That question has permeated disc golf since I've been playing. Before my course was build in 1997 (I think), I used to drive to Austin 5 hours away to play twice a month. I play for fun, to be outdoors, and to hang out with friends.
I didn't even know what a PDGA was at the time. I have played less than 5 tournaments in the last 7 years, so my interest is not in competition rather than actually playing disc.
When I discovered the PDGA, I was very enthusiastic about joining just for the mini with my name on it and the disc; however, before I mailed in my check (already in a stamped envelop sitting on the counter waiting for someone to go to the post office), I noticed some of the flaming I was receiving for not being a member on the forums.
The most unfair thing that was said was that I was not a supportive player of disc golf, which quickly changed to statements that I was not a real player.
All of the sudden, the PDGA was not that important to me. I am 33, a pure recreational player. To me being 10 under is no less fun than being 10 over as long as I can be outside with people I like throwing a frisbee. I rarely play tournaments, and when I do, don't really worry about where I place.
One of the statements from my local course that has stayed with me was during a discussion about competetive players versus recreational players. I was informed that if I'm not competing, I'm not really playing. The comment that I thought was classic: "Does Tiger Woods just hit a few balls around?"
To which I replied, no but he doesn't have to work another job to do so.