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In Disc Golf there are countless opinions on what has to happen for the game to truly come of age. We constantly hear about a higher level of professionalism, corporate sponsorship, and media coverage. Yet, the more these fires are stoked the less I am impressed with the fruits of our collective efforts. I can't help but think that the harder we try to mold a presentable sport the more we hold back its real potential. It reminds me of an old saying my parents used on me: "you can dress him up, but you can't take him out". I think there is something to be said for trying too hard.

Red Bull Air Race

As I flicked through channels tonight I came across a sporting event I had never heard of before, and yet here it was, on a popular sports network, at a peak hour, and set for the international stage. I am talking about the Red Bull Air Race World Series. I can already hear everyone groaning. "Well of course that's on TV, it's an amazing display of technological triumph and coordination, plus it's highly dangerous." Agreed, but aside from the danger bit, how is Disc Golf any different? The technology of disc flight still eludes the greatest manufacturers in the industry, and even mediocre pros awe passers-by with a routine field session. And let's face it, if poker has the neccessary danger element to make sports networks then Disc Golf is a shoe-in.

Nikko Locastro

So what is the key then?
Why not do like Clapton says and let it all hang out? Young hardcores like Gateway's Nikko Locastro and his quaff of hair are the perfect ingredient in a recipe for commercial success I think. The demographic of disc golfers may be closer to middle aged than adolescent, but even old timers watch Tiger before they watch the Champions tour. Viewers want entertainment that is young, exciting, and new. Red Bull seems to be a label that runs hand in hand with this concept. In my minds eye I can see it now: Red Bull presents a world series of match play Disc Golf amongst the worlds top 20 players on the worlds most extreme and awe inspiring courses. Even without televised coverage, I'd bet the presentation and format would garner the attnetion we need to finally reach a level of notoriety we've yet to even sniff...(to be continued)

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Tags: bull, disc, discsports, golf, locastro, media, nikko, red, snap

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Comment by GRANITESTATEDISCS on November 4, 2008 at 5:36pm
To clean up the PDGA would be horrible. With disc golfers it starts with the amateur players. If we were all pro's it would be expensive to play, and not as fun. It starts with the great weekend disc golfers drinking beers and having fun.

Peace!
Comment by humchris on November 4, 2008 at 2:34pm
Neat idea. I aggree with you that the atempts of the PDGA to "clean up" the sport of disc golf are a lame idea. This is part of the reason that I started the UPDGA or the Un-Professional Disc Golf Association. Come join us get your free UPDGA#. I think some events that push the sport more into the "extreme sport" relm would be a fun way to get new people into the sport, just watching video of regular playing isn't as good of a marketing tool.
Keep Hucking
-Chris UPDGA# 0001
Comment by John McMullen on November 4, 2008 at 2:12pm
I like where you're going with this. I spent 30 years as a climber (rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering). One of the biggest "event" sponsors in recent years has been Red Bull. Events that showcase modern ice climbing have been a big hit for the climbing industry and Red Bull has helped get air time for some of them. Sure, ice climbing will never be as main stream as disc golf ... and yet they sponsor that extremely dangerous sport and have helped it grow.
I like your thinking. Why try to force disc golf down the ball golf path ... make it unique, keep it edgy and let the players let their hair hang down!
"Red Bull presents a world series of match play Disc Golf amongst the worlds top 20 players on the worlds most extreme and awe inspiring courses." I love this idea!

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