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Pro Masters and the Pro Tour

There has been some discussion on tour lately regarding the Pro Masters division. We even discussed it in a recent podcast . In the past, I have put forward the idea that the Pro
Masters division does not belong on the Pro side of the game. There are two primary reasons for this.

  • First, I feel the Pro side of the game is for the best in the sport and players in their 40s can and should compete to be the best.
  • Second, I believe putting all of the best players into one division will make for the best possible tournament, rather than splitting off some of the world’s best players into a separate division. This becomes even more important as the media side of disc golf grows and the Pro Masters division, and the great players in it would get basically no coverage.

This is an open and working conversation. The following is not a standard or even proposed as one. It is a starting point for the conversation. We want to encourage everyone to play in the Open division and here is the plan. At Pro Tour events at which the MPO/FPO divisions did not fill in 2018:

  1. Every player that is over the age of 40 and playing in the Pro Tour event may optionally put in an extra $50 on top of the standard entry fee.
  2. This will qualify them for inclusion in a side pot in which there will be a 200% payout.
  3. Payout Among the age protected side pot will work the same as all the other divisions. Top 40%, same relatively flat payout.

To give an example of what we are proposing, if the entry fee is $225, pros aged 40 and up may put in $275 to be in both the standard open payout and the age protected side pot payout. The Masters division would only exist for the purposes of the side pot. All PDGA reporting would show one (MPO or FPO) division.
The player will be putting in $275, $100 would go to the Masters side pot and $175 would go to the open payout.
In the long-term, payouts will continue to rise and it will be in the best interest of Masters aged players to play in the open division because that is where most of the money is. We envision a weaning process where, moving forward, when an event has a waitlist at the start of the tournament that is larger than the number of participants in the Masters side pot, then the Masters side pot would not be available the following year.
Below is an example of how this would have worked at the 2018 Waco Annual Charity Open, presuming the 40+ players in Open put money into the Masters Pot and everyone in the Masters division played, which may be a big presumption, but it gives us a good starting point. To see how the following was derived, please review our calculation spreadsheet .