Disc Golf Tournaments/competition

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Postby Mr.SmOOOth » Wed Dec 20, 2006 6:58 pm

The Memorial is in March, so I am still deciding if it's do-able. Ha ha, no, I wouldn't have a chance at cashing. :D My mindset, though, is that I would rather work my way up in a harder division than stay too long in an easier one.
Two years ago I came in third in Advanced Am. in our local series (non- pdga). I could've had the mindset of some and stay in the same division until I place first overall, but I moved up to open and placed mid-pack.
I don't think of it in terms of beating or getting beat. I look at my peformance and how well I played. If I played a new course and thought I played well, even if I placed at the bottom of the pack, I would still take the experience as a positive.
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Postby black udder » Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:22 pm

I applaud your mindset and congrats on your placements. Although not cashing, they are good (and improving).

However, remember, the discussion is for broadening the sport.

Do you feel that the majority of disc golf players should/would need to feel the same as you in order to participate?

You placed third in a division and moved up. Me, I placed second and I'm staying where I am because I'm still not up to the skill level of the players in open in our league. They're shooting 10 down average and I'm getting close to 5 down. I'm hoping that I can win our Adv league this year (let's face it, how many opportunities do you get to win a trophy?). Plus, I feel that I'm not sand bagging. I have to come back from a hip replacement and then hope that I can get back to spec and then, hopefully, improve my game instead of screwing it up with all the advice I've gleaned from here.

Thanks for the input :D
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Postby Mr.SmOOOth » Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:48 pm

I think in order to broaden the sport people need to take matters into their own hands. I have been kicking around an idea to put on a 'mini tournament' with no prizes just handmade trophies. There would also be no entry fee. This would be for beginners and intermediates only. People liked this idea until they found out there would be no prizes (discs, bags, etc.). It seems nobody was interested in playing just for the sport or camaraderie. It was kind of a bummer. I can't fault people for wanting to win stuff.
I see so many new players coming out to my local course all the time. They are having fun and maybe only a small percentage of them will continue to play after a year or two, but, I think the days when our sport is looked at as a legitimate sport are still a few years away.
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Postby Bruce » Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:41 am

black, you asked what you get, so I went and pinched this from a similar thread on the PDGA board :D

Direct Benefits:
Allowed to play in the most prestigious events.
$5 discount at Sanctioned events.
Free subscription to the DGW magazine.
Tracked player rating.
Lifetime PDGA number, disc, and mini.
Posting access to the PDGA DISCussion board.
Voting of board members.
Polls on hot issues.

Indirect Benefits:
(to the public because of membership support)
Course directory.
Course evaluations.
Competition/scoring archives.
Rules.
Technical specs and standards.
International Disc Golf Center.
PDGA Radio News.
PDGA Member News.


If the philanthropy of helping to provide the indirect benefits doesn't interest you, then maybe the direct benefits do?

Reading your posts, you seem to be very winning-oriented. I used to be the same way, and ended up winning the British Amateur title.
Then I moved up, and I was hopelessly lost in my game for a season before I realised it's much better to be performance-oriented. If you can play to the best of your ability, it's inherently satisfying, regardless of your finishing position.

As far as broadening the sport goes, I'd say that with 2 million players, you're pretty broad over there anyway! It's more a case of getting public recognition and sponsorship dollars...
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Postby black udder » Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:32 am

Hey Bruce, thanks for the response.

I've already looked at the pdga site and know the membership packet. Again, I'm not necessarily talking just me. I'll probably be joining next year.

I guess the question is clearing up to be more like, is the pdga membership only for those seeking to play in tournaments or for those just wishing to support the sport.

You mention the benefits:

Allowed to play in the most prestigious events. -- many only if you qualify.
$5 discount at Sanctioned events. -- always a perk
Free subscription to the DGW magazine. - $20/year
Tracked player rating. -- if you don't play tournaments, this is void
Lifetime PDGA number, disc, and mini. -- cool...does anybody throw their pdga disc? (out of curiosity).
Posting access to the PDGA DISCussion board. - you can read w/out membership and post here :)
Voting of board members. -- if you don't know them, it's kind hard to really make an intelligent choice.
Polls on hot issues. -- Dunno about this as I'm not a member (lol)

Point here is that the pdga seems a little undefined in it's membership goals. On one hand they want and need as many members as they can get; however, the obvious benefits appear to be to the more rabid fans and tournament players.

