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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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I thought that was Houck in your photo for a second... ;-D

Until a bunch more people, including our own players want to watch and even pay as spectators, there's little to sell potential sponsors even if you had a dozen fulltime people trying to raise sponsorship. Getting more courses in the ground so more players are familiar with and can enjoy the sport is how it worked in other sports to build a spectator base. Even then, look how many kids now play soccer due to grassroots efforts over a 10-15 year period. And yet, it's not exactly become that much of a spectator sport in the U.S. to support pro level salaries beyond celebrities like Beckham.
I fully agree, I've been saying for years that "Until we pay to play we won't get paid to play". And I mean this in every aspect of the game.

There should be far more greens fees,structured courses, spectator fees etc.

These courses should have clubs who actively raise money for one or two events each year.

If each state or region had a few of these kinds of courses we would have something then.

But is your average player willing to pay to play there local course? Maybe so if every year it brought in the best in the game to play for some real cash.

We could run clinics like we do now in the National Series to boost local support. What about fundraising events that boast "Round with a Touring Pro". Then you give away warmup rounds for the week leading up to your event. Your average local golfer playing a round with Feldberg or Climo would be a dream come true.

I'm going to wait for some more views before I go to deep into this. I've driven some long hauls this year. So you could say I've had abundant time to think about the future of this sport.

Peace

Andrew Rich
Roots Roc Reggae
www.purediscgolf.com

said:
I thought that was Houck in your photo for a second... ;-D

Until a bunch more people, including our own players want to watch and even pay as spectators, there's little to sell potential sponsors even if you had a dozen fulltime people trying to raise sponsorship. Getting more courses in the ground so more players are familiar with and can enjoy the sport is how it worked in other sports to build a spectator base. Even then, look how many kids now play soccer due to grassroots efforts over a 10-15 year period. And yet, it's not exactly become much of a spectators sport in the U.S.
I think the biggest issue is the marketing of the sport, and its athletes. The only reason that any of us know of Innova or Discraft or any other company is due to the fact that some one got us started in the sport and most of us have heard word of mouth. The sport needs to get more Video and T.V. ex poser. Just like stick golf the sport can be boring to watch for some one that has no idea as to what is going on, or no clue of how much talent it takes to throw a disc 400+. The sport is going in the right directions as of late with the marketing when it comes to the main stream with things like Dave Feldbergs appearance on Conan, and the Discraft team doing a throwing competition before a ball game (the team slips my mind). In my opinion what needs to happen next is the major disc golf companies like Innova, Discraft and Gateway need to band together and work on marketing the sport to big companies that set the trends of what is social cool and cater to companies like MTV, VH1, & CMT. Each of these companies have things like reality shows that disc golf would play well to, I cant think of a better reality show than to follow around any pro for a super tour. One of my favorite clips is Climo playing a drinking game called Multiball, think of all the stuff that goes on at every tournament, think of all the personalities, every one knows the rock star, the guy/girl that drinks to much, the guy/girl that hooks up at every stop on the tour, and the list goes on, and if that's not the type of attention that we want then we can spin in another way using the same idea. It all boils down to getting the sport in the public eye, its the greatest sport that you've never hear about!
♥ Billy and Pam ♥ said:
I agree that the sport of disc golf has to become more visible nationally but it has made great strides recently with the afformentioned things. I do beleive that in the future disc golf will be on mainstream tv like espn and such. It is simply so awesome to watch these discs fly especially with a pro at the helm. Afterall we all loved it the second we saw it, and heck I was 40 before I ever even saw a disc or basket and I grew up in one of the birthplaces of disc golf . Huntsville, Alabama. Actually I cut my teeth on Brahan Springs course circa 1976. I do several unusual tournys a year like even a 21 tourny trying to generate more excitement and exposure. We are in process of installing 3 new courses which will bring our total here to 7. I even put in my own course recently.One thing I am doing this summer is installing a mini-disc golf course here adjacent to our new big course in the state park. I think putting in more of these in city parks would be very beneficial to the future of disc golf. Due to young kids 5 to 10 or so can easily handle the minis and can get the rush of a birdie and ace whereas they have to wait until they are much older to be able to chunk a large disc to the polehole. Please look into the possibilities of installing a mini course near you . It is relatively cheap and requires only a small amount of property. It will be hard to build a good spectator base until we make the sport more visible on tv so people can get pumped after they watch a disc bend and turn and fly 500 feet through trees and such. It is truly a shame that the common sports fan in this country doesn't know who Ken Climo is! He is truly an American legend and should be a regular on the tonite show,etc.., Let's work, work ,work and the future looks bright. Maybe we as a national group of golfers can start a fundraising campaign to purchase a mainstream t.v. ad .Hmmmmm
Humm, I just don't see it, most of the "non-DG" folks I know, wouldn't consider throwing plastic at a basket a SPORT, sorry, heck I can't get any of my 50+ friends interested but they will sit infront of a boob-tube and be critical of Tiger Woods playing but never get out to a Ball Golf course but once in a great while. I think the problem is the PDGA and it's major sponsors need to "Step away" from having anything to do with the "AM" side of DG before anyone can take DG as a "Professional Level Sport". You don't see a bunch of AM ball golfer's out on the course the same time or even the same day as the PRO Ball Golfer's do you?? The PDGA is still just too afraid to step away from the "MONEY" that the AM side of the equation put's into PRO DG at the moment. JMHO.

