"Exactly how many people play disc golf recreationally is difficult to pin down. The Pro Disc Golf Association says it has 9,000 members and claims, perhaps optimistically, that 500,000 people play the sport regularly. According to the association's course directory (http://www.pdga.org), there are more than 1,600 courses in the United States, with Texas's 126 leading the way."In Disc Golf, Stardom Avoids You, and You Avoid the Salad Bar
Prodigy probably needs to capture at least 1/3 total market share to be successful in the long run (or grow the sport more to compensate, although their target market isn't newbs).
-Tim Sultan 2005 New York Times
I've been looking for the highest pdga number I could find from 2005 to try and do a ratio comparison, but I can't find anything solid. Regardless, my point is you cannot compare a growing market to a standard business market such as ball golf for example
. For the most part, almost everyone knows what ball golf is and has made a conscience decision to either try it or not. With disc golf, there are still many people who have never heard of it or have a skewed opinion of what it actually is. More people are playing in tournaments and tournament payouts are getting bigger.If the sport continues to grow as it is, any company that can stay afloat and continue to produce innovative(pun not intended ), quality products, can ride on dg's back, all the way to profitability.
Yes, you're basically re-stating what I was saying, just in more words. Basically, if you capture X% of the total market in several years, but you need 33% of the present-sized market to become profitable, then the sport needs to grow by a factor of 33/X to compensate if it turns out that X<33.
Innova has a lock on the newbie market since their DX discs are much cheaper and new players aren't willing to buy in for more money at the beginning (and disc golfers aren't generally an affluent market, anyways). Therefore, much of any initial swell in grass roots growth in disc golf goes to Innova, only some fraction of the older players will go for more expensive (but certainly higher quality) plastic like Prodigy, after 1-2 years playing (and only if they get hooked, which is a fraction of the newbies). Some will stay with Innova, since they still have a lock on distribution networks and retailers in many places where growth could be very rapid. Also, consider the rising competition from other young disc makers, Lat64 is doing very well and is pretty much a mature company in its own right, Legacy is picking up steam and already has a hardcore fan base (they've been buying the molds themselves, paid for by sweat/pouring concrete), MVP makes great putters and mids (although their lack of drivers is hurting them), Westside and Prodiscus make excellent discs and are growing (but both still have serious distribution problems), etc.. Gateway still has the best-selling putter on the market, and Discraft has the best selling disc period, although this could easily change in the next few years if competitors make better standard putters (could it be the Clutch?) and mid-range discs (Innova is trying, but not yet successful).
This dynamic will change once a company begins mass marketing discs made in China.
In any case, the market is not at all certain, and as it usually goes in start-ups there could be a lot of bad feelings and fallouts if a business with heavy initial investment doesn't turn a profit in the desired time scale. I hope this is not what happens, because I would love to see a successful Prodigy, they are testing an important model in disc golf and the sport is better off with them than without them.
JeffzeNub wrote:Anyone have a pdga number from 2005 or know a ballpark of what it was?
They got to 25000 in mid-2004 and 30000 in mid-2006, so split the difference: 27500 in 2005.