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A Few Words About Branding, And The Ridiculousness Of Being Star-Struck.

I don't want to violate anyone's privacy, so...no names. I recently agreed to cover a local tourney for a disc golf site, and a clinic being put on by a local club featuring a well-known pro. The clinic was okay, but I thought a lecture on biometrics and proper throwing form was lost on this crowd. Most in attendance were there to meet the pro, and maybe glean a trick or two to add to their game. Believe me, it was a lecture. The pro in question showed up late, and then behaved like a rock star who expected his every whim be indulged. Afterward, I approached him and said I wasn't writing another "10 questions for ______" type of article, that i wanted to write something more in depth about the sport. He agreed to a interview on a certain day. He left a day early with no courtesy call to let me know. No big deal, I suppose, unless you part of a sport that is clamoring for more media attention. I'm sure the life of a touring pro leaves precious little time for social media, but then it seems wise (to me, at least) to be accessible to those who have proven their ability to influence it.

The next day, he of course won the local tournament and pocketed roughly 800 dollars. To my knowledge, not a peep from him acknowledging the countless hours of hard work put in by volunteers to make the course ready after a spate of recent storms. Entire trees had to be cut up and moved. Tee boxes needed to be mulched. Stolen baskets had to be replaced. All of this in addition to the work by local vendors (done for free). The pro in question had a chance to shake some hands, engage with his fans, and establish himself as a true professional. Winning 800 bucks off the hard working locals and then blowing town puts you in the "pool shark" category.

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That's funny, when someone calls me an a**hole, I say "But I'm Dave Feldberg" also.
xians421 Thank you , finally someone with the balls to name drop. It's not like he is going to be on here and hunt you down. The past 2 years at the Vibram open "The Diva" has snuck on a pay to play course (Pyramids) under the "But I'm David Feldberg" assumption and has been graciously asked to leave

Eric, It's my fault for not being more clear about what I meant about being star-struck.  Though I grew up in Los Angeles and met my share of stars, (one of my favorite moments was getting a conversation with Muhammed Ali) I do still experience a bit of a thrill meeting celebrities.  But I noticed that people often tend to forgive rudeness or out-right dickishness (spell checker HATED that word) merely because the person in question has some particular talent.  In this case, the TD's made a lot of excuses for him, and I find that ridiculous.

 

Anyway, I think it's cool that you love this sport's champions.  And yes, we are all human, and I believe I've been told on numerous occasions that I am not perfect.  The horror. ;)

Looking to set the record straight.  I understand that you may not have gotten the interview you were expecting you would get.  Also understand how that could be disappointing.  However, there are many things in your post that are completely wrong or don't paint the full picture. 

Fortunately I had the pleasure of being at this tournament, and from everyone I spoke with they had an amazing time.  I sure know I did.  Here is my witness to the event.

 

1. The clinic very well may have started late, but it was not due to waiting on the pro in questions -

2. He hung around after the doubles round to give many of the locals tips on putting.

3. He was available during the course of the tournament to give two local news papers an interview.  They were there on Sunday, took photographs, and they were posted in both of the newspapers this week.

4. In the NP article The Pro discussed all the work we had all put into getting these courses ready after the storms we have seen.

5. At the awards, he thanks everyone for the work put into the course.

6. He helped people after the tournament before an after awards.

6. He came to the local disc golf shop after the tournament and was available for a couple hours after the tournament.  Signed discs, gave pointers, and made new relationships.

 

My problem with this article is that you paint a picture for people about a scene you didn't witness.  Not in anyway helping the sport of Disc Golf.  Yes The pro may have had to leave earlier than expected, due to unexpected circumstances.  Yes you may not have received a call.  But, you were not at the tournament making yourself available, or trying to get his time.  After the players meeting early Saturday morning, I didn't see you again.   From the list above you can see that there was plenty of opportunity through out the weekend.  So the "appointment" did not work out, but instead of blasting him on Disc Golf Scene... you could have taken the offer to get him on the phone for an interview since he was unable to connect with you due to a change in schedule.

 

Sad that this article did nothing to further the sport of disc golf or paint an accurate picture of the pro in question.

