Poll 41: Prodigy Disc Golf

As many of you know, we don’t do a lot of coverage when it comes to the professional tour.

There’s a reason for that, too. By looking at the numbers over the course of the year, the page views are noticeably higher when we’re not talking about the professional tour. This year, however, we are planning to do a bit more — such as previews and wraps of major tournaments. After all, if we’re going to continue to grow, we need to cover all angles.

weekly_pollStill, the reality is professional disc golfers — especially touring professionals — do not make up the majority of the disc golf population. In feedback we’ve received, people enjoy the in-depth stories, first-person accounts and instructional stuff. We like to be goofy at times and serious when we need to.

Alas, this whole Prodigy Disc Golf things is being talked about in the world of disc golf. So we’re curious what you all thing.

Before you vote, make sure you read what we mean by the way this question is being phrased. More on that below.

First, let’s check back on last week’s poll, when we asked you about your goals for the upcoming year.

The poll garnered 105 votes this week with the overwhelming majority selecting improve a certain aspect of your game as the main goal. Thirty votes (29 percent) led the way with that choice.

In second was play in your first tournament (18 votes/17 percent), followed by reach a certain number for your PDGA rating (16 votes/15 percent), win a tournament (15 votes/14 percent), and design and/or build a course (8 votes/8 percent).

Re-work what discs you play with and other each had 7 votes (7 percent) and play a certain amount of new courses (4 votes/3 percent) pulled up the rear.

Let’s check in to see what a few people noted about goals.

Andy P says:

My main goal for the new year is to improve on my putting. I feel that the rest of my game is fair or solid but putting has always been my downfall. My secondary goal, which I am sure will come after the putting, is to finally breach the 50 mark and score in the 40s. Hey, let the dreamers dream!

That’s a solid set of goals. Good luck!

Ben T said:

Getting a rating in the PDGA would be great, but I would rather find a like-minded group of people who want to play disc golf consistently through the summer.
I would like to see a series of non-sanctioned events, or a consistent league in the Northwest where AMs and rec players can get help with their game without the fear of being belittled by 1000-rated players. How to get a group together that want to learn and maybe make it worth while for the pro (aka parks & rec class on the public land for a small fee) is the question. The other is, who would the Pro that is patient enough to take on the challenge. My wish and why I voted “other”

I think you have a good idea, but you don’t necessarily need a pro. Go for it and try and organize something like this. Hit up your local forums. There are many areas with weekly leagues and events where people can improve without the worry of high-level players. Reach out to some others, too, as I’m sure those who run these types of things would be more than happy to give some advice.

Ed Wood Sr. said:

My goal is to get my form to appear effortless and smooth. So I went with “other” rather than “an aspect” because form pervades so many aspects.

That sounds like a fantastic goal. Good luck!

Kevin King said:

My University has given us the green light to get a disc golf course on campus. Now that I’ve graduated, I’ll be able to help design and construct the course with some friends.

A tremendous way to give back and best wishes on building a top-notch course!

DY says:

This month marks my one year anniversary with the game, in 2013 I look forward to competing in my first tournament.

Definitely jump in. Tournaments can be a lot of fun, but make sure you keep it in perspective!

Casey Connors said:

First and foremost, this is a great website to receive live feedback from players from all over the country and the world. My goal for 2013 is to play in four A-Tier Events because I would like to play and be a part of a tournament of that caliber. I am relatively new to the sport and was fortunate enough to walk away with a few wins in Intermediate and Advanced tournaments in 2012. I hope to have continued success throughout 2013 and look forward to see what this new season brings. Good luck to all players in 2013. Cheers!

Thanks for the kind words. And good luck to you as you move up the ranks!

Now back to this week’s question.

If you are on forums or dig around with disc golf social media, you have likely heard about Prodigy Disc Golf. Prodigy is a new company who made waves by snagging some of the top professionals in the world to jump ship from more traditional companies to Prodigy.

That’s for the pro tour. So, if you don’t pay attention to the tour, it might not matter to you.

Prodigy also announced it would be having a full line of discs.

Still, in a market where there are so many discs, I’ve talked to a few people who are ho-hum about the whole thing, some who are pumped and some who honestly said they couldn’t care less.

Others I’ve spoken with have mixed emotions about the pros jumping ship. After all, when you have top-notch pros such as Will Schusterick, Ricky Wysocki, Nikko Locastro, Paige Pierce and Catrina Allen — among more than a dozen Prodigy players — you’ll get mixed feelings. The full list of players is impressive and a who’s who of disc golf in regard to a younger generation of pro players — the so-called “kids.”

There are a lot of reports about why this happened — from a vested interest in the company to guaranteed stipends for the players — but one thing is for sure, it’s still kind of secretive.

Disc golf among the pro level is a bit of a secret society. While popular major sports and money is freely talked about, in disc golf, not so much. Outside of being able to look somebody up on the PDGA site to see how much they’ve earned in sanctioned tournaments, nobody truly knows how much a disc golfer makes during the course of the year.

For example, the world’s No. 1 player, Schusterick, made $37,850 playing in PDGA tournaments last year. But that doesn’t take into account whatever his sponsorship deal was with Innova, his other payments and things like that.

With that all in mind, we don’t know what got them to make the jump.

Either way, Prodigy has made a splash of sorts. Here at Rattling Chains, we’ll eventually voice our opinion and talk about Prodigy and the player jumping. But we want to make sure we can tell the whole story and not just a roundup of rumors or whatever else.

Until then, we want to know your thoughts.

Does it matter to you that all these pros switched teams to Prodigy?

So vote away and let us know below in the comments your thoughts. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of opinions we get!

