State of Disc Golf 2019–Tournaments, Advice for TDs

Disc Golf Tee Signs

It is Glass Blown Open weekend! GBO is considered one of the best events in disc golf every year. It is run well, and leaves players of all divisions happy and satisfied with their tournament experience.

Often times tournament directors wonder how to make their tournaments better and how to keep their participants happy and excited about their events. This year in the 2019 State of Disc Golf Survey we asked disc golfers questions about their tournament experiences, what they like or don’t like to see in tournaments, and what motivates them to participate in disc golf events.

This is especially pertinent to our sport, because disc golf fans aren’t just fans, they are players. Like we always say, part of what makes disc golf so great is it is very cheap and easy to play. Well, it is also very easy to get involved in local leagues and tournament play including PDGA sanctioned and unsanctioned events.

 

And for the most part, if we are serious enough about disc golf to take a lengthy survey, we play competitively. Of those who took the survey, we were split 70/30 with 70% of survey takers participating in at least one disc golf tournament or event in 2018. We then asked that 70% how many PDGA sanctioned events they participated in over the last year. The responses were interesting:

Particularly, I think it is interesting that the option that received the most selections was zero, showing that a good portion of disc golfers who are active in competitive disc golf may not be involved with the PDGA at all. Also these individuals may just participate in local specialty events like the Discraft Ace Race or Trilogy Challenge. Of course, we asked what specialty events folks participated in during 2018.

We shouldn’t be surprised to see the Trilogy Challenge as the most popular event. It has been established as a great value event that attracts both competitive and casual disc golfers. We can also see that local putting leagues have become very popular in the disc golf community. It is interesting that just 33.33% said they participated in none of these events, as it shows how popular these specialty events have become in recent years. Also, because I mentioned it previously, only 9.97% of those who said they participated in a disc golf tournament said that they didn’t participate in a PDGA sanctioned event nor in any of these specialty events. It just goes to show that there are still popular local events that do not affiliate with the PDGA.

This ties into our next question in the survey: How many tournaments did you participate in that were not PDGA sanctioned? here were your responses:

With this data, we see that slightly more people participated in tournaments that were not PDGA sanctioned than people who participated in tournaments that were PDGA sanctioned. For those of us who are involved in mainstream PDGA events, it can be easy to forget that tournaments that are not sanctioned still draw a lot of participants, and are a great resource for casual players who are wanting to work their way into the competitive disc golf world.

Motivating Factors for Playing Disc Golf Tournaments

So what motivates us to participate in disc golf tournaments? We asked, and here is how we responded:

At first I was pretty shocked to see that Payouts/Prizes and Player Packs were the lowest two motivators. Those are often the two motivators that Tournament Directors try to appeal to the most when they are promoting their events. But does this data mean that we should focus on something different in our promotions?

After a little more thought, it could be argued that these low numbers are a bit misleading. First of all, who receives a player pack? For most PDGA sanctioned tournaments, only players in amateur divisions receive a player pack. Professional players usually do not receive a player pack, so most survey takers who play in the pro divisions likely aren’t motivated by player packs. And the inverse sometimes applies to Payouts/Prizes for larger events. Sometimes in order to generate larger payouts for pro divisions, TDs will make their event “Trophy Only” for their amateur divisions. This means that there are no prizes besides maybe a trophy for amateurs. These events though will often provide a more generous player pack in an effort to try and “make up” for not offering prizes. So for amateurs who are accustomed to playing in trophy only events, they would naturally not be motivated by payouts and prizes that they don’t normally see anyway.

However, all of the other motivating factors can be found at pretty much any tournament regardless of division. I think it is also worth noting that we enjoy exploring new courses when we go to tournaments enough that almost half of us listed that as one of our motivating factors. I know some smaller local tournaments have found success in using a variety of layouts and pin positions for tournaments to try and change up their course to make it feel new and different for their local players.

But at the end of the day, what most motivates us to go to tournaments is the competition, fun, and social aspects found in tournament play. So TDs should make sure to foster a fun and social environment. Obviously the nature of tournaments themselves make them competitive, but TDs can still look for ways to improve that competitive atmosphere for all divisions. TDs can also add small mini competitions like distance or putting competitions in between or after tournament rounds. Even a ring of fire offers all competitors a chance to experience some competition. I remember as a young player winning prizes in a ring of fire that included some of the best local disc golfers. It was fun to be able to say I beat them at something, even if it was as simple as a ring of fire.

We also asked survey takers to rank by importance certain aspects of tournament play. Specifically, we asked, What aspects do you consider when selecting tournaments? Here is how we responded:

I think this might be the most interesting bit of data so far today. It shouldn’t be a surprise that a well run event is what we consider to be the most important thing when we are selecting tournaments. I think this is especially important for TDs who are running events on new courses or temporary courses. It is insanely frustrating to play in an event when you aren’t 100% sure of the rules or if all OB areas are not clearly marked.

But I am kind of shocked to see that the three options that received the most “Not Important” votes were Awards/Trophies, Good Payouts, and Player Pack value. If you are an amateur who hates that the big event in your area is a trophy only event, then don’t show the TD this info. Over a quarter of tournament goers consider the Awards/Trophies in your tournament not important, and only 4% less consider good payouts not important.