The missed interview opportunity wasn't an issue, but, yes, the missing phone call was.  Even so, I took great pains to explain that I needed time since I wanted to do something more in depth.  There are other points I could list here, but I have no interest in being petty about it.  I'm am glad that your experience was a positive one, you and the others put in some real work to make it happen.  You are entitled to speak up, and I'm glad you did.

 

I'm not sure why you feel my post didn't "further" the sport, but in the absence of pay, why else do I do it?  I'm all about this sport, but I am intent on making sure it isn't turned into a welfare program for touring pros.  Lastly, i was instructed not to bother the pro in question over the weekend because he had to focus on his play in this tourney, so I respected his wishes.  There is usually two sides (or more) to every story, and I am more than willing to admit that I may be off on my perception of the event.  Anyway, i was proud of the work y'all put in.

.."dickishness..like it.I now know how to explain my sarcasm or being a detective.

Jamie,you have just too much class/wit to be a diva.Pro perhaps,but never ....ishness.

I don't care if he does hunt me down. In fact I would welcome it. I've been playing and promoting this sport for 40 years.

Thank you for posting this!!!!!! I was going to write up something very similar. This isn't just restricted to this one pro you are talking about, this is a growing trend within our community & sport all over the country. This is NOT the PGA or IGF, and you are NOT playing for the Masters. So stop being a arrogant asshole. I see too many people now-a-days that see themselves as god's gift to the sport, and they are only pulling $500-800 in prize money? Give me a f-u-c-k-i-n-g break. I guess that kind of behavior would be more tolerable if you just won $8.2 million after four days of a tourney. But even PGA golfers take the time to do clincs properly, talk to the press and most of all the FANS. You see Tiger & Phil signing autographs, doing the interviews, and at the very least being humble. Granted Tiger is kind of a dick, but that guy is pulling in billions & is consider on of the worlds greatest athletes, he doesn’t have time to be polite. With that being said, why would ANY pro disc golfer take on that kind of mind set because is totally uncalled for. Has our grass roots sport really gotten to the point that we can stick our noses up in the air because they just won $800 by playing a game forged in the 60's & 70's by some hippies? What happened to ethics and class. I can't even get most players to say "clear" when they are done putting.



This is such a bummer to see. I would love to see Disc Golf with all sorts of media attention and corporate sponsors. I don't want DG to turn into the NFL or MLB by any means, but it would be nice to see more attention and coverage. How cool would it be to see that highlight on ESPN or Fox Sports. I know we have our sponsors like the all the MFR's (Disc Craft, Innova, Millennium, etc) but where's Gatorade, Coke, Addidas, and Nike? If the pro, amateurs and novices are not going to give back, maintain a sense of class, and show respect for the game, then I don’t see attitudes like the player you are describing changing any time soon. Hopefully people will take to this discussion and think about showing the game and it's participants a little more respect. First and foremost....Lead by example. Thanks again mate for taking the time to post this and opening up the floor for this debate. Cheers

There's guys like Feldberg, and then there's guys like Barry Schultz. Barry not only volunteered at the AM GCC but signed autographs and played rounds with anybody that asked all week leading up to the pro weekend. We need more Barrys.

I honestly don't see how you are 'about this sport' when the only tournament you've ever played in was a non-sanctioned Ice Bowl at which you dropped out of after the first round not realizing there were 2 rounds...

 

Amanda Duncan said it best, "My problem with this article is that you paint a picture for people about a scene you didn't witness."

I was not there and so can't speak about what did or did not happen, But about 6-8 weeks ago Dave came to the Big Island Open Here on the Big Island Hawaii. He was very nice I played a few holes with him, he signed a disc for me, he gave a little speech after the last round thanking every one for a great tourney and all the hard work that went into putting it together... So over all I though he was very well behaved here in Hawaii.

 

If he was anything else then that at your tourney I hope it was just a bad day. This is a great sport and I have meet many very nice players since I have started, it would be nice to keep that going ... for the Pro's and for the AM's. So I guess the best we can do is work together.... One thing I know for sure  is that the best place to start is with ourself! 

 

ps...  seems like this site is working good again... is that just me or are the problems gone?

Tournament play determines one's commitment to this sport?  If thats true, I had better let my friends know that they are complete poseurs...

Anyway, I'm sorry you are taking this personally.  But it kind of proves my point.

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