As for being a winning-oriented player. I guess I am. I figure if somebody's keeping score, then there are winners and losers. If I'm playing, then the objective is to win. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a win at all costs person or an ultra hard core competitor. It's just my opinion that if you're playing in a tournament, then your objective should be to win if you can. I've played plenty of rounds for giggles and fun and not kept score. I have no issues with it. But in a tournament when you've forked over some cash, it's just my personal opinion that you should stand a chance.

It might all boil down to if you don't stand a chance, you need to move down in divisions until you do stand a chance.

A lot of folks in my area play Pro or Open because they are definitely better than the advanced players, but I can't help but wonder if they shouldn't play advanced in the larger tournaments since they're really not as good as the top open players that are playing.

I'd like to see tournaments where any out of the entire open field could win it instead of like 6 guys or so, and maybe 1 local who is having a great game.

Maybe it's due to the fact that only a handful or so of players actually tour extensively and are, therefore, a level above all the other localized Pros.
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Postby cmlasley » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:05 am

As a poor law student with a family, I really can't afford to buy membership in the PDGA or play tournaments. Frankly, I don't ever expect to play tournaments because of the time investment, and feel that entry fees would be better spent on new plastic. However, when I get out of school, I will still join the PDGA. I think the organization will be crucial to making disc golf a truly professional sport.

As far as growing the sport, I think (and I have heard this discussed before) the PDGA needs to split off an ADGA (Amateur Disc Golf Association) to handle all of those rec/amateur players that want to play in tourneys. Using the current rating system (or maybe even something with more resolution), they should make rules so that once your rating gets to a certain number (and have it not be too arbitrary) you can no longer play in the ADGA events. The ADGA and PDGA should be split into divisions the way the current systems are.
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Postby black udder » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:17 am

That ADGA sounds like what I'm thinking too... So you'd compete against people on your level... until you went beyond that.

Interesting... thanks.

I really can't stress how amazed I am at the level of dedication of the disc golf community. I mean, really. How many sports have the dedication of it's fan base to essentially donate yearly membership fees just for the sake of growing the sport?

I've met some of the most incredible people through disc golf. It really is an amazing sport. I can't help but wonder, if it gets bigger, don't we increase the ratio of jerks too? :(
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Postby Bruce » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:17 am

I'm not sure what you want the PDGA to offer? What can anyone offer to average Joe who just wants to have a casual round with his buddies once a month. A six-pack maybe? :lol:

I guess it will always be targeted at those who actually play in PDGA events, that is, the active members.

Re: winning, I'm not sure why everyone should have a chance to win, that would seem to reward mediocrity. As far as I can see, all sports have the 'can's and 'can't quite's, and it's the ones who work hard and challenge themselves who become the 'can's.
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Postby black udder » Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:09 pm

I'm just looking for even competition.

When you look at the top 10 players, that's pretty even. All I'm asking is that the playing field below them in any given tournament not be 50 strokes behind. I know people can have an off day, but those guys are a handful of strokes away from one another. It's like a best score for the locals on a course will be, say, -14. A pro like the top 10 comes in and shoots a -16 first time or something. Perhaps that's a little stretch, but I do believe there is a difference in skill levels between the touring/sponsored pros and many of the local folks that put themselves in the pro/open division.

As for what does the PDGA offer... what does the PGA offer? Who becomes a member of the PGA and when? To me, it sounds like the same organization, but it's really not. Know what I mean? Just because of the grass roots nature, you have a lot of folks in the PDGA who would not be in the PGA (if they were the same).

Football is, unfortunately, I guess the example of what I'm talking about. There are 32 teams and with the exception of perhaps 1-3 teams a year, *any* team can beat *any* team. It's parity.

Perhaps part of it is that players are encouraged to "move up" once they place or win in a current division. A friend of mine plays well. A couple years ago he was playing advanced and winning. He was doing well. So me moved up into the Masters division. Now, he' s a good player, but now he's playing against guys who have been sponsored for like 10 years. His score in a recent tournament was 261, the masters winning was 214. There were only 25 players in the division. Advanced won with 210, the open won with 199. The Advanced masters took it with 239. Now I know he had a bad day, but perhaps he should be playing advanced masters? At least then, the field is more competitive. I'm thinking even shaving 20 strokes off his score he's at 241 which is still not competitive with the division he played.

I just feel the disparity between the first place and last place is too big.

For example, the women? best 296, last 316. That to me is a close match. That's worth watching! :) That has some tension.

I believe if you shoot 20 strokes off first place, that's competition. In 4 rounds, that's 5 strokes a round for you to pick up (or for them to lose). With practice and some luck, you could reverse that or at least come much closer.

When you're 30, 40 or 50 strokes off, I feel that the person in first place isn't really being challenged. That's like the top 15 PGA players taking on the college ranks.