From this data, what people want the most are well run and organized events that stick to the schedule and give them an opportunity to compete and enjoy each others company. So instead of trying to appeal to players by giving them the biggest player pack or payout, spend some of that time/money and turn your event into a social and competitive gem in your area.

Payout vs. Player Packs

Part of why I was surprised that payouts and player packs were the most unimportant factors is because they are part of a pretty common debate in disc golf circles–where should tournament money go? Should TD’s provide a generous player pack, or instead focus on bigger payouts across all divisions? We asked for your opinion, and here is how you responded:

We shouldn’t be surprised that the top answer here, with almost half selecting it, is a mix of both, because everyone wants more of everything right? But when we look at those who answered just one or the other, people who favor a big player pack doubled the amount of people who prefer a big payout. This doesn’t surprise me, I think that all players benefit from a large player pack regardless of skill level. So if you are in a good position as a TD, try to create a high value for both the player packs and the payouts. But if you need to choose one or the other, most disc golfers would prefer that money going toward a generous player pack.

Another common debate within disc golf culture is how to divide tournament payouts. In other words, how deep should a tournament payout? If a tournament has a big purse that is paid out to a high percentage of the field, that means the top finishers aren’t paid as much as they would be if they paid out a smaller percentage of the field. The inverse, of course, is a shallow payout that makes for higher payouts for the top of the field. So, we asked disc golfers which they preferred, and here are the responses:

Similar to our last chart, we see that most people prefer moderation. But then the split after that is pretty even with a slight preference toward shallow payouts or even trophy only events. But for the most part, the standard 40%-50% payout is what most people want to see.

Tournament Stamp or Stock Stamp?

Now for one last tidbit of info for our Tournament Directors–How do we feel about tournament stamps compared to stock stamps in the player packs? Specifically, we asked,”As a player pack item, would you prefer a tournament stamp on a disc you don’t throw or a stock stamp on a disc of your choice?” This also gets to players having more of a choice in their player packs. So how much do we value that choice? Here is how we responded:

This one is pretty even across the board with people saying that it depends on the tournament and stamp coming in at the top just barely. And then there is a slight favoring of tournament stamps, which I think makes sense because it is always nice to have a more unique disc in my opinion. So if you run a good enough tournament with a nice stamp design, you can win over the neutral folks and make everyone happy, which is the goal of every TD.

But for those who prefer to have more choice in their player packs, be sure to check out a Next Generation event this year. Dave Feldberg has partnered with Infinite Discs to provide multiple options for player packs, allowing participants to choose the discs and brands included in the packs.

Why Disc Golfers Don’t Play Tournaments

Now, so far we have discussed the preferences of those who said they participated in tournaments this year, but for those who didn’t participate–why not? What kept these people from involving themselves in their local competitive disc golf scene?

As you can see, far and away the top reason why people don’t participate in disc golf tournaments is because they don’t have enough time. Again, it shows that our sport draws competitive people, even if they don’t have time to participate in organized disc golf competitions.

And for the 29.57% of folks who didn’t play in a tournament this year because they don’t think they are good at disc golf, I have a couple of thoughts. First of all–welcome to the club because a good portion of us who play competitively also don’t think we are good at disc golf. But more importantly, if you want to improve your disc golf game, I think one of the best ways to do it is participate in your local leagues and tournaments. I remember being scared showing up to my first league, and I played awful. But the people on my card were very encouraging, and I learned so much as I kept showing up and watching disc golfers who were better than me and how they attacked the course. So don’t let your fear of not being good enough stop you. Once you set that aside and start showing up to leagues and other events, I know your game will improve. I saw it happen in myself, and I see it happen all the time.

And finally, our last stat nugget–for those who didn’t play in disc golf tournaments, what would help in convincing them to show up to future events?

I am surprised to see that over half of people who said that they didn’t play in a tournament said that them getting better at disc golf would convince them to show up to future events. So maybe it is an issue not people thinking they aren’t good at disc golf, but rather they just don’t think they are good enough. Again, refer to my earlier discussion of how participating in competitive disc golf will improve your game. I believe that nobody should ever feel like they aren’t good enough to participate in disc golf tournaments or leagues.

We also see that time/location changes could help almost half of those who didn’t participate in disc golf events show up in the future. Of course, this is a hard thing to get right since everyone’s schedule is different.

Let Them Play With Their Friends

Another piece of interesting information is that 45.87% of folks said that they would play more if they could play with their friends rather than strangers. While it isn’t always ideal, most tournament directors allow people to request being on the same card as their friends. Even if they don’t advertise this, any TD will tell you that there are plenty of disc golfers who have no problem asking anyway. But maybe if TDs are trying to draw more casual players to their events, they can make sure they know that they will be allowed to play with their friends.

So we covered lots of data in this one! What stood out to you that I might have missed commenting on? Do you have any advice for Tournament Directors? Please let us know in the comments!

And last but not least–thank your TDs! A Tournament Director is often a thankless volunteer position. These people donate their time and energy to create a positive event for their disc golf community. They grow the sport and are trying their best to be a positive influence in their communities. So thank you TDs!

TOP TWENTY TUESDAY – APRIL 23rd 2019

Infinite Discs is happy to present another Top 20 Tuesday chart, looking back at the discs that sold the most during the last week. We break these charts down by plastics as well so you can see which plastic types are most popular for each disc. New discs will often spike in the chart as other top sellers shuffle position. It can be fun to see which discs keep up the pace.

