The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf
I've been trying to unite the local DG community in my city of Fort Dodge, IA since the DG season began this year (we have seasons here, I personally hate them) and had little success, garnering 18 members on my Facebook group and zero activity on the page.
I decided to run an Ace Race, or attempt to at the time... I just went and played every day at the local course and the nearby courses and promoted using word of mouth. One of the members of my Facebook group happened to be the sports photographer of the local paper, his influence got me free press in there - but as soon as Discraft sent me the posters and I slapped them up on the course signs at the local courses - interest just skyrocketed. Now my Facebook group has 47 members, it is active and people are playing and learning with new players.
I knew the way people are in my hometown, pre-paying would not work, so I just ordered as many packs as I could afford, which sadly was only 32. I put that poster up on Tuesday and filled every spot in 4 days. My phone rang off the hook it seemed, things got stressful at times I admit but I am just thankful Discraft gives people the oppurtunity to do this so independently - it is an unbelievably effective way to grow and unite your local DG community in a smaller town like mine with a population of under 35,000.
Without even contacting them, I had the Fort Dodge Press contact me asking my permission to come and cover the event, taking pictures and video for local publications and public television. Also the local paper told the sports photographer to go cover the event, which he was more than happy to do - his PDGA number is something like #2### so he is old school lol.
The one thing I was absent minded about was getting a permit, but after doing this legwork and being so passionate about this - the Parks & Rec Dept. head tried to deny me. I basically went into 'FIGHT THE POWER' mode... Without getting angry or flustered, I rationally stated that what I am doing is giving people of all ages a chance to enjoy and compete in a sporting event that anyone can enjoy, with the local press covering the event to show people enjoying the parks. She then said there is still a four week process to approve things of this nature. My taking of the high-road went out the window.
I stated I am sorry that I was not aware of this process, I have never done something like this before, I'm absent minded at times and have been working hard - but if you are going to deny me this over that formality - and I had the greatest line ever - "your department is looked upon poorly enough. No one knows that better than you I would have to assume. If you want to keep 32 people from enjoying a nice day of disc golf simply because of that - that is your prerogative. My perspective on that would be that you are in the wrong line of work and even though 'rules are rules' as they say, your department is disliked so much that one factual Letter to the Editor in The Messenger documenting this exchange would probably be a bigger pain in your ass in terms of the emails you'd receive than simply fast tracking my application through would."
She instantly became very courteous and even waived the $25 application fee.
So far, so good. My rookie tournament director effort is going pretty good and I can't wait until September 11th to get out there and see some aces!
Innova could learn something from Discraft - the power of the Players' Pack - they sell themselves once the posters are up. Then again, in small towns like mine, Innova has the monopoly and possibly couldn't give two sh*ts... I hope that is not the case. But what Discraft offers is nothing but great for the sport.
Yeah, it is working out better than I could have imagined. I'm also running an Innova sponsored tournament in my area soon, too. So far loving being a TD. We shall see how much I love it on the day of the Ace Race, though lol.
Also, Innova offers great rates on custom packs. CFR discs - tournament use, course funding and charity use only - are incredibly reasonably priced even with custom hot stamping and I gave them a nifty suggestion that you guys might just see next year ;)