First of all, I want to say that I know there is no easy fix and that it's not going to change anytime soon and I love disc golf, so this isn't a flame.
Second, I'm 41 and I'm playing around advanced level.
With that said, I'm curious about opinions on the subject, so here goes.
My question is, why should I (or somebody like myself) join the PDGA?
I'd imagine, to support disc golf. Which I do by helping keep my local course clean, trimmed, participating in local league, joining our local club, being a walking disc golf evangelist, etc.
I see a lot of tournaments which say that you need to be registered with PDGA, but that leads to another question.
Why would I want to compete in a tournament I know I won't win or place?
Typical answer has been "because it's fun". It is, but I can have very similar fun on league night for much less or free with a few folks.
My problem with the two questions is the PDGA and DGA is trying to cultivate members, but the biggest problem I see is the disparity with the divisions of competition.
At 39, I was still advanced, but unable to play in Masters. So I'm playing against anybody from under 20 to 39. I can't help but feel I'm at a disadvantage.
Now, if I improve some (doesn't have to be a ton), then I'm having to play pro, which puts me in Masters Open, along with our course pro who has been playing for about 20 years, is sponsored by Discraft and just *is* a better player than myself.
Same goes for the pro's. There are some folks playing golf for a living (not many, but a few). How can anybody complete with that kind of skill and playing time? I know some great players, but at 39, they need to play Open and the skill/age level is so wide. You can state Klimo all you like, but there's a reason he's won 12 times and there's nobody like him on tour or off tour. He's like the Tiger Woods of disc golf.
To put it on the level of football, they divide the schools into divisions (1a, 2a, etc.) big 10, pac 10, etc. then you have the pro level after that. What chance would a division 1 school have against an NFL team? Not much.
We all want disc golf to become more mainstream, but should the competition divisions be better defined so that people actually do have a chance of winning?
Do discs need better quality review so they are weighted more consistently and disc molds play the same consistently (i.e. new/old eagle/beast)?
I mean, let's face it. I'm forking over $50-75 to join the pdga, then $20-50 to play in a tournament. That's minimum $70 to compete in something I *cannot* win or place. For me, my competitive nature tells me that's a bad investment. I'm not saying I have to win, but if I throw a good round, I want something in return. I don't want it to have to be my personal best (obviously, it can't be something that's below your average or right on your average).
The reason I come to this is that in other sports, there seems to be a level playing field. Football, same ball, same field, same # of players, close to same level of skill. Golf, similar balls, similar clubs, everybody drives about the same distance (in pros), basketball, same ball, same court, basket is the same height, etc. With disc golf though, there are many discs to choose from, same course, but the players skill levels are so diverse. It's like putting high school, college and pros in the same tournament.
As I say, this could just be me - I'm not angry over it, I just can't help but wonder if some of this would need to change in order for disc golf to become more mainstream. Should the pdga offer something else for membership?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
And please refrain from the pat "you don't like it, don't play" answer. This is only a philosophical discussion for those interested in participating, not a rant or flame