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View Poll Results: To grow or not to grow?
Grow 137 83.03%
Not grow 28 16.97%
Voters: 165. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 01-24-2014, 09:03 AM
RK311 RK311 is offline
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Default Growth of DG?

There are many threads about the growth of our game/sport. I am very happy with the current level of participation, recognition, course construction, etc. Others would like something different. I think there is enough conversation in other threads about pros and cons, but would like to know how the majority of DGCR members feel.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:45 AM
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Are you happy with the current level (no more growth), or the current growth rate?

You seem to say you like a hybrid---the current level of participation (no growth), but course construction (growth).
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:57 AM
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I feel like we're hitting a sweet spot where there are plenty of options to play without being overly crowded. Granted, I still have to drive a bit to get to a course, but when I get there, I can usually walk right to the first tee and go. No waiting, no paying, no nonsense.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidSauls View Post
Are you happy with the current level (no more growth), or the current growth rate?

You seem to say you like a hybrid---the current level of participation (no growth), but course construction (growth).
I'm happy with the state of the game as it is presently. Courses will be built and courses will be pulled, players will be born and players will die.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:53 AM
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The quality of courses where I live is pretty weak. Growing the game, I believe, will improve the quality and quantity of courses in my area.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:07 AM
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I dont think we will ever get over the hump.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:15 AM
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DG in Madison is, in my opinion, very overpopulated. I've never played a full round without having to wait on a group at some point or another. However, in all the other places I've played, this isn't a problem. I think there's tremendous room for growth outside the US, so I voted Grow.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:20 AM
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Played competitive sports with substantial monetary backing for all of my life and wish this sport could rise to the level of those. There is more than enough public interest and availability for people to get interested in the game to grow it to a new level of outside interest.

Though I guess thinking about the word "grow" might be the wrong idea. I think the word "evolve" probably better defines what I'd want the game to do.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:24 AM
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FWIW, I share 3Putt's opinion that I don't think it will ever "explode in popularity" like so many people seem to think. At least, not under the current structure. Frisbee sports are the very definition of a niche activity.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:27 AM
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Hopefully no one burns down my house for posting this but here is my perspective for growth. I preface with, this is only my opinion which may increase discussion and not to start a firestorm.

Growth is more likely to happen with funding and exposure. I know I will get blasted for this but I would like to see fees raised for PDGA memberships and tournaments (not significantly). I say this because I keep seeing people indicating that the sport is stagnant because of the lack of television coverage. A portion of these fees from each membership and player at each sanctioned tournament could go into a reserve fund that could be used to pay for a national broadcast of the USDGC, Worlds, HOF Classic or similar tournaments for an hour on a cable channel initially such as the El Rey Network or ESPN 2 (not to be shown once a year but several times a year. I am aware there was something similar in 2013 but I think McFly So High or Billy Crump could do a great job on camera and commentary and relate it to the novice or someone with no exposure to the sport). El Rey currently appears to be showing a loop of great coverage of surfing, skating, kiteboarding, etc. from the early 2000's and I think disc golf and the network would benefit with new coverage. I also think sites like the MPORA website are fantastic and does not isolate one sport the way disc golf seems to be isolated out of outdoor/action sports. I think inclusion in sites like this would also benefit. If the sport ends up on TV, I think having viewing parties at local restaurants and bars during primetime or happy hour on Fridays and weekends would help but the cost would be significant.

I also think the mentality that every am playing in an event needs to receive a players pack as well as half of the am field should receive a payout at the majority of events needs to be reassessed (this does not mean do away with all of it). Disc golf is one of the only sports I have ever been involved with that gives payouts or merchandise to ams that did not place in the top 5 (the funds saved on payouts and player packs could also help fund a reserve fund for television coverage). More Trophy only events may deter players for a while but could also increase the reserve fund.

I also think there should be a peer analysis type study (this may have happened but I am not aware of this) of other sports similar in structure (e.g., local surfing contest run by numerous volunteers that may wear several hats over the weekend including sanctioning, judging, etc.). With a sport such as surfing, many participants in contests may surf several divisions such as juniors, open, kneeboard, longboard, bodyboard, etc. and this may cost them $25 for each division over a weekend (I am aware that many of these are paid by sponsors but not all great surfers are sponsored so this is out of pocket for the love of competition and the sport). The only thing they normally win in am is a trophy, donated merchandise and lunch each day such as pizza for the $100 - $150 each participated may have paid over the weekend.

I know very little about course design other than experienced course designers know how to design courses in relation to newer players with no experience in the development of courses. I have only been playing about 8 years but over the past 3 or 4 years I have noticed many newer players designing courses. Since about 2010, I have played a few courses that appear were put in due to land being available but the design was not well thought because people with little to no experience in designing courses were involved. There is no reason to put a course in unless it will be utilized. The last thing a municipality and tax base wants to see is funds they feel were wasted on something that is not utilized such as a poorly designed course.

Encouraging aspects I noted below.

I am really encouraged by many TDs running one day events over the past few years. These make it easier for some players who may not be able to participate in a full weekend event due to other interests, responsibilities, etc. A couple of the best tournaments I played over the past couple of years were the Jersey Jam in New Brunswick, NJ and the Summer Smackdown outside of Mosinee, WI. The ams played Saturday and pros played Sunday at the Jersey Jam and pros and advanced played Saturday and other division played Sunday at the Summer Smackdown. It was really neat to see pros spotting (including a few of the top players in the world at the Jersey Jam) and help run the tournaments on the days they did not play and ams helping out on the days they did not play.

The most encouraging aspect is that it appears many new players are learning the rules and practice etiquette more than when I started which should also increase growth. I started playing traditional golf when I was around 6 years old and first started playing dg at 35. When I started in dg, I was surprised that some of the players did not fully understand some of the rules and a few did not demonstrate etiquette during casual rounds and sanctioned tournaments which are similar to traditional golf in many ways. This goes back to my first experience with weekly doubles at a club event in the South. I played a weekly doubles event about 2 weeks after I started playing in 2005 and got paired in a group with 2 great guys and 1 guy that was older that was such a jerk to me that I did not play with another club for another 6 months. My first impression to organized disc golf was that new players were not supposed to play club events much less sanctioned tournaments. I am glad I dismissed this and have had far more positive experiences from dg and met great people that I would have never known if I would have let my first experience deter me.
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