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Anytime I read a discussion or blog post regarding anything that has the slightest bit to do with making this sport more legitimate in the eyes of the general public, eventually the same topic arises. I hear things like "Man, if we could just build up this sport's popularity, then there'd be some real cash in it.", or "If we could get a few big names/sponsors to step up and endorse the sport, we'd have a shot at some big money.". I confess. I'm torn.

I find myself in an interesting predicament here. On one hand, I'd love nothing more than for this sport to gain the recognition it deserves. There are numerous reasons this sport could and should be bigger than it is. So many, in fact, that listing them here would be counter-productive, as I will eventually attempt to make a valid point. I'm convinced that, if given the proper exposure, disc golf would take off farther than anyone thought possible. And like Martha Stewart says, "it's a good thing".

Then we bring money into the equation. Now, perhaps I'm a bit biased, as I have never been a fan of money. I graciously accept that money is a part of life, and that without it, you will not survive. But facts being as they are, money changes things. It changes people. Think about it. There have been more acts of cruelty, indecency, and general stupity carried out in the persuit of money than for any other reason. I'm not writing off money as a definite "no-no" when it comes to the advancement of our sport. I'm sure that, done responsibly, a fair amount of currency would definitely put disc golf in a better place. I suppose that would be a step in the right direction. Yet, I have a few fears...

Personally, I don't want disc golf shoes endorsed by Michael Jordan (yeah, well... he's played every other sport...) that are likely to run me $150. I don't want to attend the "Pepsi Pro-Am", where I'm sure I'll have a chance to rub elbows with Cher and that guy who played Ponch on "CHiPS". I don't want to see Innova adverts on my T.V., and Ken Climo "Putt Like The Champ" infomercials. And I damn sure don't want Carl Cubbage on my Wheaties box. I like things simple, and if there's one thing I've learned in my 26 short years, it's that money makes things complicated.

So, if you want to bring the big bucks, fine. Just make sure it's done right. Make sure it stays about disc golf, and never let it be about the money.

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Comment by Rickinator on April 27, 2009 at 5:40pm
There's another issue that I've noticed w/ more and more ppl getting involved, which, I call, the few rotten apples syndrome. The other day at my home course some kids, probably just turned 21, group of 6, casually throwin havin a lazy good time ended up fighting w/ some scrawny, younger high school dudes.

I dont know what happened but 2 big on 2 small and it was obvious who was winning. I tried to break it up peacefully (n I guess I did) but the two got beat up pretty bad and everyone I knew was out there just standing around watching unconcerned about it.

Now that ain't right. Of all the years I played this sport, since '96, even after my hippyish older friends all moved away, I never once had to break up a fucking fight on a disc golf course. It seems like around that course, it gets more and more like that too. More punk ass bitches w/ no respect for anyone else. That aint right.
Comment by John Hodgkins on April 27, 2009 at 1:15pm
I've thought about this time and time again. My conclusion is a couple of words, GREED, EGO, COMPETITION and PRIDE. Think about it. If you had a talent for something, say Spitting Watermelon seeds and there were only 10 people who came to spitting tourneys you wouldn't make much money would you? But if you could "Grow" your sport so that say 1000 people showed up you would make much more. It is my experience that "some" of the "Pro's" want to grow the game for this reason only, so they don't have to work and they can leverage a talent they already have.

The second group seems to be the ones that play for the competition. These are the guys and girls that feel like playing against 10 other people in a skill bracket is not a true judgment of their skill. So naturally Growing the Sport for them is a way to bolster Their own Egos/Pride and sate their need for competition.

Don't get me wrong, there are some people that are in it to just have fun and the more the merrier when it comes to playing.

My pet Peeve is those who say they just want to help the sport but when it comes to action everything is about Money and how much the Pro(s) can make. I mean jeeze, I only made 30k in winnings and god knows how much in "Other" Income based on the sport. I have nothing against making money, just don't hide the fact that it is your motivation and stop hiding behind "Lets Grow the Sport" and start saying "Lets Grow my customer base"
Comment by Chainz-4-Brainz on April 27, 2009 at 8:07am
Eric Estrada! That's his name! It was bothering me all day...
Comment by Rickinator on April 26, 2009 at 11:13pm
I hear you chainz. Disc golf shouldn't be exploited w/ money or especially BIG CORPORATION, thats for damn sure. It would be nice to make a comfortable living while staying on top though. Im a total disc golf junky these days and that really DOES cost money. Sure its great if your poor but gas, discs (unless you already have some) and tournament costs are expensive sometimes.

All I'm saying is that I want to travel the states, suck up the beauty of the countryside, win tournaments with my ultimately superior skills and be able to afford to get to the next tournament in another state, if need be. If pepsi or any other BIG CORPORATION company gets involved w/ tournaments I'm out. I'll quit tournament play and get a real job.
Comment by Alec on April 26, 2009 at 7:27pm
On the last comment. I'd rather follow a "pro" or someone better than me and learn something than play another round any day.
Comment by Terry "the Pirate" Calhoun on April 26, 2009 at 7:08pm
It's an interesting conundrum, though, when your disc golfers would rather "play another round" than follow the top Pros during their Final Nine. I've seen that at Hudson Mills time after time, since there are two courses.

The financial situation is growing the sport outside the current boundaries as people can no longer afford ball golf. If you're unemployed and you even know about disc golf, you're not gonna pay greens fees to play ball golf and kill most of a day on 18 holes.

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