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I know this discussion has been hit on before, but i need to vent a little bit more on this subject. Being a current PDGA member, a co-TD, and a certified official I feel as though I have the right. I am really confused about one thing. Why Professional disc golfers are allowed to play in advanced events if there rating is below a 970? I do not see the reasoning behind this decision. My rating varies as so do my scores. Currently it is 908. I personally choose to play in the advanced division as I believe it should make me a stronger player. The Pdga mission statement says something to the effect of growing the sport. I don't see it that way. Adding the novice division was a joke. The division that should have been added is the" I refuse to go pro" advanced division with a rating starting at 951. The intermediate division from 900-950. the rec division for anyone below a 900 AND anyone wishing to play that is not a CURRENT PDGA member. This keeps the baggers who should be playing pro from the loop hole of not renewing their membership and playing in whichever division they choose. The PDGA wants this sport to grow. How? More pro golfers are what this sport needs. More pro golfers are what is going to get the big dollar sponsors. Letting them stay in the am field is the pdga's way of growing the sport? Maybe i am not seeing it the way they do. I do appreciate what these volunteers do for us. on the other hand I do not agree. Or are they volunteers. I should have done a little research on this but, do the PDGA board members collect a paycheck? From the 08/09 finacial report it shows board and committees $28,791. This to me looks like expenses only and they do not collect a paycheck. Just reinbursements. Personnel, $328,036. This is for office staff, accountants, and consultants. Doesn't look like a very wealthy income to me. It seems as though they must really like their job. So thank you for all your hard work. It is appreciated. one rule that i do agree with is the am's playing pro. am's are allowed to accept merchandise in lieu of cash. I like this rule with the intent of the player wanting to go pro, but is waiting to play World's before he moves up. If he so chooses to stay and play advanced after worlds has passed, i do not agree with. Yet under the current guidelines this is perfectly legal. Honestly if I didn't need to be current to run events for the PDGA, i would not renew my membership. I don't see the point when the little guy doesn't have a voice. The ams are the ones that keep this sport alive and yet everything is catered to the pros. The ams buy most of the gear. The ams buy most of the plastic. The am tourneys are always at full capacity. Even with $1500 added cash I have seen pro events not come anywhere near filling. Sad but true. Is there a place where current pdga members can read or listen to actual pdga board meetings and what is actually discussed? I would be quite intrigued to know what is actually being discussed and voted on. I also would like to know how a member could bring something up for vote. I am guessing but you probably have to go through your state representative and not talk to your board members directly. Kind of like our governments smoke and mirrors game. Enoough with the rant. Please do not turn this into a smoker/ non-smoker battle. I would like to hear some feedback from every type of player. Pro,Advanced, intermediate and rec players. The baggers can also voice their opinion if they so choose. Again thanks to everyone involved with the PDGA for all of their work. All of your time that you put towards making the PDGA what it is. Thank you. I still do not agree with everything but, I still support you.

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I am surprised that nobody has mentioned this yet. However, one of the BIGGEST unintentional problems we've seen here related to sandbagging is players who are not PDGA members, and have no PDGA rating. Players who are no slouches on the DG course either....people who can step in and hang within 2-3 shots of many of the open/advanced players. They probably would be 925...950...even higher! However, since they have no rating, how do you use the PDGA ratings system to "mandate" which class of play they participate in?

FWIW, I haven't played a sanctioned event since June 2008 (to my knowledge). During the past year, I've shaved 2-3 shots/round off my average scores, am driving 20-30 feet farther off the tee, and am sinking twice as many putts from 25+ feet. So...when I sign up for a tournament, where do I play? For me it's easy...since I'm likely still well within an Intermediate classification. However, the point is where do you put me if your classifications are mandated by a player rating?

Of our 135 members who are active in our regional organization, I'll bet less than 40 are PDGA members...and less than 50-60 have ever played in a sanctioned tournament. Am/Rec...right?! Come out and see some of these guys consistently banging chains from 30-35 feet and driving 400+ feet off the tee, and it's not quite that simple. ;-)
I hear you buddy. I have a rating of 873. I would never dream of playing in the rec division. Even when I was starting out I did not play rec. A few years ago I blew out my arm @ the S.F. Safari and since then my rating has plumeted; yet I frequently play advanced. When I play advanced and those bagging pros are playing advance, it destroys my rating if I don't play way above my skillset. This Sucks. I can play a pretty good round or even a great round and yet my rating can go down because of some bagger.

