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Do we have a reason to be ashamed of who we are? Should we try to present ourselves as something we are not?

These questions are central to issues like the Collared Shirt Rule for major tournaments or the way that the new disc magazine (FDM) portrays the sport. It seems to me that we cannot disguise who we are and trying to do so will not work. Beyond that, why should we try?

Go to a disc golf course and watch who shows up. Most of those you see will be young, blue collar and counter-culture (let's call that Y, BC, CC). If a park or a potential sponsor or a player cannot embrace (or at least tolerate) Y, BC,CC then they will not like the sport of disc golf. Go to a disc golf tournament and watch who shows up. Mostly the same group. Somewhat older and more dedicated but still BC and CC.

We are not like ball golfers. We are not as wealthy or as conservative as they are. Nor will we be for the foreseeable future. We would look foolish trying to pass ourselves off as something we are not. And our foolish attempt would be immediately transparent to all involved. Hippies in collared shirts are still hippies. So too are Y, BC, CC in collared shirts.

If Flying Disc Magazine were to homogenize itself to the point where it hides the true character of our sport, it does us no favors with parks or sponsors. Sorry but that scam is going nowhere.

So why should we be ashamed of what we are? Some of us find the Frisbee Family to be pretty darn charming and lovable. Since joining the Frisbee Family is purely voluntary, anyone whose ego needs a status bump will go down the road to the country club.

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The only change I'd like to see disc golfers make is to be more assertive about our wants and rights.

Look at the way mainstream culture is embracing all the reknowned spleefers: Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Dre, Kid Rock, - plus Carlin and Dangerfield (rip). Anyone using weed as an attack is out of touch and most likely a hypocrite.
Mark if cent doesnt want that buzzz ill certainly take it lmao.


Now this is where im confused. I wear polo shirts, i try to make myself presentable when i go out. In a tournament non sanctioned i wear a gateway tie dyed polo, am i teatering on the line between hippie and preppy ?

Here is my point, as long as people are showing love for the game and not trashing the course what does it matter how they are dressed..

Most casual rounds youll find me in shorts and a tshirt, tournaments youll find me in a pair of cargo shorts and a polo. But then again i dont consider myself "fake", people in my area know me and know what im about.

Its all fun and making the most of the experience in my eyes. I have meet people from out of state, I talk to lots of people on this site and im sure they can all vouch for me that i am a good guy. Personallity should be what is looked upon when judging someone not their clothing.

Now im not a pdga member nor do i plan on joining anytime soon, But isnt it slightly hypocritical people who complain about the dress code are members of the orginization that mandated the order ? Imm sure the pdga does alot of good in whatever they do however for me they arent doing anything. WHy join when there are only a handful of events in my area, and the ones that are, are all charity events so i dont have to pay the $10 non member charge.

Now this isnt directed at anyone personally.

Just saying what i think.
"If Flying Disc Magazine were to homogenize itself to the point where it hides the true character of our sport, it does us no favors with parks or sponsors. Sorry but that scam is going nowhere."

I disagree that being professional and homoginized will go nowhere with the leaders of our communities when it comes to the installation of disc golf courses and the embracement of the sport on local levels.

Lets see, which of the following approach would work the best.

Senario: I go down to present a plan for a disc golf course to be installed in a local park.

1) I tell them like or not, 90% of the people that will use the course will violate the park rules, use drugs, and alcohol and that it's just part of our "disc golf culture". But hey, they better accept it or the ACLU will be on them in a flash.

2) I present a great plan with no reference to what we all do in our private lives and show what a great outlet for kids it will be and also the possible physical education program for kids and adults alike.

I think #2 will go.

If you think local officials will embrace illeagal activity openly, I think you are kidding yourselves.

Once the course is installed life takes it course.

No course, no golf.
I have to disagree with Mark on this.

I play frequently, and while I see some dope, it is not common by any means. In the hundreds of rounds I've played I've seen dope a dozen times. That doesn't mean it isn't happening more frequently, but then I wouldn't want to assume one way or the other. On the other hand, to assume that it is a central part of our culture might be an overstatement. I'd be much more comfortable stating that beer was a central part of our culture, being as I've seen beer drinking in over half the rounds I've played; yet nobody argues that we should have a beer drinking image.

Something to think about: I grew up in Middle Class America, a small town, Myrtle Creek Oregon. There were a number of kids in my high school who partook. Indeed it was quite popular there. Should we label all high school attendees as reefer heads? I knew a number of blue collar workers who partook, should we label all blue collar workers as reefer heads? The tendency to take an image of a sub-part of a culture and label the entire culture by that tendency is strong. It's an easy out. That there are those who smoke in this sport is reality. Is it a major part of our sport? Is it more prevalent than in other parts of our culture? Are there more guys toking on the course than in the stands at an NFL game? I can tell you that I've met more stoned people at NFL games than out on the course. I've met more Ball Golfers who've snorted coke than disc golfers who have toked - should we label them all as coke heads?