Now IF, the PDGA "CAN'T" find a way to pay their PRO players, thru Major Sponsorships and seems totally unwilling to work their way up with more "large Mom & Pop Sponsorships", then MAYBE we need to look at "DISOLVING" the idea of a "PROFESSIONAL DISC GOLF ASSN". WHY NOT just make the recreational activity/sport of DG a "AM ONLY" SPORT??? Would it be so horrible if NO ONE made a living at Disc Golf, I for one don't think so, would it be a total failure if Disc Golf stayed a sport/activity that OPEN TO ALL?? I mean, you all are talking about "Green Fees, Groomed Courses", Clubhouses, Specific Clothes to wear, etc. You really want DG to turn into the SNOBBY, Must have Money to play, clickish sport that is BALL GOLF, WHY?????

The PDGA can't have both worlds and make them work 100%, it's either Step Up 100% to be professional level or let's bail on the "We have to make MONEY TO PLAY" and work HARD to keep DG a activity/sport that can be enjoyed by the "Masses" and play for the LOVE of the GAME, I know that's such a "horrible" ideal for all of you that seem to "Have to make your bucks" on DG but your really going to screw it up in the end, if OUR only GOAL for DG is "The Pursuit of MONEY", again, jmho. I live on a fixed income, I can't afford "green fees, country club dues, fancy clothes, etc. so I'll be looking for another "activity" if DG get's to the "Ball Golf" level for membership. Maybe it's time to admit, the PDGA is just a pipe dream and needs to be forgotten and reworked into the ADGA or the USDGA. IF you don't play for fun and love of the game, then face the fact, YOUR only in it for the MONEY!
Hi, Andrew -

I know what you mean about folks waiting for others to do the work. But I find the guys who are out helping to run the show, put on events, put in courses, go to boring meetings about schedules and all that, those are the best folks in the game of golf. I like a lot of the players out there, but I give more props in many respects to the behind the scenes guys than the players blessed with superior skills or endless practice time.

I can't begrudge the guy who drops out of the competitive scene for a bit of security or to work towards a future that's not built on disc golf. A couple of years of constant playing is about all most folks can take, before they need to back off and get some steady work and make golf a weekend semi-pro gig. For the few who can build up enough steam to keep it going on the road, I'm all for it.

I hope the show I put out and send to folks across the country for broadcast on public access stations helps spread the word. I know in places where its playing, way more folks know about the game than before broadcasts began.

Andrew, if you're getting the shows to the Eugene station, keep me posted so I can keep my database updated.