[poll id=”46″]

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

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0 thoughts on “Poll 41: Prodigy Disc Golf

  1. It does matter to me, only because the pros ostensibly “know what they’re doing” when it comes to Disc Golf. For these players to leave the big guns of Innova and Discraft,two companies that, despite their foibles, know disc golf and more importantly know DISCS, says a lot about what Prodigy has to offer. It may be a little bit about the money of course, but pro Disc Golfers don’t make that much to begin with. A lot of it HAS to do with the product they are releasing.

    Though I am much more interested in their putter and fairway lineup, I wish them all the best and am sure their Drivers will sell like hotcakes come mid-January!

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  2. I’m definitely interested to hear these player’s thoughts on the Prodigy discs. The company has high praise for their own product, so it will be interesting to hear the pro’s view, especially any comparisons they can make between the two.

    I would also love to hear what the pro’s receive in other payouts in addition to tourney winnings. With more competitive players out there, the top pro’s make less in tourney winnings. Look at Nate Doss in 2011, he made almost double what Schusterick made in 2012. Perhaps this will necessetate more companies sponsoring disc golfers to keep the game growing. But it also means more money needs to be raised for the major tourneys, or many pro’s who are shaping the game will have to leave much too early in their careers.

    I’m also interested to know more about prodigy, who are they? What are their backgrounds? Did they snag more than just professional players? Do they have former empoyees of Discraft, Innova, and others working on their projects, branding and professional endorsements?

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  3. Does it matter to me personally not really. But as a guy who has read countless blogs and talked to players like Cale. I can understand why they would switch companies if the grass is greener. Will made 37.8k last year and probably spent 5-10k in travel expenses. Plus bills pile up when your on the road. Am I excited to see which way this helps disc golf? Yes yes I am but only time will tell.

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  4. I believe it does matter to me and could possibly pay big dividends for the future of the sport. Of course, having a large number of the best in the world giving direct input on one disc line could potentially lead to major changes in disc technology but I see that being second fiddle to the impact they all can have on the globalization of the sport.
    Having the pros unified could help to get major national exposure on the big NT events. Plus, if this company is changing the way their players are compensated we could be looking at the first real renaissance in the world of the disc golf pro. I see the potential for some real positives coming from this if things are handled correctly.

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  5. I am not all that concerned with what the pro’s do. What I don’t think is healthy for the sport is that there are so many discs on the market. A new company should be new technology and new discs. Prodigy from what I can tell is just using Innova plastic and possibly a slightly modified mold, but can they really be that different from the multitude of discs already produced by Innova? In my opinion, no. What the sport needs is innovation, companies like MVP and Vibram who are keeping the sport moving forward.

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  6. who cares! disc golf doesn’t revolve around touring pros! and as for another disc company word on the street is that they bought existing designs that were out of production but i am sure the plastic will be different. all in all i play for fun and enjoyment and compete with people who enjoy it the same. i saw the promo on you tube for prodgigitty and all i can say is i hope it works out for you, if you notice most players don’t get paid to play the only income is won. so does this mean they are more valuable as players? not really, more sell outs then anything else!!!!!!!!

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  7. For those that want growth of a significant and serious nature, I think this a possible means to that end. A pooling of resources and broadening the power base. From time to time pro golfers make a significant sponsorship change and it worked for them. We’ll see.

    For me personally it doesn’t matter much to my game per se. Only a miracle or 2 could really affect that. But if there is a tourney near by with such a large consortium of pros I’d go watch, I’d even consider paying to see them.

    But mostly it matters to me in that it creates an interesting Buzzz. And I like a little controversy to spice up time between my rounds.

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  8. On one hand, I’m glad for the players. I assume their new deal with Prodigy is a financial improvement from their prior sponsorships. I want to see the best disc golfers get rich and famous. If the money is there, I would have done the same thing.

    I am also glad to see a new company like Prodigy come into the market with some financial backing because it is a sign that someone with capital sees disc golf as a good market.

    On the other hand, I am less than fully impressed with everything else I have seen from Prodigy. Beyond the roster of great players, the rest of the operation seems less than fully polished. They create this great buzz with scooping up all the pros, and there is nothing to sell us for another month? The website still says “coming soon”? Not even a picture of a single stamped disc to look at…? If Nike or Keen was going to get into the disc market, I bet they would have a badass website and everything set to go right when the official announcements went out. So, in my ignorant opinion, their business execution is not so great.

    Finally, and this is my biggest hang up, if I were starting a new disc company, I doubt I would go with the big pro sponsorships as the way to attract attention right away. What good is the endorsement of a guy who has won X world championships without ever throwing one of your discs? All these guys are already great. Can Prodigy discs really make them better? If they win, all they have proven is that they are great players regardless of the brand of plastic they throw. If they don’t win, maybe its cause the discs stink?

    So while its an exciting development for the DG world, I’m not sold that this Prodigy revolution will be that big a deal three or four years from now. My feeling is that this is a precursor to some other things that will happen over the next 5-10 years. More than Prodigy will take a crack at capturing a chunk of the blossoming disc golf disc/video/tournament market. Others will fizzle out too. But there will be a few big ones that stick.

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  9. If players spent more time throwing the same discs they would be better players. I love new technology in this sport, but can only be skeptical until I throw a new product. It is good to know that there is a team of players getting better deals from their sponsors. If you are questioning why some of the most electric players switched companies, I think it is obvious that money was involved. Considering Prodigy doesn’t have anything available for purchase to the public, I am sure the team is going to throw other plastic from different vendors, as well. Kind of like Gateway’s deal with Pros. Throw anything you want.. It will be interesting to see these new mythical projectiles, don’t get me wrong, I will try anything. Will it replace my Destroyers? Will the putter make me swear off Warlocks? Nothing has yet, because I am looking to the future of my game, not my bag.

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