Friday, October 18, 2019

The 2020 Tour Schedules - A Sneak Peek At What's To Come

For many players, the announcement of both the PDGA National Tour and the Disc Golf Pro Tour stops is better than Christmas Day. While the events largely remain the same, it never hurts to start planning for next season in advance, and having firm dates and locations months ahead of time works to bring excitement and the ability to make important decisions about the coming year.

We thought we’d take a look at the 2020 schedules and examine them in a bit more detail - there are some new changes this year that many already have mixed feelings about, and ultimately we want to ask the important question: does the coordination of these schedules work to support having more golfers on the road, or is touring full-time still too difficult for many?

Changing Things Up

Year after year, the start of the disc golf season for most is marked by The Las Vegas Challenge, an event that often shows up as part of the NT schedule. In 2020, however, it’s being run as an A-tier and instead, The Memorial, a DGPT event, will be the first seasonal event for some. We don’t see a National Tour event pop up until the end of March with the Texas State Disc Golf Championships, which hasn’t been a part of this circuit since 2014.

The end of the National Tour will also take place somewhere a little off the beaten path and will offer players an immense challenge, particularly after already being on the road for so long. The Music City Open, with a course that measures in at over 13,000 feet, occurs shortly before USDGC. Other stops, including the Beaver State Fling and Glass Blown Open, will remain integral parts of the season, and somewhat newer Pro Tour events like the San Francisco Open and Portland Open will also be seen again in 2020.

Travel Takes Its Toll

Attempting to play disc golf full-time and attend nearly all of the NT and DGPT events is a huge challenge, because not only can you obviously not hold a day job while traversing the country, but the sheer amount of time that you’re away from home is mind-boggling. There’s no doubt that the PDGA and DGPT crews have worked hard to ensure that the 2020 schedules make sense from a logistical standpoint, but we wonder if the stops still make it a bit rough to fully take the plunge into professional play?

For example, the 2020 Texas State Championships will be held from March 27th to 29th with the next huge event a short 130 miles away. Sure, some will fill their time with A-tiers during this 18-day wait before the Jonesboro Open on April 17th, but if that’s not in the cards, is nearly three weeks too much time to kill on the road? Most players can’t or don’t want to go home for that period of time only to come back out again, and yet each day that you’re not on the course trying to earn money, you’re instead burning it by eating out or using gas while sightseeing.

There’s no question that the 2020 tour makes a lot of sense when looking at both the NT and DGPT schedules, but we want to hear your thoughts. What changes could be made to make going on the road even more attractive? Are some events too close together (check out the dates of the MVP Open and Green Mountain), or are things looking pretty manageable? Drop us a comment and share your opinion.
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