Now lets talk about the pdga. They are a goup of individuals who could give a shit about Californians. A few years ago I was at the Am Worlds and was talking to the pdga rules and competion commitee about player safety. I had a friend that almost died from heat stroke durring a sanctioned event in California. Durring this event there was no water on the couse and it was a 100 plus degress. The nearest place for water was a half a mile away. Now lets face it, you would have to carry a coulple gallons of water to prevent dehydraton and durring there round who is going to be able to carry that up a very steep course. On another occassion I was playing in a sanctioned event here in California and it was a 110 degrees. There was no free water. The club was actually happy it was so hot because they would sell a lot of water. It would be ok with me except they raised the price of a small water bottle from $.50 to $2. That meant to combat dehydration you would have to spend $20 per round just to stay hydrated. So anyway here I was talking to them about OUR SAFETY and I proposed mandating free water every six holes. That means that on most couses the longest distance you would have to carry a cooler or dispenser would be six holes. You would have one on one, one on seven and one on thirteen (this one you could carry from the end of the course). I explaned about my experiences in the heat to them and how I did not think that someone should die before we made a change in policy. Their response was how would this be fair to players in North Dakota. They ( the pdga ) said that clubs in North Dakota should not have to provide water because it was so cold. I then told them how important it was for people in cold climates to stay hydrated because when it is cold most people do not drink enough water. I then suggested that with water on the couse that even people in cold climates would be more likely to drink water. They thought that this would be to much effort for TD'S. I said that If we could do it at Stafford Lake and Napa, we could do it any place. The pdga was more worried about a few hundred people than the state that has one third of their membership.
You obviously never have played a am ball golf event. The U.S.G.A. ( governing body for ball golf ) uses handicaping to prevent ams from sand bagging. Handicapping is the best way to prevent sandbagging. Oh and you need to get a clue, do your research. There are way more than 350 pro ball golfers. Ever heard of club pros or how about the european tour, champions tour, even the nike tour,pepsi tour etc. Before writting about things you do not know about, educate yourself.
My rating is 894 and I KNOW i'm a better player then that. If I was to play rec. in a C-TIER event I would be a bagger and be called one all day. If I play in a good B-TIER event or an A-TIER event than I play what my rating is. Call me a bagger if you like, I still hear it all the time even when I do play in Inter. I've been playing for a good five years and be slowly getting better. I throw only forearm and can crush a 400' shot and my best round is a 43 on a par 54 course which is not to easy, not to hard of a course.
first off, lets clarify the fact that this guy says i'm trying to fatten my pockets. LIAR! I do not make any money on any disc golf related event that i have a part planning. That is an insult to me considering My sponsorship dollars and the time and money i spend to have successful events. The fact that you even say this would provoke a fight if you said it to my face. Idiot. As far as Nascar goes, there are many more than 43 pro drivers. There are many race teams turned away every week because they did not qualify for the race. Do a little research before the poo starts flowing out of your mouth.

As far as our payouts, come to an event and posted is the payout. 50% of every am field is payed out. Players packs are provided and the club picks up the cost on this. The club picks up the bill to feed the competitors. the club picks up the cost of the trophies. All this is done thru sponsorship. This way all entry fees, besides PDGA fees go towards payout. I am sure other places people make money running events. HERE, we do not.

By the way did you notice that i actually support the PDGA. Did you notice that I thanked them for what they do. I know what its like to not have everyone agree with your decisions. That is why I have the right to voice my opinion.
Mark, this is the key part for me:

"The thrill of competition is the real reward. It is gratifying to develop and refine the skills required to excel at the game. The practice and training which allows skill development has the huge added bonus of better health and physical and mental conditioning."

I found that I needed something to compete in and when I started disc golfing, it was immediately apparent it was perfect to get some competition in my life again. I've cashed twice ($13 in plastic & $32 in plastic) but would have still have good thoughts about those tourneys even if I hadn't. I like going out there with guys with 870 ratings who are trying really hard to win and getting upset when they don't (to a point... then it gets a little old). I also love practicing to make those putts a little better, or to hit that tunnel more than once in a row.

