#21  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:16 PM
curmudgeonDwindle curmudgeonDwindle is offline
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A deceptively broad question, Biscoe.

One haven’t have played before amateur divisions in disc golf to surmise that their development, in part, arises from our structure as human beings. First, all human social groups develop hierarchies and these become more stratified and rigid over time (they also decay and die, but disc golf hasn't 'gone around the circle' yet). Second, all primitive cultures had ‘rites of passage’ for the youth, which means an ‘official’ gateway where participants become recognized as adult and take their places as full members of that society. Obviously, all societies today have such rites, but I contend they are less obvious, less formal and more dilute and most importantly, less universally recognized/rewarded. Reading comments, questions and the like from today’s moderns convinces me that for many formal social acceptance and approval lies behind the drive to ‘just get better’ or ‘going pro’. Disc golf just happens to be another social hierarchy game that we are particularly interested in...

I share your sentiment about the game having missed the boat in this regard. My knee-jerk response would be to blame the greater cultural changes in our society, a millenniums long process of general liberalization, laying ‘blame’ at those responsible for inculcating values into the youth. What lies at the heart of disdain of competition for competition’s sake seems to be shallow human dissatisfaction, ignorance/disregard of its value (competition for competition's sake) and ‘market pressure’, all of which reflect our culture’s more material, secular world-view. The process as a whole must play itself out…

I realize this probably wasn’t the direction you were looking for, but reading your question I instantly thought of what might be the generative impulses which create the more distinct phenomena we each have observed during our time…fwiw
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  #22  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:17 PM
ballgolfconvert ballgolfconvert is offline
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Originally Posted by lyleoross View Post
Thanks for your answers, interesting topic.


I guess that I'm not sure I agree with this statement, "In short I have an issue with the idea that there is no inherent value placed upon organized competition in and of itself by players, promoters, or the PDGA..."

I've never felt bribed. In most cases, I don't even take some of the free materials offered. If the disc isn't one I regularly use, I leave it behind. I quiet simply have never taken into account the payout or the gifts when deciding to play. That said, it is clear that in some of the big events, GBO and Ledgestone, the gift is a huge motivator. Beyond those events, is it really true that a large percentage of ams only play because they are getting a gift disc? And I am quite aware of the participation trophy phenomena. I guess what I'm asking is, why do you, or folks in general, think the bribe is effective or even if it is effective? And I assure you, I don't know.

The mechanics of payout would seem to necessitate the bribe though. It is the float on the am payout and gifts that contributes to the funding of the pro payout, or at least that's what I've always thought. In fact, if all you had was a pro payout with only pro entry fees, that would essentially be gambling, at least as Bruce Brakel once defined it. And by his thinking, that is illegal in some states. You need added cash from somewhere to move out of the, "it's gambling into something else." I wonder if those motivations weren't at play?

Last, if John Houck did play a significant role in the process, a reminder, he was once Innova's main retailer in the central area of the country. It might simply have been a way to move merchandise, maybe even an Innova requested phenomena?

It has always seemed to me that Innova had a great deal of say in a number of practices in the sport. It would definitely be in the manufacturers interests to have a mandated plastic payout scheme.
TD's do not have to give out plastic as a payout. It is a choice they make due to player demand. In the golf business every amateur tourney had merchandise payouts and most had some kind of goody bag as a momento of playing the event.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:21 PM
_MTL_ _MTL_ is offline
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Originally Posted by Three Putt View Post
From what I could gather, Ed had decided to shut down the PDGA (not a shocker at the time as the IFA also had shut down and the money to run both had been coming from the same place) but he was convinced to turn it over to the players instead. That was in 1984. Ed ran it through '86 with a "board" of players in a transition period and it was fully turned over to this players board for 1987. My understanding was that Am membership happened at the same time, that it started with the "new PDGA" in 1987 that was fully in the control of the players.
There is a documentary that is out there (currently being released in chapters) about the history of NC disc golf.

The transition of the PDGA from Ed to the players is discussed.

8:31 mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkPC7Zf5olw

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  #24  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:37 PM
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Three Putt Three Putt is offline
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Originally Posted by lyleoross View Post
I swear I once heard that the control was wrested from him? Gossip though.
From what I understand, that transition was very testy and getting him to give up any control during that time was essentially impossible. Also gossip.

