Poll 13: What would be worth paying for?

How was the weather near all of you this weekend? The Northeast wasn’t too bad as we dodged and ducked thunderstorms and rain, but there were periods of sun. That allowed many to get out and chuck some discs!

The new poll is below and we’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s look back to last week’s poll and some answers. We asked our readers what it was going to take to push disc golf into the mainstream. We had 82 voters in this poll.

The majority of readers said a major sponsorship would be key. That garnered 24 percent of the choices (20 votes). Following in second with 20 percent (16 votes), was the choice that they don’t think disc golf will become a disc golf sport.

Rounding out the top five were recreational participation reaches critical mass (18 percent/15 votes); popularity among children and teens (17 percent/14 votes); and the popularity of the professional tour (9 percent/7 votes).

There were also some comments to think about.

Ryan Rintala says:

Imagine if a major sponsor like Nike or Adidas got involved? I mean if they came out with a disc golf shoe… and it was placed in a mainstream store like Footlocker, or Champ sports. Just the fact of a shoe being created would make the youth and people in general curious enough to look it up Google. And that is all you need, just a little curiosity created from a mainstream sponsor.

This is a great point because Keen already has a men’s and women’s shoe made for disc golf. But, Keen isn’t Nike or Adidas. And being I’ve heard other people talk about Nike and Adidas in the past in hopes for a disc golf shoe, I wonder how many people know Keen even has this shoe. Companies like Nike and Adidas getting involved with disc golf could be a game changer, for sure.

Lou Doench said:

I voted for recreational critical mass, but I think another factor could be institutional participation on the college and high school level.

The two of these could go hand-in-hand. If more colleges and high schools had this, even in just PE classes or elective classes, it could cause the recreational aspect of the sport to continue to swell, which then could force the game to go bigger and into the mainstream.

Kris Blum notes:

I voted other due to the fact we’re the only country that doesn’t view it as a sport. We had the hippie craze, and people haven’t let go of that fact. In order for disc golf to move and become mainstream, people need to see that it is not tie-dyes and six packs anymore. The PDGA has gone back to a grass roots approach to get more people and schools involved in the sport of disc golf.

This is interesting. And part of this is something I plan on tackling very soon on Rattling Chains. But the first part — where our country (I assume you are speaking the USA) doesn’t consider it a sport — I don’t know if I can agree. I think it is viewed as a sport, but a recreational one. I’m not sure the bulk of the country would consider disc golf a highly competitive sport as the National Tour is small, but it’s definitely a rec sport or casual sport. Even people I talk to who don’t know much or anything will refer to it as a sport. But the other stuff — very good points.

Chuck Tacoronte says:

Its going to take a celebrity endorsement, but not just any endorsement will do. It’s going to to take Kim Kardashian dating Avery Jenkins to pull this off.

That could definitely have some impact on the game!

Graham Marchant says:

Disc Golf will become main stream when the media makes it popular! We should be on ESPN or have schools get more involved by adding it as a recreational activity like football or basketball!

While I don’t disagree that the media can help, the reality is the media won’t get involved until the sport forces it to. As someone who worked in the media, I can tell you that there are issues with staffing at the normal sports, so getting people out to do the non-mainstream sports isn’t easy. We, as disc golfers, need to force the media’s hands in this.

Stan Frischman mentioned many good things — so go back to last week’s poll and read the comments — but one really stuck out to me:

(Players need to) conduct themselves with class and integrity on and off the course.

This is very big. From rec players to pro, always sell the game in a positive way. If casual people to parks are seeing swearing, drinking or temper tantrums, it doesn’t bode well for the sport. Same with pros — it always needs to be at a top level. Great point, Stan!

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts on this poll. It definitely gives food for thought when looking at everything.

Also, as always, we like to give something random away to those who comment on the weekly poll. This week’s Randomizer selection is Stan The Man. Send me an address as well so I can get something from the prize box out to you!

And now for this week’s poll…

We want to know what you, as players, think would make a disc golf course worth playing $5-$10 per round to play. Check out the choices and vote.

NOTE: You can select up to two choices with this poll.

[poll id=”17″]

Vote away and let us know in the comments what you think and we’ll, as always, give something away to a random commenter. You can’t win if you don’t comment here. (In other words, comments on Facebook or other places where this poll might be linked won’t count… it has to be here).

If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj [at] rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!


0 thoughts on “Poll 13: What would be worth paying for?

  1. I haven’t ever payed to play yet, but that’s because I’ve never been around a pay to play course. If it’s going to cost me $10 to play, I might be more inclined to buy a new disc and then play a free course. But I’d fork up the money for a pristine course, and maybe an add-on like a gondola ride or a golf cart.


    • I payed to play Beauty Hill in NH, even though it was only the third course I ever played. It lives up to its name in aesthetic terms, has creative holes, and is a great use of the property.


