MILWAUKEE — It's obvious that traditional golf is wildly popular with millions of fans and thousands of courses across the world. What you might not know is that golf's cousin, disc golf, is soaring in popularity, and the professionals are making some serious cash.
“It took about 20 to 25 years for us to see 50 courses in (Wisconsin). Then in the last 10 or 15 years, we’ve gone from 50 courses to over 300 courses," Terry Miller, a pro disc golfer, broadcaster, and the man known as the 'Disc Golf Guy,' said.
There has been an even more recent explosion due to the coronavirus pandemic. Disc golf is a way people can get together outside. A list of Wisconsin courses can be found here.
The sport has gone through a transformation. Terry 'The Disc Golf Guy' Miller said that the sport often gets a negative reputation for being only for "hippies and stoners." In fact, disc golf is given more legitimization every year. There are high level tournaments year round. The world championship features roughly 300 players from 10 to 20 countries. The winners of these tournaments take home $10,000 to $25,000. There are even broadcasting networks with play-by-play announcers and sideline reporters.
“We now have players that have multi-million dollar contracts within the sport," Miller said.
So while many golf fans eye's are turned toward the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits this weekend, disc golf continues to grow and assert itself as a major sport. In fact, pro golfer Bubba Watson is a disc golfer and member of the Pro Disc Golf Association.
Off topic but also on topic: it's not frolf. It's disc golf.
"If you’re frolfing or frisbee golfing, that's if you're taking a regular frisbee. That's if you taking a regular frisbee and maybe just trying to hit trees or hit obstacles, which is how the sport got started. But we're playing disc golf as opposed to some one playing frolf, but you still loving saying the world," Miller said.