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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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Hey Chris..... Some good thoughts IMO.

To make sure everyone knows where I am coming from on this, I too believe in live and let live. But just like Chris pointed out, as have many others, there is no reason to tell the public about negitive things when promoting the sport....

"When you are trying to get sponsors for an event, or to convence the city to put in a new course you don't need to tell them that people smoke or drink, becuse not everyone does, you should be presenting an even overview of the sport, the health benifits, fun, social asspects, hand eye cordanation, etc, not the negitive asspects."

I for one love the game and many of the people who play it. I accept and embrace the many walks of life of my many good friends. This whole image thing for me is most important when it comes to promoting and pushing new courses. Most of the people I know that play golf are very respectful and use descretion when appropriate.

Most of the comments I have made here were in direct response to the initial idea that hiding our "true character" when dealing with local officials will get us nowhere. I just do not agree with that.
Just what is our true character? Like Chris said, not everyone is of the same mold. Being from NorCal and being an Am player what Chris desribed for his home course goes for mine too.

Oh, and bye the way, the World Flying Disc Federation, which has been in existence longer than the PDGA has anti-doping rules. Take a look at the link below. What happens if disc golf makes the olympics some day?

I am not saying that I agree completely with such policies, and if you read the info you will see there is a way to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (“TUE”) but non-the-less it is there....
Who knows what PDGA sanctioned disc golf holds for the future. Money talks you know. So if those supplying it, say no to dope, then I would not be the least bit surprised.......TUE or not
http://www.wfdf.org/index.php?page=antidoping/index.htm
MARK!! I agree with you 100%!!! Glad you wrote this! thanks dude! I have brought so many people to the world of disc golf, and every time it makes me so happy! just the fact that anyone who can throw a frisbee can play, or even if they can't, they still have so much fun! I love disc golf and im glad i can bring other's the joy the game brings me!
I've read through most of this thread...not all, but most, so I may be a little redundant.

I am a long time ball golfer who took up the game last year. I'm so addicted to disc I haven't played ball golf in 2008. Most people who know me are completely amazed by this.

This being said, there are some things I don't comprehend when it comes to the general "disc" crowd:

1. If an event...tourney, casual dubs, whatever...is scheduled for say, 10 am, why is this the time many pull into the parking lot? If you begin work at 8 am, I assume you don't roll in at 8:15 or 8:30 EVERYDAY!

2. If you want to smoke weed, why not do it in the car before the round? I smoked my share back in the day and am not "red" about it, but I assume most people can go a couple hours without burning one.

Disc golf has a stoner image, but mainly, the sport has NO IMAGE at all. I live in an area with a lot of disc courses. As mentioned, I took the game up last year. I would say AT LEAST 50% of the people I tell about disc have never HEARD of the sport. The people I refer to are anywhere from 16 year old friends of my daughter to 70 year old neighbors. If the goal is to grow the sport, more promotion needs to be done. Sure, everyone reading this site or other disc sites know about the game. But, I assume zero non players have ever been on this site or any other disc sites.
Great story and insights, Tim. Maybe this belongs on another thread, but what do you think about disc golf resonated so strongly with you? Was it just that it's cheap to play (dollars and time)?
I think it's the fact that it is very similar, but a different challenge to golf. I played at a pretty high level in ball golf (Western AM, State AM, etc.) but as I got older I played less, as I played less I played worse...catch 22 kind of thing. Prior to my nephew and his buddies letting me know about the game I would NEVER have given disc a second thought. We're talking about image on this thread...I just assumed it was a bunch of stoners at a park throwing a frisbee around. To some extent that's true, but like any generalization it's a generalization. The game takes skill to get the disc to do what you want it to do while avoiding the obstacles/hazards. Also, I compete at whatever I do...so I'm trying to get better everyday. I'm still not close to where I'd like to be in the game but I've come a long way from the guy whose first round was in the snow from the longs at Oshtemo in March 2007 (I shot 95!). A few weeks ago I shot 59 at the same course. (Side note: I live close to Meyer Broadway, which is quite hilly. I weighed 195 when I started playing...I'm down to 173 now. I try to play at a brisk pace so it becomes great exercise as well).
Mark,

IIf men acted like me and not like little brats, played by the rules and could get past their mental block of how better they play when they are drunk and stoned or both. I have been around both sports of golf for decades. Disc golf would come up to the next level where people want to see it. Better image for our sport is seen by others by in the way we conduct ourselves. Millions in sponsorship has been denied because of two fisting 40oz disc golfers can’t be or try to be discreet.