  2. Pristine courses are a must! Signage, concrete tees or well maintained tees, good drainage, absolutely no brush to lose an errant disc, although lots of obstacles are fine! I also voted for other. For optimal value I would like to see more than 18 holes, something along the line of 28-36 for multiple course configurations. Or Multiple basket locations so that the course could be completely changed up by day of the week, by week or month. Having a course with versatility will keep me coming back to pay or have a yearly membership.


  3. I chose pristine condition and disc golf only. But other considerations would be more than 1 course, each course with multiple tee and pin locations that are rotated a few times a year, each course being distinct designs (long and open, short and technical, etc.). Also important, in my opinion, would be a fee to play all day instead of per round. I would want to come out in the morning, play a round, have some lunch and take a break, then play another round. Carts would be great. Maybe a lighted course so night golf would be available. Dog friendly might be a consideration.


  4. A paid course must be well maintained for me to pay more than once. Hole signage and directions to next hole are a must. Concrete tees are also a must for a paid course. More trash cans, that are emptied, should help the course stay clean. Currently I’m used to playing Hudson Mills in Dexter MI and paying $2 per round.


  5. A nice, clean course with signs and facilities – sure, that takes work and money to create, so I’ll be willing to pay for it and support that local business.


  6. I would expect to be wowed by the grounds. I would love to see a lighted course. I also don’t mind paying for private courses where I can relax and not worry about other people using the same land.


  7. On-site facilities would be great, nothing beats a great pro shop. Buying discs online is easy, but you dont get hands on the disc which is crucial especially for putters. And a well maintained course would be an absolute must if i was paying to play. It’d be great to see the greens always freshly mowed, the underbrush clear, and not have to worry about any trash buildup on the course.


  8. I am one of those who would much rather buy myself a cool new disc, or bag, or shoes, than pay to play a course. I’ve played in 8 states over my travels so far at 30 or so courses, and one of the things I look to is whether or not I have to pay. There is a course 20 minutes from my parents that I won’t play because of the fact. All that said, I can’t begin to imagine what it would take to get me to pay to play on a course. Maybe the option to buy a round with one of the top female pros would do it….


  9. I’m a little perplexed by the question in that I’m not sure of what purpose the fees would pay for. As Nyles said, the money could go for increased comforts, but if the motive is to charge to promote the game, then it’s a more difficult call. How much will the market bear? For marketing the game, I would think about getting commercials to include the game in context, such as drinking Gatorade or Coca-Cola on hot day. The advertisement could include some strenuous slow-motion throws in progress and the perspiration flying off the foreheads of hard-throwing players with some close-ups of the discs hitting the chains and dropping in. Night lights are already available near some of our Texas baseball and football fields that also have some vacant properties adjacent to the fields. The lights are strong enough to accommodate some nearby disc practice, maybe more. Even some parking lot lighting provides some access to vacant areas, enough to practice throwing. (Golfers have their practice ranges! Why not add disc-throwing?) With some LED’s on the discs or some solar lights on the chain-baskets, you’re in business! Many vacant lots have to be mowed to keep the fire danger to a minimum. What a promotion point to help with the maintenance costs of the private property if there was some method of getting the money to the land owners. I’m sure they’d love to have help with their tractor and labor expenses of mowing. Just an added note, there is a movement today to keep lighting to a minimum in many areas. Some areas have special animal habitats and the lighting disrupts their reproductive and hybernation patterns. In other areas, astronomical buffs aren’t able to view the stars with increased commercial lighting. I know this sounds corny to some, but a blackened sky and starlit night is a beautiful sight to be appreciated. Of course, this problem can be remedied in part by keeping lights on for specified periods of time or certain days only, and dimming the lights to some degree during play. Lastly, there are some commercially-zoned fields adjoining some major corporations that the companies hold for future use or investment purposes. Why not allow disc golf on them on a temporary basis? This would promote exposure to their company while being a good-will gesture to the community!


  10. I have never played a pay to play course, since there aren’ t any in our area. There was one for a short period of time at a local country club, but they removed it before I had a chance to play it. From what I understand, it was only available during the hot Florida summer (off season) late afternoons. The person behind this course, no longer works there, and had difficulties getting the support of local disc golfers to play the course.

    I would be willing to pay to play such a course, but unfortunately do not see a pay to play course being successfull, because most disc golfers don’t want to fork over the cash, and have to succumb to the rules and regulations of a country club atmosphere. This is just another reason why it is so difficult for disc golf to become mainstream.


  11. I have a dream of opening a pay-to-play optional course with a pro-shop / bar & grill. The premise is this, each guest has an option to play for free or pay-to-play which includes vouchers or coupons for food and/or drinks.


  12. I would enjoy features such as pro shops and carts for championship level courses! I think pay to play and nicer courses with features like carts and pro shops will help people take disc golf more seriously! 