Here we go…

Top Twenty Tuesday for April 23rd, 2019

#1 – Neutron ENTROPY
#2 – ESP KONG
#3 – Fuzion RAIDER
#4 – Star ORC
#5 – Cosmic Neutron SL FLARE
#6 – Prism Plasma WRATH
#7 – Discraft Special Blend LUNA
#8 – Star DESTROYER
#9 – D-Line P2
#10 – Star CORVETTE
#11 – Electron Firm ENVY
#12 – DX AVIAR CLASSIC
#13 – S-Line FD
#14 – Hybrid WARDEN
#15 – Star TEEBIRD
#16 – Prism Proton INSANITY
#17 – Star WRAITH
#18 – XT Mix NOVA
#19 – Electron Soft ENVY
#20 – Metal Flake Glow C-Blend SPHINX

Some of the new releases by MVP / Axiom / Streamline really dominated the chart this last week, with the new MVP ENTROPY rocketing to the #1 spot as an overstable putt-and-approach disc. The ESP KONG remains strong at #2 with the new Fuzion RAIDER by Dynamic Discs taking the #3 spot as a solid long-range bomber for experienced players.  The Prism Plasma WRATH by Axiom also did well along with the Envy in two different plastics, and the Prism Proton INSANITY.

To see how the chart shook up over the last week, here is the chart from the previous week:

And here is a look at how many times different brands appeared on this week’s chart:

–> Each week we’ll invite you to leave a prediction for a certain chart position on next week’s TOP TWENTY TUESDAY report. The person to predict that chart position correctly in the comments will win a $10 gift card for the Infinite Discs website.

WINNER – The #3 spot went to the Fuzion Raider this week, which was first guessed by Michael– though he didn’t say “Fuzion” (remember to guess the plastic type). But we’ll give it to him since there is no other plastic type right now. We’re also giving a win to Barrett who came in very close to Michael on the guess for the Raider, but mentioned Fuzion as the plastic type. Good job guys!

GIFT CARD PREDICTION FOR NEXT WEEK:  Leave your comment below this blog to predict the #5 spot for next week’s chart.

State of Disc Golf 2019–Brand Preferences

Which brands do we prefer to use? Did our favorite brands change this year? This is an especially interesting year in disc golf to take a look at the survey responses that relate to this topic because of the many sponsor changes made by top professional disc golfers this offseason.

In fact, we tried to address the big offseason changes directly by adding a new question to this year’s survey. This survey was taken at the beginning of this calendar year during a time that was well after the news broke that Paul McBeth would be sponsored by Discraft and Ricky Wysocki would be sponsored by Innova. So we decided to ask straight up–Have you thought about purchasing Innova because of the Ricky Wysocki switch? We also asked–Have you thought about purchasing Discraft because of the Paul McBeth switch? Here is how we responded:

Well, if you didn’t know already, Paul McBeth really is the king of disc golf in so many ways. As you can see, just over a third of all survey takers have thought about purchasing Discraft product strictly because Paul McBeth is now throwing their discs during tournament play. And then, as we saw in the favorite disc golfers post, Ricky Wysocki’s change to Innova doesn’t seem to have been as well received. I’ve mentioned this before, but I really think it is because the fans Ricky Wysocki gained over the last few years while he was sponsored by Latitude 64 viewed Innova as more of a rival than the fans of Paul McBeth viewed Discraft. This is a fascinating anomaly in disc golf.

But as the data has proven in multiple ways, we as disc golf consumers care about which brand of discs sponsor our favorite pros, and it influences our buying habits.

One little tidbit of data is especially interesting in this enigma that is the relationship between favorite disc golfers and favorite brands it what I would call the Eric Oakley effect.

Eric Oakley is one of the best touring pros not just at disc golf, but at marketing himself using social media outlets. This makes him an especially valuable team member for any sponsor. His manufacturer sponsor over the last few seasons has been Dynamic Discs, one of the Trilogy brands (Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64, and Westside).

In the survey we asked survey takers if their favorite brand of discs changed this year, and if they answered yes, we asked who their new favorite brand is now. So we took a look at survey takers who named Eric Oakley as one of their favorite disc golfers. Then of those participants, we looked at which ones changed favorite brands. Of these survey takers, 83% said their new favorite brand was one of the Trilogy brands. We see this trend when looking at other professionals as well, but Eric Oakley seemed to have the strongest influence this year.

However, when asked why they changed favorite brands, survey takers did not cite professional influence at so high a rate:

So if data trends show professional disc golfers making a significant influence on our brand preferences, why did so few cite them as reasons for changing their favorites? In my opinion, I think it is fair to say that perhaps these survey takers tried out discs made by their new favorite brands because of the influence of their favorite professional disc golfers, and they stuck around for reasons like the feel and flight of their discs. As was previously mentioned, nearly 33% of all survey takers said they would consider throwing Discraft discs just because of Paul McBeth–before Paul had even thrown a Discraft disc in tournament play!

