Why Join the PDGA?

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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby Frank Delicious » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:49 pm

Chuck Kennedy wrote:I'm saying courses go in due to the efforts of people, not necessarily the local club in which those people happen to be members. If they happen to be members of the PDGA and the Atlanta or Minnesota or Baltimore clubs, then they should get just as much credit for the installation. The PDGA is a member org with much of the work being done by volunteers. If Jim Smith is a PDGA member and decides to do the work to get a course installed, the PDGA should get some credit for that volunteer effort at a local level. Just because volunteer work isn't done for a national PDGA committee doesn't mean the PDGA wasn't involved even if no funds were exchanged.

What's bizarre about peoples' attribution of credit is the following example. If I go (on my own dime) and help a club somewhere get a course installed, people might credit that assistance to the PDGA. However, if I do it in town, the local MFA club claims or gets the credit. In either case, I'm a dues paying member of both orgs and the MFA should get just as much credit as the PDGA when I travel and help clubs. However, no one seems to want to give credit to the PDGA when they talk about all of the efforts made by PDGA members locally when the local club wasn't providing any more funds than the PDGA in the process. I realize it's human nature to attribute credit locally. But all the people did in many cases was simply pay annual dues to different orgs.



If I run a local club and get a new course installed I will use my connections through the local clubs to get people to help plan, install and maintain the course. The PDGA doesn't really enter into the equation unless someone reads the guidelines they provide (flat teepads please). Local clubs get the credit because the use local resources to get the course installed. If the PDGA provided volunteers or other more direct resources (money, spokesmen, etc) then the PDGA deserves credit for directly helping to get the course installed.

Just because someone pays dues to the PDGA and also helps build a course doesn't mean the PDGA deserves any credit for the course.
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby mzuleger » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:50 pm

I'm going to throw my 2 cents in here... before hand I'll say I didn't read ALL of the responses so I might be repeating some thoughts of others. Also these are just observations, I do not have any real suggestions on how to fix these problems.

here goes...

I think there are 2 problems with the PDGA, 1st (and most importantly) is promotion, the 2nd is the overall mentality.

Promotion:
I tend to relate this to what I know: Punk Rock/Music. If you are in a local band and you want people to come see your band you can't just put a flyer up at the venue and hope people will show up... you have to get creative. People won't show up just because you wish the would (wish in one hand, shit in the other... tell me which fills faster). If you're not going to promote then be prepared to have no crowd at all. I never see any promotion outside of the PDGA websites or the bulliten boards at the course. If you really want to get people interested you need to get creative. Which brings me to my the 2nd problem.

Mentality:
The PDGA needs to be about the pros... not the AMs, not the volunteers. The pro's should pull in the crowds if you promote them. People will not come to watch an organization, but they will come to watch a star. Point: people do not go to see the NBA, they go to see the NBA players! If the NBA would let in the local guys at my YMCA I wouldn't go see them just because they were NBA members... but if those local guys played against King James I'd consider it.

Turn your players into "stars" and people will want to see/meet/sleep with them. Then the sport will grow and so will the org.
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby SkaBob » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:52 pm

Chuck Kennedy wrote:If that's the case, hopefully they followed design gudielines produced by the PDGA and had advice from a qualified course designer who's likely a PDGA member.


Why exactly would it matter if they didn't? The PDGA wouldn't say "No, you can't run a sanctioned tournament there" (primarily because if you lack the funds to pay good database developers, you also lack the funds to send people around to inspect each new course), and since it's on a college campus all sorts of attention has been given, at the school's demand, to ensure that nobody will be throwing over heavily trafficked areas, and it's just common sense that the teepads should be flat. Beyond that, no printed guidelines can tell you the best way to make use of a particular chunk of woods in any meaningful way beyond what one would learn having played disc golf for years.

That said, the answer to both concerns is yes, but the more important work in the installation of that course was done by the students that campaigned the University to get the course approved.
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby SkaBob » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:53 pm

mzuleger wrote:I tend to relate this to what I know: Punk Rock/Music. If you are in a local band and you want people to come see your band you can't just put a flyer up at the venue and hope people will show up


Man, real punks don't care if people show up or not! :lol:
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby Timko » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:15 pm

Chuck Kennedy wrote:What's bizarre about peoples' attribution of credit is the following example. If I go (on my own dime) and help a club somewhere get a course installed, people might credit that assistance to the PDGA. However, if I do it in town, the local MFA club claims or gets the credit. In either case, I'm a dues paying member of both orgs and the MFA should get just as much credit as the PDGA when I travel and help clubs. However, no one seems to want to give credit to the PDGA when they talk about all of the efforts made by PDGA members locally when the local club wasn't providing any more funds than the PDGA in the process. I realize it's human nature to attribute credit locally. But all the people did in many cases was simply pay annual dues to different orgs.


