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The PDGA will be sanctioning competition with Super Class discs starting in 2009. The introductory article about Super Class is now on the PDGA Home page: www.pdga.com/super-class

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Most of you may not know I wear four relevant hats in this. I'm on Tech Standards and Competition Committees and head of the Course and Ratings Committees. Oh if we could only have 10,000 ft courses to challenge everyone but we can't even do that for PDGA competition where TDs actually choose the courses. The average course challenge has only gone up 2 shots in 9 years and is still two shots shy of even getting to par 54. Eighty percent of courses in the ground can't or won't be expanded by their owners, still mostly Park Departments. There's still no business model that would be succssful for a pay-to-play facility where the person didn't already own the land. Even then, that's more expensive for players and less payout for events. Wonder why few if any tournaments are held on the few ball golf/disc golf courses out there?

If hole length has any meaning in course design at all, then designing based on the distances a particular skill level throws becomes relevant. If over a period of years, that group averages 50 feet farther and you can't change the design, you've cheapened the experience and challenge. And that's assuming you had a par 60 plus course in the first place. About 70% of courses worldwide average less than 54 for 1000 rated players even if the course has a few par 4s on it. That's not golf but disc darts or disc bowling.

Look, the horse is out of the barn as far as most of you are concerned since the siren song of longer and longer distance has helped empty your wallets. At least that economic driving force is alive and well in our sport. I'm just as certain as many of you that personally throwing longer is an appealing part of the game. But there are places where the sport can't grow because the places where courses can go in have already been accounted for in major metro areas.

And private courses aren't going to go in fast enough to match the demand. However, there are older shorter courses and 9-holers that are underutilized in those areas. Rather than wait for dozens of teenage 6-somes on your courses, an alternative is Super Class on those lesser used courses. Not only that, but tournaments are maxing out. Rather than allow competing events in the same area using golf discs, a Super Class and regular event can co-exist. Now maybe you don't have this level of demand yet in your town. But those of responsible for the overall sport are trying to be on top of alternatives that can work with the exisitng asset base (courses) that are underutilized and still provide a fun and challenging experience.

Adding Super Class isn't adding anything to the admin load at the PDGA nor costing anything to add as an option. Yes, the marketplace will decide like it does for other things like which discs are successful and which events. But don't say we didn't try to offer something new and challenging that can grow the sport where it makes sense. What if we had 2-3 times as many women in the sport in few years because we got some of the ultimate women to crossover and play Super Class with their Ultra-Stars because they didn't have to learn new discs? You going to sit back and critique why it won't work or make the effort to get more women that hasn't worked any other way yet?
Anyone do any archery? They have three classes based on equipment (compound, recurve and longbow), and they all seem to do ok and co-exist. I think its an interesting move and time will tell if it catches on.
I have only read here about the super class and I like the idea. We have a one disc challenges, X-tiers with their special rules and "mini" tournaments that go over well. Why not add another viable option.
Peter Kunoff said:
first, let me say I am not opposed to the super class....to each his own. IMO, I think it will not succeed. Nothing is cooler than watching the myriad of shots/flight patterns that can be created by the newer discs. With the advent of newer technology/faster discs I think the efforts should be made to make the new courses that are being designed/installed longer, more difficult courses. This is what ball golf has done....longer holes, tighter fairways, thicker rough, trickier/more difficult pin placements. As Timmy Gill stated in the Clash at Renny dvd.....true par 4s and 5s are the future of the sport!!!!

In my opinion, it's just as satisfying watching an ultimate disc fly 240 feet out of my hand about 80 feet up and just float forever. I launched a huck the other day and a guy on my team said, "We should win just because of that." It doesn't feel much better than that.

I am a disc golfer and an ultimate player. Yes, it is very satisfying to crush a destroyer 450, or a roller 500ft. But I think you'll find a huge sector of disc golfers who revere the dead straight flight of the roc. You might be romanced by the long drivers, but eventually every successful golfer finds the most delight in a steady favorite disc that gets up the fairway in a relatively straight manner. For me I exchange the longer drivers like fashion, but my great loves are the TL and the roc.

I think there's a place for this class. I think it will be fun. I'm up to blurring the line between the sports (ultimate and disc golf) and the line between past and present. Its the great leveler. Let's all try it and see where we stand. Let's us young guys go out and be humbled by the seasoned veterans. We will most likely learn a LOT that will help us in the world of the bevelled edged drivers. I don't understand the violient revolt against this or the complaints about the money the PDGA is spending on this, which is probably minimal. Like other posters suggested, this will play out on its own. It will catch on or it won't, if it does catch on, you'll be eating your words. If it doesn't, you might be gloating and you'll have that bitter satisfaction of being right. Either way, I applaud the effort.
Hootie said:
Anyone do any archery? They have three classes based on equipment (compound, recurve and longbow), and they all seem to do ok and co-exist. I think its an interesting move and time will tell if it catches on.

