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Unsilencing Disc Golf: A Closer Look at Salt Lake County's Survey Misinterpretation


Following our previous exploration, "Overlooked Voices: The Struggle for Disc Golf Recognition in Salt Lake County," we delve deeper into the heart of the numbers within the Crestwood Park survey results by Salt Lake County. This examination is spurred by a comprehensive analysis from Emily Yale, Ph.D., a Senior Data Scientist at Microsoft, who provided an insightful interpretation of the data. She says, "There is nothing about this analysis that warrants having a fancy degree – it just requires actually looking at all of the responses."

Disc golf's interest among residents is not only significant but also undeniably substantial.

Revealing the Truth: Beyond the Numbers

Remember the "39 strong disc golf advocates" deemed outliers, supposedly skewing the survey results? Dr. Yale's analysis paints a different picture. A closer look reveals 70 respondents expressing positive support for disc golf in free-text fields (the free form fields where you can write anything) – nearly 8% of all respondents, doubling the initial count of "strong disc golf advocates".

Diving deeper into the "disc golf usage" question reveals an even more striking insight, especially after setting aside the input from the 70 "strong disc golf advocates" who highlighted disc golf in free-text fields. Intriguingly, 46% of the rest of the respondents still showed a keen interest in using the amenity at least 1-2 times a year, with 81 individuals eager to play daily. This engagement is comparable to that for sport courts, which includes both pickleball and tennis, where 29% of respondents indicated similar usage intentions.

Notably, this analysis makes it clear to see that there's still interest in disc golf among the broader community, even when these "strong disc golf advocates" are excluded from the calculation. This fact emphasizes that disc golf's appeal extends well beyond a passionate minority, showcasing a widespread demand that challenges its categorization as an outlier.

This paints a clear picture: disc golf enthusiasm isn't fringe; it is widespread and diverse.

A Comparative Perspective: Disc Golf vs. Sport Courts

Yale's analysis also brings to light the comparative interest in disc golf and sport courts (including pickleball and tennis). The data reveals that 26% of respondents showed interest in using disc golf facilities daily or 1-2 times per week, closely mirroring the 29% interest level for sport courts. This similarity in interest levels calls into question the rationale behind favoring one recreational activity over another, especially when considering the inclusivity and accessibility of disc golf, and the price tag for installation.

Conclusion: A Call for Fair Representation

The selective interpretation of survey data by Salt Lake County officials not only undermines the genuine enthusiasm for disc golf but also exposes a concerning pattern of bias in public planning.

As we approach the pivotal final open house to discuss the master park plan, it's imperative to acknowledge the impact of the survey interpretation document that readers are encouraged to examine below. This document, which formed the basis of discussions with community leaders and key stakeholders, misleadingly suggests that "disc golf advocates" disproportionately influenced the survey results. By framing the narrative this way from the beginning of the presentation, it unfairly tainted the perception of disc golf, affecting subsequent reactions and decisions. Such a biased presentation not only disfavors the disc golf community but also breaches the principles of fairness and ethical conduct in public engagement.

Moving forward, Salt Lake County has the responsibility to correct these biases and ensure a transparent, equitable approach to incorporating the voices of all recreational enthusiasts, especially the disc golf community, into its recreational planning. This final open house presents an invaluable chance to address these issues head-on, advocating for a decision-making process that values integrity, inclusiveness, and the genuine interests of the community at large.


Your participation is more critical now than ever. Salt Lake County cited the lack of physical representation from the disc golf community at in person meetings as one reason for our exclusion from concept plans. This final open house is not just an opportunity, but a pivotal moment for us to visibly demonstrate our support for disc golf.

Arm yourself with the insights from this analysis, show up, and let our collective presence underscore the depth of our passion and the validity of our request. By standing together at this upcoming open house, we can correct misconceptions and ensure that the interests of the disc golf community—and indeed all communities—are fairly represented in our public spaces. Let's unite to make a compelling case for the inclusion of disc golf in Salt Lake County's master planning.

Join us Thursday night, from 6-8PM at the County Library in West Jordan:

8030 South 1825 West, West Jordan Utah 84088.

ALSO, there is one final survey. TAKE THE SURVEY! NOW!

When taking this survey, please do your best to provide the best three answers to what you think is really important to not just yourself, but what you think makes a good park. Please don't choose "Disc Golf" for all three choices, as that could potentially mark you as too enthusiastic. We wouldn't want that.

For more details on the survey results and to join the conversation, visit Salt Lake County's Planning Page.

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I’ll admit I don’t have a pulse on the salt lake dg course usage, but I imagine it’s similar to Utah county.

If you look at Provo/orem some of the busier courses The State hospital and Scera, are filled with people who don’t really play in leagues or tournaments. The state hospital course is always busy with people you don’t recognize. It’s a magnet for people who’ve heard about disc golf and want to give it a try. And there are so many people who do.

When I play rock canyon, a course that has weekly leagues, I’m usually alone and may see one or two other groups on the course. My rounds at the state hospital and Scera course…

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