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History

A Stage for our Best Athletes

The Vibram Open, held on June 23-25, 2016, marked the beginning of the Disc Golf Pro Tour, which eventually transformed into the MVP Open.

HISTORY OF THE DGPT

Our Mission: We create and curate the world’s grandest stages at premier venues for the world’s best disc golfers in order to transmit the story of professional disc golf as an engaging, high-quality experience that inspires and grows fans of the sport on-site and online.

The Disc Golf Pro Tour was founded with the primary goal of creating a stage for the top athletes in our sport to showcase their skills while giving fans an opportunity to socialize and enjoy watching history together as a community. Additionally, the Pro Tour strives to motivate the younger generation to pursue the sport by presenting them with inspirational figures and heroes to admire and emulate as they play the game they love. To achieve this goal, the premier events in disc golf needed to be organized into a geographically sensible tour needed to focus on our best athletes, and needed to put forward a live product worthy of watching.

The Disc Golf Pro Tour interacts with topics of sport, travel, media, land use, community, business, events, entertainment, and more. This wide landscape requires a broad vision to guide the Tour in its decision-making and actions.

The DGPT strives to be respectful of the land around us, our vision is to curate sustainable practices for people and environments in our pursuit to create meaningful experiences and products for our team and community.

We aim to create professional relationships based on mutual respect, care, and shared passion as we continually innovate professional rules, standards, and experiences for our events and media.

We create powerful media and onsite experiences in an effort to provide accessibility for viewers and spectators as we strive to enrich the lives of those in the disc golf community.

Paul McBeth at the MVP Open 2022

BEFORE THE TOUR

Before the Pro Tour, there were limited opportunities for our sport’s top athletes to compete in dedicated events. These players have the greatest potential to pursue a career in professional touring, and as such, our premier events should prioritize them and provide them with greater visibility. The Pro Tour exclusively features two Open divisions: Men’s (MPO) and Women’s (FPO). This ensures that all of the added cash at the event goes directly to these players, providing them with an opportunity to tour full-time. Moreover, the Pro Tour collaborates with players to facilitate local and on-site clinics, generate media exposure, and supply comprehensive season-long statistics through our partnership with UDisc.

THE OFFICIAL TOUR OF THE PDGA

In 2003 the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) began the National Tour (NT), this was the first time that multiple premier events were structured into a professional tour, making it possible for the sport’s best athletes to compete against each other on a professional level. While the National Tour made great strides in advancing professional disc golf, the professional side of the sport soon grew to a level where more events, organization, and structure were necessary.

The DGPT and the PDGA National Tour co-existed from 2016 to 2021, and in September of 2021, the DGPT and the PDGA reached a momentous agreement that forever transformed the landscape of professional disc golf. The new partnership effectively assimilated National Tour events into the pro tour as the DGPT was designated the “Official Pro Tour of the PDGA.” This powerful partnership has helped accelerate the growth of professional disc golf at the elite level.

“The PDGA’s support has allowed the DGPT to grow and thrive, period. Our experience working with Joe Chargualaf, Mike Downes, and the PDGA staff has been entirely supportive,” said DGPT CEO & Director Jeff Spring. “Since the very start, the PDGA has encouraged us, worked collaboratively with us, and strived towards this moment as a partner. I’m extremely proud to take this monumental step forward with them as meaningful partners to usher in the true new age of professional disc golf.” (PDGA Staff, Announcing The Official Pro Tour of the PDGA, Professional Disc Golf Association, September 28, 2021, www.pdga.com/news/announcing-official-pro-tour-pdga)

Photo of Jeff Spring of the DGPT

THE EVOLUTION OF THE DGPT

Since its inception in 2016, the Disc Golf Pro Tour has experienced tremendous growth and has become the world’s most prestigious professional disc golf tour. The Pro Tour has expanded to include over twenty-five events each season, with top-tier players from around the globe competing for large cash prizes and valuable tour points.

As the Pro Tour has expanded, so too has its fan base. In 2016, our coverage videos received just over 1,000,000 views, while in 2022, the viewership soared, reaching an impressive 50 million views. Moreover, we have witnessed a surge in the number of Disc Golf Network subscribers in recent years. In 2020, we had a subscriber base of fewer than 1500 (1,406), while in 2022, our subscription count skyrocketed to nearly 50,000. Year by year, tournament attendance has also been growing at professional disc golf events throughout the season. In 2022 a new pro disc golf event attendance record was set as over 5,500 spectators attended the European Open (a PDGA Major).

Spectator Cover Photo (DGPT)

The expansion of the tour and the increasing number of fans have presented professional players with more opportunities to compete for larger prize pools. In fact, over the course of the last ten years, the total prize money in professional disc golf has nearly tripled. The most recent 2022 Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship, which took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, featured a combined prize pool of over $300,000, with equal portions going to the men’s and women’s divisions. This event was one of six tournaments in 2022 with prize pools exceeding $100,000.

The tour’s growth has also led to increased media coverage and exposure, with live streaming of tournaments and professional production of recap videos. The Pro Tour’s expansion has garnered substantial media attention, with live tournaments and highlights being showcased on major networks such as ESPN and CBS Sports, contributing to its growing popularity. Additionally, the tour has worked to build meaningful relationships with industry media partners to support the growth of the sport, including JomezPro, Gatekeeper Media, GK Pro, and Ace Run Pro. As a result, the Disc Golf Pro Tour continues to attract new players and fans and has established itself as a leading force in the world of disc golf.

TOUR STATS

MEN'S DGPT WINS (Elite, Elite+, and DGPT Championship)

Player 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 Total
Paul McBeth 2 2 3 6 2 1 1 1 18
Ricky Wysocki 3 4 2 1 1 3 5 2 21
Eagle McMahon 0 0 0 1 2 4 0 0 7
Calvin Heimburg 0 0 0 2 1 2 2 7
Kevin Jones 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 3
Chris Dickerson 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 3
James Conrad 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
Nikko Locastro 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2
Jeremy Koling 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
Adam Hammes 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2
Kyle Klein 0 0 1 0 1 2
Drew Gibson 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2
Bradley Williams 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
Colten Montgomery 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Nathan Queen 0 0 1 0 0 1
Simon Lizotte 0 1 0 0 0 4 2 7
Nate Sexton 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Joel Freeman 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Isaac Robinson 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Gannon Buhr 0 0 0 3 3
Emerson Keith 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Parker Welck 0 0 0 0 1 1
Cole Redalen 0 0 1 1
Matt Orum 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

WOMEN'S DGPT WINS (Elite, Elite+, and DGPT Championship)

Player 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 Total
Paige Pierce 1 7 4 6 7 5 3 2 35
Catrina Allen 3 1 1 3 1 2 2 2 15
Sarah Hokom 2 1 4 1 0 0 0 0 8
Missy Gannon 0 0 0 2 1 2 5
Hailey King 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 4
Jessica Weese 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
Kristin Tattar 0 0 2 5 5 12
Kona Panis 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Valerie Mandujano 0 0 0 2 1 3
Ohn Scoggins 0 0 1 1 2
Natalie Ryan 0 0 2 0 2
Kat Mertsch 0 0 0 0 1 1