golf

Golf vs. Disc Golf: Which Is More Accessible?

It’s no secret that traditional golf is one of the most inaccessible sports in the world to take up as a hobby. This inaccessibility is primarily financial, wherein a large portion of the population cannot afford the equipment or fees needed to play golf.

Fortunately, this association with golf as a sport reserved for the rich and elite is rapidly changing due to middle-income course fees, the development of municipal golf courses, and the availability of second-hand equipment.

Further to the above, there has been an increase in charities, school programs, and NGOs looking to improve golf’s accessibility to lower-income households and demographics of people who may not have access to golf as a hobby.

However, even if an individual has the finances needed to play golf and access to courses, memberships, equipment, etc., the high skill ceiling needed to play golf at even a beginner level requires a lot of time.

For many people, this extreme challenge is the driving force for wanting to play golf and continue golf into their old age. While for other people, this is considered a financial and time investment that is both daunting and unreasonable.

Read more: Why Golf Is The Most Expensive Sport In The World

Consequently, while difficult to master, disc golf is a far easier activity to become proficient in, as the swing is significantly simpler than that of a golf swing (not to mention the lack of further complications such as golf clubs or the lie of the ball).

Financially speaking, this lack of equipment and the affordability of disc golf fees, when compared to traditional golf, means that people from all walks of life can access the sport with less financial (and time) sacrifices.

Finally, disc golf courses’ development, planning, and construction are not as arduous as traditional golf courses. This means that disc golf courses can be built in areas that may be inaccessible to traditional golf (such as snowy regions).

Golf Course

Golf vs. Disc Golf: Which Is More Popular?

Although popularity may not be a true indicator of which sport is “better,” it is a good metric for measuring public, professional, and business buy-in through an objective standard, which usually correlates to subjective opinions about a sport.

With its long and chequered history, traditional golf remains one of the most popular and lucrative sports globally. Golf is certainly not a dying sport.

No matter the level of tournament, it is common to see both amateur and professional tournaments attract hundreds of spectators, thousands of spectators, and millions of spectators through television coverage.

As a result of golf’s “clutch” moments, extensive history, mythology, and behind-the-scenes drama, it continues to be one of the best supported individual sports, racking up viewership similar to other spectacles such as tennis.

Furthermore, the popularity of golf is further improved via its perception as a sport for connected and business-minded people, the opportunity to experience world-class resorts, the sponsors behind it, and the celebrity status of its global athletes. 

All that being said, disc golf has seen a massive spike in popularity and may very well be in contention with traditional golf’s popularity, should it continue on the same trend for an extended period.

For perspective, in 2008, the Professional Disc Golf Association had 12,980 members; by 2018, it had 46,450 members for a recorded growth of over 350% in a decade.

Coupled with the ability of disc golf to penetrate far more demographics than traditional golf and the increased interest in professional tournaments, it can be confidently said that the sport’s popularity is bound to increase.

Final Thoughts

Although disc golf is a growing sport meaning that it may, with time, rival golf in terms of history, prestige, skill level, and global investment, it remains in a niche market that is still viewed by some as a fun activity rather than a serious sport.

So while traditional golf may be considered the “better” sport at present, disc golf may likely challenge this position in the years to come!

When contemplating the whole golf vs. disc golf debate, which sport do you think wins the ‘better award?’

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