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HouckDesign Blog

How Many Play Disc Golf in the USA?

Updated: Mar 3

by Dee Leekha-Houck

UPDATE at the bottom

How popular is disc golf? It’s more popular than most might know or understand.

Disc golf is listed in the Facebook profiles of approximately 3.1 million US users. If only 60%* of our country uses Facebook, that suggests that over 5 million people would have “disc golf” on their profile if everyone were on Facebook. Many others may be playing it and are not active any longer on Facebook. Add to that those people who may have played it a few times but don’t list it on their profiles. These considerations would increase the number of players in the USA. Bottom line: I believe, 1.5%-2% of the total population plays disc golf as an estimate.

This percentage doesn’t include children under 18. This percentage probably doesn’t include those who have played once or twice. If we take into account those who have played once or twice, and if we included children, the percentage of the population that has played or plays could be more than double at 3% to 5%. Why would we want to consider these two factors? To show potential clients that if someone is on vacation, and they have already played once or twice, they will most likely want to play disc golf again when on vacation at their resort.

When we consider data which shows how many are introduced to the sport by others who play each year, we realize that this percentage could be even higher than the 5% mentioned above. While there is no way to know exactly, I can say, we have run into multiple disc golfers at airports or on airplanes on every flight. That didn't happen 5 years ago. It's an impressive fact that makes us think that the sport is much more popular and more widely played than we can account for.

Every day, new people are trying the game and enjoying it. Disc golf continues to be one of most requested activities like pickleball. The sport is suitable for all ages and skill levels and that is one of many reasons for this growth. It can also be played alone or with others. It is easier to learn than many other sports.

Disc golf can be hosted on any type of land or land size as small as 1-2 acres or as large as 70+ acres. From small putting courses to micro courses for skill development to tournament courses and world class courses, new course designs host concepts that are smarter and more sustainable. Experienced designers understand designing courses takes into consideration many factors, and it's not easy to create a great course which is fun and tests players skill accurately.

Disc golf courses are designed using larger buffers and shorter fairways now if there are other activities adjacent to the course layout. Newer recreational disc golf course designs in mixed use parks consider the needs of other park users, and do not encroach on other activities. Park users are able to enjoy all activities, which coexist harmoniously without interference from each other.

Disc golf course designs have changed a lot in the past 20-30 years, and designs keep evolving to accommodate the sports growth, player skills and disc technology.

“Design courses today for tomorrow’s needs.” -- Dee Leekha-Houck

UPDATE: 3-2-24.  Facebook now shows only 2.1 million have "disc golf" as an interest. This significantly changes the percentage of population that plays since the current population is 330,000,000. This would mean the percentage of people who play has dropped significantly to less than 1%. We believe this dramatic shift is due to some change in the Facebook software and how it calculates this data or many people have stopped using Facebook. The fact about disc golf is that it's growing double digit each year as far as how many new people are trying the sport. In the past, I was able to search "frolf", "frisbee golf" and am no longer able to use those words. This could have also impacted the results. I believe that 3-5% of the population would have tried disc golf at least once and the real number at the very least remains at close to 1.5-2.0% who play the sport.  

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