Norway no longer has the world's most popular course – here's why that's important
Ekeberg Frisbeegolfbane in Oslo regularly ranks in the top 10 for busiest courses in the world, and in 2020 and 2021 was the most popular place to score a round.
In disc golf, though, winning the popularity contest isn't always ideal. More traffic on the course means longer wait times, and while it's easily accessible to Oslo's 634,000 residents, Ekeberg needed help.
Oslo disc golfers have answered.
- 10 new courses have been installed within 25 miles of the capital city since 2021.
- That doesn't include a handful of shorter school courses.
The result? Ekeberg was knocked off the top of the most-played podium in 2022, coming in at number three in the world (behind Valbyparken Disc Golf in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Morley Field in San Diego, California). That's one contest Norwegians are, more than likely, quite happy to lose.
This is just a localized example of how organizers in Norway have worked to satisfy the explosive demand for disc golf. More players has meant they need more courses, and the Northern European country has been a shining example of how to grow the sport, quietly outpacing Sweden and Finland.
Vasset Discgolfpark in Langevåg, Norway. Added to UDisc Courses by @kroksleiven
Leiv Aspén, a prominent Norwegian organizer and event director who is helping run this year's national championship (among several other tournaments), attributed the growth to increased interest in local disc golf clubs. He estimated there are upwards of 120 in the country, with overall membership jumping more than 200% since 2019.
Clubs have also started to focus on youth outreach, which has helped further professionalize
disc golf's image and demonstrate it is accessible to more people.
Communication between clubs and municipalities has been enhanced, as has organized training and
All of that has made it easier to explain and sell the sport.