State of Disc Golf Results: Pros and Videos
Could there be a better start to the 2022 disc golf tournament season than a multiple-hole playoff at the Las Vegas Challenge? While it is fun and exciting to see one person mop up the field by having a spectacular round, it is even more appealing to see a battle between two of the top players in our sport. Whether we watch a tournament live, or wait until the post-produced videos appear on YouTube, a large percent of the disc golf world likes to watch tournaments. As we learned in last week’s blog (HERE), nearly two-thirds of us like to PLAY tournaments. This week we will explore how many of us like to WATCH tournaments. We will also look at how we like to watch them and which players we cheer for.
Ten years ago Jonathan Gomez decided to film the final nine holes of the 2012 World Championship (Check out his video HERE). He used one camera, he had no voice-over, no flight tracking, and minimal graphics. That was the humble beginning of what has become a post-produced video juggernaut that is Jomez Pro.
Since then, numerous brands have joined the fray, and the quality of video production has grown right along with number of production companies. We’ve reached the point where the top video brands will record, edit, and release a video complete with commentary the morning after the round was played. It’s a great time to be a disc golf video junkie!
Disc golf videos are among the best ways to follow the professional players that we like to watch. Before we explore our video-watching habits, let’s take a look at how many of us follow professionals. It turns out that most of us do. Here is a chart showing the results of the survey question, “Do you follow professional disc golfers”:
It turns out that most of us like to follow top-tier disc golfers. Although most of us choose to follow pros via post produced video, there are other ways to keep up with our DG heroes. Attending tournaments, watching them online live, and watching live scoring are other options we have to follow the pros. However, nothing comes close to watching the post-produced videos, such as Jomez, GK Pro, etc. Let’s look at some more survey results.
Whether we are watching the pros compete or watching them give a tutorial, YouTube has added another dimension to our sport. We have the ability to consume the videos on our schedule, 24 hours a day, all for free. It’s no wonder that the top two choices for following pros are through that medium.
A little more surprising to me is how many people watch disc golf on live broadcasts. On the one hand, it’s a big commitment of time. A live video will last longer than the actual round being played, since they also include pre- and post-round content.
On the other hand, it’s convenient to have a live tournament on in the background while doing other tasks. That is perfect if your work permits you that luxury. Live broadcasts also give you the opportunity to see multiple cards play, since there is so much time that needs to be filled between throws. Plus, it eliminates the chances of inadvertently finding out about the results of a tournament before you get a chance to watch it post-produced.
As mentioned above, Jomez Pro has contributed greatly to the production quality exhibited by even the smaller brands. As such, we now have many different channels that we can turn to in order to fulfill our DG-watching desires. In the survey, we asked which tournament YouTube channels you watched in 2021. Although most of you named the ‘usual suspects’ for disc golf video, a lot of you mentioned much smaller channels. First, let’s see how you voted.
I think that most of us would have guessed the number one choice, and also would have guessed the top few names on the list. They are the channels that we hear about the most, and who cover the biggest tournaments. And they are all producing quality videos, which keep getting better each year.
Moving past the biggest names in YouTube tournament videos we find smaller brands that are also producing great videos. While some of them are covering local tournaments with players known only to the local area, many are featuring well-known pros. Most include commentary, graphics, and an impressive level of video quality. Although not as prolific as some of the big channels, the videos they do release are fun to watch. Below are some examples of other channels for you to check out:
Sky Hyzer Productions
SM Disc Golf Productions
True North Disc Golf Productions
Who We Cheer For
Although it is fun to watch the most talented disc golfer compete, it is even more enjoyable when one of the players we are watching is our favorite. Most of us have more than a few favorites, but in our survey we asked which pro is our favorite, and which is our second most favorite. We asked for both the MPO and FPO.
We gave participants a long list of the top rated pros to choose from. Even so, about 2% of us still selected ‘other’ as our choice. Which means there are a significant number of people not on the list that have a lot of fans.
We will start with the FPO, where five-time Paige Peirce received nearly a third of all of the votes. The five-time World Champ is frequently on the lead card and gets a lot of tournament exposure. She also has her own YouTube channel, giving fans an even deeper look at her life. She also knows how to rip a long drive, making her easy to cheer for and admire. Here are the top 10 selections for the title of Favorite FPO Player:
In second place is Estonian pro, Kristin Tattar, with 19% of the votes. Following Kristin, Kona Panis and Catrina Allen each had about 10% of the votes.
For the selection of our second most favorite FPO player, the list looks nearly identical, but with different numbers. Here are the top 10:
Turning to the MPO division, we see a familiar name at the top of the list. Paul McBeth has been a major player in the disc golf world since winning his first world title in 2012. Like Paige, Paul is often seen on the lead card of a tournament, giving us more opportunities to see him in action. Here are the top 10 most popular MPO players:
Just like the FPO division, the top 10 list of second most favorite MPO players is just a slightly rearranged list of the Most Favorite. Simon Lizotte takes the top honors for this list.
That wraps up this look at our consumption of disc golf tournaments, and the players who motivate us to watch. Comment below and let us know if your favorite player made the list. Also let us know about YouTube channels we missed.
Check back next week for more State of Disc Golf results.