Best regards,

Joe

(Others who want free copies of Disc Golf Live for your public access station, give me a shout, there are a ton of stations out there and all it takes at most is a local resident and a few minutes time...)
If your turf has public access cable TV, getting the Disc Golf Live show scheduled on it is a VERY cool thing to do. I can't tell you how many dozens of times I have had people tell me in the past couple of yearsl, "Oh, I saw disc golf" (or "I saw you") on TV."
Bogeyman said:
Humm, I just don't see it, most of the "non-DG" folks I know, wouldn't consider throwing plastic at a basket a SPORT, sorry, heck I can't get any of my 50+ friends interested but they will sit infront of a boob-tube and be critical of Tiger Woods playing but never get out to a Ball Golf course but once in a great while. I think the problem is the PDGA and it's major sponsors need to "Step away" from having anything to do with the "AM" side of DG before anyone can take DG as a "Professional Level Sport". You don't see a bunch of AM ball golfer's out on the course the same time or even the same day as the PRO Ball Golfer's do you?? The PDGA is still just too afraid to step away from the "MONEY" that the AM side of the equation put's into PRO DG at the moment. JMHO.

Now IF, the PDGA "CAN'T" find a way to pay their PRO players, thru Major Sponsorships and seems totally unwilling to work their way up with more "large Mom & Pop Sponsorships", then MAYBE we need to look at "DISOLVING" the idea of a "PROFESSIONAL DISC GOLF ASSN". WHY NOT just make the recreational activity/sport of DG a "AM ONLY" SPORT??? Would it be so horrible if NO ONE made a living at Disc Golf, I for one don't think so, would it be a total failure if Disc Golf stayed a sport/activity that OPEN TO ALL?? I mean, you all are talking about "Green Fees, Groomed Courses", Clubhouses, Specific Clothes to wear, etc. You really want DG to turn into the SNOBBY, Must have Money to play, clickish sport that is BALL GOLF, WHY?????

The PDGA can't have both worlds and make them work 100%, it's either Step Up 100% to be professional level or let's bail on the "We have to make MONEY TO PLAY" and work HARD to keep DG a activity/sport that can be enjoyed by the "Masses" and play for the LOVE of the GAME, I know that's such a "horrible" ideal for all of you that seem to "Have to make your bucks" on DG but your really going to screw it up in the end, if OUR only GOAL for DG is "The Pursuit of MONEY", again, jmho. I live on a fixed income, I can't afford "green fees, country club dues, fancy clothes, etc. so I'll be looking for another "activity" if DG get's to the "Ball Golf" level for membership. Maybe it's time to admit, the PDGA is just a pipe dream and needs to be forgotten and reworked into the ADGA or the USDGA. IF you don't play for fun and love of the game, then face the fact, YOUR only in it for the MONEY!

WROOOOONG!!!!! Disc golf isn't large enough for the PDGA to sustain itself on just pro players, tours, and events. My goodness there have only been 40,000 or so people who have ever been a PDGA member. PDGA "stepping away" is the worst idea ever. Further, just because pay to play courses are created does not mean the public courses have to go away. The PDGA is definitely not in it just for the money. Income is necessary for a sports organization to be able to fund events and campaigns toward the growth of the sport. DG has seen an enormous growth rate over the last two decades. PDGA is on the right track and doing a great job.
I was just waiting for someone to bring up these facts. Yes it is true, most of the players stake there love on the fact that this game is relatively free to play. I completely agree with the reality that most people would not want to pay to play. But what if they had a choice between there local free recreational course(s). Or, there pay to play championship 18 or 27? Would enough players pay for these courses to fund tour level events. It remains to be seen.

I'm not saying that in order to have fun as a pro we need to make millions. I'm just saying that your average non-Climo Pro has a hard time on tour. Even going out and getting top tens on a regular basis isn't enough. Gregg Hosfeld as a prime example has more talent with a frisbee than 20 average players put together. Yet he is still traveling in a van and eating PBJ's. No offense Gregg, I know what it takes to be able to afford a year long tour. There is simply not enough cash to get from point A to point B sometimes.

