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Final Results - "How Many Courses Have You Played" Survey

Here's the final results from the "How Many" survey. The survey was completed by 120 disc golfers. As you can see from the chart above, most of the golfers who responded have played a lot of different courses since they started playing disc golf. The median number of courses played was 30, so half of the golfers surveyed had played less than 30 courses and half had played 30 or more. There are some real road warriors out there, as nearly one-in-five (17.5%) said they had played more than 100 courses. On the average, these golfers have played for almost 20 years (19.19). Golfers who had played 26 to 100 courses made up one-third (34.2%) of those surveyed, and these players have been playing disc golf for an average of 13 years (12.59). About one-third (31.7%) of the golfers responding said they had played 11 to 25 courses over the average of nine years (9.39) they have been playing. Disc golfers who have played ten or fewer courses counted for about one-sixth (16.7%) of those responding, and this grouphas been playing an average of about six years (5.75).

The average number of years played by respondents to the survey was about twelve years. As you can see from the chart above, the largest group of players had played about 3 to 7 years, but there is a sizeable group of players who had been disc golfing for around thirty years. Perhaps this topic was more interesting to the old-timers? One item of interest is the dip in the graph at 20 to 25 years. Were there just not that many new players in the late 80's?

Finally, the survey asked about the number of courses played each month. By looking at the chart above we can see that the average number of courses played each month by these disc golfers is about 4-5 courses (4.48), but that the largest group of players plays three courses per month. boy, I wish I was the guy playing twenty courses each month, or at least those playing 15 to sixteen.

A big thanks to those of you who participated in the survey. Keep your eyes peeled for more in the future!

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Comment by Acoustic_Carnival on May 5, 2008 at 7:10pm
What I like about this topic is that through his survey he's provided data to the disc golf community that sheds light on the travel and vacationing habits of "avid" disc golfers. It's one more argument in favor of building a course, really.
Disc Golfers Travel.
That 35% (the majority) of survey participants claim to have played 25 or more courses says a lot. Pinpoint a location on a map. Now draw a circle encompassing the nearest 25 courses. For MOST of those pinpoints, you'll need to draw quite a big circle.
Comment by Acoustic_Carnival on May 5, 2008 at 6:46pm
Is it cool if I use your research? I'll cite my sources so as not to take unfair credit. :)
Comment by Rizbee on May 4, 2008 at 11:37pm
BTW, we played two course in Irvine today that were new to me on our way to LaMa. I've driven past the exit dozens, scores, maybe hundreds of times. An 18-holer and a 9-holer, and each of them only had four baskets. You play the same baskets from multiple tees and also throw in several light post targets. They were fun and gave us all some good practice at playing new holes by eye rather than touch. AJ's friend Ryan said the 18-holer was his favorite course so far - that made the day for me. OK, that and beating the two teenagers three times, once each on three different courses.
Comment by Rizbee on May 4, 2008 at 11:32pm
Gotcha Mark. Tone and sarcasm are often difficult to pick up on the Internet - I'm willing to conclude we all missed some of it. Yes, you don't have to waste a lot of $4 gallons of gas to find a new course hidden in your local regular. Given the chance, however, I really enjoy hitting a new one that I haven't seen before. Maybe one day I'll happen upon your home course - I'd be happy to have you show me several different ways to play it. ;)
Comment by mark ellis on May 4, 2008 at 5:22pm
Most Honorable Gentleman,

I must have expressed myself poorly. I was not questioning the validity of your contrary opinions. How can someone's fun be wrong for them? Nor was I trying to be insulting. I tend to banter with my friends and I was instructed to treat everyone as a friend at this website. My really close friends I treat even worse but somehow we tolerate each other.

I don't always admit it but I do actively consider ideas I don't currently embrace and I really like Rizbees defense of his passion to play the next course. And I appreciate the effort behind all the insults. Feel free to heap on as neeeded.

This may be a wasted effort but let me re-phrase my position. I share your love for finding the next disc golf gem. Perhaps that gem is closer to you than the next unknown course.

