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PDGA Board Establishes Game Development Team

Photo: "Steady" Ed Headrick #001 and Chuck Kennedy #4949 talking about basket design in 1997.

The PDGA Board of Directors recently voted to create a new game development committee within the organization. This committee, also known as the Game Development Team (GDT), will operate as a research and development resource for PDGA staff, Board of Directors, tournament directors, and members across the globe. The GDT will coordinate organized testing of new ideas for rules, equipment, or course design elements proposed to improve the game. They'll work with tournament directors willing to try these ideas in their events and report back to the PDGA staff and Board of Directors with the results.

Many X-tier events have been conducted over the years using various experimental formats but the results from these events have never been gathered and analyzed in a systematic way. The GDT hopes to work with tournament directors all over the world that are interested in trying various ideas to discover what seems to work and what doesn't in order to improve the game.


Dynamic Discs's Marksman (left) and Gateway's Bullseye (right) are marketed as practice baskets, but they could potentially be used in GDT test events to track statistics for increased putting difficulty.

Some ideas might be intended to improve specific event types (e.g. elite pro events or events with either all pro or all amateur divisions). Other ideas might affect the difficulty of the game itself. One example that's been suggested by some top pros and likely one of the GDT's first efforts will be finding an appropriate way to make putting more challenging for elite level competitions.

GDT Core Members

Project Coordinators


Touring Professionals

Touring Pros Nate Doss, Sarah Hokom and Henrik Johansen are onboard for a few years as liaisons to observe and participate when possible with field tests and seek player feedback for all tests. These touring pro liaison positions will rotate every few years based on players' touring plans and interest in participation.

Active TDs already interested to host some tests are Harold Duvall #2018, Chuck Connelly #22000, and Jason Allind #21568. The GDT will seek many more TDs around the world to help test concepts and new equipment once more details are developed.

Look for future announcements and eventually a section on the PDGA website about the various tests being planned and how to submit your ideas for future testing.


I am 100% behind ideas to improve the sport.
One concern I have is the use of DIFFERENT baskets for PDGA Major events.
The city in which I live is preparing a bid for a Major Event in 2017, and my concern is that
if that change is enacted, it would mean having to provide 90 of the new baskets for 5 courses.
That would be a HUGE expense. I would rather see the $25,000 (plus) be put in the Prize Purse for the players.
How would the implementation of such a change be accomplished without incurring this cost ?

Submitted by cgkdisc on

Testing ideas to improve the game for top pros, all pros or everyone is completely separate from discussions on how any of these tested ideas can or even should actually be implemented in the short or long term. So you shouldn't worry about any implementation phase, partly because no idea that would incur significant expense to local hosts would realistically get implemented as a requirement that quickly. If the PDGA felt an idea should be implemented faster on a selective basis, such as a different basket just for certain elite events, the precedent has been to loan equipment items like Championship baskets, rubber tee pads or scoreboards to tournament hosts by the PDGA or by manufacturers as part of their sponsorship. No reason to believe it would be handled another way should any of the tested ideas be approved for implementation.

Thanks for the info.
Like I stated earlier, I am 100% supportive of the PDGA and any effort to improve our great sport.
We are really excited about the possibility of hosting Major event !

I appreciate the clarification, thanks again !

Submitted by willb202 on

Thanks GDT for your efforts to improve our game! We all appreciate your dedication.
Regarding the idea of making putting more difficult, even if only for "elite level competitions", I hope we all keep in mind how this might impact the spectator experience. I think I can say with some confidence that if we make putting harder and potentially significantly increase the amount of time spectators would spend watching play inside 50', spectators will find their enjoyment diminished. Consider the prospect of watching a top foursome all 2-putt (collectively 8-putt) from "inside the circle", hole after hole. While as a player (since 1982) I admit that I sympathize with a notion that maybe there's something odd about top players routinely canning 50-foot "putts", I know for sure that as a spectator, I DON'T want to spend 3-5 minutes per hole watching players hole out from 30 feet.

Submitted by cgkdisc on

Several on our GD Team agree with your thoughts. If the time for putting gets extended, we will also be looking for ways to make the whole putting experience more compelling to watch with drama similar to putting in ball golf. Putting takes longer in ball golf but it's much more interesting to watch on nicely groomed greens with undulating terrain where even the shortest putts are sometimes missed.

Submitted by KePP on

That photo in middle of the page with Marksman and Bullseye would look so much better with an Innova DISCatcher Elite shadowing the others! I have DISCatcher Pros and would love an outdoor matching Elite version. Sure I could tie the chains on a full-size but it detracts from the stunning beauty that is a DISCatcher Pro.

As soon as you have one ready, let me know and I'll give it a test run on my private course. Thanks. -Wes