Example: A players fly into an area, gets a hotel room for the week, rents a car, and goes out to eat each meal. Well, that's at least $1,000 a week to play a NT or Major. Outside of the USDGC, you would have to get up in the top 8 or 10 to even break even on that on event. Why? So you can go perpetuate the cycle at the next tournament. What if you have a sore back for a couple weeks and weren't playin so good. Well, that means your eating macaroni and sleeping in the back of your 2 door 1992 Civic.

My point is that we're not trying to become some elite sport where you have to make 6 figures to play. I believe we all feel some entitlement to playing for free. But, in order to fully grow the sport on a national/international level we will have to start paying to play. I for one couldn't afford to pay $5 a round on the average day. But what if I was playing events that paid $1000 down to 10th, 15th, 20th place. I would then have enough cash to pay these fees and support local courses and clubs.

It's a huge catch 22. We need to do something, and fast, to get us out of Discgolf Purgatory.

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.

YES!!! It would be a shame to dissolve the PDGA and only go to amateur/recreational. Where would Tennis, Volleyball, Snowboarding, Skateboarding etc etc be now if they had just given everything away for free? People want to see the best in any sport. I for on am not going to take a breath until we are an Olympic sport. Yes it may not happen during my 20's or 30's....But one day who knows what could happen.

Bring on the opinions.....

Andrew Rich
Roots Roc Reggae
www.purediscgolf.com
The future of the sport relies on getting new players. The ultimate goal is to have enough spectators at events or watching events to warrant non disc golf companies seeing marketing value in sponsoring the event. Spectators are most likely going to be other players who want to see "the pros." It will be a long time before DG is a major sport. It is on the right track, though. Things like toddler-size baskets and discs have hit the market. I see people in my generation wanting to make money in DG. Not by being a player, but by making or retailing products. There will always be a select few athletes who will be able to make a living. It is these others that will grow the sport the most. Let's think about the last 10 years or so, as far as disc golf products. Then, Innova and Discraft were pretty much the only companies making bags, discs, and accessories. Now, there are 20 or so disc manufacturers, tons and tons of bag makers, a bunch of DG apparel companies, and so on. Then, when you told someone you were going to play DG, they said "what the hell is that?" Now, they say, "Oh, I played that once," or "Is that what those things are at so and so park," or best case, "Dude, you play, too. We ought to throw a round sometime." Point is DG is growing. I helped a teacher paint some modified tees a few months ago, so he could teach his class DG. Getting more kids to play is how DG will grow the most.

As far as courses go, there are more private courses going in. Most of them are created by a DGer who happens to own a lot of property. I think DGers will play to play, if they are getting a better product. Public courses will be the backbone of DG for a long,long time.

A new innovation of DG that can generate a lot of interest is inter-club competitions. Cities competing against other cities. Or betteryet, clubs lay claim to one courseas their club course. Then, it's course cluc against course club. More and more college students are creating DG clubs at their university. They could start competing against each other.

What can you do to help DG? Try to get your friends playing. If you have kids, volunteer to teach a lesson on DG at their school's p.e. class. Get in touch with your county or city parks department. Most of them know what DG is and are interested in getting some use out of areas that aren't useable for other sports.

That's enough for now. Later.
Here in Michigan we have the MIDGC (Michigan Intercollegiate Disc Golf Challenge) a series of tournaments around the state. Here at my university we have formed an RSO (Registered Student Organization) for disc sports, including disc golf and ultimate. The university pays for our gas to travel to these events, one of the other universities even reimburses their guys for entry fees!

We have also had a few guys interviewed on the University TV station about our course here in town, the league, and MIDGC. Also, we had a local news station come to our course and do a story live!

Atrain said:
More and more college students are creating DG clubs at their university. They could start competing against each other.
I'm right there with Atrain. Gettin the sport into youth is a big part of this and I believe the sport with eventually mature when players start teaching their kids and so on and so forth. Once it's established within our culture a little more the sponsers will follow. I think LSDiscs has a great approach as far as marketing a more "skater" style gear towards the newer generations. I think our biggest obsticle is time and the relative lack we have compared to other "pro" sports.

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