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I just wanted to start a discussion about the future of this game. Or lack there of as some would like to look at it.

More and more I see the best players in the world playing less tournaments each year. Opting out instead for the security of a $10/hour job. I believe this to be a huge waste of talent. It is up to each of us to look in the mirrors and say "What have I done for Discgolf lately?" What can we do to get over that "Hump" ? I have been hearing for almost 10 years now how close we are to major sponsors etc etc. I just don't see the major steps being taken that are needed to become truly a legitimate sport.

I'm as "guilty" as anyone I've been relying on someone else to shoulder the load. Well no more, if we want to see something tangible we need to go out and work full time for the sport. It doesn't pay that well to start but the retirement package could be sweet.

I could go on and rant but give me some of your feedback. Am I totally crazy and should just continue to play the game for what it is, fun? Or is there something more out there for those of us that truly LIVE this game. Thanks for your time.

Andrew Rich
Team Innova Member
Roots Roc Reggae
www.purediscgolf.com

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Showing the Younger players the correct way to play needs to happen.
The problem will always be that some rec players don't care to know the proper way to play, they are just out there to "do what they do". Same as on any public ball golf course. Then you have pay to play disc golf courses that are nicer, and people like to follow the rules more and play with some etiquette, just like there are ball golf country clubs that are more expensive and tend to be taken more seriously. It all depends what level you "want" to play at. However all levels still need to be available (ie. free public courses, pay to play, private)
Donny Olow said:
Showing the Younger players the correct way to play needs to happen.
Speaking of Juniors...

It would be nice kid disc golfers could earn "cash" that's put into a scholarship fund the way Jr. bowlers do. I don't know the specifics, but even our local kid league championship awards money in that fashion.

Joe
As someone who lives in Maine, We only have pay to play courses. If you havent been to a pay to play course you are truely missing something. With groomed courses, clubhouses that stock discs bags minis dvd's and so much more, actual clean restrooms that you can use.

I started this sport on pay to play courses. I consider greens fees my gym memberships. Most players dont fully understand the beauty of this sport hence why you have the people littering breaking beer bottles and vandalizing the courses.

Now i do have a question,


How can you say you are seeing the best players in the world stop playing events to pick up a security job.
Avery Jenkins 7495 26 OR USA 19783 $ 31710 1028
David Feldberg 12626 24 OR USA 18128 $ 36342 1039
Eric McCabe 11674 32 KS USA 17573 $ 28519 1029
Barry Schultz 6840 23 WI USA 15298 $ 21468 1031
Jay Yeti Reading 15864 29 IA USA 14615 $ 11469 1011
Nathan Doss 11794 13 CA USA 14440 $ 26545 1036
Geoff Bennett 24962 50 MI USA 14105 $ 16567 1015
Cale Leiviska 24341 22 MN USA 12985 $ 13695 1022
Paul McBeth 27523 28 CA USA 12633 $ 11603 1018
Steve Brinster 10628 19 NJ USA 12270 $ 9056 1020


The top 50 is filled with people with more then 10 events under their belts. Granted yes a few of them have under 10 but if you look at the pdga statistics the majority have 10 or more major events. It may not be the sports fault at all, It may just be the individual. No one is certain what can be going on with everyones life at any givin time.

This is where i give most touring pro's major credit, They are some of the most humble people i have ever encountered. I have done a few events and the response i have recieved from the top players of the game makes this sport what it actually is. I dont know of one major name that is a total a-hole to everyone. Name one other sport where its like that.

What we should be more worried about is the fact that everyone wants a piece of the small pie that is out there. The consumer is being pulled 12 ways. Innova this, discraft that. Perfect example why i signed up with Gateway. I can have anyone's discs in my bag. Dave knows that a player does have an advantage if in fact he can throw the best from all company's. Each brand has their go to discs. Your sponsered by innova, can you honestly say that there isnt any discraft disc out there you wouldnt throw?


Im sorry if this appears to be a personnel attack it wasnt meant to be.

But im just shocked at what some people say about the sport they "love". Disc golf has and always will have a label on it. Its not gonna change because at the end of the day its still gonna be a recreational sport. Its like the people who try to get it into the olympics they just make me laugh.
Don't worry I've never been worried about attacks on my personnel..... You are right about a few points. When you look at the numbers it seems like these guys are making a pretty good living. Wrong, what about entry fees, travel expenses, hotels, food, and the list goes on. If you've ever flown across the country for a tournament you know how hard it is.