Of course, this leads to the question–for those who changed their favorite brands, which manufacturer was their new favorite? Well first of all, it is important to note that only 20.76% of all survey takers said that their favorite brand changed during the last year. So for the most part, disc golfers stayed true to their previous favorites. But let’s look at which brands that 20% chose as their new favorites:

TOP 5 NEW FAVORITE DISC MANUFACTURERS

  1. Dynamic Discs–17.45%
  2. Discraft–13.33%
  3. Discmania–10.97%
  4. MVP–10.46%
  5. Innova–9.50%

Remember that Eric Oakley effect I talked about? We can definitely see that influence carried over here. You could also argue from these results that the McBeth effect is so strong that he doesn’t even have to throw a disc to make people change their favorite manufacturer.

We also asked survey takers if they could only throw discs made by one manufacturer, which would they choose? For this question, we put together different brands made by the same manufacturer. Here are the overall results:

IF YOU COULD ONLY USE DISCS MADE BY ONE MANUFACTURER, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

  1. Innova/Discmania/Millennium/Hyzerbomb/Infinite–45.84%
  2. Dynamic Discs/Latitude 64/Westside–27.73%
  3. Axiom/MVP/Streamline–10.47%
  4. Discraft/DGA/Plastic Addicts–10.20%
  5. Prodigy–2.22%

I think a lot of this comes down to selection. If you look at how many discs are available from each of these manufacturers, it pretty much coincides with these results. But it is significant that almost half of all disc golfers who took the survey would choose to only throw discs made in an Innova factory if they had to make that choice. All other manufacturers were selected by less than 1% of survey takers.

This leads us to what I believe is the ultimate indicator of our true brand preferences. We can claim certain brands as our favorites, but which brands are we actually throwing and including in our disc golf bags? Let’s look:

I don’t think that Innova being the most popular is too big of a surprise, but over 80% of survey takers having at least one Innova disc in their bag is a bit surprising to me. It just goes to show how dominant their influence has been in the disc golf world over the years. I also was a little surprised to see that Discraft was number two. I would have predicted Latitude 64 to be the number two. Which means I was also surprised to see that Dynamic Discs was higher than Latitude 64.

That being said, it is important to note that the question just asks which brand of discs are in our bag. So if a survey taker has only one disc of a certain brand (like the extremely popular Discraft Buzzz) then they would include that brand in their response.

The trilogy brands together were the third, fourth, and fifth most popular brands. For a long time Latitude 64 was the only of the three that had a “complete” lineup, so they were always the most popular. However, both Dynamic and Westside Discs have released more and more discs giving players–especially those loyal to Trilogy–more options.

Looking further down the chart it looks like things shook out as expected. I was a little surprised at how low Prodigy was considering it wasn’t that long ago that they took the disc golf world by storm and had a large team of professional disc golfers. But Prodigy has been a little more aggressive this year with newer molds being added to their lineup like the recently hyped D2 Max. It will be interesting to see if they can get these new molds into the bags of disc golfers.

So we have thrown together several charts and lists here today, but what does it mean? No, I’m really asking, what do you think it all means? Let us know in the comments what you think of this data and what it says about our current state of disc golf!

TOP TWENTY TUESDAY – APRIL 16TH 2019

Infinite Discs is happy to present another Top 20 Tuesday chart, looking back at the discs that sold the most during the last week. We break these charts down by plastics as well so you can see which plastic types are most popular for each disc. New discs will often spike in the chart as other top sellers shuffle position. It can be fun to see which discs keep up the pace.

Here we go…

Top Twenty Tuesday for April 16th, 2019

#1 – ESP KONG
#2 – Swirly Star EAGLE
#3 – Discraft Special Blend LUNA
#4 – Star CORVETTE
#5 – D-Line P2
#6 – Star DESTROYER
#7 – Active Baseline GUARDIAN LION
#8 – Signature C-Line Colored Glow FD2
#9 – ESP BUZZZ
#10 – Active Baseline SUN CROW
#11 – Active Baseline FOX SPIRIT
#12 – Jawbreaker Glo ZONE
#13 – Champion Colored Glow FIREBIRD
#14 – Signature ESP BUZZZ
#15 – Z Color Shift BUZZZ
#16 – ESP COMET
#17 – Elite Z RAPTOR
#18 – Active Baseline SPRING OX
#19 – Full Foil Super Color NUKE
#20 – Champion FIREBIRD

The KONG held onto the #1 spot this week and it will be interesting to watch how long it can hold onto that position…probably for as long as the inventory is available for the prototype run. Coming in at the #2 spot was the new signature Gregg Barsby Swirly Star EAGLE which came into stock and sold out quickly at Infinite Discs. The LUNA putter held the #3 spot with the new Star CORVETTE taking #4. The Corvette sales were boosted by a 2-foil limited edition that was released by Innova.

Also note the presence of all but one of the new Active Baseline discs by Discmania. The GUARDIAN LINE was the highest on the chart at #7, with the SUN CROW at #10, FOX SPIRIT at #11, and the SPRING OX at #18.  The remaining disc in that new line is the SEA SERPENT, which would have come in at #21 (just missed the chart by a one disc margin).

It is also interesting to see that the BUZZZ mid-range by Discraft took three spots on this week’s chart, with the Signature ESP edition, regular ESP edition, and the Z Color Shift Ledgestone edition as well. Here is how the brands stacked up this week when counting the number of times their discs appeared on the chart, with only three brands dominating all the spots:

–> Each week we’ll invite you to leave a prediction for a certain chart position on next week’s TOP TWENTY TUESDAY report. The person to predict that chart position correctly in the comments will win a $10 gift card for the Infinite Discs website.

