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  • PDGA Sanctioned Courses

    How come the PDGA doesn't sanction courses... basically standardize courses? A sanctioned course would have to meet certain standards to become sanctioned and if those items were fulfilled the PDGA would provide course ratings and possibly insurance for a small annual fee? USA BMX does this for BMX Race Tracks. It seems like a good idea for the PDGA to do also?

  • #2
    Agree with you 101% on this one Rooster. Been one of my biggest complaints about PDGA from the beginning. Anyone that knows me is aware of how strong I feel about courses and how there is absolutely no reliable rating system because there is no system in place. John Heaton, PDGA member and others at Whirld Sports, put at a real good 3 part article few years back about this topic and even good proposal as to a possible solution for all. Makes for good reading, whirldsports.com To bad PDGA hasn't picked up on it or figured it out yet.
    Steve Moore

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    • #3
      I suspect Liability is the main reason. BMX does it because it may be too expensive for individual tracks to get insured. PDGA has insurance available for events but hasn't pursued what might be necessary for course design insurance. The PDGA wouldn't be able to make sure the course was maintained properly after the initial insurance review.

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      • #4
        Its funny to me that the PDGA has standards for Discs, baskets, clubs and players... But no standards for courses? That seems like a simple thing to me... I think a sanctioned club could report course maintenance to maintain a sanctioned course. Not every course would meet the standards... I had to redesign 8 holes at Keizer Rapids in the past two years because the previous designers didnít consider the safety of other park users. If standards were set a City or government agency would have simple guidelines to ensure safety and longevity of a disc golf course


        I think a club or city would be happy to pay an annual fee to have insurance and a sanctioned course. Ideally, you wouldn't need event insuance if a course was sanctioned and insured.

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        • #5
          The PDGA does have standards for courses, just no certification process. Here are the docs showing the general guidelines and standards:
          Overall Guidelines: http://www.pdga.com/documents/pdga-c...ign-guidelines
          Design specifics: http://www.pdga.com/documents/design...vel-guidelines
          Target guidelines: http://www.pdga.com/tour/standards
          Confirming Course Design Meets Intentions: http://www.pdga.com/course-design-validation
          The Course Design Validation process above is one method used to confirm courses for the Majors listed below along with running test events in advance of the Major:
          http://www.pdga.com/pdga-documents/m...rld-championsh
          http://www.pdga.com/pdga-documents/m...-us-masters-ch

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          • #6
            I think it could be a next step for the PDGA to bless courses as tournament worthy and perhaps bypass liability concerns. But it could take long time to have qualified people get around and do the evaluation process. I don't think it could be a self or club applied process for it to have much validity. Perhaps courses used in NTs and Majors that have PDGA officials in attendance could gradually become a set of certified courses? Part of the evaulation would be how they played for various skill levels of players. I'm doing some evaluation of Pier and Blue Lake hole scores from the USWDGC for example to provide feedback to help the TDs set them for Pro Worlds next year.

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            • #7
              I understand the PDGA has guidelines for course design, but guidelines are just that... I believe there is a need to provide stronger language that mandates standards for B tier events or higher. I think the PDGA needs to set course standards... If a course was annually insured by the PDGA TD's would'nt have to come up with extra funds to pay for the insurance required by Parks Depts for events. We can't even provide free events without being required to provide Event Insurance. This sport is growing so fast, the PDGA needs to grow up a little along with the sport.

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              • #8
                Who pays for insurance and certifying courses for tournament play are separate issues. Insurance would likely not be any less costly to TDs/players than it is now even if there was a certifying process. Most of the cost when TDs get the insurance rider for sanctioned events is simply to cover administrative costs of doing the paperwork at the insurance company not PDGA. Not many have this volume of sanctioned events on one course, but once maybe half dozen or more sanctioned events are run per year, it could be worthwhile to check whether an annual insurance policy might be cheaper than buying ala carte from the PDGA to cover all league and tournament play on a course. I know some private course owners discovered they didn't have to pay much if any more for insurance when they installed the course than what they all ready were paying for business coverage. And this is without any expensive course certification process. I suspect this is due to our sport's safety record being so good regardless how "unsafe" some holes/courses might appear to be to some players.
                Last edited by Chuck Kennedy; October 16th, 2013, 07:32 AM.

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                • #9
                  I think Parks Depts would consider having a course sanctioned by a certifying body a benefit for more than one reason... I'm thinking more on the lines of annual insurance protection for weekly leagues as well as tournaments. Consider it like this... If a Parks Dept or club could pay a fee to have a course "PDGA SANCTIONED" and the PDGA could provide that course a annual policy of protection for all events that take place on the course, (it would not cost much for the PDGA to add a course rider and an additional insured form) then a Parks Dept would only require a TD to provide a permit (with a fee unless waived) for a weekly league or a onetime tournament because an annual policy is in place for course use.

                  What I am seeing is clubs are being forced to buy expensive ($500+) annual insuance to have regular unsanctioned events by Parks Depts... Currently most Parks Depts are turning a blind eye to these "leagues and tournaments". But as time goes along more Parks Depts are going to enforce the mandatory permits and insurance policies. Even free events are required to have an insurance policy in place by most Parks Depts.

                  I hope Iím not coming off sounding like a jerk... I am just looking forward to the next evolution of this sport and its overall growth in the future.

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                  • #10
                    I just don't see it happening anytime soon. If insurance fees at some point are seen to be slowing down increases in sanctioned events (not happening so far), then maybe it would make sense for a nationalized program. But that also means hiring more staff at PDGA HQ to oversee the program so it may not be a net savings overall for players. And we're still not talking about course certification, just an extension of some blanket insurance policy where the PDGA is not directly liable. The insurance company takes on the risk just like it does today. Remember that the current insurance company is fine accepting the risk for tournaments with no course evaluation involved due to the known low chance of injury demonstrated in our sport over many years.

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                    • #11
                      Woman disfigured in park disc golf incident

                      http://www.dailybreeze.com/general-n...anhattan-beach



                      A great reason to have a ligit designer when building a course... PDGA Sanctioned Courses and Designers could help prevent more of the incidents

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