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The Evolution of Disc Golf, a Senior Disc Golf Commentary

Steady Ed

Disc Golf is truly a sport for all ages. Most people have to give up popular sports like football, basketball, and soccer by the time they are 30 or 40 due to the toll it takes on our bodies. With disc golf, even though our drives may not fly as far, we can continue to play and enjoy the game long into our senior years. As the PDGA continues to grow and expand, so do the number of senior players. Many have been the players who have built the courses, built the following, and built the clubs. The senior age group has reached a critical mass of older players and is in a position to take the next logical step in the evolution of disc golf, senior disc golf. 

In the early days of disc golf, it was difficult for older players to find events that offered divisions for Masters 40 players other than the major events. That has changed and now more tournaments are offering Masters 40, Masters 50, and older divisions. The PDGA has promoted this by directing tournament directors to offer older divisions if there are more than three players that request a division. 

Unfortunately, not all areas have reached a sufficient senior player population to form some of the older Masters divisions. In those areas 60 and 70 year old players still have to compete against the younger Masters 40 and 50 kids.

That is changing. On the competitive level, there are a growing number of age protected, Masters 40 and older tournaments. It started with the Tim Selinske Masters Championship. The PDGA Masters Worlds Championships have been split from the PDGA Professional and Amateur World Championships. And in 2023, there is now a Global Masters Championship Series where Master 40+ players globally can compete with their peers in a virtual competition every time they play in a PDGA eventanywhere in the world. The PDGA Senior Committee is promoting more Masters 40+ tournaments. These events typically attract not just the Masters 40 players, but more older division players. This will give Masters and older senior players more opportunities to compete in larger fields of players their own age.


The future of disc golf for seniors is bright. Not only will there be more age protected tournaments, but also the Play-Your-Age initiative that is planned to be rolled out in 2023. There are some areas where older players have formed their own clubs. Local clubs are being encouraged to create a Senior Director position to promote and run master/senior events, leagues and scrambles for their senior group. The development of senior disc golf ambassador programs is being promoted to help older players just picking up the game find other seniors to learn from and play with. 

There are still issues that senior disc golfers are dealing with such as limits on division sizes for many tournaments. The PDGA has created divisions for Masters 50 and older divisions in 5 year increments instead of 10 years. While this makes sense from the aging skill set perspective, this will temporarily create a new numbers issues for those divisions. And senior women are especially impacted by the lack of competitive opportunities available for them. 

Unfortunately, there will still a numbers issue for many divisions in many regions. For now older players will need to speak-up for themselves. Consider the following courses of action:

  • Find other players in your division and coordinate the tournaments you are playing so you can field your division.
  • If there are events where historically there a lot of Master 40 and older players that are being closed out due to division size limit, petition the tournament director to offer a parallel event or course for the Master 40 and olderdivisions. If that would not fill, they could include Women and Junior divisionsto be more viable. That makes more room for all players. It could be run on different days if staffing and courses are an issue.
  • Until the numbers of senior players grows in some areas, many seniors divisions may still be limited to 10 year increments. 

Eventually when a bigger part of the Baby Boomers Bubble evolution hits 60 and older, those situations should improve.

Disc golf has evolved from the early years when it was one size fits all and you could go to a tournament and sign-up the day of the event. Now we need to plan ahead and make it more inclusive for the older senior divisions. Seniors are the ones who have grown disc golf to where it is now, we just need to take one more step to develop senior disc golf so we can continue playing into the sunset.