WINNER – The #10 spot this week was the Active Baseline SUN CROW, one of the new base plastic discs by Discmania.  There were some good guesses, including somebody who guessed the Swirly Star Eagle which hadn’t been released yet (very good forward-looking guess!) but nobody seems to have seen those Active Baseline discs coming. Keep in mind that you have a good chance of guessing right if you pick something that you know is coming up soon.

GIFT CARD PREDICTION FOR NEXT WEEK:  Leave your comment below this blog to predict the #3 spot for next week’s chart. Remember to think about what new disc releases might spike!

Tiger Woods Just Won The Masters–What Does That Mean for Disc Golf?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the last couple of days, you probably heard something about Tiger Woods winning The Masters at Augusta National on Sunday. He entered the final round two strokes behind the leader and fought to shoot -2 for the day which was just enough to win his 5th green jacket.

But isn’t this a disc golf blog? Why are we talking about “ball” golf (or as the rest of the world knows it: “golf”)? Disc golf is better than that sport, so we shouldn’t even care about what Tiger Woods or any other ball golfer does, right? Ball golf is dying, and disc golf is thriving, right?

Well, that last question is exactly where Tiger Woods winning his 15th career major and his first in over a decade becomes interesting for disc golfers and disc golf as a sport. But first of all, for those who unlike me became a disc golfer without any prior affiliation with ball golf, let’s take a quick crash course on Tiger Woods.

If you want to know more, any google search right now should lead you to a variety of articles about Woods and his historic comeback to the top flight of a sport that he single-handedly revolutionized at the turn of the century. Personally, I’d recommend this article from ESPN if you want a little more info than what I am giving here. But basically, Tiger Woods is the undisputed GOAT of golf. He was so dominant in his heyday, that golf courses were literally renovated just to make them harder for him (they called it, “Tiger-proofing”). He was even considered by some to be the greatest athlete of all time regardless of sport. After becoming the youngest to win a major in 1997, he shattered record after record playing at a level that you had to see to believe.

Sunday afternoons in my house were all about watching Tiger Woods. If there was a family dinner at my grandparents’ home, Tiger Woods was always on in the background. He was an American icon, and his influence is definitely part of why I played golf and now play disc golf.

And I wasn’t the only one. Some say that Tiger Woods caused a “golf bubble” (we will use that term more later) bringing an unprecedented number of new fans and players to the sport. Nike created Nike Golf pretty much just for Tiger Woods. Sales were up, the sport’s popularity was up, and there was no sign of that changing. Tiger was the icon and the soul of the sport as he dominated for the better part of a decade.

And then as Tiger fell, so did golf. In 2009 Tiger was involved in a car crash that started the ball rolling in a very public and humiliating divorce. Around the same time, his body started to show signs of wear and tear resulting in multiple surgeries and very little golf. After knee and back operations, his body was not the same, and in many ways he had to completely relearn how to play. He’d come back for an event or two just to miss the cut or drop out early due to injury, and then announce he’d undergo another procedure.

Pretty much every sports analyst online and on TV predicted his career was over. We would never see Tiger compete at the highest level again. The human body just couldn’t come back after everything he’d been through.

And in the meantime, Tiger wasn’t the only one not playing golf. And we as disc golfers are pretty aware of this. Over the years I have seen many disc golfer Facebook friends share many reports about the decline of golf in America and the world. These articles have been used as an attempt to advocate for disc golf courses being added to golf properties in order to make up for the low numbers of golfers hitting the links.

Mulligans Disc golf Course - home of the Utah Open

And in many ways it has worked! We have seen lots of disc golf courses pop up on the same property as ball golf courses. Popular ones include the Emporia Country Club course used during the Glass Blown Open in Emporia, Kansas, Wildhorse Golf Club used for the Las Vegas Challenge, and one of my personal favorite local courses, Mulligan’s Golf Course in Marriott-Slaterville, Utah. The latter is used during the Utah Open and will be featured during the 2020 PDGA World Championships. Mulligan’s was on the brink of shutting down, and disc golf helped resurrect the 9-hole golf course that is adjacent to Toad’s Fun Center.

One of the more popular articles shared in disc golf circles since its publication in 2014 has been 5 Reasons Why Golf Is in a Hole featured by Money Magazine. The first four reasons we talk about all the time as disc golfers–We’re too busy! Golf takes too long. Golf is elitist and expensive. Golf isn’t really that cool. And golf is just too hard! These are all reasons disc golfers will use to try and convince their friends as to why disc golf is better.

And frankly, they are the reasons why I even started playing disc golf. I loved the game of golf. I loved the mental challenge and idea of the sport. But it was hard to find time in my schedule for 18 or even 9 holes at my local course. My clubs were expensive, and green fees were ridiculous. Also, I wasn’t that great of a golfer! I knew I could get better with more practice, but in order to practice I had to take the time and pay the money to go out and play.

And then my friends introduced me to disc golf, and it was so easy for me to get hooked. Our local park didn’t have any fees, plastic discs are way cheaper than golf clubs, and I could finish 9 holes in less than 30 minutes. It was everything I loved about golf minus all the things I didn’t care for in the sport.

But Money’s article has a fifth reason, and it is the reason that we disc golfers have just kind of ignored when discussing the decline in golf. We’d rather focus on the reasons that appeal to our logic and sensibility. But this 5th reason gets at people’s passion and heart. Maybe we haven’t talked about it as much because something in us knew–improbable as it may be–that this reason could change. This problem with golf maybe wasn’t necessarily a permanent one. What was that final reason that golf has been struggling?

