Does a $10 Million Contract for the Sport’s Top Star Mean Disc Golf Will Soon Be at a Sportsbook Near You?

Piles of Money on Left and a Disk Golfer Throwing a Frisbee

Fringe sports are a funny subsection of society. Many of these activities have a unique culture. That skews many people’s perspectives about the sport.

Disc golf is a prime example of a sport that is becoming stigmatized by the public view. To be blunt, disc golf is regarded as a stoner sport.

Yet, the top athletes in the game are changing the image. What’s followed is a massive push to put disc golf in the limelight.

Many of them are professionals that exude an image of excellence in their actions. Their behaviors have landed disc golf in the mainstream.

The best player was recently awarded a $10M contract through his equipment sponsor. That’s right, the best disc golfer on the planet drives a supercar.

Does a $10 million contract for the sport’s top star mean disc golf will soon be at a sportsbook near you?

What Is Disc Golf?

Please don’t call it a frisbee! Frisbees are toys meant for playing catch and pretty harmless.

Disc golf discs perform a variety of shots. These discs come in a range of plastic types, from base plastic to premium.

The base plastic discs are cheaper but wear much faster. Trees will chew up your cheap discs like a new puppy.

Premium plastics wear over time. Trees will do little more than leave you feeling inadequate.

These discs come in four primary molds of the disc. You have a putter, mid-range, fairway driver, and distance driver.

You can easily make the comparison to golf by thinking of mid-range discs as your irons. The similarities do not stop there.

You throw your first shot from the tee pad with the intent of hitting the fairway or green. In disc golf, players typically have a tee shot and two putts or throw to complete a hole at a par of three.

Yet, this can vary, and some courses have more par fours than threes. The basket is your goal, and you complete the hole when the disc rests inside the basket.

One of the best aspects of disc golf is that it’s not cost-prohibitive like many sports tend to be. You can buy a used disc for a couple of bucks and hit your local public course for free.

That makes disc golf widely accessible to the masses. Don’t worry if you’re a total newbie; there will be plenty of locals willing to show you the ropes.

It’s always best to understand a game or sport before you start betting real money on the competition. I recommend at least playing a few rounds before you place any wagers on disc golf.

Surge In Popularity During the Past Two Years

One of the significant factors of the disc golf surge has been the pandemic. People were forced to change how they exercised and socialized.

Disc golf courses provide an excellent outlet. Participants can get outdoors and be active while maintaining social distancing.

The increase in disc golfers from 2020 to 2021 was staggering. Between 1976 and 2019, a mere 125,000 people had registered for a Professional Disc Golf Association number.

Disk Golf Tournament

In the span from January 2020 to November 2021, over 70,000 new members joined the PDGA. Those are strictly the numbers for tournament players. They do not reflect the vast number of casual disc golfers.

This surge has led to several amazing things happening in the sport. The first is all the new courses receiving upgrades from the local parks departments.

It is also brought in new players from all walks of life. This new blood has helped the game grow.

When people start being excited about a sport, the media must pay attention, especially when the sponsors are willing to fork over big money.

Disc Golf Being Legitimized Through TV Coverage

If there’s one thing that can make a fringe activity mainstream, it’s television. Television adds an outlet for getting you in front of millions.

Until recently, disc golf coverage was reserved only for YouTube. Several production companies film tournaments, exhibition matches, and clinics for public consumption.

The problem is that most of the commentary is postproduction, and you’ll have to wait for days to see what went down. Often, watching knowing full well what is going to happen.

The Disc Golf Pro Tour launched its subscription channel in 2019. The content brings live disc golf to a large audience. Yet, it’s only getting attention from people already familiar with the sport.

Then ESPN began to take notice. In 2021, ESPN2 aired several of the Elite Series events from the DGPT. Sadly, these were often months after the actual event.

Still, airing disc golf in primetime is a meaningful step in the right direction for the game. Some of this resulted from other sports canceling seasons or portions of seasons.

Regardless, ESPN must’ve liked what they saw. ESPN and the DGPT recently announced a multi-event deal to air coverage during the 2022 tour.