I'm not trying to get a piece of a small pie. I'm trying to make the pie bigger. If we're not actively pursuing growth in the sport we head backwards. Theres no 3rd direction.

I consider Dave and Avery to be very good friends of mine. I stay with Climo for a week while I'm in Florida. Barry Schultz and I had a long discussion on his intent to get a job next year and tour less. I believe I know a little bit more than the average golfer. All the names you have listed here I consider friends. Every single one of them wants to see the sport grow to new heights.

I don't know of one single player to actually make a real living at playing this sport. And when I say a living I mean made enough money to buy a home and retire in a suitable fashion. I know that sounds like asking a lot. I don't see it that way. Not even Climo owns his own house yet (by choice).

I've been playing this game for my whole adult life. I'm 23 years old and I've been playing for 12 years. I don't really know what I want to do with my life. I know I love to play this game and it would be a dream to have a career surrounding discgolf. I am just wondering if there is the same aspirations out there? Am I a lone warrior trying in vain to make this a real sport? I believe I am not.

You are always going to run in to the skeptics out there. That's what fosters great discussion.

Andrew Rich
Roots Roc Reggae
www.purediscgolf.com

And to answer your question there is not one single Discraft disc that I would throw. Innova has by far the superior line up. I'm sorry if people can't find the particular plastic or run they want to throw. I was blessed to play Advanced during the CE boom.
I think the 800-pound gorilla in the corner of the room that nobody likes to think/talk about is the fact that a majority of organized disc golf is run by people who don't REALLY know how to run an organization. They're just folks with big hearts who love disc golf...and think that because they love disc golf, other people will see/understand how much they love disc golf and be willing to take up the sport and/or get out their wallets.

The world doesn't work like that. Landfills are littered with companies and great ideas that could have made it, but the folks in charge didn't know how to make it happen. Why should disc golf be any different?

Loving disc golf is half the battle, but you need more than just people with a passion for the sport. You need people with business savvy. People who are rock-solid at marketing, sales and advertising. People who serve on corporate boards and have the connections needed to bring in the cash. Etc, etc.

Not so much a comment about the PDGA...as I don't know the leaders of that organization nearly as well as I do folks on a State and local level. You can't expect people flipping burgers, pounding back a few beers and smoking a few blunts to magically land major sponsors, media deals and what-not. We need the "suits" to buy-in, get involved and help as well...or we can forget about reaching even half of organized disc golf's potential.

My $0.02.
Well that $0.02 is worth just that. I happen to know just a few people that have more education then someone just flipping burgers and smoking joints and pounding beers that are supporting this sport and would love nothing more than this sport to take off. How about Terry Calhoun that started this great site, or Mark Ellis who is a criminal defense lawyer, or the guy who has a phd that built two courses where I live that runs all of our events and has started a intercollegiate series here in Michigan, or how about the owners of Innova or Discraft. The logic or image of someone that you are talking about is far from the truth in this sport.

As far as someone wanting to get a job/career that is on tour is perfectly understandable, $30,000 a year is nothing if you consider that $30,000 is not enouh to raise a family on comfortably or retire on when you are 55. Nate Doss is a student and a touring pro, but I don't think he is planning on retiring on disc golf, unless the pay goes up dramatically.

People at state and local levels and even CEO's are great, but they are not usually people with great business savy either. Anyone can be great when they have the tax payers money to throw around like a Boss. They can buy any skill they need and back it up with any pocket they fill with money. It just takes some want and will to make things happen, and at this point in the game, disc golf will still be great in the years to come. The numbers of people playing and courses being installed don't lie, as anyone in business could see. You are right it won't happen this year...But, you have to give it time just like any investment. Invest in your sport and stop being a marter, this sport will only grow.

Derek Tonn said:
I think the 800-pound gorilla in the corner of the room that nobody likes to think/talk about is the fact that a majority of organized disc golf is run by people who don't REALLY know how to run an organization. They're just folks with big hearts who love disc golf...and think that because they love disc golf, other people will see/understand how much they love disc golf and be willing to take up the sport and/or get out their wallets.

The world doesn't work like that. Landfills are littered with companies and great ideas that could have made it, but the folks in charge didn't know how to make it happen. Why should disc golf be any different?