I don't intend this to be about "I want to win", this is what's best for the game - good competition. What does the sport need? More members. If you feel like you could win a disc or two playing, isn't that more incentive to toss in a few bucks and come out and play? It just means even out the divisions. If you're only scoring 5 or fewer strokes more than the folks in your division, why move up? Odds are, you're 10 strokes or more down from the next group up.

You don't see Ken Climo having won 11 times saying, "no thanks, I can't move up so I can't accept your money or trophy. I'm just playing for fun." hahaha No. He's playing for a check, and it's my belief that there should be more than about 6 guys that can take the check away from him! :D

Again ... all just fun discussion. I realize that this isn't something with an easy solution - perhaps no solution, but it's interesting to hear everybody's viewpoint.
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Postby Blake_T » Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:21 pm

part of the problem you are speaking of has a lot to do with the roots in regions as well as the significant movers/shakers in each area.

a lot of frisbee pioneers and most of the old school players in each region tend to grow somewhat closed off on whom they wish to play with and in what division.

example: a 910 rated pro grand master will probably sit at the top of the intermediate division or bottom of the advanced open division. for the sake of competition, they have the best shot to win in intermediate.

in 9 out of 10 situations if they were faced with the choice of playing intermediate, advanced, or not at all, they would likely choose not to play rather than have to play with a hodge podge of younger players that get similar scores.

that the 910 grandmaster would rather lose every weekend to the 940 rated grandmaster and walk over the 850 rated grandmaster says to me that a good number of tournament players play for many more reasons than competition.
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Postby black udder » Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:38 pm

I agree, Blake, I think many, probably most players in tournaments are playing for something other than competition. I believe that's evident in the divergence in scores and the, for the most part, good turnouts.

I believe many of the sponsored players are obligated to play in all certain rated tournaments within a specific range.

What I'd like is to play with some really great players in a tournament - some of the top guys. Problem is, if I don't throw as well as them, I don't get that card, which - duh - sort of defeats the purpose to some degree. I very well might play with some great players, but guys are sponsored for a reason (they're the disc golf "stars") and right now, you can meet and talk with the stars. I'd just like to play a round with some of 'em :)

I've played a few rounds with our local pro (Chris Hysell) and enjoyed it very much. He's been as kind as you could imagine to the local disc golf community. There are a couple other guys that play to his skill level and, again, they're unbelievably generous with time and advice.

It's too bad we don't have any younger pros in the area.
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Postby rehder » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:07 am

the only way to solve the problem you describe udder, is by having the number of players competing in a tourney to increase by 10-100 fold. This would give a sufficient amount of people across all skill ranges, and an increase in different divisions. The only downside is that a tourney would now take weeks to complete unless you can spread the tournament out to 10+ courses.
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Postby black udder » Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:31 am

I don't know that it would need to be that big... our course can take a load of 70 odd players, the larger courses probably a few more. I think if you could get, like you said, tens more in attendance, it would help.

If we want DG to be more widespread, get more attention, get some live TV coverage, then we're going to have to accept the negatives - of which multi-day tournaments might be one. It's also been said that as the sport increases in size, the accessibility to the biggest names will probably be more difficult. As it is, you can go up to Ken Climo and have a chat, get an autograph. Try that with Tiger!

This has been a grass roots sport for many years and I don't think the intention of the DGA and PDGA is to keep it that way forever. I'm not sure how far it will get though. I do believe that more competition is a good thing though.
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Postby rehder » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:15 am

I am confused as to what you want. Do you want to have a big playing field where you meet a bunch of golfers at a more similar level compared to now or do you still want to be able to hang out with the pros, which there is a bigger opportunity of now?


The other side of the coin as you mentioned it, with much larger numbers of players is that it will mostly serve to benefit the professional players, because most people cant afford to take ½ a week of work to just attend a tournament. I at least know that I would get in trouble with the gf, if all my vacations where spent on dg and not on common interests :lol:
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Postby black udder » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:50 am

Exactly. It's going to be interesting to see how DG develops over the years.

It'd be nice to live near some of the top pros and get an opportunity to see them play or actually play a round with them. I've played with our local pro, now in Masters, and it's always been a learning opportunity as well as a lot of fun. I've also been lucky that there are several players who are not pros, but I consider pro caliber (Masters again), that are so generous with their time and knowledge.

I imagine if the game picks up substantially, that more people will be able to actually make a decent living at it. Right now I think $40k is the top money on tour - compared to how many millions for the top Golf pros? It's crazy how small this sport is in comparison.
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