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.
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)