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Is disc golf really a sport, or is it just a novel recreation at schools and public parks? Disc golf is the only “Sport” I know of where the amateurs and club volunteers donate to clubs to run PDGA Sanctioned Professional Disc Golf Tournaments. All other sports that I know of have Vendors as the primary sponsor, and they PAY the people that help to run the tournament.

Tags: club, donate, profit, sponsor, tornament, volunteer

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Hey, maybe we should piggyback onto the summer X-Games?
The only event that would be of interests to this demographic would be the long drive. But even then it would have to be promoted by Red Bull and hyped up with a lot of "xtreme" expensive marketing and commercials with Travis Pastrana saying "I can't wait to bomb some discs".
It is good to hear from you vendors that benefit from putting on tournaments, and appreciate the club volunteers that help your vending business. I especially like where you pay your "volunteers". I don't think many other PROFESSIONAL sports organizations rely on volunteers and club members to run their events like disc golf. I also don't know of any other sport where anyone can Join the sport's professional organization, and just pay to enter the open division. Most sports have standards, you would have to qualify to play professional in other sanctioned sports.
as a very young sport as sports go we already do have qualifying necessary tourneys....USDGC, players cup and the world championships.
I'm from Tulsa and the PGA has had several events here in town, including the US Open. For that event, the country club that hosted it (Southern Hills) was required to provide a certain number of volunteers. Not unlike our volunteers, these had to pay $150 for the right to do it. This covered their shirts, hats, badges, ect... They still had to buy their own pants of a certain style and color. Even with being charged to be a volunteer, they had people lining up for it and pulling strings with anyone they knew so they could get the right to volunteer. Granted the PGA ran the event but they still require numerous volunteers, unpaid I might add.
Why? Because there is no big money involved in this sport. Most clubs/tourneys are run by volunteers because they couldn't afford to pay a staff.

I think Mace said it best in a blog...the only market for big money sponsorship in Disc Golf is the participants themselves....and that isn't enough for big time mainstream sponsorships...look at the numbers 41000? in the PDGA...14000+ active? somewhere, I believe, I read that it is estimated that maybe 2 million may either play or have played our sport at one time. Sounds like a big number,...huh? Not really in the big picture.





At this point in the history of our game...we should be able to turn on ESPN and at any random time during the day and potentially see a 15 second spot promoting the sport....yeah it's a sport!!!



What does the PDGA need to do...to get the sport to this level?
Surfing has household names like Billabong, Quiksilver (items that are available in your department stores now).
If you check your history, the big surfing events were originated by an Australian marketer (now Billabong) in the U.S..

Skateboarding has the Dew Tour and the X Games, along with all of its products and apparel. Tony Hawk video games and products. Even Nike 6.0 now.

What is disc golf's big sponsor? Innova, Discraft, Keen, Vibram, Brazilian Springs?

The PDGA must sell the sport.
Not only to sponsors but the public and it kids as well.
It needs to sell the future.

Went to the WFDF in Jacksonville this year.
Overall Worlds.
Dogs, DDC, Ultimate, Disc Golf, Freestyle, Guts, Field Events: During the dog events there were more than 1000 non frisbee flyer spectators. No one walked over to watch disc golf, all eyes were on the leaping dogs.

What do dogs have over disc golf.
Do I need to answer that?
It's tough to market a sport that doesn't offer to much excitement for spectators other then ourselves who play...I think most people would rather watch paint dry then Disc Golf.

Put some big time money on the line...then I bet it's a different story. When little kids across the globe start arguing over...Who gets to be Dave Feldberg...then we might be on the right track
The solution...well who really knows?
The label we (the players) put on disc golf is not all that important. We can call it a sport or a hobby or a game or a form of recreation. Really it is all of these and more. Frisbee is a religion, a compulsion, an avocation and a family. What the outside world calls us matters more to the future of the game than what we call it ourselves.

The fact that we have volunteers who promote and administer the game shows how important the game is to those volunteers and to the participants they serve. Almost everyone involved in the game volunteers on some level which shows what a truly cooperative effort it is.

Many players decry the primitive level of our evolving game. Pros are not paid much. TD's are usually paid nothing. We have little TV and media coverage. OK. None of that diminishes my love of the game or my respect for it. We are in the Golden Era of disc golf.

There is a purity to the game which shines through any of its flaws and any of the flaws of individual players. We can feel the health and vitality and purity which flows through the game. Take this test: Go throw a perfect shot. The balance and rhythm and timing and power of the shot will flow through you and become part of you. Everyone who adopts the game as their own shares these feelings and becomes part of the Frisbee Family. We all have brothers and sisters and cousins we have never met but are still in our family.
Well stated as usual Mark...and we can't forget that...it's our roots. But room for growth on professional side of the coin is way overdue. I would say it seems like some effort to define the professionals in this sport is being made by the PDGA...New requirements to particaipate in NT's ...the NT series itself...players ratings. etc...but is it enough?


One of the issues is...nothing other then paying a few extra dollars really defines who is a professional and who is not. I think that hurts the sport as being recognizable as a professional sport.


What it means to be a professional needs to be better defined...The professional bar should be raised....well created period.

Maybe the PDGA should consider changing it's name from "Professional" to "Players" and revamp or expand the whole sanctioning process. Either way there should be some seperation from the AMs and the Pros in this sport.


The dues for AM members and Am based events should be slashed...I believe if AM fees and dues were drastically reduced...the active membership would increase..a case of less is more...
Pro players and pro events...up the ante....a lot. The Pros need to play for more then gas money.

This sport can continue to grow as both an inexpensive recreation activity utilizing efforts of volunteers and grow into a professionally recognized sport at the same time. Doing this will help both the struggling playing professional and the DG business professional.
Harley-Davidson has a line "If had to explain it to you, you wouldn't understand."

Go do it.
Disc Golf.
Watching dogs involves no moving around and one can see the entire event from one spot. The same is true for most X-Games sports, etc... People will pay big money just to watch cars turn left. They do not need move to see what is developing. Ever notice when they have special golf events on TV (old shell matches, Wendy three tour challenge, etc...) they have very little turn out for spectators. Is that because there is only something going on in one spot at a time and they would have to move to follow the story line?

To me one of things I enjoy is just watching the flight of the disc. How many cameras would one need to capture that? Just some random thoughts. I love this sport and one first things I did when my kids were born was get them a PDGA number :)

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