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A Vision for Disc Golf: Part Three, the Pro Side

The Pro side of the game

Spectators are ready to come watch, engage in the festival, and meet the pros. The pros finally have a geographically sensible, sustainable tour that can support them throughout the season. Kids that learn about the sport are more likely to keep playing as they learn there is a real Pro Tour. Sponsors like seeing the number of eyeballs that watch a fast growing sport and has tremendous growth potential. It is time.

Our sport has grown up. We have helped define a new level of player, the Touring Pro. The top 48 men and the top 12 women on the Pro Tour are our first Touring Pros. They will have spots reserved at each Pro Tour event, a player page on the Pro Tour website and will automatically be included in the Pro Tour Power Rankings. Plus, they will be part of our inaugural class in the Pro Tour Trading Cards (due out by year’s end).

Watching them play and compete is absolutely thrilling and we have successfully started to create an emotionally compelling narrative. The Pro Tour Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals were thrilling. On the women’s side, Zoe Andyke threatened to break into the top four and upset the understood order of things. She missed out by one stroke to Val Jenkins and Sarah Hokom. On the men’s side, every round was hotly contested, including two sudden death playoffs. The semifinals may have been the most compelling disc golf the world has ever seen.

We are getting quite close. Bonds between players and fans are being created. People are watching. We are building a sustainable model for professional disc golf that can help spread the culture of the disc and show our great sport to millions.

The Pro Tour holds events every other week. This allows our players to maintain their mental and physical health, so we can watch them at their best each week. Events traversing the country in a sensible manner would lessen the cost of travel and allow each region to know when the world’s best players would be in their region. Additionally, events that want to be nationally recognized will be able to fill in the off weeks with regional A-Tiers that would attract some of the Touring Pros while they are in the area.

The PDGA, Pro Tour and World Tour can work together to create the ultimate pro schedule. Imagine a coordinated tour. From February to October there would be a premier disc golf event every other weekend. We will be able to watch the best players in the world compete at a great venue, for a good purse, via an ever improving video broadcast (whether you watch live or via an edited recap). Working together, disc golf has a very bright future.

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I will close on a question to you: What kinds of things would encourage you, or some of your disc friends, to attend a Pro Tour event? No ideas are too crazy.

7 Comments

  • Lee Reading

    October 19, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Steve: I support and respect your innovation, leadership and vision to build the pro tour. Please continue your commitment to collaborate with PDGA and DGWT going forward so all organizations and players benefit. I do not think the audience is big enough to warrant live coverage yet. High quality edited recaps work for now. Good luck!

    • October 19, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      Thank you! We will continue to push the envelope. The live vs edited debate will not be done until it is obvious that we have a big, sustainable, live viewership. Until then, we will continue to discuss.

  • Daniel Hagman

    October 19, 2016 at 8:25 am

    First off. Great idea or dream to have an event every other week.
    I LOVED the semifinals 4 round idea. The live broadcast and live scoring made every card really fun to watch. I can watch the highlights later.
    The post event rounds in like the DGWT are fun but I didnt watch them all since I know where the “fun” stuff were from the live scoring and instagram videos.

    How to make me come to a DGPT event? Come to Sweden for starters. And after that Ill get good enough to compete. So give me a few years.

  • John Pockrus

    October 19, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Hire a an LPGA event manager to organize tours and coordinate sponsorships. Affinity and lifestyle opportunities can broaden appeal and draw spectators. A pro-am? Coaching and lessons would get me to an event.

    • October 19, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      A Pro-Am is a great idea and one that will be tested at several events this year. Clinics are also planned, so we are on the same page. Do you know an LPGA event manager looking to make a jump?

    • Tallin

      February 5, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      At last! Someone with real exipetrse gives us the answer. Thanks!

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