By: Alic Shorey, Disc Golf Insider
With disc golf vastly growing popularity, becoming a more mainstream sport is destined to happen. In the short time from 2013 to 2017, there was a 99.7% increase in active Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) members! This increase was through PDGA sanctioned events alone over a 5 year span, not including the non-sanctioned events all across the world. Being an avid disc golfer myself, I would love nothing more than to see disc golf get the recognition it deserves. Although many still see it as more of a hobby than a sport. The Professional Disc Golf Association and disc golf companies across the world are doing what they can for the sport of disc golf to reach that mainstream level; things such as building more courses and hosting more PDGA events all across the globe. All major events are live streamed and/or can be followed through Jomez Productions, SmashboxxTV, The Disc Golf Guy, Central Coast Disc Golf, Supreme Flight, UDisc Live or The SpinTv. The biggest events that all of these broadcasters cover are held within The Disc Golf Pro Tour. Different companies such as Discraft, Dynamic Discs, Prodiscus, Innova, Prodigy, and MVP sponsor many events across the world throughout the year but they specifically go above and beyond for the biggest events in the United States to make up this tour. The DGPT is a great way for more people to recognize disc golf and make it more legitimized as a sport in the public eye.
What is the Disc Golf Pro Tour?
The Disc Golf Pro Tour is a collection of events throughout the year, where disc golfers across the world compete. Many refer to the disc golf pro tour as a “disc golf festival”, because not only are the pros there to compete, but it’s also for the fans watching the event to have fun. Fans will be able to watch their favorite pros, and on top of that, at each event they will be able participate in fun disc golf festival games and maybe even meet and relax with said pros inbetween or after rounds. Not only is the Disc Golf Pro Tour meant for the pros to compete at the top level, but it’s also meant to give back to the disc golf community.
How do points work and how is the DGPT championship event setup?
In 2018 there will be 10 events, where pros try and accumulate the most points by placing as high as possible in each event. The higher you place in each event the more points you will receive. The top 32 Mens Pro Open (MPO) players and top 12 Females Pro Open (FPO) who have the most points receive an invitation to the 10th event, which is the championship held in Jacksonville, FL. Then out of the 32 MPO and 12 FPO, the top 1-16 in men’s and top 1-4 in women’s get a bye into the second round. In addition with the first round bye, the 1st-8th MPO get a second bye into the semifinals. For MPO, 17th-32nd play ROUND 1 on Thursday, October 18th. The 8 with the lowest score advance to the QUARTER FINALS held on Friday, October 19th, to join the other 9-16th who received a bye. (Throughout the championship the only time tour points come into play is for settling tiebreakers and in the SEMI FINALS per The Drew Gibson Rule.) The QUARTER FINALS work the same way. The 8 with the best score move on to join the 1-8th seed in tour points on Saturday, October 20th, in the SEMI FINALS. The 1-8 top pros who got their byes straight into the SEMIS are seeded as such on each card,
As you can see the 1st and 8th seed are together, the 2nd and 7th seed are together, and so on. But the way the qualifiers from the previous round are seeded is based on their tour points, thanks to the Drew Gibson rule. So instead of being placed based on how they shot in the QUARTER FINALS, the 8 who made it into the SEMI FINALS are reseeded based on their Tour points received throughout the year. The placement of them are represented by Q1- Q8 (similar to how the top 1-8 were seeded). Out of the 16 who go into the SEMI FINALS, only 5 make it into the CHAMPIONSHIP. The winner of each card and one wild card, go onto one last card to find out who is the Disc Golf Pro Tour Champion.
Local Economical Benefits:
Not only do these pro events on the tour give men and women alike a chance to win thousands of dollars but the hosting city also gets money cycling into its economy thanks to the all the followers and players of the pro tour. Hotel rooms, restaurants, and gas are things the hosting city easily makes thousands and thousands of dollars of of in just one weekend.
The Disc Golf Pro Tour is definitely a step in the right direction on the road to make disc golf recognized as a mainstream sport. Every year the number of pros participating in this pro tour is sky rocketing up. There is not just more pros popping up but others who watch the pro tour, whether it be live or livestream, and want to try out disc golf. This helps the sport grow because some young novice who saw the Ledgestone Open might want to pick up disc golf as a fun hobby and as the years pass turn into the next Ricky Wysocki or Paul Mcbeth. Disc golf has been on a vast incline in popularity and has nowhere to go but up from here with all the possibilities in the world.
Check back later to see tour events/points updates and summary!