PDGA vs. USGA membership: One way the barrier to entry is higher in disc golf

Saying I am a disc golf supporter and even an ardent promoter would be an understatement. Kind of like stating Labrador retrievers like to chase things and bring them back.

I write for two blogs exclusively dedicated to disc golf, and have a book in the works. My side business — School of Disc Golf — is more about spreading the word than generating income. I produce a TV show/video magazine on disc golf.

jackI have also served as an officer for my local disc golf club, helped to design and install several courses, and talk about disc golf to whoever is willing to listen. I proudly hold PDGA #9715, which nowadays marks me as old school.

However, I am not a current member of the PDGA, disc golf’s governing organization.

In the past membership was a no-brainer, as it was required if you wanted to participate in certain sanctioned events. But raising young kids and injuries have effectively halted my participation in all but local, one-day competitions, so I’m no longer compelled to be a PDGA for that reason alone.

Don’t misunderstand me. Being able to compete in sanctioned events wasn’t the only reason I joined the PDGA.

I somewhat enjoyed the magazine that comes with membership — both versions (Disc Golf World News and Disc Golfer), and was proud to do my part in supporting the main organization representing the sport I love. But right around the time I stopped playing in big events I also found myself out of work, and all superfluous expenses had to go. After 13 consecutive years of membership, my streak ended in 2010.

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Poll 10: Are you a PDGA member?

It’s been a little while since our last poll, so it’s time for a new one.

Before we hit it up, let’s check out our last one which asked if you followed the National Tour.

Though things started out a bit different early, it ended up showing that the majority of those who voted do, indeed, follow the tour.

Of the 69 who voted, 40 (58 percent) said yes. Next was 15 people (22 percent) who didn’t know there was a tour and then 14 (20 percent said they didn’t follow it).

Let’s see what some of the readers had to say.

Ryan Clements noted:

I’m aware that there is a tour. It’s just not something I follow.

I’ve been told that, personally, by many people. It’s good that people are aware of it, but for the tour to have impact, casual players will eventually have to have an interest in watching etc.

Jorey C. McComas said:

Love watching the Pros. I enjoy watching a tourney and then trying to play the course as close to their lines as possible. Doesn’t work out on the holes where you need a 400+ throw to clear their line, but fun trying the shorter stuff.Love watching the Pros. I enjoy watching a tourney and then trying to play the course as close to their lines as possible. Doesn’t work out on the holes where you need a 400+ throw to clear their line, but fun trying the shorter stuff.

That’s one big reason I like to watch the Tour — especially in person — is their ability to throw these discs. It really is amazing watching what they can do with one.

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