Taking on labels one way or another is probably not in any organization's best interests especially when that organization doesn't even really know how it compares to the population as a whole. At the very least, I'd like to know whether more players partake in this sport vs other aspects of American life.

On the other hand, I agree with Mark that this sport should be inclusive. I don't recall any of those who say we should not cling to this reputation as saying that we should exclude. I do recall them saying that the magazine should present us in the best light possible.

Let's be frank, we play in two venues, one is public parks, the other is on private courses. While some of the private courses might be owned by those who partake, I'm willing to bet that Oak Meadows, here in Houston, the course in Spring and others, are owned by those who do not partake. I don't think I'm guessing when I say they might not want to be known as a smoker attractant given that those courses serve other purposes. I'm also not guessing when I say that the public parks people wouldn't like the message, "we want to put a course in your park where we can throw discs and get stoned."

We are what we are and I don't think we should exclude anyone. On the other hand, I don't think I'd really call us counter culture either, especially given that counter culture has become just another marketing mechanism. Yes, I do think we are different, but I doubt we are any different than any other subgroup that participates in any other sport/competition/event. We are only different because we play disc golf. BTW - I grew up with hippies (it seems that after the 60s they all moved to Oregon and became teachers), and the notion that we are hippies is simply silly. Oh yes, there are some who play who have some hippie qualities, but the hippies I knew were nothing like the average in this sport. I see more hippies in Whole Foods than I do on the course. What I do see on the course are red necks and college kids or at least college age kids. I also see professionals, and a whole mix of other types of every education and background. Again, I don't see any labels associated with those other groups being applied to the sport.

I meet many people who see me with my discs and when I tell them what I'm doing I get the, "Oh yeah, the druggie sport" comment. I don't see any way that will help us to grow in today's environment. Yes, Pro sport players partake. They aren't out on the street bragging about it and they don't make it a central part of their image. When a player does become associated with drugs that player generally gets banned from his or her sport. Ignoring this reality might be a mistake.

I understand the message that Mark is telling us, we shouldn't pretend to be something we are not. I'm simply arguing for his position, we shouldn't take on a label that we have no evidence is accurate especially when the evidence suggests that label isn't a good one to have.
"So why should we be ashamed of what we are? Some of us find the Frisbee Family to be pretty darn charming and lovable. Since joining the Frisbee Family is purely voluntary, anyone whose ego needs a status bump will go down the road to the country club."

There are many walks of life who belong to the "Frisbee Family "

Some of those who are tired of being lumped into one big stereo type.

I myself am not ashamed of who I am, but I know where the road leads when you let your hair down....., it gets cut. Meaning no approval/funding for your project.

Open that door in most communities, and you will be seeing the funding for your course end up building a new playground or a abstract statue.

We can be proud of who we are, but IMO we won't ever get the main stream sponsorships and recognition labeling ourselves as a drug using counter culture.
I just want to thank Mark who is one of the sports most renowned Pro's. What you said Mark couldn't have been put any better. We are for the most part the "lower" class, or at least Lower middle. Most of us do dress like we are from the seventies or sixties. Heck, I have even seen people pushing around modified golf bag carts that are made with milk crates. My Quad shock straps and bag are Duct taped togather, cause if you can't duct it F@#$ it. I wear all black 90% of the time, even when it's hotter than you know what. Why? Beacuse it irratates those who think the only way is there way. I am one of the people who will always try and buck the trend so to speak. Yes I am currently wearing collered shirts only because they are black and still irratate people half to death. I have heard so many complaints about my black collered shirts and baggy ass black shorts that I think it is funny. This is what makes us who we are, and I LOVE IT!
Now, close to where I live Dave Greenwell (another renowned Pro) had a disc golf course installed on a ball golf course. The ball golfers were loving us being out there. I have never been treated so kindly in my life. We had at least 15 groups allow us to go past so they could watch our hippie asses. We even had a group of 6 follow us to the basket so they could gather around like a gallery and watch us putt out. Did I mention that they allowed us to play through even though they were in the middle of a golf scramble? All this and we were dressed like HIPPIES. So if those guys don't mind us looking like so called crap, why would anyone? The point is we are who we are. Like Mark said there is no need in masking this to the rest of the world. Doesn't matter if it's the parks dept. , the schools, the kids, the general public, our sponsers or anyone. Besides isn't budwieser the sponser for the Bowling Green AM's? Also isn't Bell South the sponser of the Bowling Green NT? We couldn't be doing to bad!!!!!
Senior Wrote "we won't ever get the main stream sponsorships and recognition labeling ourselves as a drug using counter culture." Looks to me like we are doing pretty good.
Budwieser, Bell South, AT&T, Red Bull, just to name a few.
I think this is a great disc-ussion. I think we do not NEED to hide who we are. Our private recreational activities should remain discreet in ANY public environment anyways, so what makes disc golf that much different? If people do what they do, discreetly and out of sight of most people on the course, there is no real problem is there? Keeping the sport positive is the most important part, but attempting to force people to just accept drug use or destructive behavior is just crazy talk. I think pot smoking has little place in this conversation because we are not talking about people condoning that conduct on a course(right?). This topic to me means that our family of disc golfers need to band together and be what we are.... merely people participating in an awesome sport from all walks of life willing to accept anybody, everybody, and not discriminate based on how people dress, how much money they make, or what they do in their own time. I agree with Mark, we should not create a generic country club image because it has VERY little credibility within our sport and eventually it would just deter people from the sport based on either how hypocritical it has become or people feeling like they don't fit in, and neither of those are why I play disc golf. I know nothing about FDM yet, so I have no comment. As far as A-tier requirements of collared shirts, I personally don't mind because I like T-shirts but most collared shirts help hide how much of a fat @$$ I am. :)
I think having the sense to put on a clean t-shirt without rips, tears or cut off arms should be universally acceptable though. I would be in favor of people wearing disc golf related T-shirts. There are a lot of ways to show we are proud of our sport(ie. picking up some garbage, organizing some clubs that help keep the tee pads nice or the courses clean...etc). We all take from the sport, I think we should give something back... that's how we can make a positive impact to the general public in my book.
Sorry for the long winded response. Thanks for reading.
Eirik
maybe it's time for all of us to let it go and just go play.whatever the issue is, there is a division amongst... I dont know. Viva la disc revolution!!!
hey now,point taken Mark.As an associate of the Evil Empire(W_M) no bong hits at the store I'm working and I'm considered the Hippie of all those workingthere.remember,disc golf is the FUN part of this sport,enjoy.Peace,mr ed,fl
It seems to me that there are two different issues being mixed here. One is what we are and the other is casual drug use.

