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PDGA True Amateur Events

The true spirit of organized amateur athletics is competing in a sport purely for the love of that sport and the act of competition itself.

“True Amateur” is the designation used by the Professional Disc Golf Association in reference to those amateur events, or the amateur portion of an event, which promote that true spirit of amateur athletics by presenting only trophies to the top finishers of the tournament rather than a payout in merchandise. Instead, all players in the event receive equal value through their tournament experience due to the tournament amenities that are provided.

Tournament Amenities – these should enhance each player’s tournament experience at a True Amateur event.  Those amenities may include, but are not limited to, social gatherings such as a party or an outing; meals provided during competition breaks; snacks and beverages provided during competition; the provision of “comfort stations” out on the course (beyond the park’s usually limited facilities), or other infrastructure amenities such as paid parking permits in those locations with parking fees.

Player Pack - a package of commemorative items such as discs or clothing should be provided to each player – but it should provide only a portion of the tournament value.

The goal of a PDGA True Amateur Event is to provide a great holistic tournament experience to each player as they enjoy the spirit of amateur competition in the sport they love.

In this day and age, where tournaments tend to fill quickly using pre-registration, True Amateur events are also easier on TDs as they can plan for expenditures on trophies, items for player packs, and tournament amenities with an eye on providing the same value to all registered players.

Suggested Entry Fees

True Amateur events should use the same flat entry fee for all players to facilitate providing similar tournament value to all players.

Event Tier Suggested Entry Fee
for Amateur Division
Major $100
A/XA $60
B/XB $50
C/XC $40
CEP Charity $30

Note: One exception might be junior divisions. If a player party includes alcohol for the players, the TD will need to provide a similar value to juniors (additional player pack item?) or reduce the entry fee for juniors accordingly.

True Amateur Value Percentage Requirements

True Amateur events should provide 100% of Net Entry Fees in value to all participants through player packs, trophies and tournament amenities. The Net Entry Fee is the Gross Entry Fee paid by the player minus ONLY the PDGA Fee, and any Regional, Series, and Greens Fee (if the Greens Fee was included within the Gross Entry Fee). Tournament expenses are NOT deducted from the Gross Entry Fee to determine the Net Entry Fees.

Of that 100% of value, at least 50% should be provided to each player via a Player’s Pack. The remaining percentage to reach 100% should be provided through the trophies and tournament amenities provided to the players. Higher tier events, which have more time available during the length of the event, should strive to provide as close to 50% of value as possible with tournament amenities, while lower tier events with limited time available, may provide larger player packs instead of as much value in amenities. These percentages hold true for approved Competition Endowment Developmental events, but approved CEP Charity events are the exception in that at least 30% of their value should go to the 501C(3) charitable organization with a thereby lower percentage of value provided to the players in Player Packs, trophies, and tournament amenities.

Note that all percentages are based on VALUE (Retail), not on COST (Wholesale). Tournament Directors should be able to cover all tournament expenses, and make a profit as well, through careful purchasing of tournament amenities, trophies, and player packs.

True Amateur Trophy Requirements

Most True Amateur events should follow a very simple model for their divisional trophy requirements based on the number of participants in the division:

Participants per Division Trophies Provided
<5 1st Place Only
<12 1st and 2nd Place
<30 1st-3rd Places
<75 1st-5th Places
<100 1st-8th Places
>=100 1st-10th Places

Note: In some cases such as PDGA Majors or PDGA Amateur/Junior Disc Golf World Championships, a more specialized trophy criteria and higher value percentage is used.

Download the PDGA True Amateur Events PDF »