Yep. Tiger Woods.

“Skeptics insist that golf isn’t dying. Not by a long shot. The sport’s popularity, they say, is merely taking a natural dip after soaring to unjustified heights during the “golf bubble” brought on by the worldwide phenomenon that was Tiger Woods.”

Wait, golf isn’t dying?! Disc golf isn’t replacing it? Those multi-million dollar purses on the PGA tour aren’t going to shift over to the PDGA in a few years?

But what about all the golf courses closing and needing disc golf to come in and save them?

Again, from the Money article, “So perhaps it’s not so much that golf is losing favor with the masses today as it is that golf’s widespread popularity a decade or so ago was something of a fluke…Golf courses were overbuilt, saturating major cities and secondary markets with ridiculous golf hole per capita ratios.”

So if anything, this is a bit of a reality check for our hopes and dreams for the growth of disc golf. Maybe golf wasn’t ever really going anywhere besides back to normal popularity levels over the last few years. I’m sure I haven’t been the only one who has thought that maybe once golf dies off in the next decade or two, society’s demand for disc golf will grow to such a place where disc golf will just slide in and take it’s place. But if these years have really just been the backside of the Tiger Woods “golf bubble,” it doesn’t bode well for disc golf’s future as a mainstream sport.

That future may have also taken another blow this weekend. Because Tiger’s story didn’t end with the humiliating divorce and what should have been career ending injuries. He fought back over and over again, showing a resilience pretty much nobody knew he had. He finished the 2018 season with a few strong finishes including winning the 2018 Tour Championship.

But he had his eyes set on something even bigger–he wanted another major, specifically The Masters. Another quick note for those unfamiliar to golf–The Masters is arguably the golf equivalent of the PDGA World Championships. It is the most prestigious event in golf.

So as Tiger Woods hung around the top of the leaderboard all weekend, it wasn’t just his old fans who started to cheer for him. It wasn’t just Americans who love a great comeback story who started pulling for him. The entire sport of golf and any individual or company who has a vested interest in golf’s future wanted Tiger to win on Sunday. I guarantee that every golf equipment and apparel company was hoping Tiger would beat out any other pro that they sponsored. Every golf course owner and sports equipment store was cheering for Tiger. Why?

Because if you have watched the Masters every year for the last 5 or so years (like I have), then you know that you have never seen or heard a crowd like the one at Augusta National on April 14, 2019. The “Tiger roars” were back, and some say they were even bigger than they had ever been before. When Tiger tapped in that final putt, the collective golf world erupted. Their champion and hero was back.

Does that mean that they will be back on their local courses as well? Will we see a second Tiger golf bubble form? I know that is the hope and dream of every golf company.

And should it be the nightmare of every disc golfer? Maybe. It is hard to say. As I watched those final holes at Augusta on Sunday, the kid in me was hoping Tiger would pull it off, but the cynical disc golfer in me was hoping to see him choke. Because if Tiger is back, then golf could very well be back as well.

But maybe disc golf doesn’t have to be at odds with Tiger and the golfing world. Maybe we can coexist within each others’ spheres. I could spend a whole different article talking about how disc golfers think that golfers are rude, uppity rich folks who think they are too good for our sport; and how golfers think that disc golfers are a bunch of uncultured pot heads who need to get out of the parks and go find a real job. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way.

Because as much as I love golf, I have learned that disc golf is my true “golf” calling in life. So when I saw Tiger’s return and felt that tug on my heart, it didn’t send me looking for my old golf clubs.

It sent me to the disc golf course.

TOP TWENTY TUESDAY – APRIL 9TH 2019

Infinite Discs is happy to present another Top 20 Tuesday chart, looking back at the discs that sold the most during the last week. We break these charts down by plastics as well so you can see which plastic types are most popular for each disc. New discs will often spike in the chart as other top sellers shuffle position. It can be fun to see which discs keep up the pace.

Here we go…

Top Twenty Tuesday for April 9th, 2019

#1 – ESP KONG
#2 – Fuzion RAIDER
#3 – Discraft Special Blend LUNA
#4 – Star DESTROYER
#5 – D-Line P2
#6 – Metal Flake C-Blend RA
#7 – Signature ESP BUZZZ
#8 – Nexus AVIAR DRIVER
#9 – Star CORVETTE
#10 – Jawbreaker Glo ZONE
#11 – Champion Colored Glow FIREBIRD
#12 – ESP COMET
#13 – Elite Z RAPTOR
#14 – Classic GUARD
#15 – C-Blend RA
#16 – Star WRAITH
#17 – ESP BUZZZ
#18 – ESP Glo BUZZZ
#19 – I-Blend X-Out EMPEROR
#20 – DX AVIAR

With a big restock of Discraft KONG discs hitting the Infinite Discs website, that disc rocketed to the top of the chart again, demolishing all of the competition. The 2nd place disc was the new first run Fuzion RAIDER by Dynamic Discs, and in all honesty, the sales of that disc would have been higher if we’d been prepared and had more of them in stock. The anticipation for the Raider was higher than we expected. The LUNA putter took 3rd place, pushing last week’s #1 Destroyer back to #4.

