LAC DU FLAMBEAU
- You could see professional disc golfers playing over the Labor Day weekend at Sandy Point Resort and Disc Golf Ranch's 20th Anniversary Northwoods Open.
Professional disc golfers find that not everyone quite understands just how special disc golf can be.
"I think one of the big challenges we've seen is that people can't relate. They think of a Frisbee and they think of throwing it but they don't necessarily see how amazing a disc can fly," said professional disc golfer Terry Miller.
But, there is a whole world of people who play this sport professionally. In 2000, Miller quit his job to pursue the sport. There are a few thousand professionals. Disc golf is unique because you can decide which division you want to play in.
"There is the professional division and the amateur division. So just sign up and compete with the best," said Miller.
The Professional Disc Golfer's Association has found that the sport has an annual growth of up to 12%.
"I would with churches, I work with youth groups, I would with park and rec programs. So, we're seeing it both at the state level, the local level, and then also the national level. So, it's growing pretty much in every possible way that we can," said Miller.
Because it is such a niche sport, it can be hard for professionals to make money.
"It's kind of anything that's related to disc golf, they probably pick up and do a little bit on the side. And then on the weekend, they are grinding it out, playing a tournament every single weekend," said Miller.
It can be difficult for professional disc golf players to make a lot of money just by playing weekend tournaments. But, if these tournaments started to be aired live on television, there could be more money in the game.
"I think once it gets on TV, I think that's when we may see some of our big sponsors. I think that's going to make the sport bigger and more professional," said Miller.
Terry Miller created Smashboxx TV, a platform where he live streams professional tournaments straight to YouTube.
"I think as we continue to grow and some of our big events, we are going to see something on TV. It's just a matter of the right network and the right people getting together to make it happen," said Miller.
Televised tournaments, much like what Smashboxx TV broadcasts, could change the future of the game.
"We've had a number of sponsors that have reached out to us because they really want to get on board with this exciting opportunity. There's not a lot in terms of broadcast options," said Miller.
If you're interested in learning or watching disc golf, click the links below.
|Story By: Jeanine Ilacqua