  13. Cities are going to have to lead the charge here by making new installations PTP and, in exchange, offering better amenities (over free course) like:
    (1) Maintenance – weekly/biweekly mowing depending on the climate, with an emphasis on undergrowth maintenance and erosion control.
    (2) Sufficient trash pick up to meet the demands of the course
    (3) Pro Shops would be nice, and so would driving ranges but driving ranges have some logistical challenges since discs have to be returned to their owners. Not sure how you tackle that one on a busy day.
    (4) Course Pros who offer clinics on weekdays, say (Tues-Thurs) to drive traffic to the course on those slower days and still allow ample time for pros to play events, at least on the local circuits. Employing Pros as Pros outside of tourneys would be a good thing!
    (5) Tee Pads, clearly defined greens, fairways and rough, as well as quality obstacles around greens to better mimic the challenges around greens on ball golf courses.

    The standards have been set so low and we have all become so used to dealing with shoddy course conditions that most people, as the comments here clearly show, will not PTP when they can keep on playing for free, even though the free-play courses are so poorly maintained.

    As a side note: Another thing that always seems to go overlooked in the desperation to install a new course is spectator access for events. Let’s face it DG is hard to watch, and consequently, to cover for TV because the courses are not designed with spectator access in mind. OB areas define the safe areas for spectators on DG courses. So, by default those areas are currently places like creeks, sideways, streets and, most often, vegetative growth zones. It should be enough that an errant shot means having to lay-up like on ball golf courses. Lastly, par should be harder to achieve (based on what pros can do on a course, not casuals), just like on ball golf courses.
    Also, Pay-To-Play would drive more players to come out to “watch for free” when the pros are in town as well, and that is a good thing.


  14. I’ve played a handful of p2p courses throughout the country and the overiding element that makes them worthwhile and special is when the only activity on the property is disc golf. The enjoyment of playing a round in a setting void of bike riders, walking pedestrians, cars, people having a picnic in a fairway etc. is paramount. When you can escape to the course and play a round in a beautiful setting where cig butts, and trash aren’t present on every hole it kicks the experience up another notch. Generally another thing p2p courses have going for them is a quality design where a thoughtful shot selection reigns supreme.
    I’m all for p2p if it’s worthy.


  15. On-site facilities (food, drink, clean bathrooms, pro shop etc.) mainly because most of the courses in my area do not have these. most are free to play, and a few ask for donations of 2 dollars to play (to help maintain the courses). if i had to pay, though i’d also like to see multiple tee/pin options. giles run in Lorton Virginia comes to mind. 2 tees/2 pins per hole. red/white tees and red/white pins. so you can actually do the course and play 4 different ways making an 18 hole course into a 72 hole weekend if you wanted to challenge yourself. i’d also like to see a course pro (at least one and perhaps 2-3, one to stay in the pro-shop and 1 or 2 to roam around the course helping people with anything from course help to basic and advanced instruction on putting, approach, driving, etc.


  16. I’d pay per round but I would prefer a monthly membership.
    Like a skatepark. You pay a monthly fee and play as much as you want or pay a slightly smaller monthly fee with discounted per round costs.

    A lighted course would be priceless during the winter since the days are so short.

    Also a co-op course would be nice where the members pay a small fee and help with course maintenance. Each “member” gets a key or access to the course and thus can invite friends. Since it’s a co-op everyone can work together and keep the course maintained.


  17. I am only new to the sport; less than a year. I have played on City maintained, Private, Player Maintained, and Pay to play courses. All of them have been great courses in there own rights. I am totally willing to pay for a decent course and have wondered why some don’t put up a donation box. I would say the biggest items for a pay course would have to be Toilets, maintained Tee boxes with hole maps, and trash bins. I have been a Ball Golfer for 20 years and have paid some Ridiculous prices to play but some of those courses were Amazing and worth every penny.


  18. Unlike many of those who have posted, I have played a few PTP courses, and I have to be honest, I prefer to pay a reasonable fee. In my experience, the return on investment is substantial. PTP allows private courses with incredible amenities (check out Blue Ribbon Pines in East Bethel, MN to see what I’m talking about). Even for quality courses in public parks, it is a positive, as long as the funds are put back into the course. Courses can be upgraded much more readily and erosion control can help maintain courses that often suffer from heavy traffic. Another bonus for me is that PTP helps weed out some of the more disrespectful and destructive players and groups.

    I don’t think all or even most courses should go PTP, but for well-designed, quality courses, it is a way to maintain and improve upon the experience.


  19. In addition to being pristine and constantly maintained, with cement tees, and clean facilities, it would also be nice to have a pro shop and a driving range.


  20. We have a place here in Oregon called Horning’s Hideout.For 3$ a day or 60$ a season you get 56 hole’s over 3 courses.A short , a long and a top 10 pro.One has night time set up.It’s only problem to me is that it’s not just for us disc throwers, and that is what I voted for and would pay more for.Also at a normal golf course most have a place to eat / bar.These place’s make money aside from the crazy fee’s, and would be a way to promote the sport.The ” Buzzz Bar ” or ” Roc-it fast Food ” ? 🙂 My local free course is a long shot from a sweet pro set up with green’s like a pro golf course.So that is a ” other “.I would pay a lot more for a grounds keeper with a weed eater if not a lawn mower 😀


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