Other honorable mentions go to the Infinite Discs RA which had a stock release and was on sale for the weekend, pushing it to #6 in Metal Flake C-Blend, and to #15 in C-Blend plastic.  The newest putter from Dynamic Discs, the GUARD also stands out at #14.

There were also two Ledgestone special edition discs from Discraft that pushed into the chart this week: the Jawbreaker Glo ZONE jumped in at the #10 spot while the ESP Glo BUZZZ took the #18 spot. The special edition ESP COMET stamp released by Infinite Discs pushed that mid-range to the #12 position, giving Discraft the edge again with number of times on the chart for this week:

–> Each week we’ll invite you to leave a prediction for a certain chart position on next week’s TOP TWENTY TUESDAY report. The person to predict that chart position correctly in the comments will win a $10 gift card for the Infinite Discs website.

WINNER – The #4 spot this week was the Star Destroyer as it was pushed back by the hot-selling Kong, Luna, and new Raider. The first to guess Star Destroyer, according to comment time stamps, was JACK.  A few other guesses came in for Star Destroyer, but Jack was the first, so congratulations!

GIFT CARD PREDICTION FOR NEXT WEEK:  Leave your comment below this blog to predict the #10 spot for next week’s chart.

 

Top Selling Discs–Q1 of 2019

The weather is warming up, Spring has sprung, and the 2019 disc golf season has begun! It’s April, which means it is time to once again take a look at our top selling discs of the first quarter! As we go through the top sellers, we will see a lot of changes from last quarter. Most of those changes can be traced back to one person…yep, Paul McBeth!

Top 10 Overall

  1. Innova Destroyer
  2. Discraft Buzzz
  3. Discmania P2 Psycho
  4. Innova Firebird
  5. Discraft Luna
  6. Discraft Zone
  7. Discraft Force
  8. Innova Wraith
  9. Infinite Discs Pharaoh
  10. Discmania FD Jackal/Dynamic Discs Judge

If you are still of the belief/delusion that Paul McBeth doesn’t influence sales numbers, hopefully looking at this overall top 10 and comparing it to all of the top 10 charts from last year will be enough to change your mind. Paul’s signature has been printed on over half of these discs at some point in time. While it isn’t unheard of for new releases to crack into the top 10, the Luna debuting at number 5 is very impressive. Also the Discraft Force has never been on this or the distance driver top 10 list. For what it’s worth, if March had been one day longer, we’d probably have another McBeth disc on this top 10 list (the Kong). So overall I think it is safe to say that Discraft has taken full advantage of adding Paul to their team so far. Discraft numbers are way up across the board here at Infinite Discs.

 

Top Distance Drivers

  1. Innova Destroyer
  2. Innova Firebird
  3. Discraft Force
  4. Innova Wraith
  5. Infinite Discs Pharaoh
  6. Innova Shryke
  7. Discraft Kong
  8. Innova Valkyrie
  9. Innova Boss
  10. Innova Orc

The previously mentioned new Discraft Kong made it all the way to number 7 on the distance driver chart after selling out in just a few hours on its release date. I think it will be interesting to see how the Force and the Kong perform in sales throughout the rest of the year since McBeth mostly used one distance driver with Innova–the Destroyer. Of course, that might be the key–how much McBeth uses either disc. Beyond the new Discraft additions, it is mostly more of the same for the distance driver category this quarter.

Top Control/Fairway Drivers

  1. Discmania FD Jackal
  2. Discraft Undertaker
  3. Innova Teebird
  4. Innova Thunderbird
  5. Innova Leopard3
  6. Axiom Insanity
  7. Innova Leopard
  8. Innova Roadrunner
  9. Innova TeeBird3
  10. Dynamic Discs Escape

Last quarter I mentioned that the Discraft Undertaker surprised me by cracking into the top 10 at the number 9 spot. Well, it made another big jump this quarter finishing as the number 2 fairway driver. The big surprise this quarter is the Axiom Insanity coming in at number 6. The high sales numbers this quarter are primarily because of the special release Axiom did for their new Prism plastic blend. We also see the Innova TeeBird3 cracked back into the top 10.

Top Midrange Discs

  1. Discraft Buzzz
  2. Innova Roc3
  3. Innova Roc
  4. Innova Mako3
  5. Dynamic Discs EMac Truth
  6. Discraft Comet
  7. Discmania MD3
  8. Discraft Buzzz OS
  9. Infinite Discs Anubis
  10. Kastaplast Gote

The top 7 on this chart is pretty business as usual with only a couple of small shifts from last quarter’s top 10. But the last 3 are all new names to this list, or they at least haven’t been on the list for a while (looking at you Discraft Buzzz OS). One of the biggest surprises of this whole article for me is the newly released Kastaplast Gote finishing as the 10th best selling midrange. New releases have a tendency of making surprise appearances in these top charts, but this might be the first Kastaplast mold to crack into a top 10, which may be an indication that the small Swedish disc manufacturer is continuing to grow into the mainstream.

Top Putt and Approach Discs

  1. Discmania P2 Psycho
  2. Discraft Luna
  3. Discraft Zone
  4. Dynamic Discs Judge
  5. Axiom Envy
  6. Innova Aviar
  7. Dynamic Discs Warden
  8. Gateway Wizard
  9. Westside Harp
  10. Dynamid Discs Deputy

There aren’t too many surprises here besides the two Discraft molds making such a big jump up the charts. The Dynamic Discs Deputy made it back into the top 10 after not making it last quarter. Also the Westside Harp is the lowest it has been ever since making the top 10 if I remember right. It will be interesting to see how the Harp performs throughout the year now that Ricky Wysocki is not throwing it and Paul McBeth is throwing a similar mold in the Discraft Zone.