People ask why ESPN covers eating and not Disc Golf well no bong hits before the shove 50 hotdogs down.
Help the sport you have been around for a long time. We need hippies and upper class in disc, ball golf has got them the differance is the they just act like gentlemen on the course.
Anyone that wants to know why people are trying to bring a little ball in to the disc? Read the first chapter of the USGA rules book. www.usga.org
Since disc golf is the world's fatherless son and doesn't get any air time than there is no image. Once I turn on the cable and see DG, then I will worry about the image.
I like Disc'n because it's not ball golf. No country clubs, no caddies, no carts, no ball washers, no tee times, no angry guys playing right on your ass the whole time... .....I could go on forever.

Disc'n is 2 hours of vacation for me. 2 hours of fun, even if I'm playing bad. I don't need to see a pro on tv selling tennis shoes or sport's drinks or even underwear (MJ=Hanes these days).

To me DG's image is a wholesome sport. It keeps you in shape without even realizing your getting a workout while playing. It's eco-friendly. It shows a companionship with others and brings people from all ages/gender/race etc. It's gets us outside and not in front of a t.v....

It's up to us to keep it a wholesome game. That's an image I'd like to see.
The thread is alive again. I looked at the Section I ETIQUETTE; BEHAVIOR ON THE COURSE from the Rules of Golf on the USGA website found at http://www.usga.org/playing/rules/books/rules.html as suggested. Nothing really new here, mostly common sense, but what really got my attention is something on the main page of the site.

"The USGA, in conjunction with The R&A in St. Andrews, Scotland, writes, interprets and maintains the Rules of Golf to guard the tradition and integrity of the game"

Tradition!!!!!!!!

Is it tradition for Disc Golf players to wear collared shirts during tournament play? Was this a rule back before the PDGA got a hold of the rules? I’ve seen some footage from back in the day before the PDGA and no, I did not see a single player wearing a collared shirt. So is it OK for tradition to be trumped by perceived integrity? Probably depends on whom you ask. Does anyone think that it would be OK if a major company would sponsor a golf tournament in England, only if the announcers claimed the sport was invented in England itself to promote the sport?

Anyone watch X-Games last night. IMO, Disc Golf will never make it to X-Games because the chance for serious injury is very slim. Any of the participants wearing collared shirts? Nope, they wore tee-shirts.

Is the collared shirt rule for PDGA tournaments hampering the disc golf leaning artist's ability to reach a greater audience thusly promoting the sport and making some extra coin? IMO, yes it darn well is. Does a collared shirt provide adequate advertising space and are they affordable for someone outside the sport to be willing to fork over some coin for one? Not really.

The second part of the USGA wording is “Integrity”. When John Daily made his big run in Golf while playing DRUNK, no less, on TV, did this event affect the integrity of golf or did it affect his own personal integrity?

IMO, if the PDGA gets out of the "image business" and stick to enforcing the rules as well as providing the basic framework for competition, then those that behave like "brats" will have their personal integrity questioned while leaving the PDGA still smelling like roses.

To me, preserving the "tradition" of disc golf means, not forgetting where this wonderful sport came from to begin with. I'm getting older and I can see myself paying some cash from time to time to hang out at a private disc golf course with a pub (gotta have a bar) but not a country club that just so happens to have a disc golf course. Image means a lot especially here in the US but it is not everything.
yeah, but in traditional golf it is most common for a course or club to establish a dress code... not the game itself. what's the dress code at your local park?

it's up to us to keep it a wholesome game. that's an image i'd like to see.
Good post nightgolfer.

The look of a professional has changed, and I think disc golf should be progressive instead of "traditional". And by traditional I mean "ball golf" tradition ... not disc golf tradition. Disc golf tradition would say we should all be wearing tye dye.

I think there is a lot of room for clothing designers to come up with some bright fun clothes for disc golfers. Huk lab comes to mind ... but it's still very tame (come on Jay ... bring on the stripes, lime green, pink and orange shirts ... get creative!). Break out the bright fun color for God's sake! Nobody is really taking this to the next level.

I look at the photos of the Japan Open and I see a very, very cool tournament. Except for how the players LOOK. They all look like a bunch of ball golfers out on the course ... boring! We should differentiate disc golf from that sport by looking COOL and like we are HAVING MORE FUN than ball golfers!

I don't have a problem wearing a button collared shirt ... but PLEASE, someone make some shirts that are COOL looking.
In my viewpoint, there is nothing wrong with requiring collared shirts at events. But, disc golfers come in all shapes and sizes, and from so many different cultures. There are going to people who do not like or accept others for who they (judge) them to be. Oh well.
Since we can't please everyone, we might as well please ourselves.
Leave no one behind. Let's be open-minded, nonjudgemental, and accepting of everybody who loves disc golf.
disc on ~~~

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