As pandemic drives outside recreation, Glide Disc Golf sees scores of newcomers to sport | Enterprise Information


The business competes with major Madison retailers who sell disc golf products like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods, he said.

After playing disc golf for the first time in 2000, Batka speaks passionately about the sport and its history, the types of discs and the national and international manufacturers he has spent more time calling and emailing to to keep the store in stock in the face of product shortages. Batka and the two part-time workers – both avid disc golfers – offer advice and guidance to new players.

“You can’t necessarily buy this guide from a website,” Batka said.

The store also appeals to die-hard folks who drive up from places like Milwaukee and Rockford, Illinois to browse, Batka said.

It is important for veterans of the sport to be able to feel and see the discs before buying, he said. They also often have specific preferences for the texture, weight, and color of slices.

On the spot, the sale of disc golf permits through the city’s parks department to play the three seasonal golf courses presented a mixed picture.

The niche sporting goods retailer is the only store in Madison exclusively dedicated to disc golf. It is located directly opposite a disc golf course in Hiestand Park.


The city sold 1,908 disc golf permits per year in 2020, a significant increase compared to around 1,450 in 2018 and 2019. At the same time, the cheaper daily permits were reduced year-on-year from 5,284 in 2019 to 3,279 in 2020.