It's spin city. On courses throughout the country--and, for that matter, throughout the world--disc golfers are turning up interest in a sport heretofore largely undetected on the national radar screen. Somewhat reminiscent of traditional golf, disc golf is built around the notion of getting a frisbee disc to land in a metal basket perched atop a pole on what's generally an 18-hole course.
"It's not as easy as it looks," contends Rick Rothstein, publisher of Disc Golf World News magazine. "It simulates golf in terms of the concentration [needed]."
According to a recent survey by the Professional Disc Golf Association, the number of fully equipped disc golf courses worldwide has jumped from 250 eight years ago to more than 750 now, the majority of which are located in the United States. Some 50,000 people--93 percent of whom are male--are believed to play disc golf on a regular basis.
"It's cool to play disc golf," raves Rothstein, who points to the sport's exposure on ultra-cool MTV. "A lot of the growth in the country is coming from [young people]."
Fun to watch, fun to play, disc golf could ultimately make flying-saucer watchers of us all. Spin city, indeed.
Seeking the fountain of youth.
Guess all that fuss over Viagra wasn't a fluke. Aging baby boomers are creating quite a stir over all sorts of products and services designed to ease the transition into the golden years.
OK, there's nothing novel about the desire to stay forever young. Yet with 60 percent of Americans claiming to have already taken youth-enhancing steps--or to at least consider doing so--there's definitely a silver lining for companies to capitalize on.
And capitalizing they are. Indeed, one of the most interesting developments to date has been the outbreak of products (vitamins, herbal remedies and such) geared toward the growing market of menopausal women. Not only that, these same educated female baby boomers are also leading the charge for hair color aids, wrinkle creams and so on. Significantly, some 80 percent of dermatologists in a recent nationwide poll indicated an increase in over-30 female patients interested in counteracting their aging facial appearances. Fountain of youth, here they come!
Businesses cater to the hound's tooth.
Dog food is dog food is dog food, right? Hardly. As a growing number of canine owners are realizing, there's quite a bit more to certain mutt munchies than just your typical, garden-variety pet fare. And, yes, quicker than you can ask "How much is that doggy biscotti in the window?" die-hard dog lovers are snapping up gourmet delectables for the hounds in their lives.
Not that it's an impulse buy. "This is a group of people for whom their dog is not a dog--it's a family member," says Joe Nemie, 38, describing the loyal clientele for his and 30-year-old wife Christi's Dogs For America Gourmet Canine Treat of the Month Club in Olde Town Portsmouth, Virginia. "These are for dogs that are really pampered."
Such pampered dogs eat up the delicacies dished out by the Nemies as well as scores of dog bakeries nationwide. And, with Dogs For America's membership ranks projected to swell to between 15,000 and 20,000 by next year, it's clear there's a demand for more treats du jour. Observes Nemie, "We've touched a nerve."
Something Blue: As the new year approaches, expect Nickelodeon's hugely popular "Blue's Clues" TV show to continue reaping licensing green with apparel, CD-ROMs and the like. Blue is one hot dog...
Hot Wheels: Could a souped-up tricycle from across the border become the next big thing among daredevil teens here in the United States? Vancouver, British Columbia-based Tryke Industries Ltd. looks to gain momentum with its all-terrain, trick-enabling Tryke...
Dogs For America Gourmet Canine Treat of theMonth Club, 430 South St., Portsmouth, VA 23704, http://www.dogs4am.com
Tryke Industries Ltd., (888) TRYKES-3, http://www.trykes.com