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Okay, maybe you could say that a tiny handful of Pro disc golfers get most of their dollars each year from disc golf, although you'd be hard put to call some of them full-time employed or the equivalent.

Then there is the PDGA staff, 5-6 people.

Then the folks who work for Innova, Discraft, DGA, maybe a handful of other such companies.

Then a few people with successful bricks and mortar or online stores: Rothstein at Disc Golf World, Brenner at Lynx, etc.

After that . . . who? The total could be less than 100. Thoughts? Anyone have hard numbers to suggest for some of the above?

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I know at least five people that do around here (Maine). My boss, his son, his daughter, myself and one other work full time for his 3 disc golf course locations and hold no other jobs or means of income. We also employ a number of part-time employees that hold other jobs either full-time or during the winter months. Dragon Disc Golf

While there are plenty more pay-to-play disc golf facilities in Maine like ours, I don't know how many of them are the primary or only source of income for their owners/employees. Maybe one or two...the rest are either a side business or a part of a larger business. For example, one owner is a plumber by trade, another is a college professor, another has a construction business, etc. They have the courses as a means of developing family land or simply because they love to play the game. Another course is part of a "Fun Park" facility (go-karts, mini-golf, arcade), one is attached to a long standing hamburger joint and driving range, another is an extension of a catering/event hosting business, and yet another is a part of a paint-ball facility (no worries, they use separate areas of the land). They obviously make some money from the courses, but not enough to call it their main source of income.

I think it's the wave of the future...the more free-standing, self-sustaining disc golf businesses come to exist, the more legit the sport becomes and the more it will be able to grow. It needs businesses like this to generate the revenue to sustain pro tours and new course installations and publicity/advertising. It can't keep coming out of volunteer pockets forever.
On a related note, I just did some numbers work about the "purse" at PDGA sanctioned events. Last year's Pro purse was nearly $1.8M. The Am purse is not calculated, but even with lower fees, there are so many more ams that it has to be way over $2M, let's say that the two purses together in 2008 will be $5M.

Now, from the times I have looked, at least around Michigan, there are 4-5 non-sanctioned events for every sanctioned event. OTOH, on average the purses are smaller at non-sanctioned events. So let's say the non-sanctioned events purse total is $15M That would yield a total Pro/Am purse in disc golf events in 2008 of around $20M. Thoughts?
how about a side dollar amount at tourneys to approach espn or fox sports with? if instead of a non pdga member fee or an ace pool fee. Im sure if it was an option to pay 5 dollars extra to throw down for tv time people would be willing to if they knew it was a probability and had something worked out with a tv station. then more people could make a living from disc golf and in turn would bring more money to the great sport we all love. 2 years of chump change would add up if the tourneys are pulling in millions upon millions of dollars.
yeah, I would say 42
42, thanks for all the fish!

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