Beginning Wednesday the 21st, lower rated players will be able to pay less to register.
The Idlewild Open has around 50 MPO and 10 FPO players registered. Our goal is to get 120 MPO and 24 FPO. We want it to fill. In our previous article, we discussed three reasons that Pro Tour events may not fill (location, cost, course). Idlewild has both a great location and a great course, so this is an opportunity to test our theory and minimize the cost factor.
For Touring Pros, the entry fee is probably not a determining factor, but for local and regional pros (and adventurous ams), a $200 price tag can cause hesitation, especially when there are so few other “little fish”. This brings us to the idea of a graduated entry fee for events that do not sell out.
Caveat: If the event does fill, players with a reduced entry fee may pay full price to secure their spot. If they do not they may be bumped by players paying a higher entry fee. Players would be bumped in the reverse order that they signed up and bumped players receive a full refund.
This should help create demand and will get more locals excited about playing against the best players in the world.
The Idlewild Open, as with all Pro Tour events, will have a minimum of $10,000 added cash to the MPO/FPO fields. Players that pay a reduced entry fee will simply add less to the base payout (although they will be adding more than if they did not play).
Players that pay a reduced entry fee and cash will receive the full amount that they earned. The goal is to encourage players to take the shot. Paying them in full will do this. Come play! Let’s fill it up!
For every ten players that enter the tournament because of the reduced entry fee, the payout will go four players deeper. This deeper payout will encourage more players to take the chance since they have a larger opportunity to cash, and earn a Pro Tour Casher Pin. Also, every player that registers due to the reduced entry fee increases the overall payout for everyone. This is a positive for the touring pros, for the regional pros who expect to cash, and for the reduced entry players who will strive to make the cash. More players and a deeper payout will make for a better story line. As we say at a New Jersey gas station, “fill ‘er up!”
We have talked with the PDGA and there are no restrictions to creating a graduated entry fee system. The only remaining Pro Tour event that may not sell out is the Idlewild Open. TD Adam Jones is open to trying this idea to see if we can fill it up. Beginning Wednesday the 21st, lower rated players will be able to register using graduated entry fees.