So, bag all you want, I'm there for the competition and when I start beating guys at the bottom of the division up from me, I'm moving up.
William Burroughs said it best-
"Hustlers of the World unite! There is only one mark you cannot beat- the mark inside."
Sandbagging is the result of people afraid to test themselves against better competition or that simply have a need to win, win, win. IMO the PDGA as an organization doesn't promote AMs over Pros or vice versa. They're stated function is fairly well laid out by Chuck Kennedy in one sentence. Promotion of standards and the game itself. Everyone that thinks the PDGA to be evil and that its' mission is counterproductive to the betterment of the game should meet the very folks that have been volunteering their time and money for the good of the game for the PDGA. I have, and %90 of them are earnestly attempting to improve the game. I certainly don't agree with some of the changes being made but, I fully support the fact the change is being made. I am proud to call myself a member (even if I don't always play or become current) that pays for the privilege of having my butt kicked by "better" players. The road to perfection is bumpy, ain't it? BTW the original post is wondering what can be done about these Baggers and the reduction of fees and prizes for the lower divisions seems a reasonable approach. Any better ideas out there?
Justin if your best round on a par 54 course is a 43 your not just a bagger your a loser.
on my local course its a par 54 and the local pros who play it consider a good round on
it to be a 50. you dont need to play Rec or intemediate you need to play ADV. move
up or move on.peoeple who do stuff like this and brag about it are just a waste of air.
Let's look strictly at the title of this thread. A "bagger" has been defined as a person who enters a division below their skill level. The PDGA is the only organization that actually can measure a player's skill level and has rules that prevent a player from playing below their level. So technically, bagging cannot not occur in PDGA events and is much more likely in non-PDGA sanctioned events. It would appear that the only events that actually promote/allow bagging are unsanctioned, correct?

Now the reality is that PDGA officials cannot be at more than a handful of events. So the TD must be the person responsible to follow the anti-sandbagging PDGA guidelines. The TD gets help since they not only receive the current ratings for all PDGA members, but the old ratings of those who have had a PDGA number before and are not current. It falls on the TD to make sure those with ratings do not play below their level.

The problem comes in when players who have never been PDGA members and new PDGA members without ratings enter. New PDGA members without ratings should have the right to play in whatever division seems appropriate. They will soon have ratings. The ones most likely to be troublesome and possibly baggers are those who have not been PDGA members and are course and tournament regulars. They have no rights to play in any specific division. The TD can specify what division they are allowed to enter. If the TD feels they should play Open or Advanced, that's their option, take it or leave it.

The other troublemakers seem to be a small handful of players who enter a division above their rating and then complain when those who are properly playing in that division, based on the rules, take home the prizes. I've got a new term for them called "gabbers." They seem to be the ones erroneously gabbing the bagger calls. It's perfectly acceptable to play up and challenge yourself. But know your facts before gabbing a bagger call at a PDGA event when there are likely more problems with bagging at non-PDGA events.
Here in Illinois TDs share information about local players that are not in the PDGA or even unrated PDGA members. It is up the the TD to use their best judgement and bump a player if it needs to be done based on ratings. By all means call yourself joe shmoe and come to illinois for an event. The next event you register for without a PDGA number I garuntee 90% of the local TDs will make you play where you rated or higher in your previous tournament.

If you are unrated most TDs around here still allow you to bag until the PDGA gives you a rating. If the PDGA were to recalculate your rating after every tournament you played then your rating should more accurately reflect where you should be playing. Also The PDGA could crack down on TDs to get their reports in on-time!!! I still have a tournament I played in Feb not reporting.
Here is another aspect of this problem. Earlier this season I was not a current PDGA member so I should have to pay the non-member fee of $10. I played two tournaments as a non-current member, in the registration process you supply a PDGA # if you are a current member then you do not pay the extra $10, no number then you pay and also they have no way of knowing what your rating would be unless they have the time too look up all the names of non-members, so if you wanted to bag I think this would be the loophole. Granted in both events I played Am2 above my 891 rating and placed second to last in the first tournament, and tied for 4th in the second one, beating quite a few with 900-935 ratings. In the first tournament there was a huge Am3 field that had many non-members playing in it that would have been competitive in Am2. I guess it all just comes down to how much you want to challenge yourself or how much better the payout could be if you play in a larger field with lower skilled players. I know in Am2 I can be competitive but could also be over my head.
Usually TDs ask for PDGA number even if you aren't current. If they include it on the tournament report, then you will get ratings for the event even if you can't see them. However, your history will be hidden online for you to see if you do renew later.

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