The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf
So I have been contemplating being a pro at this day and age in the PDGA era, and I have come to some conclusions.
1. We make absolutly no money to support ourselves as the pro payouts are generally terrible.
2. Unless you tour to hit the 'big' events, don't quit your day job.
Why is this? Why is ball golf supporting so many pros and disc golf is not? I have heard the no corporate sponsors bit and agree, but why is this sport so cheap for pros?
What do you think about making the sport cheap for ams and casuals but somehow upping the ante for professionals. Start pay to play at some of the better courses and increasing entry fees substantially at tournaments. If you want to pay 40 bucks to play a tourney, play am, have fun goofing around and make open pro more serious.
What does everyone think?
I know Some Am's who will never turn Pro because they like to Win all the time but complain about the Schwag they get.
SideBets will always be in effect for some as they try to shoot better than their friends.
Raising Entry Fees does not always bring Tallent to each Tournament.
I like Playing Pro because I like playing with Better players and I'm always learning new things.
For myself , It's not about the Money , it's about the Respect !!!
I will never , ever , Cheat and play AM's as it does nothing but lower my expectations of Disc Golf !!!
You will run across somepeople at Tournaments , who is never satisfied with their Playing ability.
I rather not play with complainers.
JUST PLAY GOOD DISC GOLF !!!! Remember , you are playing the course only , not someone else !!!!
There are 17,000 golf courses in America alone with some 27,000,000 golfers paying to play on those courses. Most golf courses have a tremendous overhead and adjust there fees to reflect this. There are very few golf courses that are making a mint for their owner. Most golf courses are owned by larger parent companies that run there courses and management teams pretty thin.
The money in golf is made by the manufacturers of equipment. Taylor made, Callaway, Titelist, etc. These companies invest in there sport heavely and promote themselves on a world wide level. The eqipment is expensive and always changing in aN addictive manner. Golf balls are small, disposable and fly so far you can't even find them and only last a few rounds for the most part, so you have to spend another $10-$50 to reload. All this generates mulltiple billions of dollars that is wisely spent to promote events at all levels to keep the system flowing and growing.
The PGA governing body is machine when it comes to cross promoting with companies even outside of the golf industry. They do a great job of making sure that it's players on all levels are marketable and always are looking for the future of the sport.
There are ,1600+ disc courses in America with who knows how many golfers, mostly playing for free at a park. Most courses have little overhead because they are part of an already exsisting park. There are a handful of courses out there that make money on the pay to play program. Most disc courses are owned by the city or county the park is in; do you want to pay to play at a park that your taxes are already paying to maintain? Most courses owned by cities or counties don't even think about hosting an event to promote the sport, most of that is done by a resident club that has a few members that volunteer time to put on a local tourney.
The money in disc golf is made by the manufacturers of equipment. Discraft, Innova, Latitude 64, etc. These companies invest in their own companies to come out with newer more addictive equipment. Discs for the most part don't get lost, they don't wear out very fast and can be used for hundreds of rounds. It is a multimilliion dollar business that doesn't seem to put up a proprtionate amount of prize money at tournaments to promote the sport. For the most part it looks like disc manufacturers are still stuck in running clinics and coming to larger events to sell its products out of a trailer.
The PDGA governing body is a small machine that seems to happy to stay that way. Who knows what they do to try and get coverage of their events. I am unsure if they know what their demographic is, or maybe they do and are embarassed. They seem to be happy that it is a grass roots kinda sport and are unwilling or unable to bring light to the sport. There are exceptions to all of this, but what is the overall plan and goal of the PDGA, and the manufacturers.
There is no way I could play pro baseball, football, or basketball at this point in my life. Disc golf on the other hand is something that we could all maybe have a shot at. How does that not make this possibly one of the most marketable sports arond. If someone has a better plan, I would be willing to help.
Hit the 'nail on the head.'
The manufacturers do not want to invest 'in the sport.'
Yes they sponsor to a certain extent. They do giveaway certain items, but in general most of the ground work is done on the local level. 99% of all the work is grass roots. It's a cheap sport! It is very hard to raise money and sponsors. How can you sell a disc for $25 when that same disc sold by either Discraft or Innova sells for less on Ebay?
With volunteers running everything (not that these people are bad, generally the intentions are good and worthy)
but with any enterprise, money needs to come from somewhere.
Until the gap is narrowed between those running the show (out there at local courses) nothing is going to change. In other words an "attaboy is not growing this sport."
If you look at surfing: it all started with the Australians starting the show in California (Billabong heard of them?) What was their intentions MARKETING and making money.
It has to be an enterprise that gets it going. An Innova or Discraft are really the only ones that can finacnially pull it off. But, personally either do not know how or are not equipped with the right marketing personell and are not willing to hire anyone to do it.
Because there isnt enough following! which in turn means less Manuf. are willing to fork out the money for such low turnouts @ tournaments. If you go to a ball golf Tournament (almost any Professional) you will see tons of people there to watch! Thats not really the case in PDGA, other then maybe two or three of our bigger tournaments!
Also, Ball golf is more appealing to the masses of people, im not sure why, maybe because its been around a lot longer. But give disc golf time, i think they are headed in the right direction. Remember "Rome wasnt built in a day!" LOL
As far as getting bigger purses for the pros, i like Chucks idea! Unfortunately, you maybe throwing into a purse with the likes of Doss/Jenkins/Anthon/Schusterick/ or Klimo.... And i dont think you want to waste your money on that bottomless pit! LOL
Another point not made is that ball golfers are willing not only to watch the events but pay to do so (at least in a live setting). There's so much fewer people who want to watch DG, many of whom wouldn't even pay to play let alone watch. Also, the vast majority of disc golfers probably aren't even aware that there's a Pro Tour let alone 'Big Name Pros'. You couldn't get most people to name a Pro Disc Golfer even if you handed them a Teebird and an Avenger. Sadly, there isn't really much of a market to sell DG in terms of the public watching it.