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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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I will start by saying I love disc golf, everything about it but if you're in it for money you're going to be sadly disappointed! Why can't you play it for the love of the game and if you make some side money here and there, great a bonus.

I think that disc golf will eventually have higher payout and more coverage. But it will take time, think about how long ball golf has been around. Give the PDGA that kind of time window and this discussion is a little less.

If you want big events with high payouts, then that means they will need to be just that, events. Spectator friendly, include other disc sports, side games, etc... I applaud vibram's open and the japan open.
Obtaining large sponsorship would mean making td'ing a worth while adventure.
I don't think live coverage is financially profitable so we must rely on spectatorship, problem is that dg's biggest fans are players, and pros aren't looking for swag and discs, and the ams are hoping to win something...
Hey I do love disc golf, a serious amount. It is a great challenge, outside time, and good competition. In order for someone like me to compete at a professional level it takes serious time. I put in about 15-20 hours a week into my game, putting, playing at the course, driving to the course. It is not free to spend that much time on a sport. Again, its different at this level.
Thats a great Idea Cincy, pair the event up with a cause. We have ball golf events locally all the time that the proceeds go to help non-profs in the area. Think Bigger........
Here is the only bummer I have Incured during my time as Pro.  I had to pay Income Taxes on my winnings in the Past.

Did you deduct your clothing, food, lodging, expenses related to the sport?

Try doing taxes for a biz like mine? It's all worth it in the end.

You are a pioneer man!

I'm sure Kenny is doing OK ($$) too. I just never heard him say it!

I did see a post by AJ stating that he was doing just fine living off of Disc Golf related income

22 yrs ago we were having this same conversation on the "tour". The problem at that time, I thought was that there is and still isn't a tour. A true tour goes from stop to stop in a logical progression around the country or a region. The pdga has never pressured promoters of tournaments to line up the events in a viable tour. Until that happens there is no hope. Instead the pdga went after the amateurs money. Now it is the professional disc golfers amateur association. Correct me if I am wrong.

Didn't the PDGA try the National Tour?

Unfortunately the tournaments are weak when it comes to sponsorship.

Everything is done on the local level.... ever try to get sponsors and keep them.

You basically are like a 'beggar' asking for handouts. TDs are volunteers, staff are volunteers, (yes some tournaments raise money for charities) but when there isn't any professionals running everything than you get what you pay for. Play for your buddies money, entry fees only. Until we as disc golfers realize that this sport has to be a business, not a charity then it will not change.

What you need is a Discraft or Innova Tour, than others will follow suit.

But neither wants to carry the load or is capable of it.

Any sponsor wants something in return. If I were Nike (am not) the money put up would have to generate income.

On the contrary, in disc golf most sponsorships do not generate any return for the sponsors. They might get a thank you or sponsor package. 

The PDGA (what ever name they decide on) and disc golfers in general need to change the way that this sport is run. Too many volunteer TDs get burnt out,you really give up alot in time energy and your life, with an attaboy for us attitude. Basically taking it for the team. Everyone wants to play. All professional sports have income at every level, from promoters, retailers, players, owners, clubhouses, stadiums and so on. It's the "disc golf is for free" attitude that is keeping it down. It is still a recreation sport, despite the athletic levels of play.

If you look at many other established sports, it comes from manufacturing, sort of like the US economy.

A good manufacturing base will hold its own. Without out it, there is nothing but paper.

 

When the PGA holds their nation wide tour in San Angelo, Tx. Every year on the same weekend volunteers gather from all around the area for the event. They come out to see the pros. When did the pdga seriously try a national tour? Why did they become an amateur org.? How do you support a tour when there is none? If there was any intellegent thought given to this the pros would start a tour themselves and leave behind the amateur org. Can pros ever unite? Apperently not.

Unfortunately there are not enough pros to make a tour with, full timers. And this takes cash.

Have been looking out there for different avenues for years.

Ever hear of the Teva Mountain Games? Teva shoes puts it on. Go to Teva.com (mountain games) or search engine the games. It's all about marketing.

Unfortunately any money comes from the players. There are more amateurs than pros.

Until the PDGA or anyone else realizes this, where else can it go, but where it is now.

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