Good point, I appreciate this analogy. Let's give it a huck (the superclass, not archery...unless you want to, just not at disc golf tournaments. Risk managment issue . :-P).
I like the idea!!! I read the article and I completely agree with the reasoning behind the it.. Plus, in tough economic times it would no doubt cost even less to equip yourself for a Super Class round. Besides it sounds like fun and it I bet it would level the playing field slightly... whereas power isn't the most important skill. It would bring back into the equasion....original old school course design concept of.....anything under 400 is a par 3, 400 to 500 a par 5...and over 500 a par 5.

I'm not jumping ship on the game the way it is and love running Aces...getting dueces on shorter courses...but have always felt that Disc Golf should be more like Golf...in that courses with real 4's and 5's have to be real big...cover a lot of acreage...like Red Hawk at 10000 feet and bigger. That's something we don't have a lot of as compared to all the courses in existance. That's also something we not always have the option of with new courses in public parks...is access to giant tracs of land.

I doubt it would add any significant workload to the PDGA staff, with everything being computerized. I do see it costing something as far as monetary needs...but not that much. Some marketing and advertisement is needed at first along with printed material...that has to cost a few dollars. So, in theory Fees for Super Class sanctioning should cover that eventially and it could be another revenue stream for the PDGA.

I don't really see Super Class players interferring with todays version. People play our course with beach discs now and then they have never been in the way at all. Most will step side and let us play through.

Chuck, is that the complete current list of approved discs? Do you have a another set of more detailed guidlines...like weight requirements for putters.etc.? Could the Sonic have found a home? Send me some info on how we can start planning for a super class event type deal.
The Board is meeting tonight and I'm hoping we'll get the final approval on the specs soon. The discs you see on that list are the only ones that meet the specs for now. The one additional one not on the list is the Junior ultimate disc from Discraft which we'll allow also.

Once the manufacturers and retailers know the specs are set, we hope to hear more about plans to carry more models and increase weights on existing models. Dave Dunipace of Innova today just posted they will be trying Star and Champ plastic for Zephyrs in the near future and also for the Condor lovers, although the Condor is not legal for Super Class. I think a Zephyr or Ultra-Star will look really cool in transparent, color tinted Champ plastic.
Reading this entire discussion was tireless. Honestly I don't know who you all are and who you think you are but Chuck managed to murder all your stupid pointless naysaying. I personally think it would be cool to have something a little different when I go to an event. Of course I like ripping a pulse 400+ feet....just like the rest of you I like watching a disc go far...I also like watching a slow mellow flying disc. One that is all about placement when you throw it and I think that superclass is a sweet idea. We can't mix the 2 styles of play because obviously the speed of the rounds and players will be different. I'm not faulting anyone for having an opinion. Just for arguing an invalid point. New players could learn the basics easier with superclass discs and get a feel for tournament play. Then they could move up into the regular ranks. Think of super class as a minor league. Or a training and tune up zone.

Chuck Kennedy said:
The Board is meeting tonight and I'm hoping we'll get the final approval on the specs soon. The discs you see on that list are the only ones that meet the specs for now. The one additional one not on the list is the Junior ultimate disc from Discraft which we'll allow also.

Once the manufacturers and retailers know the specs are set, we hope to hear more about plans to carry more models and increase weights on existing models. Dave Dunipace of Innova today just posted they will be trying Star and Champ plastic for Zephyrs in the near future and also for the Condor lovers, although the Condor is not legal for Super Class. I think a Zephyr or Ultra-Star will look really cool in transparent, color tinted Champ plastic.
I'm in, sounds like fun- but hey I just like throwin stuff...
it'd be cool to incorporate a SC event on the wknd of a "regular" tournie, heck a sanctioned glow SC event on a friday night prior to a weekend tournie would be a blast, or even a midsummer evening round after a 1day event- 2sanctioned events in a day going toward your two different ratings- bonus!
lookin forward to see whats on the final list of approved plastic, but bummed I can't work on SC rollers with 5inches of white stuff layin around...
Ryno Malaki said:
Reading this entire discussion was tireless. Honestly I don't know who you all are and who you think you are but Chuck managed to murder all your stupid pointless naysaying. I personally think it would be cool to have something a little different when I go to an event. hmmmm....stupid pointless naysaying......you stated this discussion was tireless.....did you mean reading it was effortless??? by definition: Main Entry:
tire·less
: seemingly incapable of tiring : indefatigable
— tire·less·ly adverb
— tire·less·ness noun


I thought the point ...
Ryno Malaki said:
Reading this entire discussion was tireless. Honestly I don't know who you all are and who you think you are but Chuck managed to murder all your stupid pointless naysaying...

hmmmm....stupid pointless naysaying......perhaps you know what you are talking about but perhaps you don't........you wrote "reading this discussion was tireless" here is the definition from the Merriam-webster online dictionary...
Main Entry:
tire·less
: seemingly incapable of tiring : indefatigable
— tire·less·ly adverb
— tire·less·ness noun
I don't understand why people are complaining about this. I probably won't ever play it, but I don't see why it would interfere with any regular class disc golfers. If they make you wait a little bit longer at the tee, oh well, you probably still got your moneys worth. Which is usually free. If you are in a tournament, the two classes will be seperate from each other.

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