How common is this? I'm pretty sure the courses that KC has put in over the past 20 years has been without the assistance of the PDGA. We're fortunate to have a great local club here. The course put in at Peninsula Park in Iowa City (helped with that one) was Jeff Harper, Kevin Stibel and a great group of volunteers. When I lived in Fayetteville, the course in Gulley Park was moved to Northshore, with Kelly Watson, Jeff Ash, Darryl Baley, and the local pros doing much of that work. I in no way claim to be an expert on everything the PDGA does, but from my personal experience, the PDGA has had little to do with the courses I've seen or helped put in.
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby Timko » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:19 pm

Frank Delicious wrote:Just because someone pays dues to the PDGA and also helps build a course doesn't mean the PDGA deserves any credit for the course.


This.
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby chiggins » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:21 pm

mzuleger wrote:The PDGA needs to be about the pros... not the AMs, not the volunteers. The pro's should pull in the crowds if you promote them. People will not come to watch an organization, but they will come to watch a star. Point: people do not go to see the NBA, they go to see the NBA players! If the NBA would let in the local guys at my YMCA I wouldn't go see them just because they were NBA members... but if those local guys played against King James I'd consider it.

Turn your players into "stars" and people will want to see/meet/sleep with them. Then the sport will grow and so will the org.


Basketball was invented in 1891, the NBA started in 1946. That's a 55 year head start, during which time lots of public schools and colleges adopted the game becasue the playing field was inexpensive and it could be played indoors (thus, the winter schedule).

Seems to me that right now, if the PDGA tried to emulate the other major sporting organizations, it would fail. The PBA's about pro bowlers, but bowling was already being televised before the PBA was created. The PGA started in 1916, but the game goes back at least to the 15th Century. Neither of these organizations were tasked with building awareness and popularity of their respective sports.

It seems to me like the way the sport's set up now is either awesome or the problem depending on what it is that you're looking for from the sport. If you like being able to grab your bag, head out to the park, and throw a few rounds for 'nothin' with your friends, especially if it's because money's tight, then it's pretty awesome. But if you're hoping for a big tour, with big payouts, lots of media coverage and sponsorships, and a professional organization that's pro-oriented, then it's part of the problem.

Fritz put up a comparison in pictures a couple weeks ago of some disc golfers, and some ball golfers, with the implication that Cadillac wouldn't be ponying up to sponsor a bunch of reg'lar folks in hoodies and hiking shoes. It's not just how we're dressed though, Cadillac dealers put up a car for hole-in-ones at locally sponsored golf tournaments because they happen at country clubs, which charge their members big bucks to play and belong, and those folks buy Cadillacs. But even at any of LA's public municipal links, for comparison sakes, you still gotta pay to play, and that money goes back into the sport, and well as paying for full time staff.

So, maybe I'm wrong, won't even be the first time today that happened, but it sure seems to me like the surest way to make the sport into a bigger deal is to start doing public pay-to-play courses on private land, and generating some revenue at the local level, so the tournaments will pay more, attract better athletes, and become a more exciting spectacle. That would also allow PDGA fees to become high enough to fund an organization that can afford better hardware and tech consultants who expect to be paid, as well as a sales and development staff. And maybe there'll be big stars to attract the attention of the public. Top athletes with big egos making big paychecks, getting lots of media coverage. It's not the direction I'd be pushing for, but it'll sure grow the sport.

The downside though, at least to me, is that it'll be one more sport I won't probably be able to afford (I mean, if I have to make a choice between joining a dg country club or paying into the retirement fund). Also, most of the folks I've met playing this game, the ones that build courses and play and run tourneys because they love disc golf, are pretty swell people. I dunno that the sport as a whole would retain that character with increased revenue generation, maybe it would.

The upside though...
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby Timko » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:24 pm

Pro players union. Really, I think it would work. It would require the Pros to actually get organized (which is probably more of a problem than what the PDGA has now), and they would have to pay some sort of extra membership, but at least they would have the representation they want.
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby SkaBob » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:41 pm

chiggins wrote:it sure seems to me like the surest way to make the sport into a bigger deal is to start doing public pay-to-play courses on private land, and generating some revenue at the local level


This has started happening, with positive effects, in the Detroit area. There is a problem with getting the money back to the PDGA, though.

The parks that have done it are charging, and collecting money for their own course improvement funds (which are going towards great improvements). It would be difficult to get most parks to decide that such funds should go to someone other than themselves, particularly for a sport that most parks still see as being overrun with vandals and unsavory types that are getting wasted and trashing the parks.

