The Disc Golf Pro Tour was announced recently by Tournament Director Extraordinaire, Steve Dodge. Dodge and Nate Heinold (TD of the 2015 Ledgestone Insurance Open) are working on a tour that will allow fans and families even more access to professionally managed events. The Pro Tour will be about more than seeing top level professionals. It will also focus heavily on what Dodge and Heinold call “The Modern Age of Disc Golf”. What is the modern age of disc golf?
According to DiscGolfProTour.com it is:
- A disc golf festival
- A pro disc golf tour
- A platform to spread the culture of the disc
- An opportunity to give back
We are building the modern age of disc golf. It will be fun, entertaining, interactive, engaging, and meaningful. Play disc festival games, race through an inflatable maze, and watch the best players in the world play disc golf. Interact and engage one on one with professional players while helping spread the positive culture of the disc, giving to a quality charity, and smiling with neighbors while doing it.
The Disc Golf Pro Tour itself will consist of Five premier events that will include LIVE coverage, complete stats, a points series and a tour championships. Many of the venues for the first season were ranked in the top 20 for the United States. They include:
- Rollin Ridge
- Blue Ribbon Pines
- Maple Hill
- Smuggler’s Notch Resort and the best courses in Peoria, IL.
We were able to catch up with Nate Heinold and Steve Dodge to ask a few questions.
Q. In this upcoming season, or any future seasons will there be an admission fee for entry to these events? If so, how will ticketing be handled?
Yes, after we see how 2016 works, we will be implementing a ticketed attendance system. I could see ticketing be handled through local/regional clubs as a fundraiser, through the venues, and through the DGPT website. As this is a long term issue, only the goals are in place so far as opposed to the nuts and bolts of the process.
Q. Is the DGPT separate from the NT? Will the DGPT eventually replace the NT?
The DGPT is separate from the NT. One of our events is actually an NT in addition to being on the Pro Tour. Our goal is to make the Pro Tour the premier North American Tour with the best events in the country.
Q. Your schedule for the upcoming tour has some amazing venues. Will these be the same every year, similar to Rock Hill for the USDGC? Or, will there be a rotation of venues? How can a venue be considered for addition to the DGPT?
Our goal is to have the best tournaments and the best venues. Our plans for 2017 are wide open at this point in time as we are using 2016 as our test year. We would anticipate that any event on the Pro Tour would be on the tour year in and year out. Obviously we understand that things change, but the Maple Hill Open will continue to be played at Maple Hill, just like the Green Mountain Championships will continue to be played at Smuggler’s Notch. As the tour matures, we foresee a system where an event or two is dropped from the tour and newer, growing premier events would take their place. If a venue is interested in hosting an event in 2017 they can find out more information at http://www.discgolfprotour.com/2017.html
Q. The first tour shows 5 events. What is the maximum or ideal amount of events that you would like to get to?
Our long term goal is to have 12 to 14 events on the tour. We also want these events to be sensible within the confines of how we design the tour from a travel perspective.
Q. How or will the DGPT and the DGWT work together? Will players be in a situation to choose one or the other. Will DGPT “Sign” players like DGWT did with McBeth and Lizotte?
Both the DGWT and the DGPT have a place in the sport. We don’t anticipate players having to choose between the two tours because, by design, the schedules do not conflict at all. We believe that both tours will garner significant player support and that the players will benefit significantly with two professionally executed top tiered tours. We have open lines of communication with the DGWT and the tours are in agreement that we will work closely together on the scheduling front.