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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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There aren't enough pros because the pdga became an amateur org. Do you remember Paula Stone? She was the commisioner of the pdga. I knew her and her husband well. She got run out after 6 months because she wanted to shake things up. I was very vocal at the time and ran for midwest regional coordinator. To keep me out they had an amateur in Kansas run an undisclosed campaign with his club voting him in. Everyone in Austin failed to turn in a vote because with just me on the official ballot it looked like a sure thing. I knew at the time that the insiders were running a crooked game. I took up cycling again and enjoyed USCF competition for the next 12 yrs. If the history of the sport(disc golf) had been preserved you wouldn't be rehashing the same old arguments.
The PDGA naturally evolved with amateur growth. No conspiracy. Early "pros" were not really pros but really amateurs who played for each others' money (which continues for most pros today, especially in the older divisions hanging onto the past). Most of the broad base of new players starting in the 90s recognized they were amateurs with no future earning a living as pros and that moved the org into the massive amateur growth we've seen. If some TDs are burning out now, it would have happened 15-20 years ago if events were restricted to mostly pros because there would have been even less money in running events than there is today with amateurs providing the retail/wholesale differential.
You've just provided us with the attitude that has gotten your org. to where it is today. If you and the players you refer to were professional in their approach we wouldn't be in this situation.

The attitude that amateurs are the core of the sport? The attitude that catering to "pros" has drained the sport of resources that could have been better used toward grssroots development? The initiative to develop a professional mechanism (ratings) to allow players to compete and develop by playing in appropriate skill level divisions? Supporting development of the amateur merch payout system which has helped fund tournaments and contributed to added payouts for "pros?"

Whatever the org's struggles have been, they were partly overcoming the earlier mistakes of "pseudo pro-ism" echoed by oldtime "pros" like Larry who really didn't know they were missteps. They really didn't have better options at the time. Cash was simply easier to deal with for tournament prizes. Heaven forbid any TD make any money running an event in the early years since everyone took turns running them unlike most places today. But still not recognizing those mistakes now and hanging on to a glorified past continues to be a drag on the future development of our sport.

Sounds to me like you have a pseudo pro organization catering to amateurs. The growth of the pdga in Austin in the late 80's was greatly influenced by my travel and talk. We had our own tournaments and not everyone was anxious to send money to an org. that was centered in other parts of the country. The fact that pros get 100 percent payout was a big issue at the time. I influenced Houck to make it the standard. I backed the pdga until some amateur clown took the regional coordinator position in a professional org. If you had been in the loop you would know about all the work I did to support the pdga. Chuck, you sound like an "old time" administrator.
Me and a buddy were talking about this, but as Chuck said earlier, a pro putting more money in just makes it higher stakes gambling. But the upside to that would be that bigger investors would see that if a disc golf pro is willing to put $500 down to play, and so are 100 other disc golf pros, then there is a reason to believe that a bigger investor will throw down some big cash as well.
Your efforts made sense at the time but you and several other movers and shakers had difficulty seeing the real future for the sport which has unfolded despite your hanging on to the past. I was fortunate getting in the sport in 1989 to get the perspective from the past but not get trapped in it so I could help develop and support the real future. Sorry it didn't go your way. But the public has decided where disc golf is heading, not you nor me. They really want to play, not watch and definitely not pay to watch. You're fighting it, I'm rolling with it. You're still hoping to see "clothes on the Emperor" when there haven't been any for years.
What would they be investing in?
Hey, thats up to you to tell them. You are the administrator.
Also when I joined the pdga it didn't say psuedo in front of pdga. If thats what you think about it what are you doing working for it.
The mistake in retrospect was calling the original org "PDGA" but Steady Ed already had the much better name of Disc Golf Association tied up. It was the cart before that horse which still hasn't trotted along. The PGA (1916) was founded after the USGA (1894) where the true base of amateur players had been established and there was a need for the PGA.
No, Chuck, I didn't hang on to the past for one minute. I worked my way to the top of a more professional organization, USCF cycling. The view from the top can be a lot different than anywhere else. I could see the direction the pdga was going and I went a different direction. I really don't care what the pdga does anymore. I have a little disc golf heaven in my chosen town. I just wish you administrators wouldn't listen to the dumbed down public and finally set up a reasonable tour that allowed less travel to follow the "tour".

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