In this game in our era, the fun and the friends are far greater than other rewards. The health advantages and the freedom from the real world come next and are worth more than the minor monetary rewards. And I will always be passionate and opinionated about this game for as long as I play it. I seldom apologize for it.
Comment by smokee on May 4, 2008 at 3:23pm
Great post, I look forward to participating in and reading the results of future surveys!

I wouldn't worry too much about Mark's comments, it seems most of the posts he makes come off as the ramblings of an elitist windbag, so I wouldn't take it personally. Some people just can't see or choose not to see that different people play for different reasons, and everyone gets enjoyment from the sport in different ways.

In my observations, it seems the more "serious" one gets about disc golf, the more they lose sight of the reason why recreational players play.
Comment by Carl Renda on May 4, 2008 at 1:21am
What happened to the peaceful, friendly Mark Ellis I saw on all the Discraft videos? Seriously though, I think most if not all courses, good or bad, present some kind of different challenge. Also, seldom have I been to a disc golf course I haven't been able to have fun at, no matter what the quality. So I guess it all comes down to what you play for, if you're just trying to play the courses that you will be playing for money at, I guess your strategy is probably effective. But being that I play for fun and the love of the game, I like Rizbee's approach because it seems like a lot more fun and worthwhile.
Comment by Rizbee on May 4, 2008 at 12:57am
Touche' Mark, to each his own. Of course, you realize that what you have presented is an ecological fallacy: just because your friend made the wrong decision at Worlds doesn't mean that all excursions to a new course are bad. There's a time and a place for all things, and he picked wrong in that instance.

But for me, it's fun to see a new park with a new course for the first time. Sometimes they suck, but then that makes the good ones even better. No use arguing this with you though. You already know what's right, eh?

BTW, gonna play two new courses tomorrow morning. I'm guessing they're kind of stinkers - half basket half object in dinky parks. But they've been there since 1980, and I'm a bit of a history nut. I won't bother asking if you want to come along. ;)
Comment by mark ellis on May 3, 2008 at 10:03pm
Boys, boys, boys,

The grass isn't always greener on the next marginal disc golf course. Truth be known, superb course designers are a rarity, not the general rule. I don't avoid the next challenge, its just that I'm not fascinated with what might be around the next corner, unless I hear from a reliable source that it is worthwile.

Not that the tried and true is all that alluring, either. New holes, new players and new games are all available without the hassle of driving/searching blindly around the bend. I play new holes and new games every week. Drop a mini somewhere instead of using the traditional tee pad and you have a new hole. With enough practice doing this you quickly learn how to make good holes and sometimes how lame the original hole is.

Let me give an example how flawed all of your endless searches are. Last year at the World Championships one of my friends one day was scheduled to play one round in the morning. He had the rest of the day off from competiton. He could have hung out with his buddies or interacted with any of the hundreds of golfers from around the world. If he wanted to play more, he could have practiced on the Worlds courses he was playing in the coming days.(BTW, all the Worlds courses were excellent). Instead he got in his car and drove an hour away to see a new course. Not because the new course was supposedly great. No, because it was a new course for him. So later I asked him how the new course was. He reported that it was a poorly designed 9 hole course with two baskets missing and no tee signs.

Years ago I gave up collecting Disney Porcelan Dolls. However, the Disney Inflatible Dolls are the real item, you just have to be careful with your teeth. Cruella De Ville may be evil but oh so fun.

I would rather play object golf in a park, inventing holes and games along the way than play the next sad excuse for a course. Gee, a righty hyzer tunnel shot! Brilliant! Let's play lots more of these! Oh joy!
Comment by MonTTy #794 on May 3, 2008 at 8:11pm
Experiencing new courses will always be my favorite part of this great sport. I keep track of them and my best score so that if I return to it I have a personal best to shoot for. I don't have a "mission" to play as many as possible but if my travels take me to new cities I will always seek out a nearby course to play. Some are good some are bad but they all give that new sense of challenge that is so exciting.

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