The pay-to-play scheme has gotten rid of some of those people, but in the long run the money that's being charged ($2/day or $50 for a yearly pass) isn't really enough to split with anyone, and raising the price is really going to start driving down traffic in the parks even more...There won't be enough people to make much money with it, when most of the parks will always be free.

Now, the PDGA could go around installing courses in various places, and charging for those. THAT would be a good revenue stream for them, especially if they're championship level courses and they allow local clubs to run tourneys there without being too costly.
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby Timko » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:49 pm

I doubt any money paid to play on a ball golf course goes to the PGA or the USGA. There's no reason for local dues to a private club to go toward the PDGA unless there's some sort of contract there (for something like design), since money goes toward maintainence, and the PDGA doesn't handle any of that.
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:53 pm

Just because someone pays dues to the PDGA and also helps build a course doesn't mean the PDGA deserves any credit for the course.

Exactly. And just because a player is a member of the local club and has other local club and non club members help with the course, doesn't mean the club should get credit for the course. However, in most cases the local club DOES get or take credit for the course because their members did the work, even if the club provided no funds for the course.

All I'm saying is that if you are going take or give credit for all the local work done by club members where all we're talking about is their labor with no funds from the club, then the PDGA and every other org they have paid dues to also get the same credit. But somehow because it's local people want to ONLY credit the local club.
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby Frank Delicious » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:00 pm

Chuck Kennedy wrote:
Just because someone pays dues to the PDGA and also helps build a course doesn't mean the PDGA deserves any credit for the course.

Exactly. And just because a player is a member of the local club and has other local club and non club members help with the course, doesn't mean the club should get credit for the course. However, in most cases the local club DOES get or take credit for the course because their members did the work, even if the club provided no funds for the course.

All I'm saying is that if you are going take or give credit for all the local work done by club members where all we're talking about is their labor with no funds from the club, then the PDGA and every other org they have paid dues to also get the same credit. But somehow because it's local people want to ONLY credit the local club.



Like I said in the paragraph above the one you quoted, the local club gets credit because often the clubs resources are used in organizing parts and labor that directly lead to getting the course installed.

At my home course we are changing the 1st hole, the word was spread at club run doubles and the local message board. The Club leader was also the organizer of the work days and provided water and food at his expense for people who came out to help cut out the hole. We also got some parks and rec guys to help out, again the local club leader coordinated with them. While the monetary aspect from the club is the same as the PDGA (zero) the local club will get credit because the club's resources were used.
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby SkaBob » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:02 pm

Chuck Kennedy wrote:All I'm saying is that if you are going take or give credit for all the local work done by club members where all we're talking about is their labor with no funds from the club, then the PDGA and every other org they have paid dues to also get the same credit. But somehow because it's local people want to ONLY credit the local club.


I'm sorry, but I'm just not able to wrap my head around that concept...

Because I pay money yearly to be a member of an organization, they should be able to claim my work as theirs?

Please correct me on that if I'm interpreting it incorrectly, but it seems like that's what you're saying...

That'd mean that if a lawyer helps to put some baskets in at a local course that the Bar Association gets to say they installed the course? The same true of auto-workers and the UAW? The same of RNs and Doctors and such? I'm sorry, but you don't see doctors giving the AMA credit for the surgery they perform. The PDGA needs to rethink it's self-image if it thinks it should be able to claim that about disc golf course installations.

It's one thing if you're there on behalf of the organization, but I don't see the PDGA stepping up to tell us "Hey, go help install this course!" to anyone, sending teams of people to help with installation or planning, or helping out with the funds to put courses in. Most of what I've heard in this facet of this thread is "We made some guidelines, therefore we should be considered important"...what is it exactly that the PDGA is contributing to all of these courses that are getting built that you feel that they should be given credit for?
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:22 pm

I'm fine if the PDGA does not get credit for any local work. However, the ongoing diatribe is that the PDGA does nothing locally and yet clubs ARE doing something locally. It's just people (Soylent Green ref) doing the work in most cases. I'm saying you can't have it both ways. Either both get credit because the people doing the work are members of both groups. Or, neither gets credit, just the specific individuals who actually do the work.

There's rarely money in the local MFA coffers for course projects. Yes, they do spend money on some charitable events and sometimes a replacement basket. However, many MFA members who are also PDGA members do many things around here for courses. The MFA will take credit and players give credit for that and should give the same props to the PDGA since the only relationship the players had with the MFA and PDGA was sending them annual dues.
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Re: Why Join the PDGA?

Postby Frank Delicious » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:26 pm

Chuck Kennedy wrote:I'm fine if the PDGA does not get credit for any local work. However, the ongoing diatribe is that the PDGA does nothing locally and yet clubs ARE doing something locally.


That is because clubs are doing things locally.
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