While this drives public interest, it also legitimizes disc golf in the eyes of the casinos. Having the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” write a check to broadcast your event gets a lot of attention.

Is having half a dozen events on television enough to put you in the spotlight at the sportsbook?

The short answer is a “no.” But, it is undeniably a step in the right direction.

Sponsors Are Lining Up with Their Checkbook in Hand

Between the contracts for TV and tournament sponsors rolling in left and right, the money is enormous. The equipment manufacturers are ready to swing huge checks to land the top players.

Sportsbooks will take action on anything they can make a profit. But there can be genuine concern over fair play.

Casinos aren’t going to take millions of dollars in bets if they suspect a player may cheat. The equipment deals ensure that players have a tremendous incentive.

Money

The massive money rolling near the top also promotes honesty among those involved.

It keeps everyone honest. That gives sportsbooks the peace of mind needed to allow betting.

All these little things add up to a bigger picture of betting on disc golf becoming a reality. The more money sponsors fork over, the closer we draw to disc golf landing in the sportsbook.

The more money that’s involved in a sport seems to suggest fairness. Yet, the more money comes into play; the more motivation one has to game the system.

The $10M Athlete Is Changing Everything

Enter Paul McBeth, the 5x World Champion. In late 2019, McBeth announced he’d be making an equipment change.

Disc golfers are vital to the disc manufacturers’ success. Having a top-rated player on your staff will earn tremendous revenue for your company.

McBeth made a switch to Discraft, and sales began booming. Retailers couldn’t keep Paul’s signature discs in stock.

The secondary market was full of McBeth discs climbing upwards of 10x their retail price. Fans couldn’t get enough of the plastic.

Discraft began enjoying sales, unlike anything they had ever seen. They rushed to sign the top female player on the planet, Paige Pierce.

With all of this money rolling in, Discraft decided to make a splash. The move was unlike anything the disc golf community had ever seen.

Paul McBeth inked a 10-year $10M contract. To put that in perspective, McBeth won less than $33,000 playing tournaments in 2020.

The mammoth move is a direct result of the increase in the popularity of the sport.

Not only has McBeth benefitted from the meteoric rise. But many other top pros are poised to rake in cash with new equipment contracts.

Kristin Tattar signed a deal with her company, Latitude 64, for an impressive $100,000. Additionally, many tournaments are seeing record-setting purse amounts almost weekly.

The relationship of Paul and Discraft is the catalyst that is launching disc golf to a contender.

When will the Sportsbooks Take Notice?

One of the main obstacles facing fringe sports is a trustworthy governing body. Disc golf’s governing authority has been around for over 40 years.

The PDGA has a board of directors and several elected committees. These handle everything related to rules and division qualifications. They also oversee event standards and regulations of the competition.

The well-established rules of play are as meticulous as the USGA’s rule book. That settles many potential conflicts.

Disc golf has a considerable advantage over other fringe sports in that way. Still, that alone won’t set the betting world on fire.

When you pair the well-oiled format for competition and the public’s recent interest, things quickly change. Now you are seeing a demand for disc golf betting.

Sportsbook

These factors all add up to disc golf becoming featured in sportsbooks within the next 3-5 years. If the demand continues to grow at the rate we’re seeing, disc golf could be in Vegas by 2022.

Sites like Prize Picks have already added disc golf to their daily fantasy roster. That means you could set up an account and be betting on the major disc golf events by the end of the day.

Disc golf offers opportunities that are similar to golf. You should expect to see a wide variety of the same type of bets for the two sports.

You must become familiar with the sport and the athletes before you dive into betting on disc golf.

Will Disc Golf Be the Next Big Thing?

Does a $10M contract for the sport’s top star mean disc golf will soon be at a sportsbook near you?

Yes, but I don’t give the credit to Discraft and McBeth. Instead, it’s the grand gesture that speaks to the game’s immense popularity.

The demand is there. Sportsbooks will be a force to take notice and move disc golf into the future of sports betting.