Loving disc golf is half the battle, but you need more than just people with a passion for the sport. You need people with business savvy. People who are rock-solid at marketing, sales and advertising. People who serve on corporate boards and have the connections needed to bring in the cash. Etc, etc.

Not so much a comment about the PDGA...as I don't know the leaders of that organization nearly as well as I do folks on a State and local level. You can't expect people flipping burgers, pounding back a few beers and smoking a few blunts to magically land major sponsors, media deals and what-not. We need the "suits" to buy-in, get involved and help as well...or we can forget about reaching even half of organized disc golf's potential.

My $0.02.
Well if I could predict the future I would be banned at every casino on the planet and sail all of you to my private courses on yachts. :)

The sport does not get more publicity than it does because it does not deserve more publicity than it has. That is not an insult to the game but a reflection of a free market economy. If money was there to be made from promoting the sport then it would be done. The major sporting goods companies know we exist. They just are not interested yet.

BTW, it is not us or the PDGA who will convince a company to plunge into disc golf. That company will look at the numbers and make that decision for their own best interest. None of us will be sitting in the board room when that decision is made. They don't need us and probably won't want our advice. We don't own the courses. Why do they need our vote?

Andrew Rich, wearing his best suit, holding a slick, glossy proposal in the front lobby of Nike, Inc. is not going to make that day happen earlier. I say that having never met Andrew Rich. Again, no insult to Andrew. If I was standing next to him, we together couldn't get beyond the lobby either. If Andrew's grandkids hope to become real professionals maybe they have a chance.

The grass roots efforts of building the game will eventually reach a point where some company will decide to invest real money to see if the sport can make a profit. And that company will do so in the attempt to make a profit, not to make us happy or have our dreams fulfilled.

We have two advantages. We are growing and we are cool. Those trends should continue into the foreseeable future and will take us wherever it goes. In a hundred years will disc golf still be a niche sport? Probably but likely in a bigger niche.

Most players cannot support themselves living on tour. But the reward of living on tour is...living on tour. If I was young, single and talented I would live on tour for as long as the party lasted then return to the real world. When I was college age there was no tour (and I had no talent but that is another story) so I went to college. Going to college is sort of like going on tour without the travel. So I did that full time for 9 years. But then they handed me a law degree and booted me out into the cold, cruel world. I don't regret the 9 years. At all.

Dave Feldberg and Avery Jenkins did it right. They toured and got college degrees. That is real talent.
I'm with Mike on this, most of the people in my area that put on tournaments and run leagues are successful business owners. Not to mention the majority of the top pros in this sport either have collage degrees or are in the possess of getting a degree. I think that the works and volunteers for PDGA do a great job with what they are given, that being limited help, funds, and other resources. You can only do so much with what you are given, lets remember without there dedication there are no tournaments for us to play! We need to as a group find a way to get people excited about this sport so that it grows. Most every one who has commented on this topic have had great ideas, maybe what we need to do now is act on these ideas by creating a group that has the ability to carry through with some of them. If you look at the fact that the PDGA has thousands of currently registered members you can see the opportunity for endless resources, there has to be some one out there with deep pockets looking for a tax write off!

Mike said:
Well that $0.02 is worth just that. I happen to know just a few people that have more education then someone just flipping burgers and smoking joints and pounding beers that are supporting this sport and would love nothing more than this sport to take off. How about Terry Calhoun that started this great site, or Mark Ellis who is a criminal defense lawyer, or the guy who has a phd that built two courses where I live that runs all of our events and has started a intercollegiate series here in Michigan, or how about the owners of Innova or Discraft. The logic or image of someone that you are talking about is far from the truth in this sport.

As far as someone wanting to get a job/career that is on tour is perfectly understandable, $30,000 a year is nothing if you consider that $30,000 is not enouh to raise a family on comfortably or retire on when you are 55. Nate Doss is a student and a touring pro, but I don't think he is planning on retiring on disc golf, unless the pay goes up dramatically.

People at state and local levels and even CEO's are great, but they are not usually people with great business savy either. Anyone can be great when they have the tax payers money to throw around like a Boss. They can buy any skill they need and back it up with any pocket they fill with money. It just takes some want and will to make things happen, and at this point in the game, disc golf will still be great in the years to come. The numbers of people playing and courses being installed don't lie, as anyone in business could see. You are right it won't happen this year...But, you have to give it time just like any investment. Invest in your sport and stop being a marter, this sport will only grow.