What isn't gossip is that the PDGA during the Open-only era Ed oversaw was largely propped up on the same Wham-O marketing money the IFA was propped up on. Once Kransco bought out Wham-O and turned off the Frisbee money spigot, the PDGA as Ed had run it was on it's last legs. If he had not turned it over, it was only a matter of time before it went the way of the IFA.

It's a really pivotal time; Kransco buys Wham-O, Wham-O sponsorship for Frisbee events stops, Innova applies for a patent on a golf-specific disc, the Innova disc is approved by the PDGA (which would have never happened if Wham-O money still controlled the sport,) the PDGA is turned over to the players and Amateurs are allowed membership. '82-'87. If you played disc golf in '82, left the country for five years and came back to play disc golf in '87, a lot would have changed.

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Old 06-12-2019, 02:42 PM
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lyleoross lyleoross is offline
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Originally Posted by ballgolfconvert View Post
TD's do not have to give out plastic as a payout. It is a choice they make due to player demand. In the golf business every amateur tourney had merchandise payouts and most had some kind of goody bag as a momento of playing the event.
I had thought they had to give out something, a percentage based calculation? When I started playing, there was only one something, discs. Well, there were stickers too. Even teeshirts weren't given out.

So, even though what you say is correct, by my understanding, I still wouldn't say that eliminates the possibility that Innova pushed for that structure. I'm not saying it's what happened, rather, I'm posing the question, is that part of the equation?
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:46 PM
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ChrisWoj ChrisWoj is offline
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Originally Posted by lyleoross View Post
I had thought they had to give out something, a percentage based calculation? When I started playing, there was only one something, discs. Well, there were stickers too. Even teeshirts weren't given out.
Well when you're referring to a percentage paid out relative to entry fees - if the entry fees are only enough to cover PDGA fees, the percentage is relative to $0.00

Unless the PDGA does the math to include fees that go to the PDGA. Which I'm not sure of.
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  #27  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:47 PM
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Three Putt Three Putt is offline
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Originally Posted by _MTL_ View Post
There is a documentary that is out there (currently being released in chapters) about the history of NC disc golf.

The transition of the PDGA from Ed to the players is discussed.

8:31 mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkPC7Zf5olw
That's cool, thanks for the link.

Not to argue the point, but Ed faced several players revolts over the years that he ran the PDGA. Like the video pointed out, he was a "my way of the highway" kind of guy. He rode the others out. I think the pivotal thing that gets overlooked is the Wham-O money. If he is still the guy who can deliver Wham-O money to disc golf, he can play hardball with the players. Once he lost his ace in the hole, he gave into the players and turned over the PDGA. Coincidence?

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  #28  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:51 PM
TimSyl TimSyl is offline
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Originally Posted by ballgolfconvert View Post
TD's do not have to give out plastic as a payout. It is a choice they make due to player demand. In the golf business every amateur tourney had merchandise payouts and most had some kind of goody bag as a momento of playing the event.
Not sure where you're from, but I also have an amateur golf background. State events, and larger ones, NEVER had ANYTHING as a "players pack". In the 80s and 90s we paid anywhere from $60-125 for the right to play an event. And this was only if our handicap was low enough to qualify. If you won one of these events, you received a metal or trophy. And bragging rights. We did it for the competition. More regional type events were similar, but the top finishers may have gotten enough in gift certificates to get a dozen balls or a shirt from the pro shop. Those events usually were about $40-60 entry. At least some of the entry went for greens fees. So again, we played for the competition. I've only been playing disc for 12 years, but am still astounded how ams expect so much simply for entering an event. (I know this subject has been beaten to death here).
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  #29  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:51 PM
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lyleoross lyleoross is offline
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Originally Posted by _MTL_ View Post
There is a documentary that is out there (currently being released in chapters) about the history of NC disc golf.

The transition of the PDGA from Ed to the players is discussed.

8:31 mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkPC7Zf5olw
I thought the comments at 6:20 more directly address Biscoe's question. "I had the idea to do a monthly event, charge $3, give back some discs, and keep the leftovers to raise money for baskets."

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  #30  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:53 PM
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Three Putt Three Putt is offline
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When I started playing, there was only one something, discs. Well, there were stickers too. Even teeshirts weren't given out.
No lie. There weren't even disc golf bags. There were golf discs.

I remember getting an Innova baseball cap in like '96 or '97, cheap adjustable thing. I'd be on the course with it covered in sweat and have people offer me money for it. You never saw them. Merch was golf discs.
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