And that’s all we have for this quarter! What will the next 3 months of sales look like? Was there anything that surprised you this quarter? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Dave Feldberg Blog Post #1

Dave Feldberg Blog

So I have decided to have a blog this season , but I am not sure I can type up everything going on in my life. This has been one of the most eventful years of my life and I can barely come up for air.

Welcome Leomax Feldberg #22626

On a personal level Synthya and I had our first child Leomax Feldberg #22626 on 2/18/19. He is a blessing and very healthy. We are so lucky to have him in our life and are looking forward to watching him grow and sharing many great experiences. Synthya and I bought a house where we have no relatives or close friends near by and so we are doing this ourselves and she has been a rockstar to say the least.

Next Gen Tour 2019

On a business level Next Generation Tour is having a banner year with the expansion of 10 disc manufacturers, 10 other new sponsors, a new NG team, relocating the National Championships, and partnering with Infinite Discs to make it all happen. We are seeing a lot of positivity out there and we are doing all we can to deliver the best amateur tour out there. It will only continue to get better. We have some big announcements coming!!!

Disc Golf an Honest Take Podcast

I have started my own podcast called “Disc Golf an Honest Take”. I will be reviewing existing products and new releases while covering a little NG and history of our game. The first one is in the editing stage and will be out very soon (hopefully Monday).

Tournament Schedule 2019

On a playing level I have decided with all that is going on, that I had to cut back on my schedule of events I compete in. I will still be competing at many of the larger events, but I will not be playing as often. Below is my proposed schedule for this season:

  • Super bowl scramble – 3rd place
  • Full Monty Doubles- Galloway as partner 1st place
  • Jonesboro PT
  • Huk Central A -tier
  • Trailblazer A Tier
  • Great Lakes Open PT
  • Pro Worlds Presented by Infinite Discs
  • Masters Worlds
  • Tim Selinske
  • USDGC
  • Delaware NT
  • Augusta NT Final
  • Linton Park Open – B-Tier
  • Sandy Creek Sling- C-tier

Building the Mixed Bag for 2019

It has been exciting to be able to throw any disc that I want to throw. There are so many choices out there nowadays it is incredible. Back in the day we had very few choices compared to today.

So I had to start somewhere. What I have done to start the season is take the Trilogy and Innova discs I loved for many years and picked out some solid choices. I stuck with the Sinus, BT Bard, XXX, and Ballista Pro. I brought back my Aviars, Rocs, Eagles, and Destroyers. That alone made my game stronger right away. Now I wanted to experiment with the other manufactures that are supporting the tour. So I have started by incorporating one new disc from each brand. Here is what I have so far.

Discraft – I am messing around with the Kong, Comet, Heat, Vulture, and Crank. They all fly well just trying to see where they fit my bag. I have added the Zone as I always wanted to throw that disc.

Prodigy– I have been testing almost all there molds and I have liked the D2 and D3 and found that the M3 is a good over-stable midrange. I have added the 300 A2 to my bag as this plastic feels feat and I love short over-stable flying discs.

MVP– I also tested many of there molds and found that the Resistor and the Octane are very good flying discs and the Resistor, I have having a hard time resisting. I have added a Mayhem to my bag as I like this distance driver. It is not over-stable or under-stable. It flies long and straight and I can make it fly almost any angle I want.

Gateway– I have been testing most of there line and the Apex and Illusions have stuck out as really consistent fliers that I can use between full high speed and fairway drivers. I have added a Diamond Prophecy to my bag as this is a really good Hyzer midrange that I throw fairly often.

Legacy– I just received their box of testers, but will say right out of the gate, that I am liking there new plastic, I will update Legacy more in the next blog.

DiscMania – I have tested a few of their discs in the beginning when I played for Innova. I am awaiting a box of testers, but I am excited to test the new Cloud and Instinct co branded Latitude fairway driver. I will update in my next blog.

Kastaplast– I have been testing most of their line of discs and I will say I was very impressed. The feel was great- shiny discs that were not slippery. I am looking forward to some rain to see if it performs as I think it will. The Kaxe was a unique mold I wanted to test and I found it to be the rare disc between a midrange and a fairway driver. I like the Stahl and it is in a final battle with the Mvp Resistor to see who makes the bag. I have added a Falk to my bag as it is a great late flip under-stable fairway driver that just seems to fit my game.

Infinite – last but not least I have been testing our discs often. I have found that the Myth putter is growing on me and that I like the plastic lines we make. I have added a glow metal Flake Pharaoh to my bag as this thing goes far, only about 5-10 feet less than a Corvette but feels like a Destroyer in my hand. I have also added a RA to my bag as this disc has this unique nova type flight where it doesn’t move to the left it just holds and then drops predictably. I am also starting to test my signature disc which will be a Splatter Emperor. I am excited as it has been described to me as an Eco – Destroyer which I like but don’t want to pay 100 or more dollars for.

So I think that is good for my first blog, now out to the field to test some more plastic!!!

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 59