Derek Tonn said:
I think the 800-pound gorilla in the corner of the room that nobody likes to think/talk about is the fact that a majority of organized disc golf is run by people who don't REALLY know how to run an organization. They're just folks with big hearts who love disc golf...and think that because they love disc golf, other people will see/understand how much they love disc golf and be willing to take up the sport and/or get out their wallets.

The world doesn't work like that. Landfills are littered with companies and great ideas that could have made it, but the folks in charge didn't know how to make it happen. Why should disc golf be any different?

Loving disc golf is half the battle, but you need more than just people with a passion for the sport. You need people with business savvy. People who are rock-solid at marketing, sales and advertising. People who serve on corporate boards and have the connections needed to bring in the cash. Etc, etc.

Not so much a comment about the PDGA...as I don't know the leaders of that organization nearly as well as I do folks on a State and local level. You can't expect people flipping burgers, pounding back a few beers and smoking a few blunts to magically land major sponsors, media deals and what-not. We need the "suits" to buy-in, get involved and help as well...or we can forget about reaching even half of organized disc golf's potential.

My $0.02.
Andrew states: [And to Bogeyman specifically. I am sorry you wouldn't be able to afford to pay to play. I beleive your name hits it right on the head. You see everything as half empty. Well I for one am not going to look at the negative side of everything. I believe it would be an astronomical mistake just to watch this sport slide into mediocrity]

Bogeyman says: LOL, well Andrew, my nickname is truely the level of my game at this time, being 50+ with chronic arthritis and only playing for "15 months", that and I thought it was kinda cool sounding in my old, craggy and demented way! ;) Still, I see were YOU want DG to go, PRO/Country Club Level, Pay for Play and that's ok, if that's what you like.

Me I'd prefer to see it stay totally AM/City-County Park Level, Non-Pay for Play, I'm sure that if the current PDGA switched to the AMDGA and we played for "trophies or ribbions", the "Sport/Activity" that is DG would still GROW as it's just FUN. It would just mean that the "MONEY" side of the GAME, wouldn't be important, it's only important to those that seek to "Make a partial or full living", as a Touring PRO, ie: NO PRO-NO DOUGH NEEDED. You don't HAVE to be "mainstream" for a activity to stay alive and slowly have growth. An example is Volksmarching, there's a hardcore bunch of folks that walk 6k and 10k volksmarches,(hikes), that NEVER receive a DIME in Money and there's no PRO's, it's all done for the LOVE of the Sport/Activity, it's awards are "Trophies and Ribbions" and YES, they do have a National association: The American Volksmarch Association: AVA and there are WORLD WIDE Volksmarching Associations too.

I won't aplogize for wanting Disc Golf to be that kinda of Sport/Activity, I see this as being much "truer" to the ideals of DG, than "being a Mainstream Professional Level Organization".. So my ideal is not, "Half Empty", I only need to get RID of the PRO side of DG and my "Cup will runith over", is that going to happen, NO WAY, there's already too MUCH MONEY ingrained into DG, even at club level, you gota PAY to be in a league, there's ton's of "SIDEBETTING" going on, all the EXTRA games seem to involve, Play for MONEY, etc. I can live with buy a club TAG as that supports the local club, who then supports the local or regional tournaments but my "IDEAL" version of DG is it's FREE to all and there's "As Little As Possible MONEY" involved.

Is your verison of DG better than mine, NO, it's just different.

Take care, have FUN, Throw Plastic!

B.J. (bogeyman) Ondo
Colorado Springs, CO.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, all we can do is wait...I somewhat agree on the "pay to play" phrase, but isn't that one of the things that make this such a great sport...Ok, so we make certain courses pay to play...keep them nice and picked up, but then, some courses should remain free to play on...It's going to take more time, patience and energy for this greatest sport ever to be in the limelight...I strongly believe things like ESPN, the Olympics, and major corporate sponsors are in the future....but one thing is for certain, this sport does need to be "cleaned" up because of its stereotype being a hippy sport and all...that's all I have to say about that
Pay to Play has it's advantages. I'm from the Old School of Play and think ALL Disc Golf should be Free !!!!

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