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?
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.
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.
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.