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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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And let's let them see your page! ;)

Tuffi said:
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 ~~~
Yeah, I definitely agree wholeheartedly.

A big part of the problem that the image of disc golfing has just revolves around the nature of the locations it's played at, and it being condusive to younger persons to participate in illicit activities, and often making a general mess of the place.

Even if the problem isn't them running around stoned or drunk and acting a fool, it's often just the complete disregard for treating the park with any respect. This is more of a problem at some courses than others. For instance my mother used to live up north, near Traverse City, and there's a course up there (hate to admit I've been there twice and can't remember the name...some street that runs parallel to the lake dead ends into the entrance for it.....anyone who's been there would probably know which I'm talking about) and both times I've been there, the place has been absolutely SHOWERED with broken glass, copius amounts of trash, and mobs of intoxicated teens just begging me to hit them in the face.

Hence, it's no surprise that when someone unfamiliar with the game encounters such a situation, they often develop the idea that anyone involved with disc golf is like this. Some places have it much better than others....for instance I rarely find Hudson Mills with little more than a light sprinkling of trash, typical of what one might find at any public place that is cleaned daily. On the other hand, virtually every time I go to Kensington the situation is borderline pathetic as far as cleanliness goes. I don't know exactly why this might be....I do know that I always see a lot more rangers out and about at Hudson Mills than Kensington. Maybe it's just the surrounding populous, or maybe it's better funding, perhaps? (I should probably ask my Uncle, who is a Ranger at both locations) And anyone who's ever played at Brown Park (the status of which I am uncertain of.....I just moved back from out east, but last I knew it was closed for renovations) knows the abomination that many a person has been exposed to.

Regardless of why some places are in better condition, and of a more decent appearance than others, it's certainly easy for me to see why people would have a slightly upturned nose at the disc golf community. I'm not saying it's fair, but at the end of the day, it's unrealistic to think that people who have seen/heard of such conditions would not generalize us as a whole. I mean, I'm sure a lot of heroin addicts are just calm, peaceful people, who like a little junk now and again. But if you start talking about heroin addicts to people, they conjur images of frighteningly skinny junkies robbing liquor stores and stabbing pregnant women for shits and giggles.

I think implementing regulations like collared shirts and the like is extreme, and frankly seems like a poorly veiled facade to try to "clean up" the appearance of the sport. I think a better measure would be more along the lines of people pitching in to help keep parks clean, and just generally being more decent, especially to the staff (incidental or otherwise) at courses.

I know in my talkings with rangers at a couple local courses, many have less-than-good attitudes towards disc golfers, and while I generally have less-than-great things to say about policing agencies in general, when you consider the fact that probably 80+% of the problems they encounter are courtesy of disc golfers, it's not really all that startling that they might have a general distaste for us. Keep in mind most of these guys are just retired cops, retirees of some form or another, or part-timers. For the most part these guys just want to drive around in their Air Conditioned vehicles, and goof off while oggling females, occasionally stopping to hit on one of them. However when people aren't exactly being discreet about their activities, and find themselves drunk with power (or sometimes literally) thanks to the feeling of isolation felt by being in a wooded environment, and you get jack
you should watch how you speak about brown park, sir... and bring a trash bag with you next time you play a round. you could throw your flowery sentences in there too, for all i care.
In some parts around here, non-playing teens hang-out at the course and mess around. These types obviously have no respect for anything it seems. Leaving trash around and tearing signs & trees down, etc. I don't see a lot discer's doing that to a game they enjoy. Drunk, high, stoned, bored, whatever it is, it's no excuse to ruin it for everyone. Go somewhere else and do that stuff. I'll even give them a piece of paper to draw & write on instead of the picnic tables and signs that don't have a space that isn't coverd.. C'mon, those tables don't even look safe to sit or eat off of. And how many times does someone have to rip a post/sign outta the ground? Thanks for helping the IMAGE of the game. Enough already!

Sure, I've done some things, I've even said "sh*t!" sometimes when I throw a bad shot. I don't scream it to the top of my lungs though! If I gotta take a pee and it's 2 miles to the porta-potty, I'm looking for a place in the weeds, out-of-sight and outta the way to others who might walk-by. Does this make me just as bad as those who I singled-out earlier? Maybe it does, maybe it don't. I just try to be a nice guy and not piss others off.

Hopefully we were brought up behave ourselves and show respect to other people and other things. I'm sure the majority of DGers are just fine and do just well, but some people just don't get it.

alright, i'm done with my rant now.
I think there has been a Social Revolution dating back to the West Coast Surf Scene that allows Disc Golfers a certain amount of Social Freedom not offered in Ball GOLF- Tennis and Polo. VIVA Disc GOLF.
If some people are trying to CLEAN UP the Image of the sport I guess they are trying to get Corporate Sponsorship for the sport. If these people believe they can Achieve this they are wrong. Look at what is happening in the Tour De France or ANY SPORT with big money backing them. DRUG use , cheating and fraud (Loaded bats) are a problem.
Image is superficial and people can see right through it.

I believe SNOW BOARDING has shown us the WAY to GO. Thousands of Kids with Skateboards gravitated to snow boarding and now its rivaling the HILLS of SKIING. They have their OWN IMAGE and their Own Culture and its FINE.

To learn from this we need to put DISC's into the hands of More Teens. Let em have some FUN and RIDE the wave.
I probably wont be listening to their IPOD music anytime soon, but that does not matter. I am out there to have FUN too!
Imagine the sponors at the end announced on CBS this PDGA event brought to you by Innova, Discraft, Harry's Hydroponics, and Billy's Bong Shop. It will never work.
But like Glen said its about getting todays youth involed, crank the tunes and let the plastic fly. I think the way the PGA presents its self is fine for ball golf ...but i dont think the PDGA should try and copy it... they need to find their own unique style and image. Maybe just a no jeans rule for the top guys. JMO
Wow-and all I want to do is get up early and throw a round while watching the sun come up! As a real disc golfer, and does anybody care that I'm O (old), NC, and NC (no culture)?
this is a dead horse, but comon man. I'm not stupid enough to know that if I show up for a job interview wearing what I "want" to wear, thus representing myself and what I believe, I'll never get a job.

and it;'s not about status,or ego, or wanting to belong, it';s about common courtesy and what the hippies actually believed in, aside form the whole "counterculture" movement, that obviously had an impact, but didn't change certain things.

good post though,keep bumping it.
i imagine tim's literally on the fence because it feels good to him... also, wait, is this where i divulge if i am stoned or not?

ahaha, "i had to read" he said. question, reading... good for the image of the sport?
I play with a group of white collar guys. A doctor, small business owners, a bunch of IT computer types, salesmen and a young guy with a mohawk that uses words I have to get my teenage daughter to translate for me. It's the best group ever because of the diversity, we are all playing for the same reason, we love the game. Get me a tie-dyed collar shirt and I'll be happy to wear it.
I don't get the whole collared shirt thing. If I see someone in a t-shirt, I don't think any different of them. this isn't a fashion show, don't judge books by their covers. Actually I think it looks pretty silly out there in a collared shirt. Nothing wrong with it, just silly looking. Be comfortable!
I agree Buzzz, The PDGA needs to grow the sport not be the fashion police. The dress code should be up to the course management and tournament sponsors. If the PDGA is the title sponsor...so be it.

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