Wisconsin Disc Assoc
Inside the Wisconsin Disc Sports Association
By Will Mueller PDGA #26162 (Hole 5 Guy)
Imagine eight of the most hard-core disc sports promoters in your state getting together to have a meeting to discuss the future of disc sports statewide for the following year. They probably get together at someone’s home, perhaps play a round of disc golf on a private backyard course, and then spend about nine hours discussing the state’s success and faults in the previous year while trying to determine the best strategy to promote disc sports the following year and beyond.
In Wisconsin, this scenario I’ve asked you to imagine is an annual reality undertaken by the Wisconsin Disc Sports Association (WDSA). The WDSA formed just after the 1998 Amateur World Championships which were held in Appleton, Wisconsin, and has continued to work to promote disc sports in Wisconsin ever since.
“Our goal is always to create awareness and to have positive promotion of disc sports in Wisconsin,” said Wisconsin PDGA State Coordinator Terry Miller. “We want to support and promote good disc sports development, and part of that is ensuring that we have another successful Wisconsin Tour as 90% of what we do is disc golf. We had roughly 2000 participants in the 12 tour events we hosted in 2010.”
Disc Golf in Wisconsin continues to grow and looks to have its biggest season next year hosting more than 50 events; about 30 of them PDGA sanctioned events and 13 tour events on what will be the 18th year of the Wisconsin Tour. At least three 2011 Wisconsin events will be A-Tiers.
“In order to be on the Wisconsin tour, an event has to be at least a B-Tier or above,” said Miller. “This is not only one way to show support for the PDGA, but also a way to tell people we really want to have our best events on the Wisconsin Tour.”
Disc golf is not WDSA’s only focus. In 2010 the group worked not only to promote the Ultimate (Frisbee) Players Association College Championships, but had members present at the event to promote other disc sports and to expose Ultimate fans to sports like freestyle, and of course, disc golf.
WDSA also has what they refer to as a “Development Fund.” As part of their annual meeting each year the group discusses proposals that are submitted on how to spend the fund. In the past, the money has been used to support the development of disc golf courses like Sussex, Standing Rocks, Lustig, Brown Deer, Token Creek, Silver Creek amongst others and additionally was used to purchase a “Z-Machine”.
The Development Fund is allocated each year by collecting $2 from each competitor’s entry fee on the Wisconsin Tour, a measure the group voted to continue for the 2011 season. In 2010 WSDA raised more than $3,700 to be used for disc sports developments within the state.
As the Wisconsin Tour is something WDSA and Wisconsin Disc Golfers have come to be proud of, the WDSA (including Tour Directors/WDSA Committee Members Brad Wendt and Tom “Big Daddy” Jenkins) are continuing to look for ways to grow the tour both in popularity and in quality.
While Innova Disc Golf has been a huge sponsor of the tour for years, the WDSA is looking to add additional sponsorship on a variety of levels, and is even considering accepting a title sponsorship for the entire Wisconsin Tour.
For more information about the Wisconsin Disc Sports Association and the Wisconsin Disc Golf Tour go to www.widiscsports.com.