Let me begin by saying that I am in disagreement with the PDGA that our image needs to be cleaned up or that we need fancy shirts. I myself run rounds in those effeminate tight shorts that come down to my knees and in tee shirts with the sleeves cut off. Obviously I don't care much about looks. There is a world of difference between accepting what we are and taking on an image that no organization has, that of wanting an association with drug use. Even rock and roll which has the tightest association with drug use of any activity does not use that association as part of it's definition. Yes it's there, but no one sells it as a major component of the activity.

I have long felt that our attempts to be main stream ignore what we are and are likely to be a mistake. I've posted this frequently on the PDGA MB. Counter culture and recognition and acceptance of what you are can be a power message that sells incredibly well. That is not the same as accepting the mantle of casual drug use.

BTW - I am also an advocate of drug legalization. The drug war is a failure by every measure we have. It has many problems besides it's failure. That said, I can read the writing on the wall, it is not time yet to associate any legitimate organization with drug use. Even the use of a legal substance such as beer is not a main component of the image of major sports. Yes it is all around those sports, but not driven by them.
I myself love my roots and wear all kinds of clothes when playing. Sometimes I go with no shirt. Sometimes I wear a collared shirt when I attend a big A-tier or something like that. But I don't care what anyone is wearing, carrying, or even if they didn't take a bath (as long as I don't have to smell them). Being genuine is very important and I agree with many of the things being discussed here in those regards.

"or the way that the new disc magazine (FDM) portrays the sport".

The statement above has many possibilities and the "Flying high over America" article is what I think Mark was responding to here with this new discussion topic

So, I think some of you are missing one of the main points that Mark was saying we should not hide or be ashamed of: IMO, that being the role our official publiction takes while being the face of our image.

"If Flying Disc Magazine were to homogenize itself to the point where it hides the true character of our sport, it does us no favors with parks or sponsors. Sorry but that scam is going nowhere."

I think it is a dumb idea to portray our players in a publication (that will find its way into the general publics hands) as those who would openly support illegal activity. Especially when many of the PDGA members want to take that publication to their City Council members or park officials to promote a project. Some of us may feel like it just dosen't matter, and some of know that our project approval is hanging by a thread, and something like a magazine article can make a difference in a voting decision.

Bottom line: I am all for being yourself. Many people love the spectacle of people playing disc golf as described in the ball golf course story by Russell. And hopefully we are all being ourselves. But, I am not for publicly embracing something that could harm the growth of the sport and the continued installation of new courses.
yeah, but it's really not about dope... it's just an easy example of illustrating people's varying degrees of respect for our most gentlemanly of sctivities. gentlemen, however, preach and practice tolerance and that means the knuckleheads get to play too. no matter, there are always exceptions... i saw an old dude with a collared shirt play my home course with a softball. he asked me what it mattered? i asked him to try that shit at the country club around the corner and took his ball back to his car and left it in the parking lot. just show some respect... or you don't deserve any. that should be true of all families, eh? when's the last time you thanked your local park department's staff? i just did last night... they deserved it.

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