Oh disc golfers — with our interesting choice of clothing and such.
I am sure most of us have seen some outlandish and interesting choices of clothes people wear playing this fine sport. Whether loud and crazy tee shirts to basketball shorts or whatever else, it can be quite the mix.
Is this an acceptable sort of thing as the sport continues to grow and moves forward?
We’ll get to the question and thoughts down below. But let’s first look at last week’s poll and comments.
We wanted to know last week if it mattered to you if so many professionals jumped to Prodigy.
The overwhelming response was no, which garnered 114 of 176 votes for a whopping 65 percent. Of the voters, 62 (35 percent) said yes.
That seems to speak volumes. Let’s see what some people said in the comments.
Andrew Belet said:
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.
I respect the thoughts here, but is it all about the discs? We haven’t heard much yet in regard to some things. Is it the discs and money? You note they don’t make a lot of money as it is, so if it’s true they are making a guaranteed paycheck on top of other things, it’s not just the discs making them jump. There definitely has to be another side to this coin and financial reasons are likely to be a major part of this jump, too.
Kris Blum said:
Does it matter to me personally not really. But as a guy who has read countless blogs and talked to players like Cale (Leiviska), I can understand why they would switch companies if the grass is greener. Will made $37,800 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.
I would imaging many people are interested to see how this helps disc golf. And you make some good points here in regard to travel, but they do (sometimes) get reimbursed for some trips and other things. But that’s also a tax write-off, so in the end, they can get some things back, too. Not saying they don’t have expenses, but making nearly $38,000 in just winnings (not including bonuses, clinics, non-sanctioned things etc.) is not a bad life — especially being young, on the road and out throwing plastic.
Andy P said:
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.
From talking to many, many disc golfers about this, I think the big question is — what dividends will it pay off? Touring pros only account for a small percentage of the PDGA membership — and if you include the rest of the non-PDGA disc golf universe, the number shrinks more. There needs to be more of an impact than just trying to further NTs and the pro tour if they are going to make a major impact to the sport as a whole.
I am not all that concerned with what the pros 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.
This is a fine point. So many discs. I don’t know about what plastic Prodigy is using, but it would shock me if it was Innova behind it. I can’t see Innova wanting to get into bed with a company that took some of its top young stars. And agreed on discs … there are so many new ones on the market.
LateNite504FC said (and this is a long comment, but there are some great points):
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 disc golf 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.
I, too, am happy for the players if they are getting a financial improvement. It’s something that I would be happy for most people, disc golf or not. And, it’s nice, to see a new company with some financial backing, for sure. I think many just would like to know a bit more about said company.
The points about the website and such are valid points and it makes one wonder if they announced things too fast. I also love your final points and thoughts. Especially about bring such major players on board and what it could do on the flip side of the coin. Excellent thoughts.
Over the coming weeks and months, I’m sure people will talk about Prodigy. It will be interesting to see where it goes once more info is released about the company and its products. Only time will tell the impact Prodigy will or won’t have on the sport.
On with this week’s poll…
Oh dress codes… are you necessary for this fine sport we call disc golf. Originally, this poll was going to be filled with choices — things like collared shirts, regulations on shorts/pants, and all that good stuff. But in the end, I was left wondering.
Does it even matter?
I’ve talked to many professionals and amateurs about this topic and the consensus seems to be some sort of a light dress code at tournaments. Casual rounds on free and public courses? It’s impossible to uphold. Maybe at a pay-to-play private course, though it might hurt your overall profit.
I wouldn’t be against a slight code at tournaments — but I wouldn’t want to be told I had to wear a collared shirt or something along those lines. I don’t dress like a slob at tournaments, but I like to be comfortable. So a t-shirt (not covered with things all over it) and a pair of golf shorts seem to work well.
But if disc golf all of a sudden got a country club-like atmosphere, I think it would take from the game.
So the question we want to pose is this — Should there be a dress code at tournaments?
It’s a yes or no question, but I hope many of you will expand your thoughts in the comments section. A yes is if you think there should be any sort of code — no matter how small.