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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?

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Great idea. I think this is a perfect place to start. I think that it might be more expensive for us but tourneys at that course for those people would actually pay out and people might be more interested.
I think aspiring pros have to accept that disc golf is developing more like softball than ball golf - highly popular but virtually no pro level play or income. The PDGA has probably spent more than it should trying to jump start pro payouts either directly or by seeking big time sponsorship. The reality is that if a lot more sponsorship money was attainable, the sponsors would have found us (rather than us begging) because we had thousands of spectators paying and traveling to watch events which would also have made pay-per-view viable, etc. I don't see it ever happening because even our early adopters in this sport would rather play than watch any chance they can take. If our most enthusiastic core group of players doesn't care to watch much let alone pay to do so, why would we expect later adopters and potential spectators to be more excited about it? Video coverage can never be as good as being there in relation to ball golf coverage because many of our holes wind thru woods with impossible angles to cover with camera (or too expensive to do so).

Chuck- Those are some great points, and I always felt the same way when I was into ball golf, I wanted to be playing instead of watching.

If top pros are willing to throw cash in, so should other contributors to the sport. For real. Top companies are robbing the sport making discs for pennies and selling them to us at whatever the price. Yeah that's not the worst part though. The bad part is not giving it back by possibly throwing humungous events for the pros and all players of the world. The world tournament is what every tournament should be like, and the Worlds tournament now isn't good enough. Not anyone can just go pro. If everyone at a tournament did play pro, though, the purses would be huge, and who ever was on target that day would cash. Like say you are a top am but not a top pro and tournament day comes. You could have a real good day because you've been shooting well. Go pro! Let's say we combine advanced and open. Now the pro field is a lot bigger and a few of those ams will cash simply because they were on and some pros are not going to be on. Also, the PDGA needs to take less and give more. They bring in an unsaid amount of money that goes to the IDGC and employees. Needless to say the PDGA takes over a million or so from disc golf each year. Why? Get us on TV and I won't complain anymore. Until then, I'm waiting for the PDGA to come through. Good pros work really hard to get where they are and play at the level they do. We deserve more.
How about Ken Climo? His name is on almost every disc since 1990.

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.

 

I think each of the top 20 touring pros should go out and be responsible to raise 20K each by way of professional endorsement of Keene shoes, North Face Shoes, Budweiser Beer, Captain Morgan Rum, Chev Cruze cars, Frito Lay Chips, Red Lobster, Denny's etc etc and make a few video ads for them ....... take the 400,000 and have 4 events to play for the cash .... the All Pro Pro Endorsement Tour ...... Innova and Discraft should put in 100 K each too ....... promote it on ESPN, use tape delay edited telecasts  by disc golf monthly on camera friendly courses - even temp courses set up on ball courses day before PGA televised events ,   use their cameras and ball tracking cameras to catch the excitement ..... try it for a year and see what happens ...... then you'll know ... what's to lose?

The reason that ball golf has big payouts is because of sponsorship. Banks, insurance companies, etc. We just don't have that in disc golf and maybe never will.

How bout Disc Golf at the X Games? Regular 3 day format, but the first day is a ProAm and they use other X Game participants and celebrities like they do at the Pebble Beach ProAm in ball golf.

 

First Group:

Ken Climo

Travis Pastrana (Moto X)

Dave Feldberg

Shaun White (Snowboarder/ Skatreboarder)

 

Second Group:

Nate Doss

Pauly Shore (Comedian)

Avery Jenkins

Billy Baldwin (Actor/ Comedian)

 

Our brightest with their best and most adventerous, I'd go watch that.

After 2 holes. I'd change the channel.

Need some ramps, obstacles in the way.

Make it cool.

How about a basket at the top of the vert ramp?

I would say that if your not on the level of a Climo , Lacstro , Jenkins , Doss etc. then trying to make a living being a Touring Pro is not the best idea unless however you are financially stable (NEFA's Pete Johnson comes too mind) The statement "there just isn't enough money for me too take that big a chunk of time out of my life" makes me want to say " then don't play ! We play for the enjoyment and the love of the game , not to mention the comraderie and the competition. My suggestion get a good job and you'll enjoy DG much more.

I dont think youd get a TON of money or sponserships doing it, but i think it would be really cool to see a PRO/AM full of very popular celebrities like Travis Pastrana or Shaun White!

I just dont see many celebrities dropping what they are doing to play a round of disc golf, because disc golfers want to see them play. It would have to be to benefit something like Breast cancer, or something people are really into.

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